Collecting the Moments One by One

I was listening to Feist's Mushaboom on my way home from work the other day. I've been listening to her since senior year of high school, and this song has always been one of my favorites (and of course, its inclusion on the 500 Days of Summer soundtrack made it that much better). I've listened to it a million times, but never really heard the lyrics.

But as I listened to it on my commute home from work, the lyrics rang a special bell with me. Why? Because as it turns out, its all about newlywed life.

Helping the kids out of their coats
But wait the babies haven't been born
Unpacking the bags and setting up
And planting lilacs and buttercups

But in the meantime I've got it hard
Second floor living without a yard
It may be years until the day
My dreams will match up with my pay

Old dirt road
Knee deep snow
Watching the fire as we grow old

I got a man to stick it out
And make a home from a rented house
And we'll collect the moments one by one
I guess that's how the future's done

How many acres how much light
Tucked in the woods and out of sight
Talk to the neighbours and tip my cap
On a little road barely on the map

Old dirt road
Knee deep snow
Watching the fire as we grow old
Old dirt road
Rambling rose
Watching the fire as we grow well I'm sold 

More often than not, the sentiment of people who find out that I'm married at the ripe old age of 22 is pretty much the same: "Good for you, but I would want to wait until I had more money". Or "am more well established". Or "are ready to settle down and have a family". 

I won't lie--there were times in the wedding planning process when I wondered whether we should have waited until we had more money. Were we in over our head? I particularly wondered this the week of our wedding when we sat on the floor of my State College apartment and added up all the expenses that still needed to be paid at that point, realized that it was more than either of us had in our bank accounts combined, and watched as Ian sold off his mutual funds so we wouldn't be washing dishes at the Elks Club on our wedding night. 

When we moved down to Virginia at the end of July, I was still unemployed, and we weren't expecting a paycheck for Ian until the end of September. Meaning we had two months to live off of wedding money (which went fast), gift cards, and making sure we didn't overspend the credit card. Here we were, living 20 minutes away from Washington DC, near buzzing nightlife, exciting events, and fabulous restaurants, and we hardly had the money to drive to the grocery store. I was so antsy to go explore everything, to live an exciting city life, and blog about all the eclectic food we were eating. Add this on to my mixed feelings of excitement about being married, getting to live with Ian (!!!) in a beautiful neighborhood with anxiety on finding a job, and homesickness for my family and friends. It was a mixture of feelings, and at that point I wasn't really sure what to do with it.

But we got to know the area. We started making friends. I got a job, and we have a landlady who always seemed to bring us Greek food and Yuengling on those days when I was feeling down. Not to mention we discovered the Super H Mart, the Asian-run grocery store where we get fruits, vegetables, and meat for dirt cheap. (How many newlywed couples do you know that eat salmon at least once a week?) We bought a car--a 10 year old Chevy that we found on Craigslist that its owner kept in almost perfect condition--with my first paycheck. We've started to scope out the cheap restaurants and entertainment. Call me biased, but I would say we are doing pretty well.

There are certainly quirks to living the newlywed life--just the other morning, as I sat sipping my coffee with the loud and squeaky clothes dryer tumbling Ian's wrinkled shirt, he said to me, "These are the times we're going to remember when we're older."

Yes, we will remember the old appliances, the casseroles made up of what's left in our cabinet that night, and nights spent watching old movies. But I truly wouldn't have it ay other way. Because I've got a man to stick it out, and make a home from a rented house.


  1. Love it! Wouldn't it make for a totally weird but awesome first dance song? What was yours? I'll have to dig through your archives to find it...ours was "My Blue Heaven" (the upbeat Fats Waller version played by a live swing band -- so fun!)

  2. Our first dance was This Never Happened Before by Paul McCartney. There's a blog post on the archives somewhere :)


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