Home > Family, Friends, Learning, Love, Personal, Relationships > Celebrating interdependence. Also dresses.

Celebrating interdependence. Also dresses.

My last voicemails from my mom were entreaties for me to take “[my] sweet man” and marry him before he found himself someone more docile.

That sweet man, bless him, knew better than to ask me to marry him . . . until, sensing the tides had turned, he did, profferring a Green Lantern ring we’d later replace at his grandma’s request.

His grandma's ring

It’s been almost a year since he asked.

In that almost-year, we’ve planned almost nothing.

With Independence Day looming, my thoughts pulled toward independence. I’d grown up believing independence meant being totally and completely free: from obligations, from others’ ideas, from others. It was what I yearned for above all else. I resisted people who demanded my attention and cherished those who let me wander, knowing I would be drawn back not by their insistence I come but their openness.

Independence has its charms, truly. More important for me has been learning interdependence, and not only grudgingly accepting that certain people are constants in my life but embracing the way our lives are better for our having chosen to weave them together.

Yesterday, Anthony and I actually began planning. Our plans are few, but they’re a baseline for those we’ll add in the weeks to come. We now know a couple of things about our wedding soon to be.

There’s much more we don’t know, and that’s OK. What we know is we have each other, and will have each other, regardless of when or where we exchange rings, or who is there to witness the exchange.

Also, there will be dresses. This is important.

There are many things I celebrate my independence from–the Chinese food restaurant that gave me my first official job, law school, practicing law, certain hates that used to bog me down–but there are other things from which I do not wish to be independent.

Image from my favorite post of 2012

six hands for lifting

Sarah and Julie, who enhanced my strength by sharing their own


Mackorah Debenzie 2011


I think you see where I’m going with this.

Life is better not independent from all “things.”

Like dresses. SO MANY PRETTY DRESSES. Can I wear all the dresses? Just change dresses every five minutes my wedding day? On a penny budget?

I guess that might detract from the real focus of my wedding day, so I’ll stick to one. Sigh. I also vow not to steal my bridesmaids’ dresses, no matter how gorgeous they are.

I vow to take the day lightly, because the interdependence I am choosing is better than independence.

One year before Li'l D

I vow today to celebrate not only independence–and especially the independence that has led me to freedoms I cherish today–but also interdependence with the people who illuminate my life.

Oh, and shiny dresses. But mostly interdependence, and the blessed independence to choose these things for myself.

U.S. friends, happy Independence Day!
All, for what dependences and independences are you thankful today?

  1. July 4, 2013 at 10:40 am

    How do you do it, Deb? How do you weave such seemingly unrelated themes together with such interconnectedness? I love this post; although, to be fair, I think I love every TMIYC post.

    I am thankful for the interdependence I share with Karin. I have been allowed the safety and freedom to explore aspects of myself that I didn’t perceive as present in my first marriage.

    Cute bridesmaid dresses. I vote for the sage green one. 🙂

    • July 5, 2013 at 8:18 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind words, both about this blog and your interdependence. It warms my heart to read these words, and of course just to think of both of y’all. ♥

      (As far as the dresses, that’s the shade, but the particular dress is up to its wearer!)

  2. July 4, 2013 at 10:44 am

    I loved this post too and can relate to wanting and needing independence, I’ve always been that way too. I like to wander, and I might return to some people, but most likely, I will not and marriage was a daunting thing for me and I was very much against it until I met my husband. Good luck with your wedding planning and you will look gorgeous in whichever dress you chose! 🙂

    • July 5, 2013 at 8:20 pm

      Many thanks! I think the day will be a blast, no matter which dress I choose. And I think I’ll still have comfortable levels of independence, which is perhaps how the interdependence is possible . . . on both our counts, even? 🙂

