Tag Archives: marriage

Sweat

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It’s summer. This should come as no surprise to anyone. After all, it’s July, and while that may mean chilly temperatures for our friends in New Zealand, here in Southeastern America it means heat.

Heavy, sticky, disgusting heat.

Heat that seeps through the drywall. Heat that no car AC can hope to defeat. Heat that filters in through unshuttered windows and hovers above leather seats and steering wheels.

The South is humid. Unlike the West, where the air may be hot but remains breathable, the perpetual 50% humidity of the South turns air of any temperature into barely inhalable soup. Puddles from occasional rainstorms stay for days, and sweat has nowhere to go.

Summer in the South means you never. Stop. Sweating.

Okay, maybe normal people do. I don’t.

Something happened to me when I started my 20s. Something awful. I used to be one of the few teenagers that never, ever got a pimple, glistened vaguely during workouts, and smelled like a flower garden 88% of the time. But my 20s hit and boom, acne and buckets and buckets of inexplicable sweat.

I suspect I have some rare breed of adrenal issue that I might just have inherited from my father. We both have issues with heat. My father and I both start feeling uncomforatbly warm at around 70 degrees (that’s 21 degrees for my friends in New Zealand). We start dripping sweat at 75. Eighty and we’re swimming in our own natural coolant. Ninety and we’re drooling over travel brochures on northern Russia.

I seem to have an added complication to my sweat issue. I sweat when in situations where I have to socialize with strangers or even acquaintences. I sweat at parties. I sweat when I get in front of people to speak, sing, or otherwise perform. I sweat if I sit still too long. I sweat when I stand too long. I sweat if I have to wait in line anywhere, especially government offices. If you see me in any social context where I am thinking of the next thing I have to say, you’ll probably see me with my hands tucked under my arms, not because I am nervous or emtionally gaurded but because I’m trying to gauge just how large the sweatstains under my arms are growing and at what rate and what on earth can I do to hide them.

And that’s just in the fall and winter. In the summer the nightmare gets about 1000x worse.

My poor long-suffering spouse spends his July evenings in flannel pajamas burrowed into a pile of quilts while I sprawl out in shorts and a tank top next to our window AC unit which is allegedly blasting 60 degree air while my sweat glands remain unconvinced. (That’s 15 degrees for our friends in New Zealand.)

And yes, I know what you’re thinking. “Just buy some antiperspirent deoderant. Problem solved.” Yes, sure, but only if they manage to put it in a spray bottle and in large enough quantities to coat my whole body in it every day from May to November.

Or, as an alternative, I could just relocate to a different climate for the summer months. Somewhere like New Zealand.

 

 

 

Organized Chaos

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Our apartment is hilariously tiny.

Imagine one slightly oversized hotel room. Now put a wall with one door down the middle. Slap a kitchenette on the back wall of one half and a closet and a closet-sized bathroom back to back on the back wall of the other half.

This glorious little box is our home.

Figuring out where to put things is a bit of a riddle. Thankfully, the closet is large for a closet, so our default answer for “where do we put this” is “the closet…somewhere.” Our large-ish closet is now not only our clothes closet, but also our linen closet, our utilities closet, our laundry closet, and remote storage for things that won’t fit in the kitchen.

Because space is so tight, it’s taken a while for things to filter into their proper places. There’s quite a bit under the bed (in boxes, of course, not haphazardly thrown), and there are still stacks of random items on the floor (which are constantly tripped over). What we want hung on the walls is sitting by the baseboards, waiting for us to have time to hang them, and a lot of our decor is plopped unstrategically around the apartment, waiting for the day when all the essentials will find a home so the aesthetics can settle into place.

I finally carved a path to my desk today. I arranged items on the desk into neat little piles for later sorting. If the desk can look clean, then there’s hope.

And I am quite content.

Drowsy

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It’s not that I’m still in vacation mode, because I’m not. Two weeks away was enough relaxation (sort of) and I’m not really all that tired (okay, that was a lie. I’m tired.)

My boss warned me that this would happen. In the weeks leading up to the wedding, he kept telling me how it took him and his wife months to recover from the whole matrimonial experience. They went to bed at eight every night because they couldn’t stay awake any longer. He told me that no matter how long I was away, I would still come back tired.

I’m not sure what’s wrong with me. I slept 8-12 hours every night of our trip. I’m still getting close to seven hours every night, yet I’m ready for a nap by 9:00 AM.

Maybe it’s because I’m at work all day, followed by unpacking and organizing the apartment at night, as well as spending the evenings sorting out banking things and other tedious adult matters. And then I sleep, get up, and do it all over again.

I’m glad to be back, but I still wish there was more sleep involved.

Different

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I’ve had a lot of people ask me if I feel any different, now that I’m married. This question has come to me from both people who are married or people who have never been married. It seems that there’s a universal assumption that being married “feels different” from being unmarried, as if something about matrimony changes people at a cellular level.

I have an increasing number of married friends. Every week, more of my friends end up married, and all of them have weighed in on this feeling (sometimes because I asked). Suddenly, I’m married, which is something I never thought would happen. Yet it has.

Yet, aside from surprise and delight, I feel no different from the Risabella Rambler of three weeks ago. I feel exactly the same.

Exactly the same, but more so. Not an ounce less than what I was before, yet somehow the essential pieces of myself have become amplified. I am more myself than I have ever been before. I do not feel shackled; I feel absolutely free.

No, I do not feel different. AB and I talked about this, and he doesn’t feel any different either. We both feel very much ourselves. More comfortable, more us, than we have ever been. We are finally where we belong, so what we feel is contentment and peace and wholeness.

Yet I felt content and peaceful and whole before marriage as well. Just not to this degree.

Nothing has changed. Everything has changed.

It’s quite a paradox.

Little Boxes

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Moving your life from one location to another one box at a time is an interesting experience.

When you see everything on a shelf, you accept those items as being where they belong. They are no longer individual items with individual importance, but a collective, comforting presence. They are there for no other reason than, at least in your mind, they belong there.

I try to cut back. I really do. But then there are items I find that serve no purpose other than to keep being there, being familiar.

I will have to get rid of things eventually. My husband and I will have to cram our accumulated things (our accumulated history) into one very small apartment and live there, cozily, for the next five years or until God changes the status quo. Life will be tight and tiny. We’ll need to watch what we eat just to make sure the other has room to move.

But when you have to force your life, your history, the things you love, into a tiny box, you have to eliminate everything that isn’t absolutely essential. It’s okay to let go of some things. It’s okay to let go of a lot of things.

We’re only here for a little while, anyway.

99 Days

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AB and I have entered the double-digits stretch of our countdown to our wedding.

It is very hard to focus on anything else.

We both have papers to write and meetings to attend and deadlines to meet and books to read and presentations to present and it’s fairly difficult to gauge just how much we care about those things anymore.

We’re entering the home stretch, which is both delightful and terrifying. There’s so much to be done before we say “I do.” So many appointments. So many phone calls. So many days.

We only get these moments once. We only get these days once. We’re not going to get married again, so we’ll only be engaged once. So we’ll savor every moment.

But 99 days seems so long and so short all at once.