I’ve always had a bad habit with guys. When I like a guy, and I mean the instant I decide I’m attracted to him, one of the first things I do is match his last name to mine. I have to say that most of the time, I’ve had rather lackluster success, especially with the ex. Part of it is that my name is a bit old fashioned sounding, I feel, and a bit snooty. I haven’t met many Americans with it, and I grew up with a lot of bitches in literature with my name.
Of course practically the moment I found out the bf’s name, I matched it with mine. And let me say, it sounds good. I wind up sounding like a Jane Austen character. A nice one. And even more exciting, my monogram would have *four* C’s. I’m not usually one for hyphenating; I would rather just take my husband’s last name, but who can resist a monogram with four C’s? No one has that! An auspicious sign, I think.
Obviously this all sounds crazy. I’ve been dating a guy for four months and am already planning my new monogram. But. I shared this with him not two weeks into our relationship, and he didn’t flinch or even blink. We have also discussed what our wedding will be like, and how we’ll raise the children. We’ve projected far into a happy, imagined future. Clearly we’re crazy together.
Or are we? Most people would say this is the stuff only for the movies, but maybe, just maybe life turns out to be like a movie sometimes. But then, I wouldn’t even say it’s like a movie–rom coms are fraught with hyperbolic drama created by unnecessary misunderstandings. We have none of that. We understand each other all too well, and this has seemed right from the start. And let me tell you this–I am not going to become one of those girls who could so simply solve her problems but yet refuses to because she lacks the clarity/ is too stubborn/ can’t do the logical thing because the plot has to advance. So instead of saying we have a movie romance, perhaps I might say we have a fairy tale sort of romance; love at first sight and a happily ever after. But that’s problematic because I don’t know any talking animated animals or anthropomorphic candlesticks. Oh, and also, he most definitely has a personality. He is not a blank projection of charming.
So maybe all of this is plain real? Somehow I hardly believe that’s possible, and yet I can’t not believe it. As much as my brain yells at me that this isn’t real, my heart nods and pretends like it cares but is secretly wondering how exactly brides-to-be make it on “Say Yes to the Dress” and if they’re compensated with wedding dresses. (Probably not, as the major source of drama from the show seems to come from sticker shock.)
I worry I’m becoming Charlotte. As I’m sitting here writing a blog about relationships, it’s only natural that Sex and the City should be a touchstone. Doesn’t every girl who’s mused via a keyboard fancy herself Carrie Bradshaw? Except in the relationship arena I’m not Carrie–I’m Charlotte. I’ve always liked her clothes best.
Like Charlotte, I’ve been dreaming of love my whole like. Like Charlotte, I misidentified love the first time around and got hurt for it. Like Charlotte I’ve been scared but hopeful, and I fell in love very hard when I was least expecting it. But now I’m worried I’ll become too much like Charlotte and get too eager to start the rest of my life.
I was talking with the bf, and he was telling me that he wanted to buy me one more Christmas present, but that he was nervous. I told him that he shouldn’t be, as I love all presents, but he replied that it wasn’t the gift itself, it was that it came in a small square box that could fit in the palm of your hand. “And I don’t want you to get the wrong idea,” he said. Sadly, I totally would have.
I think there’s a dangerous cocktail going on here. I’m a natural dreamer as evidenced by my mental name changing. Fortunately it’s still mental–I only toyed around with my new monogram once. Promise. Then, because we’re apart so much I naturally project into a future where we can be together. And lastly, I’ve forced myself to think about the idea of accelerated nuptials, because thanks to the Department of Homeland Security, or the Interior, or whatever it is, that may be the only way we can be together. You would think dating a foreigner would be nothing but exotic, but the red tape is frankly irritating.
The end result is that I’m actually quite anxious to have a ring on my finger, and that’s where I worry most about being like Charlotte. There is a notable episode of Sex and the City where Charlotte, having successfully converted to Judaism for Harry decides to cook him an elaborate shabbos dinner and decides to enlist Carrie and Miranda. Miranda finds ‘Charlotte York-Goldenblatt’ scribbled into the margins of Charlotte’s cookbook. In a voice-over, Carrie pronounces this ‘jew-dling.’ (! I told you–parallels.) “Did I miss something?” She asks. “Did you get engaged?” Charlotte grows defensive, announcing that she and Harry are meant to be (parallel no. 2). “I don’t want you to get hurt again,” replies Miranda (parallel no. 3–I was jumping into this before I even met him–though admittedly not going further than name wordplay, and my friends said almost the same words to me.)
All of this is not bad, but Charlotte tips over the edge. When Harry won’t turn off the Mets game, she loses it and in an escalating fight, winds up screaming “Set the date! Set the date!” Needless to say, the conversation does not end well as I don’t think any man would like to be screamed at to propose. Her: SET THE DATE! Him: Alright then…how’s the 29th for you? I could move some meetings…
I wonder how far I am from this, and I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t let myself get too close. Bad things could happen if I get ahead of myself. But then…Harry and Charlotte do get back together and live a beautiful life. In the end, she is prophetic.
So I’m not exactly sure where that leaves me. Probably embracing anticipation. I can’t make things happen any sooner–it’s out of my hands, unless I want to propose myself (I don’t–like Charlotte, I’m traditional). On the one hand, I’ve waited 32 years for even this possibility, so no wonder I’m chomping at the bit. But on the other, I’ve waited 32 years. Surely a little longer won’t kill me. I don’t think, anyway…