Editor’s note: I was midway through the writing of this post when Allison, the talented proprietress of No Shoe Left Behind, published a post about our friendship. The post — I am proud to report — earned “Fresh Pressed” status, and drove an insane amount of traffic to The Letter T. In fact, I owe pretty much all my traffic to Allison — she was the very first non-friend/non-relative reader I had. I am forever grateful for her support, encouragement, viral marketing, and appreciation of the finer things in life — T. Belden, ice cream, French macaroons. Huge thanks! May we both land lucrative book deals that are optioned into screenplays.
Another huge thanks for all the great feedback from the blogosphere — it’s very motivating and I really, really appreciate it!
First Nick Lachey and Vanessa Minillo. Then, in what I’m sure is just a total coinkydink, Jessica Simpson and that guy. Leeza Gibbons (a cougar at 53) and the 40-year-old head of the Beverly Hills Board of Education. And of course, my personal favorite, Prince William and Kate Middleton. Betrothals abound! And I’m sure that even if Jessica did have to pay for her own massive ruby rock — even if Prince William did not go to Jared for the big ass sapphire his mother once wore — the affected parties are still in the pre-wedded bliss phase of their relationships.
With my own nuptials a mere 10 days away, it’s not that I’m not also in that phase. It’s just that said phase is now mixed in with a faint hint of anxiety. Maybe it’s more like a dash of anxiety. Fine, a few tablespoons. But you get the point. In the past four weeks I’ve had two bad colds, one of which is currently plaguing me. I can’t fall asleep. I feel like there’s a 300-lb man sitting on my chest, and when I try to inhale, the air isn’t getting all the way into my lungs. (It’s just a touch of psychogenic dyspnea –which I’ve had since 1981 — at least I hope.) My skin is so itchy that I have black and blue marks from scratching. I have an ingrown eyelash (simple trichiasis – yay!) and a deep crack where my top and bottom lips meet. Shout out to angular chelitis — thanks for making me look like the Joker. (Note – in some cases angular chelitis is actually caused by a riboflavin deficiency. Riboflavin! Please note I take this as a sign that I’m not eating enough Franken Berry cereal.) My big toe is sore from what I can only assume is gout. I’ve had to stop using my special keratin shampoo and replace it with Selsun Blue thanks to a delightful case of seborrheic dermatitis. I’m not kidding — think Ally Sheedy in The Breakfast Club. Picked cuticles? Check. In short, I am repulsive.
Now, this may sound really bad — and don’t get me wrong. It kind of is. But I’m not surprised by it. It would actually startle me if I went through a major rite of passage and didn’t have at least a tiny meltdown. The weird thing, though, is that I’m not consciously worried about anything. Keith is an amazingly kind, patient, big-hearted person and I still can’t believe he’s willing to marry me (especially in my current state). I’m fairly confident that St. Thomas will not implode into the Caribbean and am only slightly uneasy about the possibility of American Airlines losing our suitcases. So I’ve been trying to figure out what exactly the real issue is.
I think it’s partly just the concept of doing something with so much magnitude. It’s MARRIAGE. It means you have one of the answers you have long, long sought — that one of your greatest quests is complete: you spend years wondering how this particular facet of your existence will turn out, and now you know. It means you’re an official grown-up. It means a part of your life (albeit, not a particularly pleasant one) is over. And that means you’re getting old.
For me, it’s also the step that most people assume will follow the wedding. As you may have guessed from previous posts, the thought of having a kid(s) is absolutely terrifying on every possible level. And unfortunately, despite what Kelly Preston would have us believe — time is not on my side. If I’m gonna do it, I gotta do it pretty soon.
But ultimately, I think the thing I’m most worried about is myself. I have zero doubts about Keith’s ability to be a good husband — there is no possible way he could be anything other than that. But as you also may know from previous posts, this is my second marriage. And it’s really nice to think that the first one failed solely because of the other person involved or because we were just a freakishly bad pairing. But what if that’s not why it failed? What if it turns out I am fundamentally incapable of being a good wife?
Keith didn’t seem concerned when I brought up this idea. But to be fair, he was petting our new iPad at the time, and to be fair-er, very few things worry him.
I was then compelled to pose several things that I felt might indicate my bad wife destiny: I was blogging while I could have been helping him with his laundry; I became inappropriately agitated when my Blackberry froze the other day; I complain constantly; I buy too many pairs of shoes; I see the glass as entirely empty.
Keith typed the following into the App store search bar: diagnose mental disorders.
Then in typical Keith fashion, he spent the next five minutes reassuring me and telling me I could always talk to him about anything.
For a little while I felt better. But then another thought occurred to me: Maybe I was really just worried about keeping two families happy on a six-day vacation in the Caribbean. Or getting blood poisoning from my picked cuticles. Or barfing on the pl…
Maybe it really isn’t the wedding … maybe I just need something to worry about.