The day of the engagement photos has arrived. I even somehow managed to miraculously convince Jeff to pull together his clothes, hats, and shoes to wear for our pictures. Well, I'm close on the shoes, at least. He's told me he's wearing his Berks and red Chucks. Will the miracles never cease?
So why do I feel like I'm about to toss my single cookie that I called breakfast this morning?
Could it be that I have three and a half hours from the time I get off work to get hair and make up done, pick up dinner, eat with my fiance, drag him out of his workplace an hour before the shop closes without having to commit patricide in the midst? Oh, and the manicure I gave myself last night: well, I apparently managed to rub the french tips off in my sleep. Go me. So I think I'm now going to also try to squeeze a mani into the picture somehow too.
Or is it merely a delayed reaction to the realization that I'm going to have to hire a private detective to find my father and get him to my wedding next year?
I'd like to think that I'm not really nervous about getting pictures taken of myself. I mean, I thought I was excited about it because I'm so often the one stuck behind the camera that there are so very few pictures of me, let alone of both Jeff and I together. Actually, pictures of me are such a rarity, that baby picture are even hard to come by. Childhood are actually near impossible. Apparently photographic documentation was not my family's strong suit.
Perhaps it's just an absurdly strong urge to make sure they're perfect. I will admit I've been a mite OCD on that. But his family's huge, and I haven't met even the smallest fraction that his parents insist on inviting. Therefore, these pictures will quite literally be my first and only impression on these people before and if they come to the wedding. As I told Jeff, I'd prefer that his family be under the impression that he scored a hot, city girl rather than a frumpy, country girl. Why let it ever enter their minds that he might be settling (as opposed to settling down), right?
And the same goes for my family. The opportunities for Jeff to meet anyone on my side of the family has been few and far between. I want him to look good too. Growing up, I was the girl who never dated, so I'd hate for my family to think that I settled for the first guy that gave me a second look. My family's bizarre and there's already been muffled discussion that I must have gotten knocked up or something. I feel this might stem from the fact that I came from a small town with too little to talk about and that there was a mistaken rumor before I'd even met Jeff that I was having twins. Long story, but the short version is, a friend of my mom's was knitting baby sweaters for twins. I want them to be able to see him the way that I do--as the fun, incredible, handsome, funny guy that he is. I want them to see how incredibly lucky I am to have found Mr. Right and My Best Friend after having gone through only one Mr. Oh-So-Very-Wrong.
But then I'm back to the whole missing father incident too. My father is a nervous fella. Probably why he ended up becoming an alcoholic. He's always had problems with his parents and hasn't had very much luck with marriage either. But, he has a bad habit of when he feels pressured of managing a disappearing act that would make the CIA jealous. Now, for the past two or so years, he's been dry. I've been proud. Everyone else has been harassing him for money (ex-wife #1: my mom), to move his vehicles off their property (ex-wife #2), and to go to rehab (his parents). The last time he disappeared, he turned up in California with my eldest ex-stepbrother. Impressive considering he was under probation in the state of Maryland for DUI. This time, nobody knows where he's gone to.
You might think that I'm making excuses for him. I'm not really. I'm peeved that he's pulled this disappearing act again. All I wanted was to let him know when and where to be for our father-daughter dance. But I also feel bad for him too. I feel sorry that his instinct is to shut himself away from everyone instead of reaching out instead. I guess he just doesn't know how or doesn't realize that anyone's willing to listen without asking for anything in return. And I guess I have just enough daddy issues that I'm willing to be that one person. But I really for sorry if I'm the only person who is willing. For a bunch of people who consider themselves good Christians, it's a shame none of them know how to listen.