love

How I Pulled Off a Surprise Wedding

This Valentine’s Day I married my white knight. When we started posting on social media, our friends and distant family were shocked. You see…no one knew this was coming…especially THE GROOM!

This blog tells our story.

Wrecker and I have been together for almost five years now. Both of us came from some pretty shitty romantic circumstances and were ripe for emotional attachment. This was the first relationship I had that started with complete brutal honesty and a well-developed friendship. He knew early on marriage was in our future, and he has been asking me for the last 4 years to become his wife. I was a bit more skeptical about love, having been burnt so many times before, and I kept signing him to 2-year contracts with an option to walk away if we found it was no longer working for us. (See. Brutal honesty.)

But around October of last year, I came around. I realized that our partnership was for keeps. He makes me a better person and complements me in so many ways that I would be dumb not to grab on to him and hold on tight. It came to me in an epiphany that I had THE perfect opportunity to pull off the most rarest of occasions: a SURPRISE wedding. I mean how many people have the opportunity to do that???

…And he would never suspect it happening on Valentine’s Day given my tenuous relationship with all things love.

To set up the scenario, I had asked him in early January to take Valentine’s Day off of work because I had big date night V-day plans, and he would get info on a need-to-know basis. (I have pulled off many a surprise in the past, so this was not out of the ordinary as far as he was concerned.)

The first and most important thing I needed to address was the license, so in early January I started suggesting a late February elopement. (You see this is marriage #3 for both of us, so formality was already out the window.)  And as he struggled with the idea of leaving our parents and children out, I already knew the plan was to include them all.

Throughout January, I was compiling all the things that make a wedding a wedding. I found the dress, made the bouquet, located the perfect decorations, bought baking supplies, and planned out the timeline to each detail. I created a Private Facebook event where I was feeding information to our clan.

I was also strategically feigning concern over the details of our supposed Feb. 25th elopement, but asked him if we could put off thinking about it until after his Feb. 14th date night surprise. Make no mistake here, I deserve this year’s Oscar.

Before I knew it, Valentine’s Day had arrived, and here is how it all unfolded.

Early on Valentine’s Day, we headed out to get our marriage license. We were the second couple that day. Yay, love.

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16728995_1371349416258702_168580446772077979_n.jpgSo by 10 A.M., legal paperwork in hand, I wanted to avert any suspicion of evening plans, and we grabbed a romantic breakfast at our favorite chain, First Watch. After breakfast, we stopped to get him a fresh haircut and to exchange our outdated Time Warner modem for something more this century. (As he sat giddily telling the hairdresser about the mystery evening, I bore my eyes intently into my phone and tried to keep from smiling and blowing the entire plan. If only she had known…)

In fact, the entire morning I had to keep reminding myself to breathe. You may not be able to tell from this pic, but my insides were quaking, and I feared any slight slip-up that would ruin the surprise.

After our errands, we returned home where my parents were supposed to call with a distraction (i.e., a favor) in the late afternoon.

Around 2 P.M., my mom asks me to call her via text. (Remember, she is supposed to call us.) She wants to know if they are supposed to call at 3 or if they are supposed to keep him distracted until 3. (Oh, moms…lol)

The plan she says is to say that dad “may” need help cutting a limb down out of the tree, and that they would call him to come help. Minutes go by. More minutes go by, and no call back to his phone. I’m getting antsy.

“Maybe you should call Mom and see if Dad needs help,” I suggest. “I’m a little worried he may hurt himself. Mom didn’t sound too good.”

He calls, and Mom confirms they need him. “We’ll be right there,” he says before hanging up.

I lower my eyes. “Well actually…I forgot something for our date tonight and need to make a run to the store before I start getting ready. You got this?” I look up as straight-faced as I can muster.

“Sure. Trying to get rid of me,” he says as he leaves. Am I busted??? I panic, but realize I have no time. I have a wedding to throw.

I wake the youngest (my cohort in this shenanigan) as she worked the night shift. “IT’S GO TIME!!!” I shout. “WE HAVE A WEDDING TO THROW!”

As she gets ready, I run to the basement refrigerator where the cake and cupcakes I baked just days before were ready for transport.

I run to the second floor for the helium tank and our clothing for the ceremony and Day After.

The rest is in the car and has been all day. He had no clue as we drove to get the license and ran about our errands.

