1. no more "good night see you tomorrow"s and "call me as you are on your way home"s. unless we go bruce and kris jenner one day. but... you know... doubtful.
2. instead of people insisting we fight like a married couple (oh, and you better believe we do...), we can actually, literally fight as a married couple. oh, the perks!
3. i can have my identity back! i can be ayley again! no longer the identity of a bride! just myself. my good old self and not "bride to be" or "almost married woman". and people will talk to me about other, normal things! i can't wait for that part.
4. we can build a home. in every way. spend our money on plungers and picture frames and spend our time building a spiritually meaningful life under one roof.
5. i'm there. if you don't already know, there is a strange place that my spirit has gradually shifted to over this engagement period where i'm not longer finding myself so much of a daughter, sister, coworker, friend, girlfriend or even fiance... but more of a wife. at least for the time being. there is now here and here i am now. that last bit was annoyingly seussian but what can you do.
6. like super duper obvious "we-have-dated-for-nearly-five-years-and-yeah" stuff...
7. i've realized that all of this stuff isn't the end of my life! all the showers and parties and people being wonderful and loving and getting to wear a white dress and see people i love... it's not the ONLY time that happens! it is in a lot of ways, of course. but life after the wedding, to me, seems so much more fulfilling and meaningful and good. more amazing dresses will be worn. loved ones will be hugged and life will be celebrated! like, even people who had wholly dreadful weddings in hindsight manage to be terribly happy and lead beautiful lives. bring it on!
8. the world around us will recognize our solidified union so seriously that it would cost us thousands of dollars and dozens of sleepless nights to break it which, in my opinion, is pretty cool. like, our future next door neighbors would take breaks from gardening around their perfectly manicured lawns to discuss the demise of our marriage with our other neighbors. it would be a thing. this marriage thing is super serious. i like super serious.
9. traveling! cooking dinners! sleepovers! cohabitation! doing it all together and no one sayin' nuthin' 'bout it!
10. having the heat off. i realize in a lot of ways the heat will always be on, but i gained some very important heat-related insight the other night as we were on our way to take our bridal pictures. we were upset and not even close to being in a loving mood or being photographed. it was a difficult night for both of us and i ended up balling my dress up afterward and throwing it into my front seat, curling up in the backseat, and sleeping the whole night in my car. when i, very sorely, woke up, i saw i had left my little bouquet on my dashboard. i wanted to spit on it and throw it out the window, but decided against it and drove home, leaving it on my dashboard, in the hot sun and out of my cold mind. when i finally came to my senses and had a panicky moment about my dress being askew in my car, i rushed out to grab all of my belongings, only to find those poor flowers as pictured above. those roses were likely only in my car for a few hours of heat, but they withered quickly. and the smell! gosh... hell must smell like rotting roses. i realized, once again, how fragile beautiful things are in the heat. it doesn't take long for it to go south. i mean, a little heat is good. but when you leave it... bad stuff happens. bad stuff that takes a long time to fix. you know how it goes. and the heat has been on us. bad. and we haven't kept an eye on it like we should have. so, yeah. i'm gonna have fresh flowers on our wedding day. probably the freshest flowers i can find. for good reason. and i will take good care of them. maybe there will be other times in our lives where we will leave things in the heat for longer than we ought to. but i will be damned if i ever smell rotting roses like that ever again. #metaphor
don't let your roses rot, you guys.
it is july 23rd.
and i will be married on july 25th
to adam nomiddlename reid
and i am ready for it
like the desert is ready for rain
like a baby is ready to inflate his lungs for the first time
and like a girl who loves a boy very much is ready to just be his already.