July 12th, 2012


To Wed or Not to Wed

The latest book is off with Mom for a sanity check, so now I have to get back to focusing on preparing for the release of books 5 and 6. I've got a conference call with the person handling the digital release tomorrow, so next week I should have all sorts of crucial details to report.

The guys came out yesterday to look at my AC/heater and figure out what they can do for me, and it turns out that it's going to be a challenge. They were very, very creative with their use of space when they built this house, and there are some quirks to the house. Like, the indoor part of the AC/heating unit is in the bathroom ceiling. They had to write down model numbers, take photos and then go back and do research to figure out what might be available to fit in that space. So I still don't know how many books I'm going to need to sell. They did confirm that the current unit is probably dying. They got out a thermometer and measured the difference in temperature between the air going in and the air coming out, and it's not chilling the way it's supposed to, in spite of the new freon. Whatever new thing they can do, even with my limited options, should be better than what I have now. It will be quieter and more efficient, and they showed why it's so noisy in my bedroom -- the ductwork. There's a fresh-air intake vent in my bedroom that's the wrong size for the unit, so the noise is too much air being sucked into it. Not to mention the fact that the intake vent is literally six inches from the output vent, so the cool/warm air is being sucked right back in instead of being circulated. They said they'd close off that intake vent and enlarge the one in the living room.

What was fun was that they noticed my DVD collection before they even looked at my AC, so they seemed to figure out that I'm a geek and reasonably intelligent, and they gave me the technical explanations without patronizing me. Plus, we had some fun conversations about Star Wars, Star Trek, Firefly, the Alien movies, etc. And they gave me some suggestions about improving airflow with the existing system -- which fans to turn on, which direction to turn them and when, which doors to open/close -- that made a big difference in the comfort level of the house. I'd always heard that you turned the ceiling fans one way for winter and the other for summer, and the summer way didn't actually seem cooler to me. But they said it's different depending on whether you're using the AC or using the fans to cool, and in the case of the upstairs, whether I'm in that room or not. It feels cooler in that room with the fan going one way, but if I'm not in that room, then I need to reverse the fan and open the doors, and that makes the whole house cooler. They said a fan on the loft would be even better, but that ceiling slopes so much and is so low that I'm afraid anyone taller than I am would be decapitated.

Last night I found a decent romantic comedy movie of all places on the Lifetime Movie Network (their OnDemand channel, so it's probably a few years old). It was called I Me Wed, and it's about a single woman who's perfectly happy being single -- not opposed to marriage, but okay with her life the way it is and therefore not at all desperate to get married. Her friends and family refuse to believe she's happy the way she is and think she's being too picky when she rejects men, and she's getting really fed up with that. When she tells a friend that she's okay being with herself and her friend snarks back, "Why don't you marry yourself, then?" she gets an idea. She announces that she's going to marry herself to get the point across that she's perfectly okay and her commitment to herself means she's not going to settle just so she won't be alone. Of course, she meets the perfect guy soon after that, and just as she's falling in love with him, her marrying herself idea hits the media. She becomes an inspiration to a lot of fed-up single women, and her idea of a simple ceremony to make a point to her family and friends spirals out of control as companies start donating things so she can have the perfect wedding to herself. Then she's stuck in a no-win situation: if she cancels the wedding to herself because she has a boyfriend, then it looks like she was only doing the wedding thing because she was alone and she'll disappoint all those women looking up to her, but if she goes through with a huge wedding to herself while she's got a boyfriend, it looks like she's just being self-centered (not to mention, it's easy to be a Bridezilla when the wedding really is all about you). She has to figure out what a wedding really means and when it really is important to worry about what other people think.

It had Lifetime movie production values -- supposedly set in Boston but filmed in Ottawa, and taking place in April/May but all the stock footage establishing shots of Boston used between scenes showed trees with fall colors, plus a completely no-name probably Canadian cast without even the usual inclusion of one "name" in a cameo role. And there were a few things that irked me, like an extremely stereotypical gay best friend character (all gay men just looooove to plan weddings) and the first kiss leading straight to sex thing that's one of my pet peeves. But otherwise, it was reasonably thought-provoking, I liked both the guy and the girl (he was really cute and exactly my type), I wanted them to get together, there was no bickering at all, they were actually perfect for each other and not doing the usual total opposites thing, the conflict came from the circumstances, they behaved mostly like reasonable adults and reacted in a believable way, and no one was totally right or wrong -- both of them had to do the public affirmation/apology and they had to work it out between them rather than one having to do the mad dash across town and then make a fool of him/herself while groveling.

I guess I particularly related as a never-married person who's been to way too many weddings. They did make a point that she wasn't doing this as a way to get presents. Even at the beginning of the film, she was shocking her friends by buying expensive kitchenware for herself instead of waiting to put it on a wedding registry. As she said at one point, "If I want a waffle iron, I'll buy a waffle iron." But I say it's totally about the presents. If I added up all the money I've spent on wedding presents over the years, I could have really equipped my own kitchen, and since I haven't been married, there's been no occasion for any of those gifts to be reciprocated. But even if I did decide to marry myself and register for gifts, I'd have to hire PIs to track down all the people I've given gifts to. Out of all the weddings I've been to in the past 22 or so years, I'm still in regular real-life contact with one couple and am Facebook friends with a few more. Some of those people did move away, which made staying in touch more difficult, but for the most part, I think it came down to the fact that I was close enough to be invited to the wedding (and to give a gift) but not close enough to remain within their circle of friends when they were no longer part of the same general group with me. We were friends when they were in the church singles group, but they no longer associated with me when they left that group. I did establish a personal policy about ten years ago that if I haven't heard from you in the previous six months and I receive a wedding invitation from you, then I'm going to politely decline and I don't feel obligated to send a gift. If I'm not important enough to be a part of your life otherwise, then I figure you can live without me at your wedding.

I am lucky, though, that I've never felt pressured to be married. The people closest to me know that it's not because I didn't want to be married but rather that I didn't find the right person and am okay enough on my own not to settle. There's no "man that got away" that I rejected for a trivial reason but that I have second thoughts about now and wish I hadn't let him go. I can't imagine living with anyone I've dated or been asked out by. The only ones where I thought it might have worked ended up rejecting me, which is kind of a deal-breaker. I don't really get the "what's wrong with you that you aren't married?" attitude from anyone. I'm more likely to get "what's wrong with men that no one's snatched you up?" But still, it was nice to hear the heroine in this movie saying the things I say about my life and to realize that I still agree with her, in spite of me never having found the perfect guy.