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columbus represent

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Rolling On

I am reading Martha Stewart bridal magazine. Yes you read that right. I am sitting in an airport, listening to announcements of flights to Paris, Madrid, anywhere. I watch people go by with what is obviously many of their worldly possessions on their backs and dragging along behind them. And I can't take it. I can't be in this airport, watching this life go by, and know that my life isn't about to change. I'm not about to meet a group of people my age, who share my passion and faith and bleeding heart and DRIVE and lack of doubt and hope. No possible new best friends waiting across the concourse. No life changing experiences waiting half way across the world. Isn't that what travel is for? Aren't airports just conduits for life altering experiences? If not, I'm not sure what to do in one.

So I buy Martha Stewart Bride. To my defense, I am getting married and it has been a 7 year courtship and to date 13 month engagement with one month of ring to show for it, and that's IT. But that's because I so don't care. "Eh" has always been my general feeling about marriage. Growing up I just figured that I wouldn't have a husband (what would have happened to him was fuzzy, just that he wasn't there anymore and it was me and my kids). I thought if I did get married it would be just like one of the dozens of weddings I went to as the kid of a Eastern European folk music group (a must at most Orthodox weddings). I saw myself in each bride, and man did I love to dance with her. But still.... I never really saw it for me.

Then my brother got married. He had the wedding I had always imagined (though a tad short of the traditional 3 day Serbian gala). Married at our church, reception in our backyard where my mom and us kids grew up in. Lamb roast, lots of slivovitza, and lots of music and dancing (again the traditional kind). So, that happened and I didn't need that anymore. So that left me with nothing. I searched: what would be perfect for us? Most weddings I attended I wanted to run out of the room screaming. And if I had been the bride, I guarantee I would have run down the aisle. I would have waited until that moment and I would have bolted. But I have been to a couple that were so them, so the bride and groom, so non-traditional and fun that I thought: why the hell not? I can do whatever I want. Ooooooooo, what a dangerous thought process. It tends to turn into paralization. I came up with some ideas, mainly a destination wedding to Costa Rica to keep down the cost, to show my love a place that I loved, be able to invite some Central American friends who I haven't seen forever, and could you beat the price? I mean, who would go to that wedding? Short guest list anyone? And for those who did go, it would be the closest family members and friends and it would be fairly easy for them to get around (in comparison to the other beautiful destinations I had in mind). But that plan turned out to be too popular. And the reality set in that his parents probably wouldn't leave the state, let alone the country for a wedding, and this isn't all about me, it's about us.

So I put if off, put it off. Then my dad died. Now I see. Now I see the importance of it all. Having something to celebrate in life. Coming together with those you love in a way that is beautiful. Being happy. Celebrate. That word has taken on a whole different meaning in the past few weeks. I didn't think that I would be able to crack a smile for.... I have no idea how long. Then my Godmother forced us to buy a ring. And there we were, celebrating together already. Celebrating our love for each other, all around. Something positive amongst such negativity. So maybe that's why I bought the magazine. I've railed against such things for so long, that now, now that what is normal....isn't. Well, maybe its time to turn the tables. Might as well give it a try. Of course I haven't been able to enjoy it, and I feel very ill looking at it, holding it, thinking that any stranger might think its mine (though the clerk who sold it to me complimented me on my ring), but I think that will pass and I will be able to indulge in fantasy for a while. When we first bought the ring (the diamond ring, oh my god the diamond ring (its vintage but still)) I almost threw up multiple times in the first few hours. I would look at it and couldn't believe the amount of money I was carrying on my finger. How many children could be immunized with that dough? How many wells built? How many microloans given? How many retired underground gun running revolutionaries from developing countries could buy a slice of peace with those $400? I've obviously have not been very good at wishing for things for myself over the years.

So here's the bright side (and trust me, with how much I've walked through concourses feeling less and less like a real person, today, this is a wonderfully bright side), unlike other airport experiences in the recent past, I don't have a gimpy, though less gimpy than me, 70 something year old 4' 11" woman pushing me in a wheelchair because I can't stand. No extremely uncomfortable woman has to pat me down with plastic gloves as I sit in the chair, holding up the rest of the busy busy busy world in their bare socks.
And now its time to board the plane. Back to my home, my routine, my lackluster existence that I wish no one else had to be subjected to. I could handle it, but I don't want to force others to handle me. I know this is an ablist thought, this feeling of being a burden to all who surround me, but there it is. At least I'm not ready for that plane to crash yet.


Blogger Elenamary said...

you have an amazing strength.

10:09 PM

Blogger Zephyr said...

Can I include this in the Disability Blog Carnival on Thursday?

8:48 PM

Blogger Zephyr said...

PS. This post is truly very touching and heartfelt. I want to include it in a sub-category on marriage and weddings.

8:50 PM

Blogger iomi said...

I love you. And I don't care where your wedding is, I'm coming. I don't care if I'm invited either.

I can totally relate to how you were feeling in the airport- even after returning from Ethiopia, just standing there in the Dulles airport looking at the departures list made me drool- I wanted so badly to just hop on the next plane to anywhere at all.

6:31 AM

Anonymous rose said...

i know how you feel, about being a burden. but the thing is, unless my friends and family have been deceiving me, there is something wonderful and healing about being able to do things, to help a loved one who needs it. i'm sure you've felt the same thing when you've been in a position to help make someone (your dad?) more comfortable.

and also, even when we can't do things physically, that doesn't mean we aren't giving back in some other way. emotionally, or intellectually, or with a really good joke. (i know my cancer jokes still get a great reception.)

for example, we live very far apart, but you've been a great support to me throughout my illness, whether you yourself have been doing well or not, your words and our shared experiences have made my own burden easier to carry.

so try not to feel like a burden. you are in fact a gift to everyone who knows you.

10:41 AM


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