So after trying on a bazillion dresses at about 4 stores, I found The Dress.....
If you want to see a pic of the back, go to David's Bridal and search for style # CT 2406. It's exactly what I wanted -- lace, but still simple, under $1,000 and not too fluffy or Bridezilla-y. But before you get all excited, I have some other news, too.
While CN and I were in Virginia visiting The Czarina, we spoke with the pastor of my family's church in my hometown. He wanted to talk to us about getting some pre-wedding counseling and he wanted to ask us a bunch of questions.
He started with some basic ones which I think we handled ok. Then the questions started to get more involved. How are we working on the budget? Who will do all the housework? Who will be the primary caretaker of the children? How many kids do you want to have? Where will you live? Who brings home the bacon? etc.
We sort of muddled through, because to be honest, we had never really discussed any of these things too deeply. We had some ideas, but nothing definite. Then he gave us a questionnaire to fill out -- one for me and one for CN. We were supposed to fill them out separately, and then compare answers. We did it when we got back home to Savannah, but I already knew what would happen.
Our answers were pretty different. Our answers were different on BIG questions that are important. Like how do you picture your life in ten years? My answer: fun, exciting chaos -- lots of kids running around, possibly a new career, we might be living anywhere in the world, constant changes. His answer: living in Savannah. Same jobs. Maybe a kid. And a house.
Another question pointed out to me that we do not resolve issues properly (we basically drop them rather than get to the bottom of it) and that I have a small issue with his relationship with his mother (she is really needy and not independent AT ALL, which makes him feel like he can never move too far away, no matter what). I asked CN what would happen if I found a great job that would mean a better life for us and our kids.....but it's in Oregon. He said I would be moving there alone if that happened, because he can't move that far from his mom.
Wow. That's an eye opener.
He believes staying near your family is much more important than I do. He cannot fathom living somewhere that is not within a couple hours from his mom. This is a foreign concept to me. That's why planes, trains and automobiles were invented.
"What if your mom and I had a disagreement? Would you take my side or hers?" I asked.
"Well, that depends on who is right," he replied.
"Wrong answer," I said. "If I am the mother of your children, I have to come first. Period. When you marry me, I have to become your priorty, second only to God. Just like you would become my priority. That's what marriage is about. If your marriage is not first, that's a problem for me."
He could not see that.
After going through some more talking and discussing what we wanted from life and how we viewed marriage, our differences became really obvious to me. But I had seen this coming.
For a while.
For several months, actually.
A few months ago, I began to have some doubts about marrying CN. I even had a huge freak out and went to go visit MJ for a weekend to talk to her about it. I was so confused! I knew what I was feeling, but I couldn't verbalize it. She did a great job at listening to me, but not voicing her opinion. Exactly what I needed! I felt a little better. I kept telling myself, "It's not that big of a deal. You love each other. You will figure it out." or "Too late. You're marrying CN, so you made your bed. Now sleep in it."
These are NOT good thoughts, am I right?
I had a nagging voice in the back of my head. It was doubt. And if there is one thing I believe, it's that you should NEVER get married if you have any doubts. I began to realize that CN is lacking in some things I cannot live with. I love him to death, but I know it takes more than love to make a marriage work. He is perfectly happy with the same job, same house, same day in and out-- for the most part. He is not ambitious or very energetic or motivated to improve his life. He is not intellectually curious. Now, I am not knocking these things. I am sure there are plenty of wonderful people who are perfectly happy like this. But I am not one of them. That is not good. CN and I need to be on the same page with things, and we are not. When I think about a future w/CN, all I see is that everything will be my job:
where we live (It was my idea to move to Savannah, remember?)
how many kids to have
which job to take (I make more money than him, and he will probably never change jobs, so we will probably move according to my career, not his, which is an easily-transferred job anyway)
the housework (I do not mind being in charge of it, especially after seeing him do laundry!)
raising the kids (not that he would be a bad father -- he would be great. But I can tell I would be the one helping them with homework, putting them to bed, etc.)
Are you tired yet? Because I am exhausted when I think about this. CN is a passive participant in his own life. He has very few friends, and only talks to them when they call him. He has very few hobbies. I began to realize -- he's kind of boring. But how could that be?? I was so happy dating him! And then I realized: he is always willing to do what I want to do. He doesn't have any life or opinions outside of me. It's like dating myself! I like being busy, trying new things, working hard, taking risks. But I can't do it all. And since CN is so passive, I will be doing everything. All by myself. And during this process, CN will grow resentful of me for running the show all the time. When he does, and says something, I will have to back down and do what he wants for a change, which will make me resentful. We will fall into a vicious cycle of resentment. It will eat away at what we have. And what I need in a spouse, I will eventually want to get elsewhere. Not good. At all.
But I was not the only one who saw it. Before I left my mom's house, The Czarina pulled me aside after everyone went to bed. I had talked to her about this stuff a little before, in the weeks preceding this visit. But I had been so excited and wrapped up in getting married, I had sort of put it to the back of my mind.
She said to me, "I'm only going to say one thing. And if I'm wrong, then tell me to shut up and we will never have to talk about this again. He is a sweet guy, and I know you love him very much, and I can tell he loves you very much. But if you are making all the decisions, how is this any different than being single?"
As soon as she said this, I burst into tears and knew what I had to do. I think I was just waiting for someone to sort of give me permission to remember that there were no rings on any fingers yet. I didn't have to do it.
I broke it off last week.