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Our two-stage wedding begins in 3 weeks, and I’m pretty excited.

We’re picking up our marriage license at City Hall on 1 December.  I have to remember to switch my usual therapy appointment, note to self.

On 5 December, Tom’s daughter, his immediate family, my immediate family, and our family of choice will all have a lovely dinner complete with toasts at my mom’s house.  From there, we’re likely to take our friends and the kiddo to either the Firebird Festival, or down to Linvilla for a caroling hayride and marshmallow roast.  The peeps are staying through the weekend.  I’ve never met my sDaughter in person, but we’ve grown close online.  Tom hasn’t seen her in person in over a decade, as she lives out in the Midwest.  I’m beside myself with how excited I am.

Then, four short weeks later, on the second day of 2016, we’ll be trekking from Hotel Sofitel with our five guests down to the Rodin Museum to say our vows at the Gates of Hell exhibit.  There are subversive plans to head to Shane’s Confectionery the night before for treats, then coming back to the hotel to don ridiculous kigurumis and watch movies, but I can neither confirm nor deny these plans.  (Yes I can!)  Friends from all over the world are mailing me pages to place in a scrap book I’ll carry — my book-quet, if you will (h/t to Nyree), so that the people I love most in this whole wide world can come with me, regardless of the tyranny of geography.

After we’re hitched, we’ll be taking pictures around Logan Square and then heading down to Penn’s Landing to go to Franklin Fountain for milkshakes, maybe go ice skating, and then go to Twisted Tail for dinner.  From there, we’ll probably hit L’etage for mocktails for me, cocktails for everyone else, a visit from Dirae and her partner, and maybe Carl (!) and some dancing, if we’re into dancing.

Our wedding bands were designed by our kid, and involve Steven Universe, naturally.  She holds that Tom and I are a stable fusion (Aquamarine) of Emerald (Tom) and Morganite (me).  So, we elected for tungsten rings, each with an aquamarine on the knuckle-side, and the gems she selected for us on our own rings on the palm side.  They’re due to arrive from Tel Aviv the week of Yule, which is perfect.

Surprisingly, gifts have rolled in for us, despite the fact that we’re faux-loping.  Both our families have been super supportive of us having exactly the shin-dig we wanted, even though it isn’t what they envisioned.  Our friends are all over the moon for us in both enthusiasm and support.

As of that week, Thomthulhu will have finished 2 of his remaining 5 semesters of school.  He’s switched his major to Classics with minors in History and probably Latin.

Work is going well for me, both as a systems analyst and as a freelance writer.  I have a piece running in The Establishment soon, and pitched a very significant project to a major publication that has the potential to turn into a long-term staff position creating content.  Working up that proposal was for sure a concentrated effort in properly valuing my research and writing skills, and I’ll be thrilled if the publication is happy with my number.  I’ve been honing my research skills with Ask Wonder when I have free time, and that’s been super for keeping me sharp.  It also puts about $50 in the bank every few weeks and that never hurts.

I’m taking up sewing gradually, and that’s pretty cool.

In other news, word has reached me that a former member of my Galactic Collision of 2014 is potentially moving to a spot four blocks from my residence.  That fact has me feeling some rather large feelings.  A significant part of me simply doesn’t care — that group of people is no longer a threat to my emotional well-being.  My neighborhood is full of people who love and support me.  I don’t have anything to say to the people from whom I have taken leave, and I am confident that whatever they might have to say to me will come from the places it always has, and is unlikely to change.  I don’t relish the idea of running into any of them or their associated people, but it no longer fills me with betrayal or anger (much).  There does remain a piece of me that wants my weird little poly-queer-promised land this side of the river to stay unmolested.  I like my life far better in their absence than I ever did in their presence.  I’m more myself, less apologetic, calmer, higher energy.  Without the pressure to assimilate and sublimate who I am, I’m more thoroughly and thoughtfully myself.  I enjoy that.  I’m sure her choice is not purposeful or malicious for a variety of reasons. I’m also sure that I can handle any run-ins with elegance and aplomb (and probably a stony gaze envied by any basilisk).  It’s just an annoyance, more than anything.  Like discovering half way through the day that your tights have shifted just left of comfortable in the middle of a speaking engagement.  You can’t fix it elegantly, and simply have to endure until such time as you’re in my dining room with Dirae yelling about how people are shitty over pomegranate americanos.

Which reminds me!   I’ve also tentatively joined the ranks of elective sobriety for the time being.  No, I am not pregnant, thanks for not asking.  I came to the conclusion a few weeks ago that most of what I enjoy about having a drink is that it provides a pleasing aesthetic experience; most of what I don’t like about having a drink is literally everything else about alcohol.  I’ve talked with Hanif about taking on infusions as a shared hobby.  I’m actually going to be making a batch of lavender simple syrup this evening for kicks, and will gladly add it to just about everything.  Tart, rich juices have taken the place of wine and whiskey in my life, and after just a few weeks I’m really happy with the wisdom and care of this choice.  I reserve the right to perhaps have a glass of champagne with friends if I so choose, but overall I think I’d rather have an Alyssa Milano, a rhubarb shrub, or a festive wassail instead. I love the preparation and care that goes into creating mocktails.  I’ve thought about picking up a wine fridge to put near our dry sink in the dining room to act as a storage spot for cordials, syrups, shrubs, and infusions. The decision hasn’t been hard for me thus far, even at a wedding I coordinated where booze was flowing profusely.  Dirae and her partner were the bartenders and happily handed me juice with tonic as often as I liked.  BUBBLES MAKE EVERYTHING SPECIAL.  So do friends.  ❤

So that’s the haps, friends.  I hope everyone’s doing great as Thanksgiving approaches.  It is my favorite holiday, and I’m eagerly anticipating it and a secular Advent!

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