Friday, September 26, 2014

How my anxiety found me a perfect husband

When I was a 4 year old, someone told me that you needed to get married to get into heaven. This did not sit well with me, even though I was still 14 years away from being a legal adult. I faced, what I think in retrospect, was my first large bout of anxiety. My therapist tells me that the basis of anxiety is fixating on something that is beyond what we need to currently be concerning ourselves with. The fact that 4 year old me spent hours crying about the prospect of marrying and being a mommy sounds like a textbook case for such a thing.

My mom would hold me as a cried and promise me that I didn't have to get married and I didn't have to be a mom. Instead, I could stay at home forever, and be her little girl.

This apprehension towards marriage is something that stuck with me my entire life. While others around me seemed eager to bind themselves to someone else for the rest of forever, I couldn't think of anything except how utterly terrible that would be.
This meant that when Peter came into my life and I started to love him, I felt incredibly repulsed by myself and the thoughts that I began to have that indicated that marriage could be anything besides a horrendous mess. I was certain that he would leave to go on a mission, and I would recover from my temporary insanity and move on with my life.

Unfortunately, I found this was a more difficult thing to happen than I expected. One night I called my mother distraught over my situation, hoping for some solace. I tried to express to her how badly I was transitioning to Peter being gone. Before I could get very far in my explaining, Mommifer asked excitedly,

"Oh, are you still in love with Peter??"
"What? No..." I said, before quickly bursting into hot and hysterical tears.
"Oh, Melece, I know you're so sad right now, but I could just turn cartwheels! I worried and worried that I would have to watch my youngest daughter live without love!"

And thus my mother became Peter's #1 wingman.

Even though I was coming to accept the fact that I loved Peter, I could never go for very long without thinking about all the terrible aspects of marriage. In fact I would only have small lapses of reason in which I thought marriage could be sufferable, these moments overrode by a massive fear and distaste by the institution.

Fears I had towards marriage:

1. I would get sick of my husband.

This was a serious fear founded in the reality of my past experiences. I had never had a close friend who I spent time with on a regular basis for much longer than a year span or so. There were several people in my life who had always been present in the background, and who I had known for many years, but any close knit relationships I had sought in the past, both romantic and otherwise, usually burned bright and passionately for a season and then ended in awkward avoidances and "we should definitely hang out"s, which as everyone knows is almost legally a phrase that translates to, "I recognize that we at one point knew each other, and I want to be polite, but I have no intentions of ever spending time alone with you ever." The polite response being "yes, we really should," which in itself means, "I am glad you also acknowledge that we will never interact by choice ever again."

2. My husband would get sick of me.

These two items seem simplistic and repetitive, but they fully encompass a world of marital problems. I saw spouses bringing lunches for each other at work, and in my head I thought, "UGH, it's like you're legally obligated to feed someone other than yourself!" a problem that fits nicely under list item #1. Other times I would consider, "men only want you for your body," which caters to the second category, under the assumption that I will someday grow wrinkled, lined, and flabby, preferably not by next week.

All the ugly things that I knew could come from close companionship alarmed me; I worried that when Peter came home we would quickly find that a love letter affair is much easier to uphold than a close up and personal one. Thus, we had a long engagement. In that time we fought some of our biggest fights, which led us both to realize that we can handle the biggest of the fights.

There is a phrase I once heard that warns "you need to love a person at their ugliest before you can truly love them at their most perfect." I knew I was ready to become a wife when marriage no longer seemed heinous. I found someone who was able to be my exception to my rules, not someone I was willing to bend my rules for.

Someday (probably next week) I'll write you a post telling stories exclusively about how my mother helped me realize that I could (and should) marry Peter. She had so many wise words to comfort me during that odd 2-3 year courtship/friendship, and she loved Peter deeply before they even met. She once told friends that she didn't worry about me marrying someone who was a stranger to her, because, "Peter makes Melece happy, so I know he is worth while."

