Tag Archives: marriage

Nice to meet you, wanna marry me?

If you thought maybe I left men behind after that last dating series, you were sorely mistaken. Sorry. Actually I’m not sorry because it’s fun to talk about men. They are intriguing creatures. They are predictable, they’re unpredictable, they’re mysterious. Just kidding, they’re totally not mysterious, but they are interesting. Plus ask any of your girlfriends, young or old, what they think about most often right before they go to sleep and I’d bet my new pair of awesome shoes (loves) they’ll answer men if they’re honest. Even the ones that are married, engaged, dating, texting, flirting in the office, or utterly and completely alone. They either think about one man in particular, or a couple men, or simply the idea of a man they’d like to come along someday, possibly soon. Or maybe they’re cursing men and wishing they were all burning in hell. Regardless, minds are on men. Unless you are a lesbian, you are thinking about men more than you want to admit. Let’s stop fighting the urge to deny and just come out with it, shall we? None of this, “Oh I’m thinking about my career!” Or perhaps, “I actually hate men because I’ve been screwed over so much, so I really couldn’t think about them less.” Or, “I’m living my life and don’t need a man to make me happy.” Just carefree and skipping along through green meadows with unicorns, are you? That’s called denial. But it’s cute.

Is it kind of sad that we do this? Maybe. But I really don’t think so, since I hate to think of myself as a sad person. I think it makes us normal. Because everyone knows men think about sex something gross like 98% of their waking hours, and we can only guess how much of their sleeping time they spend dreaming about sex. At least women are a little less…I can’t think of an adjective. It just seems more classy to think about sex less than they do. Not that we don’t think about sex. But my parents read this jank so we’re not discussing sex, just men (plus I of course don’t know anything about sex anyway so the point is moot). Ahem. I’ve lost my train of thought and completely digressed.

Back to the point. Remember when we had Lisa Frank folders (so hard to choose just 3!) and those hideous composition notebooks? And on the inside of them you’d write “Mrs. [your crushes name here]” all over it in the scripty cursive you were learning to use? No? I’ll share mine if you admit you did it too. In 4th grade I wanted to be Mrs. Jennings, because young Mr. Jennings kicked me under our desks all day and I just thought it was the cutest thing ever, obviously. Nevermind bruises on my skinny little shins. Wounds of love, y’all. And of course we both rode our bikes to school and his house was conveniently on the way home for me so we got to be together for about 5 or 10 minutes every day. He never talked to me of course. I’m digressing again. Anyway, then in 5th grade I’m pretty sure it changed to some other young man. And same in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade, though somewhere along the way I think we stopped writing their names on our notebooks. SO not cool to put your feelings out there in the open like that. Someone could steal your notebook or something and you’d be ruined. Much better to have a delegate bff ask him if he likes you. Thank goodness those days are over. So much pressure and waiting, and sometimes your trusty delegate would mess up the note or message. It’s just not worth it to put your love life in someone else’s hands like that.

These days, we still do these kinds of things though we are much more level-headed and less crazy about it. For the most part…I obviously cannot speak for every female on this planet and we all know there are some crazies out there who are just nuts and cannot conduct themselves in a rational manner (…and I just described every woman when she’s hormonal…whatever). But ANYWAY we all still imagine almost immediately what life could be like with almost every man we ever meet. Yes you so do. Friends included I think. Again, this is a generalization, but I do believe you’re lying to yourself if you haven’t at least once thought about what it would be like to be Mrs. My-best-friend’s-last-name-who-I’ve-never-been-attracted-to-not-even-while-drunk. Right? Of course right. And we reject these notions for any number of reasons, regardless of the attraction factor.

