Monday, May 20, 2013

Is it that time already?

I can't believe it but Julian and I just filed to remove conditions on his green card! Has it really been that long since his AOS was approved? I guess so! Luckily I remembered to save EVERYTHING we could possibly need as evidence. Photos (our wedding and honeymoon, our REAL honeymoon, vacation pictures, etc), utility bills, tax returns (omg I think I killed a forest!), joint bank account and credit card statements for the various accounts we have, our drivers licenses, AAA cards, and on and on and on...

So now we wait. Julian is of course getting really nervous about how long this is going to take. I try to remind him that the chance of him getting denied is almost zero, and anyway, it's not like we're faking this marriage. My dad said that if they ever wanted to investigate us, all they would have to do is watch us bicker like an old married couple, lol. It's just that J gets so irritated with anything having to do with immigration, and then I end up doing everything because he says "you're the American, you know how to do these things." Sigh.

I started working full-time again recently. Since we decided to put having children on the backburner for a few more years, it seemed stupid to have me doing nothing most of the time (I was still working 15-20 hours a week, just working with one client). Don't get me wrong, I liked being a mostly-housewife for the first year or so. I got to structure my weeks so I was in the office two days a week, and on call for emergencies. I visited friends in Boston and Texas, decorated the house, read a LOT, took some classes at Pasadena City College in design and jewelry making. I made a vegetable garden! I kept myself busy, but I didn't feel busy, if that makes any sense. I felt like I was just marking time.

So I told Julian that I wanted to go back to work full-time, if they would have me back. He wasn't 100% thrilled at first. I mean, he still thinks that what I want as a woman is to start having kids. But I'm still pretty young (I turned 28 last week!) and I want to experience more and see more. I want to have Julian all to myself, just a little longer. I want to still be able to go out with my friends until 2am and not have to worry about a babysitter. But anyway, more importantly, I just wasn't feeling like Melissa any more. I mean, some of that is good, since I'm no longer as crazy as I used to be (thank god for therapy!) but so much of who my parents raised me to be was to be a girl, a woman, who is not just a support for her husband but controls her own life. Working helps me be that woman.

And to be honest, I was just lonely a lot. Julian's work schedule is sometimes insane. He has to fly back to the UK more often than I like, even if it's just for a few days. Of course there's Skype and email and Vonage, but I miss having him actually be here with me. My house is big, too big for me and my cat. Julian reminds me that if I could just settle down a little, and be ready to have children, I might not feel so lost. And empty.

But anyway, yes! Removing conditions, here we come!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A little catch up.

My memory was jogged the other day about this blog, that I even used to be so wrapped up in it as I was only 18 months ago. A commenter said I couldn't leave everyone hanging, but I don't know that so much is happening in my life any more, well, not in comparison to how it was in the lead up to my wedding.

As I said in my last post over four months ago, Julian was over in England for six months. I won't lie -- it totally sucked. And I also won't lie and say it didn't feel a little like being abandoned as soon as we got everything sorted out with AOS. I mean, it's not like I actually had it so bad, since we didn't have to scrimp and save to pay for it, but Julian was just so disengaged from the whole process. I was in charge of filling out all the forms, and getting all the documents together, and basically Julian just signed his name. He was irritated that he had to do biometrics AGAIN, and then that we had to go to an interview. ("Like I'm a criminal, Melissa. All these illegals out here and they drag me in to defend our marriage?") I thought he was going to blow everything when he snapped at the interviewer, "Do you realize I could have saved a lot of money and just had my wife join me? I'm here because I want to be with her, not be living in... Pasadena of all places."


So I guess in some ways things haven't changed so much. But Julian's been back since just before Christmas -- our first real Christmas without all the extra relatives and friends that were around us last year because of the wedding. It was so wonderful -- just the two of us on Christmas Eve (well, Tibbs was there) and we trimmed the tree, and listened to carols on the radio, made spiced (and spiked!) rum and had all these special cheeses and charcuterie I'd picked up at Bristol Farms in South Pas earlier in the day. We went to my parents' house on Christmas Day after we did our private gift-giving (GORGEOUS Tiffany necklace from him and a trip to the Turks and Caicos, which we took last month and it was AMAZING, plus a few other little things).

