a little bit of me, a little bit of you.

fk spontaneously suggested we go to artesia this afternoon. awhile ago, his mom had suggested he take me there so i could see the type of outfit she was having made for me…and the jewelry to accompany it. so we drove…and drove…and drove, finally making our way to 182nd street and the stores there. our first stop was this little indian restaurant–all that driving made us hungry. having never really eaten indian food, i simply stared at the menu and told fk to order for us. he told me what we would be having, then told me i would really like it since it is mostly vegetarian. i sat at the table, looked around the restaurant, ignored the C rating on the window, then turned my eyes to the bollywood on the screen. fk informed me this was the most famous actor in india…and he had seen all his films until he decided bollywood wasn’t his genre. i think it could be mine…
we ate our tasty fare and chatted about fk’s growing up. the food, the culture, the indian/pakistani things his parents tried to instill in him…in vain. getting to know one another just a little more…in a different context than the one in which we find ourselves.
samosas,
paratha,
assorted sweets the lady packed for us to go,
a trip to the house of spices [where we picked up a few of our own].

we then drove to los alamitos for a little bit of southern flair at the boot barn. i have been wanting cowboy boots for well over 4 years so we went to take stock of their inventory. i remember passing all the boot places driving through texas on the way to california back in december of 2005, yet not wanting to stop because i just wanted to make it to california [probably make it before i changed my mind]. so all these years i have looked for boots on and off again, nothing serious though. today, fk was determined i would find some boots. and find i did…quite an assortment so it took me awhile to look at all the options.
dan post.
laredo.
old gringo.
durango.
ariat.
justin.
frye.
since i am not a cowgirl, i didn’t want the ones that look the part…i wanted some with a little flair. a little something that set them apart from all others…and i believe i found them. yippee kiyay…

a little bit southern [or a lot]…yet with a little flair.
a little bit of how i grew up…yet not really.
a little bit more of getting to know one another…

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happy ending.

i sat down to address more wedding invitations tonight after driving home from work in the rain…again. i needed someone[thing] to keep me company, something in the background as i did the mindless task of copying names, address, zip codes off the excel spreadsheet…something.
i popped it in. i had started watching it a few weeks earlier after a long day at work, but never finished it. and tonight, how appropriate.
it’s been a year–minus 3 weeks–since i have seen it. a year and a different status ago…a very different status ago.

it was just a few days prior to valentine’s day…and a few days following my break up with fk [or “the break” he claims we were on all along]. the movie was good, the time with the girls was fun, but the monologue at the end was telling.
seemed like it could have been talking to me…
and as i listened to it tonight, i thought it could have been me talking…

girls are taught a lot of stuff growing up.
if a guy punches you, he likes you.
never try to trim your own bangs.
and some day, you will meet a wonderful guy and get your very own happy ending.

every movie we see, every story we’re told implores us to wait for it–
the 3rd act twist,
the unexpected declaration of love,
the exception to the rule.
but sometimes, we’re so focused on finding our happy ending we don’t learn how to read the signs.
how to tell the ones who want us from the ones who don’t,
the ones who will stay from the ones who will leave.

and maybe this happy ending doesn’t include a wonderful guy. maybe it’s you–on your own, picking up the pieces and starting over, freeing yourself up for something better in the future. maybe the happy ending is just moving on.

or maybe the happy ending is this–knowing that through all the unreturned phone calls and broken hearts,
through all the blunders and mis-read signals,
through all the pain and embarrassment,
you never, ever gave up hope.
~narrated by gigi at the end of he’s just not that into you.

it was the picking up the pieces and moving on part,
realizing i was, once again, not the exception,
learning how to read the signs…and act accordingly.
it was these that i took from the movie last year–the part where i attempted to make sense of the break-up, the assumption that he just wasn’t that into me, the realization that maybe i had acted similarly to some of the women i had seen on the screen–and vowing not to do that…again. i had to stand on my own again, i had to learn from my experiences, i had to…

and [fast forward a year–minus those three weeks] i think i have. overcoming a heart break, learning from it…i came through a different person. so when fk and i decided to pursue something again–something else, i was different [as was he]. i had emerged stronger, more confident, sure of what i wanted and what i didn’t want…and what i wasn’t settling for, who i was, and fully capable of being alone…or with another.

and as i watched the movie tonight, i realized that i am in a much different place.
i am now engaged, addressing wedding invitations for my wedding that will occur in 8 weeks.
i am now getting married to the man who, a year ago, wasn’t so sure–and neither was i–until “the break.”
i now know that “if a guy wants to be with a girl, he will make it happen…no matter what” [just as gigi–and conner–says].
i am the one, now, standing beside my wonderful man and beginning our happy ending.

