Super-me vs. reality-me

Image This post isn’t entirely wedding related, but something I’ve been pondering a lot lately, and something I think a lot of my friends face too.  And that’s the incongruence between “Super-me” and the real me.

“Super-me” is how I think of myself in my head.  It’s a combination of how I wish I was, and how I think I could be if I could ever just truly got all my shit together.

Reality-me is cool, but not nearly as awesome as super me.  Let me show you with a day in the life of each of the mes, to give you a better understanding:

Super-Me wakes up at 6am and goes on a 30-40 minute jog each morning, then showers, straightens and curls her hair daily.  She puts a trendy, cute, figure-flattering outfit on her size 6 frame, and she never forgets to put on jewelry.  

Real me finally stops hitting the snooze button around 8:00 and throws on a t-shirt and jeans, again.  I drag a brush through my  hair, and almost always forget to put on earrings.

Then, Super-Me goes downstairs, feeds all the animals, and waters her glorious garden, plus does a quick-clean of the kitchen before heading into work.  At work, Super-Me is acutely focused all day long, and is incredibly productive while working at her standing desk. She never misses an email, and her inbox is incredibly organized.  She takes the stairs, not the elevator, to get places.

Real me usually remembers to feed the animals, but almost never has time to water the garden or do much of anything else before rushing in to work for my endless litany of meetings.  My inbox, despite valiant efforts, is a huge effing mess.  I do a good job at work, but make it harder on myself by not being as productive and organized as I could be.  I rarely take the stairs.

After work, Super-me comes home and makes a healthy, organic, and most of all, delicious meal–from scratch–for herself and her fiance. Instead of sitting in front of the tv the rest of the night, she takes the dog to the dog park, reads the current “it” book, brushes up on her Spanish with Rosetta Stone, or bakes amazingly complicated desserts, like French macaroons.  She treats herself to one, and only one, glass of red wine.  Around 10:30, she goes to bed, and has magnificent, mind-blowing, Cosmo-worthy sex with her fiance, every single night.

I usually get home around 6pm carrying some take out, and/or make a not-healthy (but tasty) meal with at least some pre-prepared ingredients.  Then we watch a couple hours of tv, and/or I do more work on my laptop until it’s bed time.  By that point, I’ve usually had at least 3 glasses of wine.  I never know what the “it” book is and so am currently re-reading Harry Potter for like the fourth time.  I rarely do things that are Cosmo-worthy.

On the weekends, Super-me wakes up no later than 9am, and heads straight to the farmers market with her already-planned out menu and list of ingredients for the next week.  She cleans the entire house top-to-bottom, does all the laundry, and hits a yoga or dance class with one of her friends.  She always has a great social activity planned for every weekend, whether it’s having friends over or going to a hip party.  She never feels antisocial, aggravated, or lazy.  She writes handwritten thank you notes for everything, and is fantastically good at craft projects.

Real me sleeps till 11am or so, and then maybe does one of these things all weekend.  Half the time, I forget to plan anything for the weekend, so we just sit at home and watch Netflix.

So, I think you get the gist.  It applies to weddings too. I torture myself with these gorgeous DIY wedding blogs, featuring countless thin and beautiful brides who have hand-crafted every single damn thing at their wedding, and have managed to keep their wedding budget to a fraction of what mine is.  Super-me could do that too.

Recently, a friend of mine posted something on the Facebook that was a similar rant, but with a focus on parenting. Her plea was why all her female friends and herself were trying to turn themselves into Stepford wives and be perfect all the time.  Our men aren’t perfect.  And they don’t beat themselves up over taking a nap, or eating the occasional fast food, or not looking like David Beckham.  So why do I feel the need to be Marissa Mayer at work, with a body like Gisele, who cooks like Ina Garten, keeps house like Martha Stewart, plans a social calendar like Carrie Bradshaw, and has a sex life like Megan Fox?

I don’t really know what the solution to all of this is.  But I do wish I could either find a way to be a little more like Super-me, or a way to stop obsessing about her.  Either one would likely do, and make me a happier gal as a result.

On a quest for the perfect bridal jewelry

According to the many pesky “wedding checklist” calendars, I should be determining my accessories this month.  Seems a bit premature to do this before my dress has even come in, but, hey, sparkly things!!!

