Thursday, January 20, 2011

Gimme, Gimme, Gimme!

Hi.  I'm Ms. Meticulous, and I have a problem.  My overzealous meticulosity compels me towards a (sometimes unreasonable) tendency to collect things.  Hear me out, though!  When I find something I really love and there are other things like it, or it's a part of a collection or series, or just generally goes with certain other things, I want all of them.  Because (and there is a because - this isn't meaningless collecting, folks!) life would be better/easier/more appealing/prettier/generally more wonderful if I had them.  If I ever start to exhibit signs of a new collector-streak, Mr. NM will randomly yell, "Brabantia!" due to a previous collection moment resulting in this.

{includes butter curler, jar scraper, melon baller, and a whole other crock of more frequently used items}

What does this have to do with weddings, you ask?  (Like you have to ask.  That's *clearly* rhetorical.)  Well the Wedding Industrial Complex has found a way to (brilliantly) convey that weddings are a package deal, and I have been brainwashed.   Videographer - want one!  Day of Coordinator - need one!  Wedding day hotel suite - must have!  Hair stylist and makeup artist - can't live without!  Artistic wedding cake - not a wedding without it!  Extraordinary honeymoon - deserve it!  Professional lighting design - worth it!  I could go on and on, but I won't.  You know what I'm talking about.

Now, repeat after me:  "It's not in the budget."

Just for good measure, let's say it again:  "It's not in the budget."

*whine*  But I waaaaant it.  And I neeeeeeeeeed it.  *moan*  And sometimes I spend an inordinate amount of energy scheming about how I can have them, even though I know there's not money in the budget for it.  I rationalize this along the lines of, "What's the point of spending all this emotional energy on being meticulous about this 'one day' if it's not going to be adequately documented, or I'm not going to look my best, or if I'm going to be stressed out?  Etc. etc. etc. 

Checking in with Mr. NM about this sometimes nips the whininess in the bud.  But it doesn't resolve the yearning in my soul (only mildly exaggerating here).  As a psychologist I know that when my thoughts ("I long for that.") are at an impasse with my behaviors (I'm not taking any steps towards having that.), I have two choices - change my thoughts or change my behaviors.  I've been able to change my thoughts about some of these "gimmes" because I can balance the "gimme" thought with other authentic, competing thoughts like "not that much will be lost if I don't have it, or it's not worth the cost, or I only feel like I want it because I've seen others have it but not because it's actually important to me." 

When I'm not able to authentically find ways to successfully to do that, I have to think about whether I can realistically behave differently.  For me, that means look at the $dollahs$.  If Mr. NM doesn't want a particular cost to come out of the wedding budget (that we both contribute to), then am I willing to put my own personal $ where my  "gimme" is?  Turns out there are things I value enough that I'm happily willing to pay for it myself (like a DOC, I think), whereas some things have me squarely on the fence (like a videographer). 

I know I can't have everything when it comes to this wedding - most of the time I'm really glad for that because I think if we had *everything* then it might take away from the *only thing* that truly matters, which is committing ourselves to one another.  Oh but other times - I really, really want it all.  (Brabantia!)  I'm still doing my own psychological and financial work to help me create a vision and a reality that takes into considering my longings as well as my limitations. 

What do you want that you know you can't have?  How do you deal with that?

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