After the car is packed, I return to the Master bedroom where I lay out his attire for the evening along with a few clue cards I had prepped the day before.

I slip Clue #2 into his pant’s pocket.

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It reads:

By the way, I love you for who you are and who you will become.

Today is a trail of clues. Feel free to take pictures along the way and share them with our friends. The end of the trail is where it all begins.

K–

I place his pants inside his jacket, arrange the rest of his attire and place Clue #1 on top.

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It read:

You know how I love a good surprise. Now take your time, get ready to shine, and meet me at Hueston Woods Lodge at 6:30 P.M. sharp.

NO SOONER, NO LATER.

Check in at the front desk.

K–

Here’s a photo from his perspective:

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Meanwhile…out at Hueston Woods Lodge…

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Two girls were having a quick celebratory drink,

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Or two…

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at an impromptu Bachelorette party.

Then, while she practiced the song I asked her to play for our ceremony, I was decorating the Honeymoon Suite for the anticipated “consummation.” (wink wink)

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The giant card I got at Walmart, the pillow at Charming Charlie’s and the rose petals from Amazon.

 

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I made the cake beforehand and added the edible red rose accents I got at Michaels once it was set up. The champagne flutes also came from Michaels, the champagne to fill them from Kroger, and the cake topper was personalized from a merchant on eBay. The adornments under the cake stand are ones I brought from home and came from his Valentine’s Day present from last year.

Soon after the room was set up, I began to dress while the photographer friend of the family we know, Thomissia Robinson, snapped some of these great setting-inspired shots.

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As the sun set on the evening,

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My crew of accomplices (a.k.a., our families) began to arrive.

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The Fireside Room needed very little decoration with the wide open view of lake and the large fireplace that was already lit and setting the evening’s mood.

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We just added a little fireside decoration,

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some last minute touches,

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And the scene was set.

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To a table on the side of the room, we welcomed guests and displayed the cupcakes and champagne for post-ceremony celebration.

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On two of the chairs, we framed pictures of those not able to be with us. My biological father is on the left, and his father is on the right.

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As the rest of the families arrived, there was nothing to do but wait…

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and wait…

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And wait…

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And, hey– you guessed it…

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You see we were waiting for him to arrive, check in at that front desk and receive this last clue, which read:

So they welcomed you in, but you now must descend down the spiral staircase behind you.

Come meet me at FOREVER.

K–

Every movement at the top of stairs caused my heart to leap.

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And then finally…

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What’s that in his hand you ask? My Valentine’s Day card he was going to give me over dinner.

“No, you didn’t.” was all he kept repeating.

(The card was beautiful by the way.)

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After some boutonnièrage

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(As a side note: I must confess that I had to call in for backup on this one. I was shaking from nervous energy and my fingers won’t do what I wanted them to. Thanks to my bro for coming in for the save.)

and a quick kiss,

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I walked him around to where our families were ready to greet him. This even included a surprise for us both as his oldest daughter had flown his son in, who resides in Florida, for the ceremony.

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My youngest daughter opened it with an acoustic version of Meghan Trainor’s “Like I’m Going to Lose You,” and we were wed by our officiant, B.J. Stahl. For those of you lucky enough to know her…well, how lucky are we??? Ironically, she is also my ex mother-in-law and remains still one of my closest friends.

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She greeted us all with a beautiful and meaningful opening statement. We exchanged our vows (which involved cardboard boxes and a zombie apocalypse), placed rings upon one another’s hands,

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his youngest daughter read the poem, “Love” by Roy Croft, where I clearly lost it,

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and oh yeah, you remember that 2-year contract that kept being renewed??

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We tore that sucker up!

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A first kiss as husband and wife,

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and we were wed. The thing was done.

After the ceremony, we took pictures with our parents (his by my side and mine by his),

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our seven children and six grandchildren (one was still in Florida…boo!),

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and our officiant.

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With the short ceremony over, we moved over to celebrate with champagne/”kid wine” toasts and cupcakes.

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My Dad surprised us with a touching speech about how he loved seeing me happier than I had ever been, and he welcomed his new son “officially”– although those two have one of the strongest bro-mances I have ever personally witnessed, and I think this welcoming occurred at the first time they met, or at least when Dad lended him his first tool.

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Wrecker’s Mom followed suit welcoming me into their family officially,

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and then my brother,

and then his youngest daughter.

