Saturday, February 28, 2009

Pre-Marital Counseling?

Mr. J and I are both children of divorced parents--well, technically, my parents are divorced and his parents have been separated for years--so getting married is a big step for the both of us. I never thought I would get married. Now, I wasn't one of those women who thought there were no good black men left--but it is kind of hard out there!

Let me repeat: I never thought I would get married. Sure, I'd thought about it, but it was never something that seemed within reach. Not even when Mr. J and I first started dating. On our second date we had the marriage talk (YES, our second date) and he told me that he was not going to be getting married. At the time I thought, yeah, I don't want to get married either. Later on in our relationship he said that he would get married if the woman he was in love with needed that. And I thought, I'd never want someone to marry me because they think I need it.

So now we're here--we're getting married. A big step for both of us and we're doing it with both eyes open. I know this may sound cliche but we want this marriage to last. I feel like marriage has become this thing that people do to have a big party and then a year or two later they're divorced. That sucks! I know they probably don't think they'll be divorced that soon--but if you look closely at the relationship, there were cracks already starting to form. This is not a starter marriage for us, this is it. This is it.

Mr. J and I are trying to get some pre-marital counseling. We want to be armed with the tools before we get married--there's room for improvement in every relationship and we both are really excited about strengthening our bond--even if that means getting into some heavy stuff.

I also know that in the black community there's still this stigma attached to counseling--you know, we don't air our dirty secrets--but it's when we get them out in the open that everything becomes clean.

What do you think about pre-marital counseling? Or counseling in general?

Monday, February 23, 2009

I LOVE our engagement photos!

We had a lot of fun playing around.

This race helped warm us up in the 40 degree weather.

I like this shot a lot. Just don't look to close because my hands look ashy. (It's from being out in the cold for three hours).

He wanted to spin me around but my crack was showing!

We decided to wear our Barack the Vote t-shirts because we met on an election day.

As New Yorkers, we've got to have the subway shot.

And this is the spot where we met. He came up to me and asked if I liked jazz. Awwww.

So the pictures were taken by our friend Richard Louissaint. Check his blog for more of our pictures. Mr. J's mom was visiting with us for the weekend and was behind the scenes holding our bags. She's such a trooper! We want to get a book done of our favorite photos and get some prints for our families. We're both ecstatic about the photos because they are exactly what we wanted, casual, fun, romantic, and in Brooklyn!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Making the Ceremony Your Own

We all know how it goes: Do you (blank) take (blank) to be your lawfully wedded husband? To have and to hold from this day forward? Blah Blah Blah. No offense to anyone who goes the traditional route. Traditional works, obviously because it's still used the majority of the time. But it doesn't work for Mr. J and I. We are not the average bride and groom. And as major literary lovers, we've got to throw in some of our favorites.

Because our ceremony is going to be officiated by one of our friends, who is an ultracool and eclectic kinda guy--we want it to be all us. I've been looking at a number of different authors and poets, I want to throw in some of The Prophet by Khalil Gibran

"if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires: To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To know the pain of too much tenderness. To be wounded by your own understanding of love; And to bleed willingly and joyfully. To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving; To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy; To return home at eventide with gratitude; And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips."

Aaaah, I love that. There's also something I read, from Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins, I don't necessarily want to use his exact words, but I think it would be cool to have our officiant talk about love and then ask this question and we can use this as a template to fill in our own quirky things from our relationship as a way of making love stay:

"Who knows how to make love stay?

1. Tell love you are going to Junior’s Deli on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn to pick up a cheesecake, and if love stays, it can have half. It will stay.

2. Tell love you want a momento of it and obtain a lock of its hair. Burn the hair in a dime-store incense burner with yin/yang symbols on three sides. Face southwest. Talk fast over the burning hair in a convincingly exotic language. Remove the ashes of the burnt hair and use them to paint a mustache on your face. Find love. Tell it you are someone new. It will stay.

3. Wake love up in the middle of the night. Tell it the world is on fire. Dash to the bedroom window and pee out of it. Casually return to bed and assure love that everything is going to be all right. Fall asleep. Love will be there in the morning."

Yes, love will be there in the morning. So, we are going to have our officiant open the ceremony by welcoming everyone and really thanking them for being there. He's going to talk a little about love and marriage (go together like a horse and carriage) and we'll have three readings. Two from Mr. J's side and one from mine. We'll do our vows, which we write personally, and our ring ceremony which we also write with our officiant, we also want community vows to ask of the guests, we kiss, and then we jump the broom.

As a poet, my vows will most likely be poetic, although this is a lot of pressure! But we are both great writers and I'm sure we'll come up with something that makes the other cry. (He better cry!)