just thinking out loud, Melih gets married, Uncategorized 0 comments on What is it that binds us?

What is it that binds us?

This blog post is 6 days late. It all started when I got sick, fell behind, and I’ve been playing catch up ever since. Some of these catch up blog posts are relevant to the day. Others are just random musings.

I’ve had friends get married and divorced much quicker than I thought would happen. There was one that didn’t surprise me at all, and others where I couldn’t believe it. The profiles of the folks are totally different, and while the sample size is small, I’m not convinced there would be many patterns even if I went looking for them.

Fundamentally it came down to the individuals changed at a quicker pace than the relationship grew to accept these changes.

So I’ve been asking myself quite a bit about what, in today’s world, glues relationships together.

It turns out the negative cases are a lot easier to find than the positive ones. Once upon a time a woman had no choice but to stay because she couldn’t support herself and her kids otherwise. Then as that changed there were cultural and religious expectations that a divorce was unacceptable regardless of the situation. We all know that that gave undue power to the abuser in the family (whoever it was (and whether it was emotional or physical)).

But if religion no longer stops us from getting a divorce, and society no longer shames us, then what keeps us together?


I’ve thought about it for a while, and it really does come down to the fact that every single day individuals in a committed relationship make a choice to stay together. Marriage is 100% a legal entity for worst case scenarios, and to protect & share assets. But monogamy, which used to be tightly coupled with marriage, is a daily choice.

And I think that’s why it’s so easy for individual growth to outpace the relationship. We so easily make different choices from the ones we made yesterday – americano instead of latte, caesar salad instead of garden salad, taking the highway instead of city streets, etc. – that it’s become really easy to just choose to end the relationship.

We’re great at changing our minds. We’re great at being convinced that a choice we used to always make – wearing front-pleated trousers – is something that we should (and can) quickly change. And it applies to big decisions as well (marriage & divorce in fact).

And so the follow on is… why do we make the choice we do? And that’s tomorrow night’s blog post 🙂

Melih gets married, Uncategorized 0 comments on Oh I remember why we got married

Oh I remember why we got married

We went out on a date night tonight. It’s been a tough week. A lot of throw up (all Amelia’s), and a lot of long nights. At least Galatasaray tied Chelsea 1-1 🙂

We’ve been running like chickens with our heads cut off. Big projects. Not big enough teams to help execute. Trying to hire like crazy during the dead season (between Thanksgiving and March bonuses no one moves. Then in April the flood gates open). The 20 minute drive each way in the car is about the depth of conversation we get to have.

So tonight, when we headed back to the Pizza Place to have dinner it was really fantastic. Pouring with rain. Chill restaurant. Good pizza. And great conversation. We laughed with each other. We laughed at each other. And then we had ice cream before we came home to crash.

It was one of those nights where you get to remember why we got into this craziness together in the first place.

Melih gets married, Uncategorized 0 comments on My Wedding Vows

My Wedding Vows

My darling Micky,

I fell in love with you before I ever met you. From the other side of the office came the sound of your laugh. It filled me with a joy that I had forgotten could exist. I knew then that filling the world with your laughter was why I was put on this earth.

You see, this amazing thing happened when that laughter came into my life. You asked me to make you laugh. There were some tears; there were some smiles. And along the way, I learned a thing or two about making you laugh.

The really amazing thing is, here you are now making all my dreams come true by promising to fill my life with that joy.

And so Micky I promise:

  • I will always wipe away any tears you may cry.
  • You will never fall because I will always be there to catch you.
  • I will spend every last minute of every day to bring to you the joy you brought me when I first heart you laugh.

You are my reason for waking up every morning, and you are the reason that I have learned to fly.

Laugh for me my darling Micky, to infinity and beyond.

Melih gets married, Uncategorized 1 comment on Juicing for a cause… kind of

Juicing for a cause… kind of

So as for the wedding planning, I have officially finished the music for the wedding.

We’re getting a lovely guitarist for the ceremony. We’ve asked her to play “Somewhere over the Rainbow” as the song to which Micky walks down the aisle. I hope it’s a lively, and upbeat rendition. We really liked the version that was played as the final song on Glee this season. We’re still looking for a recessional, and it’s darn hard to find!

That’s a big weight off of my shoulder though. I was in real deep shit with myself about not doing all of this first of June. I just sometimes don’t get it. I think working on “getting it” is something that life just throws at you, and either you fail epicly, or you stand up to challenge and figure out. Score one for me getting everything together, and knocking it out. Not that I deserve a pat on the back, but I’m giving myself one.

