Wedding By Blackberry
By Tamsen Fadal
Final wedding dress fitting. Check.
Something borrowed. Check.
Something blue. Check.
Something old. Check.
Something new? Yes--a new last name. Four days and counting until the big day when, after 36 years (yes, I said it aloud), I am giving up my single status. This self-proclaimed diehard career woman who didn't need a man to make her happy, is now happily marrying one.
How did it happen? Some days, I still don't know. One day I was covering stories in Afghanistan and London, and the next I was shopping for wedding bands with my soon-to-be husband (who just so happens to be a bona fide relationship expert).
I love our relationship. I love him. But to tell you the truth, I am scared to death to be a "wife" and not sure if I know how to be one. Is there a place where one learns how to do that?
I am not one of those women who spent years searching for the perfect dress in bridal magazines; on the contrary, I can't even decide on "our song" even though the wedding is only four days away. I mean, we like a lot of songs--why all the pressure?
Ten years ago, all of my girlfriends were graduating from college and jumping right into marriage. They were so excited, but I wasn't ready for that kind of commitment so I took my own path and loved every minute of it. I met plenty of great guys along the way, but I was determined to reach my career goals so men had to take a backseat. Despite the fact I dated like a schoolgirl, surviving thirty-six years of singledom wasn't an easy feat.
I know I have met the man I want to spend my life with, but there still a lot of questions keep swirling in my head, "Does it get boring being with the same person for 30 years? How much will our relationship change after saying, 'I do'? Will I no longer look at hot guys on the street?" The questions keep coming, so as I sit here going through my to-do list over and over again, finding solace in the details of planning a big event.
Back when my parents got married, divorce wasn't considered a viable option. When my dad asked my mom to marry him, it was forever. She was living at home and he had his own place. Together they registered for all sorts of shiny new appliances, perfectly picked china and stunning sets of silverware for their new house. They were just kids, excited about moving in together, unwrapping the piles of gifts that mounted during their engagement. And, finally on the day they said "I do," he carried her over the threshold of their new home. She spent months planning the perfect wedding and on that day nothing was out of place.
But, in my case, as in the case of many career women who wait until their mid-thirties to get married, it's different, much different. First of all, we live together in a one bedroom apartment in Manhattan. It has a marvelous view of the city and it's a great location on the Upper West Side, but it's nothing like the quaint starter home my parents purchased when they tied the knot. Yes, there is still a threshold, but I can't help but wonder if today's woman misses something special about moving into a new home with her new husband to unwrap their new belongings.
Plus, I didn't want to register for all sorts of shiny new appliances, because quite frankly I have them. And, to top it off, unlike my mom, I barely know how to use half of them because I don't cook him dinner every night. And finally when it came to wedding plans, I did them in between things. As a journalist, I am always on the go, so I planned my wedding on my Blackberry, on the subway and in the Live Van I work out of everyday, parked in various locations around New York City, depending on the story I'm covering.
Everyone tells me that the day will be a blur, the honeymoon will give us a chance to unwind and then we will start our married life together. According to experts, one in every two marriages end in divorce, which is not exactly a great statistic to have hanging over your veil when you are walking down the aisle. But one this is for sure, after spending nearly two decades learning how to master the dating game, I was determined to walk away with all the answers. Though I am sure my toughest challenge lies ahead: learning how keep my title as a diehard career woman, while being a great wife and an even better friend. Suggestions?
The Unabridged Thoughts of A Man Five Days Before His Wedding
By Matt Titus
I look across the room at my bride-to-be as I have thousands of other times before. But strangely enough, in this glance, the criteria by which I judge her has completely changed.
My usual adoring gaze has become psychotically critical as I desperately try to morph her features into a 56-year-old version of the same sexy 36-year-old goddess that lays before my eyes. Then I ask myself, will I still want her when she looks like that? I am really afraid to actually answer! I then try to picture her as the last woman I ever sleep with.....am I voluntarily trying to push myself over the edge?
I then take solace in thinking if I ever do get that bored sexually, I can just sleep around! She then smiles and winks at me as she catches me staring at her. I smile back even though I feel like projectile vomiting from the guilt of the thoughts I'd just had. Of course she'll be able to fulfill my sexual desires and needs for the rest of my life!
As I try to convince myself of this, I then try to see her nursing our child...nope isn't working, can't seem to get a visual on that one. Okay, I then try to picture her with our adopted Mandarin baby...not working either! I finally picture her with our 7-pound Chihuahua in his Puchi Dog Bag...ah I can see that. Okay, no worries. Kids haven't been at the top of our wish list as a married couple.
Then, my God, it hits me, I have to turn into one of those plural pronoun wielding men that takes on half the household chores and ultimately walks around with diaper carriers while toting a baby (or in my case a Chihuahua) in a papoose like baby back pack. I hate those guys! Why are a lot of men completely emasculated when they settle in to "married life"? Why do their testes further retract when they have children? As I start to feel nauseous again, I do promise myself that I will not turn into one of those guys!
But what is the alternative? I am 40, have slept with more women in my life than I can count, made many mistakes, gone through a divorce and now feel like I have my shit together. I guess I could be an empty, shallow, Manhattan bachelor that screws everything that moves, wears a Patek Philippe watch and looks at women as conquests. Something about that though doesn't sit right with me either!
As I watch her talk on the phone while simultaneously writing her half of this blog, while somehow picking wedding songs all at the same time, it occurs to me that she is my Mount Everest. She is the highest level of woman that I could ever attain. I simply could NEVER do better! I am lucky to have her. She's a triple threat: intelligence, looks and uniqueness. This type of woman is irreplaceable.
Or maybe this is all about me. Of course I'll have plenty of time to contemplate all this, but first I have to put our Chihuahua in his Puchi bag and get him ready for our daily walk through Central Park.