Wedding planning is a microcosm of marriage

Wow.. I can’t believe how many topics we’ve covered in the past 3 days.

I’m not going to lie, there are many times that we get so discouraged, because these discussions (or fights) can get intense, and personal, and we can feel very vulnerable.

Issues that we’ve covered in 3 short days:

– Birth control methods, responsibility, medical risks, statistics, etc.

– Moving, possessions of each person, do we ship it, buy new things, which things to keep and which to throw out, different tastes, etc. (I hate your lamp, I like my table, I wouldn’t pay 5 cents for your shelf, etc)

– Registry or cash as gifts, information from other couples, one location or multiple ones, what information/perks/deals are useless or useful

– Sticking up for the other person (we’re on the same side)

I’m thankful that sometimes in the middle of the fight, when we’re both fuming at each other, we stop to pray. (Because we’re both speechless at some point… which is very very rare…)  Sometimes we’re not that angry yet, and we still have some sanity and have the lucidity to say, “I think we should pray.”
Sometimes, it’s because of pure scheduling. Because it’s time for our weekly devotionals, and we needed to pause our fights, so we could pray and do our couple’s Bible Study time. (Is it ironic that we were on Ephesians 5 this week? the part about Husbands and Wives?)

This morning, we had a short phone call before work, and we were loosely discussing some topics (can’t even remember what…) But we very easily agree on most things. In fact, we have the same opinion and mindset on the majority of things. I guess on the few things that we disagree on, sometimes they are significant issues to us and we become more emotionally charged than usual, and we get into very heated arguments.

A few of my women mentors at church (some newlyweds, others married for a few years) say that the top three things that couples fight about:
Money
Sex
Family (children and parents)

Our pastor tells us that marriage is a journey. I’m excited for it. I really am.

It’s just tough when there’s crying times (like last night) and difficult discussions (where you feel like you’re head is about to explode).

Thankfully, we can pray. Somehow, that always calms us both down, and renews us, and reminds us about what is ultimately the most important thing.
Christ – and being like-minded to Him.

 

 

PS. I know that by no means are we done fighting, there is a long road ahead of us. But with Christ as our head, I’m not too worried about it. I’m not to wary, I’m not fearful. 🙂

I want this to stop

I don’t know how to express to him.

It’s really hurting me.

But I can’t say it, because when I say it, it’s sounds like I’m being ridiculous.

Like I’m being annoying. He keeps talking… about something. About some far off place. But I can’t focus. I just nod, and then hold my breath so I can respond “uh huh”.

I hate this, was this how it was supposed to be?

Everything is a blur. He keeps going on, like everything is normal. Why won’t he agree that everything is not normal?

But he doesn’t care, it doesn’t matter. As long as his agenda

is made.

It will

ALL

BE

OKAY.

 

 

….right?

How are weddings this annoying

He doesn’t realize…

that I’m just holding my breath and crying silently.

I can’t believe that weddings and plannings and everything in between causes so much crying and fighting.

We are on webcam, I’m out of focus.

I’m out of the field of view… that I’m answering, “Uh huh”

but I’m crying, I’m hurt, this is ridiculous.

I hate weddings.

And the wedding planning begins…

After we call and notify all our loved ones, after we celebrate with our friends, maybe… 3 days later? No, probably 1 day later, people start bombarding us with questions. For the most part, me. Since I’m the girl… with the ring.

“OMG! Congrats! That’s awesome! So… when’s the date? where’s the wedding? have you found your bridal party yet? Are your parents coming? Are you doing one in Taiwan? ASDF;LKJASDFLKJA…….”

Everything becomes so jumbled together… before I even really had a chance to celebrate, I had to somehow come up with answers to these bullet questions.

“Umm…” I stutter, “Erm, well… I like fall weddings? But I’m not sure if we can do fall 2011, um, and location, I guess Philadelphia? I think that’s what we said… briefly… umm, bridal party? umm my parents, of course they’re coming. Taiwan? Um, yes? I think?! I don’t know!?!?! ”

It’s overwhelming, and any joy and excitement I had about the engagement was completely washed away by overwhelming questions. I thought people would just share the joy of the ring and the engagement, but no sooner have they let go of my hand with the ring, they look me straight in the eye, ready with 100+ questions.

Colors? Venue style? Dress? Flowers?!

And… everyone suddenly has an opinion and comment about everything … and nothing.

Excitement? no. More like guilt, embarrassment, anxiety, feeling unprepared and stupid.

I got engaged! :)

Below is the recount from my now-fiance about the proposal:
(Editor’s note: He’s not really a gangsta thug… he just really likes that line…)

How we got engaged

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church..
-Ephesians 5:25

From the start of our relationship, one thing I knew about my proposal is that it would be the first time I would tell Erin that I loved her. To me, a word of such complexity and responsibility could only be meaningful when paired with a lifelong commitment. It also made it a lot easier to figure out what I would end up saying to her on bended knee.

The venue was also pretty easy. We met in the sanctuary of her church; I couldn’t imagine any place more romantic to ask her to marry me. Valentine’s Day was the obvious choice for timeline. By February, we had passed the 6 month mark, and I figured if she hadn’t run for the hills by then, I better put a ring on it before she realized I was getting the better end of the deal.

