People Suck

Why can’t people just be happy for her?

It was her third marriage. People kept reminding her and anyone else who would listen to their mouth flap. Yes, it was her third, not that the number counted toward or against anything, though for them it did. They used it as a quantifier in which to judge her, instead of as a fact. Yes, she had been married three times before. They didn’t want to know the rest of the story, only that at one point, she had two other husbands. 

The first one died tragically of cancer. It was painful for her. He was older, and of course they judged her on that too. Even then, they didn’t care that she was stable, happy, and loved. Only that he was so much older than she was. When he died she was alone in the loneliest of ways. Three children who could barely understand where their father had gone. People pretended to mourn with her, but they didn’t really care. They judged. As they always do. Thus, she pulled away as she always did when she sensed toxicity and resentment.

She tried to love again, but the toxicity of others brought someone into her life that was fueled by their toxicity. It turned him against her. He manipulated her, threatened her, convinced her to marry him or else he would say, but the else would change. He’d find her, he’d hurt her, he’d hurt the kids, he’d hurt himself. He was desperate, and it made her desperate. So she married him to protect herself and her children, besides she could handle it she thought, and of course they judged her for that too. For trying to love. For letting his threats get to her. For ultimately marring someone else betraying her first marriage like her late husband was still alive. 

Nothing she did was good enough for them, and as the poison of their presence in her life seeped in, she began to believe that she would never be good enough ever. They all would find reason to talk. 

After having enough, and deciding to ask for her worth and being refused, she left him. They judged her once again, but this time for leaving. She decided not to listen to it. She took her children and moved away. Started going to church. Started learning to love herself again. Her children felt more free to be creative. She felt more free to be creative. Finally, she was ready to love again, and she did. They got married and are happier than ever! Of course they judged her again. They still do. But this time she shut the door on their words and made a home of love and safety for her family. They live happily and functionally. She finally feels that kind of safety and love she once had felt. Yet, they still judge. Out of ignorance. Out of malice. Out of loving to hear their own voices. They say the children must be emotionally torn apart, as if she had never spoken to them or gotten their input about it prior. Like she was being selfish. Like she hadn’t sat on my couch for several hours pouring out her soul about how the kids would feel and if they would let her get married again. Because she needed their permission. Not that those who judged her knew, and not that they cared. They just wanted to pretend to have empathy. 

I was so angry to hear how many people so openly talked about her in front of me. So willingly thought that I’d agree with them. So openly shamed her. So I spoke up, knowing that I too Would be judged, merely asking if they knew all these accusations for certain. Asking if they were living her life for her and felt as if they could come along and have a say in it. Asking if they enjoyed talking about her more than talking to her. So they stopped speaking to me. 

Neither she nor I have felt loss at their absence. 

I’m just getting so sick and tired of ignorant people talking about things they know nothing about. Especially when it has nothing to do with their lives. She’s not a relative. Her life has zero impact on theirs. Why open your mouth at all? LET HER LIVE HER FREAKING LIFE WITHOUT BEING AN OBJECT OF YOUR JUDGMENT! But, of course, we all judge. It’s our nature to want to. To gauge our lives against the lives of others and assure ourselves that we are doing the right thing. As if there is even a definition for that. I do it too. I catch myself being that person all the time, and realizing that I’ve got my own problems too. People ignore the fact that life is messy because people are messy, and a mess is a mess no matter how big or small it seems to be. 

If it isn’t your mess, just don’t worry about it. 

Wayzgoose 2016

“Wait…what?” 

“You can have it.” 

“I don’t even own a press.” 

“Just take them anyway.” 

I nearly cried. I held him and hugged for probably an awkward amount of time and kissed his cheeks multiple times. In his old age he smiled and jokingly tried to convince me to come home with him. He did what he could to help me get everything to my car, but he was tired from the long weekend and his age was catching up to him. He knew it. That’s why he was passing it all on. Because he knew soon he would be too. 

I gave him a check anyway. 
“Please. Take it.” 

“I’ll take it but I won’t cash it.” 

“You’re allowed to make your decisions, but at least take the check.” 