  3. July 4, 2013 at 11:38 am

    I’m with Chris and Sarah– loving this and all TMIYC posts. Thanks for making me think about such a special and sweet topic on this Independence Day. I agree, interdependence can be beautiful and key to long lasting healthy relationships. I am grateful for my husband whose nature never allowed me to be too dependent on him. While at first I had some difficulty watching a friend’s husband take care of her every need– a bit jealous of his doting; I soon realized that my husband’s style fit perfectly with mine. We are dependent on each other for some things and not for many. It’s worked so far for almost 23 years! As cliche as it might be, I am grateful for having children who are dependent on me. I am guilty of not teaching my 16 year old son to make his own lunch and maybe that’s because I enjoy his dependence. Yet, I do know that as parents we must help our children become independent and, while frustrating, it’s one of the challenges I enjoy.

    When we get together with good friends (one of whom I am often emotionally dependent and forever thankful to have in my life) later on, I plan to bring up your question- I think it will make for an interesting and different discussion!

    Happy “Independence” Day to you and your ardent admirers!

    • July 5, 2013 at 8:26 pm

      I love your words, Shari! I love having a little boy who’s not yet four and still looks to me for so many things. I remember how heartbroken I was when he realized I wasn’t the center of the world, but then how glad I was to see I was still essential to his world even if I didn’t need to be in it every single moment. I can only imagine what it’ll be like when he’s sixteen! I hope he’ll have faith in his own ability to thrive, but to continue to seek my comfort from me for many years to come nevertheless.

      It’s often when I hold his little hand that I remember how much I used to cringe at the thought of any human obligation. Now, I feel the weight of his small hands and know it is a beautiful thing to carry and be carried by others, just as long as we’re occasionally granted freedom to run alone!

      Happy weekend. ♥

  4. July 4, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Big, big smiles. Thank you. And happy Independance and Interdependance Day(s).

    • July 5, 2013 at 8:27 pm

      Thank you! I hope your day was lovely (regardless of your physical locale), and that the weekend is equally kind. ♥

  5. July 5, 2013 at 10:48 am

    Janice said it perfectly…. Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.

  6. July 6, 2013 at 8:10 am

    Beautiful. And that ring! So elegant, vintage and unabashingly you.You inspire me, friend, and that’s such a welcome luxury. Happy Independance and Interdependance Day(s). Imma have to borrow that interdependance thing…cause it’s working on me 🙂


    • July 11, 2013 at 5:02 am

      ♥ This comment inspires an overwhelming hug urge in me!

      A couple days after posting this, a girlfriend visited from the midwest. We ended up wearing dresses out just because, and oh! I want to do this more often!

      I think I’m still in deficit from my youth. 😉

  7. July 9, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    It is time my friend, time to explore a new dimension of freedom.

    I see you in something classic, flowy and beautiful…….like this.


    • July 11, 2013 at 5:05 am

      That’s gorgeous! I looked at a range of dresses, classic to modern, and ended up landing (for now) on something pretty much the opposite of what I was envisioning. Now let’s see how it actually looks on me . . . 🙂

      • July 11, 2013 at 7:07 am

        Funny about wedding dresses, what we start out with is usually not what we end up with. Rely on friends, even strangers to help. My advice? Set a budget and don’t move on it, work within other than that be open to all options. Go with what makes you feel beautiful and happy.

  8. July 10, 2013 at 4:13 am

    I love one of the last scenes…if not the last scene of “My Best Friend’s Wedding”…something just joyful about George’s line “Maybe there won’t be marriage… maybe there won’t be sex… but, by God, there’ll be dancing.” and in your case green dresses. Love this post! I think the first green one is lovely and I do want to hop over and see what VL has in mind. hmmmmm

    • July 11, 2013 at 5:07 am

      I haven’t seen that yet, but I’d like to! That line surely brings out the smiles.

      When I was first looking at bridesmaids dresses, I found a bunch that absolutely awed me. When I went to find them again, forget about it! I learned an important lesson in bookmarking from the experience. 😀

  9. July 14, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    This–your ability to share so deeply without the obvious and trite–is why I love reading you and sharing a corner of the world with you.

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