Reflection 2008

So, another year is over.  Wow.  I know it’s terribly cliche, but seriously, the passage of time seems… so… I don’t know, intangible.  I’m one of those ‘time freaks’.  Do you know the type?  I try to memorize and commit every single moment to memory, down to the point where earlier today, I was reflecting on what I did a week ago at the exact same time.  Yes, I’m strange.  We know this.  Anyway, so you can imagine how this… monumentous occassion–the new year–can kind of mess with my head.  It will take me quite awhile to adjust.

Another cliche thing I’m going to indulge myself in is reflecting back.  Why?  Because this is my blog and, as I said, I try to commit everything to memory.  Also, because this past year… it’s felt like an entire decade of experiences all wrapped up into one.  I mean, I’ve gone through a huge transition since my fiancé and I first began dating over two years ago, but this past year has been insane.  I was home at this time, home, in Pennsylvania.  That was my home, no one could argue that.  That was my home, I lived there, and I thought that would never change.  It did, just two months later, in March.

That’s when I got a job down here and began staying with my in-laws.  That’s when my fiancé and I really took the leap and had to deal with one another for more than a week or two at a time.  That’s when I learned that family, love, and all that… it extends past blood.  That it exists, within families, sans strife and hatred.  At this time, last year, my in-laws were friendly strangers to me… now, I don’t know what they are.  But I love them all the same.  I can’t imagine going through the rest of my life without their support and guidance.  Last year, I missed my fiancé, but I coveted my alone time.  Now?  Without him, I don’t know what I’d do.  I miss him when he’s at work and I’m not.  As creepy as it sounds, we’ve essentially become one person.  We still have our individual identities, but I know him better than anyone else probably ever will.  I know what he’s thinking or feeling before he does.  Without him, I kind of feel… hollow.

I was a different person last year.  I was still anxious, still plagued by horrible bouts of social-anxiety to the point where venturing into Wal-Mart was a trial.  I wasn’t very confident, too weighted by the opinions of my family.  I was lost, less so than my teen years, but still trying to figure things out.  But I’ve made leaps and bounds since then.  I can go places alone, I can pay my own way, I can do my own thing.  I buy what I like and what I want to.  When I go home, and my mum snarkily says I’m getting fat, I laugh at her and just keep walking.  I’ve always had thick skin, but now?  It’s as if I don’t even hear them, because I know they’re not true.  I’m not fat, and while my legs may be not be long and lovely like most girls, I’m happy with who I am.  Anorexic thin may be in, but hourglass is timeless.  It’s something I’ve learned… away from all the negative influences, away from the constant pressure to be something and someone I’m not.  I’m me, in all my aggressive, classic glory.  I am who I am.

It’s so amazing to me, because even though 2008 was big, this year will be bigger.  The fiancé will be working for the State Police and me?  I’ll have a real job, too.  We’ll be real adults and we’ll hopefully be on our true own for the first time in both our lives.  By this time next year, my name will have changed.  Never again will my initials read the same as my mother’s.  I’ll be able to say I got married in Key West and I’ll be happy because I no longer feel guilty for being with my fiancé, despite my values.

I don’t want to wish this year away, nor the experiences it will bring… but I can’t wait.  I’m so ready, I’ve been ready.  It’s time.  I used to be so concerned with moving forward, with doing this and that, with planning everything.  Now?  I just want to sit back and feel and experience every moment.

2009 is going to be hectic.

My Credit Card is Crying…

So, I’ve made the majority of my Christmas purchases and now my credit card is seriously crying.  My credit card company is probably steepling its hands in collective glee, but it need not have bothered, I have the money to cover it.  I’ve been anticipating a particularly painful Christmas and while it pains me to pass up items I desperately want to buy, my inner-gift giver demands I do so.

Everyone is taken care of except for the fiancé.  My father has been bugging me forever to figure out what to get him.  I have already received my Christmas gift–a Samsung 22″ inch Widescreen SyncMaster.  Trust me, it is fabulous and it was less than what the fiancé wants.  To be fair, my dad did say we could both go in on a big gift, they just want to get him something, which is sweet.  Last year, they bought him brand new tires and for his birthday, the $200 widescreen monitor he has now.  This year, he really, really wants a very high-end graphic card.  He never indulges himself, so I demand that Christmas is his time for indulgence.  I had to fight him tooth and nail to get him to accept the monitor, he refused several times.  He wants an Nvidia Geforce GTX 280.  It’s their newest line and they are very nice.  Plus, if he gets it, I get his old card, which is very, very nice and the same as mine.  Can you say SLI?  I sure as hell can.

