Greetings, friends, from the Most Stressed Out Place on Earth.
Disneyland, this is not.
Before I dive into my current inhabitance in Stressyland™ , a recap of my activities as of late:
Despite my last post’s focus on the crisis of having accomplished nothing by age 25, I’ve actually been accomplishing quite a bit the past few weeks. 25 may be a good year after all.
Much of it has revolved around my impending wedding.
This glorious occasion brings not just love and overloads of white fabric, but a multitude of other events that lead up to it.
So a few weeks ago, I was thrown a wedding shower by my sister and mother. It was at my favorite Mexican restaurant, and included free-flowing margaritas and plenty of hearty chuckles.
…such as with the Toilet Paper Wedding Dress contest…
…and for that horrible moment when I realized my mother’s old college roommate bought me lingerie as a gift…
But lucky me, I also had three of my best friends haul themselves beyond the Hudson River to support me in this trying time.
Then, last weekend, my bridesmaid and matron of honor threw me a ca-razay Bachelorette party.
Not pictured: belly-dancing, Indian food, and copious amounts of alcohol.
Despite my better judgement, I even donned the fake veil and glittery sash as we tromped through downtown Philadelphia and I tried to pretend that I didn’t care if strangers noticed I was carrying a penis-shaped water bottle.
It was a riot, but the next day was not so much fun.
Which, according to reliable sources, means it was a success.
But now on to the big things in my life:
#1) I’m getting married in ONE WEEK.
#2) I started a new job! It involves 2-3 hours of commuting a day, but its at a very reputable university.
Its been total crazytown trying to learn a new job while finishing up some freelance work, guest blogging, and planning a wedding, so I will certainly detail this job thing more in a future post, after the insanity of #1 is over.
But oh, baby… is this a dilemma.
Work. Wedding. Work. Wedding. Working at home. Working on wedding at home. Wedding is work. Work is work. Driving.
Oh god, I need a Xanax.
Just kidding, I don’t condone prescription drug abuse.
But fo’ reals. This shit is stressful.
The Mister has been a dream in dealing with my meltdowns, high-pitched rants, and sudden whims of insistence that we need MORE DECORATIONS, DAMMIT.
But truth be told, he’s just as stressed out over this as I am. Almost daily we trade off on whose going to be the emotional maniac, and whose going to be the therapist.
Everyone knows that wedding planning is stressful, but I don’t think anybody really knows unless they’ve done it.
True story: I never wanted to plan a wedding.
When I was a kid; sure, I dreamed about my future wedding. But I never wanted to plan it. Part of that dream was that my mom would just plan everything for me, and I wouldn’t have to do anything but show up.
Unfortunately, my mom apparently has better things to do with her time… like work… and weed the garden.
Also, it turns out that there’s this awful phenomenon called one-lowmanship, where each person thinks they’re better than the next guy for having a “simpler” and cheaper wedding.
People love to air their opinions on how ridiculous the wedding industry is, and how it shouldn’t be that difficult, or how easy their wedding was.
This big-ass pile of boxes have been inhabiting our hallway for weeks. And its all is solely for the wedding.
Well, fine. If your wedding planning was stress-free, I’ve determined you had at least one of these things working in your favor:
- You had less than 120 people on the guest list/ in attendance, or you outright eloped.
- The stars aligned and not a single family member gave you their opinion during the entire planning process.
- You don’t live in the Northeast, or one of the top five most expensive places to have a wedding (double whammy).
- You’re a psycho.
We have 90 people with just family. And its the type of family we see at LEAST once a year. No second-cousins or randomly assigned plus one’s here.
We’ve done our best to keep the guest count low, but even just adding in a minor handful of friends and our parents’ friends, and suddenly it feels like we’re feeding and entertaining an entire football stadium.
The Mister and I started this whole thing knowing we’d have to do the whole wedding thing rather than eloping. We’re both so close to our extended families, it was just unthinkable to do it without them.
