An Irish Lesbian's thoughts and observations…

Archive for May, 2014

My wedding day disasters part two

Yes, there is more! Don’t worry, some things did actually go right for us! I’ll fill you in on those another time.

My friend who was chosen to sign the registrar was told, months before our big day, that valid photo ID was required to be an official witness. That was no problem for him apparently so I didn’t waste another moment thinking about it. Seven days, exactly, before our day he told me that his photo ID was out of date and had been for months. In a panic I emailed our registrar and asked her what we could do now. We had to face a long wait for her reply over that weekend. Monday brought good news, however, with an email sitting in my inbox informing me that she would accept the out of date ID. Wahoo!

My better half wanted to wear cufflinks with her shirt which was fine. Well, it was fine until we realised that her brand new shirt only had one open cufflink hole. We were seriously not impressed. So, I left her sitting in my bedroom at my Mother’s house while I went downstairs and started ripping things out of the drawer in the hope that I could find something to help our situation. The lining was present so I could clearly see where the cufflink hole was meant to be. Eventually I had a light bulb moment and poked tiny holes along the lining of the absent hole. I used these tiny holes as a guideline of where to cut. I tried my best to cut in a straight line to create the best opening possible. (A gay on her wedding day attempting to do anything straight is madness.) Somehow I did it. It turned out perfect and no one could have ever guessed that her shirt was temporarily confused about whether it wanted to be cufflink friendly or not.

During our vows the words “lawful impediment” had to be said. You know, declaring that there’s no lawful reason why you should not be wed. My love struggled here big time. There was obviously no reason why we should not wed. The problem here was that pronouncing the word “impediment” was incredibly difficult for her. I think she would have happily said her vows upside if it meant she could avoid saying that word. We had practiced pronouncing it and she had improved a lot but on the day the nerves of saying it in front of everyone got the better of her. She attempted to say it three times before saying “Yeah, that word”, however, on the fourth attempt she did it. Yay!

As part of our ceremony we planned to light candles so we had a small candle holder that held three candles. The idea was to light a candle each separately then light one together as a symbol of two people joining together. This was a simple gesture that should not have taken up much time. Who am I kidding? There was no simple with us that day! One of the legs of the candle holder broke, before we had lit any candles, turning it into a bit of a potential fire hazard. This issue was resolved by my wife putting her cigarette box underneath the candle holder to replace the missing leg. Our registrar said some lovely words then it was time to light the candles. Unfortunately, our lighter was in the cigarette box. Damn! Our guests noticed the problem and we suddenly had lighters coming our way from every direction. I felt a sudden strange surge of gratitude for the fact that so many of our friends and family are smokers.

Despite all of our obstacles, we were wed. We left the room to the sounds of Savage Garden’s Truly Madly Deeply as our friends and family applauded and wished us the best in life. I was almost expecting the CD to start skipping or for the stereo it was in to decide to stop working. Luckily neither of these things happened. What did happen was this: as we both walked away we knew this was the start of our forever together and it felt amazing. I would have happily frozen time just to enjoy the elation I was feeling for longer. Life is so much better with her and I am so much happier knowing that she is mine.

My wedding day disasters

My wedding day was filled with a lot of mini disasters. Nothing major, nothing that could have ruined the day but definitely little hiccups. Many people turn wedding planning into a top priority in the months or weeks before their big day but honestly no amount of planning can totally guarantee you the perfect day. To prove to you all that a perfect wedding day is not necessarily required for an amazing marriage I’m going to tell you about some of the disasters we faced along the way…

A week before our wedding I realised that my ring was big enough to fit on my thumb all of a sudden. Uh oh, who would have guessed that weight loss equaled to smaller fingers? I dropped a few clothes sizes since we had bought our rings and clearly ring sizes too! So, a mission began to get me a new ring. After arguing with the man in the jewellers I was actually lucky enough to exchange my ring for a smaller one. Success!

On our wedding day, about an hour before we were due to start our journey to our venue, my better half started crying. A lot. We were at my Mom’s house so, of course, Mom overheard the crying and presumed it was a case of cold feet. Honestly, I kind of thought so too. After a painful few minutes I finally got to the root of the problem – she was worried about our dog. Yes, that was it. I had been eating a chocolate bar before we left our house and I left some of it on our kitchen table. She was terrified. I think she had visions of our dog eating the chocolate and becoming really ill with no one there to help her. We quickly went back to our house, checked on doggy, she was totally fine and I threw the culprit in the bin.