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Emojis, Peter, and me.

Today in church Peter started a conversation with me on my phone. Each new line represents us passing the phone.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

I was a normal child.

Marriage brings out a lot of secrets. You've bound your life to someone else's and, in spending so much time with this new human instalment, a lot of conversations happen.

If you're like me and you marry someone who you met as an adult, there is all of childhood and adolescence to discover and share. To me, this is a beneficial thing; although I share embarrassing facts of my past with him, Peter was never truly privy to personal crises I experienced as a youth.

For example, Peter did not witness the unfortunate year of my life which I spent as a Twihard (2007-2008, it was a dark time. I had just left my home town in England AND the Harry Potter series had ended. I think you can forgive me). Even though he now knows this terrible, dark secret, he can make fun of me based only on what I have told him, and thus what I myself am able to mock. I can confess that I printed off those really terrible Myspace style quotes all about Twilight, that I was involved in online groups where we tried to cast the Twilight movie (this was before such a thing existed), that I had not one, but two different Twilight hoodies that I wore regularly.

However,  if he was there witnessing it all, I don't know if our relationship would be able to exist.
Let's take a gander at the us in the parallel universe where Peter and I were friends as teens:

Peter: Heh heh heh heh. Remember when you used to compare everything in your life back to Twilight?

Melece: it was not that bad. I mean, yeah, I thought Edward was perfect, but-

P: I tried to ask you out, but you told me 'Real men SPARKLE,' and threw body glitter at me.

M:Yeah... that was... I thought I was funny. It was just a book.

P: No, I'm pretty sure you said that you would knew when you found "The One" when you woke up to find him standing watching you sleep.

M: I would never! I mean, well, maybe? I think I also experimented with hard drugs that year.

P: Yeah, okay. Whatever you say.

Thankfully, none of these things ever happened, and, thanks to extensive Facebook stalking on my part while Peter was in Japan, I know that he once harboured a crush on one of the Twilight characters, SO WE ALL HAVE FLAWS.

Still, thanks to my terrible habit of overindulging, Peter is often loaded with a plethora of blackmail worthy confessions from childhood.
One afternoon Peter was able to join me at my second job as a nanny to a 2 year old boy. The three of us were playing with Play-doh. As I loaded the classic Play-doh contraption where you push a lever and different shaped tubes of Doh comes out. This thing:

I think once you buy one jar of Play-doh, this materializes in one of your cupboards. 

The magical contraption loaded with fresh Doh, I pushed down on the handle and gleefully watched a star shaped strand emerge out of the bottom.

"You know," I tell Peter, "When I was little, I wished I had a giant version of the shape slide thing. You know this part?" I wave it at him, "That you put at the end." Peter looks at me inquisitively, but innocently, listening to my anecdote. I continue, "I wanted one I could attach to my bottom so that my poo would come out shaped." 

"What?" Peter chuckles almost breathlessly, like I have sat suddenly on his chest, "I don't- I, wow." He rubs both hands over his face.

"Oh," I say, now a little unsure of myself and this new confession which I had not thought would be two-handed-face-rubbing worthy, "Did you... not... ever want that?" 

"That is both the most amazing and disgusting thing I ever head in my life, Melly. I just, don't even know what emotion I should be feeling right now. Why did you want shaped poop?"   

"It seemed a worthwhile investment to me." 


For the rest of the time that we spent with the Doh, Peter would exclaim, "shaped poop!" to himself, as though he just had never heard of anything that revolutionary or strange in his whole life. 

I'm still waiting for his childhood revelation that will make me guffaw. Mostly, I'm just in awe of how cool he was. Did you know that my husband once made a suit, tie, and vest combo out of duct tape? I married so out of my childhood league it is inspiring. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Secret life of beads

  • This week I was inducted into a secret society of individuals united in a cause of good. I would compare us to societies such as the Men in Black or the Order of the Phoenix, but even that is way too much information, and I don't want to have to kill any of you. 
  • Upon receiving my official invitation to join this crew of elite individuals, I was inducted into a group conversation. To quickly catch up on all items of business I had missed, I scrolled up to read all previous messages, and found a discussion of my worthiness to join the cause. 

