My husband and I are learning to “adult” together, and that’s been fun. I graduated three hours before I got married (crazy, I know!) and so I went from college kid without a care in the world to full on a responsible adult in about 2.5 seconds. The largest curve hasn’t been the money, I did enough research beforehand to make sure we were gonna be fine, but for me, it’s been the social life. In college, social life was easy. You sit in class with people, study together, the campus is positively teeming with people you know. Once you graduate, it’s different. My best friend moved back to her hometown, and I didn’t know a ton of the people who stuck in town. Besides, since we got married at the tail end of April, May was about us feeling out the waters together, and we weren’t really focused on social things.
June came as a welcome relief from the hermitage we had inadvertently subjected ourselves to. We were so focused on connecting with each other during May that we forgot to connect to the others around us.
The shift happened around Memorial Day Weekend, actually. Rolf and I were serving in the food line at the Greek Food Festival (It’s amazing what cool events you can attend for free if you offer to volunteer for a few hours!) when a coworker of mine asked if we had any plans for the weekend. We didn’t, just the festival. They invited us to go with them to Lake Tahoe for the weekend. Since we’re both a budget, we spent the time playing board games and splashing around by the beach.
I’d always wanted to be the kind of person who goes crazy places on a whim. Not that Tahoe is particularly crazy, but the idea is there. As my husband and I are deciding what we want our marriage to look like, saying yes to a spontaneous trip was a step in the right direction. We had a blast.
The next week, we met them at their house for a barbeque and games. We also hosted our own game night, and I made dinner for everyone. The leftovers were packed into the fridge and I now have lunch for the next few days.
Learning to have a social life on a budget is great. In college, we’d go see a movie or go bowling, or some other slightly pricey, but very fun, activity with friends. Now that we’re married, and life is a little more expensive, we can’t do as many fun things.
But we’re developing a core group of people we hang out it. It feels a little like FRIENDS. We’re not as closely knit as those six characters, but I feel connected to something. It’s new. And fun. And different. And I’m glad that our marriage is helping us develop cool moments where we get away with friends for the weekend, or bring chicken to a barbeque, or make pork chops for friends.
Food is such a huge part of my personal culture. “I’m southern; I feed people.” and “We can always have more people come over. Just put a little more water in the soup.” are two mottos I live by. And I’m happy that it’s becoming ingrained into our marriage as a social aspect of what we’re trying to build.
On a practical level, cooking once a week forces me to have some semblance of a meal plan (at least for that night), and I end up eating the leftovers throughout the week, which is a budget saver because I’m so often tempted to order takeout. So even though the meal might be more expensive than if I were just cooking for 1-2, it saves time and money in the long run. Especially since the hubby gets fed at work Wednesday-Saturday, so I eat alone most evenings and cooking for one has never been my strong suit.
This weekly night and the random trips we’ve been on since our marriage have been super exciting. Community is something that’s important to both him and me so we’re making it a priority. It’s kinda what’s making our marriage us, I guess.