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Monday, February 16, 2015

break from writing--see y'all in May


I'm going to be taking a break from writing this blog. I honestly love doing it, but the next couple of months are going to be pretty stressful for me in the real world (taking series 3 and series 7 exams at work, getting married, John and I are moving to another apartment probably a week before we get married, but we still need to find a place first), and it's just starting to feel like a chore. I really want to get back to this in a couple of months or so, and I apologize to everyone who enjoys reading. I'm worried that this will turn into something I dread rather than something fun, and that my writing will suffer as an overall result, and y'all don't deserve to read bad writing.

I hope everyone has a lovely last few weeks of winter, and I will see you in the late spring. We're going on honeymoon from May 19-25, and I will do one post in May before then, and the resume my normal schedule in early June.

xxx,
Lauren

Friday, February 13, 2015

No post today

No post today--sorry, work has been really crazy this week and our internet at home was out for 2 days. See y'all Tuesday. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

i had a meltdown in the bridal salon

On Saturday, John and I woke up and stayed in bed for four hours, fucking and snuggling and smoking pot. I feel like if I don't get a chance to do that at least once per weekend, it makes getting up early for work the next week all that much more unpleasant. I swear, I will never ever ever get used to waking up at 5:30 every morning.

"Baby," John started, nuzzling into my hair, "can we watch the news for an hour or so?"

I mumbled an incoherent reply of distaste and burrowed my face into his shoulder. "Whhyyy? Just read the news during the week. I'm comfortable, I don't wanna get up," I whined.

"Yeah, but one of the things we talked about was being more aware of what's going on," he said softly, stroking my bare back. I shivered, involuntarily.

"Maybe for you! I read the news during my slow periods at work. I'd probably lose brain cells if I didn't try to do that," I paused, "and definitely lose all my DC street cred." I pretended to flex my arm.

"Oh yeah? What all happened?"

"Romney's not running for president again--it's probably going to be Bush versus Clinton, Scott Walker's still an asshole, they found the black box from that TransAsia flight, people are freaking out over Fifty Shades of Gray, Brian Williams is probably fired, we might be giving guns to Ukraine, hmm.. oh! Right to die movement scored a win in Canada. And I read part of Kim Gordon's new book. It was in the Guardian."

"Uh huh," Johnathan was smirking a bit, but I noticed that he wasn't moving forward to grab either of our laptops.

"Do you feel sufficiently up to date?"

"Welll... maaybe," he trailed off into a yawn. "But I really need to take a shower. It's been a couple of days." John made an effort to extract himself from the bed, and gave up midway through, flopping back down and curling up with me.

"This bed has a gravitational pull, I swear," I was about to make another joke about how difficult it was to wake up during the week, but John was kissing down my neck and all over my chest and it was suddenly pretty hard to focus. I love how affectionate he is. I feel like I'm one of those cats that whines when you don't pick it up and pet it all the time.

After Round Three, Johnathan finally pulled himself out of bed and wrapped up in his bathrobe. I heard him singing to himself and turning on the water in the bathroom while I lay in bed like a sloth. Yet another reason I'm so grateful we're never having kids: we never have to give these weekend mornings up.

John came back into the bedroom to grab clean socks, and eyed me.

"Also, Greece is still fucked. There's no baby boom in China like some people predicted. The Grammys are this weekend." I looked up at him expectantly.

"Huh?"

"News, remember? Duh."

"Ohhhh," he gave an exaggerated nod and went back into the bathroom. Sometimes I think we need to smoke less pot.

That afternoon, I was meeting up with a New Friend (!!!) and then going to have alterations done on my wedding dress. Tasha and I met at Piece Brewery & Pizzeria, which is delicious. It's in Wicker Park, which is SUCH a fucking hipster hangout, oh my god. I felt like my hair was getting greasy just from being there. However the beer and pizza were both quite amazing.

