When I started writing for Intrepid Media, I really used it as an outlet to air out all my dirty laundry regarding relationships, life as a single gal in the city, conquests and heartbreaks. And now I write to you just two weeks short of my nuptials, something I've mocked endlessly on these very pages (if you do your research). Ah well, tis the circle of life I guess.
Now as each circle comes around, I'm wondering if we forget entirely what the last pass was like. The other day, I was watching "The Holiday" with Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet. It was over two hours, an inexplicable amount of time given a storyline made of drivel -- just your typical Hollywood Romcom, the kind of movie I would have run out to see with all my girlfriends in my single days, laughing at how "REAL" the downfalls were and, oh, how we longed for romance like that!
But sitting on the couch with my fiance, taking a much needed break from seating charts and wedding programs, I had no idea what the hell these people were whining about. Sure, Kate's character was dating a real asshole that showed no appreciation for her. I'VE dated that asshole. But in present day, knowing what a real relationship feels like, my only response is "No shit. He's an asshole. Story over. Let's move on!" Five-years-ago-Heather was never so enlightened and now she's completely unsympathetic.
My pre-fiance stylee of writing here at Intrepid Media has been compared to Carrie Bradshaw's in "Sex in the City." Not sure if that's true, but I did always enjoy the show. Now as I watch it, I feel a bit disconnected. And while I love the phase of my life that looked suspiciously like some of those episodes, I'm incredibly happy not to be starring in the movie. I love Manolos and a good martini, but there's something to be said for enjoying them both without the risk of contracting an STD.
Furthermore, I don't think I'm very good at the singles bar scene these days. I can't stand super crowded bars, techno music and the way men leer at women. At my recent bachelorette party, I saw SO MUCH STRIPPER CROTCH... wait. That's another story. At my recent bachelorette party, it was both delightful and disgusting to see how the men fawned over my girlfriends like they were ripe for the picking, present company included. Was it always like this? Did I forget what it was like? Was I too hammered to remember?
And while I've made some necessary concessions over the last few years while being chained to a boyfriend/fiance, I'm still the same old me at heart. I do love a good party and a few glasses of champagne. I just prefer them at slightly higher-end establishments, at slightly earlier hours, with more interesting people.
As I sit contently enjoying this phase of my life, what worries me now is the future possibility of forgetting who THIS girl is. What if I forget about fancy dinners in even fancier clothes and hitting the local jazz club on the weekend. We all know the cliches of married life and I'm quite simply too vivacious a person to live a thankless, sexless, penniless existence somewhere in the doldrums of the suburbs. I've seen the sitcoms! I don't want to wake up some morning next to Kevin James!
That's not even the worst of it. I've seen my friends as they hit the baby days and they may be enjoying and excelling at it marvelously, but I don't know that I'm quite cut out for what I've seen. I desperately don't want to trade in my Gucci bag for a Baby Bjorn or my Veuve Clicquot for spit-up and shitty diapers. I want children, someday, but I certainly hope there's a fabulous way to do that too. Otherwise, there's valium in Mommy's future.
But I'm getting ahead of myself, because experience is teaching me that life is what you make it and there are no concrete rules you must abide by. So, for now I'll concentrate on the tasks at hand... SO MANY WEDDING TASKS AT HAND... and focus on embarking on this shiny new journey. Luckily, it involves plenty of champagne and two weeks waltzing around the Greek Islands being the Golden Goddess I am. Something I realize that I will always be, no matter where life takes me.
Heather has a penchant for drama, both personally and professionally. She secretly wishes people spoke in song and wholeheartedly believes that everyone deserves a standing ovation now and again. She finds it appalling that people reserve champagne only for special occasions, when champagne is clearly best on a Tuesday, while riding the subway, accompanying a slice of kick-ass pizza.
ABOUT HEATHER M. MILLEN
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IF YOU LIKED THIS COLUMN...
8.29.07 @ 8:48a
Kevin James? How dare you.
The Holiday was ridiculously long, vying for a Love Actually vibe and failing miserably.
Don't worry about losing your luster, Heather. Sure, it's not the same as your single days and it might take some work, and involve some tactical deployment of your fabulousness, but it will never go away. It's like the light in E.T.'s finger - your lifeforce.
8.29.07 @ 12:00p
Major life events really push the "Who am I?" question to the fore, don't they? And so often redefining who you are makes you look back on the person you were... and laugh at her sheer idiocy.
I love your analysis of The Holiday. Which I haven't seen, but I'm sure I would react similarly to. "Dump him! Move on! Evs!"
Great column. Fabulousness is eternal.
julie restivo murphy
8.31.07 @ 1:17a
I think at one point I may have written something like "all hail phony matrimony" and now look at me - wifen' it up, and happily! You never have to give up your fabulousness... though you may find your definition of fabulous shifting, and there is nothing wrong with that – everyone knows the most fabulous amongst us are always changing!
8.31.07 @ 9:44a
spot on with the sex in the city stuff, h. i catch scenes of it while channel surfing and marvel that i was once living a very similar movie, too. it was fun fun fun, to be sure. but life's much funner with someone groovy to share it with. here's to you and julesy!
8.31.07 @ 11:49p
I think we all do what we must, and change as we move forward in our growth process. I think you've found what you need in your life. Celebrate that, always.
9.1.07 @ 12:06a
You just need a little Latino in your life, that's all. And fortunately, I hire out cheap for bachelorette parties!
Seriously, though, you think you've changed your ways, but you're STILL dating an asshole. It's just that your standards have changed. He may be savvy and have a great heart, but you know he still compares every rack in the joint to yours and calls his friends up for verbal high fives right after you do it. Worse, he's convinced you, a former golden goddess, to stoop to his peurile level and be happy about it. He's a Buffy fan for chrissakes, that is unfabulous by definition! I would never treat you that shabbily!
You're still hot and hip, you just don't write that way anymore because you're worried. And I would be too. As my old man once told me, in Spanish, "You just can't polish a turd, son, no matter how hard you try."
Think about it. A turd is a turd, so take some time. Me meet in Fiji, we'll talk about it over some mojitos and really potent Balinese grass and mushrooms. You just can't throw your fabulous life away that carelessly. Please trust me...
The preceding was a joke, and only a joke. Any resemblance to actual persons was completely intentional and specifically meant to offend, but in an ironic, congratulatory fashion.
9.1.07 @ 9:11p
Heh - Gonz, you're a riot.
In many cases, any form of a true relationship, be it a solid friendship or a love connection, changes you.
Hopefully, for the better.
You feel loved, accepted, secure, less concerned about what others think of you, and, in the case of a love relationship, thrilled at the chance to try all sorts of new and exciting sexual situations with someone you don't mind feeling vulnerable with and who makes you chai in the morning.
Matt and I have done some pretty incredible things as a couple, whether it's climbing the face of a mountain in Ireland or having dinner with the governor in his private mansion apartment. If his schedule was different, I'm sure we'd be on the town more and circulating in different ways. But aside from the fact he doesn't dance with me, and I love to dance, we do just fine with the new and the thrill and the glamour.
And frankly, after 16 years of being with him? I'm still pretty f-ing fabulous. :)
Change is inevitable, but individualism can always be maintained.