Rachel was there at Christmas, of course. Things still aren't great between us, but they have gotten better. While Julian was away. I was SO lonely in the house alone, and I asked her to come stay with me for a little while, which turned into about four months. Away from my parents and Julian we got along better than I can ever remember in the past 15 years. Like real sisters! We stayed up late and watched movies, cooked for each other and got to know each other as adults. It wasn't all perfect though -- she used to invite her "special friends" over without telling me, and I'd come home from work and they'd be fooling around in the living room as if I were the guest and they lived here!

Also, I saw a lot of Sean while Julian was away. Yeah, I know. But I always let Julian know when we were hanging out, and Sean never made a pass as far as I was concerned. I mean, there were times when he touched my arm a little too long, or this one time when he was trying to make a point about how rough some guys can be with women, and he grabbed my head and pulled it back by the hair (so weird -- but we were a little drunk). But after thinking about it for a while I told him that he was being a little too physical, and that it was just not appropriate with me being married and my husband away. He didn't think anything was wrong about what he'd done, but whatever.

So Julian's been back for a while, and mostly what he does is from home, though he does go downtown for meetings some times and down to Long Beach (I can never really figure out what it is that he does, except that it's in import/export). I'm still working part-time, and I spend my "free" time finishing the decorating of the house, and working on my cooking skills. I'm looking into going to culinary school, since I really CAN cook and Julian's very proud of it.

I guess I get bored a lot too. I re-read all of Charles Dickens' books while Julian was away, and then started plowing through Jane Austen and Thomas Hardy. I spent a lot of time at LACMA. Mostly I kept thinking about whether or not being a part-time worker was what I really wanted to do with my life. I'm not sure that it is. I'm not ready to have a baby and I want to do something but I just don't know what it is.

So that's about it for now, though I'll try to write more frequently. Oh, I guess there's all that stuff about Alex and my sister, but I've written enough for this post. The next one. I promise.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Testing... testing...

Wow, it's been a while since I last posted. I quit this blog when I felt like everything was spiraling out of control, that I had opened up too much of myself to criticism to perfect strangers, when all I wanted to do was vent a little. I can admit now I got hooked on the attention and the drama. Stepping away when I did was one of the best things I could have chosen to do.

Julian and I got married almost a year ago now, and while it wasn't the wedding I would have chosen for myself  completely (too much meddling from my mother-in-law and my sister), we managed to have a great time. Julian's AOS was complete in May, and in the middle of June he went back to London for six months to help complete a business deal. Yeah, six months apart in the first year of marriage has sucked, but it has allowed him to make our lives more financially secure. I also went out there for two months (September-October), so it hasn't been like we've been really that apart.

So I want to start blogging again, this time in a less crazy way. And my life is less crazy now. You'll see.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A month away from blogging.

I have taken a break from this blog because I thought it was getting a little out of control. I was being attacked from every side, I was accused of all sorts of terrible and untrue things, and it was hurting my relationship with Julian. As I'm sure everyone saw, he accused me of still being in love with someone else, and the reason that was the case was because people who commented on the blog put that idea in his head, or at least encouraged it. It took a lot of talking and a long weekend in London for me to calm him down. Yes, I actually did something and didn't blog about it or post it on VJ! Unbelievable!

So yes, we took some time to really look at our relationship and try to understand why we are doing what we're doing, getting married and settling in America. We really love each other and want to be with each other as partners, and we really don't care if people on VJ don't like us. We also won't stop posting on VJ just because people don't like us. All of the attacks have made us stronger and closer and even more in love than ever before. Just because you don't understand our relationship doesn't mean it isn't one that works for us.

And I saw Alex when I was there -- before you jump to any conclusions, Julian was with me and it was just dinner. I wanted to put all the old history behind me and really try to be his friend again. He has given me a lot of support over the past couple of months, after really despising me for a while. Many people have asked how he could go from being so hateful to so protective of me. I'll just say this. It's a cliche that love and hate are not opposites but are closer together than people think. Alex loved me once (or something like love) and although he still thinks us getting married isn't a great idea, he cares about his friends (yes, "friends", both J and me) and doesn't want to bring us pain. After Julian really talked to him about how important it was for Alex to stop hurting me both for my sake and for the sake of Julian and Alex's friendship, Alex pulled back. I think we're kind of at a stage now that I can live with.