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I LOVE these earrings (pictured above).  They just evoke old Hollywood glamour to me, vintage Liz Taylor.  Or rather, I would love them, if they were about 3x larger–the total size of these is just a bit over an inch, whereas I’m hoping for at least 3″ or longer.  I mean, I’m gonna have some pretty big Texas hair at this wedding–I can’t have my earrings getting lost in the mix.

Nordstrom’s has some that are somewhat similar, but just “not quite it”.  Saks has these, but again, a bit small for what I’m wanting.  Anyone seen anything similar to that anywhere recently?

I also think I’ll need a necklace, and other than “pretty” have no real ideas for what it should look like.   Maybe something like this?  Or maybe just a classic look:

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And is it possible I might just *have to have* this bracelet?

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It’s time to bling me out, friends.  I’m looking for old-Hollywood vintage style with a whole lot of bling.  Under $500 total hopefully, for everything, so we’re talking CZs and crystals, definitely not the real thing.  Who are your favorite designers? All suggestions appreciated!

How I conquered money woes, arguments, and holiday stress…mostly :)

So, as I detailed a couple posts ago, I’ve definitely been feeling stressed about a lot of stuff, mostly related to money.  And in my last private post, I ranted about Carl and my first “classic newlywed” argument–a doozie about chores that lasted two days.

But, a month later and I’m feeling much less stressed, thanks mainly in part to what Carl and I are calling “the 12 Fights of Christmas.”  In reality, we’ve been discussing a series of 15 questions our pastor has given us to discuss and be in agreement on before we walk down the aisle.  Most are simple, but important.  Others seem silly to me, and are bound to lead to arguments.  Here they are, copied for your reading enjoyment:

1) Have we discussed whether or not to have children, and if the answer is yes, who is going to be the primary care giver?

2) Do we have a clear idea of each other’s financial obligations and goals, and do our ideas about spending and saving mesh?

3) Have we discussed our expectations for how the household will be maintained, and are we in agreement on who will manage the chores?

4) Have we fully disclosed our health histories, both physical and mental?

5) Is my partner affectionate to the degree that I expect?

6) Can we comfortably and openly discuss our sexual needs, preferences and fears?

7) Will there be a television in the bedroom?

8) Do we truly listen to each other and fairly consider one another’s ideas and complaints?

9) Have we reached a clear understanding of each other’s spiritual beliefs and needs, and have we discussed when and how our children will be exposed to religious/moral education?

10) Do we like and respect each other’s friends?

11) Do we value and respect each other’s parents, and is either of us concerned about whether the parents will interfere with the relationship?

12) What does my family do that annoys you?

13) Are there some things that you and I are NOT prepared to give up in the marriage?

14) If one of us were to be offered a career opportunity in a location far from the other’s family, are we prepared to move?

15) Does each of us feel fully confident in the other’s commitment to the marriage and believe that the bond can survive whatever challenges we may face?

We’ve decided to discuss one per night, leading up to Christmas.  But when we encountered the second question, we realized something even more troubling–neither of us even knew how to talk about money.  How do we plan for our financial future when we don’t even know what Carl’s job will be, or what it will pay/benefits/job stability?  And how much are we supposed to put toward the 529s of those as-yet-undetermined-number of kids we discussed in Question One?

So, after a few days of fretting on it (and spurred on by very little interest in re-watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy with Carl on blu-ray) I got to researching.  Using solely my own income, which is at least fairly stable for now, I figured out a plan that maximizes 401k retirement savings (and my company match) and puts at least a little bit aside in a 529 for some college education.  Then, looking at my after-tax amount, changing my direct deposit election to have at least a little each month put into my general savings for an emergency fund/down payment on a new house/travel fund/etc.  Granted, the budget would be tight, but livable, even if we were only on my salary.  That way, when Carl finds a job, he can focus on paying off his student loan debt and set aside one additional bundle in an IRA that could be used for future college expenses, retirement, or whatever later on.

I also got another $200 or so off the cruise price by continuing to check the rate daily, haha.  So that helps 🙂  And we also finished all our holiday shopping, wrapping, and shipping, so that’s another load off.

4 more months.  Wow this is starting to go quickly!