New Friend and I 'met' on Twitter, a mutual friend realized that a) we both live in Chicago and b) would seem to get along. Normally I hate anything that resembles a blind date, but I trust Norm's judgment of people, and figured I wouldn't have anything to lose.

Tasha got there a little bit later than me, and I almost had first-date jitters about hanging out with her, but it went very well and she was hella cool. We talked about the beer industry (we both used to be beer writers, she still does it sometimes) and how fucking awful and sexist it is sometimes, but how we both still liked it overall. I didn't tell her about this blog. I actually haven't told any of my friends about it except in the vaguest of vague terms.

"I'm really glad that we just hung out on our own this time," Tasha said, and laughed a little bit.

"What do you mean?" I furrowed my brow at her, checking the time. My alterations appointment was at 7, and I couldn't believe how fast time had gone.

"Oh," she looked down for a second, "just that when you're married and you make friends, a lot of people sort of assume you come as a packaged set."

"Really?" I'd heard this about older generations, but most of my friends aren't married.

"Yeah," she nodded and grimaced. "Like, it's fine sometimes. But Bill and I have been having some problems, and I really need to do my own thing sometimes. And he also doesn't drink, so there' that," she finished, downing the last of her pint.

"Oh god, yeah, me too. For sure."

"I'm just glad you didn't think it was weird," she shared, grabbing another piece of artichoke/jalapeno/olive pizza.

"Definitely not. I mean, I don't really have any of my own friends here.. except for this divorced guy I was supposed to move in with. Everyone is associated with John."

"Is that hard?" She was asking in a really objective way, which I liked about her. Tasha is definitely one of those people who makes a very good listener and doesn't monopolize the conversation or make it all about herself.

"Hmm.. yeah, a little bit. I miss my friends in DC a lot. But everyone is kind of doing their own thing, now." I shrugged. I'd only had 3 beers (and pizza), but I still felt tipsy and I was starting to get depressed. I really wished I didn't have to go to that stupid dress fitting thing.

"You'll be fine, Bill and I know tons of good people. And you'd get along with a lot of them," she smiled at me. I smiled back. I couldn't help it. It felt SO GOOD to connect with a new person.

"I really hate to do this, but I think I should probably go get a cab. I have this fitting thing, and it starts in like 15 minutes," I got up from the table and we hugged, and agreed to hang out soon. So I made a new friend! And it was astoundingly easy! I was proud of myself.

Unfortunately, it took longer to find a cab in Hipster Central than I thought, and I wound up being kinda late (10 minutes ish) to my fitting appointment. The alterations girl was this super skinny tall gorgeous blonde, who gave me major side eye when the hostess told her I was here. I actually heard the hostess whisper "yes, she knows she was late" to Blonde Amazon when she came to fetch me. Starting this one off on a right note!

I can't really explain what happened next without feeling like a tremendous idiot, but here goes.

When I got into the dressing room, I started putting the gown on, and I suddenly just had this huge knot in my stomach. It was like, when I was there in January with my mom and she bought me the dress, she was so fucking pushy and awful about it and I just let her say yes to the salesgirl and just kind of spaced out. My mom was really upset with me in the first place when I told her that John and I weren't going to have a "real wedding" and completely overrode any objections I had about getting a dress. I told her that frankly, I would feel fucking ridiculous wearing a wedding gown to City Hall. I didn't even WANT a wedding gown if we'd had planned a real wedding. I wanted a black cocktail dress. But my mom guilted me so hard in January that I somehow just figured that it was easier to cave to her and just shut up than fight with her.

It probably goes without saying that my mom and I fought like cats and dogs when I was in high school. I moved out the summer after my freshman year of college, and since then things have been better, sort of, but we still fight when we're around each other for more than 2 days.

I was zipping the gown up in the back, and I looked at myself in the mirrors in the dressing rooms, and I just started sobbing. Which was probably bad, because I was wearing a lot of eye makeup, but oh well.

"Lauren? Are you okay? Do you need help with your gown?"

I just kept crying and crying, and eventually Blonde Amazon opened the curtains and looked at me in dismay.