I'm moving into the house soon. We closed on the house recently, but I have been kind of lazy getting the few things I have into the new place. It just feels so big and impersonal compared to my little apartment. Tibbs and I will feel kind of lost in there until Julian gets here. What else? Work is still going well, although Dana and I are absolutely NOT speaking to each other now. She complained to John, my boss, that I don't do anywhere near as much work as she does because I am constantly on the phone to Julian (my own phone, by the way, when I call him -- work does NOT pay for these calls). So John of course had to look into it, which was humiliating. John was pretty satisfied that I don't abuse my time here, but he asked me to make personal calls in an empty meeting room for the time being. Can you believe that? Dana of course thinks she's won. I hate that stupid bitch.

So that's about it for the meantime. I'm going to try to start blogging again a little since it really does help me get some of the stuff out that bothers me. I want to write about Jen and Jenn, who have been like the sisters I really wanted (not Rachel, who I'm STILL having problems with), but I really need to go to the Americana to go pick up this thing from Anthropologie for a friend's birthday party tonight. Maybe later.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


I haven't posted in a while, I know. There are a couple of reasons for this, some happy and some I could do without. I think I'll deal with the not-so-happy ones first. I am sick of the really negative and frankly rude comments I get on here. I have been accused of sleeping with my fiance's best friend, being an attention-seeker, being a gold-digger, drinking too much, getting addicted to pills... and the list goes on. And on. And on. And it has started seeping over on to VJ, where I can't even ask a question any more without getting attacked. And when I had an issue with Blogger -- which I have complained about in the past, with comments getting turned OFF and blocked beyond my control -- I got accused of turning anonymous comments back on. I left all your hurtful comments up there so you can see how ridiculous you sound. I won't even comment on the people who were saying borderline-stalker things.

So here is the deal with comments. I know you are all DYING to comment on my blog since you seem to like doing it so much. I am turning comments back ON but I will approve them all. If you are registered, your comment will be approved and I will post it. If you leave a name, I will probably post it. If you do not leave a name, and the comment is not attacking me, I will post it. Those are the rules. I'm not doing this because I'm an attention whore. I actually liked reading people's opinions, and I feel like the current system isn't working.

That's over. Phew. Back to real life. Well, we got our NOA2 last week, and now our case is at the National Visa Center (NVC). It got there on Monday, so I'm really hoping it will get sent to the London Embassy tomorrow or Friday. After it gets to the Embassy, everything really starts happening! Going by timelines, I think Julian should be getting his interview in October. It's a real pain, because I wanted to have an outdoor reception at my parents' house, but I don't think that is going to happen now. Assuming he gets his visa in mid-October, he still wants to wrap a lot of things up before he leaves. Which means that he will probably want to wait until Christmas to come over here, unless I can convince him otherwise. I told him that he should start wrapping things up NOW but he said he wants to wait until he has the visa.

But in the meantime, he has his LND number (his case number at London), which he needed to book his medical. He has one in about 3 weeks time. He also has been getting together all the other things he needs, like his birth certificate and his ACPO police certificate. He is also getting his "jabs" as he calls them updated so he won't need to do them at the medical. One of the VJ ladies (Jill) posted some GREAT info on how to speed up the process a little, and Julian has now downloaded all the forms he needs to send off when the Embassy contacts him to tell him to send his "Packet 3" back. We're all ready, we just need that P3!

Everything is going along well with the house. We're closing next week, but I will probably not move in completely until the end of the month so Rachel and I can start decorating. Rachel has been a little bit of a pain recently about the house. She promised months ago she would help me with the decoration and she seemed so excited. But now she says she doesn't have time for it, that her screenplay needs to be rewritten and she doesn't know how she can possibly be expected to do what is a favor to me when she is so busy. Busy? Ha! I know exactly what she is up to because she is so sloppy. I know for a fact that she is seeing a married man now, and I think he has something to do with her screenplay because I checked out his Facebook profile and he is in the business. It was soooo easy to figure out what was going on. All of a sudden, this older guy appears in her friends list, and she starts commenting on all of his posts, really flattering him. And he leaves cryptic little notes on her photos. It is so gross. If my parents knew, they would FREAK. But I will not say anything for the sake of family unity.

