Thursday, July 27, 2006


'So have you picked out a wedding dress?' she asked conversationally, scraping the backside of my bottom teeth with her pronged weapon.
She removed the instrument, a surprised expression on her face, and asked again, to make sure she had understood me. 'You haven't looked for a dress?'
'No.' At her look, now borderline horror, I attempt to explain. 'I...see, I'm at the point where...well, it used to be that when I would walk past a display of bridal magazines at a bookstore, I'd be all, 'Aww, cool.' And now I'm at the point where I walk past and think, 'Aww - Wait. That's ME.' So, no, I haven't picked out a wedding dress.'

Wedding dresses are the least of my worries right now. Besides, I am not concerned about the wedding. The wedding? It is just a ceremony, just an afternoon and evening. I am not looking forward to the wedding; no, I am looking forward to being married, to never have to leave John's side again for months at a time. To home-cooked dinners, and movies on the couch, and our own apartment, and Mass early on Sunday mornings. And our bedroom, painted a beautifully chalky dark blue, with white curtains at the windows, and a white quilt on our bed. Our bed. Our own life. Together.

In the meantime, I am worried about the 18 credits I'm taking this fall semester; I am more concerned about writing my thesis next spring than picking out the colours for a wedding party. And I think that is exactly how it should be right now; but don't get me wrong, I am not apathetic about the wedding - quite the opposite! I'm excited, the moments when it actually sinks in. I have a list in my head of the basic things I will have to figure out and decide upon. But I know how many other things I have occupying my attention until then; and I know how many people - advisors, counselors, helpers, if you will - I will have to help me with all the wedding details. How many? MANY.

For instance, this weekend I was with John at his mom's house. Mama Jeanne, Nana, Jeanne's friend Christy*, and I were sitting out at the picnic table. Christy turned to me and began discussing the wedding - and said that she had made table favors for her son's wedding; she makes amazing homemade wine (...evidence duly noted, by the bottle that John and I polished off), and had made little individual-sized bottles to put by each place - and offered to do that for our wedding (it'll be fun, seeing the look on the Baptist's faces... ;) ).

So, scratch that off the list - the mental list that is slowly forming (congealing?) - but wait, table favours hadn't even been on my list. Oh, the details people will think of.

Perhaps, because of my take on the whole thing, the wedding won't be the big, scary thing that so many people regard it as. I know I want a pretty cake, one with real flowers (lilies, perhaps, if we feel like it) on the top; a white cake with white frosting. I know I want a pretty dress, but I don't want to spend much on it. I know who will be invited - I mean, really, this isn't hard. Relatives and friends. We have a built-in bartender (our friend Jim, who is an excellent bartender; and John and I joke about how Jim will pass "Irish Car Bombs** - all around!!!" He's very jolly and Irish and intense), and we have friends who will stand with us up in the front of the church. I don't care about the flowers; I just want them to be pretty; if they're still in bloom, tulips. If it's later, lilies. Flowers, candles, pretty things. Unobtrusive, pretty colors. I know I can get most of the decorative elements and things for the veil, etcetera, at a good chain of craft stores we have here. I'm looking forward to slowly gathering the necessary things and little touches through the next two semesters. If I'm frustrated with a class, with the homework, I can take a half hour and wander around the craft store, coming up with ideas. My cousin's husband is a photographer by trade, and perhaps he could take photos - his work is breathtakingly beautiful.

Pretty, and simple (and hopefully thrifty).

I do not understand why women get so obsessed with the minute details of their weddings. Who cares about the cake?! Why do they spend hours trying to decide what kind to have - Do you think more people would like the raspberry filled, or the chocolate gateau?


It's a wedding. It's meant to be a rather public affirmation of your love and commitment to each other; most people aren't going to even notice that your bridesmaid's shoes are dyed to the perfect shade of taupe, so why did you spend three days freaking out about it?! And, with you as my witness, I will not get obsessed with the details.

* Christy, who told John, after she met me for the first time, that I was the most "well-mannered and lovely girl" she'd ever met. Who told him today, after spending much of the weekend with us, that she wishes her sons had found women like me. That is an incredible compliment - my heart feels all warm and bursty.

** Irish Car Bombs? It's a disgustingly horrible drink (I refused to try it, because I hate the main ingredient): A glass of Guinness, with a shot glass of Bailey's Irish Cream dropped inside; for the Macho, they need to drink it as quickly as possible, before the Irish Cream curdles. Oh, wait, did you miss that? BEFORE IT CURDLES. Wretched, vile drink!

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