Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Alphabet Soup: Couples Edition

I've decided to jump on the bandwagon and do an alphabet post, since I love reading everyone else's so much. But first, can I just say to all you people who are getting married and commented on my last entry that you want to steal some of our wedding ideas: I think that's great, and you should totally do it. First of all, many of them are borrowed from magazines or other people to begin with. Second of all, I like our ideas. I'm glad you do too. I hope your guests do as well.

Okay, now, onto the alphabet, since that's what you've all been waiting for. I decided to do mine with an "us" theme to it. The A-Z of Jess and Torsten. Or should it be Torsten and Jess? Anyway. On with the show.

Anniversary: Tomorrow is exactly one year before our wedding. It's our minus-iversary. We don't have any plans to celebrate, but how cool is that? I will no longer have to add "2008" every time someone asks when our wedding is. I can just say, "November 1."

Bedtime: Every night before we go to sleep, Torsten and I say both "I love you" and "Ich liebe Dich" to each other.

Camera: I have loved photography since I first took a class in it in high school, but now I associate picture-taking with Torsten, mostly because my camera (which I LOVE) was a Christmas gift from him last year. And also because he loves and encourages my photography and always gives me very thorough reviews of photos he likes and ones he doesn't. And he was the one who encouraged me to finally get around to framing some of my prints and hanging them in our apartment.

Dog: We both really want a dog, especially me, as I've mentioned before. I am seriously going crazy without one. But I don't think we'll be able to have one for at least a year. And this makes me really sad.

Torsten has this thing about my ears, which is that he thinks they are incredibly small (they are on the small side, which is a huge pain when trying to find headphones that will fit in my ears) and he likes to touch them. But when I touch his ears, he yelps. Apparently he has double standards on this one.

Fish: Fish is super healthy and also tasty (especially in sushi form), so I have been learning to like it more and am attempting to learn more ways of cooking it. Torsten is very good at cooking salmon, and we eat a lot of shrimp, but I'd like to expand our fish horizons a bit more.

We're going there next week. We just bought a gift for Torsten's mom, who will celebrate her birthday while we're there. I'm a bit nervous about spending so much time with his parents, but I think it will be fine. Also, we're spending two days at the North Sea just the two of us, so that will be nice. And I understand more German now than I did when Torsten's parents came here two months ago. However, apparently all the bedrooms in the house have twin beds. I'm still not quite sure what we're going to do about this situation.

Healthy living: I haven't talked much about Weight Watchers recently, since it's pretty much just same old, same old, but it's still going well--I've lost just under 40 pounds so far. And I really don't feel like I've even given up that much. I'm just much more aware of what I eat and how much I move. And I feel so much better about everything. And I'm not even done yet. And a major reason why it's been going so well is because Torsten has been so supportive, and always praises the healthy meals I cook, and doesn't complain when they're gross or when he still feels hungry afterward, and is always encouraging without applying pressure.

Already, just from meeting with lawyers and reviewing paperwork and procedures, I have learned so much about visas and permanent resident status and everything else. If we do adopt a child from another country and have to go through USCIS to register them as a US citizen, we will be well-versed in dealing with these people. I shudder to think about how long it will be until we're finally done with this process. It's definitely good we're starting early.

Torsten has a fantastic sense of humour, but then he also makes these really awful jokes and plays on words, half of which don't even make sense because the words only sound alike in his native-German-speaking head. I usually roll my eyes at these puns, but sometimes they are genuinely hilarious in their awfulness, and also he is so proud of himself for thinking of them, which is really cute.

I remember how incredibly badly I wanted Torsten to kiss me on our first date, and how I kept trying to set it up, and how at first he avoided it and then finally he caved in. And I remember exactly what our first kiss felt like. And I love that now if I want to kiss him I can just do it and not have to think about it first.

The current favourite for a future daughter's name starts with L. I'm still not permitted to say what it is, though. Although I imagine that by the time we would actually have occasion to name a child, we'll have changed our minds.

Somehow, even though neither of us likes it this way, our apartment always winds up being a mess. We go on kicks where we clean the kitchen immediately after dinner each night, and toss the paper as soon as we're done reading it, and put our dirty clothes straight into the laundry basket. And then... it ends. And our beautiful apartment descends into squalor until one of us can't take it anymore, we clean the whole thing up, and then the cycle starts again.

I tried to be a Nats fan when I moved to DC, and I am, moderately. But really, I love the Red Sox. And Torsten, fairweather fan that he is, got sick of the Nats in August when he realized they weren't going to make the playoffs (shocker) and planted himself firmly in the Red Sox camp. He picked the right year, apparently. But since he's a new fan, he doesn't understand certain things, like that Jason Varitek is NEVER to be insulted even if he had an off year. Nicknames like "Jason Losertek" are simply unacceptable.

Of course:
What I said to Torsten when he asked me to marry him. Apparently, I'm too cool for the standard "yes" that most people say. But hey, it's what came out. And it got the message across.

Purple: I don't think this one really requires an explanation. It's just beautiful. That's why it will be everywhere at our wedding. One of the reasons why Torsten and I work so well together is that he is extremely understanding and tolerant about my extreme love of purple.

Questions: This is an interesting one, I think. I am the over-analytical type and in past relationships I've been teased for asking too many questions, almost all of them trying to force the other person to specify exactly what they meant by pretty much everything they ever said. With Torsten, I don't do that and I've never done it. I'm not quite sure what changed. I think it's a combination of us being in tune with each other (so I don't have to ask) and me being totally at ease around him (so I don't feel the need to seek out ulterior motives). Hey, looks like I have a little bit of the cra-a-azy that's been going around recently, too.

