The Recently Married Feminist

I just got married two weeks
ago and for any female who has been married (spoiler alert to those we are about to tie the knot) the next question society throws at you once you answered the first one (you know, the marriage one)  sounds a little something like “Soooooo when are you two having kids?!?”. This line is usually said with a winking expression and a little too excitement.  As if I did not get enough angry car ride talks from my own mother my entire adult life I now get it from the random Great aunt I didn’t know I had, the random Facebook stalker and even worse, the coworkers you have to face on a daily basis. Today, a random Wednesday, I got the stomach flu at work. Yep the horrible “I don’t think I can make it though the rest of the day” kind of stomach bug. So, after a quick exit and a few too many episodes of shark week on the couch I get a phone call from my work ally and bff. She informed me that everyone at work was practically giddy once I left claiming that they knew all along that I must be pregnant. I mean clearly a stomach flu, food poising or  just being sick was completely out of the question. The last time I had the stomach flu nothing was thought of it but, then again I wasn’t, wait for it….. married. Since I am now married apparently the only option for me is to be with child. Its literally been two weeks and in the words of my husband “I mean I know I’m Latin but even if we were trying I’m not that good.” It literally blows my mind that such sexist and stereotypical thoughts are coming from WOMEN. That all I must want to do is get hitched and knocked up asap. Now, for this next part you may want to find a chair and sit down because it is a bit out there.
I want to finish my degree. I want a career. I want a downtown apartment with a fast paced life and bright lights. I want long flights to different places and lots and lots of read books filling my walls. I want meaningful tattoos and super late Sunday brunches. And, as of this moment I do not want children. If you are still breathing congratulations, you are one of few. The other day I was wearing a new outfit and my classic red lips when someone came up to me and said “wow you look really nice you must have a hot date with your new husband”. Innocent yes, until I really saw the look on their face when I said “no” and meant it. Why is it such a far fetched idea that I may look absolutely fabulous simply for myself. I wore that red lipstick because I felt good. I bought that new outfit and rocked it because I wanted to. While I love my husband more than anything he is not just my husband and I am just his wife. We are friends and partners and confidants. He doesn’t get asked if the reason he chose his outfit today was because his hot wife was taking him out. He doesn’t leave work early with the stomach flu to come back the next day having to explain that no, he isn’t pregnant he simply ate something bad. The idea of him being married does not consume his public identity. He is not seen as a “husband” in the outside world he is seen as himself. His career self, his friend self, his home self; none of which are affected by his new role of husband. I do not believe it to be fair that all my roles have vanished in society and I have been left with one role. Wife. Along with this role I have expected actions and much like the child who does not complete their homework I am punished for my inability to live up to this out of date role. I am independent and a wife. I am a full time student and madly in love. I dress for myself and I like being taken care of. There is more to me than the title society has recently bestowed upon me and, so are you.

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Reflections

Life has a funny way of slowly slinking past you until one day you look up and a month has gone by. Birthdays and Holidays flash past in a fast paced tango and before you know it half the year has gone by and you are sitting on your bed reading through your Facebook Memories about what you were doing on this exact day 6 years ago. Well, maybe thats just me but you get the point. Life has a way of swishing past you like a grandma doing her fast walk at the mall and sometimes it takes the big moments for you to actually stop and reflect.

Think about it, how many times as day do you just simply sit where you are and reflect? If you are like me you usually spend your days cramming information into your overfilled brain all the while wondering what to make for dinner and what you will be wearing the next day. It is so easy to get lost in the motion of things, the every day worries. The outfit, food, weight, exercise worries. Then when a holiday rolls around or some major life moment comes to life you are able to finally look back and see where you have been and hopefully where you are going.

Tomorrow is my bridal shower. In exactly 15 days almost to the hour I will be marrying the love of my life. These things finally hit me today. I know, I know its a little last minute but its just how I roll. Going from finals week to instantly rolling into the full time summer gig I have, the days just zoomed by. But taking some time to stop and reflect tonight, the night before the shower I am just now realizing how far I have come. I would like to say that I have come to this reflection  by myself but, like most of my peers I would have to give that credit to facebook. Scrolling through my facebook memories I saw that three years ago today I was posting high school graduation pics with short hair and old friends. Four years ago I was rocking an orange shirt and a red pimple at my step brothers graduation party with my siblings. Two years ago I was offering someone a million dollars to find those iced animal crackers, it was a weird time. Five years ago I was dancing and walking in relay for life  with black nails and a short jean skirt. Needless to say I have come a longggg way. Looking back on all these random things that happened in my life throughout the years on a random day in June gives me perspective and excitement for the future.  Long gone are the jean skirts and pimples. Instead white pencil skirts and a trusted face wash take their place. My siblings have all grown older, I have fallen in love, moved away from home, graduated with an associates and continued onto my dream school where I am currently working toward my dream career. So many things have happened and time is flying so fast. So, I have a little word of advice for you my friends where ever you may be out there. Take some time to review, reflect and enjoy your memories. Call up that old friend from graduation and reminisce about growing up. Visit that park you always went too as a kid. Dont get so caught up in the everyday worries and learn to focus on the bigger picture. Find the old photo album, search through your laptop or break out the facebook. Whatever you do, dont let the big moments and holidays be the only time you reflect and reminisce.

