On Being Single

I am not single. This is a reflection after seeing a particular movie this week that I thought would be slap stick comedy but actually had an intellectual aspect to it.

Have you seen it? How.to.be.single?

I went with my sister and we have two VERY different love stories. It was interesting to talk about it after.

She met her husband in junior high and never dated anyone else. She lived at home until she got a surprise pregnancy at 19 and dropped out of college and took a retail job. Her husband worked (and still does) in construction. Then they moved in with her (now) husband’s mother. They got married at 22 and bought their own house. They had another baby at 24 and are currently hoping to have a third.

I didn’t date much in high school, but went on some dates in University. I went to school 1800 kms from home, so I lived on my own in a dorm for the first two years and then an apartment for the third. I made some great friendships. From there I moved to across the country and started my adult life in a city where I knew no one…I loved the experience. I got a corporate job that paid me well, so I got to have some wonderful experiences. While there I met a guy who I dated seriously, but it didn’t last. Then I met another guy, dated him semi-seriously, but again it didn’t last. 3 years post University graduation I met Mr. Big. We dated for 7 months, were engaged for 2 years and finally married outdoors at a small ceremony in the mountains. It was beautiful. We struggled with infertility for a while there, before packing up and moving home to be closer to my family and sisters. Still struggling with infertility.

The movie (SPOILER ALERT) talks about how to be single…and how part of the purpose is to figure out who you are while you’re single so that when you do find someone, you don’t get lost. They coin the experience of “finding a guy and rushing into something serious without ever knowing yourself” as “dicksand” (sorry, that’s what they call it). It’s like meeting someone you like and getting stuck in their quicksand and becoming who they want you to be rather than who you are.

As soon as the movie ended, my sister looked at me and said “I got caught in (her husbands name)’s dicksand.”

The more I thought about it, the more I realized how lucky I am to have had all the wonderful experiences I did have while I was single – and to have the opportunity to not only figure out who I am, but to develop that. While I miss, immensely, that I don’t have children yet – there is a perk to it too. Mr. Big and I have been able to develop strong sense of who we each are individually, and who we are as a couple. We’ve been able to do things, and see things, and have experiences that not everyone gets to experience. That’s not such a bad thing. (Don’t get me wrong, I am ready to stop any time and trade it in for bibs and diapers…but I also want to realize and acknowledge that good things come from this too).

My sister and her husband are happily married, have a nice home and two beautiful children. They work hard and they enjoy their life. Getting caught into his “dicksand” (I know, cringeworthy tem!) worked for her and she’s happy. But I am very thankful that I had a chance to become who I am as a single person and to learn to need only myself – before finding the person to share my life with. I just hope that the little versions come along before I’m too old and grey to enjoy them.

It was definitely a surprising food for thought movie! Did you see it? What did you think?

Winter/Spring Project – The BEFORE

I love, love, LOVE projects…there’s something so fun and magical about taking something and making it new again.

Mr. Big and I have been planning on getting a camper this year for some time. We camped almost every weekend last spring/summer – and in a tent…so we figured that was commitment enough to warrant a camper purchase.

I am the cheapest person alive…so naturally, I wanted to find the most inexpensive yet functional camper possible – so, knowing that would take a while, I have been browsing Kiji.ji for the last month in hopes of finding someone really inexpensive that we could fix up.

And I found it!

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It’s a 12.5 ft by 7ft by 6.5 ft camper with four beds – a king and a queen slide out, and two table areas that fold down into a queen and a twin bed. There is no plumbing in it, but that’s fine with us – we’re coming from a tent so that’s an improvement.

The King slideout is missing because the canvas ripped…so just the queen slideout is there. The rest of the canvas is in good condition, but needs a good clean. The frame is solid and the tires are brand new – really, we got it for a steal all because the bed we wouldn’t use anyway is broken.

Our Plans:

  • Tear out the small table area and cabinet (see last pic).
  • Remove Queen slide out and sew canvas up on both slideout ends so there are just four walls – no slideouts.
  • Clean and repair canvas
  • Build Queen frame where small table area and cabinet used to be – include storage underneath for three long rubbermaid bins (1 for clothes, 1 for food and supplies, 1 for kitchenware)
  • Lay down wood flooring (it will be inexpensive because its hardly any area to cover)
  • Paint all the wood a light colour
  • Reupholster cushions on U shaped seating area
  • Add colourful curtains
  • Build small foldable shelving system in the space between bed and seating area on far wall – include space for a small bar fridge
  • Repaint the outside of the camper
  • Add an awning with screened in room

We will only have to buy some fabric, flooring, paint, lumber and a bar fridge – everything else we already have. We will do the labour ourselves (although, I’ve never repaired/replaced canvas so this should be interesting!!) so we will save costs there too. And, if all goes well, we will be ready for the May Long weekend!

I know it sounds crazy to remove the slideouts and cut a 4 bed camper down to 2 beds – and we did hum and haw about that – but, in the end, we wanted to make it work for our family. We’re not interested in reselling it one day but we didn’t pay much for it anyway so even if we do, we will still get back more than we paid.

For us that meant removing the slide outs so the bed is a permanent fixture, adding additional storage (at the cost of floor space, but we’re OK with that) and making a mosquito free outdoor space that is connected to the camper.

We’re very excited about this camper – a purchase we have wanted to make for so long and we got it for a price better than even we expected.

Keep your eyes open for the after posts as we go along!

#Microblog Mondays #2 – Chicken Cordon Bleu…but not

Mr. Big decided he wanted to spice things up by cooking (gasp) a surprise meal for me. I LOVE that he came up with this, especially since he never cooks (if he does it’s part of a meal or it’s something frozen or from a box/can/takeout place).

I had visions of pad thai or fried rice or burritos or some new casserole… knowing I am lactose intolerant limits our options, so you can imagine my surprise when he told me it was Chicken Cordon Bleu.

I was worried … there is only one thing in the whole world that I cannot eat without throwing up: ham. I am also lactose intolerant. Traditional Chicken Cordon Bleu has ham and cheese in it. The last thing I wanted to do was hurt his feelings or be unable to eat it.

He promised me he made adjustments – and what he ended up bringing out was essentially a breaded chicken breast stuffed with lunch meat roast beef and lactose free swiss cheese.

I love, love LOVE that he wanted to do this. I love that he was creative and thoughtful in his compromise knowing my intolerance/dislike for ham. I LOVE that he wanted to spice things up a bit by doing something so kind and thoughtful. But I’ll be OK if I never have to eat that again!! LOL!

I told him it was good anyway because I know how lucky I am that he wanted to do this for me – and I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. Which my Mom pointed out will only lead to it becoming a regular on our family meal planning…. I may have to tell him the truth.

Next time, maybe we will pick a recipe together, and cook it together! It’s a lot more fun that way, and then we can ensure it is something we will both enjoy! 🙂