Redhead: Torsten's hair is a reddish brownish non-colour (this was extremely inconvenient when we had to pick a hair colour for his driver's license application), but it was red red when he was a kid. Apparently his whole family was the same way. I'm hoping our child is no exception. How cool would it be for our kid to have red, curly hair?

This is the only country other than France and the US that I've ever lived in for any significant amount of time (read: more than a couple weeks). I still feel a strong attachment to it and would love to adopt a child from there, which Torsten totally supports. I looked into it a little bit and at the moment it doesn't seem like they have any real laws about international adoption, which makes it quite complicated. But maybe that will change.

Thailand: We're thinking about going there on our honeymoon. I really want to see all seven continents, and I haven't been to Asia yet, and this seems like a good excuse to go. And everyone I know who's been to Thailand loves it, and it's cheap (except the flights--but hey, we have those vouchers), and November is just the beginning of the high season there. But the flights would be really long, and we don't know how much time off we'll have, so we're thinking of doing something like Mexico instead. We're torn.

United States: We fully plan to settle here in the US, much to the chagrin of Torsten's parents. We still want to live in San Francisco, but we also want to look very carefully at lots of options before we pick a place to move. Including places like Scottsdale, Arizona. All we know is that we want to move west. But hey, for all we know, we could wind up moving to Europe. Since we're both EU citizens and we now both have the passports to prove it, it would be feasible. I don't think I want to move to Europe, but apparently I change my mind a lot. Torsten is my one constant, and he'll be there no matter where we decide to live.

The last time I took a vacation without Torsten was when I went to France without him for two weeks in April. The only reason this happened was because the trip had been planned way in advance, before I'd met him. It sucked so much to be away from him for that long. I never want to go on vacation without him again.

Wedding: Okay, I'm sure nobody is surprised at what I chose for W. What can I say? I've finally snapped out of that two-month lull of non-planning and now I have all these concepts and ideas and plans and I want to meet with florists and pick a DJ and buy a dress RIGHT NOW. Actually what I really want to do is go to like Target and Michael's and peruse for little inexpensive detail-y things that I might not have thought of that would be a good extra little touch. So far, I'm resisting the urge.

Xylophone: Possibly the only instrument that Torsten hasn't yet suggested as a possibility for wedding ceremony music. He keeps changing his mind because his piano is so versatile and can sound like pretty much anything. We still have made absolutely no progress on this issue. We don't even know if we're using the piano.

Last spring I bought tons of yarn to knit Torsten a scarf. It felt silly because the cold weather had just gone and wouldn't be back for so long. Now it's here again... but I haven't made any progress on the scarf since April. It's about a foot long, and sitting in a drawer, along with several skeins of untouched yarn. Whoops.

Zest: One of the only things that Torsten and I squabble over is the use of actual lemons vs. bottled lemon juice in cooking. I like using real lemons and he tells me I'm silly because bottled lemon juice is the exact same thing in more convenient form. My way around this is to find recipes that also require lemon zest. That way I have to buy the lemon anyway so I might as well not put it to waste and use the juice as well. And he can't complain.


  1. i loved this gave such an intimate look on you two as a couple.

    yay for love, and yay for your future. and yayyyy for you jumping on the abc bandwagon :)

    happy halloween!

    xo, bb

  2. This was fun. Also, A HINT on the baby name. YAY!

  3. This was fun! My first kiss with TM was sort of like that too. I kept being really obvious about wanting him to kiss me and he kept not doing it.

  4. I also love this post!

    Dog - I want one with all of my heart too and knowing I can't get one makes me so sad.
    Germany - LUCKY! His parents will love you and things will be fine, I'm sure of it.
    Thailand - Also where I want to go for my honeymoon. You DO have $600 in vouchers, remember!

  5. cute post. and germany next week? freaking awesome. so jealous :)

  6. Great post! Do you have redheads on your side? 'Cause you'd have to somewhere to get one. I AM a redhead, and STILL didn't get a redheaded kid, even though my husband's family has some redheads as well. And I'm NOT trying again. ;)

  7. I agree with BB - such an intimate look at the awesome couple that is you and Torsten.

    And of course now I'm trying to figure out your future daughter's potential name.

  8. germany! ooh! where?

    loved this post! so informative, in a much more relevant way than a lot of other memes sometimes are.

  9. Fun post! How funny; I hadn't seen any A-Z posts and last night when I couldn't sleep I though about doing an A-Z post of names I like. Weird!

  10. When I can't sleep I think of a theme (i.e. vegetable, dog breeds, etc. . .) and try to go through the alphabet and think of a thing tha starts with each letter. I'm usually asleep by "L." However, your alphabet post was not at all sleep inducing as it was lovely! Thank you for sharing!

  11. I love how you just threw in going to Germany like it was going to the store.

    You guys are too cute!

  12. Please tell me Torsten did not call Varitek (gulp) Loser---! I can't even complete it!

  13. You two are just adorable, and obviously happy. And I obviously like purple. I should send you the link (on flickr) to our wedding photos. Our colors were brown and lavender.

    Happy almost minus-versary!

  14. BB--Thanks! Happy Halloween to you too.

    Banana--That's EXACTLY what happened with us. It was so FRUSTRATING.

    Stephanie--We can be sad about not having dogs together. That's slightly comforting.

    JMC--No redheads on my side as far as I know. But I'm going to keep hoping.

    Alice--We're staying with his parents, who live near Frankfurt.

    Artemisia--You and I are psychic! Cool.

    Flibberty--That's a smart trick. Like Scattergories in reverse.

    Marie--He did! And was swiftly reprimanded.

    She Likes Purple--I just found the album myself through the badge on your blog. Your wedding looks awesome.

  15. I could see why yours took so long its very thorough. I think it's cute you guys say I love you in German to each other

  16. Great post! I may have to borrow this idea dn try it someday on my blog.

    And real lemons are WAY better than the bottled kind.