This one gets a little sappy, don't say I didn't warn you

For those of you who went to high school and seemed even marginally intelligent you'll remember a time of life - those "carefree" years from, oh, about 10th to 12th grade that were actually a motherload of stress - when all anyone could say, upon discovering your age and that you were, indeed, intent upon graduation, was "Have you thought about where you'd like to go to college?" And you'd say, "Well..." and launch into a rehearsed speech that you actually never meant to rehearse but were forced to once you realized that Oh MY GOD this is all you were ever going to be asked about ever again. First you were pleasant and then you started having uncomfortable desires to maybe maim these question-askers, maybe just a little bit because didn't they just hear you have the exact same conversation with that guy over there how could they not have heard that HOW???!!! Even if you didn't realize it, this is usually a young person's most memorable introduction to the notion that people - they get really really into stuff and sometimes they won't shut up and this sometimes lends a sort of warped importance to things and can really make a person tense.

It's a lot like that with the wedding. I have been introduced for the last nine months as "This is Cara she's getting married," and that is then all I talk about for the remainder of the social event, period. Ok, ok. A lot of the time I talk about my dogs, also, but I'm not exaggerating that much.

I'm not going to be a fool and say I resent this attention. We chose to have a big wedding and so that is what we will talk about. Plus, this engagement stuff - it's pretty great. There's all these parties. I'm wearing this kickass ring that I really like a whole lot. I'm going to Vegas. I'm using a new word (fiance) in regular conversation and I'm buying new clothes because I need new clothes for the honeymoon and parties and so I can be a properly dressed and very subservient wife (who wears ribbed tank tops from J. Crew that were totally, totally on sale big time.)

The point I'm trying to get at here is that people keep asking me these questions that I'm not sure I get - the number one question I don't get being: Are you getting nervous? Well. I hope not, right? That's the answer, isn't it? I'm a little nervous about how the gulls keep pooping on the pier my family just had fixed and how that's not the best for wedding day pictures, but even that sends a shiver of giddiness through me because all I can think is "WEDDING DAY PICTURES THAT IS SO FUN!"

See, we went to this party over the weekend. Our friend Tom and his family have an annual bash in their back yard. We all drink beer from kegs in bathtubs, and Tom and J and their friends play music and sing on a makeshift stage. Now my fiance (now regular in my vocabulary) was up there playing his guitar and singing and he looked very, very cute and I felt just like I did when I first met him in a crowded room the night before our mutual friends got married and he said "Hello" and I thought, "Oh dear Lord this is going to be a problem, but a good problem," so no, see, I'm not nervous. I'm just fulfilling this thing that started - this thing that had to happen - nearly four years ago. It's easy. The college thing? That's a little harder. People love to talk about college endlessly and how it was the best time of their life and all, and you should just tell them to shut it, honestly. Actually, I take that back. They could be on the board of one of your top five and could score you some points so talk the talk, but just don't worry is all I'm saying. Once you get in and situated you can sleep in late and eat pizza at midnight, drink beers out of the mini-fridge in your room and probably gain a little weight that first year but it's cool. It happens to everyone.