ASSOCIATES (vol. 5, no. 2, November 1998) - associates.ucr.edu
Ok, this month's column is going to be a bit short. Why? Because real life has taken over for library life. In fact, my library life is somewhat questionable right now because in about 8 days, I will be spending my last hours in this library. No, not my REAL last hours as in I will be DEAD, but my last hours as a University of Wisconsin employee. You might ask why (or you might not but I don't really know for sure so I don't care) and I will tell you.
It is because I have done a thing I never thought I would. At age 48, I'm getting married for the first time! Yes, it's true. I have beaten the odds that face all middle-aged single women and I have, by sheer accident, found the love of my life. Now that's good fortune! I'm on a roll folks! Where's that slot machine? Gimme a lotto ticket! I'm mailing in my Publishers Clearinghouse entry too!
Who is this man who managed to snag such a great catch, you ask? His name is Keith and he lives in Southern California. If you're wondering, yes it was an internet romance. We met briefly at a convention last January, but the relationship grew through email correspondence. We met again several times over the last year and spent a fortune on phone calls, then decided that we were the real thing. So, in December we are tying the knot and I'm packing my bags, cats and birds for a move to southern California.
If none of this sounds easy, you are right--it's not. I'm finding out that actually finding a husband and getting married is the easy part! The hard part is all the stuff that happens before the wedding. For one thing, planning a move across country is not the same as moving across the street, which is one myth I am dispelling. You might be tempted to carry that faux-hippopotamus foot umbrella stand across the street, but are you willing to pay for it to be transported across the country or even just take up space in a trailer? Not me, but I never knew I had attached sentimental value to it--I nearly cried when I left it on the curb for the trash pickup.
Of course, besides throwing out all the garbage I've collected over the last 20 years or so, I had to deal with the other little problems life seems to throw at you when you least need it. My roommate drove my car to Chicago where it promptly threw a rod. In case you didn't know, I live about 130 miles from Chicago! Ever try to find a good garage in an area you know nothing about? Yikes!
Additionally, the engine was shot so a new one was needed. I had to find the new engine myself. Luckily one turned up on the web but then you go on faith that the new one is not a worse piece of junk than the one that blew up. Many phone calls, much money, a month and a three-hour bus ride later, I have my car back but now it "thunks". I think the thunk is the new clutch. Anyway, it's just in time to take it up to a sales consignment lot in Stevens Point, Wis.. Anyone want to buy a 94 Hyundai Elantra 4-door with a "new" used engine?
That's not all. There is the wedding itself. I would be happy using a Las Vegas drive-thru chapel with Elvis officiating, but Keith really wants a sweet romantic wedding. On top of that we have spent whatever money/credit we have on repairing my car so we don't really have a lot of money to spend. Additionally, since we are getting married in California, no one from my family can make the wedding. If we have more 10 guests, I will be surprised!
But then again, maybe that's the way to do it--it sure is cheaper than a $10,000.00 church wedding. I even ordered my wedding dress off the web for $180.00. It should come in soon, so then I'll know how badly it fits. As for my family, they are planning a big picnic/reception in June for us, so they will get to share in some of the fun anyway, just later.
There are many more positive things going on too. As I said, Keith is a real sweetie and is the love of my life. He has done a lot of the running around that needs to be done, including buying us a new home and even a minivan.
The area where we will be living is warm and pleasant, despite the fact that the ground jumps up and does a little hootchie cootchie dance once in a while. I have talked to some native Californians who swear they'd rather deal with a dozen earthquakes than one tornado, but I don't believe them. You can at least try to get out of a tornado's path but the best you can do in an earthquake is exit the building and try to wait it out. Pass the dramamine please--I get motion sickness.
So that's what's happening in my life. What's happening with yours?