T minus zero…
At the suggestion of my friend, Madi, I recently installed the T-0 app on my phone to count down the days/hours/minutes/seconds ‘til THE BIG DAY. As I’m typing this, we are exactly 55 days and 18 hours and 34 minutes away. YIKES! It is exciting and thrilling and a wee bit scary to be approaching this very important milestone in my life. Sweet 47 and never been married! (Between you and me, I’m fitting it under the wire right before my odometer rolls to 48). Can you say, ‘commitment issues?’ Just kidding! Alright, already. Maybe there’s just a wee bit of truth to that, but I’ve also been busy. For those of you who have been following Single Space for the past decade, you know my journey to find love has been a long, winding road to say the least. You watched me learn how to let go and move on after a couple of particularly painful break ups. You stood by me through my bad boy phase, my ‘I’m too busy for a relationship phase,’ my ‘always a bridesmaid, never a bride’ phase and so on. You were there when I filled the void of losing my mom with BO guy. You laughed with me at velour track suit guy and got mad when CEO guy stood me up…twice. Like my family, you questioned my attraction to rehab guy and saw the writing on the wall with biker boy. When I had my open heart surgery in 2011, you reached out with your kind words and rallied with me. Regardless of my poor lapses in judgment and/or questionable decisions, you kept reading—probably either because you felt sorry for me or solidarity with me. Whatever the case, I’m glad you stuck around. I feel like I have been the poster child for hope and perseverance on many levels. As a wise high school English teacher once said to me, ‘every dog has his day.’ Mine has been a long time coming, and I hope you’ll raise your glasses and toast with me on September 13.
The funny thing is that XXL and I first met 24 years ago—we both were frequenting a waterside bar on the Potomac on a fairly regular basis back in the late 80s. Ahhhh—the 80s! He wasn’t wearing parachute pants, but I do recall a porn-star worthy mustache. I can’t make fun because I’m pretty sure I was swathed in yards of neon orange and pink. I was dating one of his college friends at the time, and he ended up dating a friend of mine for a brief stint. I joke that when he proposed to his first wife (not my friend) at that same bar, I was likely sitting in the next room. I laugh to myself thinking that God was looking down saying, “you’re warm—keep going—a little to the right…). As they say, timing is everything. We both needed to walk our separate paths—George got an awesome son out of the deal, and I met many amazing people who became lifelong friends along the way.
Now that we are finally here, our matrimonial path has been littered with boxes from Etsy, Oriental Trading, Amazon, Nordstrom and Zappos. My home office has been transformed into the Wedding War Room with cardboard boxes filled with tulle, burlap and ribbon climbing the walls. My Wedding Master excel spreadsheet has grown from one ‘Guest’ tab to 10+ worksheets including vendors, play list, registry items, and the ever growing TO DO LIST. Meet with officiant. Check. Send in ceremony musician contract. Check. Select bridal party shoes. Check. I’m usually pretty decisive, but I ordered three different colors of pashminas before settling on aqua—turquoise was too dark and coral was too rusty. I ordered way too many invites (the wannabe Italian mother in me is always worried about not having enough), and I wasted a lot of stamps. Remember – stamps go on last. Duh. There was no stopping the bridal party assembly line once it was in high gear! As far as the planning goes, I feel like we are in good shape. The one thing that I’m fixated on to the point of stress is the fact that I am not in Victoria’s Secret supermodel shape which I realize is beyond silly because, honestly, for a 40-something year old bride-to-be, I’m great – at least by everyone’s standards except my own. Some days I look in the mirror and see a rising Olympic star and other days I see a fleshy middle-aged woman who can barely stand up straight. What’s a girl to do? “Lori—the thing to do is accept yourself as you are today and realize that XXL loves you just the way you are right now in this moment. He’s not marrying you because you have sexy biceps or six-pack abs. Enjoy this beautiful time in your life and stop fixating on what’s wrong.” Whew—thanks, I needed that.
It’s a challenge not to lose sight to what’s important in life and be happy in the moment. For many years I felt as if my life was always off balance. My job would be riding the wave while my personal life was sinking and vice versa so it was hard for me to feel truly happy. I was always waiting for the stars to align in some fashion or biding my time. I had my own personal t-minus app running subconsciously in the background. Happiness was always T-[fill in blank] away. I’ll be happy in T-18 when I head out for vacation or I’ll be happy in T-198 when I pay off my car and have more expendable income. In T-55, I’ll walk down the aisle to marry my best friend and future husband, XXL, and it is worth the wait—as well as the bumps (and bozos) along the way. As our Big Day approaches, I’ve learned that it’s the moments in between that are to be cherished and savored. Like me, know that your time will come, and you won’t have any idea if it’s T-38 or T-1,087. Everything happens in its own time—as frustrating as this may seem. The blessing is in learning to be happy at T-0. Life is good today.
Written by: Lori Welch