We had to stop at the venue we had chosen to have our wedding afters in before going to the ceremony venue. We dropped off some last minute items required for our after party then happily left to get married. They say that brides are meant to be late so as two brides arriving together we were double late. Hey, it’s tradition so that was okay! Unfortunately we realised we had another problem… our CD that had the songs we wanted to walk up and down the aisle to was accidentally left at the party venue. Aagh, stress! My patient Mother and confused Uncle drove back and got the precious cd for us. Wahoo, we now had music!

There was actually other problems along the way but I’ll save those for a future post! Don’t let planning and obsessing over perfections distract you from what you are really aiming to do: make a commitment to your love in front of the ones you have chosen to be there.

Pre-birthday appreciation time

It will be my birthday in a few days and, like every year, I feel so grateful to be alive. With every struggle that I overcame in life I became stronger and grew into the person I am today. I love life and all of its nasty and wonderful surprises. To celebrate life and my happiness, I would like to share five of the many things I am grateful for right now before I get back to complaining again soon…

1. I am grateful for the loyalty and support of my family. Throughout the hardest times in my life they were right there, in my corner, no matter what happened. I was a very depressed child and teenager which wasn’t exactly easy for them to handle at times but even now they still do everything they can for me. My aunts and uncles are like extra parents. Sure, that means that when I did something wrong I wasn’t just facing one lecture but on the plus side I was never short of someone to give me advice.

2. My darling wife. She has been right by my side while I faced some of my greatest challenges. I never thought I would love someone the way I love her. She is the one that has the power to lift my mood and warm my heart. Her happiness means the world to me and I would do anything for her. I have never said that about a girlfriend before which is what makes her special enough to now be my wife.

3. My health is better than it ever was. In 2009 and 2010 I spent a lot of time in hospital or at my doctor’s which resulted in my school work suffering. I wasn’t overjoyed with my exam results in the end but I still got above average results which I can now see as the achievement it was.

4. I feel so lucky to be at the stage of my life where I no longer value material possessions as much as some of my peers seem to. I have enough of what I need and want so that is good enough for me. Too many people get down about not having the best clothes, electronics, etc but these things really don’t matter. After you get that expensive item you so desperately desire then what happens? Will you actually feel happier? Will people actually like you more? I suspect that the answer to these questions is no so why allow mere items to consume your thoughts so much?

5. I truly appreciate the presence of animals in my life. Many of my baby pictures feature our pet dogs, my birthday photos always include my furry friends and I believe that they are fantastic listeners! You can guarantee that they will keep your secrets and will not laugh at your mistakes. Animals are, without a doubt, amazing friends.

My very own love story

Sara Bareilles – I Choose You: http://youtu.be/xjE5D9cHiOk

Sara Bareilles’ recent offering is such a heartfelt song! In this music video she helps two people to propose to their partners. The really awesome thing is that a beautiful lesbian couple is one of the pairs hoping to get engaged. Lesbian love is the best, right? Their happiness made me smile as I recalled proposing to my wife. It was the most simple yet magical moment. We were laying in each other’s arms listening to Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol when I asked her the most important question I’ve ever asked. I said wife so, you guessed right, she said yes! One year later we had our Civil Partnership (Ireland hasn’t made it to Civil Marriage just yet). Our relationship was criticised from the very beginning. My wife is eight years older than me and I was only eighteen when we got engaged so of course the whispers of “She’s too young,  she’s not ready” were loud and ever present. The fact that we got engaged a mere three months after we got together (typical lesbians) didn’t help to convince the sceptics. Nevertheless, one year later we were wed in a ceremony that was perfect to us. Laughter, tears, love and hope rained down upon us as we promised ourselves to each other.

This June we will be together four years so I suppose we proved people wrong. Yes, I was young but not too young. Yes, it was soon but not too soon. Yes, it was love, the truest and most precious of loves. I feel like I’m living my very own love story. I hope you all have or will find your love story too one day. We all deserve a happily ever after. For now, whatever your relationship status, sit back and enjoy this sweet music video. Smile, life is good even when it’s bad.

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Dare we talk about Death?

Do you dare to talk about death? Yes, I know, it’s a horrible topic and no one particularly enjoys talking about it but I think the real problem is that we are so afraid of it. Afraid of facing what happens after our loved ones die or what we may be facing if we were to ever fall ill. I hate the harsh reality of The End. It’s final, it’s terrifying and it’s awaiting all of us…

I pictured my funeral a lot when I was younger. I was going through a rough patch at the time and I was so scared that no one would attend. That was before I realised that dozens of people may attend but what really matters is how many of those people still remember me days, weeks, months and even years later. I want people to remember me for a good reason and I want to be the best person I can be until I am no more. I just finished rereading The Fault in Our Stars which reminded me of the fragility of life. We make plans for all of the biggest occasions in our lives except the most life changing one, well, life ending one.