"What's wrong? Do you need help zipping?" Her voice was noticeable more kind than it had been, and I was just standing there sobbing and snotting all over the place like a moron.

"No," I heard the quaver in my voice, and I looked at her and hiccuped.

"Is it too big?" She pulled me out of the dressing room by my arms, and started pinching the fabric around my waist.

"No," I sniffled. Blonde Amazon reached into her cleavage (seriously) and handed me a kleenex. I blew my nose and tried to wipe off my raccoon mascara in the mirrors. She helped me up onto a round pedestal, and then walked around, trying to figure out what to alter.

"Lauren, sweetie, this looks like it fits you perfectly. Where do we want the sash sewn on?" She held up a length of champagne colored ribbon, and then started pinning it on each side of the dress, making a bow in the back. I was watching her mutely, and then I started crying again. She looked very exasperated.

"I'm sorry, I just.. I don't even know what's wrong," I gazed down, feeling like a premenstrual idiot. I swear, it's not even close to that time of the month right now.

She took my hand and looked up at me. "Are you scared to get married? That's very normal," she said softly, but I was shaking my head 'no' almost as soon as the words were out of her mouth.

"No,"

"Can I do anything to help?"

"No.. I just want to change," I didn't want to hurt her feelings. It's not like she would lose a commission, considering my mom already bought the dress. I felt so horrible.

"Okay, let me finish pinning you here," she pushed one last pin at the back to hold the bow in place, and then unzipped me. I just stared at her. "You can go change, now," she said, looking at her watch, like she'd already forgotten about my cute little meltdown.

I don't think I've ever gotten out of an item of clothing so quickly in my life. After I hung the dress back up, I paid for the alterations at the front of the store and booked it out of there with my tail between my legs.

Once I got home, Johnathan was hanging out in the living room with Doug, watching Guardians of the Galaxy. He saw my red face, and immediately jumped up and followed me into the bedroom.

"Princess, are you okay? What happened? Did things not go well with your friend?"

I started wailing again, and to his credit, he just held me and let me cry and stroked my hair and then ran to get my kleenex and a glass of water. When he came back, I just looked at him.

"My mom pushed me into that dress. I didn't want it. It's not what I want to get married in."

"Well, what do you want to get married in?"

"I don't know. Not a fucking foofy dress that looks like a cake, though. I felt so fucking dumb."

John grabbed his laptop and pulled me further back on the bed, so we could nest into the pillows. He sat behind me, with his legs on either side of my waist, and put his computer on my lap.

"What are you doing?"

"We're going clothes shopping. Pick some stuff you like." He kissed my cheek, and I could smell vodka on his breath.

I went to Shopbop and picked out a pair of Helmut Lang leather leggings, and then this shirt from an indie store in California that one of my friends linked me to. We didn't buy any shoes because I felt bad about how much money I'd spent, but maybe I'll wear the purple heels I wound up buying to go with the original dress, haha.

"Is your mom going to kill me?"

"I don't care," I leaned my head back and mumbled into John's neck. "It should be about what we want, right?"

"No, I meant is she going to kill me because now her only daughter is getting married in leather pants and a teeshirt that says Hail Satan on it?"

"No," I giggled. "Well, maybe. But it doesn't matter."

Friday, February 6, 2015

Awkward encounters of the third kind

I thought that the snow would make getting to work on Monday kind of difficult, and I was right. I really wanted to take an uber, until I saw the fare surge was like 4.5x and decided that I could probably tough it out in the snow. I brought extra pants and shoes to work just in case, but everything wound up being okay. I work with a lot of people who live in the suburbs, and none of them were in, so it was a really quiet day. I got a ton of stuff done (I work in finance, so month-end is a really busy time for us anyway), and was feeling pretty good about things in general until around lunch. John doesn't really text during the day--I think he got yelled at for doing it when he first started his new job, so he usually just turns his phone off once he gets to work in the morning. Lately though, he had been texting me a lot around 12:30, and they were usually messages about how depressed he was to be at work and how much he hated it and that he loved me. It was really sweet, but also kind of overbearingly depressing to think about. We'd fallen into this pattern over weeknights of letting a bad day at work set the tone for the evening, and I was really wanting to break that habit. I really like my job, and it does stress me out quite a bit, but I'm usually able to leave it at work and just come home and relax and be happy to be home. Johnathan isn't that easily soothed.

