Breaking Barriers by Breaking Wind

“Oh, by the way, you farted last night.”

If you ever want to know what married people talk about first thing in the morning after waking up. It’s this. “What?” I asked. “Really I did?”

“Yeah,” Craig said nonchalantly. “I was so shocked. Not only did you fart once, but you farted twice. In your sleep.”

I started laughing. See the thing is, for Craig, passing gas is like breathing. It’s the part of the Vegan/Vegetarian creed. You know, “Thou shalt not eat meat. Thou shalt not eat dairy or eggs. Thou shalt fart every hour of the day or at least when no one is looking.” So he is shocked that in the two years we’ve been together that he’s never heard me lay one. In fact, he was beginning to think I was an alien or some kind of android. “It’s unnatural!” he would say.

It’s not that I never farted, it’s just that I farted discreetly. And I never have to fart as often as Craig does. So to learn that Craig finally heard me pass gas was a relief (no pun intended).

“So I farted, huh?” I said. “What did it sound like? How did it happen?”

“Well, it was shortly after you got into bed. You immediately fell asleep,” he said. “Then I heard this ‘pff..fft!’ Wait, no it was more like ‘pffffft!’ Yeah that’s exactly how it sounded. And I thought, wait what was that? Surely that wasn’t me. Then, it came again, ‘pffft!’ You tooted a second time! It was glorious!”

I was literally rolling around in laughter at his story. “I was so excited I finally heard you fart,” he said, “that I couldn’t even go back to sleep. I couldn’t wait to tell you about it!”

So that’s it. That’s my story about the night Craig finally heard me fart. In a way, it’s made our relationship stronger.

“We’ve reached a milestone, honey,” he said. “Then the day will come when we’ll be farting… together.”

Ok, that’s way too far. But he’s good at making me laugh and that’s what matters.

Death and Taxes

When does a couple become one unit instead of two entities? Is it when they finally decide to cohabitate? No. Is it when two people exchange rings, and both take the vow of marriage? No, not even.

Most people think it’s either one of these, but in my experience so far, it’s when you both decide to see a financial planner together.

When you get married, you can plan on loving and cherishing each other, in sickness and health, till death do you part. But until you’re both sitting in a conference room with a view of the Dallas skyline in the background while a guy in a suit watches you both commit to each other’s financial well-being in both the present and future, you have no idea what it means to be part of a “we.”

Such is the case with Craig and me.

What’s Mine is Yours

Last week Craig and I met with our new financial planner Evan for the first time. After a brief courtship that comprised of a couple of phone calls and some emails, we finally decided to take the leap and go all in. We were ready to take a peek at our financial picture and start planning our future together.

We made it through the first step of the process, which was for Craig and me to come to a consensus about seeing a financial planner. That was the easy part. We both have similar views of what we want our ideal future to look like, and we both have similar opinions on money. The second step was to go through a complete financial analysis. It would help us understand what our current financial picture looks like compared to our goals.

Part of the process was filling out an extensive questionnaire. We answered questions about our fears, our short-term, and mid-term goals, and philosophical questions that post hypothetical situations about money. These questions were thought-provoking. It gave us some discussion points about topics we never really considered talking about before.

As we were filling out the questionnaire, all of the responses I typed out began with “we.” We wish this; we’re afraid of that… suddenly I began to realize my financial decisions were no longer mine; they were ours. It was a startling revelation, one that I mildly resented at first. However, the more I wrote it, the more I began to accept it.

I began to wonder if all other married couples went through this exercise. If not, is that why the divorce rate is so high?

Couples Who Finance Together, Stay Together

Financial incompatibility is frequently named as one of the most common reasons for divorce in the United States. It’s easy to forget that our decisions, no matter how small they are, can ultimately have an impact on our spouse. Explore their homepage and learn how to make this process as quick and painless as possible.