The reception will be DJ-ed. The fellow who owns the company, who I hope is doing the work, sounds like a great guy. What is it about voice that we put so much trust in? Confidence. Asking the right questions. Having answers, and even having answers to questions you didn’t know that you were supposed to ask. Really impressive. Anyway, the big challenge for me was trying to blend Turkish, American and Folk.

You see, we’re getting married in a barn, and I thought introducing folks to good bluegrass would be really amazing. But then what’s the first? How do you do the parent dances? It just doesn’t work. I didn’t want to do the iPod thing, even though I joked about it. And then I wanted the Turkish folks to have something to dance to. And of course dancing to some top 40 hits we grew up with would be fun too. In the end, a DeeJay was the only option.

And so with that done, the next task is fitting into my suit. The goal… size 30″ waist. I’m currently a 34″ waist, and I have really 8 weeks to make the grade. First approach… juice cleanse.

Micky’s friend Heather did a juice cleanse a few months ago, and then again recently, and swears by it if done right. So Micky and I went out and bought a fancy juicer, and got to business. We’ve gone 4 days now of 4 juices, and one solid meal. The next three days will be 6 juices a day, with NO solid meal. When it’s all said and done… I hope I’ve lost 10 pounds, which is about 1 inch of waist size.

It’s been hard to down the vegetable juices, but the fruit juices are quite good. That said, we’re going to need a lot of help to get through the next three days in one piece. The vision of my James Bond suit is keeping me going.

I’ll let you know how it goes…

Melih gets married, Uncategorized 0 comments on 100 Days to go…

100 Days to go…

There is now less than 100 days to go until the wedding.

It would be the understatement of the century to say that I’m not excited. I think that the best part is continuously finding more reasons why it just feels right. We’ve had so many moments in the last few weeks where I stop and realize just how lucky I am. It’s really fantastic…

In trying to dot the last I’s and cross the last T’s, we took a field trip to Asheville over the 4th of July weekend. We were in NC for my mom’s birthday. For her birthday, we built her cookbook a new website. Saturday after her birthday we headed to Charlotte to hang out with the Winslett family, and got some excellent barbeque.

I can’t ever get enough sweet tea when I come to North Carolina, and I pretty much had an IV attached to my arm with the sugary goodness flowing into my veins.

The Winsletts have a phenomenal home right outside downtown Charlotte, and it gave Micky insane home ownership envy. It’s kind of fascinating to see my friends buying their first homes. My gut still tells me that home ownership is overrated, but maybe I should talk to an accountant before I make that decision. I love the idea of having a yard though. It takes me back to being in elementary school, and having a tiny corner of our backyard. Crucial though is having enough space in the house that everyone can have their own space when it’s called for.

We got up Sunday, and headed to Asheville. Less than 100 days to go until the wedding, and we wanted to learn a bit more about the town in which we’re getting married. Invitations need to be printed, and sent, but we want to know where to convince people to go, stay, hang out and the like. We checked out the Biltmore Estate, which is AMAZING. We walked around town, and got to see all of the restaurants and bars in downtown. We finally ate at Tupello Honey Cafe, and we loved it. Photos to come still.

It was a really great 4th of July weekend.

Melih gets married, Uncategorized 0 comments on Russian River weekend

Russian River weekend

Micky and I trekked north to the Russian River region which is the northern tip of the North Bay. At least, I wouldn’t call too much past Guernesville the Bay Area. More than an hour out, and you’re really pushing it. Anyway, just as we were getting to our hotel, we got into a really big fight. We don’t fight often, but when we do, it really seems to blow up.

We fought over the wedding. Sometimes I’m convinced that there’s a prevailing opinion that the wedding is more important than the marriage. People invest a lot of time into weddings. Do they invest nearly as much into a marriage? I don’t think my parents did. Nor am I convinced that folks in general understand the concept of investing into a marriage. It just feels all out of whack.

We fought over whether I had booked a band or not. I have not. I have a back up plan. One of my dearest friends Trey told me about who they are using for their wedding. Sounded like a really solid back up plan in the event that I can’t find a live band to play. I’ll call them in about a month. But you see, the thing is that I want a live band. The tough bit is that they need to fit into the mold of the wedding. There ought to be a flavor of blue grass to them, and a flavor of popular music to dance to. A small part of me even wants them to be able to pick up some Turkish music for all of us to dance to. How hard could it be to play the old classics that my parents grew up with. The songs themselves aren’t difficult to enjoy… doesn’t that mean they should be easy to pick up?