After I got home at 4, I started putting some stuff out on the kitchen counter to make us dinner: stuffed shells with mozzarella, grated parm, muenster, garlic powder, basil, sauteed mushrooms, and a little bit of whole milk. It takes a while to make, but it's really easy for one person since everything is done in stages. Doug got in around 5:30 and came and hung out in the kitchen with me and we smoked a blunt together and I started Frozen on my laptop which eventually made Doug leave. John still wasn't home by the time everything was ready to go in the oven, so I just stuck it in the fridge and waited.

John got home a little after 8, and he came in and slammed the door and started pulling off his coat and scarf. His face looked so stern and angry that it was kind of unsettling. I walked over to him, and he kissed my cheek and then immediately went into our bedroom and lit another blunt.

"I'm going to get very drunk tonight, if that's alright with you." His mouth was just set in this line, he was so stern. If I hadn't been worried, I would have probably laughed.

"Okay baby. I have dinner all done, we just have to bake it." I took the lit blunt from him and dragged deep. It takes a lot of pot to get me stoned now, but that doesn't really make me feel any less stupid when I am high.

"Thank you," he leaned over and kissed my cheek. "How was your day?"

"Not bad. Everyone was stuck at home under the snow. How was yours?"

And it was like I'd opened a floodgate: he just started ranting and ranting. I listened, and nodded my head, until it seemed like he ran out of the energy he would need to continue.

"I just hate being there so much. I fucking hate it, Lauren. It fucking kills me and I feel like I'm wasting my life," he exhaled a huge cloud of smoke and let his shoulders slump. I started rubbing his back gently.

"I know. I'm sorry. We'll try to have a good night though, okay? You're home now." Johnathan rolled his eyes, and got up and went into the living room. It stung, but I just figured he'd had a really rough day and let it go.

The whole rest of the night was like that: John just being really sulky and dramatic and miserable, and I kept trying to cheer him up. He drank a ton of vodka and we watched old X-Files episodes with Doug. At least he liked what I'd made for dinner.

Tuesday wasn't much better. I was really busy again. The shoes I bought to wear for the wedding came and I didn't even open the box at work to look at them or try them on. I don't think I've ever done that before. I also got a package from Amazon: the Patton Oswalt book I'd bought for John.

When I left work, it was snowing again, and windy, and colder than it had been in the morning. This tall guy in a red parka with his hood up kept walking around me and sort of sneaking glances at me when I was waiting for the train, which I thought was kind of weird but not too weird, just because there are odd randos everywhere, especially on public transit. Eventually, when the train came, he got on right behind me and sat next to me. He pushed the hood of his parka back and I saw longish blond hair and a scruffy beard and bright blue eyes.

Holy shit.

It was Garrett.

I yelped. We made the connection at the same time and both burst out talking.

"Ohmygod, hi! What are you doing here?" Garrett grinned.

"I'm here with Becca [his primary partner], we're thinking about moving back here. We're visiting friends right now, she's meeting up with me later. I thought I recognized you! I like your hair," he reached out and touched the ends of my bob, which was finally starting to graze my shoulders on the longer side. I smiled, self-consciously.

"I mean," I pointed at the ground, "what are you doing here?" From everything Garrett had told me about Chicago, he really hadn't liked the downtown very much. He was too much of a hipster.

"Ohhh," He reached down and pulled up his laptop bag. "I had to get a new charger. Mine broke on the plane."

There was a pause, and suddenly I felt really self conscious. 

"So," he smiled again, more tentatively this time, "are you happy to see me?"

"At least you're not David."