One of my dear friends from college comes to mind. In high school, this pretty girl was dating a young man with a HORRIBLE last name. I’m not sharing specifics because this is the interwebs and anyone can find anything. But let’s just say his last name rhymed with like 9 diseases and/or viruses. And honestly, who wants to be Mrs. Streptococcus, or Mrs. Mononucleosis. Obviously if we reject men based on last names, that is not only shallow and ridiculous but unfair. Ancestry is not something we choose. But this girl really had to think from day one, do I really love this guy? Because if not, there’s no reason for me to have this ridiculous last name. Perhaps it made her smarter and helped her not settle. Either way, it’s something she thought about and we all think about almost from day one, whether on purpose, subconsciously, or by accident. Just think about Kate Middleton. When she first met Prince William at university (as the Brits say), I can only imagine what went through her mind. I mean not only would she be Mrs. Windsor [I actually had to google this…apparently royals don’t really use surnames and there is a debate as to whether they actually even have them, but according to Wikipedia, “Windsor” is the name dictated by the Queen…so just go with it], she would be Kate Middleton Windsor (or whatever), Princess of Wales. Princess. Of anything. This is like every little girl’s dream to be a princess, and here she is actually becoming one. I mean come on. So cool.

Men just don’t think about these things, and what boring lives they must lead without these fanciful fantasies (the fantasies they have are not fanciful in my opinion…raunchy and inappropriate for mixed company perhaps but not fanciful). I know that I have gotten endless laughs from thinking about this particular topic related to men. Jokes about how beautiful/hideous children would be, or being Mrs. Uglynameitis, or being married to a most loved frenemy’s cute brother, or being the pregnant barefoot wife of a bff. Good times, ladies. Just don’t get crazy. He doesn’t want to hear about your marriage plans. Leave those up to him, or at least wait until after the first date for crying out loud.

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Roses are red, violets are blue, your family is crazy and so are you!

Like my rhyme? I thought it was clever. This past weekend was the beloved and ever-popular Lebanese Food Festival, hosted by the beloved and and beautiful families of St. Anthony’s Maronite Catholic Church in Richmond’s West End. It is a fun-filled weekend of eating, dancing, laughing, enjoying at least one thunderstorm, eating, and if you’re a parishioner, it includes chopping chicken, parsley, garlic, and other very ethnic and strong-smelling ingredients for the “white people” to consume. All proceeds benefit the church and a foundation which supports and cares for orphans in Lebanon. It is a noble cause, and a fab time.

Anywhoooos. This weekend had me thinking about My Big Fat Greek Wedding and how everyone thinks that movie is a joke. However, I’m here to convince you that the movie is completely fact-based and a truthful conveyance of practices, and is actually based on every and any ethnic family in the whole world. Let’s discuss.  [PS can we please check out the cast list of this movie? It is like an alliance of Greek and Italian mob members!]

1) Eat something! This is a classic line from MBFGW, said multiple times and in multiple contexts, but the most notable of these is when Toula tells her mother she’s in love with Ian: “But Ma, I love him!” To which her mother logically replies, “Oh Toula! Eat something!” And walks away. Eating is a common concept which heals all evils across many ethnicities. Anyone who has any kind of strong heritage will tell you it’s not a Greek thing, it’s a Polish thing! Or it’s an Ethiopian thing! Or even it’s an American thing! But I still maintain that no one does eating like the Mediterranean cultures (I am loyal to my main heritage, the Italians, and honestly think we are the best eaters but Lebanon and Greece come in close second). So while at the Lebanese Food Festival, I probably encountered some form of this “eat something!” mantra at least 4 times per each hour I was there. The most memorable, other than the times in which I was commanded to eat more, happened when I was sitting at a picnic table with another family. 3 elementary aged girls, their mother or aunt, and a grandfather. Not even sure it was their grandfather but in this place, it doesn’t matter. Every grandfather is a grandfather to every child. So he’s standing there, the girls are giggling and talking with each other and the mother, and on the table is a plate of un-eaten cheese pies. No one is paying these cheese pies any attention and suddenly Jiddoo (Arabic for “grandfather”) points to the pies and demands that the girls eat them: “Who’s are these? Eat them!” Which he then repeats in Arabic, lest anyone not understand his demand to consume. He subsequently walks away shaking his head. The little girls eye the pies on the plate and each take one and start nibbling with looks of boredom on their faces. It’s normal, the demand to eat, and with such good food, who wants to say no!?