“Do you have a press?” He asked already forgetting that I had mentioned I didn’t. 

“Not yet.” 

“Well if I had one I’d give it to you too.” 

“You’ve done so much already.” 

He kissed my forehead and hugged me. 

“If I wasn’t married I’d fall in love with you.” He said with both my hands in his and his wise old eyes gleaming with delight. 

David Peat, designer and letterpress printer extraordinaire, gave me metal type. I was in awe. In complete delight. We spoke a little about life. Told me to let my fiancé know he was a very lucky man. Told me to take good care of his type. I promised I would. 


As the afternoon was coming to a close I heard a shout from across the room. 

“EMILY! Come over to my table and take whatever you want!” 

I never question renown designers when they shout at me. Especially when they’re Rick Griffith. I scooted immediately over and found my poster love. As I collected myself Rick ran over with a pen and autographed the poster. 

“Now go. Have adventures. Get out of the tri-state area! You’re already so special. Go be special out in the world. Stay lovely and talented.” 

We hugged tightly and he ran to pack up his wares. I’d never forget our lunch together that Saturday afternoon, before my high blood sugar made me super sick. He was an absolute delight. A lovely weirdo like myself. A heart to connect to and be deep with. We added each other on Facebook to keep in touch. 

I collected all my things as well. All my business cards were gone. All my posters had been swapped for other work. The work of friends and other lovely humans I had the pleasure of meeting. I met some beautiful people. I worked along side Alan Kitching, Jessica Hiche, and Erik Speikermann. I listened to their lectures. I spoke with them. They spoke with me. It was like we were all friends. It was amazing. I was awestruck and humbled all at once. 
It was one of the most amazing weekends of my life. I wish it had never ended. 

Maid of Honor Part I

We chattered as we drove, talking about life, love and wedding details. She was glowing. Happy for everything. Happy that we were able to be together for this wonderful moment. Happy that we all could get away from work and have some fun. Happy that we didn’t have to stay in the area and could go on an adventure.

Happy we could get a wedding dress…for free.

The home it’s self was 3 floors high, with a plantation style wrap around porch. Mint green siding and dark shutters with glowing lights from inside welcomed you into a relaxed living space with quaint country decorating. The driveway was practically a mile long. The estate, where both her husbands jewelry store and her mansion sit, along with several barns. Sat on a hillside surrounded by fields. It seemed out of place in the middle of nowhere. The kind of home one would see in the south. Large and lovely.

When I heard about her ministry, I was expecting someone to come to you with outdated or vintage wedding dresses that she would help you make into a dress that worked. Who gives away wedding dresses if they’re actually stylish? I mean REALLY just GIVES THEM AWAY.? I suppose the divorced would. But that was beside the point. I assumed that she would probably just pass off something a few seasons old…or decades, and kind of hope you and a seamstress could make it work.

I was mistaken.

Her basement is a bridal showroom, full of contemporary dresses, all donated from bridal shops all over the nation and individuals who just happen to find them at places like Goodwill each season. After you choose a gown, she sends you off with it, to alter it as needed. The only money you spend is on alterations, if the dress even needs it at all. She specializes in dresses with sleeves and high necklines, but also has a large selection of strapless dresses she insists on showing you how to alter with straps, all the while lovingly telling you how sleeveless dresses are “ungodly” dresses. She refuses gowns donated by divorcees, believing them to be “ungodly” dresses as well, and therefore bad luck.

Despite how some of our theology differs, I enjoyed her. She was lovely, jovial, and extremely helpful. Not to mention a blessing to offer the kind of ministry she does for so little, and out of her own home. She made the experience of bridal gown shopping stress free for my dearest friend, who looked absolutely stunning in the dress she picked.

I even teared up a little. Not gunna lie.

As we were walking out, thanking her again and again for a lovely experience, she asked me when I would be coming to see her. I wasn’t sure how to respond at first. So I simply replied “When he pops the question.” She smiled, and assured me “He’d be a fool not to do it soon.” I laughed.

We all took a picture together with our stylist before we piled back in the car for a two hour ride home.