"Who's David?"

"Nevermind." I faked a smile. "So. Why are you thinking about moving back?"

"My advisor in DC just went on maternity leave, and then she emailed me and said she wouldn't be back. She was the reason why I was there in the first place, though, and I don't want to work with someone new when I only have six months left [of postdoc work]. I contacted my old grad school group here, and they offered me a position that would probably last a year or two. So... we're thinking about it. Becca really misses living here, too. Her other boyfriend is still here."

I felt like that was inserted for a reason, but I didn't really want to think about why. I shifted uncomfortable in my seat.

"That's really cool. I hope you can find work you enjoy more. I remember how busy you were over the summer."

"Do you want to grab a beer? It's pretty early," Garrett trailed off, and looked away. I'm so used to John staring me down all the time that Garrett's passivity was getting on my nerves.

"Uhm, hold on," I pulled a face and grabbed my phone out of my pocket, "I should probably ask my fiance if that's okay with him." I texted a quick message to John: "ran into Garrett from DC. Going to have a quick drink with him, I'll still beat you home."

"Why?" Garrett's brow furrowed, "Would he be upset?"

"Uhm, I don't think so. I just want to check. We're not in an open relationship." I left out the part about how upset John had been when Garrett had been sending me nonstop emails back in September.

"What?!"

"Uh, yeah. It happened a few months ago. After we got engaged, though."

"So you really did say fiance?" His mouth was hanging open. "That wasn't a mistake?"

I pulled off my gloves and held up my left hand, showing my ring. Garrett swiftly ducked his head in a nod.

"Beer?" We were at the North/Clybourn stop, and I figured we could just go to Goose Island or something. I was probably being paranoid, but I didn't really want to go anywhere closer to where I lived.

Without responding, Garrett got up and I followed him. We didn't talk until we were inside again, and he was definitely sulking. I ordered a Green Line Pale Ale and yanked my parka off, wishing I had worn something nicer that day, although I did have these fabulous ass-flattering high-waisted black skinny jeans from rag & bone. 

"So why monogamy?" For once, he looked very assertive. It was a welcome change.

"We didn't want to be with anyone else," I shrugged. "It just felt very natural."

"He didn't bully you into it?"

"No, Johnathan wouldn't have done that."

"So, this was the guy you were talking to when you still lived in DC?" Garrett looked pained, and I remembered spending the night with him and waking up in the middle of the night to a bunch of texts from John. I'm such a bitch sometimes.

"Yes." I sipped my beer, trying to drink as much of it as possible without looking like that was what I was doing.

"I just don't understand," he paused, and ran a hand through his shaggy hair "when I met you, you were all about being free and open and living in the moment, and I really liked--loved--that about you. It was so different from everyone else I'd ever met. And now you're just giving it up?"

"That's not really how it worked, though. I don't want anyone else but him."

"I think you're just saying that," Garrett was still fiddling with his hair, tucking blond strands behind his ear. "I think it's still just new and exciting, and you're going to get bored. Are you honestly telling me that this guy fulfills everything you want?"*

 "Yes." I gave him a tight smile, knowing full well this was the wrong answer, "he does."

"I don't believe that. I felt that at first with Becca, and then as we got used to each other, I realized it wasn't true. I DO need other people, and so does she. And so do you. And so does your boyfriend."

"Just because it didn't work for you doesn't mean it won't for me. My relationship is VERY different from yours!"

"Yeah, in that you're being childish and immature," he stared at me and exhaled very slowly, "and that I'm rational. At least I understand how these things work. You found someone you really love, and that's awesome, but don't limit yourself."

"I'm not limiting myself!" I glared at him, "This is exactly what we wanted."

"We?" He gave me an incredulous look. "We? Really? You've known this guy for how long? Five months?"

"It's our six month anniversary today," I said quietly, looking down at my lap.

"I can't believe you. You're a fucking sellout, Lauren," Garrett hissed under his breath, "People like you are so fucking stupid." He slammed his glass down, grabbed his parka, and left me alone in the bar.

