Marriage And Midlife: A First For Us Both

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Robby and me at Rite Aid, our new favorite date place.

Getting married for the first time at this age is a little weird.

When most people our age are looking at colleges with their kids, we’re looking at wedding venues.

When most of our peers are preparing to be empty nesters, we’re preparing to co-habitat for the first time.

While most folks in their 50s are dealing with the trials and tribulations of having teenagers, we’re dealing with the hardships of aging parents and in-laws.

Friends like Sharon Hodor Greenthal, also in her 50s, writes a blog called Empty House, Full Mind www.emptyhousefullmind.com. She talks about getting older with someone she’s been married to for 26 years.  The good news is that Robby and I are getting to know each other AND get older at the same time.

Everyone’s life may look different, but we all have one thing in common: we’re all middle aged. And that’s weird too. When you’ve been single for as long as Robby and I, it’s easy to forget about age. You’re too busy working and living and dating and moving at warp speed to notice.

Then one day you stop, and it hits you.

Your hair is a little thinner, your middle is a little thicker; what was tight is a little looser; what was firm is a little softer. Your teenage hormones have lost their rage, and your college six-pack has become a keg. You hit fifty and your body morphs right before your eyes. Oh, and your eyes go too. I can’t see shit anymore. But maybe that’s a good thing – at least now I won’t be able to see all the new wrinkles forming on my face.

There are more aches and pains. You either have high cholesterol or low T. You may play as hard and run as fast, but you pay for it the next day. You learn to love Aleve, and ice packs become your new best friends.  Your memory isn’t what it used to be either.  I’d go into more detail on this, but I just forgot what I was going to say.

Getting married at this age is sometimes tough. Like, when I’m the dressing room at a bridal salon surrounded by girls half my age. They’re young, perky, and I’m as old as the hills. I look at them and think, you have your whole life ahead of you, and I’ve already lived half of mine. You’re probably going to get pregnant in a few months, and I’m five minutes away from menopause.

These young brides and I may be walking down the same aisle, but our route couldn’t be more different. They found the man of their dreams in their 20s, I found mine at 50. They partnered early, I bonded later. They have youthful exuberance, but I have confidence that can only come with age.

When it comes to finding love though, isn’t age just a number?

There’s something weird about getting married for the first time at midlife – weird, but wonderful. And Robby and I are embracing age– and each other– with the kind of open arms that can still hit the hell out of a tennis ball and lift me over a threshold. Yes, we may be a little creaky and kvetchy, but that’s okay because we’re in this together. We have a long life ahead of us, filled with romance, adventure, and visits to RiteAid to get our Lipitor prescription filled, and a scoop of ice cream too while we’re at it.

Some Accidental Advice From An Accidental Bride

2fc24b029a9d5e9df07aa15d8085f134On my long journey to the altar, I seem to have picked up some accidental wisdom along the way.

Call it unintended self-illumination or inadvertent enlightenment, the path to marriage has taught me a lot. Now, I realize that getting married isn’t the end-all, be-all pinnacle of success, but for me it’s a bit of an accidental achievement, since I tried for so long, and always seemed to come up short.

While on this marriage quest, I learned a thing or two about love and relationships, and what I did to fuck it all up.

I made mistakes and bad choices. I trusted and got burned. I didn’t know my worth, and I didn’t always honor my highest good. In other words, I got my ass kicked.

But I did get some good insights out of it!

With 50 years of single life under my belt, I feel uniquely qualified to share those insights with you. Some of them might sound familiar, some might feel old, but no matter how you spin it, they work.

1. Have Aspirations, Not Expectations

Nothing will set you up for disappointment faster than having expectations, not meeting them, or having others not meet them. You can aspire to achieving things, you can hope for the best, but make sure you keep your expectations in check.

2. Set Clear Boundaries

Setting boundaries with people is the ultimate act of self-respect and self-preservation. By designating personal limits and healthy parameters with others, you’ll not only save yourself a lot of time and energy, you’ll save your sanity and protect your soul.

