So, most of you know I’m now a double blogger. In that I’m writing not one but TWO blogs these days, the second being for the Huffington Post’s new wedding section:
And because you guys have known me for a while now & I can pretty much say whatever I want here without fearing complete misunderstanding, I gotta take a sec to share my first HuffPo blog…and, more specifically, the battery of comments that followed it. Because THIS you gotta see.
I Now Pronounce You… Girlie
by Rachel Fine, Huffington Post Contributing Writer
Why, hello readers! My name is (currently) Rachel Fine and I’m beyond honored to be writing for the Huffington Post. Thank you for joining me on this, my inaugural blog posting.
Before we get started on the intricate minutiae of going batsh*t insane trying to plan a wedding over the next 12 months and 2 days, I think you should know a little about me. First off, I mentioned my name. And I should say some more things about that, particularly in light of the fact that despite its permanency for the last 29 years, I’m trying very hard to embrace changing it. You can’t have a last name like “Fine” (which yes, is my real last name — and yes, sucked as an awkward kid) without some attachment.
It’s been fantastic from a career perspective. Working in music and television, it’s lent itself nicely to critiques (“Fine music to unwind to!”) and show titles (like Fine Time, the new show I’m working on for Howard TV).
So when Richie Wilson proposed to me a couple of months ago, the first thing that went through my head (after a minute of complete exhilaration and happy tears about spending my life with the man I love) was some sort of panicked mental expletive about trading the snappy and entertainment industry-friendly “Fine” for the, umm, sort of plain “Wilson” that I’ll be sharing with 650,293 others. Plus, can we please discuss how uncomfortably close it is to Rachel Bilson?! (who is actually on my TV right now promoting some new show that does not contain any sort of fun play off the word “Bilson.” Sigh.)
Now let me tell you about the second thought that went through my head.
It’s a lot to adjust to, the idea of marriage. I don’t know why, but I’ve always identified strongly as a very “Independent Woman.” As a teen, I was the only female in a nationally competitive drum line. Prior to working full time in entertainment, I was a Senior VP in corporate America. I’ve always thrived in a man’s world, and to do that, you almost gotta shut off your girlie side. I’m starting to think there may be a whole generation of chicks like me who grew up with “Free to Be… You and Me” on repeat and are now having a tough time embracing their inner girlie-ness.
The idea of excelling at any domestic-type activity always had a Taming of the Shrew vibe to me. As if cooking my man a pot roast would somehow invite the destruction of my inner being via a 50 foot Godzilla version of Donna Reed. And seriously, this underlying belief system has been in place since kindergarten, when I vehemently declared blue as my favorite color due entirely to the teacher’s strict insistence on pink nap time blankets for the girls.
Here’s a fun example of how not kidding I am about my utter suckitude at domestication: About 4 years ago I got a hankerin’ for slice-and-bake cookies. I made 4 of them. The gas company called me immediately (I swear to you this is true) highly concerned about a probable gas leak due to the dramatic spike in usage versus the prior 10 years. Because I turned my oven on (or stove? I always mix those two words up. The inside part that I now use for storage, not the top part).
Luckily I can order in like a champ.
My point is, the idea of being somebody’s wife kinda freaks me out! Am I alone here, or are other modern day Rosie the Riveters out there struggling in silence?
And now I gotta plan this wedding. And I’m supposed to have highly developed lifelong preferences on the cakes and the dresses and the flowers for the big day of my dreams. And I like… good cake. And… pretty dresses. And flowers… that smell good. But beyond that, I seriously have no clue where to start.
So maybe you can help. I’m gonna need a lot of advice over the next 12 months and 2 days.
Relatively innocuous, no? So when I saw 90 people fighting in the comment section, I was pretty surprised. Here are a couple highlights for your perusal (in fairness I’m grabbing all the whack ones, not the awesome people who were supportive and insightful):
Just curious, why do you believe “independence” is “rarely cooking” (it is the example you gave of your definition of an independent “self-image”)? You honestly think women today who cook aren’t independent? Did it ever occur to you that maybe people (man or woman) cook because it’s cheaper and healthier, not because they are conforming to a dated stereotype?
Don’t do it. Love him forever w/out marriage will keep it fresh. Marriage is great for a few people but most divorce.If you are lucky enough to have love cherish it .Why ruin it ?
I have zero interest in marriage. Having someone occupy my space for more than 2 days makes my skin crawl.
I think you would be well advised to drop the marriage idea, at least for now.
Hey, I have a suggestion – dont get married.
You will be great wife just the way that you are just like you were a great girlfriend however you may need to step it up a notch in the cooking department
Well, you can blame parasites for your dilemma. You ladies need a man in your life so that any of your children down the road have some chance of being healthy in the chronic arms race that our species (and others) wage against parasites. As Darwin argued, the nature of men is shaped by the choices made by women (female choice). Your husband to be may not have a fancy, colorful, peacock’s tail, but he certainly has some virtues that you found attractive. If you are lucky, you have chosen well. May you both have a happy life together!
Sounds to me like you don’t even know how to be your own person, nevermind being someone else’s partner. Call off the wedding and wait a minute. You’re not ready.
my question is, if you aren’t excited to become a wife and form a partnership (and therefore no longer be just an individual)… why, why, why would you get married???
The point I don’t understand in this article is wanting to be independent, but also be married. Those things contradict each other.
And there you have it.
Here’s the thing. Any time you’re in the public eye, you’re on the less fun end of a very critical “fan” base. And 95% of the time, I let that stuff roll off my back- in the words of the great Bonnie Raitt, I can’t make you love me if you don’t. So these comments didn’t hit my heart on a personal level (puhleeze- if I can handle 4 pages on a fan board about my massive, giant, horrific, disgusting nose without running to a surgeon*, I can handle anything). But these comments were just WEIRD. Like maybe they really misunderstood me? Maybe I wasn’t clear in my writing? Or maybe it’s all part of a bigger “sign of the times” debate happening globally about gender roles & identity? Interesting either way, wanted to hear your thoughts since you guys know me better.
*yet. No promises.