This exercise is proving to be a positive step in the right direction. Planning our future also means planning our inevitable death which, hopefully, will be far into the future. It’s forcing us to evaluate our current record-keeping system, our various insurance policies and coverage, and our estate plans. Some people find this process uncomfortable, but I find it logical and therefore right. To avoid it means to avoid one of life’s only certainties.

And now let me pose this question to you: when did you address the subject of financial compatibility? When did you discuss the subject of death and your legacy? Were any of these discussions before or after marriage?

Photo: iStockphoto.

Oh Hey, BTW We Got Married

The whirlwind that was last weekend has finally died down. Craig and I have re-inserted ourselves back into normal daily life after spending 72 hours in marital bliss. I can finally sit down and write at my desk without having glue, tulle, or floral tape stuck to my butt.

The details of that day flow into each other like washes of watercolor in my memory. The strong leather scent of my new, blue Tieks as I unpackaged them from the box. The thin layer of nervous sweat that covered Craig’s hands as he held mine during our wedding vows. The sounds of the gentle breeze rustling through the trees as we stood there in his parents backyard in front of a small crowd of our family and friends.

I always thought I would get married on a cold winter day, but a mild spring day in March seemed more perfect for us. I wore a dress that I paid for myself. It was an empire-waisted, ivory white, floor-length chiffon dress. It had intricate beading along the bust and down the back with a court-length train. It was simple from a distance, but perfect.

My “something blue” were my blue Tieks. I’ve been wanting to get a second pair so what better time than my wedding day. My “something borrowed” was the bouquet charm that my sister used for her wedding. It had a picture of our dad with a rhinestone cross and a tag that said, “Always with me.” My something old was a necklace that belonged to my grandmother, which my mom brought to me that day. All of these things were special. They represented the things that made me who I am.

When it came to my wedding, I would compromise anywhere else but the flowers. I had to have fresh flowers.

I found my florist a month earlier, a lively and pleasant woman by the name of Azar who owns Nirvana Flowers in Addison, and gave her a vision for what I wanted. I knew my dress would be simple and therefore the perfect canvas for a bold bouquet of flowers. Just like any creative, she took my vision and made it come true. My flowers were orange calla lilies, green cymbidium orchids, and blush white ranunculus. They were beautiful and bold, which is exactly what I wanted.

In the last few weeks leading up to the wedding, my friends kept asking me if Izzie would be part of our special day. Initially I hadn’t planned on it, but the closer it got, the more I realized we couldn’t not have her there.

Two weeks before the wedding, I found the perfect ceremonial attire for her. It was a white patent leather collar with a matching leash. The collar was adorned with silk flowers and crystal “bling.” The leash matched in the same way, but also had bling lettering that read, “I do too.” It was exactly what our ceremony need. If Craig wanted to marry me, he would have to marry Izzie too whether he liked it or not.

And she was such a little socialite too. We were so proud of her. Even though she did bark at people as they entered the house, it was more of a, “Hello! Welcome! Look at me down here!” kind of greeting. Still she would occasionally trot in and out of the room where I was getting ready so that she could see who she hadn’t met yet.

About 30 minutes before we were to walk down the aisle, I had my friend Christina who was also our photographer, deliver a present to Craig. It was a book I had put together and had printed, titled, “Here’s Why I’m Marrying You Today, Craig Adams.” I wanted to surprise him with something special, something that would just be for him. So I created a cute little book with caricatures made in our likeness illustrating the numerous ways why I love him so much and I wanted to marry him. And I’m so glad Christina was there to capture the moment he opened it because to be able to see the look on his face is priceless because he was over the moon about it. I think that was probably what made all the stress and the waiting worth it.

We were so happy. The event was intimate with all the important details I wanted. Our families were there and although we didn’t invite everyone we knew, we did the right thing by planning a wedding that wasn’t a financial burden on anyone else. At the same time I wanted it to reflect Craig and I, our tastes, our values and our personalities. In the end it turned out to be everything we wanted it to be.