When I was a kid, I didn’t know Dominoes was an actual game. I thought you just lined them up and flicked the first one over, setting yourself up for a super-cool 5-10 seconds of payoff. I guess I thought they just had random dots on them for decoration or something. I remember watching a segment on “That’s Incredible!” involving some elaborate course that someone had set up just to be knocked down. All that prep work and everything destroyed in seconds. And then you’re left to clean up the mess.

I mailed in our deposit and contract to the George Washington on Tuesday. Like most things in my life, it was equal parts exciting and terrifying. Also like most things in my life, each thought sets off another like a chain of thought dominoes.


  • Weddings are fun!
  • We agreed on a place, it’s awesome, and our families love it.
  • The food is spectacular.
  • I get to marry my favoritest person in the whole world.


  • That deposit is just a small portion of — wait, how much? Do I have time to get a second job?
  • What if [insert ridiculous thing that will never, ever happen] happens before/during our wedding?
  • Should we invite so-and-so? What if we do and they’re awful? What if we don’t and they’re mad?
  • What if…the same thing happens that did the last time I tried this?

That last one is the loudest.


I know. We’re adorable. Let’s enjoy this moment for a bit before we move to the next, which will be less pleasant.

For those of you who don’t know, this is not my first engagement rodeo. I was in a six-year relationship, and we were engaged to be married in…2010. Wow. I really had to think about that. Anyway, things ended up going south a few months before our wedding.  It was…pretty crappy. It was one of those life events that truly shapes who you are as a person but that you have zero interest in revisiting on a regular basis.

Don’t get me wrong — I’m grateful the relationship ended. I don’t mean this to sound cruel to Ex, but that breakup is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I grew as a person, I got out of a relationship that wasn’t the best for either of us, and I proved to myself (again) that I’m stronger than I thought I could be.

Also, I met (both just online and in person) some lovely people because of that engagement. I blogged for a currently nonfunctioning website, So You’re EnGAYged. I’m Facebook friends with a handful of other SYE people, and it makes me so happy to see the events in their lives — weddings, babies, new houses, new jobs, and everything else. Every time Chris and I talk about wedding photographers, I lament the fact that we probably can’t afford to bring in one of the website’s founders, Kelly Prizel, all the way from Connecticut. (I love her photos — check out her site: If you’re in her area and need a photographer, you should hire her.) I recently made a sports bet with another former fellow blogger, Raven, about a possible Pirates/Giants Wild Card series. And I’m so excited every time I see my Pittsburgh buddy Alyia post about her upcoming wedding.

Ahem. Tangent.

Anyway, this past weekend, we were talking to my friend about her long-ago divorce, and it (of course) brought up a lot of memories of mine. Well, break-up, technically, since we were never married, which brought with it a whole host of other issues because we had no legal protections. Long story short, for multiple reasons, she told me three months before our wedding that she couldn’t marry me. And I told her that I couldn’t be with someone who wasn’t able to get married after six years together. And…it was over. But we still had three cats, a house, and a houseful of stuff to figure out. It was not the best six months of my life.


I still miss these other two guys sometimes. But certainly not the chubby one’s hair. He shed more than the other two combined. And he pooped so much!


Another warm-fuzzy break. Us at our engagement party. Photo credit to Chris’ cousin Mindy. Hope you don’t mind that I stole this!

After a night of thought dominoes, I ended up re-rereading the e-mail Ex sent me about why it ended (in which she took zero responsibility, but whatever), and it started a whole other round. What if this happens again?  What if we get closer and closer to the big day next year, and she tells me she can’t go through with it? What if, what if, what if…

I’ve talked to Chris about this. Of course. We talk about everything. (Everything. Seriously.) She assures me that I’m being ridiculous, which I know I am. Chris isn’t Ex. And I’m not 2010 Monica, either.


Pictured — 2010 Monica and 2010 Abigia. We were such kids!

I have been stressed a lot lately, and I think that’s a lot of it. I know in my head I’m worrying about something that won’t happen, and I trust Chris. She’s not leaving. Neither am I. I just need to remind myself of that sometimes and think about more important things. Like…I hope we can pick different appetizers for cocktail hour. I hope we can be at cocktail hour. Will people think it’s weird if they see us beforehand? Should we walk down the aisle? Should we have a flower girl?

Can we finance our wedding through Kickstarter?