I spent the last seven days working and having a lot of feelings and compiling a to-do list instead of actually doing any of the items on it. (Shannon was also away for work, which meant collaborative decision-making was down the drain.) I’m gonna address the few updates there are and then just talk about things I haven’t talked about because immigrations and weddings are complicated.
My Lesbian Immigration Marriage Feelings, Part 3
15. I bought a wedding magazine.
The options online started to seem overwhelming and I felt over them and also over how much time I was looking at my laptop to look at them so I bought the first issue of Catalyst, a feminist wedding magazine — its website says it “explores the intersections of creativity, community, and feminism in the wedding world. Volume One, Finding a New Perspective, features photos and writing that looks beyond typical wedding media.” I am hoping for something that is basically Bitch but for weddings and with prettier pictures, I think. I am hoping this one thing will answer any lingering inspirational or logistical questions I might have, though that seems unlikely.
7.2. I found some shoes!
They have 3″ block heels (bless whatever it is that made block heels apparently a “thing” this season, and whatever had these shoes inappropriately filed under a wedge search at 3 a.m. the day I found them) and are shiny gold and sandals that it looks like I will be able to walk in.
After considering everyone’s suggestions and spending a lot of time on clothing tumblr I realized I wanted my feet to look more naked than they might in an ankle boot situation (even though boots are my favorite) because my dress has a really heavy visual imprint and having skin and colour peeking out the bottom seemed correct. (I hate wearing sandals, or shoes without socks, but I think for one day I can get over it. I’m also planning to wear them around inside in advance if possible so I don’t get blisters the day of.) I will post a photo when they get here.
16. We are doing our own makeup and hair, have I mentioned that?
Which is to say, Shannon is doing her own makeup, and I am doing some of mine and she is doing the rest. She is quiet about it but Shannon is really good at makeup, she knows about blush and highlighting and colouring inside the lines and meanwhile I barely know where my cheekbones are.
I’m taking this as an opportunity to read all the makeup posts I normally want to read but don’t give myself time for, and as an excuse to refresh my personal makeup bag. The look I am going for is “basically me every day but will photograph better and not risk looking washed out in black” which seems like a dream I can reach.
We’re also both doing our own hair, Shannon because hers is a perfect fire that blossoms under her hands and me because I want the best version of one of my everyday hair looks and I am the best person to make that happen. I might use fancy bobby pins instead of my regular ones though, with some sort of gold- or pearl-colored detailing? I haven’t decided. Tiny flowers might be involved. I also haven’t decided whether I’m going to pin everything up or leave some loose, which I will decide the morning of, based on the weather when I get out of the shower. I am, however, making an appointment for a haircut for the week before.
I’m also making appointments for my eyebrows and nails because I am mediocre at both and also secretly love manicures but never have a good enough reason to get one. Maybe because my toes will be visible in my shoes I will also get a pedicure, who knows.
17. I’m changing my food/water/exercise habits and I feel weird about it.
Note I did not write “for the wedding” because even though having a wedding date did make me think “hmm I’d better look like my hottest self for that,” a move is always a good opportunity to change bad habits and create good ones (and also a chance to create more bad ones I suppose) and I want the foundation for a better and more active lifestyle in place before I move to a city that seems actively hostile to pedestrians.
Also I’ve spent some time being brutal to my body and I want to fix it to whatever extent I am able. (Has anyone else been reading “Working On It” and feeling like this?)
So what I’ve been doing is this.
I’ve been drinking a ton of water, because I’m doing my own makeup and I want my skin to look as good as possible on its own/without learning additional makeup skills and for me that means I am drinking a ton of water. (Often with mint or lemon or something in it because otherwise my mouth gets bored.) I’m not tracking this in any way, I’m just making sure that I have about four big glasses a day in addition to all the tea and kombucha and whatever other clearish liquids I feel like drinking, and two more leading up to bed. (Interestingly this has also reduced how often I wake up with headaches, which is otherwise almost all the time irrespective of alcohol consumption.) I’ve been drinking way less — sometimes I want a beer or glass of wine or two every night and sometimes I forget those things exist, and my body has been naturally doing the later lately and I’m leaning into it. This is partly also about my skin and partly because I have so much to do that I don’t want to wake up feeling foggy and partly because even a sip of dark liquor lately tastes like a headache.
