Sunday, February 13, 2011

All in the family

I kind of can't believe how fast things are moving, how time is zooming by already. Mid February already. I was floored by how fast New Years had come and I'm getting glimpses at just how much longer I have to be in my 20s. Barely any time left at all.

The Dude turned 30 a couple days ago. We had a nice party for him at The Ballroom downtown, a new bowling alley that plays classic rock and has a sweet lounge upstairs. Oh, and by classic rock, I mean what is now classic rock: the music of my teenage years in the '90s.

I looked around and saw people my own age, maybe less a couple years, maybe more by a few years. Everyone was singing along to the music and I had flashes of dancing with my friends at school dances in grades 8 through 12. Oh, and for the record, I'm shite at bowling. But my memory for my teenage years is spectacular, more than it ought to be for my own happiness' sake maybe, but at least I remember lyrics, too.

I don't overly care much about music in general. I mean, I'm a human being so I do enjoy it, but it doesn't really meet my emotional artistic needs quite the way movies, books, visual art and even TV do. But I do enjoy a blast from the past, and music is a big way people of a shared generation connect with each other when they're going through adolescence.

The music at the bowling alley reminded me I needed to think about a DJ for the wedding. I am signed up at a couple wedding websites to help me keep track of what I need to be doing so I don't screw myself in the planning process.

The Dude and I have a cake consultation tomorrow, and now a DJ consultation this Saturday. I'm kind of jazzed about both. The cake means, well, cake. And cake is awesome. Nothing in life can't be improved with a little cake. And the DJ is something I'm getting excited about. I'm thinking of all the fun music we can plan to hear, the kind that makes you dance, the kind everyone knows and sings along to, the sort that is universally enjoyed and shared.

Still, in spite of the fact I enjoy the whole process, and even though I don't have to check in with anyone and can just do what I want, a part of me is bummed. This is usually a time when a woman's family comes together and gets involved. But my mom is gone, as are both my grandmas, and my godmother is across the country now, along with my closest female cousin. All my other aunts live at least three hours away.

I'm not feeling sorry for myself, exactly. I see the good things. I just can't help but mourn what I'm missing. I'm missing family who will share my joy with me and be a part of my process. I don't consider everything I've done since my engagement as being of ceremonial importance the way some women do ("But it's my last dress fitting! You have to come!"), but a little familial companionship would be comforting.

Maybe we should have thrown a small engagement party in our hometown, just because we see so little of our families in person and it would have been a way to have that family experience during our engagement. Our parents won't meet either. I'm estranged from my only living parent, so what's the point?

I suppose what I'm feeling is simply that: the lack of family in this whole milestone. I'm feeling like that lone chopstick. I do know they all care. I know they'll show up, offer good wishes and congratulations and be happy for us. I also know the only thing I'm really missing is my mom and in her absence I have no stand-ins to lean on. This is one of the times I acutely feel my motherlessness. The hole she leaves can't be filled by even the rest of your family. Such is life.

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