No big, we went into it thinking “Okay… we’re just going to throw a low-key party in the backyard. Its not a wedding. Its a party.”
After reading through some wedding blogs, I’ve found that we’re not the only people who think this way. Few people actually want the $20,000 wedding. But that’s what everyone ends up with, despite their best efforts.
This article is particularly accurate. An excerpt:
“There are no ‘good deals’ in wedding planning. There are only ways of spending less obscene amounts of money. …I had this strange, naive notion that wedding planning only makes you want to yell and scream at people if you take it too seriously. HAHAHAHa. I also thought that I could ‘save money’ by not ‘caring so much’ about having a ‘big deal wedding.’ HAhahaha. Silly me.”
“…the more I’ve interacted with the wedding industrial complex, the more I’m realizing that the strange things that weddings do to females are often rational reactions to the irrational choices they’re presented with.”
Being a bridezilla is an affliction, not a choice. Expect protests outside the WE channel to start any day now.
And as a no-nonsense über-feminist, I now am seriously offended by the whole Bridezilla franchise.
Demonizing women for being stressed out? Not fair.
But what the above quote said regarding “irrational choices” is true: I would never give a shit about ordering 100 mini candles off Amazon, or making escort cards and place cards, or the exact timeline of songs being played…
…but I’m forced to.
The venue charges $1 per votive candle (oh hell no; that’s just stupid). I’m required to provide the caterer with both escort cards and place cards for each guest, along with a list of table numbers and their entrees a week ahead of time. And the DJ is contacting us months in advance for us to provide him with timelines and song titles.
And then there are the guests… a carefully crafted list of only a very select bunch of people we love dearly…
…who apparently can’t send back an RSVP card.
Seriously – even some of my closest friends never responded. One member of the wedding party even said they’d bring a date, and then re-decided only when pressed for their date’s name.
Any logical person would think: “Well, if I decide not to come at the last minute, they don’t have to pay for me.”
We have to give the caterer a list of people four weeks in advance, after which point we cannot subtract any guests without still having to pay for them.
Then we send a final list two weeks before the wedding – again, no subtractions, but this time any additions may garner us an extra 10% penalty charge.
This shit is ABSURD.
But after a recent trip to City Hall, we are now equipped with a “self-uniting” marriage license. So any day now we can just sign this paper and be done with it.
In summary, wedding planning is awful.
But here’s the truth:
It’s not so awful, because I’m doing it with The Mister. He’s a dreamboat, and even being stressed to the point of tears is more fun when its with him.
In an effort to maintain some semblance of a normal life amid the chaos, we recently went to (what we think may be) the greatest exhibit of all time.
It was by the graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister, who called it “The Happy Show”.
It was a study on what makes people happy, presented in graphical form, followed by an exploration of his own quest for happiness.
And despite all our stress, and all the disclaimers to the contrary, we both left happy.
I’m inherently a negative person.
(Expected audience reaction: “Whaaaat?! Not yooouuuu!!!”).
But to put aside my front of whininess, I should make it known that this upcoming wedding keeps me excited for two main things:
#1) Marrying The Mister, obv.
After over 8 years, it only makes sense to make it legal and make the switch from calling him my “partner” to my “husband”. I’d spend my life with him either way, but now we can enjoy the legal and social perks of marriage (wait, are there any?).
#2) Seeing all my closest friends and family.
People are coming in from all over, and I am PSYCHED. I’ve never felt so popular in my life, and I can’t wait to just want to squeeze everybody SO TIGHT. I don’t care that the venue coordinator says receiving lines take too long; I want to make sure not a single guest gets away without a jumbo hug and smooch from me. So we’re doing it, dammit.
This is probably my last post before the wedding.
In a week, I will marry my best friend, my life partner, and the father of my future children. I will be surrounded by the people who mean most to me in the world.
I will be bursting with love and happiness.
Then I’ll ride off into the sunset with my husband in our beat-up Dodge, heading up the coast to Maine to stuff our faces with lobster for a week.
And I can’t wait.