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She talked about how when her mom died all that everyone wanted was for her Dad to find happiness again. It wasn’t until I came along that they saw him smile. Of course, I  became the tear-filled bride at such a touching moment.

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It was a day of extreme highs filled with honest emotion, and the occasion was true perfection. We were so happy to be surrounded by the love and support of our family and touched that everyone could be there to share it with us.

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There was one last step however before we were truly “official,” so we sat down to finish the formalities.

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Then some more serious photos,

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and some not-so-serious ones…

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After the ceremony, I had made reservations for the special Valentine’s menu at the Lodge’s restaurant and reserved a King Suite for the night for our honeymoon.

Over dinner, we had several couples come up to congratulate us. They had been watching the ceremony from the balcony apparently, and many were there on their own anniversaries celebrating their own Valentine’s Day marriages so many years ago. One couple even bought us some chocolate-covered strawberries. (If you are reading this, we truly appreciated your gesture of generosity.)

For us, this love story has only just begun. We can only hope it will be as full of surprises as its beginning, and we hope that all of you find happiness like we’ve found.

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Mistress Elle: How to Be a Heartbreaker

That’s right.  It’s time for your session with Mistress Elle.Elle

Mistresses operate best giving instructions.  😉

It’s easy.

1.  You submit your questions to mistress_elle@libidacoria.com.

2.  I share my googled research, sage advice, years of experience, and deliver it to you in one sarcastically biting blog.

Now…I’m going to let this song start to explain today’s question from Newfound Freedom in Seattle.

Dear Mistress,

I’ve recently gone through a divorce and find myself single after a 17-year marriage.  I’ve spent years wondering what it would be like to play the field, but only now am I truly able to attempt it.  I fantasize about being the Heartbreaker I was never able to become.  Trouble is…I have no idea where to begin.  I got married right out of high school and have only ever been with my ex-husband.  Help a girl out.  Where do I start?

Yours truly,

Newfound Freedom

Seattle, WA

Newfound Freedom,

The first thing a girl needs to do is understand the rules; hence, my Marina and the Diamonds intro.

1.  Do You!

The first rule and underlying philosophy of being a Heartbreaker is: It’s all about you.  You need to turn off your need to please.  Turn off your sympathy.  Turn off your empathy.  Turn off your desire to please….except when it comes to yourself.  “Doing you” is about satisfying your urges, your needs, your desires and your amusement.  It’s harder than it might seem.  I think we all have a natural inclination to feel for someone, even those we just meet.  So this step and mentality may take some practice.  Focus on the fun.  When the fun begins to wane or if you suspect the other person is beginning to develop feelings for you, you have to walk away.  Detach and flee quickly and without warning.

Not doing so will result in unnecessary drama and emotional conflict.  Both of these are the very antithesis of “fun.”

2.  Appearance

Doing You also comes with a sub-requirement that merits it’s own entry: Appearance.  It’s hard to be a Heartbreaker with unshaven legs, split ends, dry skin and half-painted nails.  Sexual attraction, especially surface sexual attraction, is motivated by visual appeal.  Make sure that no matter what, you clear your schedule for one day a week and do all the girly maintenance at once.  Not only will it increase your confidence, it will ensure that you shine and stand out from your competition.  Shiny things don’t only attract the eyes of women. 😉

3.  Be Bold.

You only get what you really want.  If you see a person you would like to get to know, you aren’t going to get to know them by sitting and playing on your phone.  You have to “grow a pair of tits”, as Lily Allen would say, and approach them.  For some, it takes slipping into a “character”, someone perhaps not timid like their usual self.  For others, it takes a drink or two…or music…or meditation…or “motivation” (for the actors out there).  Whatever it takes you to become assertive, do it!  I guarantee after a while that your personality will change and assertiveness will become part of your nature.  If you’re lucky, it will not only help your love life, but your career, your other passions and your meaningful relationships.

Boldness should permeate your wardrobe, your speech, your ability to make eye contact, your approach, your body language and your sense of adventure.

4.  Play the field.

Go big or go home.  You can’t be a Heartbreaker by focusing all your attention on one person.  By definition, a Heartbreaker plays the field.  Ideally, you should never date the same person more than once, but given reality, there will be those that you quite enjoy and want to take out for another test drive. You should always be on the lookout for new players to add to the fold. Keep an influx of new players and an outflux of retirees.  Never go out or meet more than twice or feelings will begin to form, even in “Friends with Benefits” situations.