I know Micky’s right that we can’t ask people to come from all over the world, and then give them a half-assed experience. I know we need to make sure everything is organized, planned and executed. But I also feel that if we spend the next four months investing in the wedding, that we’re throwing a lot of energy into a dead end. My vote is for investing in us.

I coined golf-and-hike weekends about two months ago as a way for Micky and I to leave the city, and to fill a weekend with things that both of us can do, and generally like to do. Micky has been slowly picking up golf, as have I; I’ve been slowly picking up hiking, and Micky is an avid outdoors-woman. This weekend was our first attempt at golf-and-hike, and in my opinion was time to invest in us. I honestly didn’t give a damn about the band.

I know that attitude was wrong. It’s not about throwing energy into a dead-end. It’s about making sure we come out on the other side knowing that we did right by our families, friends and ourselves. That we put on the show that everyone is coming for.

I also know that I hate making Micky cry. I hate it when she’s sad because of me, or mad because of me. I hate myself when she wants to jump out of a moving car because I hurt her feelings. I also hate when she plays a better round of golf than I do.

The nice thing is though, I don’t hate being wrong when it comes to Micky or when it comes to us. I don’t think I ever apologized to Giana or Ashley or Maria about something I did wrong. Makes a lot more sense why they’re gone when I stop and think about it. But Micky’s still here. I guess it’s because when she’s right I know to stop and admit as much.

Used to be my ego was more important, but nowadays it’s not losing the girl.

I guess we made a pretty big investment in us after all; now if I could just figure out my golf swing…

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Melih gets married, Uncategorized 2 comments on And then there was a date… but before that drama (Part 2)

And then there was a date… but before that drama (Part 2)

With all of the drama out in the open… on to the good stuff.

We went home the first weekend of March to try to find a place to get married, and with it a date and a theme around which to plan. We landed on Thursday, in the midst of our No Flour, No Sugar diet, and were welcomed home to two refrigerators full of cakes and other desserts. My mom had planned an engagement party for us, and it was going to be full of desserts to celebrate. There went the diet (but just for the weekend for those keeping score). The night we got there, Micky and I met John at the Ale House and got our cheese fries on. Micky and John had red wine. You know you’re a red neck when cheese fries and red wine sounds like a good idea.

We put the diet on pause for the weekend, and had a great time with a whole bunch of my friends, my brother and a whole bunch of his friends from school. There for my mom was the Turkish Mafia. The food was excellent. The decorations were amazing. And the night was just a lot of fun. I think that sometimes I work so much that I forget to have fun, and this was a really good chance to pause and be excited about the life that Micky and I are building together. The best part was just how loving and supportive my friends have been about this whole thing. It’s the best, amazing feeling I’ve ever had.

The next day we headed up to Asheville. Couldn’t convince my mom that taking the Porsche was a good idea, but nonetheless, we made our way out west (including one stop at Bojangles), and made our first appointment on time. The party the night before kept us up until 2:30am, we were still on West Coast time, and waking up at 6:00 was quite the feat, much less making our 11am appointment.

  • Place #1: The Party Barn
    • The Farm Party Barn was a really cool place right off of a country road. It had two real issues in my opinion. One was it wasn’t remote enough that you felt as if you had gotten away from it all. The second was that it wasn’t going to have the colors that were the reason that I want to have the wedding in Asheville. I guess that’s really just 1b of it not feeling remote enough. However, the cabins that they have on site which can be rented were absolutely gorgeous, and were probably the best accommodations we saw on the trip, and the owner is a dentist in town and offers free whitening if you book for a wedding. That was extremely unique! Nonetheless, it just wasn’t quite what we were looking for
  • Place #3: The Fields at Blackberry Cove
    • Doug is the owner of The Fields, and is an absolute riot. He was by far and away the most energetic and fun person with whom we spent our day. The Fields is in a good spot down a long, windy road, and has a cool barn in which the post-wedding activities would have happened. Unfortunately, Micky and I just couldn’t get over the fact that the spot for the wedding ceremony looks at the neighbors ranch style home. Doug promised us that with foliage that you couldn’t see it (and there was no reason to believe he was telling anything but the truth), but we just couldn’t shake it…

which leads me to the where of our wedding

  • Place #2: Claxton Farms
    • Claxton Farms is quite literally in the middle of nowhere, in a valley of sorts where I’m convinced that by our wedding date (soon to be revealed) will be in a sea of colors and autumn glory. They are rebuilding their barn (very sad story of teenage kids, dry foliage, cigarettes or weed, and big flames), and we just really loved the place as we went up a half-mile of gravel road to see the barn. It also helped that they have a planning company of sorts working there which will make being in California and planning a wedding in North Carolina a lot easier.