Oh god, and then Rachel was asking me about Alex! She saw a picture of him and Julian and me AGES ago when I emailed her one from Bristol, and she kept saying how hot he was, and did he have a castle or something. God, talk about gold diggers! I told her that Alex's family had a country house, yes, but they lost a lot of their money ages ago, and I bet they would want him to marry a nice rich American girl. Which she wasn't then (she was struggling to finish senior year) and isn't now (bartender). But since she's my friend on FB, and Alex is back on my FB list, she can see his pictures and she sent me an email about him with the subject line "Yum." She asked if it was really true he was going to be the best man, and was he single because she said she would totally do him. I said that that was completely believable, because there was hardly a guy out there she WOULDN'T do. She didn't talk to me for a couple of days after that. And of course I told Alex, who thought it was all really funny. I need to keep an eye on them during the wedding; I don't put it past my sister to try to sleep with him.

Hmmm. What else? Not much at the moment. Jenn and I are trying to see each other more and get over some of our issues. We had dinner the other night over at her place and it was pretty great, and she even managed to seem happier that Julian and I are getting married. Work is going all right; now it's August, all of Europe is on vacation so it's pretty quiet. I spend a lot of time thinking about what to do about my wedding. I made a couple of calls to local venues to see what I might be able to get around Christmas. There was an opening at a venue I really like on the 18th of December; Julian told me to reserve it just in case so I have today. He said to start doing the real planning now, getting back in touch with all the vendors I have already spoken to and put down deposits. I don't like the idea of December 18th though, but the next Saturday is Christmas Day and I don't want that either. Just stuck. But I suppose I will just get used to it.

So that means this weekend I'll be rethinking colors. AGAIN. If it's Christmas, I want something richer in color, maybe plum or dark green, with cream. Blah. But once I do, I have got to get everything going with the florist, and the bakery and everyone else. The invitations have been ready to go for ages and since they're just black engraved on white card I don't have to worry about colors. I just have to commit to a date. I guess I better make up my mind.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Changing things.

Part of me just wants to ignore every one of the words that was written here to hurt me, make fun of me, or belittle me. That's what Julian and some of my kinder readers have said to me here, on VJ and through PMs. But I would have to be a robot not to feel some hurt at what has been said.

Maybe I have chosen to make part of my life public, but I didn't MEAN to make it as public as I have, clearly. I meant for this to be a blog that I used to talk about what I'm going through with the visa. I mean, there are so many people on VJ who link to their blogs, and I never see THEM getting beaten up for what they write! I asked a simple question on VJ about whether I should close down comments because I knew if I asked here, I would just get attacked. Well, I got attacked on VJ as well.

So I have decided to make comments open only to those who register. If you really need to comment, you'll go through the trouble to register. Maybe it will make some people think before posting, and consider that I am a real life human being like you, with feelings and dreams and worries, just like you. If this blog is teaching me anything, it's that the people I have around me are a lot nicer than I had ever really appreciated.

I don't have a lot else to say right now; I miss Julian still so much. It looks like we will be closing on the house in a couple of weeks, and as soon as Julian and I have our names on the title I am giving notice on this apartment. Still waiting on our NOA2. Still at work, still dealing with Dana. Life just seems so much more dull without Julian around, and things I found interesting to talk about just aren't what I'm thinking about.

The only bright spot is that I have a good friend who is coming to visit next week -- totally a surprise! And something to distract me while I wait for my life to start again, whenever it is that God and USCIS let my fiance come home to me at last.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

...and he's gone.

I know I haven't been very good with writing recently, but as you probably can guess I have been really busy with the house, and Jocasta, and of course Julian. He was on the 9:20pm flight tonight out of LAX, and I can't say how unbelievably sad I am now. Having him here, even with Jocasta for a big chunk of time, was heaven. And the next time he comes, it will be for good -- I don't forget that.

