Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Night that Began it All

Only seven days to go until Will and I get hitched. I'm not nervous or stressed. I am surprisingly relaxed. Is it a bad thing that it hasn't quite set in yet? I hope not. I, at least, am taking it as a good sign. Much has happened since my last post. Will and I picked up our wedding bands; applied for our marriage license; picked up our marriage license. He has packed for the honeymoon already and is currently on his way to Garden City for his annual family beach trip. I swear that I am going to pack this afternoon.

We found an apartment in Columbia if we end up having to stay there this next year before heading up to West Virginia. It is in Rosewood and is the most adorable little cottage with one large bedroom, a living room, kitchen and decent-sized bath. It would be the perfect and cosiest of places to begin my life with Will, if that beginning is to take place in Columbia. It is tiled throughout except the bedroom which has beautiful hardwood floors. Right now, I am clinging to it as our starter place, since I have yet to set foot in West Virginia, let alone see any possible housing for us over the internet. Sounds like a blind leap if I have ever heard of one.

But, last time I said that I would tell about my very first encounter with Will Jackson. So, here goes.

I first saw him on Facebook, as lame as that is, it is the truth. I had no idea what Facebook was or how to work it, but my then best friend had just gotten it and had friended every "hot" boy from CofC that she saw. Will was one of those lucky guys befriended by a freshman nobody two weeks before school had even begun. She showed me his page. In his picture, he was wearing a blue trucker hat with wisps of his dark hair curling out from under it. His lips were big and he just looked manly. I was impressed, and then I read his profile. His interests were vague and didn't really give much information. "Astronomical anomoly" is the only one that I can still remember, because I had no idea what it was, but was intrigued and had to it. "He seems like your type," my then best friend said. I nodded my head and asked how she had met him, which she hadn't. "He's cute so I friended him," she said. I told her that she would never meet him. He was a senior and really cute and way out of our freshman league. She shrugged, not interested in actually meeting him just in having hot, older CofC guys as her friends on Facebook.

To say that I completely forgot about Will Jackson after that first viewing of his profile would be a lie. I still didn't have Facebook, and even if I did, would not have had the guts to friend a complete stranger, but I did have my then best friend's Facebook. I stalked him when I could. Read his wall posts and looked at his pictures. I still believe that I would never ever in a million years meet him, but was so inexplicably interested in him and his page. So, after about a month in school, during which time I had a class three times a week with one of his roommates, who I partnered with on projects and accompanied to soccer games, with no clue that he even knew Will Jackson, we finally met on a street corner on our way to a party. My then best friend and I were waiting on the corner of Calhoun and St. Philips for our guy friend, Martin Grant, who we were going with to a Sigma Nu party. When, right before my eyes, Will Jackson with Martin and the guy from my class walked across the street and began introductions. I nearly choked on my spearmint Orbit gum, but tried to act normal. After all, he had no idea that I had been covertly watching his every Facebook move. Will instantly recognized my nameless friend as a girl who had friended him on Facebook. I was just her friend, which meant that I was pretty much ignored. I thought he was gorgeous and perfect and really tall. But, he was quiet and big and confident. He teased my friend, who was already on her way to being very drunk. I walked behind them as I thought they flirted. I reevaluated my opinion of him and firmly decided that he was completely full of himself. I kept my distance.

I couldn't help but notice him at the party, though we had all split ways upon entering the door. When I went into the backyard, he was there talking to other people, not me. Once, I came in the back door as he was coming out. We had to turn sideways to squeeze past each other. He smiled at me then and said hello. I smiled and pushed past him. I was slowly but surely losing my grip on reality and developing a huge crush despite myself. Somehow, at the end of the night, we had all met back up and headed for King Street and food for my then best friend, which was usually a chicken caesar pita from Pita Pit and a bag of M&Ms. Ari, the head guy there, knew us by name and had her order ready. She was the only one eating. We, except for Martin, who was next door at Gilroy's getting his pizza, sat at the table in the window. She had her audience and I was sick of following her around like a pathetic and very sober puppy. I walked across the street to get her M&Ms that she would whine for anyways. I needed the fresh air and a momentary break from babysitting and the little ache in my heart that pricked each time I saw Will talking to her. I knew that he had fallen for her like every other guy we had met since school began. I tried to swallow the truth then as I searched for the candy at King Street Station. I could still see them sitting in the window, smiling and laughing at her as she ate her pita with no care that three good looking guys were watching her every move.

But, when I came out of the station, the Pita Pit window was deserted. I went to Gilroy's and there was part of the group. Martin was eating his pizza with my then friend sitting next to him. Will was sitting opposite them in the booth. I slid in beside him and opened the bag of M&Ms. Sloppily, she dug each piece of candy out of the bag, making a mess. So, I dumped the contents into my hand and sat there moodily, as Will and Martin chatted and laughed with her. Then, all of a sudden, Will was eating the M&Ms out of my hand and talking maybe not to me but with me. The alcohol was making her sleepy and whiney as she nibbled the chocolate. Maybe, she had finally lost her luster. I was still unconvinced as we walked back up Calhoun to our dorm. The guys said goodnight. I told Will that I would friend him on Facebook. We said that we would see each other around. I desperately hoped that he was telling the truth. I signed up for Facebook that night after tucking my then friend into bed. The cyber-stalking has yet to cease.

