Jun 052012

I’ve announced it to most of my family, he’s announced it to his, so now I can tell ya’ll:

We’re getting married. And by we I mean the romantic euphemism and me. We’re getting married. To each other.

He finds my degrees sexy. I find his credit score a turn on. He’s hilarious and creative; I’m… I don’t know what I am, but whatever it is, he seems to like it enough to want to live with me for the next few decades, so it must be PRETTY AWESOME. He’s getting my health insurance. I’m getting his patient companionship through fucking January. He writes about humans dating robots, I write about monkey sex (sort of). A match made in… well, on the internet, as it happens. Your go-to place for chaos and random good luck. And robots.

We’re also buying a house, which turns out to be FUCKING COMPLICATED and has taken up a great deal of my brain space, so I’m doing what you do in the twenty-first century when your brain is full: blogging about it. The romantic euphemism will also be writing about it, but not until after he finishes building the longest book in iBooks Author history.

(Sidenote: there’s a page there called “advise us.” Seriously, if you’ve either gotten married or bought a house, please leave us tips for success.)

I must say, deciding to get married is TOTALLY DIFFERENT than I expected. It’s much, much nicer and deeper and more important than I ever thought it would be. And I can’t help but contrast it with my experience so far with homebuying. I feel like I totally have a handle on the surprises of getting married – so far, anyway. But I am absolutely at sea when it comes to mortgages, roofs, escrow, and the incomprehensible amount of money involved in it all.

It’s an affirmation of science, I think: knowing about stuff intellectually, knowing the research about relationship dynamics, in no way detracts from your surprise, pleasure, and excitement at experiencing it first hand. But it DOES make you better prepared, so you know what to do when that surprise comes. I’m prepared for the unexpected cascade of events related to being in a permanent, legally binding relationship because I’ve spent years learning about it, yet it’s still delightful and surprising. I’m utterly blind about the house stuff, and it is AGONY.

So. I thought the summer was going to be a sedate time of writing the book, and I’m totally still planning to do that, but it looks like it’ll be delayed a month or two while I learn what roofs are made of and the pros and cons of oil versus electric versus gas hot water heaters, boilers, and stoves, and while I plan what I expect to be the simplest wedding imaginable, which still involves an alarming amount of effort. The only thing I’m prepared for is the actual marriage. The rest of it… I’ll be doing a lot of research for the next few years.

Emily Nagoski

  29 Responses to “prepared for the unexpected”

Comments (29)
  1. Hey, congrats! I hope both your marriage and your new house are well-constructed and satisfying and that you and the romantic euphemism are happy in both of them.

  2. Congratulations, Emily! I wish you and your fiancee all the best.

    The decision to bind your fate and your fortune to another is a momentous one, and one of the most important things you will do in your life (if you do it properly). My biggest advice is to do your due diligence on your fella before you sign anything. Not that you don’t trust him — of course — but an exhaustive exploration of his past and his idiosyncrasies is in order before you commit. I’ve seen countless marriages sputter and die because the principals were too blinded by love, social expectation, and their own fantasies about married life to take a good, hard, realistic look at their mate and try to foresee any future problems. Of course, once the ink is dry and the honeymoon is over, it’s too late to reconsider. So do your dd up front.

    Apropos “prepared for the unexpected”, don’t be surprised if you find that the process of getting married and then having to run a marriage dramatically changes your perspectives on inter-gender dynamics, sex, love and the psychology of mating. Some things (like sex and childbirth) are beyond simple explanation — they are literally mysteries, which must be experienced to be understood. Marriage is one of these things. Until you experience it for yourself, talking about marriage academically falls short of complete understanding. I think you’ll find marriage intellectually stimulating, emotionally draining, and spiritually complex — but if you do it right, it’s a heck of a lot better than the alternative.

    Good luck and the blessing of Hera on you and your incipient husband!


  3. This makes me disproportionately happy, considering I don’t know either of you in real life. But I wish you both the absolute best.

  4. Congratulations! I’m so giddy to read about this :) I have no home advice & I come here for relationship advice, so. All I’ve got is the best of wishes for you two!

  5. Congratulations!! So happy for you.

    “It’s much, much nicer and deeper and more important than I ever thought it would be.”

    That was exactly how I felt. There was a lot of, “oh, so *this* is what the big deal is about”. It gets better and better, too!

    No idea what buying a house feels like. That sh$& is still way too scary for this married lady.

  6. Congratulations! On the house and the marrying the boy. So happy for you.

  7. My best to the both of you!

    I’m still a renter, so no tips on the housing front (my parents bought their first and only house in 1976, so I’ve never even watched the process secondhand!).

    However, my partner and I are getting married in September and are doing the minimalist wedding thing. You can read about it at the feminist librarian if you’re interested. Have no idea if it’ll be a success or not – but we’re feeling good about the framework so far :).