2) Marriage and babies. Toula says in the beginning of the movie, “There are three things that every Greek woman must do in life: marry Greek boys, make Greek babies, and feed everyone.” At St. A’s, there is no “Lebanese School” and they don’t necessarily come right out and teach lessons like “If Nick has one goat, and Maria has nine, how soon will they marry?” But God help you if you are single! Singleness is almost a disease, and if you are single for too long, there’s something wrong with you, but it’s ok because Lawwwwd do they have a match for you! And you will make beautiful children, so why not! Yenta is a Jewish name, but an easily translatable occupation. Right? Of course right! In my family, Yenta’s name is Momma Sassy and all of Twin’s aunts.

Example: While at the festival I was, as usual, hanging out with/clinging to Twin and Mimi (Mimi is Twin’s actual sister and my non-sister, since I clearly am an only child by birth, but blessed with these ladies as my pseudo sisters. Love you girls) as we eat, walk around, watch the dancing, listen to the ethnic music, and carry massive bowls of parsley to and from the food booth. At any given moment, if there was an aunt around (similar concept to the grandfathers: she doesn’t have to be your aunt, but you still call her “Aunt” and she knows you like she is your aunt), she would grill one or all three of us about our love lives. “Twin! Are you seeing anyone? Have you met Anthony?” “Mimi! I know you’re dating that boy, but how serious is it? I have a friend who has a nephew who is perfect for you! Oh you’re related to him, that’s right…” “Miss Sassy! Haven’t seen you in forever, how’s your boyfriend!? Oh! You don’t have a boyfriend! Well…” *devious scheming look that only moms and aunts have* “Come with me, you need to meet Anthony!” Oy. A few things of note here: remember how everyone is named “Nick” in MBFGW? Everyone here is named Anthony. Also, everyone in the church is related. And if you’re not related, you marry into that family which makes you related. Which means that, luckily for Twin and Mimi, they are not available to most the young men in the church as there is some kind of familial tie which binds them and prevents another tie from being tied. I, on the other hand, being an adopted Daughter of Lebanon and not an actual blood relative, am available to pretty much every un-married young (or old) man in the entire congregation. I keep a low profile so as not to be noticed or set up. It rarely works, but I like to pick my own, thanks.

3) 40 first cousins. As I mentioned above, practically everyone at this church is related. There are something like 5 or 6 main families, and they are the oldest Lebanese families in the area and have been attending St. A’s forever since whichever Jiddoo immigrated from Lebanon. Every or most families make trips to Lebanon to visit family, and thoughts of shipping daughters back to the motherland to find a husband is not a joke. The families set up sons and daughters to marry each other and the family cedar tree grows. Twin and Mimi have something like 4 times the amount of first cousins I have, and the circle of 2nd cousins grows exponentially and in general is too difficult to keep track of. And if you find a “white person” to marry, they better integrate themselves into the culture because otherwise awkwardness ensues. Picture Rodney and Harriet Miller drunk from ouzo and saying no-thank-you to “Greek meat, very good!”

4) Family be all up in your business, 24/7. Lots of times this is not an ethnic thing. If you have a big family or even a small family, if you’re close, they likely know too much about you for your comfort. But again, it seems the Mediterranean cultures do this best. They are always together all the time, eating all the time, gossiping, and sharing in each other’s joys, sorrows, accomplishments, and failures, whether they like it or not. Sort of ties into point #2 about marriage and setting up every available daughter with every available son. Toula explains to Ian the complexities and annoyances of her family by saying, “…Everybody is in each other’s lives and business, all the time! Like, you never just have a minute alone! Just to think! ‘Cause we’re always together, just eating, eating, eating!” And this is so true, but it is also true that while at times we all sometimes just want to be away from all the ethnicity and maybe have a small family with 2 first cousins instead of 27, deep down you know you’d never trade them in. At the end, Toula admits she would never do such a thing: “My family is big and loud but they’re my family. We fight and we laugh and yes, we roast lamb on a spit in the front yard. And where ever I go, what ever I do they will always be there.” I have never seen any lamb roasting on a spit in anyone’s front yard, and at the festival I’m fairly sure they marinate the meat in something delicious and roast it in an oven instead of on a spit, but the rest of the line is accurate. All aunts are freaking crazy. If their kids are too young to date, they will live vicariously through whichever niece or nephew is closest and attempt to set them up with any decent looking halfway respectable boy or gal they know. And you can’t hate, because you will do the same when you’re an aunt with 3 kids in 10 to 20 years (we don’t want to rush these things – 30 is not an expiration date ladies).