Part Dos to be continued...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Bridal Shoot and More

So the bridal shoot went off without a hitch, I guess. Charleston had flooded the night before, which resulted in me wading through ankle deep, muddy water to get out to the beach in my new white, white dress. I was a little worried and nervous and sick to my stomach, but it was too late to turn back. I stood awkwardly in the dunes and on the beach, trying to pose without looking like I was posing, which was definitely not the case. I look just as awkward and posed in the pictures as I felt. Darn it. I thought all of the endless marathons of America's Next Top Model would at least count for something. Oh well. So far, the pictures look amazing thanks to Steven's skills and deft eye, even the awkwardly-this-so-is-a-pose pictures. Alright, enough already.

I am in Columbia for the weekend. I brought lots of wedding stuff for Will to help me complete! We have a busy weekend and first part of the week coming up. I picked up our wedding bands yesterday. Mine is blinging!! It totally surpassed my expectations. It makes me feel thug, like a rich rapper's wife from ATL. But, I am absolutely in love with it and can't wait for my two weeks to be up until I am officially Mrs. William Jackson. Will's band is exactly what he wanted. Thin, strong and shiny.

This weekend will be consumed with tying ribbons or tulle or whatever else I can get my hands on. Monday is marriage license pick-up day and Williams-Sonoma giftcard day. Yay. I can't wait to get something gourmet. On Tuesday, we have a dance lesson! Will can't wait for this. Then, on Wednesday, the wonderful women at the hospital who love him almost as much as me are throwing us a shower. It is so thoughtful and sweet of them to do. I can't wait for Will to finally experience the awkwardness of opening gifts that you feel you don't deserve in front of all of the people who bought them for you. Its going to be great. He will be writing those thank-you notes!

Right now, I am sitting on the floor in his mother's living room as she coaxes our nephew, Griffin, into a nap. I am still in my pajamas, and my belly is full of Will's delicious pancakes that were studded with blueberries, hand-picked by me from my grandfather's farm. Yum. Will isn't here though. He was called in to work for a hip dislocation. That's about as clinical as I get. Tell me the name of the procedure. If it sounds foreign, I don't want to know what it is!

I can't believe that in two weeks, Will and I will be preparing for our wedding. I will probably be getting my manicure or pedicure. He will probably be with my dad setting up the chairs for the ceremony.

Still no word from West Virginia. August 7th is the new cut-off date. I just hope that I can be patient until then.

I think next time I will tell the tale of how Will and I began dating. Then, I will get him to write his version. Should be interesting! I think its about time that we heard from him.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Like a Hospital

Will thinks that our blog looks like a hospital. Sure, it is clean and perhaps a little sterile, but the colors are light and airy. Nothing like a hospital if you ask me. It is true that I have a fear of hospitals. They smell weird, artificial, like the air is being masked by some other smell that someone else thinks is how a hospital should smell. I volunteered in a hospital for three summers when I was just becoming a teenager. My father made me do it, so I did. I fought back the tears during the TB test and cringed away from the safety video. I signed up for the front desk and gift shop positions, as far away from the rooms as I thought I could get.

Not true. A few of the front desk duties involved going into peoples' rooms. I had to deliver mail, which was usually to very ill patients, who were making the hospital into a sort of second-home. It was terrifying. I perfected the art of not smelling that first summer and of looking at the people lying in the beds, but not really seeing them. It is a horrible thing to admit, but it was the best that I could do. I would also wheel sick patients from out-patient up to their rooms, which meant I was stuck in an elevator as they sat slumped in the wheelchair, clutching themselves and sometimes moaning. The family members accompanying them would always talk to me cheerfully, ask about school or being a candy-striper. I wonder if they could see the discomfort and sometimes disgust on my face. I tried to smile and make small talk, but I was only 12. I wonder how successful I was at convincing them that I loved my job. Not very, I think.

Still, I loved the freedom of working at the front desk. I was the go-to girl when it came to fixing broken wheelchairs. I'm not sure where my talent for wheelchair mechanics came from, but I was a pro. I loved answering the phones and directing calls. I really loved giving people directions and often accompanying them to different parts of the hospital that were difficult to reach. I loved the old men and Mrs. Bobbi who volunteered at the front desk with me. I would eat lunch (which was free!) with them and steal cappuccinos from the cafeteria and sip them from straws as they sat hidden in the drawer next to my computer. I really loved delivering flowers to peoples' rooms. I could easily stuff my face in the fragrant buds to avoid the awkward smell of the room and no one could blame me for that. I loved their faces as I set the vase down on the table. It was the one time I looked. My favorite thing about volunteering at the hospital were the endless searches for wheelchairs, when we began to run low. I would take back elevators and long corridors deep into the hospital, where wards were left abandoned and lights blinked from disrepair. Sometimes, I thought I might run into the morgue or a psych unit with crazy people staring at me from the other side of a window. That never happened though, and I'm glad. I think it would have scarred me for life.