5.  Keep him/her at bay and definitely make them work for it.

Being too available wreaks of desperation.  And while I’m not a big proponent of playing games, being a Heartbreaker is unfortunately one of the times when it’s a necessary evil.  Anything catchable is not worth having.  Remain elusive.  If he/she calls, give it a few days before calling back.  Make tentative plans and don’t follow through.  Don’t divulge the minutiae of your day, details about your personal life, your real social media information, information about your family or your past relationships.  Your goal is to remain a woman of mystery, to give the impression that you have a life outside of him/her and that you have better things to do than sit by the phone or computer waiting for correspondence.

Better yet, don’t fake it!  Get out there.  Be on the prowl.  Be experiencing new things, meeting new people, and living!

Put the onus on the other person to plan, organize and pay for the date.  They should be trying to impress you rather than the other way around.  Heartbreakers are in it merely for the fun, and all that planning and organizing takes too much energy.

we__re_not_the_perfect_two_by_asheemerson-d4s6h5p6.  Build them up.

It’s important to remain neutral in your emotional involvement, but the largest part of being a Heartbreaker is the actually breaking of the hearts.

While on dates, become “the ideal woman.”  You must be able to morph into the characteristics they find most attractive.  Learn as much as everything as you can because you never know when you might need it.  For instance, if he’s into Baseball, you should be able to site enough information to gain some credibility.  Learn some stats or player’s names.  Or if you are more of a football girl, that’s okay too.  It still shows an interest in sports without mimicking his interests exactly.  You want to create the illusion that every interest they have is validated, is special and is shared.  Great Heartbreakers scope this information out in the pre-date conversation.  Being prepared will make the date less awkward.

Your goal is to become the “perfect girl” in the few hours you will spend with them.  Like a salesperson, you have to have them believe you might just be “the one” so that when you walk away (no later than date #2), there is a real and stinging emotional let-down, a breaking of their heart.

7.  And finally, Grow a thick skin.

Being a Heartbreaker is not to be taken lightly.  It’s hard work.  It’s emotionally disastrous if you aren’t in the right head space.  And what may be fun at first, becomes empty quickly.  It’s not a cure for loneliness, nor will you always be proud of yourself.

But try to at least have some fun while it lasts.

INTERVIEW: Dr. Martha Tara Lee

Dr. Martha Tara Lee

Today, we feature an interview with sexologist, Dr. Martha Tara Lee.  Dr. Lee is doing amazing things in Singapore educating people about sexuality and counseling individuals with sex-related issues.  Dr. Lee is a woman who looked out into the world, identified a problem and stepped up to do something about it.  We are honored to have the opportunity to interview her this week for Libidacoria Magazine.

Dr. Martha Tara Lee

What do you do: Sexuality coaching and sexuality educational programs online and face-to-face

Official website: http://www.eroscoaching.com

 

How did you find yourself here? What’s your story?

I worked in corporate communications for eight years, before starting and running a non-profit for two years. When the non-profit closed down, I realized I wanted to continue being in a helping profession but as a business. During that time in Singapore, there was a reported rise in teenage pregnancy and the sexual transmitted infections rate. It made me angry. In fact, I was so bothered; I couldn’t sleep. I began to realize it wasn’t just the bad news, but the lack of good that bugged me. I questioned why sex was never talked about in positive ways. I asked myself if I could become trained to be some kind of sexuality counselor to help more people in a more specific field. After I did more research, I realized what I really wanted to be was a sexologist – where I saw private clients as well as ran sexuality education events. That led me to making several trips to San Francisco to complete my doctorate in human sexuality.

How does one get into this profession?

Pursue a Master’s or Doctorate in human sexuality in a university – if offered in their country.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Everything. I follow the work of leaders, coaches, and fellow sexologists. I read widely, including many topics outside of my field.

What 3 people have influenced you most? Why?

My parents have and continue to influence me a lot. They gave me life and did their best as parents in their own way, and I am grateful for everything they have done for me.

 Have you embraced technology or are you still a pen and paper writer?

