After the whole mini-van controversy (which I’m just going to refer to in short-hand now), reader Alyssa sent me a email that I kept circling back to. It speaks to what she is going through as a newlywed. While it’s totally different from what I’m going through, but I’m interested in it because it’s real and it’s particular. Part of what I dislike about the discussion about marriage is it’s vagueness, “We’ll all nest and buy pillows and make babies and stuff and be happy and stuff.” Which is great, I suppose, though sometimes I wonder if that’s anyone’s experience, exactly. But I’m far more interested in the particular. Like, “I don’t want a baby want now but I want one later so I’m trying to pack in a lifetime of travel in the next three years,” or, “I know I want a baby right away, but I’m scared too.” or, “I’m not even sure if I want a kid, and I feel like I should *know* already and what the f*ck,” or, “I don’t want a d*mn baby but everyone is asking about babies all the d*mn time,” and on and on and on. Because I’m curious about talking about those moments of newness where you think, “Jesus effing Christ, no one told me it would feel like THIS.” No matter what this is.
So here is Alyssa and her perspective on the mini-van-a-versy:
What people are not getting is that some of us don’t know yet how we feel about being married and being a wife. I’m thinking about it, but I’m also busy with all the post-wedding crap that I don’t always get the time for self-reflection. I went through this big process to change my name and get all the paperwork done that goes with it while on my lunch break, and then I ended up crying in the car at the freakin’ Social Security Office parking lot. Because I was so busy changing my name that I didn’t get a chance to think about what it meant, or how I felt about it, or even to say goodbye to my old name. The same goes with being married right now; sometimes I find myself so busy “doing the married thing” that I don’t give myself a chance to think about what that means. And if I do, I’m torn between the two apparent sides; being a Wifey-Poo and being all “Rarr, I’m my own person and I will rip your face off if you call me Wife!!”
Which. Yes. It’s hard, this transition. Wonderful, but hard sometimes, and big. And… magnificent. All at once.