I was stunned, and I could feel tears welling up. The only person who's really consistently mean to me like that is Patrick, and I'm so used to his shit that I just laugh when he's a dick. One of the bartenders, this cute brunette girl, was giving me a sympathetic look and somehow that just made me feel worse. Fishing my wallet out of my bag, I threw a $20 on the bar, slowly put my coat on, and walked over to the bathrooms. Trying to swallow the lump in my throat, I pulled my phone out of my coat pocket. Johnathan had never texted me back, which wasn't unusual (like I said before, he really can't look at his phone when he's at work), especially considering it was only 4:30. I was going to make myself wait ten minutes so I wouldn't run into Garrett again at the train, but then just decided to take a cab.

When I got home, I got in the shower and cried. I wasn't upset because of what he said. I get that a lot of people probably DO think I'm a sellout now, including a lot of my more open friends in DC. John and I have even joked about how we both are. I was mostly upset because I was embarrassed to be called out. The shower helped, though, and I felt much calmer by the time Johnathan got home.

John came into the bedroom with his coat and boots still on, which he never does. His mouth was set in a thin line. I felt the lump in my throat start to come back.

"How did it go?" he asked in a neutral voice, keeping his eyes on me.

"Pretty badly. I told him about us and he called me an idiot and a sellout." I stared back into John's eyes. I could see him softening, despite apparent resolve to be upset with me.

"Why?"

"Oh.. y'know. Because we rejected poly and decided to go be sheep with the rest of everyone, I guess." I gave John a half smile. "And I really couldn't be happier about that."

"I'm happy too, baby. I love you." He sat down on the bed with me and kissed my temple.

"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have gone with him."

"Probably not, no. But you did anyway. I'm sorry he was such a prick."

"I probably deserved it," I heaved a huge sigh, "are you upset with me?"

"No, I just.. I dunno. I feel like you have a really hard time saying no to people, but if I knew you less well, I would think you just liked the attention," John was speaking very slowly and deliberately, as if to gauge my reaction.

I covered my eyes with my hands and let my head flop forward. "You're right."

"About what?"

"Both, I guess. I didn't really want to hang out with him. It was awkward. I kind of felt like I couldn't say no."

"You need to work on that, baby."

"I know. I will." With that, John kissed my forehead again and got up to take off his coat.

The rest of the night was surprisingly normal, although I still felt kind of bad. John was good about not making me feel worse, but it took a couple of days for things to really feel they had come back from that.




*A HUGE argument that poly people like to use is "Why would you rely on one partner to fulfill all your needs? Do you only have one friend?". It's annoying and preachy, and I've definitely used it before on people. Serves me right, now.




Tuesday, February 3, 2015

i'm spoiled forever i guess

Just like I imagine it took Matt a few days to work up the balls to write me that email, it took me a few days to work up the mental energy to respond to him. I had been sorta conflicted. Originally, I thought there was no way I'd ever want to see David again. There's really no reason to. He really hurt and betrayed me, so fuck him, right? Then I sort of got to thinking that it might be nice to wrap things up. You know, have one of those movie-perfect meetings for coffee, where we part ways with a non-clingy hug and never talk again. After a day or so, it occurred to me that it was pretty manipulative for me to have that fantasy of a peaceful ending. Our relationship(s) were over, and they had been for quite some time. And it probably wasn't fair to John that I go and "get closure" just to make myself feel better. I don't even think I would get closure. The only way I really get closure from things is when I'm not in touch with that person anymore. That's why I blocked David's number sometime last year.

This is what I finally wrote:

"Heya, 

I don't want to put you in a bad spot, but it's not a great idea for me to see David. He and I didn't behave very well towards the end of things between us, and I know it's already caused a lot of drama. I'm not sure that he and I would ever be able to have any kind of a normal friendship, and I don't really think I want that anyway. I'm not trying to be harsh, and you don't have to tell him any of this, but please don't give him my number if he asks for it.