A New Kind of Love

Let me start off with the hard hitting facts. I am 21 years old, a college student, and planning a June wedding to my wonderful fiance who also happens to be, wait for it, 21. We are no stranger to opposition, to weird side glances, and almost disapproving looks from many. Many moons ago getting married at 21 was by far the norm, the days of our grandparents where getting married by 18 was something to celebrate. Getting married at 21 in the year 2014 is more like being a traveling circus or an exhibit at the Ripleys Believe it or Not museum. Most people handle it pretty well when the topic comes up, from peers its usually goes something like this ‘ohhhhhh wow! You are engaged? How old are you again?’ and from older adults it goes a little something like this ‘Wow, um Congrats! you both are so young!’. Which, is true, we are young. The rest of the truth is, I have been with my fiance for almost four years and, we have never had a conventional kind of love. He is from Brazil and the day we met was the day we kissed and the day we started dating and, if you ask him it was also ‘the day he fell in love’ (what can I say, it took me awhile to make sure). We were 17 and widely in love and that feeling hasn’t gone away through long distance, holidays, graduation, college, and now living together. We are a normal couple we have our arguments and fights but one thing we decided long ago not to fight was societal standards.We decided long ago that we would do what was right for us, not what the world expected from us. Now don’t get me wrong, if life had not taken me on the journey I am on today, I would probably also have respond to a young woman’s engagement with a little bit of confusion and a whole lot of sass. I also understand how older adults, my mothers generation, tend to be suspicious and how they love to give out the ‘well this isn’t going to last long’ look, with the rapid divorce rate among that age group how could you blame them? But what I don’t think people understand is that every love is different, and this is our love. Every love moves at a different pace, it falls apart at a different time, it works through its own unique obstacles, it fights its own fight. This is our love and for once in my life I have decided not to take my love up to the thrown of society and asks what it wants with me. I have decided to let our love evolve naturally and without reservation. I have decided to not let the disfavoring looks of my peers and my elders and society to control our love. Because, this love is ours. It talks different, walks different, moves different than his kind of love, or her kind of love, or your kind of love. Every love is different. And, it is about time we start to revel in that. We need to not let our own ideas of love and our own prejudices dictate someone else’s. Because, in the end we are the only ones who have to deal with the consequences. If it end we are the ones that suffer, or enjoy, why then should we allow society to mandate unnecessary love guidelines if we are the ones who have to face the music in the end? Will we have children, will we settle down in New York, L.A., London, will be get along, will be be married until death do us apart? The thing is I have no idea and, man, how happy that makes me. Once you cut the ties of normalcy and the irrelevant standards set by society over your life and love you will experience a freedom unlike anything you have ever known. Cut the ties. Experience your love. Enjoy your life.

A Lifetime Apart

They were already there when we found a place to sit at the other end of the long worn down leather bench. I sat on the bench and you sat across from me just as she sat on the bench and her husband sat across from here. A simple bench length separated a lifetime. As they were eating and chatty quietly a couldn’t help but to sneak a peek. I began to see you and I at that age, I began to see our future flash through my mind like a reel of a movie. In five minutes the extension of our lives played for me like a prime time movie. I saw myself walking down the aisle in an overpriced lace gown toward you. I saw myself tucked quietly beside you in our large and cozy bed. I envisioned you and I dancing around our new home with smooth wood floors and a colorful doorway. I saw us drinking wine in Italy and taking pictures by the Eiffel tower. I saw our hair begin to grey and I felt the way your dark skin began to feel after holding mine for 50 years. I watched our lives, or rather my hopes and dreams of our lives play in rapid speed across the well traveled free way of my mind. When reality forced my derailment off the free way, I finished with a look at the people on the other side of the bench, hoping that one day, 70 years from now that would be you and I.

During her soft discussion with her husband over lunch, she couldn’t help but to take a sneak peek at the young couple at the other end of the bench. While her husbands voice began to tailor off her mind went into rewind. She saw the  first day she  met him on the crystal summer day on that beach in July of 1940. She saw the long days and nights she cried over her bed waiting and praying for him to return from war. She saw the way he grabbed her by the waist and gave her that kiss that would forever burn on her lips,  in his sailor uniform the first day he got home. Her memories flew through the time he got down on one knee on that beach 5 years later and asked for her hand. She saw herself walk down the aisle in her mothers soft dress and the new home they saved up for. She saw their first child being born and the over worked hand that he still holds hers with. The reality of the restaurant snapped her back into the world at hand and stopped her black and white rewind reel. She stopped her husband mid speech and held his hand. She gave him the same look that she gave him that blue sky day they met so many years ago.

Each couple secretly sneaked peeks of each other from the ends of that smooth leather bench over lunch that day. One woman looked at the end of the bench and her mind flew into fast forward, one into rewind. Both not knowing that the other is wishing for their beautiful lives.