Operation Bridezilla, unsolicited advice and laughing gas
I was at the Precision Nutrition’s staff gathering last week, which meant answering the same four questions from sixty well-meaning colleagues:
1) when’s the wedding?
2) where are you guys doing it?
3) how many people will you have? and
4) are you excited?
1) June 4.
2) Our backyard.
3) About a 100.
4) And yes. Yes, I am excited. Excited to have the actual day, to celebrate, dance, wear a white dress… and move the fuck on with my life.
I apologize if this sounds harsh. But I am kinda over it.
One of my favorite humans gave birth less than two weeks ago, and (not that I have a point of reference) I imagine this is what it feels like to be overdue. You go from excited to nervous to anxious to terrified to impatient to let’s-fucking-do-this-already.
How people plan weddings for two years (or for a living) is absolutely beyond me. I’d imagine you would have to be the kind of person who loves interior decorating, color palettes, lists of arbitrary and meaningless tasks and the art of Chinese torture.
It is the singularity of focus that I resent the most, I think. The total and absolute monopoly of attention that leaves one otherwise empty and scatterbrained.
“You’ve been quiet lately”, says a friend, referring to my semi-abandoned blog. “Must be planning a wedding”. He is right, and I despise that he is right.
I am not used to doing ONE thing to the exclusion of others. I am definitely not used to using my precious cognitive resources to plan a party. “Hey, you seem pretty cool, you should drop by for a BBQ” – is usually all of the party planning that I engage in. Show up, bring beer, we will figure out the rest.
One friend gets me. She got me this book. [Thanks, A. You are freaking awesome].
The (mostly unsolicited) advice I hear is of two kinds.
“Here’s what I did” kind:
“Meh. We just got married in Vegas – no party, no stress. Easy-peasy!”.
“We just had 12 people at our wedding! It was great”.
I am not exactly sure what to do with this information. It’s not even advice, it’s a factual statement that is only tangentially relevant to the issue at hand. Is she implying I should get married in Vegas? Is he implying that I am doing this wrong somehow? How is this piece of information useful? Am I overthinking this? [Don’t answer that].
“Here’s what you should do” kind:
You should hire my cousin, he is a wedding planner.
You should relax more. Are you taking turmeric?
And the soothing (and therefore, more aggravating) wisdom from the “recently married” folk:
“Ahhh… Wedding planning. You should enjoy it. We did not, and I really wish we did”.
Any sentence that starts with “You should…” will not be received well. By anyone. Ever. [Exceptions include “you should lie back and let me do all the work” and “you should let me give you a foot massage”].
So, thanks for the happiness prescription, but I will continue whining and dripping sarcasm on all topics wedding planning, partly because that’s part of the freaking experience, and partly, because see rant #2. Not all problems need to be solved. Sometimes, it’s one of those “I need to talk about it” things, so stop offering solutions and just listen and nod, damn it.
Dear not-so-newlyweds, before looking back and reminiscing about your wedding planning days, and instructing another bride to feel differently about the experience than you yourselves have, did you pause and consider that maybe… just maybe, you did not enjoy the wedding planning experience, because, oh I don’t know… it’s not an inherently pleasant experience?
It’s like saying: “Oh, wisdom teeth, yes, I had mine removed five years ago. My whole face swelled up, and I was in pain for weeks. I hated it. But you should really enjoy it. Take in those moments, you know?”.
I’ll keep that in mind, oh-wise-one. Live in the present – peeling nails, cold sores and an occasional anxiety attack. Meanwhile, pass the laughing gas. I’ll close my eyes, and start counting backwards.