So, I meant to say a little about what happened when Jocasta had dinner with my parents. GOD. What a disaster! I knew it was going to be difficult. My parents are fairly liberal, and Jocasta is... much more conservative. It all started off when I said to Julian that it would be nice if we had dinner at my parents' house, but then he said he didn't want to impose, especially since his mum has really exacting standards and he didn't want to cause any friction because of this. He said we would be better off going to a restaurant, and a French one if possible. She had wanted to go to the hotel restaurant (which has a Michelin star) but it was closed on Mondays, and that would have been the natural place to go. The only place I could think of was Bistro 45, and THAT was closed too! I didn't know what to do. So I said we could go to Tre Venezie, which I think has a star, maybe. He said it would have to do at this short notice.

Well, Julian and I arrived first for dinner (15 minutes early, as he always is) and my parents were on time. Jocasta was 20 minutes late, which was really embarrassing, but she's his mother and I shouldn't feel too upset about it, I guess. He always forgives her. Jocasta was at least a little friendly to my parents, which I was grateful for. Julian chose a GORGEOUS wine for us (can't remember what) and I tried to help break the ice by saying how grateful I was to have Jocasta here to help choose a house. My mother said, "Well, Melissa, by the sound of it, YOU had a lot more to do with the choice than you give yourself credit for." Jocasta said that she wasn't sure that it was the house she would have chosen (and that the built-in cabinets were "rather common") but it was Julian's decision. My mother said under her breath, "And my daughter's, too."

It really kicked off though during the appetizers. Jocasta had encouraged me to have one, even though I said I shouldn't, because she said the food looked so lovely I shouldn't deny myself one. My mother seemed pleased, since she thinks I'm too thin anyway, but when the appetizers arrived (Jocasta of course didn't have one), she turned to me and said, "Well, you haven't had your first fitting for your dress yet, anyway. I'm sure it's easier at the first fitting to let a dress out." My mother asked her if she was calling me fat. Jocasta said of course not, I was just a healthy American farm girl. "What's the phrase -- corn fed?" My father snickered but my mother just glared and said nothing.

Main courses arrived, and by this point my father and Julian (who actually get along pretty well) were well into the third bottle of wine for the table (I don't blame them). My father asked Jocasta what she thought about the Tories coming back into power. She looked very smug and said, "The people have spoken, and it's clear they support the party with real ideas." My dad shook his wine glass at her and said, "What, steal from the poor and give to the rich? That's the oldest idea in the book." Jocasta said that was ridiculous, and what did my father want, wealth redistribution? And he said, sure, why not? Why not redistribute some of your money? And Jocasta said, "It seems that with your daughter marrying my son you have a perfect incidence of wealth redistribution to the common people." I thought my mother was going to slap her, and my father went beet red and then laughed hysterically. It was so embarrassing. We skipped dessert and we all went home after the main course.

Ummm, what else? Oh, yeah, Jocasta leaving. So we went with her to the airport, even though we didn't have to, because Julian wanted to see her off and he wanted me to as well. So we get to LAX, and she's all ready to go through security. Julian's given her many hugs and kisses, even though they're sure to see each other in Suffolk really soon, and she starts walking away and says to me, "Oh, good-bye, Amanda. Lovely to see you." Amanda. That's Julian's ex's name. She knows what my name is; she has called me Amanda on more than one other occasion just to drive me crazy, I know it. I've mentioned it before to Julian, and he just laughs and says I'm imagining things. But I know I'm not.

AND we got the RFE done. It wasn't very hard -- we just photocopied pages from our passports to prove we were in each other's countries during the past two years, plus Julian brought proof that he had opened a joint account at Child & Co for us while I was living there in 2008. So off it went (express delivery) and I'm sure it will be enough. I think we should be getting our NOA2 soon!

So... the house! I don't have much to do with the sale at this point -- the lawyers really are taking care of everything. Julian gave me power of attorney for the sale and also over a few other affairs, and added me to one of his US accounts and one in the Caymans, so I can handle anything that needs doing. Hopefully everything will be worked out in the next month, and I can give notice and move! It will be weird living in a big house by myself (well, me and Tibbs) but Julian will be with me soon. It was just so AMAZING to have him with me, and to have the weekend to ourselves. It was SO HOT, and Julian said he couldn't stand not having "proper air con" so on Friday we moved over to the Langham too. Soooooo nice. We barely left the room, except for me to go take care of Tibbs, and to go to the spa. It was the perfect end to this visit.

Happy. Very happy.