When the Beloved proposed, my first thought, after the ‘yes’, was ‘oh dear God, I’ve got to plan a wedding.’ We all know that planning a wedding is the equivalent in cost and energy as a root canal, becoming a pilot and running for President – all combined. But what really worried me is that I’d become ‘The BRIDE.’
Oh, you know her. The girl that can’t talk about anything but her wedding. She walks through malls, only if she can stop by and look at crystal. She checks bakeries during the weekends, has long conversations about the merits of ‘Trumpet Voluntary’ over ‘Ode to Joy’, and carries swatches in her purse so she can choose her ‘colors.’ Having been ‘the BRIDE’ before, I had in depth knowledge of how annoying to everyone around you that can be. You think you’re going to be nice and laid back until you find yourself arguing with your mom whether you should have the little plastic swords to carry out the medieval theme or just regular toothpicks.
I set out to be ‘the ANTI-bride.’ I would send all of my friends non-wedding e-mails at least once a day. I declared ‘wedding-free’ weekends. I made sure I discussed politics, my career and Jesse Ventura. I was going to not be ‘the BRIDE.’ I was determined to be ‘Jen (who happens to be getting married in eight months).’
If I could keep focused on the rest of my life, I knew that I could succeed, but the world is against us ‘anti-brides.’ Every morning, I log in to find 10 different e-mails about weddings. Obviously that one site I logged into when I was searching for wedding invites has made a killing selling my name. My favorite this morning was from some site telling me that since I’d be getting married soon, I obviously need some fine hardwood furniture. Now, maybe I’m missing the link, but why would I now need hardwood unfinished furniture just because I’m getting married? Is this some tradition that the Beloved and I don’t know about?
Between the offers of crystal, china, flower girl dresses and magazine subscriptions, I try to actually work. But even that haven of sanity is denied to the ‘anti-bride,’ people I’ve barely seen in the halls, come up to me and ask me how the planning is going. ‘Have you picked your colors?’ ‘Do you know what the bridesmaids are wearing?’ ‘What’s the bouquets going to look like?’ Unfortunately, my usual ‘I have no idea’ doesn’t seem to cut it anymore. Anytime I plead ignorance, I’m reminded that my wedding is ‘just around the corner.’ Not only am I not allowed to be the ‘anti-bride,’ but I’m now the ‘lazy bride.’
As wonderful as my friends are, and they are wonderful, even they are sucked in to the notion that all women love weddings. They call to tell me about the weddings they go to and buy me magazines. These aren’t homebody women either. These are girls that wouldn’t be caught dead wearing pink, yet they are discussing bows on the pews. My best friend has even been heard to giggle when I mention I need a hotel room the night of the wedding for me and the Beloved. I thought I had friends who were immune to this need for fluff, but obviously not. Society has made sure that every girl longs to be ‘the BRIDE,’ and if they aren’t ‘the BRIDE’ at the moment, they long to be ‘the BRIDESMAID.’
My days as the ‘anti-bride’ are numbered. Even I have been discovered huddling in the wedding section of the bookstore, staring at bouquets and centerpieces. I have walked into crystal departments, and complained that nothing is what I wanted. I’ve been wondering where to register, and do I like ‘honeydew’ or ‘orchid’ better as my color. Yesterday, I discussed fabrics with my mother for 45 minutes (I like crepe better than chiffon). And I’m starting to annoy myself.
In an effort to save me from this fate, I have given over many decisions to the Beloved. Rather than worrying about these things, talking about them or pleading ignorance when I get the barrage of questions, I simply reply ‘oh, my fiance wants to help, so he’s handling it.’
I’d like to see ‘the BRIDE’ do that one.
Written by: Jennifer Lofquist, Reston, VA, USA