Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wedding Plans: A Disaster Movie

As I might have mentioned I've been planning (or attempting to plan) my wedding since we decided on a date around November. Since then, the universe has been doing its best to foil everything, to the point where it's seriously getting comical. XD

Well, from the start, as a legally gay couple, we can't have the thing in whatever state. All the states where our families live don't have legal gay marriage, though at least Illinois will recognize it as a civil union after some other state does the dirty work. Not that that does us a lot of good yet. Fortunately, Iowa is allowing it at least for now, much to everyone's surprise. No offense to Iowa, but it isn't the first place you think of when you think of inclusive rights. It's like, the first place you think of when you think of corn fields, pig barns and windmills. But who am I to complain. We even were living there when we started planning, and thought we would be for several years. Plenty of time to get married and enjoy the legitimacy, official status and things like me being on my transman's insurance even before he gets surgery. So we set a date, now only a couple of weeks away, excited to become bound together for life officially.

We had the thing mostly done after a few months when we hit a snag and decided to switch parks because of various constraints on what we could put up and rent at our original park. And, me being me, the lack of bathroom there posed a problem. We had figured out everything else except our hotel and the flowers. So we went down to the area we had chosen (the only place my relatives could easily fly into from Texas) and chose a better park we liked even more. We loved this park; everything about it was perfect. It was private, allowed our dogs, had a great pavilion with the perfect seating, and a deck onto the Missouri River (I have a thing for water). So we booked it, even more excited then before. While there we found a great P.F. Chang's for the rehearsal dinner (a restaurant famous for gluten-free options- If you're a Celiac and like Chinese food, GO THERE). We returned to our home in Iowa, pleased with ourselves.

By then we knew that we were moving back to Wisconsin for an indefinite period of time to live with my fiance's parents again. Both J and the school he was teaching at decided separately that he wouldn't be continuing with them next year. We applied all over the country for a new teaching position, but then everything changed when we realized J is going to go through gender transition this next year. After all, the public school system isn't really the best place to do that. Still, the wedding was on, mostly planned and going to be in Iowa whether we lived there anymore or not because it's the only state in the Midwest where we could do it.

And that was when all the flooding began. You've probably seen it on the news. The Missouri is closing roads and chasing people out of their homes, and because of where our perfect park was, it was the first thing to be underwater. We got an email from the county park people right after the flooding began. Frustrated, we started looking for somewhere else to have it.

It took us awhile to give up on having it outside, then awhile longer to give up having it on the Iowa side of the river. Meanwhile we were moving and I was coming down with mono. Everything was up in the air for awhile. Then J's older brother called us to tell us about a really nice indoor place in Omaha, complete with art gallery and Asian theme, that was full of natural light. We really liked it, and decided it was worth having our wedding ceremony happen across the river from the official paperwork. Relieved, we booked it and agreed to have two ceremonies: one five minute legal one and then one for our guests.

And then I got really sick and went to the doctor to discover that I have mono. I got put on lots of meds and spent the last week in bed, slowly starting to feel human again. Unfortunately, it was basically guaranteed that J caught it from me because we share glasses and other dishes (and make out >.>) all the time. Oh great, we thought. I'm almost through the worst of it and will most likely be totally fine by the wedding, but he's just starting to show fatigue. And that means, unless we're extremely lucky, he's going to be sick on the 9th. As a virus it could last any lengthy of time and all you can do to speed up healing is lie down a lot. But you also never know; he's very healthy most of the time, so fatigue might be all he gets. And because we don't know for sure, we don't want to cancel after all we've done getting the thing planned (not to mention all of our guests having bought their plane tickets).

So we're thinking, okay, so what else could go wrong? Volcanoes? A lightning strike right on the place we chose, instantly vaporizing it? I even put a joke in my mass email about it. Then we start hearing about nuclear reactors getting flooded upriver. Even I didn't see that one coming. Nuclear reactors? Really? So I asked my dad, who has worked in them before, if we should be worried about this because my mother-in-law is freaking out. He says that no, they were able to shut them down and therefore people in the area aren't in any danger. So I'm like, cool. At least my wedding won't give anyone radiation poisoning. (What is with all this?? Right?)

