Oh, Bless Your Little Heart

I just had an epiphany. We Americans are quite opinionated, which is great, except for the fact that we sometimes don’t know how to control ourselves.

I’ve found the perfect equivalent.

Picture yourself in one of our lovely southern states.  It’s a somewhat warm day, a smidge muggy you could say, and you’re sitting at a park picnic table, drinking a glass of iced tea.  The sky is blue with big puffy white clouds and the grass is a beautiful and lively shade of green.

As you’re minding your own business, all of the sudden a gorgeous Southern Belle walks up to you.  Her hair is blonde, teased to the max and full of thick, luscious curls. Her eyelashes could go on for days, her lips a shade of deep red and when she smiles, her teeth just simply couldn’t be whiter.  As for her attire? It consists of a baby blue Civil War cotton gown, a white lace fan in her hand and a hat as wide as the state of Georgia.

Inquisitive, she is. However she is only this way because she has a deeper motive.

“How are you doing on this fine day?” She asks in her thick, rich southern accent. You respond.  She follows up with another question. Any question. We’ll go with, “What do you do for work?”

You respond. There is a brief awkward pause, mid thought, followed by her laugh.  This laugh is anything but genuine and is followed by a smile. Then she says those five words. Those five words that are like nails on a chalkboard:

“Oh, bless your little heart.”

You know what she really means? Yeah. We all know what “bless your heart means.”

I think I’ve said enough. Americans, stop being opinionated Southern Belles. Yes, we’re entitled to our opinions and beliefs. But it doesn’t mean we have to belittle anyone in the process.

And no, I’m not trying to offend anyone from the south. So if you felt that way, you’re completely missing the message here. 

Love is Love

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I typically don’t post anything overly political or religious, but am feeling quite inspired by all the gay marriage equality posts and images I’m seeing on Facebook.

I feel as though we’re turning a corner and hitting a wall all at the same time when it comes to gay rights. I saw the picture at right and it really made me think about the day it will no longer be an issue. Just as many many years ago it was unacceptable for a black woman to sit in the front of a bus or to share a drinking fountain with a white person.  Let’s not forget there was one point in time where children were sent to different schools and women weren’t allowed to vote.

At one point, all of those things were okay.

Over time we change. We adapt. Yet again, we’re at one of those turning points.

And I don’t think that people who believe in the sense of a “traditional marriage” are wrong, necessarily. I just wish there was some more open mindedness there.

Do you think gay people choose to be gay? If you’re straight, could you turn yourself gay?

Of course a gay couple is untraditional.  It’s been looked down upon up until the last decade or so. But I don’t feel it has to be that way. I know many gay couples that have stood together longer than most straight people have been married.  For straight people, getting married isn’t taken seriously anymore. People divorce all the time without even trying to solve their issues. I personally think many straight people should learn a lesson or two from gay couples who have been together for 20+ years. They stay together and work through their issues yet have nothing legally binding them together. No hassles.  Yet, they stay.

So, divorce is okay. Having children out of wedlock is fine. Getting married multiple times to someone of the opposite sex is fine. But if two people are madly in love and just happen to be of the same sex, that’s not okay? Why can’t they have the same rights as everyone else? Do people believe if more gay people come out and get married that they’re going to start turning straight people gay? There will be a gay war? No! Absolutely not. There’s just as much love in a home between two people of the same sex as there is with two of the opposite.

No, two gay people can’t procreate the way a man and a woman can. But you know what they can do? Adopt a child in need of a loving family and provide them with the support they wouldn’t have if they grew up in the system. Or with today’s technology, it is possible for one couple to be a biological parent. And for the other? Love.

I just ask anyone who completely bashes on gay marriage to set yourself aside from everything you’ve read or personally believe and ask yourself these questions:

  • Could you turn yourself gay?
  • How would you feel if you were never allowed to marry the person you love? Especially if you’ve been together for decades?

Put yourself in their shoes and realize how antiquated it is. And if you hold firm that it’s a sin, then realize that’s not between you and a gay person. It’s between them and God. While I don’t believe being gay is a choice, all of us on this Earth have free will.  If you’re religious or spiritual, our actions are between us and God. Not each other. The God I believe in isn’t cruel and judgmental. I feel as though gays are judged and persecuted and it breaks my heart. So please, just step aside. Love is love.