On October 10th, 2010, we’re going to get married at a place that will be as beautiful as what we hope to build together. I think that’s a really good way to kick things off… don’t you?

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Melih gets married, Uncategorized 1 comment on And then there was a date… but before that drama (Part 1)

And then there was a date… but before that drama (Part 1)

I was assuming that my wedding, of all weddings in all the time that has passed since weddings have happened, would be drama free. Not being one who looks for drama, I just assumed things would be easier for us. I was wrong.

Drama #1: Guest List

If you don’t know any Turkish people (which is tough to believe if you’re reading this blog), then you won’t know that Turks are an inherently passive-aggressive group. Yes, they will eventually tell you what they believe, but not immediately and only after a decision has been made, and most likely a decision with which they disagree. So I threw out to the family about who the guest list should include. The response was whoever you want… yeah right. So I then said, fine, I’m not inviting anyone but family and my friends.

Immediately the response changed… and single-handedly doubled the size of the guest list. And then Micky had a panic attack about losing the feeling of the wedding that we wanted, the atmosphere that we wanted and was generally stressed out. Then my mom was upset about who was and wasn’t going to be invited. Then my dad said the wedding is about community just as much, if not more so, than about us.

At this point, I just put my foot down, and said no. I’ve had way too much history with this problem. As a kid, I had to invite the whole slew of Turkish Mafia kids. If there were 20 spots at the Adventure Landing birthday party, then 13 went to the Turkish Mafia, and I had to pick 7 out of many more friends to invite. I hated it. It never felt fair. For my graduation party from college I wanted to invite some very important people to me, but I got the line about community and felt guilted into making it a Turkish Mafia event. I really enjoyed sharing the night with the people who were there, but I felt like there people very important to me, but not necessarily my parents, missing.

And so we talked, agreed on a list which was a compromise (somewhere greater than zero but less than double), and I think it was the right thing to do.

Drama resolved.

Drama #2: Surprise no-shows

If you don’t know anything about Micky (which is possible to be fair), then you’ll quickly discover that she gives an unbelievable amount of herself to others while asking for almost nothing in return. Her selflessness is something which makes her an unbelievable sister, friend, fiancee and generally any other attribute you can throw on inter-personal relationships.

I think Micky loves the idea of everyone who we invite being able to come to the wedding. That’s part of the reason why the guest list was so precious to her. That said, she has a few people who she definitely wanted to come, and to whom she wanted to bestow special roles in the wedding. One of these people really let her down, and has continued to let her down over the course of conversation. It was a huge surprise to me. I thought this was one of the few slam dunks of the whole wedding plan season.

Drama unresolved, but hopefully there’s still a chance.

[The good stuff, and the date, will be part of the second installment in this two-part post]

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Melih gets married, Uncategorized 0 comments on It all starts with an earthquake… or something similar

It all starts with an earthquake… or something similar

I have not yet announced on this platform the biggest news of 2010 for me… which is that I got engaged to the one and only Micky O’Brien one month ago today (assuming the today that you read this is February 23rd). If you have not yet met Micky, then you’re in for a really great treat in my own, biased opinion. If you have, then I’m pretty confident that you’ve approved as I’ve yet to hear anyone say otherwise, though now would be a good time if you do feel that way.

Micky has pushed me to chronicle the next few months, and I think it’s a genius idea. I’ll be, in the sanest and least offensive way possible, be documenting all of the ups and downs of planning, families and everything else that comes with weddings. When it’s all said and done, it will be a great way to remember all the craziness which was M & M’s wedding.

I leave you with a slide show of the cheesiness which led to this point so far.

Beach at Camber
Melih and Micky take a pause during a beach hike in Camber, UK
Elementary my dear Watson
Melih and Micky show off their matching Halloween outfits
Micky hanging curtains
Micky hangs curtains which she sewed herself. I was responsible for the curtain rod, fabric and monetary portions of the project