On the morning of Valentine’s Day, I packed up my equipment and headed to the church. My buddy Seth lent me a camera that could shoot photos at preprogrammed intervals. I also packed a tripod, roses, guitar, basin, towel, and a couple other supplies that I had mailed into Philly weeks before.

After setting everything up, I called Erin:

“Do you have a key to the church? I think my car key fell out of my pocket when we were there yesterday.”

Over the phone, I Jedi-mindtricked her into stopping by the church after lunch.

Two hours later, we were standing in the sanctuary, ready to look for my car key. On the stage where I saw Erin for the first time was a chair with a single rose on it. I had her sit down.

On our first date, I sang her a Mandarin pop song a capella, figuring I could at least impress her with my linguistic effort. Based on her paralyzed reaction that day, I figured I had to step it up a bit with a guitar accompaniment.

I chose “Hey, Soul Sister” by Train. We’ve both loved that song since we started dating because it captures so much of our relationship. For instance, the part about me being a gangster thug, or the part about her doing brain research. But I really resonated with the final stanza:

I can be myself now finally // In fact there’s nothin’ I can’t be

I pick up the guitar and start strumming. It should be noted that although the chord progression of the song is straightforward, I have great difficulty with strumming in any kind of structured pattern. As I get to the end of the song, I improv the strumming for dramatic effect and just hope that my emotional effort is distracting her from my musical deficiencies. 

I set the guitar down, and pull a box out of my pocket. Erin’s face changes from content happiness to a downpour of tears. On one knee, I tell her for the first time that I love her – that I want to love her for the rest of my life. I ask her to marry me. She says yes.

..he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him..

“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
-John 13:5-8

I’ve always been captivated by the image of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples: the master of the universe, kneeling at the feet of those who worship him.

Ephesians tells me to love my wife in the same way. I may be pretty self-absorbed, but I wanted to at least start my engagement off on the right path. I pulled out a basin of water from under the stage and washed her feet. With her soft feet in my hands, it really hit me – this is the woman I want to love sacrificially for the rest of my life.

We prayed together for a bit. After planning and rehearsing this moment for months, I actually hoped that I could just execute with emotionless automation. But sitting there together, alone in the sanctuary, with a sparkling symbol of commitment on Erin’s hand, the room was filled with a quietly overpowering sensation of boundless love.

We made our phone calls, headed to dinner, and started wedding planning…

 

Read: Our first date

Online dating… for a friend

One of my good friends lately made a pact with her other friend that they would make profiles for each other and then run each other’s profiles… as the other person.

Confused?

Jenna and Beth are best friends. Jenna will create an online dating profile for Beth, and Beth will make one for Jenna. Then Jenna will pretend to be Beth and screen the guys online and choose 1 for Beth. Beth will do the same for Jenna. Jenna will show Beth that she knows Beth more than Beth knows herself when it comes to dating, and vice versa. They also thought that this may help with their dating blind spots.

Do you agree?

1. Beth likes guys who are above 6 ft. tall and blond. Jenna has seen Beth date enough cute jerks, that she’s determined to find a guy that is nice looking enough, but most importantly doesn’t treat Beth poorly.

2. Jenna is never really sure what she likes, but Beth is certain that she understands Jenna and can help her find a guy that she can connect with.

So they both start on their mission. They both find a guy online for each other.

Beth shoots down each of Jenna’s choices, saying that they’re not cute enough. Jenna is perplexed… because Jenna first reads the profiles as the main filter. Beth first looks through the pictures as the first criteria for filtering. So already, they are noticing that they don’t have the same criteria for first impressions and first layer of filtering.

1. Beth sets up a date for Jenna. Jenna ends up really connecting with the guy, the guy is quite attractive, (to this Beth answers, “of course!” because the first thing she checks is the photo galleries).

2. Jenna sets up a date for Beth, Beth does NOT have a good time. In fact, she has a horrible time. And why? “The guy just wasn’t attractive enough.”

Oh… and there’s more.

1. When Jenna ‘fessed up to the guy on the first date that the profile and initial chats/emails the guy had, were actually with Beth, the guy laughed it off and thought is was quite hilarious.

2. When Beth told her date about the situation, the guy got really angry and suspicious, “How do I know who you really are then? How do I know what you are now?”

 

Why in the world would you pose as your friend? Create their profile, maybe. But then conduct initial online contacts with people posing as another person!?
If you want to try online dating, then do it. Don’t be ashamed of trying out online dating and then giving yourself an excuse by saying a friend is doing it for you. Be signed up by a friend is one thing, but then allowing a friend to pose as you throughout is completely another thing. Isn’t there a law against something like this? For example… false documentation or, hmm.. identity theft?
Online dating: There’s nothing wrong with it. But don’t conduct it as a form of a “social experiment” and then screw with other people who are actually themselves. Especially if you’re going to be so picky about the person’s photos (which could be photoshopped and filtered to show only the best angles, etc…)

Many people have tried out the online dating thing. There’s nothing wrong with doing a trial run for a few weeks/months. But you gotta do it yourself, ladies.