Time takes care of that slumped-shouldered overwhelmed feeling. The other day, when I wrote this post, I could feel the weight lifting from my shoulders as I typed. Every sentence slipped me into ease. Reading your lovely comments helped me even more.
I’m doing fine now. Writing helps. The Chef holding me helps even more. Two days off from work with him — eating roasted corn with smoked paprika, pork chops with Moroccan spices, and coral lentils infused with garlic; going to a great dumb movie; and sleeping in so late we could not believe the time when we saw it on the alarm clock — helped most of all.
I have yes tattooed on my wrist for a reason. I have it there to remind me — say yes to every moment as it arises, no matter what the moment. Those times of being confused and stressed out? They’re teachers. How would we know what the ground feels like if our toes never left it?
And besides, I realized, I have to be kind to myself. Planning a wedding — no matter how calm and relaxed our wedding will be — involves three hundred details a day, plus twenty-two more on the list for an hour later. Over one hundred people — the greatest hits of everyone in our lives — converging in one place, a white dress, a clear aisle to walk down, and at the end of it — the most beautiful man in the world, standing before me, with tears in his eyes. For over a year, we have been anticipating that image becoming reality. In order to reach it, we have been working toward it.
I just want to marry him.
And three weeks from today, I will.
(Here, I must leave a note I didn’t expect to write. The Chef and I created a wedding website, for the dear friends and family who have been invited. I used my blogger profile, because it was easy, and we love the photograph you see in my profile. After the address had been printed on the invitations, and they were slipped in the mail, I found a surprise. Readers of this site had found our wedding website. Dozens of you are going over there to read every hour. No problem, at first. And we’re more than grateful for the unexpected presents. However, so many readers have left comments saying, “We’d love to come to your wedding!” that we are both a bit alarmed. Please, everyone — understand. The wedding website is a separate website, and its existence is not an open invitation to anyone reading. Those of you who have sent us comments to RSVP, saying you will be there with your children and food in tow, we have to kindly say: please don’t. We really only do have room for our friends and family. It is a private event. We promise — there will be plenty of photographs and stories to follow. Let us have our day to ourselves.)
Three weeks from today, I will be Mrs. Chef. (Ha!)
Today, we met with the woman who will be marrying us. There’s a story to how we met her, but I’ll have to share it another time. Sitting in a coffee shop with her — Seattle sunlight streaming through the windows, and her smile brighter than that light — we felt safe in her hands. Discussing the order of events, the music our friends will play for us, and the particular touches that will appear at only our wedding? We could both feel it — the wedding is really going to happen. In one moment, as we were discussing the Chef’s sister playing one of her songs at the wedding, I looked over to wink at him, and saw his eyes filled with tears.
Oh, I cannot wait to marry him.
Mostly, though, we both remembered this weekend what is really important. A wedding — no matter how joyful or goofy, anticipated or relaxed — is still just one day. What we have together, in the tiny mundane moments of the day, is what will keep us together.
This afternoon, we walked around our garden, in the warm afternoon sun. We did not have anywhere to be for hours. Our bellies were full of chilled quinoa salad with heirloom tomatoes, smoked salmon, and horseradish creme fraiche. Our clean sheets were billowing on the clothesline in the breeze. Our skin smelled of sunlight and warm air. Happiness walked alongside us.
And then we found ourselves in front of the blueberry bush, and we both squealed with delight. The first blueberries of the season were purple-blue and bursting. Ripe blueberries. Our garden. We both reached for one and popped them in our mouths at the same time.
I looked over at him and saw his face widen into a smile. He started jumping up and down, pumping his fists. “Oh damn!” he shouted. “Blueberries!” I did the same, giggling with him. We started talking about homemade blueberry crisps for our family backyard barbeque the day before the wedding.
And suddenly the planning was no longer onerous. It was warm sun, plentiful laughter, hours without anything to do, and blueberry crisps. And the two of us together.
Three weeks until I marry the Chef? Yes, please.