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Friday August 5, 2005 // By Sandy

The things we can say now

Within minutes of our engagement, the dam that had been holding back the secret things we had been thinking over the last three years finally popped a leak. Not too long after, the floodgates were open. No pre-engagement niceties were around to hold us back now. Among the discussions…

What kind of wedding do you want to have?
As I understand it, all twelve-year-old girls fantasize about their dream weddings, and in the years following, build upon that dream until it’s an inflexible ideal best not contested by mortals. Meanwhile, normal boys are too busy fantasizing about other dreams to focus on wedding plans. That didn’t stop me, abnormal from the get-go, from coming up with an idea or two over the years. As we both creaked open these memory chests, we advanced lightly, throwing out morsels of ideas one at a time. (Neither of us wanted to risk deflating that emotional high with some petty wedding planning conflict.) The good news is that tradition and pomp ranks fairly low on both of our priority lists (mine lower than hers), so we’re both open to challenging all manner of your typical wedding customs. Whether we can make it fly with our families… that’s a different story. We’ll be sure to tell it when it begins to unravel.

What will our last names be?
Even before I met Sarah, I never presumed thath my eventual wife would take my name. How quaint, how traditional. Not to mention unfair; I wouldn’t consider changing my name to hers, so why the other way around? I certainly didn’t like the other possibilities any better—hyphened; a mash-up; a new one entirely—so the only option was to leave it as is. But as we were now able to discuss, this presents identity troubles for our (yet-to-be) kids. As we thought about it, and did a mental survey of our friends’ situations, we realized: all our married friends with kids or plans for kids share a last name with their spouses, while all our friends without plans don’t. It was about then that we vocalized it for the first time: “Sarah Weisz”. No decisions yet, but that doesn’t sound too bad at all.

I know you’ve thought about this, so don’t try denying it. Kids’ names?
This was a fun one, because obviously we’ve both thought about it over the years, despite the topic’s prematurity. As Jews, it’s easy to get this conversation started, since tradition dictates that new family members get named after the deceased. So we ran down a laundry list of our ancestors, picking out the ones whose names we both favored. We even found the occasional one that appeared in both trees. Off to a good start, we only had a little time left in the conversation to toss out other names we were fond of. That’s probably for the best, cart-getting-before-the-horse and all that. I’ll just say that I stick my original suggestion for a boy: Sandor, Jr. Or as his nickname would surely be, Shanju.

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