Love your family. They are crazy in the head sometimes most all the time, but you are not alone. Every other person on the planet has some kind of crazy relative or family situation. And you are just as crazy as they are and don’t realize it. So don’t be a hypocrite. Plus, sometimes those aunts know some really cute boys, so maybe you should keep an open mind…

To be or not to be…Catholic.

This past weekend I ventured to church with Momma Sassy (as I attempt to do every week) for the Sunday evening “last chance” Mass.  It was a nice service as usual and we had the beginnings of Christmas music, as it was the second Sunday of Advent for us Catholics.  This particular Sunday for some reason I was a bit distracted by lots of different things and had trouble focusing on the message (which was that we should prepare the way for the little Baby Jesus! In a non-Pottery Barn Kids kind of way), and here’s why: dreams of Catholic sugarplum husbands dancing in my head. No worries, I’ll explain.

Enter Little Drummer Boy. Yes I know it’s a fan favorite Christmas song, but that’s not what I’m referring to. A few years ago, the [extremely good looking] young gentleman drummer that plays every week at church asked me out. I mean! Every Catholic mother’s dream, having her kid asked out at church. Especially in my family, as all of you probably know the first question I am asked by my dear mother when she hears I have met someone is whether or not he is Catholic. (“Ma, I met our mail man at work today, he’s such a nice old man.” “Oh! Is he Catholic??” Seriously.) If the answer is no, then the next question is how close is it to Catholicism and what are the odds we can convert him! Pronto! First date: Bring him to Mass. Anywho I’m deviating. So I went out with this young man, who is now affectionately known as Little Drummer Boy, or LDB (not to his face of course, brnt).  Our date was nice, we had a lot in common and he was older, dark, built, ethnic, into church, played soccer, and was going to be a doctor in less than 2 semesters.  You guys! Jackpot! Whatever, we had zero chemistry from my point of view and it went nowhere after about 3 weeks of courtship. Well I still see said young man at church on the reg, and despite our failed pre-relationship, he was good on paper and the kind of man every mother and father want for their only daughter.  Seeing him spawned this train of thought that ended up distracting me in a major way. Which in turn caused me to constantly scold myself and check back in with the singing and sitting and standing and sign of the cross and sitting again routine.  Moving on.

The next thing that triggered this odd thought train was our weekly bulletin. Ma always gets it before Mass so we can scoot out right after Communion. JK we never do that.  So during the service, it’s sitting in between us, face down, with the adverts page facing up.  And my eye is drawn to the largest ad on there, which is for – prepare yourself – CatholicMatch.com.  A dating service just for Catholics! Another dream of all Catholic mothers! There would be no questions, except how many goats does he have and how soon can we get married!! So I’m very taken aback by this website and got to thinking…if I am, like, really Catholic (you know, vs. sort of Catholic or Easter/Christmas Only Catholic), how important is it that my life mate and future baby daddy be Catholic as well? Depends who you ask.  Ask a Catholic or Jewish mother and I guarantee you they will both agree, it is necessary that their son or daughter choose a life partner that subscribes to the same newsletter.  As my mother says, a bird can marry a fish, but where would they make a home? My answer was always “maybe it’s a flying fish and that special bird that can swim under water for long periods of time!” But I’m a smart ass and in real life not everyone is as special as a fish with wings or a bird with crazy weird lungs.  But perhaps there is a merman out there for me, no?

