Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I'm feeling rather discombobulated today. Ungrounded, Ellen would say. Powdery snow is falling from the sky this morning, "perfect packing snow" my sweetheart calls it as he stomps it off his boots, after coming back from a coffee run. Reminds me of the sweet wintery thing I love about February, but also reinforces the crappy night's sleep I had, and the anxieties that wouldn't let me rest easy. My sleep's been disturbed since planning the wedding has moved into the next gear, and although I'm not waking up screaming about showing up naked or anything quite like that, well, there's enough anxiety to keep me up.

Point one: I love February. I love it because it means that January has come and gone, and while in Chicago that fact has absolutely nothing to do with warmer weather on its way, I love that February is the shortest calendar month. I love the idea of the promise of March only a few weeks away, and if I keep my head down and tunnel through I'll be there soon. Spring might not meet me there, but still. I love that it's spelled weird, and has a ton of different pronunciations, and I love that when it feels like it, capriciously but still with some regularity, February adds an extra day, because sometimes a girl just needs a 29. Most of all, I love St. Valentine's Day. Scoff if you will, and yes, I know that it is just a minor holiday that the Catholic church co-opted from the Romans' Lupercalia, a kind of pagan spring cleaning. So what, I don't care. I love the legend of Valentine, I love the red roses (although not so in love with the seasonal price tag), I love the Snoopy bearing lacy greetings of affection, I love chocolate wrapped in red foil (even though I can't eat it), and I love Romance. St. Valentine's Day may be as co-opted and commercial as Christmas, but it makes me warm and fuzzy on the inside, whether I'm single or attached, and I just love it.

Point two: Getting married soon is making me feel a bit... mortgaged. I'm not feeling over committed, just given away. I'm so discouraged by the need to please other people. I've read a lot of wedding lit (there's a phrase I never thought in my whole life, that I'd use) that says that the wedding day is not about bride and groom, it's about family and friends and loved ones you collect around you. And I get it, I really do. But for pleasers like myself who kinda suck at setting boundaries and will give away the farm just to get the jacked up, hollow expression of affection we're thirsting for, maybe it's alright if this one day is in fact about me and him, and everybody else is gonna have to stretch a little outside their comfort zone, or else stay home. What I'm saying is lately I'm feeling how profoundly absent any parental figures are in my life, with a genuine expression of love and pride, and that absence makes me just want to fall. I am weary, weary weary, of doing things because they would be nice to do and they sound like nice ideas, because it means I have to fake my way through them, and pretend I'm having a good time, when in fact I just want the whole thing to be over so I can go home, put on sweatpants and watch a dvd of Two and a Half Men.

I am both blessed and fortunate to have a remarkable coven of women around me in the midst of all this. (I'm reclaiming the word coven, much like the word nigga.) They are capable and excited and all so amazingly supportive of the life I'm making with my sweetheart. They can't replace the thing I wish I had, but I'm glad I have them in my life.

All that to say that perhaps I'm in the heavy grip of winter doldrums. Working out, eating well, missing the sun, sick of the snow. A good day is a day when I can hold my head up on my own.

O Lord, Come by here.

1 comment:

jEssay! said...

A beautiful articulation of winter in Chicago. Come visit Colorado; there's sunshine every day and it is the best medicine. Sending you love and support! This people-pleasing theme resonates with me. It's something I too have struggled with but DAMN IT FEELS GOOD to let it go and set some killer boundaries. I also love Valentine's Day. I also just learned that you are getting MARRIED! We'll catch up soon! XXXO