Remembering our Engagement

All the memories that are making this the most special time of my life.

What happened to painting the town red? Now we paint the floor red. By accident.

Calligraphy. Sometimes I love it, sometimes I hate it. For example, last night the entire bottle of red ink decided to fall on your carpet after midnight when you were supposed to be studying. So we ended up essentially shampooing the carpet about a hundred times, used about 4 rolls of paper towels (and I don’t even use them at home), and a whole bottle of resolve. Still red ink came. Finally we had to leave it alone… I guess we will eat some of your security deposit. It was pretty annoying, but here is why I loved it.

You were a complete gentleman about it. While we were initially both on our knees blotting up the evidence from the scene, you leaned over and kissed me. Both to say “it’s ok, I’m not annoyed that you spilled the ink” and also to say “unrelated to this current activity, I love you and wanted to kiss you right then for the sake of a kiss itself.”

Every now and then you would say things like “this is fun.” At first I thought you were trying to make me feel better, but then I realized you were actually also genuinely having fun in one way – we were making a life memory. The way having everyone over for dinner and cleaning up the dishes a couple of weeks ago reminded me of the life we were going to have together, all the exciting and everyday things we will share all rolled together, this was reminding you of the same. I’m lucky that somewhere in there you share that sentimentality and can find the momentous in the mundane.

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Venue shopping… again… :)

Yesterday we went venue shopping again. Ok, it was a little frustrating… but hey. We may not get every single feature we ever thought about, but we’re getting married and it’s going to be amazing. Getting Oberweis Ice Cream next door to Meridian Banquets made my weekend. Wow, what a dingy venue… but totally worth it for the banana shake and cookie dough explosion bowl. Yes, and an explosion of cookie dough it was. We ate it in the parking lot of the banquet hall, sitting on your car (or I was sitting, you were standing). It was like a movie! You kept kissing me with your ice cream mouth. Mmmm and it tasted so good.

Remember when we were driving down Route 60 and you observed, “wow this is a really open road”? Well I do. I said “Do you think it could seat 350?” And you said, “Is there a good spot for cutting the cake?” The combination of amusement and self-mockery was just what we needed at that moment. Go team.

Before we had set out in the morning, we decided to grab a bite to eat. While we were waiting for our table at the Bongo Room, you said, “let’s go to the thrift store.” And within 5 minutes we both picked up everyday clothes and had the same thought – why do we ever buy things anywhere else? I love that you are like that – you are not hung up on what you’re supposed to be doing or buying. You just do what you like and what you think is right.

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Name change!

So for the second time today, one of the many people I talk to in this wedding process have called me by my last name thinking it was my first name. I know that both my first and last names *sort of* look like last names, and sort of don’t. So in a vaccuum, I might go for the last one too. But when it comes AFTER my first name, and I sign off on emails and/or introduce myself by my first name, and THEN they call me by my last name, it’s just silly.

This happened with the Allstate agent insuring my engagement ring, and with one of the sales people at a potential reception venue.

So I got a little exasperated but then realized… this isn’t going to happen anymore after a few months. And it gave me this incredibly huge rush! I truly can’t wait to be Devi Raja.

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Our first real engagement present!

Our first real engagement present! Dave gave it to us at dinner at Mana. A gift certificate to our favorite restaurant, for 2! It certainly made it real that we are getting married and that people are doing that much to celebrate US!

Update: I finally read the card he wrote and maybe because it is the first really thoughtful one, I was really moved by how much our friends believe we belong together.

 

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Dishes

We took our parents to see Bridgeport Art Center yesterday, and then I had everyone over for dinner to celebrate Mothers’ Day.  Our families fit right in together, and of course my mom loved your sister. Although I was frustrated at first that Bridgeport wasn’t going to work out – the costs were just too high – that quickly melted away with the great company.

You were so supportive of me through the whole dinner, asking if I needed help, and it made me feel special the way you were showing me off. I am glad your family liked my style, or at least valued it, and I found it so touching that they said they needed someone like me in the family with an artistic sense.

Having everyone over like that was a taste of what married life might be like with you, where our families come over and we hang out. I was exhausted from the day, still jetlagged, but being with you afterward and doing the dishes, even though I didn’t talk much, filled me with excitement and a great sense of peace that I get to do this with you throughout my life.