I am hoping the price isn’t too steep for my dad to just say he’ll take care of it.  The fiancé also wanted a keyboard, the Logitech G15, to be exact.  He’s been eyeing it forever to the point of it being downright annoying.  I’ve found it cheaper at Amazon.com, but still, after reading the reviews and looking over it.. Logitech’s G11 seems like a better option.  The lights aren’t orange and they match his case lighting.  All the macro keys are there.  It’s just lacking the completely useless little screen.  I’d had to disappoint him, but I’ve got a lot of research so far and it seems the G11 is truly the better choice.  There are just too many complaints about the G15.

I think I may just go ahead and get the G11.  If he doesn’t like it, tough, I tried.  And I did the research solely for him, since I am completely happy with cheap, $12 keyboards.  I go through them much too quickly to invest anymore money in them.  Seriously, folks, a keyboard is a keyboard.  I’ll blow my money on $400 Wacom tablets instead!

I just paid off my credit card, $522 so far.  Ugh.  At least I won’t be paying it again until next month.  I’m mourning all the purchases that were lost in this Christmas frenzy.  After December, it’s back to being selfish, hooray.  I deserve it.  These Christmas hours are absolutely slaying me.  I literally want to die.  I was planning on quitting soon and I may at the end of January, we’ll see what happens.

I guess I should add that the fiancé didn’t get the job with the State Police.  They gave it to someone with experience in forensics.  They have a much lower paying job available and he’s going to interview for it in the hopes of getting his foot in the door for somehting better, plus experience.  They really seem to want him there and he really wants to be there, so I’m supporting him as best I can between cringing.  My mother-in-law has heard about a woman retiring from the ACS, too.  The office is in the area of the State Police and I know some people there already.  So we’ll see.  I can totally do office work.

Tenative Christmas Gift List

‘Tis the season for giving… and being poor, apparently. We’re going Christmas gift shopping sometime this week, so I wanted to have a gift list somewhat ironed out by then. I’ve been chewing on it since early November, so I’ve got a pretty good idea of the gifts I want to get. A few of them are a tad pricey, but hopefully we can make them work. I’m forcing the fiancé to get his parents something this year, too.

  • Portable DVD player – Dad (suggested)
  • Random Old Navy things – Mum (requested)
  • Handmade Blown Glass Bell – Grandma
  • Flash kit for Canon Rebel – Grandpa
  • A dual fryer-thingy – FIL
  • Random Bath & Bodyworks things – MIL (requested)
  • Cute Baby Clothes – Cousin & Husband

My shopping list is pretty small. Unfortunately, I have no idea what I’m getting the fiancé. He apparently already got me something and won’t give me any hints… which is extremely worrying. I’m a horrible person to surprise. I usually hate it, because I’ll lay down hints and mention things and try to be subtle, yet get the point across about what I want. That’s how the boots came about. It apparently isn’t something I hinted at. He got me my iPod last year, which I had wanted a year prior. I adore it… but lightning rarely strikes twice.

Wow, how awful am I? I haven’t even received the gift yet. I just need to stop dwelling on it. It isn’t my fault no one ever surprises me, they learned it’s a bad idea. My parents let me shop for my own Christmas gifts and I always found the ones my grandma tried to hide.

This doesn’t help me with his present, though. He’s getting a very nice, very new electric razor, but that’s for me. Because I can’t stand the fact he won’t go buy a new one even though he needs it. Sigh. He is seriously hard to buy for.

Birthday Yayness & Wedding Stuff

So, I’m officially going to be twenty-three at 8:20 tonight. It’s kind of weird to think about, my fiancé was this age when we started dating. Kind of weird. I’m one of those people who is always backtracking and thinking about what I was doing a week ago, a year ago, what have you. I wonder if anyone else does that? Probably.