  • MN: I like the idea of Melece. She's fun. And fair.

  • LA: Yeah I agree, I think she has a level head about things.

  • BR: She is very extreme on many topics, but level beaded.
  • Headed, lolz.

  • MN: She's intricately beaded.
  • It's nice.
  • I don't think she has a history of yelling at people.

LB: I second the Melece being intricately beaded 
  • MN: I messaged Melece and she hasn't gotten back to me yet. Soooo. But we may consider starting a new conversation since we talked about her up there and also I just said this so that's awkward if we add her. Hello. Just discussing whether you're crazy or not. Lalala
  • LB: Melece is a beautiful pillow. 
  • That should make it all good.

  • MP: The kind with beading around the edges that is uncomfortable to lay on but it is fine because it is so pretty and decorative.
  • Okay. We will just add her then. Melece, when you get in this group, know that we consider you in high regard. Also beads.
  • *MN added you.*

  • MN: Hello Melece. Awkwardness ensuing.
  •  You're an extreme, decorative pillow. I am an extreme snuggie. I like to think.

  • LB: Yayyyy Hi Melece!

I think everyone wonders what people say about them when they're not around, but I feel pretty confident with knowing that some people discuss whether I'm level beaded or not. 

I feel pretty, oh so pretty! 

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sunday, September 7, 2014


                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have already confessed in previous blog entries that I find names an utmost fascinating topic. I think that the concept that our basic and first identities are founded in a string of letters formed together to make an identifying word - name - so interesting. Sometimes I get so caught up in thinking about this that I'll repeat my own name over and over to myself until it sounds even more unusual than it already is, and I get a little dizzy trying to comprehend it. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                              In trying to consider such a thing, I find myself getting truly enraged at how little parents seem to care about the responsibility they have to their offspring to give them a name which will stand the test of time and adulthood (while first being acceptable at infancy, childhood, and adolescence). That being said, I also wonder, "well, I mean, what is 'normal'? Who is to say one name is worse than another?'" but then ultimately decide that, no, I cannot fight for some parents' rights to choose a name, because the name they have chosen is hideously offensive. Plus, take a look at what research indicates. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                              At one school I worked at I began a list of terrible names which I came across (all students wear name tags in this post 9/11 and school shooting America of ours). Names such as: 


                                                                                                                                                                                                              A lot of names I started writing down weren't even for their audaciousness, but rather that they were pretty common names spelled illiterately (or creatively, whichever way you want to look at it).  


                                                                                                                                                                                                              ...a lot of "ee" names now that I look at it...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              This got me thinking. One day while Peter and I were both working (this was in the days when I was his boss at the RWC) we compiled a list of the most usual names we could think of and then went about destroying them past recognition. These were our top 2. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Djöhnne Dayvyd (John David)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Saêruh Uhlyzabef (Sarah Elizabeth)

                                                                                                                                                                                                              The art and beauty of these two names is that verbally it seems that we have given classic and common names to both of our children. Their names will be universally recognized upon introduction, with no "Sorry, what was that?" or embarrassing mis-pronunciations by relatives who really should know what their names are, but have forgotten because they don't know Pokémon characters or names of Peter's and mine creation. However, Djöhnne Dayvyd and Saêruh Ulyzabef will still be able to empathize with their peers who never have been able to pick out their own personalised souvenir at tourist attractions, and will learn to explain their names' spellings in the same breath as they say them, (i.e. "Djohnne D-J-O (with two dots on top) -H- double N- E" etc.) 

                                                                                                                                                                                                              This, I truly believe, is a compromise that provides our children with both universality and Younique-ness.