i’ve been drowning in wedding stuff- and i couldn’t be happier.
you know… usually regular-elle would totally be throwing hissy fits because waaah, waaah, my life is shit and everyone’s happy and successful but me! waaaah! i’m selfish, etc. but for reals, internet? i couldn’t be happier to announce that my brother and his fiancée are getting married this august. jo will officially become my sister-in-law, and cory will be the first kid in the family to be starting his own little family.
growing up, cory and i were always close. we had a lot of similar friends, or were always able to hangout with each others’ friends because we were only three years apart. i mostly grew up surrounded by boys, and all of my brother’s friends took me under their wing and treated me as their little sister. my brother’s best man, dom, is considered a third sibling, and i love him with all my heart. i love seeing their wedding party, and knowing that these people have known me since i was just a little kid. they saw me get in trouble, and succeed, and they were around to see me cry and hug me when boys broke my thirteen-year-old heart. my brother (and all his close friends) have always been protective of me. cory used to wake me in the middle of the night, step on the bottom bunk, reach up and tap my shoulder: “hey! let’s go talk!”, he’d say. we’d sit in the basement watching cartoons- pouring our hearts out. i never really opened up much as a kid… but cory used to drag me out of bed and force my secrets out. no matter how silly or important, he had my back. that’s what i love so much about him, you know? he may not be able to fully wrap his mind around the things i tell him, but he respects them, and he loves me regardless. he used to stick up for me to our parents and tell them i had a lot going on. “she’ll be fine”, he’d say. and he always made sure i was.
it’s been harder these days. cory’s worked very hard to be the successful man he is today. he had a few humps along the way, but he’s stronger than me in that sense. he never got sucked into a lifestyle that didn’t promise for a bright future. he slacked off as a kid, but christ… he was a kid! he smartened up, went to school… he’s done so many amazing things for himself, and i couldn’t be more proud. he worked hard to be in this amazing spot in his life. cory and jo have been travelling- together and alone. they’ve been planning out their future. they just moved into a beautiful old home in a trendy spot of the city. they have barbecues and they go on dates, and they’re so in love. and that’s all i could have ever asked for. for a woman to love my brother as much as he deserves to be loved. someone who awakens his mind and pushes him to be everything he is, everything he can be. jo has been such a positive person in all of our lives, and i knew the very second i met her that she’d be my sister-in-law. i knew that if she could handle family dinner, the holidays with the french side of the family, my mother’s insecurities, my father’s wacky sense of humour, my brother’s hard-head, and my sarcasm and heavy heart- then she had to be the girl for my brother… for our family.
i’m not going to lie… sometimes being around them is hard. there are many decisions i’ve made in my life that have staggered my emotional growth, or my personal advancement. i’ve been held back so much over the last few years, and a big part of it is my fault. yes, i could have done so much differently, and had i just listened to my family (and friends) i could have saved myself years of agony. but i don’t think it’s too late. on my darkest days, i ache for an easy way out. i miss the care-free lifestyle of house shows, malt liquor, parties, and unemployment. but the truth is, (and as easy as it is for me to return there), that isn’t who i am.
i remember being fifteen and watching one of my closest friends pop some ecstasy and then smoke crack from a beer can. and while slutty girls in zebra print skirts and mohawks were hanging off him like he was the fucking man, i just remember thinking: what the fuck am i doing here? i sat in the back of the basement, listening to the sex pistols and the libertines, drinking my beer, and hoping to god the friends i grew up with that had just snorted a few lines of k weren’t going to overdose. one of them passed out on the floor, drooling and mumbling. that circle of friends tried to keep some sense of normalcy… by going to see movies at the theatres or having barbecues and beach days. granted those days were fun, and yes we did do some productive things and i experienced a hell of a lot. and i as much as i cared about some of those people, i just remember thinking that this wasn’t going to be my life forever.
i still see some of those people, and yes they’ve grown out of that phase. none of them do drugs anymore, and some of them have houses and cars, and jobs even. they look the same, and deep down, i know a part of them misses pouring beer on each other and screaming the lyrics of their favourite bands at shows, but we’ve grown up. most of them, anyway. the lucky ones, i like to think.
andy brought out such a wholesome person in me. he was the first person in a long time who could really make me feel again, and i’ll always appreciate him for that. i remember spending nights in bed together- telling silly jokes, laughing, having sex, and just being together. i think that’s important… i haven’t been in many relationships because i find it so hard to just be with someone. the first week andy and i started dating, he asked me to go over one night after work. he’d rushed home to cook me a gourmet meal- stuffed mushrooms, rice, squash… we ate dinner at the dining room table with candles and for the first time since i was sixteen, i was NERVOUS. i remember feeling my heart pound against my chest as i took small bites (wondering if i was chewing loudly), and kissing between sentences (wondering what he was thinking of). once the meal was finished he gave me some pj pants and we watched texas chainsaw massacre (i know, romantic). our legs were entwined and we must have had sex about four times… and i miss that, you know? i miss not being able to keep my hands off someone. i miss the feeling of having someone care about you enough to go out of their way because they want to, not because they feel they have to. i miss the effortlessness of andy and i’s relationship before we jumped the gun. andy and i weren’t meant to be together for many reasons, and i’m okay with that. i’m just glad i got the opportunity to feel again. to be good again.
and that’s all i can hope for, for myself. i look back on those four or five months i spent with B, dancing and fucking and not giving a shit about each other. and yeah, it was fun to forget for a few months, but that’s really not who i want to be. i don’t want to be some idiot’s dumb girl. i don’t want to sit in his filthy apartment, pretending i give a shit about someone i don’t, and pushing away all the thoughts of the things i want in life. granted, the kung fu movies were good, and the breakfast in bed was better than i’d expected, but fuck it.
i know what i want, what i always wanted. i knew what i wanted even when i was screwing my best friend, or smoking pot in alleyways. i may not have a traditional past and i may not look like your traditional suburban housewife, but that’s what i am at heart. and dammit, my feminist friends totally want to punch me in the teeth right now but i don’t care.
i want the quirky house in the old neighbourhood, and a garage, and a barbecue, and high-efficiency front loading washer & dryer. i want to cook all the meals, scrub the tub, and have a vegetable garden. i want to drive a fucking honda fit. i want to have a wedding, and baby showers and perfect little babies with off-beat names. i want to drive the kids to soccer practice and build lego castles and play house and i wanna take the kids to family dinner at gramma and grampy’s house.
i want what cory and jo have worked so hard on building together- a promising future and a happy, fulfilled life. so what if that makes me a cliché?
i want to be good again.