Monthly Archives: April 2012

The Whole Cheesy Story, Part 2

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Read Part 1 first!

When I left off last time, I had just met Zach at a sleazy college bar and agreed to go on my first “first date” in a loooong time.  When Friday night rolled around, I was nervous.  I spent a lot of the time on the phone with my BFF worrying about how awkward and weird this might be.  (I am super awkward…like the female version of Michael Cera.)  I mean, I only talked to the guy once, and we had both had a few drinks!  Was this what the dating game was supposed to be like?  I felt so out of things after my long, steady college relationship.  But I kept remembering how cute Zach was and I just had this feeling about him; I knew I couldn’t chicken out.  My bestie just told me to relax and have fun (“It’s not like you’re looking for anything serious!”) and to text her from the bathroom if I needed her to come up with a sudden “emergency” to get me out of there.  What a good friend.

I shouldn’t have been so worried though, because everything went great!  I drove down to Zach’s house and met his roommates, then we took a taxi to the Short North (the coolest neighborhood in Columbus) and went to The Burgundy Room, a classy wine and tapas bar (Zach’s idea).  Neither of us knew anything about wine, but Zach was working at the time as a valet parker in the Short North and after working outside The Burgundy Room many times, he’d rightfully pegged it as a great place to take a woman!  Despite our ignorance, we managed to take down a bottle of red (I honestly don’t remember what kind…I knew nothing about wine at that time) and some creme brulee, while talking and getting to know each other.  The sparks were definitely flying, even though I had told Zach early in the evening about my impending departure for Tanzania.  Zach even spent what I would later learn was his last $50 to cover our bill.  Things were going way too well for the night to end there though, so we moved on to another fratty bar (there’s an overwhelming amount of them in Columbus so they’re hard to avoid) to meet up with the same friends Zach was with when we met.  Luckily, he let me pay at this place, winning him major points.  (I’m pretty modern and I HATE when guys don’t let me pay my share, which my ex-boyfriend never did.)  We hung out with his friends, again yelling above the thumping bass, but still having a great time.

The first picture of us. So young!

Eventually the night had to end and I was in a blur of happiness.  I had survived my “rebound” date; in fact, it was awesome!  Now I just had to worry about whether or not I was ever going to see this guy again…

 

The dreaded “Wedding-Industrial Complex”…

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…is what we’re going to try our darndest to avoid during our wedding planning process and the event itself.

But what is the “Wedding-Industrial Complex”?  I realized that some of my readers who don’t read wedding blogs quite as fervently as I do may be unfamiliar with this term.  So I tried googling it, looking for a good definition.  Turns out, there really isn’t a dictionary-type unpacking of the term anywhere on the Interwebs.

But, of course trusty Meg of A Practical Wedding (my new favorite blog) has an awesome post about the WIC that ends up providing a pretty clear definition.  So you should read it, here, and then come back to me.  It’s pretty short and sweet and awesome and if you understand it things will make a lot better sense from here on out, as I’ll probably be mentioning it a lot.  (I mean, the horrible beast is everywhere!)

Our Wedding Goals

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Sitting on a park bench in Lima, Perú, drinking some beers while waiting for a night bus to leave, we decided to brainstorm and write out the goals we have for our wedding.  We hope these will help us remember what’s important despite how easy it is to get swept away in the little details and nonsense.  This way, if we’re struggling with a decision down the line we can come back to the goals and use them to help us make the right decision.  That’s the idea, at least.  Here they are, in no particular order.

1. Pay for our wedding ourselves and not go over $2500.

2. Agree on decisions together so that our wedding truly reflects our personalities.

3. Make our wedding more like a fun reunion than a showy formal event.

4. Be selective about our creative projects so that we don’t get obsessed with or overwhelmed by the details.

5. Make our wedding reflect our values: vegetarian, eco-friendly, etc.

6. Have a meaningful and sincere ceremony.

7. Handle any conflicts with courtesy and maturity while still standing up for ourselves on what really matters.

8. Have quality time with everyone at our wedding and involve our guests as much as possible.

What do you think?  Can we accomplish all of these?  Did anyone else sit down and write goals for their wedding before really beginning the planning?

On Doubt

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Lest this blog get all “Wedding wedding wedding!” already, I decided to talk about something completely different today.

Faith.  A relevant topic since it’s Easter.  And probably the one thing I am most confused about in life.  See, I was raised as an Evangelical Christian, attending Baptist church, youth group, mission trips, Bible camp, and everything else that goes along with it.  And as I grew up, I “grew” in my faith and I really believed in everything the Bible and the church taught.  I prayed “the prayer” for salvation.  I even read through the entire Bible on my own two separate times before I was in college.  To this day, I think I still know the Bible a lot better than a majority of American Christians.

In college I started doubting and straying from the religion of my upbringing.  It’s a typical age for this to happen, I know.  Nevertheless, when I was in high school my faith was so rock-solid that I never thought that this would happen to me.  Neither did anyone else, I think.  I was sure that I would be one of the few that made it through the dangerous college years unscathed by the debauchery and unshaken in my beliefs.

Yeah right.

It was never any one thing that happened or one moment when I stopped being a Christian.  I really tried to work through my doubts and keep trying to believe.  I was the Vice President of Hofstra (my alma mater) Christian Fellowship my sophomore year, and I went to church almost every week until I was a junior.  But the whole time it was feeling less and less authentic to me.  Friends, learning, travel, everything I experienced, in addition to my own soul searching, seemed to cast more doubt on things.  It was a slow process, but one that eventually brought me very far from the faith of my youth.  It brought me to the place I am today where I know I am not a Christian but I don’t know much else.

And it sucks.  Know why?  Because it’s scary.  Being a Christian provided this awesome security blanket that was the declaration that if you accept Jesus as your savior, you are going to heaven!  And when you stop believing in it, your security is gone.  If I don’t know what I believe, then I have no freakin’ clue what will happen when I die.  And that scares me to death.  But I think the beauty of faith is that you can’t fake it.  So even though I often wish that I could still believe in Christianity, that I could cover myself with that security blanket again, I can’t right now.

I do believe in God.  I’m trying to figure stuff out, slowly but surely.  Maybe the first step is knowing why I stopped believing in Christianity, and I think I’ve gotten that main reason sorted out in my brain.  It’s a larger problem with religion in general.  It’s this:  How can any religion confidently insist that they are the only ones who believe the truth, when almost all (every?) other religions out there insist upon exactly the same thing????  Everyone is yelling “We’re right!” “No, we’re right!” yet the Bible and most other religious texts also state that humans are fallible…aka innately wrong.  So how do you know?

I could go on into a lot more of my spiritual/religious musings and problems, but I think this has hit my main qualm and that’s all I wanted to do for now.  So tell me, kind readers, does this make sense to you?  If you have a particular “faith” how do you know that it is the truth, as opposed to all others?