And then I start hearing that they might shut down the Omaha Airport. Now, out of all this stuff, that has the potential to kill it. There are only a few people driving and almost everyone is flying in there, including my parents. At least they've said they will drive if their flight gets rerouted, but the other guests I'm not so sure about. It kills me because at this point, I just want to get the damned thing over with so I can stop messing with it. Honestly, I'm not into weddings. I wanted to elope but J and I decided we would have a ceremony so our families could be there. Also, when it hasn't been legal for very long, it's almost a statement saying, look, we may be two women (so we thought at the time anyway) but we're just a normal couple. And we weren't sure how our extended families would react, so it was a way of including them in the process, allowing them to meet each other, and before it got irritatingly complicated, I was starting to actually look forward to it. J is changing his name when I do so it's also a step in his transition.

In other words, I want this to happen, but the world may not. I don't know which would be worse: changing the date to the fall sometime or just doing it in a closer county without any of my family or friends present. I don't want to wait, I don't want to plan another big thing some other time, and I don't want to have to leave it out of reach of my family. All the choices suck.

Now I'm left to wait and see. What happens with the flooding in the next two weeks will most likely determine its fate. I decided I don't want to cancel it all unless the airport closes because that way, people will get their tickets refunded. I'm afraid that if I cancel it short of that I'm going to regret it. So I might be getting married. Or, the world might continue to pretend to be the movie 2012. Fingers crossed is all I can do.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Me vs. Giant Piles of Stuff Everywhere = Disaster

Life lesson #1 learned in the past two months: moving four times in two months is a Bad Plan. Let me chart this out for you:

Step 1: Rental house in Iowa to RV park in Minnesota in order to escape sewage leak making us ill (half of houseful of stuff into RV, half into parents' house in Wisconsin). Two humans, two cats, two dogs, six potted plants.

Step 2: After job ends, drive RV back to Wisconsin, thinking we can live in the driveway until we can move into the downstairs of the house (which involves major work because we have to move my in-laws upstairs so we can be downstairs and I can therefore vaguely function in theory without expending all of my energy going up and down stairs).

Step 3: We find out there isn't enough power for air conditioning in the RV, and it's 95. I attempt to live in the RV anyway. but keep having to use the guest room upstairs because my dogs are overheating. The cats had to move inside immediately. Meanwhile, my fiance is driving a friend around the country for an entire week, which means it's me going up and down stairs trying to keep everyone alive and quickly burning out.

Step 4: While living with my dogs in the RV when it finally cools off enough, I find myself getting really sick with cold-like symptoms. My fiance gets back, roadtrip done, and it occurs to me that I feel worst while in the RV, which, because of lack of running water, we haven't been able to clean or empty the tanks of for two weeks. And so we move completely into the upstairs guest room, severely limiting what I can do.

The Result: I only have two or three roundtrips every day on the stairs before I'm unable to muster the energy to go up or down anymore, which means I have to think carefully to plan everything and my fiance has to do almost all the work taking dogs outside or cooking (formerly jobs I was proud I could do). Meanwhile, when we're upstairs the dogs are unhappy and have to be crated because we're living in a maze of box piles and it isn't safe for them to roam. When we're downstairs, the cats stand on the stairs and meow piteously the entire time we aren't up with them until everyone in the house wants to commit kitty murder. The result of this is two constantly stressed out and puking cats, my dachshund having diarrhea and needing no less than four bathroom breaks during the night, which my fiance has to do because I can't go up or down at all at night or I will fall on my face. I keep running out of food because I can't keep track of what we have since I can't go in the kitchen whenever I want to, I can't keep anything clean because a) everyone's throwing up and b) there are piles of laundry everywhere and boxes and everything I need is always on the other goddamned floor. When I'm downstairs, there's access to the outside for dogs so I can actually take care of my dachshund's needs, but there's nowhere for me to lie down. Meanwhile, I'm ill, my fiance is having a tough period and is emotionally a wreck (he hates them more and more as time goes by), we're discussing hormone treatment and arranging lots of doctor's appointments as we're trying to help my mother-in-law very slowly move ten years worth of stuff upstairs while trying to get my father-in-law to at least think about moving the furniture sometime this century, and it's still like everyone except me is dragging their feet. Which, if switching the house around had been my idea, I could understand- I never would have asked to take over the master bedroom because even if I need it, it's their house, they get first dibs, no question from me. But my in-laws, the ones dragging their feet because something is always coming up, were the ones who convinced me that it would be good to live on the first floor, leaving me in this ungodly in-between state. And over all I'm glad they did, because it will make my life possible instead of physically impossible. In theory, even the animals will like it better. If, you know, they can keep any food down for the next month as nothing continues to happen, I keep getting stuck on floors, my fiance has to do everything and I have to try to live in a giant forest of boxes with all of my stuff spread out over three different floors, waiting.