So much done yet no progress

Winter decided to show spring who was boss today as we had a “last hurrah” snow storm dumping about nine inches of snow from about 4 p.m. yesterday until about 4 p.m. today. Needless to say the hill to get out of my building looked too risky, and since my boss decided to take a personal day, I decided to as well.  I figured I could really get a lot of wedding planning done, so I took advantage of the opportunity. I had pondered it, but never wanted to take the time.  Now I was forced to.

It was an incredibly productive day, yet I don’t feel as if I got much done.  Mostly research and question-asking.  I have my venue, photographer, cake and dress.  I’m coming close to confirming a DJ and suppose I’ve decided to pass on save-the-dates since my mom has called her brothers and sisters, and will just call most of the others.

I have a really long list of “to-dos” left even though I’ve knocked out some of these big things–the biggest and most stressful is the guest list and getting the invitations. I’m ready to have it off my plate, I just don’t have the list finalized yet. It’s really close though.

I’m really stuck on a room block.  I can either pick 10 rooms and possibly not be able to add, but if they aren’t used I’m okay. Or I can confirm 20 rooms, they get a discounted rate, and if I need to add more, I can at the block rate. The problem is, I’m not sure if I’ll have 20 people wanting to stay in a hotel. It’s hard to say. I can see it happening, but then again, I can see it not. If I go with the 20 block, I’m responsible for 90%. AH. So I’m really stuck on that one.

Then I also began to research hair and make-up. Just for myself alone I’m spending $150-$300. Then it’s around $100 to $125 for my maid-of-honor and friends. That’s a lot of money! I know I wouldn’t want to pay that, but at the same time I’m fine with paying for it for myself. Those were out of the places near me where I could walk, or for people who could drive to me. I might need to just go somewhere else because I don’t want anyone to pay that much…unless that’s what it cost. I’ll need to expand my search.

I did take a trip to CVS today, it was quite the eventful walk with snow and ice chunks falling from buildings. But I wanted to go and get a notebook because even though I have everything in my phone, I think I needed it all laid out–and it was very helpful. I feel more organized despite the daunting and never-ending to-dos.

I can really see how weddings make people go nuts. There’s so much to plan, even when you want to keep it small. There’s no way. My goal was to keep things as cheap and simplistic as possibly, and I think I’ve done fairly well, but there’s still so much.

And I hate delegating or forcing people to do things for me. I like to just do it myself, so that’s been a challenge. I feel like I have to apologize or over accommodate, which I know I shouldn’t do. I’m not letting people walk all over me though, I just want to be realistic. Just because it’s my wedding doesn’t mean people need to make sacrifices or feel overwhelmed. It’s just a day. I think brides forget that. You definitely need to get things done, but you can’t wreck relationships in the process.

Selling a House

Up until I gradually moved in with my fiancé, I lived in the house I grew up in.  My parents moved there when I was about two and have never moved.  So until this recent move, I had never experienced it before.  So many people kept telling me how awful moving was, so I knew to expect it.  They were right.  It was a week quite an exhausting week of packing, moving then unpacking. But something no one ever warned me about was selling a house.

We put my the house up for sale at the end of October, with an impression it could go quickly.  We began our search for our new place and hoped the house would sell before we found a place.  Upon discovering where we knew where we wanted to live, we put ourselves on the wait list for our current building.

Just after putting the house on the market, we quickly learned how stressful selling a house can be.  For starters, while it’s nice to have notice, you don’t always get it when people show your home.  So the best thing to do is keep it as clean as possible at all times. You think it’s easy until you realize you have to clean your dishes every time you eat, then wipe down the counters.  You can’t leave any dirty laundry around, ever.  You shouldn’t leave your clutter on any tables or countertops. It’s best to keep everything dusted and spotless. Cleaning that you would normally do weekly, you should really do daily just to keep everything pretty spotless. Well that’s the last thing you feel like doing after work when you also have to make dinner, possibly do laundry and anything else.

Sometimes we would have a couple days in advance for notice, while others would call wanting to look at the place that day.  What became a pain for us was having the cat.  Since she attacked the realtor once, we didn’t want to risk her attacking anyone, so we would have to shove her into her little carrier and hang out in the car somewhere for an hour.  Did I mention car rides are her least favorite thing…ever? And you can’t just turn down a showing.  You accept them all.  You need every opportunity to sell the house.

