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A Premarital Valentine's Day
By: | Posted: 11/15/2012
I remember when I got my first Wedding Barbie. I immediately took off all her clothes, which wasn't terribly unusual since I was seven. My M.O. for all new Barbies was to strip them down and inventory their worldly possessions: clothes, shoes, accessories, etc.
But Wedding Barbie, oh, she was different (and by different, I don't just mean ridiculously expensive). She came adorned in a frilly, white dress with layer-upon-layer of Mattel's finest crinoline. She even had fancy, lace stockings under all those layers. Looking back, I can't help but think she must have been miserable.
Yes, you heard me: miserable. Once I set Wedding Barbie on her path to freedom, she never looked back (and neither did I). You see, to most little girls, Ken was Barbie's knight in shining armor. To me, Ken was just the guy who drove Barbie around town in her shiny pink Corvette.
I didn't spend my formative year thinking about weddings or finding "the One." Instead I was a tom-boy (albeit one with Barbies). I'll admit I haven't totally outgrown my tom-boy ways. Sure, I've learned to love pink and I can't resist a good mother/daughter shopping trip, but that's where I draw the line. I'd rather be at the gym lifting weights than reading Vogue or In Style. The thought of doing a trial run to get my wedding hairstyle perfect makes me queasy. In fact, I don't even own make-up, unless you count Chapstick and sunscreen.
Not long after college, a number of my friends started getting married. It happened again after I finished law school, and all the while I didn't really think too much of it. By the time I hit my late 20s, nearly all of my friends had found "the One." I, too, had found "the One"—the University of Minnesota, where I had started my career as a journalism professor.
If you think this is the "woe is me, poor single girl who works long hours and has no fun" part of the story, I'm sorry to disappoint. Halfway through my second year teaching, I started dating Kevin (more on that later). It seemed like a match made in heaven: neither of us wanted kids or planned to get married.
From the beginning, everyone who knew us bet against us. Looking back, I can't say I blame them. How could two people who never planned to get married make a relationship work? But, somehow we managed. I guess we figured that once we had survived a 21-day, 6,000-mile camping trip in a Toyota Corolla together, anything was possible.
At the two-year mark, people started asking when we planned to get engaged. By year three, I'm pretty sure they'd lost all hope (I know our moms had). But, four years later, here I am writing a wedding blog (and, no, we aren't expecting anytime soon). Although our relationship isn't anything like Ken and Barbie's, it doesn't hurt that Kevin drives me around the Twin Cities in his sports car. Thankfully, it isn't pink.
Amy Kristin Sanders is an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota's School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She spends her free time eating her way through the Twin Cities, obsessively planning her next big trip and working up a sweat at Lifetime Fitness. She and her fiance Kevin live in Woodbury with their two rescued black labs, Maxwell (16) and Matisse (9).
Carly is manager, Social Media and Audience Engagement at MSP-C. See her engagement story.
Vanessa is creative director and co-founder at Bow & Arrow Magazine. See her engagement story.
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