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8.31.2012

Wedding Post-Partum

Ok, I know that title sounds bizarre, but it's something I seriously had to deal with once my matrimonial planning & stressing went "poof!" Ladies, be warned, if you ever have to plan your wedding, there's a chance this may happen to you. And if you don't, beware that your friends may deal with this phenomenon. Be prepared to lure them out of their caves using fresh baked goods as incentive.

If you're married to the one who planned your wedding, brace yourself for a possible flurry of over-productivity that, in the end, you may benefit from. Just be sure to stay out of their way.

Decorating may momentarily take over your soul.
When your wedding day & honeymoon are over, you look back on your life and say, "man, I can't believe I spent such an exorbitant amount of time letterpressing invitations and hand-drawing name cards. Where did I find the time to figure out seating arrangements and chat with caterers and florists, venue managers and musicians?"

It's true. We get into wedding planning and then we no longer need it because, well, our wedding is over and we're not wedding planners. (If you're a wedding planner, this does not apply to you.) So, you go back to life as is, but now have this gigantic span of time with which you have to figure out what to do. If you're anything like me, staring at a wall or trying to "relax" will not work. You will be pulled down into the depths of an odd depression peppered with momentary glimpses of hope that are then dashed to the side and consumed by the Food Network.



Not to worry. In a few months, life will happily fill in those hours with job stress, a sudden commitment to keep your apartment clean, an obsession with laundry, training your dog to stop whining at the dinner table, and/or other really happenin' activities. You'll suddenly wonder what alternate universe you were able to pull those hours out of. Until it naturally happens, however, you need to do something.

So, how did I get over my Wedding Post-Partum last year? I went slightly insane. Decorating insane. Had it lasted until the holidays, I would've been crafting wreaths from self-dried flora and building felt dioramas of snowscapes. I'm relieved it didn't come to that, despite the clear lack of wreaths in my life.

I started by gingerly organizing our gift cards and wedding gifts. I began to plan out our abode with the tenacity of a great white circling an island of seals. The math went something like this:

Nami = Great White Shark
Apartment & Everything Within It = Seals
Nami + Apartment & Everything Within It = Decorating Massacre
(yes, I enjoy Shark Week, thankyouverymuch)

Lucky for me, I encountered no resistance from my husband. Probably because he was used to living in a bachelor pad and was ok with actually having plants or a place to store clothing. Color?...on walls? A novel idea.

In a flash I was drowning in paint swatches, furniture that needed building, plastic tarps, and the very real conundrum of whether I was willing to combine a cool color in the bathroom with a warm color in the bedroom. Serious issues, people. I felt like it was the difference between a calming sanctuary and aesthetic madness.

The fear of clashing is very real.

I painted the bathroom, the bedroom, the office. I told my husband to let me do it because I'm dogmatic when it comes to how painting tape should be applied and how many coats of paint you really need. I built dressers, purchased fancy-pants chalkboards and rearranged rooms until they suited my mood. I even went so far as to challenge myself with painting stripes in the hallway and in part of the living room, fired up by the unending number of interior design magazines and blogs I had been pouring through. (Note: if you want to paint stripes, invest in great painter's tape, a good tape measure, and a level...you will destroy yourself if you don't have a level. You want stripes. You don't want your hallways to look like one of those weird funhouses.)

My property manager was probably so fed up with the number of times I would request the apartment help to come in and hang this or straighten that or fix this. Framed record albums, interesting shelving. I developed a strange affinity for empty, de-labled wine bottles. I demanded fresh flowers at all times. The works.

Insanity. Pure insanity.

One near-death experience (plastic tarps + balancing on bathroom furniture = bad, bad, bad), a lot of racket (this just in: hammers make lots of noise), and a dash or two of passive-aggression ("give me the tape. I'll just do it myself." *huff* *sigh* *annoyed sounds*) later, the apartment was more or less done. I think I came out of it with very little damage (on the outside. I'm still haunted by whether the bedroom & bathroom balance each other out on a deep emotional level - just kidding...maybe.)

In the end, those hours were rightly consumed with office work, but I have to say it was a frightening side of myself I hope to never encounter again. Being neurotic is part of my nature. This is a fact I will never be able to escape, but getting fired up about which shade of mint green will ultimately make my showering experience a better one? For some reason I feel like that has less value than, say, what I want to do with the rest of my life or whether I should pick up working on my portfolio again. Working on bettering my marriage or finding ultimate happiness through following my dreams. Having energy is a good thing. What we do with that energy is up to us. Shouldn't we just bask in the happiness that the wedding went off without a hitch?

At least I got a great apartment out of it. Now, back to figuring out the rest of my life...which is easy, right? Right.

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