The point of this ramble, I guess, is to give you an idea of my true feelings for hospitals. My grandmother died in the ICU last December, something that I've yet to get over. She had too much medicine in her, thinning her blood, causing the massive stroke. I can't say that I've forgiven the doctor yet. She had been fine before they put her in there, and now, she's gone. How ironic that I am marrying a future doctor. I think it is a good thing. Perhaps he can after some time convince me of the good of hospitals. Maybe one day, I can understand his love for them and medicine. I hope to be a welcome break for him from the hospital. I never have and probably never will want to hear about his cases. Not because I don't want to, but because I can't handle it. Grey's Anatomy and ER were always too much for me.

Going to the hospital now to have lunch with him is a strange experience. I am fine downstairs in the lobby, but the layout of his hospital is strange and awkward. On your way to the cafeteria, an ill patient may be wheeled, prone in a bed, past you, pushed by EMTs with grim looks on their faces. The floors are too shiny, always, and the fluorescent lights are all too reminiscent of morgue scenes from movies. Takes your appetite away, or at least mine. And then, sitting there in the cafeteria surrounded by people in scrubs with caps on their heads and booties on their feet, chowing down on a hamburger or a salad. How can they eat in the same clothes that they just performed a surgery in, or bathed a patient in or did anything to a patient in? I would need a shower and a sterile clothing change and my mind erased.

And then, there is Will, sitting next to me, eating the Chik-Fil-A that I just brought him, decked out in his scrubs. He is smiling and HUNGRY and eating away with no problem. And, I love him too much and instantly forgive him for eating in the clothes that he just wore while shaving a man's leg, preparing him for his total knee replacement. I quiz him endlessly about the different people who walk past us in the different colored scrubs. The white shirts with navy blue pants and the ones in solid red scrubs are nursing students, he tells me. The white coats are doctors, duh. Even I knew that one. The lab techs can wear what they want, usually floral scrubs or purple ones. People wave and nod their head at him, and sometimes, women come up and introduce themselves and threaten to steal him away. (This is the only picture I have of will in his scrubs. It is from a going away party, themed Kansas. He was the state flower, the sunflower, and I was the state insect, the bee.)

I can't wait for Will to achieve his goal and be whatever kind of doctor that he wants to be. I can't wait to quiz him endlessly for his exams, while not focusing on the terms and what they are. I can't wait to support him and be there for him when he has a bad day or a disappointing case. I think that me and my no-hospital-stories-tolerance will be his hospital-woes remedy. At least I hope that I will be.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Vacation is Over

Well, vacation has been and the real work begins. I have so much to do and very little motivation to do it. Ten days on a hot, sunny beach have left me drained. Remind me again how relaxing vacations are supposed to be. I have hardly stopped and there's just more to do. I wish that Will could be with me. Then, I think I would be diligent. I always said that I couldn't study unless he was next to me. Who knew that procrastination wasn't just for 15 page papers and finals? The thank-you notes that haunted my vacation will be done and posted by tomorrow at noon, even if it kills me to do, which it probably will.

My mom, Rachel, Mrs. Mary and I gave up two hours of vacation and breezes on the dock to painstakingly double-side tape the programs/fans together, only to find out the next day that the tape was faulty and hadn't stuck, which equals more work for me. I'm looking for industrial strength glue. I think it will be needed for the 90+ degree heat the fans must endure during the ceremony, while keeping the guests as cool as is possible on a July day in the swamps of Florence.

Will joined my family and me for the Fourth. We crashed my friend Lane's party and sat on her boat in Murrells Inlet for the fireworks show. Our third year anniversary came and went unnoticed. I actually just remembered that it was on July 1st. We used to celebrate every month for the first year with cards and spending time together. Occassionally, there would be a date or gifts. I guess the wedding has overshadowed everything!! I can't believe that we forgot. I guess to call it distraction would be an understatement.

But, before the fourth, we had our engagement party. It was a fabulous affair. It was so great to get a few family and friends together before the Big Day. It was a great excuse to dress up. I can't wait to see the pictures that our wonderful, last minute photographer, Hampton, took. I will be sure to post them as soon as I get them. Margaret, you were dearly missed! Not to worry, the four day weekend that will be our wedding is sure to make up for all of the missed moments. Bachelorette night should be memorable, hopefully!

We are still waiting to hear from West Virginia. I'm becoming quite impatient, but it is completely out of my control, something I find hard to swallow. To be continued.... inevitably until next August, I guess.

To do list:

-tie ribbons with silver hearts around the stems of the 150 champagne flutes
-re-tape the fans
-PICK UP THE DRESS!!!!! At the end of this week, I will be posing in my very own, custom-designed dress somewhere on Sullivan's Island as Steven shoots me, photographically speaking.
-schedule the mani-pedis for the bridal party
-apartment search in Cola, just in case
-keep on Will about the groom's gifts
-lose 10 lbs!

Help, please?