I thought I’d take a departure from political posts to provide an update on my life — because, in the future, I know I’ll be happy that I documented this.
About a month ago, my boyfriend (of nearly 11 years) proposed. Yes, there are many opinions about the length of our “courtship,” and we grew weary of people asking “when? when? when?”, but we had very specific reasons for our timing, and because neither of us was in any particular hurry, it made perfect sense. To us. (And, actually, I was perfectly fine being a girlfriend, because I’ve always had a theory that girlfriends are sexier than wives, but I digress . . . )
It was a very fun and memorable evening and a complete surprise. It was a grand gesture. He did a fantastic job and deserves all of the kudos. And, I did say yes.
People have been asking me if I feel different, and I do, but not in the obvious way. After being together for so long, our relationship didn’t take a different turn post engagement. The only real differences are that I now have new beautiful jewelry, and we get to bicker about an entirely new topic — a wedding.
Now . . . let me back up a bit. Did you ever have one of those friends who has had her wedding planned since high school? You know her. She is the one who has a fleshed-out Pinterest board full of a robust assortment of bridal gowns, shoes, and a wide assortment of (somewhat tacky) tchotchkes that can be personalized and given as gifts to her 300 guests. She might have venues in mind already and numbers of wedding planners stored in her phone along with a list of wedding photographers, or a list of first dance songs. Real talk . . . she has the entire DJ set mapped out. In fact, she might very well have the entire wedding planned — whether or not she’s yet met the groom.
In case you’re reading this, and you don’t really know me, I’m actually the antithesis of that person. Despite having been a bridesmaid about seven times, I did not walk into this with any real opinions about a wedding. To take it a step further, I’ve also never seen marriage as an “accomplishment” as much as an embellishment of a good life. In fact, over the years, I’ve always said that elopement would be my preference, and I can’t possibly understand why a couple would spend tens of thousands of dollars on one day.
Now that we’re all caught up on the past, here’s where we stand today: I’ve learned over the last few weeks that, apparently, any wedding that I will have, will obviously have not one thing to do with me. I now know that anyone who tells a woman that “it’s HER day” has been smoking a special strain of crack, because if we’re being completely honest? Not one soul cares about what the bride REALLY wants. If anyone was ever remotely confused about this fact, I’m here to pull back the curtains. (Because, of course I am.)
Most weddings are planned according to expectations, nudgy family considerations and budget. Did I mention expectations?
I’ve been doing a little experiment, and of my own little sample size (which is small . . . but big enough), when I’ve shared the news of my engagement, 90% of people will ask if I have a wedding date.
Ummm . . . no. We dated for 11 years and the engagement was a surprise. If I were you, I would set my expectations appropriately. Also? There’s a little thing called a pandemic. ‘Rona ruins all plans.
So . . . after I’ve admitted my cluelessness about the wedding date, I’ve seldom (about 3% of the time) received the question that, in my mind, makes the most sense, which is “what kind of wedding do YOU want to have?” Nopity nope. Instead, I’ve received a battery of opinions. “You should have it in 2022.” “You should have it before the end of the year.” “You’d better invite me.” “You should get your dress from . . . “ “You’d better not elope” “Are you going to let _____ plan it?” “You’d BETTER invite me.” “You should have a shower at . . .” “You should do it soon — your father isn’t getting any younger.” “You’re inviting me, right?”
Yo . . . are these people crazy?
And my fiance . . . le sigh. (First, I will admit that this is only about the fourth time that I’ve referred to him using the F word. It’s still very surreal). He owns an experiential marketing agency, and while he initially told me that I could do WHATEVER I want, he doesn’t mean it. He has the best of intentions and loves to celebrate, but if we do have a wedding, and I don’t control him, there WILL be pyrotechnics.
I’m also somewhat fortunate in that both he and I have laid-back parents. His mother is very sweet, and my father has not indicated ONE preference since he learned that we were engaged. He has only offered to write a check, which I declined.
My mother, God rest her soul, would have been a different story. She would have hated whatever dress I chose, and have forced me to invite all of her friends and people who remember when she was pregnant. Granted, she would have been happy to financially contribute, but it would have been like blood money, because it would have come with a hefty price. Just the thought of my mother’s involvement evokes equal parts nostalgic laughter and significant anxiety.
So, all of this to say, if you’re one of the people who has been sitting back with popcorn, waiting for us to get engaged, thank you, but I hope you haven’t depleted your snack bowl. If you don’t care, that’s also an appropriate response, but I would suggest storing this info for your next friend who gets engaged.
But, to answer some FAQs for those who STILL walk away from this with curiosity:
When are you guys getting married? Not sure
Where are you getting married? Not sure
Will you get married in a church? [blank stare] Next question!
Have you picked out a dress? If you’d ever witnessed me in the throes of choosing which of my 50 little black dresses to wear on a Saturday evening, you would understand that wedding dress selection is a process that could take MONTHS. In short, no.
Are you going to have a wedding planner? Yes. Her name is Gina. She’s an aggressive control freak.
Are you going to have a big wedding? Well . . . at this point we can only have gatherings with 50 people in a room, so . . . no?
Are you going to elope? See . . . the definition of elopement is to run away and get married in SECRET. If I mention elopement, it probably means we’ve already done it.
Are you going to invite me? SECURITY!?!?!
Well, are you making any progress? Again, PANDEMIC! If there are any details worth sharing in the near future, I will spill the tea. Until then, I’m just enjoying my engagement and focusing on the relationship.