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Roses and thorns - Ice Cream Assassin

Aug. 27th, 2010

10:28 pm - Roses and thorns

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Roses:

I am finally making enough money to pay all the bills and save a little. Soon I'll be able to give Annie (my car) the maintenance she deserves.

I like my job. Teaching college level biology is a lot of fun, allows me freedom to try new things, and I am fond of my students. My job seems to like me, as they are continuing to offer me classes.

I have a new patio table, and sat out on the porch working on course preparation this afternoon, surrounded by sun and plants and tea. Picture! My potted tomatoes have fruit on them. My basil has finally decided to grow.

I have been feeling creative lately. I want to build planter boxes for next year's garden, now that we know we're staying here. I want to paint neighborhood maps of all my favorite places. I want to pick blackberries to make pies and freeze some for the winter.

Thorns:

While I like my job, I am constantly feeling like I ought to be doing *real science* instead of just teaching it. I don't want to give up on a science career for a purely instructional one, and every time I get another teaching job it feels like I'm moving farther away from that path. I am definitely a better teacher than I am a scientist, and that is part of the problem- I would grow more as a person from a research job (though I definitely hope to do both research and teaching long term).

I have mixed feelings about weddings and marriage, despite knowing that I want to spend my life with this person. There are ways to make wedding traditions and promises less problematic, but marriage has (and still is, in many cases) a pretty fucked up institution that privileges some people over others. Weddings themselves try to combine the seriousness of a lifelong commitment with a big fancy party. It's the one chance you have to interact with everyone you care about in one day- but everything has to be absolutely perfect, so you can talk to everyone for about 3 minutes each while freaking out that something will go wrong (lots of older people I know can't remember their wedding days because they were so stressed out at the time). And of course, researching weddings makes one feel like "OMG! If you're not spending every spare minute working on this giant checklist of ridiculous planning expectations, your wedding will be a failure! Oh, and be sure to spend at least $15,000." There are people who spend more than $5000 on the wedding dress alone. As a frugal, clumsy person who is bad at dressing up and not fancy at all, this doesn't speak to my value system.

I really need to learn some self-discipline. Every time I have a break from work that is not filled with vacationish things, I spend too much time surfing the internet and watching stupid online videos.

Smurf is at a funeral without me this weekend, as I have to teach a GRE class. I wish I could be there for him.

Comments:

[User Picture]
From:ann_septimus
Date:August 28th, 2010 06:24 am (UTC)
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I'm not sure what this means, coming as it does from someone who just recently went through the whole wedding thing... but seriously -- think of your wedding as the biggest, best party you can plan, and plan accordingly. Yes, you won't be able to spend hours with everyone... but you'll get to see everyone. And let me tell you: that feeling, of everyone in a room just radiating love for you, is like nothing else in the world. It is mindblowing.

Don't bother spending exorbitant amounts of money on things you don't care about... but DO spend money on the stuff you do. Did you notice that we didn't have a DJ (-~$800)? Or table decorations (-~$2-500) or extra flowers (-~$1-1000) or anything personalized (- a variable, but not insubstantial, amount of money)? And it didn't bloody matter. Seriously: spend money on what you WANT to spend money on. Nothing else.

At the end of the day, no matter what happens with your hair, or the flowers, or decorations, you will be married, and you will have spent the day surrounded by the people you love. And that, my dear, is the best celebration of all.
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[User Picture]
From:leisurelyviking
Date:August 31st, 2010 04:31 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for this. Most of the time I can keep a fairly healthy perspective on things, but every once in awhile I just have to rant, you know? Last week it got to me a little and I went to the store to try on eye makeup (which I absolutely never wear) because I was worried about how my eyes will look in pictures. Kind of silly.

Your wedding was lovely, btw. And while the food was delicious and conversation pleasant, I really felt like the ceremony was the most important/meaningful part, which is the way it should be. Congratulations!
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[User Picture]
From:ann_septimus
Date:August 31st, 2010 05:39 pm (UTC)
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The ceremony really is the most important and meaningful part of the wedding (and I have to say: Fr. Clancy's homily for ours REALLY brought that home to me -- it was perfect). But at the same time, a ceremony is pretty set, in cost and style and personalization-options.

It's the reception that can make or break the cost of a wedding fete. It's also where you can spend a lot more time and effort (if desired) personalizing everything. It's up to you.

Also: I totally understand the worry about makeup and other seemingly-silly things. It's a stressful undertaking! I fixated for weeks on my jewelry. It's so silly, but I couldn't stop worrying that my earrings were "wrong" or that my necklace was "too gaudy" or "too plain". It's funny, in retrospect... but cut yourself some slack! It'll all work out and you'll be beautiful, even if it's stressful beforehand.
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