The second job didn’t work out. It required one of those stupid personality tests–the kind you can’t think about and ask you questions like, “I used to be late to work, but now I’m not” and ask you to either agree or disagree. What if you’re never late for work?! Argh. A lot of other people failed it, only one passed. The lady we know was upset about it, she couldn’t hire any of the people she wanted. I will cry over my loss of a discount, but maybe it is for the best. If I had taken the job, well, that would mean no Christmas with my family. That would not go over well, especially since my grandma is already guilt-tripping me for not calling enough. Sigh.

On the other hand, there may be an IT job I could possibly try for. My mother-in-law knows some people in her organization that also work for a health center. They’ve never had an IT person and are still working out the kinks in the position requirements, etc. I’ve done that job to an exact T and have about half a year’s experience in it. So, if it does come to pass, we’ll see. If I do get it, it would work out REALLY well for us, even after/if he gets the forensics job. We’re still waiting to hear from the state police, but I refuse to be negative. Especially with what they’ve said thus far…

I’ve also started the daunting task of trying to decide where we want to get married. I still haven’t even tried on my dress–I’m too afraid to take it out of the plastic. I tend to ruin everything I touch, heh. So far, I think getting married in Key West would be really cool. Especially because this year, my in-laws have two consecutive weeks to spend down there and my parents are hopefully coming, too. The place I am really looking into is the Beachside Resort and Conference center.

It has a few different places you can get married at and also offers a small, intimate wedding ‘package’. My dress is very beachy and kind of informal, so it would definitely work out. We don’t need to worry about reception stuff or photographs… mostly because my in-laws own two condos down there and both my father-in-law and my own grandpa are pretty hefty into photography. I doubt my grandparents can make it, but I didn’t think they would be able to, no matter where we got married.

I’ve already started acquiring jewelry. I have these really awesome diamond earrings–they look 100% real and are just a strand of about eight or so that hang down. I got them for seven dollars, haha, at a jewelry expo that was in the conference center with the Relay U. The whole ACS Relay University thing isn’t my bag, but it was so awesome to meet the man that’s responsible for my fiancé surviving even after they gave him two days to live. He had leukemia when he was three. The man he introduced has dedicated his entire professional life to curing leukemia. It was really great to meet him.

Also, I just have to mention it, because I’m such a backwater poor person, but at the jewelry expo, they had these really expensive necklaces and earrings. I didn’t realize that my original choice for wedding earrings was expensive, I thought they just looked real but were cheap. I had them in my ears when the woman said, “they usually go for 8,000″ and nearly died. I’ll probably never wear something so expensive again in my life! I thought my fiancé was going to collapse. His face literally turned PALE. He’s very financially conscious.

This entry is turning out to be huge, but I just have to share one more thing. I think I’ve found what I want for Christmas! Unfortunately, it’s $800… I had no idea when I saw it in the case at Zales… but its so pretty. Even the fiancé liked it, but he didn’t know the price. I looked it up online.

I should have let him sneak into Zales and ask. The manager we know–the one who wanted to hire me–would’ve guilt tripped him into getting it for me. Why? Because my lovely fiancé ruined my chances at a matching wedding set by not realizing when my wedding band went down to $200, he should’ve bought it. Sigh. We give him crap about it constantly, because I literally cannot find a single thing that matches nor can be sized down to fit my size 4 fingers.

I doubt he’ll get it for me knowing the price, but I really like it. Makes me re-think buying him a $500+ Seiko watch for our first Christmas together… cheap bugger. He probably won’t even offer to take me out for dinner tonight. My father-in-law asked if he would and when I said “probably not” he got mad and said he was going to kick his butt.

Remembering Key West…

I went to Key West, Florida with the fiancé and his parents on July 4th to the 14th. We were there for eleven days, but it’s a day and a half drive down and the same coming back. That’s right, we drove. I was a little anxious about that, I mean, being stuck a sedan with all your luggage for around 13 hours a day with your fiancé and his family… I love his parents, but come on. That is a recipe for disaster.

Luckily, I was wrong. We all got along fine and I got to hear some truly amusing stories. It was definitely cramped, though, with the fiancé and me in the backseat with the cooler and snacks. On the ride down, I spent a lot of time with my head resting on his lap and watching the clouds pass by. He spent all his time switching between reading I Am Legend and playing Final Fantasy Tactics A2. It was my first time going South, so it was interesting to watch the changes.

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