The good thing is that I have tomorrow off. The less-good thing is that I have to use it to go to a formal wedding up north. The wedding is on Long Island, and ultra fancy. Iíve been agonizing about what to wear all week long (as soon as I realized that I couldnít get out of it). The groom is Adamís old college roommate, and I at least owe him (Adam) the courtesy of being his date to the occasional long and boring Catholic ceremony followed by a stiff and awkward reception.

My angst is rooted in still not being able to fit into most of my fancy dresses, and being sick of the ones I can fit into. There is a dress that I wanted to wear, I even went and got it cleaned. I can zip it up, but itís still snug and I hate wearing anything tight. This is especially because we have to go up early tomorrow to meet with Adamís sister because sheíll be on a flight to Singapore on Friday night.

So, I just gave up and decided to go with another dress that is totally fine, but Iím just tired of wearing. I also realized that my angst isnít about me wanting to feel like Iím acceptable, and that I can fit in just fine with the other guests. Itís about me wanting to feel like Iím spectacular looking. I donít need that nonsense, anymore. Adam will think Iím gorgeous no matter what Iím wearing (although, if I tried to go in sweats, heíd probably say something), and no one else is going to care one bit, as long as I donít completely throw off the look of the wedding.

Anyway, Adamís sister is supposed to be gone on a two year contract, and Adam was feeling a bit overwhelmed by the idea that sheíll be gone that long. I reminded him that she didnít even stay for the full year of her Thailand contract, and sheís barely keeps any job more than three months (the same is true for boyfriends). As far as her being abroad for two whole years, I wouldnít worry about it, so much. He agreed with me, and that actually made him feel better.

However, we obviously canít let her leave the country without some sort of send-off meal. So, weíll go up early to traipse around Manhattan wearing our fancy duds. I thought about bringing my clothes and changing right before the wedding, but thatís more fuss than I want, too.

As far as everything else, the mortgage settlement is done. Obviously, they completely duped me on closing costs, since this is banking in America. I was a bit upset about it, but my intuition told me to not pull out of the deal. Itís still a financially smarter than my current mortgage, and I get to stop doing business with those thieving bastards at WF.

Of course, shortly after the settlement Adam called me to let me know that the university is considering dropping his summer session class. If they did that, heíd be out of work, for the summer, unless he could find a class at another university where the teacher had to cancel suddenly.

That made me rather nervous and I started second guessing everything.

He tried to calm me down by reminding me that he has plenty in savings (even if I just blew a large chunk of mine on closing costs). It had already been previously agreed upon that he would take up more of the financial slack if I quit work. But, even while heíd been saying that, Iíd been mentally calculating his contribution to me as a loan that I intended to repay, even if, in his mind, itís just us sharing resources.

With him out of summer work, that would mean things would get even muddier because weíd really, truly have to share resources, since weíd have so few. So, there would go the, ďmy moneyĒ and ďyour moneyĒ delineation that makes me comfortable enough to have a relationship, at all.

I realized that one of my biggest problems is that Iím terribly, terribly uncomfortable with the idea of someone else providing for me, financially.

The problem here is twofold.

One, a money source from a romantic partner (married or not) is unpredictable. It can dry up unexpectedly (if the spouse decides he wants something else in life) or it can be used wield power (which Iíve seen many, many men do to their wives).

Secondly, Iíve never had the chance to relax into a being ďprovided forĒ role. You know if youíre denied something at a tender age, that when you become an adult, that thing feels totally forbidden. Itís as if you, and you alone, is the one person who is undeserving of this thing that everyone else is totally allowed to have. Itís kind of a weird self-centeredness. As if the universe cares enough to put extra-special rules on my existence. So, I need to at least get over that part.

The first part, I donít know. I think everyone that relies on a spouse would be smart to realize that everything that a spouse provides is potentially transitory. Life is a transitory thing. Even if I have 100% confidence in Adamís faithfulness and commitment, that doesnít mean that something totally unpredictable and out of his control couldnít happen to him.

Weíre in the process of trying to solve the out-of-our-control predicaments by working on filing paperwork that solidifies a domestic partnership status. I guess it goes to show just how suspicious we are of the institution of marriage that weíre willing to go through all of this trouble to avoid it.

Iíve read Elizabeth Gilberts, Committed about ten times, by now, and this last time, Iím attempting to make my own peace with marriage by having Adam listen to the audiobook with me.

I canít overlook that this is someone who will listen to audiobooks with me, muddles through domestic partnership paperwork, offers to email every university in the area as well as every university in the country that has online classes to find summer work, tells me every single day that I make him very happy, and that Iím the best partner ever, almost never loses his cool when I lose mine, wonít hear of me giving up my career goals, and is even willing to watch re-runs of Designing Women with me.

On top of those things, he just happens to share my values, religion and lifestyle.

Itís amazing to me, that with all of that, Iím still highly suspicious of entering into the institution, even with someone as nice as him.

By the way, yesterday, the university told him that the summer class is not cancelled, but also, that you never can tell with these things, especially with universities trying to save every cent possible.

Finals for the spring term are coming to a close, right now, so cancelling a summer class at this late date would be seriously jerky. The summer classes that have been cancelled were cancelled long ago, but Adam is likable, so he was getting special treatment. The people within the department that are in charge of scheduling did their best to keep the class on the summer schedule to see if enrollment would improve. Enrollment did improve, but only marginally so. They continued keeping him in, ďletís wait and see if it gets better,Ē limbo, which is well-intentioned, but also kept us on pins and needles waiting to hear the verdict. It also discouraged him from inquiring at other universities, right away.

The secretary at his office bought him a giant box full of packets of Swedish Fish. I only found out after he gave me a packet and said, ďPlease eat these, Iíve estimated that Iíve eaten about 1500 calories in Swedish Fish, already.Ē

I asked him why she gifted them to him, and he said, ďOh, no reason, I guess because she knows I like them.Ē

Itís both exotic and thrilling to me to know that heís well-liked at work. My ex-husband was arrogant and disagreeable and my pre-Adam boyfriend had severe social anxiety disorder. Before them, I tended to gravitate towards the weird odd-men-out. I got tired of constantly feeling defensive about my men, and trying to explain away their personality defects to my friends. By the time I met Adam, I was done with freaks. I was ready to end the pattern.

Being with a likeable partner gives me tons of advantages, personally. Thereís the often-mentioned friend affect. I donít have to worry about being his everything because heís got lots of other people beings lots of things to him. Plus, thereís the obvious career advantages afforded to people who are well-liked.

Anyone who has worked anywhere knows that a big part of overall experience of the job is dependent on the people that you see daily. Do you want to work the argumentative ego-maniac, or do you want to work with the smiling, up-beat guy who is pleased to see you?

Sort of like the beauty-advantage, thereís also the nice-advantage. I think I just never really fully understood powerful the nice-advantage until recently.

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Thursday, May. 10, 2012 at 2:00 PM