I’ve also been trying to pay more attention to food in a positive way. Instead of trying to think, “oh I shouldn’t eat cheese or tons of starch because I’m dairy intolerant and bread makes me feel like garbage,” I’m trying to think, “I am eating a wide variety of fresh produce and protein because they are good for me,” and if the fallout is that I’m not eating things that my body likes less then isn’t that a fun coincidence.
And I’ve been using an elliptical or moving outside in some way every day. I was pretty active when I was younger and not being able to do things I used to for as long or as intensely as I used to do them is something I’ve had to wrap my head (but not body, except after stretching) around, so mostly I’m trying to enjoy it as much as possible.
All the wedding blogs that mention this sort of thing talk about bootcamps or really intense exercise in general or fasting or dieting or losing dress sizes or whatever else, and I’m not really interested in that for me. I just want my skin to be clear and glowing and to not actively be aware of my digestion and to not feel bloated and to not have a headache, and I feel weird for even talking about it from a food/exercise standpoint but for my body those are all food/exercise related things. I want to give myself the best chance to not notice my body except in ways it feels good, I guess, both the day I get married and also every day before and after.
18. A weird health thing came up and also gave me Canada feelings.
I went to the doctor for my first physical in a few years (maybe ten years? It has been a while) and anyway a few things came up* and so I spent a few hours wondering whether I would have to delay the move or the wedding to take advantage of Canada’s universal healthcare and then I remembered that Shannon has insurance I will be able to use after we’re married, and then I spent a few minutes wondering whether that means we should be married faster, i.e., the day after whenever I get there, and then I looked at the calendar and realized the timeline is as tight as it can be (and maybe too tight as it is) and I took a really deep breath and anyway it’s probably going to be fine.
But it was one of those moments where it felt a little more like leaving Canada is giving something up, which is not how I feel day to day. I’m gaining proximity to/an involved day-to-day life and future with Shannon. (I struggled a lot with adjectives in front of her name just there but they aren’t really enough. You have to imagine me saying her name like if I had to say only one word forever it would be that one.) My work is coming with me. Most of my friendships are some degree of long distance as it is, so I’ll be further away from some but closer to others. I’ve been living a five-ish hour trip from family for years (though usually by train instead of plane). America is basically Canada but with gun violence and no “u” in “favourite,” right? Except it’s not.
*This isn’t entirely why I’m trying to exercise now but it’s definitely keeping me going.
19. Waiting and leaving and waiting to leave.
As I’ve mentioned before I think, while I wait for everything to go down I’m staying at my parents’ house. To some degree this involves suppressing my essential self and never talking about my favorite topics of conversation and just embracing mostly being in or near the house all the time, but mostly it involves my family as older wiser humans working through all the same crap we as a family have been bad at forever but with different stakes.
For instance, my family consists of the type of people who get mad at each other instead of sad when something involving a still living and more or less okay person is happening, such as if someone was going to move to a different country forever. This normally extends about 48 hours in advance of the leaving, but in this case extends several weeks. We are all just collectively bad at being kind to each other and it takes a lot of yelling at/with each other to get to a point where we can be kind again and in the meantime things are very tiring. (On the other hand it’s cool to visibly watch myself and my parents do emotional work we probably should have managed years ago, I guess? Better now than never.)
20. Flights are happening!
The first person to book a flight to attend the wedding booked her flight this morning! Even I have not booked my flight for this wedding but she has gambled that the interview will go okay and booked the hell out of her ticket and I love her so much for it. But also it just occurred to me this thing is only about 50 days away?!?
FEELINGS. Are you having some? I sure am. Also to everyone immigrating and/or wedding-ing or with ideas and info about either or sending me emails, I love you a lot and your comments and emails and ASS messages are making my weeks! (If you emailed and I haven’t gotten back to you it’s coming.) Anyway email our team of married/getting married/immigrating/immigrated humans at youneedhelp @ autostraddle dot com or leave a question/feeling in the comments!