Monday, July 23, 2012

The Other Side of the Story

I don't know about you, but I have always heard only one side of the wedding story: the bride's. She is always so happy to have been asked to join the group of women who have found meaning in life only because they switched from Miss to Mrs. She is always thrilled to wear a huge, puffy, white dress. She is always delighted to be the center of attention during the planning and the day of. She is always a bridezilla. She is always crazy, insane, unbearable. She is always the one who tells the story.

Even when my uncle got married - even then I only got her side of the story. My friends who have gotten married are all the brides. Even when I am acquainted with the groom, I still always only hear her side of the story.

For the first time I have been close to the groom. Very close to the groom, if you know what I mean. We were recently skyping (he was in Colombia while I was still in Germany) and he kind of failed to properly hang up on me, and I overheard a conversation between him and his best friend. His friend, also the Best Man, asked,

"Are you sure about this, man?"

"Of course I am," Honey answered. "Why would I not want to wake up every single day for the rest of my life with the woman who makes me happy?"

"Yeah, but the same girl... for ever!?"

"I will be lucky if I am with the same girl for the rest of my life."

He feels lucky. Not trapped, not punished, not forced, not doomed. He feels lucky.

He participated in the mayor decisions (venue, colors, placements, invitations, cake - OMG the cake...) willingly. He asked questions, gave his opinion. He got excited about choosing his own attire and made sure that it was special. He counted the days left for the wedding. He told everyone he was getting married (like a girl...). He was excited about officially changing his status from single man to married man. He made sure the rings were perfect.

The other side of the story, ladies, is that he enjoys it as much as you do. If you have chosen the right man, then he will be as giddy as you.

I got married this past weekend to a man who enjoyed and suffered every single minute of the wedding planning with me. I am very pleased that when I heard the other side of the story for the first time it was as magical as my side of the story was.

Monday, July 16, 2012

I found a way to get rid of my obsession

I am obsessed with birthdays. I love that there is one day every year where you can feel like a princess and it's socially acceptable. It is, in fact, somewhat encouraged. I am especially obsessed with my birthday - but not because of the princess thing (I am a princess every day, Honey tells me so). I am obsessed with my birthday because I keep turning older. And older. And older. I tried to stop the age thing, I tried to turn 23 for five years in a row. I even moved to three different continents to make it work! But no. Someone always knew the truth... and was more than happy to expose that truth. I did manage to confuse many, many people. But in heart - nay, worse: in my mind I knew it not to be true.

I was actually 24. Or 25. Or 26 (I actually had a blast in Bogotá that day).

I have a few very worthwhile reasons for disliking my real age, and some extremely lame ones as well. After Thailand, when my life took a stand-still in a very boring point and place, I was ashamed of being older and older and older and accomplishing nothing and nothing and nothing. I looked forward to my biweekly paycheck, looked forward to my weekly beer and wine get-together, looked forward to my daily commute back home. At least I found the most amazing boyfriend in the universe, so that kinda made my life not miserable - just mediocre.

A few weeks before I turned 27 (23-for-the-fifth-time), this happened at my cousin's wedding:

This meant that my life was about to change. The thing is, fate is not always clear or precise... or fast. Fate takes its time and instead of going directly towards the desired goal, takes twists and turns and goes back and forth.

I turned 27 - had a blast in Madrid.

I turned 28 - had a blast in Kiel.

I just turned 29. I celebrated in Bogotá again, but you did not hear (nor read) me bitchin' and moanin' about it. That is because I found a way to get rid of my obsession with age and birthdays and being old. The reason?

Honey proposed - and I said yes (if you want to catch up on the whole story, click here). And a wedding totally trumps a lame little birthday. I am to marry Honey in less than a week, which is why I have forgotten my birthday.

I will continue to get old. I will have more and more wrinkles. But for the first time (after this coming Saturday) I will not grow old alone, I will not have wrinkles by myself. Honey will be with me - from now until forever. I got rid of my obsession with age and getting older because now age and getting older signify maturity and improvement. I will be less like an old coke and more like an old wine.