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I’m in love and it’s a sunny day

I know I haven’t written since the India trip. I have been keeping notes for you, so give me some time on that. I promise I will tell you all about it. But for now, I wanted to share something about today.

I had a really lovely day today. I woke up jetlagged at 5:30 and my first thought was “I guess I’ll head to work early.” That thought seemed a little sad. But my second, much better thought was to lace up my shoes and go out for a run. And so I did. I ran 3 miles. Not much, but having been away from exercise for a few weeks, it was a good start. On my way back, I stopped off at my vegetable patch in the community garden. Every plant was healthy and growing. I thought about how much fun it is going to be to use all these herbs for the dinner I am cooking for our families tomorrow night for Mothers’ Day.

When I got home, I ate a nice relaxed breakfast (well, my style of having dinner for breakfast), of our favorite tomato soup and a burrito. Hey, I went running! At the same time, I was browsing recipes that used loads of fresh dill. Mmm.

Then I remembered that before the trip, I got a key to store my bike at work. This as been the excuse in my back pocket all along to avoid riding to work: No place to put the bike, afraid it will get stolen. Well before I left, I removed that excuse by signing up for a space in the newly furnished bike room in the building. I thought to myself,”It’s Friday. No one is in the office – especially your manager. It may be getting late, but it’s worth experimenting on a new way of going to work on a quiet day like today.” So I packed my bag, tossed it in the milk crate I had fastened onto the bike, and hopped on.

The lakefront was Beautiful! It took me more than an hour to get to work, but it was worth it. Lake Michigan sparkled and glinted under the sun. I felt so lucky to experience the early parts of what was going to be a beautiful day. I saw so many others out enjoying the weather, or exercising, or going to work – or some combination of these – and I felt a part of the greater Chicago community.

At each of these points I felt like one of those people – those people that I would see running on the lakefront, or growing their own food, or doing something over-and-above that made me feel like I just didn’t quite have it together and they did… like they were one step ahead. Today I was one of those people, and I let myself realize that at many points I am very productive and spend my time doing things that really do give me a lot of pleasure. I am not always just an automaton watching episodes of Friday Night Lights back to back, watching other people live their lives.

What I’m trying to say is that today I allowed myself to bask in the feeling of being truly happy. I know that the things that made me so happy are very ordinary, and that when I step back, these different elements are part of many of my days.

So that means this was really about a change in perspective in me. And that is where you come in. You are probably wondering what this all has to do with you.

Well, a while ago, maybe even 6 months ago, I may not have been in a place mentally to appreciate these simple things, take pleasure in them, and recognize myself as a productive and put together person. I felt like I was inwardly falling apart a little, and you and I were fighting. I’m not sure which caused which – the fighting or the falling apart – maybe it’s a chicken and egg situation. But I wasn’t sleeping as well, we were staying up late to talk, or I was up overthinking. Whatever the case, I didn’t have the mental capacity to take on new things, to say “why not?” and ride my bike to work to enjoy a sunny morning, to get up at 5:30 without feeling weighed down by worry and nagging feelings.

But now I do, and it hit me today that it’s been this way for a while. You and I are much, much stronger now, and I feel so secure and happy in our relationship, and secure and happy in myself (these work together, but are different). I see a big change in myself – my inner “cup half full” self is reemerging. And I owe so much of this baseline inner happiness to us, to how much you’ve given me, and to the inner sense of peace I have going about my daily life that allows me to turn outward toward the world and really enjoy the experiences of life.

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The Frankfurt fiasco

I really felt like you missed me when I was gone. I know you have before, but I really felt it this time. This whole episode of the visa situation has made me feel so much closer to you. The way you treated me couldn’t have been better. You were there with a bouquet of flowers and a card telling be that we will put this behind us and move forward. You took me to eat something. You made me feel like we are a team. You were so happy to see me… So genuinely happy to fall into our little nightly dynamic, our little world together. I felt relieved and thankful to be in it with you.

So I was hoping to go to India on Friday, got stuck in Frankfurt like an idiot with an expired visa, failed at the consulate there on Monday, and came back to Chicago that night. It was the funniest thing when you dropped me off at the consulate this morning here to try to get a visa, that we hoped not to see each other tonight… Because that would mean I was successful!

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