I miss you and Helena so much, and I can't wait to see you guys next. We are planning to come east in September--my mom is hosting a belated reception for us on the eastern shore, and y'all are both invited. You should come, if only to laugh at me in a princess dress. We should all get hotel rooms by the Kent Narrows and go visit those trashy bars down there.

xxx,
Lauren"

And again, radio silence. I know it was really gossipy of me to do this, but I texted Patrick about it, too. Patrick had NOT been a fan of my dating David, and we hadn't talked as much during that time. I figured he would be on my side about this. Surprisingly, I was actually right, and he told me he was proud of me for not wanting to stir things up or get attention or make David fall back in love with me. That was probably a bit harsh on his part, but seriously, man kind of had a point. I used to be a lot more dramatic. I hope I continue to mellow with age, but in all seriousness, I don't really have my hopes up.

Work stayed busy for the rest of the week. When I got home on Friday, I crawled into bed with my clothes on and actually fell asleep until Johnathan got home, which I almost never do. I woke up to a familiar hand stroking over my hair and forehead.

"Oh, baby, I'm sorry I woke you. I'll let you sleep, little one." John was pulling his hand away but I reached up and grabbed it.

"Noooooooo, don't go. Get in bed and cuddle with me." I didn't open my eyes, but I heard a rustling and his belt buckle clinking on the floor, and then felt pressure on the bed and warm arms wrapping around me. Snuggling with Johnathan is literally the most comfy thing on earth. I nestled further into his grasp and kissed one of his hands that was wrapped around my shoulders.

"Bad day, honey?"

"No, not really. Just very very tired. How about you? How was the office?" I felt John shuddering into the back of my neck and sighing.

"Eh, not terrible. We interviewed a bunch of people today, and they were all dingbats. I'm not very hopeful. But so it goes."

"...Matt never emailed me back."

"Yeah, but you said he took a few days to get back to you before, right? It's probably not bad, you did mention he was busy."

"He is busy.. I just hope I didn't piss him off."

"I'm honestly a little pissed at him, Lauren. I think he put you in a weird spot by bringing up David like that, when you made it pretty clear you were done with him."

"Don't be mad at Matt, though. He really doesn't know about a lot of the bad stuff that went down. I didn't even tell him some of the bad things until way after the fact. I knew it would be weird, he and David used to be best friends." Matt probably didn't know half of what went on, and given the crazy way I acted, I'm actually kind of surprised he's still friends with me.

"It just upsets me to see you upset,"

"I know. I'm sorry." I rolled over in bed so I was facing him in the darkness, and started kissing his face gently until I found his mouth. It just felt so good to lie in bed and make out and have him rub my back that I almost fell asleep.

We eventually got up and prepared for the evening: making drinks and talking about what we were going to watch, and he rolled like ten blunts for us. I was really dehydrated and thirsty and my blood sugar was low, so I made a snack for myself and got some mineral water before I started drinking wine. John made a drink of vodka, 7-Up, and cranberry juice, and then I followed him into the living room.

"Baby, can I have some of that?" I pointed at his mason jar full of delicious alcohol.

"No."

I was so shocked that I actually gasped and pouted and made this frowny face at him. I couldn't help it. It just happened, it was an involuntary reaction. I think it was the only time he'd ever said no to me before. He started laughing and immediately handed his drink over.

"Oh my god. I can't believe I just did that." I was embarrassed. I never thought I acted like such a princess, seriously. John was still chuckling and shaking his head.

"I only said no to see your face,"

"You've completely spoiled me. That's it. I'm ruined forever, basically. I'm a fucking spoiled little cupcake." I was still pouting. Johnathan grinned and wrapped his arms around me, pulling me so close that I could barely breathe.

"Yes, but you're MY spoiled little cupcake. That's the important part." I let out a muffled groan into his neck. How was he proud of this? Dear lord.

Later on, when we were pleasantly sauced, I let my head fall back on the couch and stared up at the ceiling.