  8. Oh WOW! Congrats!! I’m really happy for you two…and kinda excited to hear about your adventures in marriage from the awesome perspective of the sex nerd.

    GL with the house…real estate is COMPLICATED compared to relationships. ;)

  9. Wow! Congratulations, Emily!! I’m so happy for you two :)

  10. Mazel Tov, Emily. My best wishes to you both.

    (BTW, your second paragraph link for The Romantic Euphemism actually goes to a Psych Today piece about disgust and morality. Damned funny, if unintentional.)

    • Thanks—I actually did a quick round of google stalking out of confusion. Emily, I thought you’d suddenly taken up with the author of that article!

    • Oh wait… I forgot the house advice.

      Look for one with strong walls, doors which can be secured with cross-beams and not too much glass on the ground floor. This will be very important for securing the structure against zombies.

      Also, I hear gardens are nice.

  11. Congratulations, Emily and Euph!

  12. Yay! You sound so happy, which is just right.

  13. Well, the best advice I can give is about moving- we designated one room upstairs and one downstairs as the “unpacking” place for everything except the big furniture that was destined for particular rooms. That way we could shut the door on the massive part of the chaos, and unpack into the rooms as we could. It looked bare-ish for a while, but I was so much happier than wading through boxes and having to police everything. Of course, I moved into a house with two small boys while pregnant, your fur-kid impediments may not be so intrusive.
    Congratulations to the romantic euphemism, and best wishes to you!

  14. Oh, I just thought of a piece of moving advice. On each box, write a brief description of the contents (books, kitchen utensils, whatever) and the room the box should go in. Or even color code by sticking a particular color dot on all the boxes that go in the same room. That way you’re not stuck with a mass of undifferentiated boxes, trying to find the one with the pots and pans.

    Also – when you’re house hunting, do NOT fall in love with a house before it’s had an inspection. DO have an inspection. My husband, who draws building plans for a living, suggests that a regular home inspector can miss a lot. He recommends either having the inspection done by an architect or a structural engineer, or contacting an architect or structural engineer and asking them to recommend an inspector. It may sound overly fussy, but it beats finding expensive structural problems after you sign papers and move in.

  15. I am unreasonably delighted to hear your happy news. Congratulations to you both, and best wishes to you. This will make me fall asleep GRINNING!

    Re the house, find a good inspector, and start thinking about the final house where you will retire. Right now there are many huge bargains in the country, and they are easy to find with google and examine with mapquest.

    May God bless you both!


  16. Congratulations! Going from “you and me” to “us”…ah, it’s lovely. Consider getting matching tattoos! But for sure, get a *good* real estate agent.

  17. Congratulations! From recent experience, buying a house, getting married, and then moving in in the space of three months was completely insane (although we survived), even though we were already moved in together! See if you can arrange for the pace to be a little more relaxed than that.

  18. ahhhh! congrats! so happy for the both of you.

  19. Yay! Many congrats! Here’s to many, many years of super happiness together.

  20. Congratulations! I followed you both independently – to the extent that I made a genuine “squee!” sound when I found out you were together – so I’m very happy to know it’s going well.

    I’m getting married in September, and thus far the wedding planning has been by turns joyous, frustrating, exciting, exhausting, and totally worthwhile. Good luck!

    (And if you haven’t already, be sure to swing by apracticalwedding.com. It’s been a life saver!)

  21. congratulations. I’m planning a wedding as well and the best advice I can give you is to do an out of the country wedding. It means that the only people who go are a few close friends and family members, you don’t have to fly AFTER your vows when all you want to do is rip each other’s clothes off, and you get to start your marriage on an adventurous note, which is pretty awesomely symbolic in my mind.

  22. Congratulations, Emily! I have no advice about buying houses or getting wedded, but good luck!

  23. Congratulations! Love each other, communicate, and be patient. Love is a grand and wonderful thing! Looking forward to reading about your married life. And I second the advice of “breathe”. Woot woot! Yayyyyy!

  24. oops… the first link is to something on morality and disgust :-)

  25. Congratulations!

    Very happy news – you sound very happy. Massive life event! Was it a mutual decision or did one of you propose?

    I hope you keep the blog going with wisdom on together-coupledom for years to come. Looking forward to learning from you!

    Good luck with everything!

  26. Congratulations, Emily! :)

  27. Congratulations, Emily! I wish you and “R.E.” much happiness, joy, good health, prosperity, and peace throughout the years ahead. Getting married, and even buying your first house, is small potatoes compared to what you will face together as you create a family that will sustain in love and respect over the decades. May you both be blessed in all that you do!

    (And as for the house-buying thing, ditto on the home inspector before the offer is finalized, and ensure that the home inspector is qualified and reputable. And, heat pump/ductless a/c for heating/cooling is amazing and economical!)

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