So next year I'm turning 30. The past 5 birthdays with Honey have been awesome. I have great expectations, and no obsessions, about the 30th, and all those to come.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Going back home

I'm flying home next weekend. Home. What does that mean, anyway? If home is where you work, then my home is intangible because I work online. If home is where you study, then my home is Kiel, Germany. If home is where your friends are, then my home is the world, because my friends are spread all over the place. If home is where your heart is, currently my home is Sopó, because Honey is there. If home is where your family is, then my home is Barranquilla.

I am flying to that home. I am flying to Barranquilla. And I have mixed feelings about that. I am delighted to go home, but I don't want to stay. I am excited to go home, but I don't want to go. I am afraid to go back home, but I can't stay here alone. Home. Such a complicated concept...

Going back this time will be weird. It will be a first-time-ever kind of experience because, for the first time ever I will stay in a hotel and not in my parents' home. Not in my bed. Not in my room, which is now the guest room. It will be weird to have room service not delivered by Carmen. It will be awkward to greet the bellboy and not Fadul or Víctor or Pompy. It will be sad to be greeted as Miss Delgado and not as Naty.

However, also for the first time I will be married when I arrive in Barranquilla - so technically I won't even be Miss Delgado. I will be Mrs. Hergett. I will be a wife, a married woman, a half of a whole. I have never experienced Barranquilla like that. I won't be my father's daughter, I will be my husband's wife.

Ah, how I love/hate this identity crisis.

I'm flying home next weekend. Barranquilla will always be my home. Just like Augusta continues to be my home. Just like Kiel has become my home. It should be nice, though, always feeling at home. I will go home to Barranquilla and then I will return home to Kiel. I kinda like the ring of that...

Monday, July 2, 2012

Find someone who makes you laugh

When I was 16, I had a boyfriend. One of my mom's friends, very close to the family and for whom I cared very much, once asked me (in front of my mom) if said boyfriend made me laugh. In trying to be bold and mature and, well, in trying to surprise and scare my mom, I said, "Well, yeah, kinda. But most importantly, he is awesome in bed!" I was lying, in case anyone is freaking out. My mom was (and probably is again now) freaking out. Her friend simply said, "Whatever, that is not important. What is important is that he makes you laugh. That is the most important thing: to be with someone who makes you laugh."

This is perhaps the best piece of advice I have ever been given. Be with someone who makes you laugh. Because, the thing is, this not only refers to sex partners. This is true for life, and for everyone in your life. In my life. In counting my friends, I realize we laugh a lot together. Bear in mind that most my friends are English majors, like me; so our jokes go from doing false gender-role readings to applying the wrong approach to the wrong text - OMG HILARIOUS! But also with my non-English major friends (those who have studied Film, those who have studied Biology, even those who have studied History) - we have fun because we laugh.

Laughter is awesome. Laughter is what makes distances disappear, it makes problems fade (if only for a while), it makes drinks taste better and it makes food less fatty. Laughter is the gateway to world peace. Think of the most fun you've had, think of your happy memories: in all of those, you are laughing. Probably until your tummy hurts, or until you pee a little, or until liquids come out of your nose (been there, done that - all three). Laughter makes awkwardness awesomeness.

Now, I don't claim to be in possession of the absolute truth or anything like that. But I will share the wisdom my mom's friend shared with me almost 15 years ago: find someone who makes you laugh.

I am about to marry the man who makes me laugh. The man who laughs at my jokes, even though I have no good jokes (there were two muffins sitting in an over. One muffin says to the other, "Man! It's hot in here!" and the other muffin replies, "OMG a talking muffin!!!"). He laughs when he has to eat the food I've burnt for him - um, oops. I totally meant cooked - cooked for him. He laughs when I forget to do laundry for so long that he has to wear yesterday's boxer shorts. He puts his whole world on hold to make me laugh. And even when my heart is a little broken, he picks up the pieces and finds a way to make me laugh. He laughs when I am poor and unemployed, and he laughs when I have so much work to do that I can hardly pause to go pee.

He makes me laugh. We laugh together. I have found him, and he has found me. Hopefully we will spend the rest of our lives finding each other every single day.

And hopefully it will be such an amazing adventure, that "the rest of our lives" will not seem like enough time.

I have found someone who makes me laugh. Have you?