Over time, we had quite a few successful showings and open houses, however no one was serious. Our biggest downfall was the stained carpet thanks to the previous owners. Time and time again we would constantly hear how those were just a deal breaker for people and we just weren’t in a spot to fix them, however were completely willing to work with the price, even though we had lowered it to begin with. I don’t think people wanted to fork up the money or do the work themselves.

Fortunately/unfortunately we got a call in January that it was our turn on the wait list, so while that was incredibly exciting, the house hadn’t sold. We knew if we waited we might lose on an opportunity so we decided to take the plunge. We decided to wait as long as we could to move, which was 30 days.

We hoped it would sell, and there was one lady that was really interested, so we felt maybe it would all work out. However move-in day came and went without an offer.

At this point every time I got a call for a showing, I pretended not to care, and didn’t get my hopes up as much as I used to, but I still did deep down.  Deep down I wondered if that call would be the final one. And I constantly checked my phone and email, either for a showing or possible offer. Constantly checked.

It’s really challenging and frustrating, especially when you’ve moved.  It was such a risk to take, but we knew if we passed it up, the place we wanted wouldn’t have been available.  I know it wouldn’t have been. We were the only ones that saw the place we have now and had anyone else looked at it, they would’ve scooped it up. It weighs on your mind knowing there’s a house miles away and you’re never there and people are going in and out of it.  There were even some people that saw it then left doors unlocked.  You really start to wonder if it will ever sell and the realtor’s contract was set to expire in April.  We weren’t sure what we were going to because at some point we were going to need the money and would have had to rent it out.

A few weeks ago we went out with my parents and they cleaned carpets. What could it have hurt? His mom also was so generous and spent about a week doing a thorough cleaning.  It really made a difference. But no bites.

Just over a week ago we had a late Friday night.  Our usual routine at a Mexican restaurant that’s close by with cheap drink specials on Fridays.  It’s in walking distance, so it’s nice to be able to have drinks at dinner. We had a fun night then came back home and went to bed. Late night. I woke up around 11 a.m. to my phone ringing; it was our realtor. He rarely calls, so I cleared my through and answered.

He greeted me, followed by saying, “This rarely happens….” which sounded odd, only for him to inform me we had an offer. He described it as “clean” which I didn’t quite understand. Turned out it was a cash deal. It was lower than what we wanted, so we met with him the next day to fill out the paperwork.  We countered, and they needed to respond by that Tuesday, so it could have been up until that Wednesday before we knew what they’re answer was. I was incredibly nervous they would just walk. It wasn’t a typical situation, but neither was the type of deal they were making.

Monday came, Monday went.

Tuesday came, Tuesday went.

Then, it was Wednesday. I constantly checked my phone, as I usually did. I was even tempted to email the realtor just asking if he had heard anything.  At this point, I figured they’d just walked or something fell through.

I was preparing for a meeting at 4 p.m., and figured I wasn’t going to hear from him.  Or perhaps he was going to wait until the evening when my fiancé and I would be able to talk together.

About 3:52 p.m., my phone rings. It’s my realtor. I answer and he begins the conversation with the whole, “this rarely happens this way.” I knew they walked. They had to.  It had been to long. Only to find out they accepted our counter. Sold.

What a relief!

While we had that relief, it wasn’t the end. They still had to post the earnest money, then after that, the inspection.

The earnest money has been posted, and the inspection is tomorrow. We aren’t in the clear just yet. I hope soon.

So now, we wait.

Friday night my fiancé and I went out to a Mexican restaurant. It was the third Friday in a row that we have went there and it feels really nice that the waiter knows us. “Sangria?” he asked me as I was taking off my coat. “And a margarita for you?” Needless to say we had a wonderful dinner, as usual, then walked back home. It was late and we crashed immediately.

The following morning I woke up around 10 a.m. feeling the sangria I’d had the night before. I started to feel awake though so was playing around on my phone. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram….then my email, then back to the others. He, all this time, was asleep. Then as I thought about putting my phone down and sleeping a little longer my phone rang. It was our realtor. 

The phone ringing woke him up too, and he probably would have preferred I let it go to voicemail just because he wanted to sleep in late.

I wasn’t sure what our realtor wanted though, sometimes he has called us when they needed to show the house immediately and the showings agency was closed. So part of me thought there was possible good news on the house.

Turns out, we finally have an offer. We countered, so now, we wait.

This would be such a burden lifted off our shoulders. But for now, we just wait.