and maybe, just maybe, the ending doesn’t always work out the way we had anticipated from the start. maybe our happy ending is simply moving on…
accepting who we are…and being who we are, really.
maybe our happy ending doesn’t quite work out the way we had anticipated…
maybe better.

where’s the party?

i had my first wedding shower sunday night after work…
some ladies at work decided we should have a wedding shower and a wedding shower we had. there was the excitement, the planning, the evites, the build-up, the 5 hour long pre-shower party, the cooking, the arrival of the guests.
it was quite a production.
when we got there, we were welcomed by denise…

the welcoming crew, showing up at 1pm to help get ready…
to attend the pre-party and get her party-on (as she would say)….heyyyy!

the house was full of friends…former or current co-workers, two mothers of co-workers, and a few friends from school. a welcomed environment where anyone would have fit right in.
we chatted,
we caught up,
we ate (some drank…a bit too much),
we told stories,
we laughed,
we opened gifts,
we were just together.

from the work perspective, it was fun just to be away…to be away from work, to see each other in another context, to catch up on life, to live life together, and to make memories. it was good for us. good for us to laugh, to play, to let down our guard, and to celebrate.

from the personal perspective, it was good to have friends there who know me so well. friends from school with whom we learned, we studied, we talked about the practical, we somehow changed together. friends from work with whom i’ve done the same. friends with whom i have walked through life these past 4 years.

from the relational perspective, it was confirming. the stories retold, the questions asked, the answers told recounted the particulars of mine and fk’s story…our journey to the present. the affirmation and encouragement were unexpected. it was a very humbling experience, on so many counts, as well as one that left my heart full. it confirmed why each of these people are in my life, how each person plays a vital part of the community, and how much we need one another.

such words.

“when evil men plot, good men must plan. when evil men shout ugly words of hatred, good men must commit themselves to the glories of love.”
~the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

as i read these words today, i was reminded by some words spoken earlier this week.
words of hatred, the opposite of love.
words of ignorance, the opposite of knowledge.
words of disgust, the opposite of compassion.

words from a man who often speaks such…such words from him should not surprise us. but also, such words should not be excused.

and such words couldn’t stand in more opposition than what this reverend stood for.

haiti.

it’s the one place.

the one place i have never gotten over.
the one place i have never known what to think.
the one place i have yet to fully process.
the one place i had a hard time being there and enjoying.
the one place i never really wanted to return.

it was a place of inconsistencies, it was a place of ambiguity…for me.
it was a place that i had heard of countless times yet never experienced…until then.
it was a place of extreme beauty…and a place that would leave you aghast.
it was a place that was untainted…and a place that had been ravaged by it’s own.
it was a place that i loved…and one that i couldn’t bear to return.
it was, by far, the hardest place i have been.
and i cannot even imagine it now.

a place and a people gone.
a place and a people broken.
a place and a people crushed.
a place and a people poor.
a place and a people devastated.
a place and a people in need.
…even more now.

on the one hand…or the other.

i’ve been thinking about the wedding this week…maybe a little more than normal.

the week i will have my first shower, the week i need to have 2 different lists ready, the week i need to address wedding invitations in order to send them out, the week…well, the week that i seem to have minor (or not so minor) meltdowns almost daily.

and i came to a conclusion this week.  planning a wedding so far from home, the location, the people that mean the most to me has both it’s pluses…and minuses.

on the one hand, the wedding is not my life.  it has not consumed me, nor really overwhelmed me (save this week).  i hardly ever talk about it, except for some brief phone conversations here and there, some talk with faisal when we have a decision to reach.  and since i rarely talk about it, these thoughts are left to mull over in my brain.

on the other hand, it is difficult.  it is hard not to have someone physically present with whom to discuss the guest list (my biggest stressor thus far).  it is hard not to have someone with whom to address wedding invitations.  it is hard not to have someone with whom you would chat about this and that of not-that-much-importance.

and i have realized something  i have realized that weddings, and planning weddings, are mostly communal.  it is the act of doing it together.  the community, the family, the friends they all lend a hand, have advice, offer support, and take some of the stress and pressure that the bride-to-be often feels.  this is what seems to be lacking.  of course i have the help, advice, and support of my fiance…but he’s only one person and he’s–somewhat–in the same boat.  and i do have friends and family who are doing this…only they are 2500 miles away.  and these days i am feeling quite alone in all this, although i know i am not.

i know it isn’t much…it isn’t that big of a deal.  but for me, this week, it seems to be.  it seems to be more consuming, more overwhelming, more stressful than normal.  and i, of course, am more emotional…just ask my fiance who said he just wants me to stop crying or he might start crying himself (doubtful).