I have made plans for my funeral simply because I do not want my loved ones to be in a position where they are left feeling lost and confused, worried that they may be making the wrong decisions. It is sensible,  in my opinion,  not morbid. I have made my plans known to the most important people in my life. I trust them to do the right thing with that information. Enjoying life is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves but taking a moment to think about what comes next might be a good idea too. I don’t spend too much time dwelling on it but it is definitely worth thinking about.

Weight a minute, we’re normal and beautiful too!

Why on earth does your appearance have to matter so much? We live in a world where looks are so important that we even sometimes act like someone’s shell is too hard to crack through so we don’t try to see what’s inside. I was unhappy with my body before I lost weight. Now? I’m still unhappy with my shell.

It doesn’t help when the majority of the supposedly hot or good looking women out there, especially in the land of lesbian tv, are thin and super confident. I mean, really, who could possibly be that confident? The “best looking” women in both BBC’s Lip Service and Showtime’s The L Word are way thinner than the majority of the women I know. This is okay in tv land where perfection is normal but translated into the real world that equals to some pretty insecure lesbians of every shape and size. It seems to be believed that curvy ladies aren’t desirable but of course they are! I think the fight to lose weight should be done for health reasons not to impress anyone else. Trust me, if they look straight past you because of your looks then they are not a “let’s be together forever no matter how much wrinkles change your face or how much your goods sag” type of person.

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Callie from Grey’s Anatomy is the type of beautiful woman that is the wonderful lesbian role model we need more of. She is normal while still being the object of many lesbians desire. (Below, right)

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When I was heavy I felt like I needed to be like the skinny girls to be considered attractive.
I thought that I needed to have better clothes or cooler hair.
I thought that people saw me as ugly and I definitely saw myself as ugly.

Now I see that it was all in my mind. I need to learn to love myself and the person I am while challenging the things I am truly unhappy about and changing them, where possible. I still find myself becoming overly sensitive when I receive comments about my weight loss. Is there a hidden meaning behind these comments or is it simply a compliment? Or maybe just an observation? Usually it is just a simple comment. I will always be too skinny, too curvy, too butch, too girly, too whatever for someone somewhere so I no longer care what the someone’s think. The really amazing thing about us ladies is that we come in so many different packages but someone is always out there waiting to open your wrappings and find the real you hidden beneath. The even better thing about us lesbians is that in a relationship there will, more than likely, be two equally self conscious women who can understand each other’s feelings. Knowing that my wife loves my looks makes me feel more confident and more attractive. I feel honoured that it’s me that she desires. Most of us women love being told that we’re beautiful so make sure you tell your lady how good she looks everyday. I still need to tell myself that I look great until I finally start to believe myself. Being told that I’m beautiful by my wife is wonderful but I won’t feel beautiful until I embrace my body, flaws included. Love yourself.

Half empty, half full or overflowing?

Today I woke up in a foul mood and because of something insignificant I got annoyed and thought that today was going to be a bad day before it even started. I was never destined to be a psychic, thankfully, and today turned out to be a great day in the end. It was a number of small things that fit together to form a neat little puzzle. When I thought about this puzzle it was the image of a good day.

In the past I was so negative for so long that it became a habit to see every glass and every day as half empty rather than full of possibilities. Negativity consumed me so much. It didn’t achieve anything good. It made me feel so small and worthless. I began to feel like no one (or not many people at least) would even notice or care if I wasn’t around and that’s not a good place to be. I began to think of myself as disposable. I thought that I was a horrible person because I must be if people don’t want to be around me, right? The group of friends I had as a teenager all disappeared leaving me feel like I was never really someone special to them. I realise that people grow apart which is normal, of course,  but I’m the only one from our group of friends that is no longer part of it. I’m the only one that was pushed away. Why? What did I do wrong? Since that group of friends I haven’t been able to maintain a single close friendship. I do try to. I began to think that I wasn’t good enough, fun enough or smart enough for anyone except my wife.

I now find it very difficult to trust others especially when they make promises. A healthy amount of scepticism is probably a good thing. A healthy amount of negativity can act to protect us from bad ideas but it’s our positivity that gives our lives the power to grow. I won’t be dismissing a whole day again because that day can bring you so much happiness if you just let it.

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