My wedding is four weeks away. I’m 41 years old, and I’ve been waiting for this for quite a few of those years. So I’m not going to apologize for being excited, anxious, or even a little wedding-obsessed. I’m no bridezilla, but it is my turn.
It took a long time to find the right guy. I didn’t kiss a lot of frogs, per se — I just waited, hoping he was out there, but not willing to settle if he wasn’t. And Dave is more wonderful than anything I could have imagined, and worth all of that wait. And then some. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a little lonely sometimes.
I’ve never begrudged my friends or my family their turns. I’ve been genuinely happy for each of them as they found love, got married, had kids, did whatever it was that made them happy. I’ve been to their showers and weddings and christenings with a glad heart, and truly wished them well. But you hit a certain age, where the showers all turn to weddings, and those turn to christenings, and then it’s the birthday parties, and then graduations… and you’re still soldiering on, on your own. Thinking, I don’t want to be greedy or ask for too much, but I wish I wasn’t always the one attending. At some point, just once at least, I’d like to be the one celebrating.
So it’s my turn. Just this one day, me and Dave. And after that we’ll go to christenings and graduations and other weddings, just as glad for our friends and family as we were before. Just doing it together, which makes all the difference.
I wasn’t always an anxious person. I thought more about past mistakes than anything else, fretted over decisions I’d already made. I was huge on regret. But then things changed, and now I confess I sometimes get anxious if I don’t have something to worry about.
Explaining anxiety to someone who doesn’t have it, or doesn’t live with it, is hard to do. I don’t know that I’m really up to trying. All I will say is, in my case, it never even helps when I tell myself, or when someone else tells me, that I’m worrying for no reason, or that everything’s okay. But it’s not for no reason if it turns out there *is* something wrong, you know, so the only thing that usually calms me down is finding a way to be sure — to rule out danger. It’s not very easy to do that, though, and it never lasts for long. Something can go wrong any time. You can get up for work one day and an hour later your life is changed. You can be standing in your living room and seconds later you can be gone, with no warning. It can all go away that quickly, and there’s no way to reach back in time and stop it from happening, no matter how much it seems like you should be able to. Sometimes there’s no reason to worry. Most of the time, really. I know that. But I didn’t see it coming last time, after all. This time, maybe if I’m watching carefully enough, it won’t be able to happen at all.
I’m not a car person. I don’t spend much time looking at nice cars, or even knowing the difference between them. Maybe I notice the color of a car, but that’s about it. I’ve driven an SUV, and it didn’t do much for me. Dave’s convertible is very nice, I admit, but in general the whole car thing is low on my radar. I don’t even like to drive. If my only car was a limo, I’d be content. Alas, I’m still waiting for that day.
Having said that, I bought my car in 2009, a Nissan Versa, and I’ve been very fond of it. I love the color, which is a lovely bright Superman blue. I love the hatchback, which I find very convenient — great for shopping. I made sure it had a jack for my iPhone, and that was all I really cared about stereo-wise. It was incredibly affordable, too — downright cheap, as far as new cars go. A win all around.
Except this week, it needed about $1,000 in repairs, and I find I’m a little annoyed. Let’s just say that as a result, I’m not feeling the love as much.
I mean, Supes, didn’t we have a deal? I would say nice things about you, and on average I’d only put a mere 7,500 miles or so a year on you. Not demanding at all. In return, you would go from point A to point B without, you know, breaking down. That’s my only real request from you, as a vehicle. But starting last Friday, you haven’t been holding up your end of the deal. First, muffler. Honestly, did it have to be something so embarrassingly noisy? For a day I was that car that, when you’re at a stoplight and you think, “Wow that’s a loud noise, is it me? No, it’s that poor guy over there, good”, well, I’m that guy. Then for inspection, you needed tires and brakes. Come on, now. Greedy, much? It’s not like I worked you especially hard, took you on long trips or taxed your resources. The occasional jaunt to Canada does not count as above and beyond the call of duty, even if it is another country. You like Canadia, anyhow.
Well, what’s done is done. You’re fixed and back home and we can just put this behind us. Just, you know, don’t press your luck and ask for anything, any time soon. Not even wiper fluid. Just lay low and give it a little time, please. It’s temporary, I promise.
In preparation of the move, I’ve been getting rid of things. My curb has seen a bizarre rotation of everything from scrap metal to an old gas grill (gone in five minutes). For me, it’s been oddly refreshing.
It seems like the older I get, the less crap I want to have around. Less clutter. Less things. I’m not going minimalist or anything, that’s for sure. I will still be filling up a big ol’ U-Haul in November, with furniture, boxes, books, things. But I’ve been slowly disposing of, recycling, and giving away as much as I can, and it feels good to be starting a bit fresh.
Some of it is about getting older. I mean, just how long was I planning on keeping my high school jacket from 1986? It’s old, beat up, and I’d never be able to fit my arms in it again, let alone the rest of me. Same for the award for the thing I did I can’t remember, and my sophomore yearbook, and the clock that used to hang in my bedroom when I was a kid (long broken). These days I feel like a thing is… just a thing. The people I still have in my life, those keep moving forward with me. But things don’t. They might have sentimental value, but only what I give them. And I find myself wanting to look forward more, and back less.
Some of it is from going digital. CDs, boxed up or gone, as they’ve been burned onto hard drives and back up drives and in the cloud. Movies, at the very least de-cased and boxed. Some of my books, too; I did a purge and got rid of anything I know I’ll never read again. It was three huge bags (that went straight to donation), but I’ve still got two full bookcases. Sigh.
And lastly, it’s about making room. Not just physical room, though we are going to have less of that than I’m used to. Anyone who has had a basement, and then not had a basement, knows what I’m going through. But in a way it’s more than that. Dave and I are starting together, now. I want space for new things that are just us. Space on the walls and space in the closets, sure, but also just space for anything that means something to both of us. That’s worth making room for.