Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I'm Not Engaged (YET)

So Wot's This, Then?

You can call me AndeeC. I'm 27 years old, and live on the outskirts of Philadelphia with my boyfriend (also known as my Future Husband :) ), three kitter-kids, and a corn snake who thinks she can eat everything. Especially the kitties. Regardless of the fact that she's no thicker than my index finger.

I graduated from college in 2007, and moved here in 2008 for a Master's Degree that I rarely put to use. Come to think of it, I'm not really putting my undergraduate degree to use, either, but that's another story. I worked at a major bookstore from 2007 to 2011, and just this past November finally, finally got a job that I can mold into a career. I work for an ever-expanding bank as, what my friend and I affectionately call, a cube monkey. Basically, I'm the one who creates the loan documents that you sign. It's boring some days, to be sure, but challenging most days, and I think my only complaint is that it's so terribly uncreative.

Which is one of the reasons I'm starting this blog: I'm sort of desperate for some kind of (affordable - read: free) creative outlet. 

 Backstory (But only a little bit!)

I was never the girl who envisioned her wedding at the age of four. In fact, until I was 22 and in a long-term relationship, I fluctuated between believing marriage was just Not For Me and having a vague notion of it being a possibility in the VERY distant future.

I was led to believe that my then-boyfriend wanted the same things I did, with me. I was wrong. But, before I figured that out, the combination of helping one of my best friends plan her wedding and working at a bookstore meant I had weddings on the brain, and a whole arsenal of wedding magazines and resources at my disposal.

Ironic that I had *weddings* on the brain, and *not* marriage. Telling, no? Hindsight, and all that :)

Anyway, who doesn't like looking at pretty things and fantasizing about the possibilities? It's only been over the past six or seven months that I've shifted to a perspective of planning *my* wedding. And man, is it ever difficult to reconcile five years of wedding "research" telling me the Way Things Should Be with the Way *I* Want Things To Be.

WIC & Me (A destructive relationship)

The short of it is a very small part of me suspected that I couldn't possibly be the only one who was not OK with the Wedding Industrial Complex. Every time I tried to do things by the book I would end up frustrated and depressed, and just utterly uninterested with getting engaged, much less with the whole fanfare of a wedding.

So, fed up, I literally Googled "alternative bride" and found my salvation. Offbeat Bride and A Practical Wedding, here's to you! I think it's incredibly important to cultivate, support, and enrich the communities and conversations started by women like Ariel and Meg. They - and their followers! - helped me realize that it's OK to want something different than what I've been told I'm supposed to have. The realization process has been slow and utterly transformative, but that too is for another day.

So Why Blog Now?

I have opinions and ideas - some similar to those that came before me, some different - and I wanted a place to keep track of them all. Mostly, though, I want a way to be a part of these fabulous communities and conversations. 

That being said, comments with your thoughts, experiences, and advice are ALWAYS WELCOME! I would LOVE to hear from you!

My main rule of thumb is to write as though you are speaking to someone face to face, and write as though anyone and everyone you know will see it, and know you wrote it.

I feel strongly that no person planning a wedding - or anything, for that matter! - should feel like a pariah for wanting to do it their way, and I am SO excited to be one more voice in opposition of the WIC dictating the way things HAVE to be. Don't get me wrong - if you are all for everything the WIC throws at you, rock on! I just hate feeling like if I want to deviate at all and do my own thing, add my own personality, that I'm doing it wrong. That's what I don't agree with.

So...hi! And WELCOME!! 

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