You know when you’re in Junior High and you talk to your friends about what your dream husband would be like?
Sadly, Jessica Biel claimed Justin Timberlake before we had a chance to meet and ride away in his Bentley. Luckily, I found my present-day Prince Charming at a motocross track a few years back and so I didn’t mind too much when she officially became Mrs. Timberlake.
I get to be Mrs. Kooienga.
Clearly I win for amazing last name. Or last name that gets misspelled/pronounced incorrectly/laughed at most often. Usually some combination of the three.
In case I had any hope of this not being the case, Jim and I went to start our registry at Crate and Barrel a few weeks ago. We both find the whole idea of a registry very awkward. It’s basically telling your friends and family “Hey, thanks for being happy for us. Show us just how happy by buying us things!”
As we were signing up for the registry the nice sales lady needed to collect our basic information.
Sales Lady: Sir, your last name?
Jim: Kooienga. K-o-o-i-e-n-g-a.
Sales Lady: I’m sorry, how do you pronounce that?
Sales Lady: (turns to me) Oh honey, you’re taking that?
Me: Well, I can’t ask the kids to if I won’t.
After Jim settling down and deciding not to cause a scene at a busy store on a Sunday afternoon we went about our registry the best we knew how. Which, it turns out, was not at all. Again we found ourselves very overwhelmed with the options and protocols and just how many sets of dishes and glassware adults are supposed to keep in their home. Eventually we registered for about 6 items and got the heck out of there.
This happens with basically every wedding related task we’ve completed. The first run we go in with high hopes then feel overwhelmed by the process, go home, collect ourselves and go back for a wildly successful round two a week later.
There are certain aspects of it I enjoy, like scheduling cake testing. Yes, I would like to come to your bakery and sample your cakes. All of them. And all the icings. Perhaps some toppings and fillings too. You know what, just have it all ready, I want options.
Then there are the not-so-fun parts. Like explaining to family members why certain people aren’t invited. Or being asked to pick out EVERYONE’s wardrobe. I love great-aunt so and so, but I could honestly care less what she wears. No, there is not a wardrobe theme I would like the guests to abide by. I did not know that was a thing.
Please stop being a thing.
I don’t want it to seem like I’m not excited to be getting married. I love Jim more than I ever thought I’d love another person and cannot wait to be his wife. I love that our closest family and friends will be there to celebrate with us. And yes, even the idea of wearing a super pretty dress and getting dolled up for the evening has grown on me. I won’t pretend the idea of being the center of attention has grown on me. That still creeps me out, but I’ll deal with that the day of. Have I mentioned I was the girl at Klienfelds that actually ducked when the cameras came around? Ducked, like I thought if I was down low in a wedding dress they couldn’t see me. I’ll share that one later, but I think it makes the point of how little I enjoy the idea of being the center of attention.
Generally after we get home from round one of whatever task we’ve taken on, my first order of business is to lace up and go out for a run. I’ve found myself turning to running more and more during this wedding planning process. As the girl who always wanted to elope I never planned on finding myself in the situation of planning a wedding. I also never thought I’d be a runner. Running reminds me that people change and situations change and you have to go with whatever makes you happy.
Boston certainly wasn’t the race I had hoped for but it has brought me back to a place where I’ve rediscovered the basic joy I find in running. Yesterday I took Buster out for a walk along my usual running route and couldn’t help but just be a little slap-happy about the nice weather and the fact that I’ll be running outdoors every day from now until November.
Yes, many of those runs will be training runs for the New York City Marathon.
Many of those runs will also be just because I feel like it.
We have to do what makes us happy in life. In 5 months it will be wearing a pretty dress and saying some nice words to Jim in front of a lot of people.
Today, it’s going for a run.