"I love you. I didn't want to see David. You know that, right?"

"Yeah, although I'm glad that you didn't."

"Jealous?" I cocked my head to the side so I was looking at his profile and raised one eyebrow, teasing.

"No. Just mad that he hurt you so much, and that he treated you like that. You don't deserve it, princess."

"I was shitty to him too, though. I was really manipulative and mean and awful. And then crazy." Guilt was starting to swell up. I really had been awful.

"Did you like how you acted with him?" Now John was the one eyeing me with a brow raised.

"...No. I really didn't. But I love who I am with you. You make me want to be a better person. It's hard when you spoil me, though," I admitted, biting my lip.

"You make me want to be a better person too, lovebug." We both leaned in at the same time until our foreheads were pressed together and started kissing, I could feel his tongue gently licking the corner of my mouth and I moaned, wanting to be much closer. Johnathan snaked his arm under my knees and scooped me up, carrying me into our bedroom. He deposited me on the bed, then gave me a wicked look and walked over to lock the door.

"Now why would you do that?" I smirked at him. He shrugged, then raised an eyebrow at me before joining me on the bed.

"Why indeed?" John murmured into my neck, before tugging my shirt up and over my head. Unlike most of the time, we didn't have much foreplay. He flipped me on my stomach, yanked my yoga pants down, parted my legs, and teased me with his fingers before grabbing my hips and thrusting all the way in. When his cock was all the way inside, I felt his hand grip the back of my neck, and he started riding me hard.

"Who do you belong to?" He panted, tightening his grip on my neck. It was very arousing.

"You. I'm yours." I shuddered and pushed my hips against him, and I felt him come hard.

Afterwards, we were cuddling and I kept kissing his shoulders and nuzzling him and telling him that I was his, and nobody else's. It felt very intimate, but I guess most of our interactions do. We gross people out on a pretty regular basis.

On Saturday, we went grocery shopping together and it was a fucking shitshow. I had never seen the store so packed, and we always do our big shopping trips on the weekends. I figured it was for the Super Bowl, but then I overheard all these people talking about snow, and I got really excited. I love snow, but I didn't think people in Chicago freaked out over things like that? I thought like, a lot of snow was normal? That's one of the reasons I wanted to move here. We even had plans to get brunch with John's mom on Sunday, but she called us mid-afternoon and cancelled, citing the weather. I kept thinking, "but aren't y'all used to this?".

We actually got a ton of snow on Sunday, and people were saying that it was unusual and weird for us to get as much as we did at once, but it was totally gorgeous and beautiful. I made John go on a walk around our neighborhood with me, since we live in such a fun place with pretty buildings (border of Wrigleyville/Boystown), and I took all these cute selfies of us in the snow to send to my mom and his mom.

It's funny, we get married exactly 3 months from today (May 2nd), and our six month anniversary is tomorrow (Feb 3rd), based on when Johnathan first messaged me back in August. I'm so excited! I've never even cared about anniversaries before. But now I'm wondering if I should have bought John something. I got him Patton Oswalt's new book, ostensibly for Valentine's Day, but I might just give it to him tomorrow. I'm not the best at presents.

I still get kind of weirded out thinking about how much has happened recently. I turn 27 this year and John will be 33 (although not until after we get married, both of our birthdays are in July), and it seems a little shocking to realize that. Not I think 27 is old (it's definitely not), but it makes me laugh knowing I'm closer to 30 than 20, probably because I do things like buy cheap wine and order pizza when I don't feel like cooking just to be lazy. Like, over the weekend, something in the back of our toilet broke, and we were both clueless. I called my stepdad, and after he was no help, then we called our landlord. John and I have this running joke that we basically get to be spoiled children forever since we're not having kids, but it probably won't be as cute in 10 years. I should probably learn how to do more household stuff. I do think that I've made some progress, though. This is the first relationship I've been in where I want to spend my money on saving and doing stuff with John and for our apartment. So at least I'm not dropping whole paychecks on clothes and sephora anymore!