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Goin' to the chapel and we're gonna get married

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Hello LitNet, it's been some time since I've posted here, but sometimes a girl's just gotta blog on a Friday morning.

Life has changed a lot since last time I was here. For one, I'm engaged. Sit back and let me tell you a tale.

My now fiance and I were out for oyster dinner and a bottle of wine, which we don't get to do very often as we're both too busy busting our butts working two jobs in the hopes of eventually owning our own business. I have a vision of an 50's blue and chrome Elektra, bookshelves, craft beer brewed in house and an exposed brick wall where I can grow all of my herbs under lights. But I digress. We were sitting at the bar of the oyster place, contentment abounded and in one moment, I looked at him and felt all of the happiness I have ever felt in my life, and it seemed like the most natural thing in the world to ask him to be a part of that for the rest of our lives. So I asked him to marry me, completely without pre-mediation, without a ring, without getting down on a knee. He said yes. Our server brought us flutes of champagne and we started making phone calls. We also took the silliest selfie ever to announce our intentions to all of the people we didn't call (amazing how Facebook has become such a big part of our culture, but most of the people in our lives probably found out via that venue.) I've grown up a lot, but apparently I still like to be unconventional.

Selfie here:


I think the thing most surprising about becoming engaged is how little it changes. We already live together, and have for some time, we have already, without the formality of a wedding, made the commitment to each other to spend a significant amount of time together. My family are reasonable people and they understand this. My mother is happy happy happy but also shares my view that it, realistically, changes very little. And I think that's how it should be. Marriage shouldn't be a big deal. It shouldn't be a band aid to life's problems. It won't fix any unhappiness or loneliness or sadness. I have never been so happy in my life, but our engagement is a side effect of that happiness, rather than the engagement being the cause of my joy. I am the luckiest woman in the world. I am still a neurotic basket case, I am still sad and anxious and lonely sometimes, but coming to terms with the fact that that is just the way I am and there is no way to fix it. Enjoy the moments of happiness when they come and try to create them where you can.

Getting married mostly means we get to throw an awesome party for all of the people that we love and who love us. We are not too concerned about a date or a venue or fancy centerpieces or flowers. I want to get married on the family beach in Northern Ontario surrounded by our best friends and a family friend who is ordained to perform non-religious ceremonies, just for occasions like this. I want a barbeque and maybe some kegs of our home made beer. We don't even want rings, but I have put some thought into getting some beach glass from the Toronto beach, where we live and spend most of our time, polished, cut and mounted on vintage rose gold bands. I have no desire for diamonds.

The reason I have spent so many words describing what marriage means to me and why I have asked him is because his mother is not thrilled.

"You're too young!" (He is 27, I am 23. She had a previously failed marriage, but I am not her. Everybody needs to lead their own lives and potentially make their own mistakes.) I also have to mention here that I have broken MY family trend, where almost all of them were married very young. My own parents were married at 18. That didn't work out but that was due to fundamental incompatibilities, not age.

"She's still in debt!" (I work 80+ hour weeks to get myself out of that hole and only have a very small amount of debt left.)

"Don't rush into anything!" (For this, I just want to elope tomorrow and get married at city hall, simply out of spite.)

Most of her concerns revolve around money, which bothers me. She has refused to congratulate us or even discuss the engagement and has simply decided to ignore that this is happening. Two can play at that game- I know who won't receive her invite until two days before the wedding... Even if her concerns are valid, which I don't believe they are, she is a complete hypocrite. Her husband is the bread winner. She has never had an extremely well paying job and is now retired and living off of his income. Actually, she has been for some time. Minor roadbump, but everybody else is thrilled and can see how happy we are, so let me revert to childishness for a moment here- *sticks out tongue and sneers*. I just think how sad and miserable you must be if your life revolves entirely around money.

Some more on happiness:

We don't make wonderful money, but we make enough to survive and even to have some nice things. We both work two jobs, a day job and a night job. Our night job is at the same place; a neighborhood fine dining spot where he serves and I am apprenticing in the kitchen. The people who we work with have become close friends, and we even attended a barbeque at the owner's home on Father's Day prior to attending our own Father's Day celebration. The sense of satisfaction gleaned from being busy and fufilled, learning and enjoying one's work is something to strive for.

Small and simple things like my garden. I have a huge variety of herbs and plants, including indoor citrus, hibiscus, tomatoes, cucumbers... the list goes on. Green things growing and tending to them is a cornerstone of my current stability and happiness.

The happiness of others is contagious. I walk my dog through the ravine near home on our way down to the boardwalk and the beach and a woman with her young child is showing her butterflies and they are in awe of their beauty. I keep walking on with a lighter heart.

There's no good way to end this, other than to say, pursue happiness rather than money. It saddens me to see how many people's main concerns in life are money, not in the sense of needing it to survive, but basing every single decision in their lives on the quest for more money. If my future mother in law had her way, everyone would work a soulless financial job on Bay Street for a big corporation, 14 hour days, never have any hobbies, invest all of their money, and only marry into their own class. I just had the realization that she is, indeed, a little classist, in the sense that I come from an impoverished family (doing well for themselves now, but my childhood was rough) but she came from one of money. Aha! I've figured out where to end this. A fun little tidbit- the world is so small. My future husband's grandfather is from the same small town on a Northern Ontario island as mine. And no, we're not related.