Today is the day before my birthday. It’s early in the afternoon, and I’ve stayed home from work. I decided to gift myself with something rare these days: time alone. Time to breathe in familiar ways: through baking, Jane Austen and a pocket of the universe in which I can write. I got up early this morning and baked some cookies and brownies by myself. With Pride & Prejudice playing in the back, and now a little bit of time to write like I used to, I’m very, very happy.
I’m getting married soon. As in two-shakes-of-a-lamb’s-tail soon. This is why I haven’t had the chance to blog at all since Thanksgiving. In December of last year, on a trip up the California coast, Eric proposed to me at a lighthouse. It was the best, biggest surprise of my life.
“A wedding will consume you,” an officemate warned me when the news broke at work that I was engaged. I had just gotten back to the office after the holidays, it was a new year, and someone had just asked me to marry him. I was in that fuzzy world you find yourself in when the axis of your life shifts a little bit, and I didn’t believe her.
I didn’t believe her even when Mama, after seeing the elaborate wedding timeline I set up on spreadsheets, told me, “You’re a little bit nuts.” (This was my mother after all, and it takes one to know one.)
I still even didn’t believe that warning when, a couple of weeks after that, I collapsed on the couch after eight hours on my feet, exhausted and drained. Eric and I had just spent eight hours–EIGHT HOURS–registering for gifts, and all I could see when I shut my eyes were cutlery twirling around with china, and table napkins waltzing in the wind.
And even when, about four months in, I woke up in the middle of the night from a dream that they served fried grasshoppers at the reception, I STILL didn’t believe that the my life had been given over to the wedding.
But today, the first time in 10 months that I’ve had the time to write anything for my blog, I’m no longer in denial. The wedding has won. It has taken me hostage with seating charts, tulle and pearls.
Maybe the battle hasn’t been fierce because I’ve been a willing captive. When people ask me why I’m hand-making so many things (and I don’t exaggerate when I say many) for the wedding, my automatic answer is, “Because I’m crazy.” But the real answer is that I’ve been waiting for this all my life. I can write that out in other ways to try and bend the truth a little to give in to the closet feminist in me, but this is the only way to say it. There were many times in the many stories written for me by an unseen hand that I didn’t think it would happen, but I always quietly hoped it would. I’ve been blessed with a chance to craft the life I’ve prepared for all these years. With the best crafter-in-crime my curls and I could hope for.
So you’ll forgive me if I haven’t been in touch lately. There’s been a lot to do. There’s still a lot to do. But that only means there will be lots to write about.
This morning, in the quiet of my new kitchen, my hair full of flour and my hands full of cookie dough, my apron smeared with chocolate and the smell of vanilla wafting from my warm oven, I was overcome with joy. I was where I’m meant to be. It’s been a long time coming, but here I am.
Wish us luck for the rest of the journey. All the crafting is even more chaotic as the wedding draws near. But I’ll be back. There’s a whole life ahead to cook and craft for. The Girl With A Curl will see you on the other side.