I am very active on social media, and have launched several online training programs such as Sex Jumpstart for Couples; Ready, Get Sex, Go for guys who want to gain ejaculation control; and Sex Possible for ladies who suffer from vaginismus.


Love-Sex-everything-front-cover-page-001What was your moment—the moment you realized you “made” it?

I am not sure what “made” it means exactly but I suppose when I published my book, Love, Sex and Everything In-Between, it was definitely a dream come true and a major milestone for me.

What’s your cure for creative blockage?

Exercise and meditation.

What’s your preferred drink?

Hot chocolate with soy milk.

What’s your sexiest turn-on?

Soft caresses.

Name one completely useless thing you’re really good at.

Sleeping. I can sleep anytime, anywhere – even while standing.

How do you turn off your job and maintain a personal life?

My work is challenging because I not only work with clients who come in with all kinds of sexual issues and personal problems, but I am also an introvert. I have learned to manage my energy by spending plenty of time restoring my nerves through exercise, meditation, and learning about nutrition and being more mindful of what I eat. I am also more conscious and deliberate about who I spend time with, and what I do. For instance, I am drawn to watching movies that have happy endings, and only hanging out with my friends who are spiritual and whom I care deeply about.

If you could go back, would you do it again or take another path? And what would that look like you think?

No, I won’t take any other path.

 

 

To learn more about  Dr. Lee, visit her official website at http://www.eroscoaching.com.  You can also follow her on Facebook and on Twitter, and like her Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/drmarthataralee.

 

Pondering Cupid

by Kristie LeVangie

I’m plagued today with the idea of Cupid.  I recently went for a walk through the local art museum.  I became entranced with the artful depictions of this little weapon-yielding, winged, naked baby put in charge of such a monumental thing as Love.

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Each Renaissance-period oil-soaked canvas shows an angelic toddler with tiny white wings and a barren chubby body.  He parades his nakedness in insinuating innocence.  His right hand cradles a small bow while arrows of attraction and repulsion are gathered precariously in the small quiver affixed to his back.

I guess I am most intrigued by the contrary nature of little Cupid’s depiction.  How can this Romantic depiction be so contrary to the actual effects of this catastrophic calamity called Love?

There is something unsettling about the notion that a baby is in charge of the “slings and arrows” of love, but it is true that he often has bad aim.  We would expect that from a weak-muscled cherub.  But I would argue against his innocence as his archery often shows a malicious disregard for its target.  Such carelessness has at times altered history and caused the downfalls of empires.

The innocence of the dear child runs counter to the human manipulation and torrid storms of relationships.  Where is the evil Loki who runs around mischievously fired enamored arrows into complete strangers, mismatched personalities and forbidden targets?

Cupid is never depicted with a sly grin, a slanted eyebrow or a devilish thought.

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Cupid is no better than a serial killer who decides upon his target, stalks his prey, and often attacks them in their most vulnerable state.  Such was one painting where the little boy was climbing upon a concrete bench in which a maiden slept peacefully.  And according to the artist’s perception in this painting, we have little resistance to his mayhem.  How would we defend ourselves with our eyes closed as they so often are when it comes to Love?

This painting isn’t the same one I’m referring to (as it depicts Cupid as a man), but it’s close.

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Cupid himself was unable to stay with his love, Psyche.  According to legend, Psyche was a mortal.  Cupid fell in love with her but she was forbidden to look at him.  One night dying from curiosity, she lit a candle and gazed at her lover in the dark candlelit room.  As she stood admiring his form, she accidentally spilled a bit of candle wax on him.  He awoke in anger that she had disobeyed and fled leaving her alone.   There’s more to the story, but it’s funny that even the epitome of Love (he was Aphrodite’s son, for truth’s sake) found walking away a better answer to staying and working things out.

And what becomes of the maiden in our painting?  Little does she know that upon awakening, she will be straddled with a short courtship, ensuing financial disagreements, maintaining a household complete with multitudes of children, and keeping a watchful eye on a potentially straying husband.  Little does she know that her life, and her innocence for that matter, will now be shattered, and her heart will grow a little more saddened with each passing day at the futility of it all.  And little does she know that upon awakening, she will be fevered with someone who may or may not return her affection, will underestimate her value, and will always be keeping a roaming eye for something better to come along.

Little does she know…and little do we until we’ve tangled with the fat little man they call Cupid.

…Of course, this is just my jaded opinion.  😉