In the 8th grade I “went out” (in the middle school sense that you were somehow dating someone but never did anything with that other person except pass notes and giggle…or maybe it was just me, whatev) with a nice Jewish boy. It lasted about 3 or 4 weeks before the inevitable end came. My version of the story is that his mother found out I was Catholic, or more importantly that I wasn’t Jewish and promptly informed him to end it or lose his inheritance.  I added that part on the end but you get me.  So Jewish vs. Catholic conflict is understandable, as there are significant differences and a child raised in that home would be sufficiently confused by the age of 4. But other situations in which the two people are simply different flavors of Christian are perhaps less important, and I’d argue that it depends on each person and their individual commitment to that particular brand of faith.  So here’s what I conclude (for today anyway): I will say no thank you to any man who is atheist.  It is a deal breaker if you are a hater of the Catholic faith and make fun of my religion.  I do not tolerate ignorant haters.  And while this topic was a major distraction to me during our service and gave me cause for this intriguing and thought-provoking post, I will remain open-minded and take whatever the Big Man decides to throw at me.  Because really, who am I to judge?

Stay tuned for more Catholic contemplations down the road.

Wanted: Single Sassy People

Today I had lunch with my most favorite ex-roomie, we’ll call her Miss Foxy because I think she might be working for Fox news very soon (I’m optimistic and maybe it’s good luck) and also she is a foxy lady. It was a grand time and I took way beyond my regular 1 hour because we are chatty little gals when we get together, obv.  So we’re chatting and Foxy remarks on the number of attractive men who were in this little eatery. Sure, I say, I guess.  No, she says, you don’t understand, there are no men where I live and whenever I see a good looking one, he’s either gay…or married.  I know right! So here’s our discussion topic today: marriage.  Suddenly it’s everywhere.

I was so excited to take this new job, make some new friends, meet cute boys, flirt, get some drinks bought for me (because I’m so good at it…brnt), have some fun single ladies’ nights, and do some winking across some bars.  You know you’ve done it.  So I started working, started going out, started making friends, and started realizing this fact: EVERYONE is MARRIED.  Or engaged.  Or living with their soon-to-be-fiance and adopting cute puppies to judge if they’d be good parents.  My newest instinct when I’m out is not to check out some eyes and tush (shamelessly), but the left hand.  And let me tell you, 90% of the time there is some jank on that finger that I do not want to see.  I mean I am seeing young boys and girls just starting work just like me and they are all “me and my girlfriend are getting a dog!” “My husband blah blah blah.”  “My wife and I just bought a house.” “My boyfriend is so perfect”  “I’m going to meet my girlfriend to watch Ghost of Girlfriends Past so I can’t hang out” (I mean really) “I have to leave because my fiance doesn’t like to go out and she’ll be mad.” Don’t even get me started on this last one – dudes: if you’re woman doesn’t like you going out and you do like going out, work that ish out.  It will not be good for you.

Everywhere I look, people are moving in together, getting engaged, walking down the aisle.  What happened to young single boys and girls? Where have they all gone?

Example: I recently went to my lovely and beautiful cousin’s (Miss Tiger? Yes? Rawr.) wedding in Florida. It was a bang up time for realz and I got my hair did for free. Holler. But I was one of 3 single girls there, out of 150 or so guests.  There were 3 single men in attendance, one of which was my cousin (thus making him unavailable to me, need I spell it out for you), and another was over 35 (pushing it a little but hey love knows no age, right?).  I’m not complaining, simply stating some statistics. 3/150 = 2%. Very small.  Factor in the “I’m related to him” issue:  2/150 = 1.3%. Even smaller.

Text convo between me and Miss Foxy:
Foxy: I have been driving alongside this TOTALLY hot guy for a while and I want to do something like wave or something haha
me: Haha that’s awesome. You should catch his eye and wink
Foxy: he’s driving a tinted black tahoe it’s so hot, i only have 13 miles to do something
me: Be bold, act fast
Foxy: JUST saw the wedding ring…BRNNNNNT.

Another fun flirting opportunity ruined by marriage (and excellent use of Brnt, btw). Embrace being single people.  It’s fun, there is no deadline for this marriage jank. Dudes: do not hit on me if you are married.  Go out and have fun by all means and sure we can be friends, but do not give me that look at the bar (you know what look I mean – I can’t be more specific because my mom reads this blog) and then hide your wedding ring behind your back.  I see you.

Single dudes: by all means, Miss Sassy Pants will have a margarita, thank you very much.