3. Heal Your Wounds

Fix what’s damaged and heal what’s broken. Go deep. Do the work. Read, meditate, get therapy. Don’t be afraid to face the hard truths about yourself. It will take you places in yourself and give you incredible clarity.

4. Don’t Pick The Scab

Once your wound has formed a scab, don’t pick at it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a broken heart, a bruised ego, or a wounded psyche – let it heal. Picking the scab undermines your progress, prolongs the pain, and impedes your ability to move forward.

5. Stay On The Path Of Right Action

Staying on the path of right action means making good choices, using your good judgment and being smart. Don’t do things you know are ill-advised and potentially damaging to your self-worth. Everyone makes mistakes, just make sure you get right back on track if you fall off.

6. Have An Attitude Of Gratitude

You’ve heard this a million times, but it’s true: being grateful will take the edge off any resentment, regret, and bitterness you may be harboring. Be thankful for every little thing you have, and any little kindness you get in the world.

7. Breathe Deep And Let Go Of Things

Like I said in my very first blog post, when you let go, when you release and surrender, magical things can happen. So stop worrying, waiting, and wondering– you might actually get what you want. Breathe deep and let life happen.

I’m not sure if I chose this path, or this path chose me, but here I am, about to get married and I couldn’t be happier or more relieved (I’m not going to lie– it took a lot of work to get here). Yes, I have a magnificent fiancé and sparkly engagement ring to show for my efforts, but I also have wisdom – which is just as precious.

27 Dresses And A Whole Lot Of Drapery

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Look Ma! I’m in a wedding dress!

Here’s what I wanted:  a wedding dress that reflected my essence, style, and personality.  I wanted something lightweight that I could move in; something elegant, but simple; something that didn’t show too much skin and was age-appropriate; something not obnoxiously priced, claustrophobically tight, or overwhelmingly poofy. And of course, something white since I’m still a virgin (cough, cough).

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Blog,Late Bloomers

Wedding Plan-A-Palooza

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Me and my wedding planner, Andrea Sherman.

With all the problems going on in the world – the debate over healthcare, the lack of jobs, ongoing tensions in the Middle East, the struggling economy, not to mention the struggles of my own friends and family – I feel rather self-indulgent planning a wedding right now.

There is some serious shit going on out there – and close to home too. Read more

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Blog,Late Bloomers

Diamonds And A Girl’s Best Friends

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Me and the diamond guys (no, not the Robbins Bros.)

Every girl loves diamonds, but not every girl is educated about them – like me.  Don’t ask me about about cut, clarity, color, and carats, or the difference between trillions and trapezoids, because I have absolutely no clue.  Mountings, galleries, pave, micro pave, filigree…say what?  It’s all another language I never learned, but a lot of my girlfriends seem to speak it fluently.

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Blog,Friends And Family

WTF And Other Beautiful Sentiments

retro-bubbles-collection-style-speech-acronyms-words-isolated-white-background-32636373As word spread of our engagement, I suddenly realized how many of my friends and family had given up on any chance of me ever getting married.  Their reactions ranged from shock and awe, to stunned disbelief, to much joy and elation after it all sank in.  But the prevailing emotion by far was relief.  Huge, deafening sighs of relief.

Oh, ye of little faith.  You didn’t think it was gonna happen, did you?  Yeah, well, neither did I.

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How He Put A Ring On It

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The Bachelor Pad Proposal.

One Friday night in early August 2013, Robby and I were hanging out at his downtown L.A. loft/bachelor pad/man cave, drinking wine and having a perfectly nice time, when the subject of moving in together came up.

That’s when everything went to shit.

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Announcing An Engagement Fifty Years In The Making.

IMG_3929Finally, the words I’ve waited fifty years to say: I’M ENGAGED.  Why now you ask and not five years ago?  Ten years ago?  Twenty years ago?  Not sure, but I think it has a little something to do with the right time, the right guy, and being in the right place emotionally and personally.  Being a late bloomer had a lot to do with it, too.

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