Our backyard is in full bloom. Tall yellow flowers tower over white fluffy ones that sprawl into prim, pink ones. It's a lovely sight that I've only recently started to fully appreciate.
When the buds first began blooming, it took me to a time in my life that caused great anxiety: the time I spent planning my wedding. And, I can't think of those days without thinking about panties.
Allow me to explain.
The closer we got to our November wedding last year, the further I got from a full night's sleep. There were emails to send, items to quadruple-check and panic to perpetuate. Our home became a maze of gift deliveries from our registry and handmade wedding decorations. Stress levels skyrocketed. So, it was no wonder why I wore my panties backward one day.
If you're picturing cotton briefs, you might reason that it could happen on any busy day of the week. These undergarments weren't cotton and they weren't briefs. Let's just say that wearing them backward should have caused great discomfort.
But my mind at that point resembled a crowded elevator. It had reached its maximum capacity of thoughts, ideas, even feelings apparently, and couldn't fit one more. Not even the urgent feeling that tells a woman she should make a trip to the bathroom and rearrange a few things.
I didn't realize the panties situation until retiring for bed that night. That's also when I discovered the real kicker of it all. The noncotton, nonbriefs underwear had a bow in the back, or the front, if you wear them while planning a wedding. And, the bow was neatly tied. The bride-to-be couldn't be bothered to put her panties on right, but she made damn sure that bow looked nice and pretty.
Those panties so poignantly illustrate the wedding planning process as I see it. The priorities are backward. Brides-to-be focus on that pretty little bow that is their wedding day, instead of the marriage they're about to enter. It makes for months of worrying about such life-altering things as dim luminaries, cold tortillas at dinner and off-tune mariachi singers. It's an unpleasant feeling, but you can't recognize the ludicrousness of it until the wedding is over and the panties are off. So to speak.
Everything suffered for it, too. My complexion, my social life, even my relationship with my dog. Believe it or not, this also makes me think about panties.
Allow me to explain.
Penny is accustomed to certain things. Trips to the dog park, daily treats and everything but a parade and confetti when her mom arrives home are but a few. But, arriving home after a long day's work, only to initiate a long night's work can take a toll on a woman. During the wedding-planning days, I made a beeline for my laptop when walking in the door and all but ignored the wagging tail eagerly awaiting my presence.
She got food and water, but attention was off the menu. So, she found a way of getting it.
While sorting laundry one night, I came upon two-weeks' worth of my own chewed-through underwear. Two weeks' worth. Her dad's boxers? Untouched. But Penny wasn't experiencing an attention deficit with her dad. My dog made a point and I humbly accepted it. It was either that or start giving her commands commando-style.
While I turned my attention to Penny, both our families turned their attention to our big day. Some gave us their money, others gave us their labor. A few gave us both.
My mom baked every single Mexican wedding cookie we gave away that day. My sister Xochitl did enough work to earn a cape. My dad banged hammers and lifted heavy objects into the wee hours of the night, every night for two weeks straight.
When it was all said and done, we all felt the stress, which only made the payoff that much sweeter. By the time we got back from our honeymoon, with our perfect wedding day a week behind us, my parents had just one last gift for the bride and groom. They planted a garden of flowers in our backyard.
I used to look out at those beautiful buds and think about the anxiety, the Ambien-assisted nights and, of course, the panty predicaments. Now that the wedding is over and our marriage has started to bloom, I do more than just look at the flowers. I smell them, too.
Contact columnist Xazmin Garza at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0477. Follow her on Twitter @startswithanx.