Ignoring the best advice

Posted on May 15, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

We all gripe talk about the nuttiness of wedding planning, how our previously sane selves suddenly find ourselves in a heaping pile of sobbs over our invitations or color schemes.  I’ve made no secret of the fact that I don’t really find wedding planning fun and I didn’t really expect it to be, and you all know that I’ve been reduced to a snotty sobbing mess more than once.  How does it happen?  And why?

I think I have an inkling of an answer, everything suddenly coming together for me in recent experiences involving forgotten flowers, honeymoon plans and the photography schedule.  Let me explain.

You all know by now about the forgotten flower order, but I didn’t really forget, I just didn’t get around to it.  Why?  Don’t know, but every time I pulled up the website and my credit card, I felt weird and I’d do something else instead.

Mr. C and I spent hours and hours last night finally booking our honeymoon.  We’d known where we wanted to go for a while (more on that later) but we just hadn’t gotten around to it.  I’d start researching, get overwhelmed by all of the options, and do something else (now you know why I’ve been blogging so often — AVOIDANCE). Even with my excited fiance at my side, I struggled to think of it all as fun! and exciting! rather than stressful and overwhelming.

This morning I thought I’d use some t-con time to update my wedding day overview. My fabulous future sister-in-law (I say this with all honesty, she’s freaking awesome — helpful, sweet, smartassy, and smart enough to have booze at stressful occasions) gave me some feedback, having insider information from a photographer friend.  Essentially, she suggested we take all possible pictures before our ceremony to minimize the time spent taking pictures afterward.  Makes sense, right?  Of course!

I’d put off making the changes to the schedule, though.  Why?  I didn’t think about it much, but every time I pulled up my beloved Power Point, I felt poopy and I’d move on to something else.  This morning was THE morning to get it done.

But I didn’t do it and I’m not gonna.  She’s right, of course.  Getting 90% of our photography done ahead of time makes the most sense for the schedule, gives us more of an opportunity to enjoy our cocktail hour with our peeps, and ensures the least amount of stress for our photographer.

When I think about our wedding day, though, I don’t care so much about photography.  I mean, I do, but not as much as I care about having some real quality time with my peeps before I pledge my future to someone else.  It’s not a little thing to me (as you well know), and I want to drink in the discomfort and nervousness and worry.  I want to feel deeply the depth of the commitment I’m making, and I want to get all gushy with my friends and family, because it has taken a village to get me here.  I wish I was exaggerating.

Laura was my vet, one of many I’ve had over the years, but I loved her immediately.  She was funny and silly and brilliant, and at a very, very low and lonely time in my life, she gave me hope.  “See,” I thought, “If I just get a little braver, I can be friends with someone like her!”  A chance invite to a group gathering gave me that chance…

And at that group gathering, I sat next to Jennifer, who is my BFF and the closest female friend I’ve ever had.  We hit it off immediately, and I’ve gained confidence and the willingness to be as honest as you all often comment about through her example and understanding.  Without her, I wouldn’t be getting married.  My hang-ups would never have seen the light of day and would have long since destroyed any hope for a solid relationship with this man.

I won’t say more about my future sister-in-law because she reads this blog and I’m saving it for her.

My sister and I have a somewhat rocky relationship.  We each get on each others’ nerves fairly easily and deeply, but when I was trying to gain some relationship skills (ugg, dating), she was there for me.  The night I met Mr. C at a bar, I was there because she’d pushed me into it.  “Your life will never get any better if all you do is sit in front of Tivo and drink alone,” she said.  “Go somewhere, do something, have a drink.”  So I did, and I met him, and here we are.

My mom – I don’t know what I’d do without her.  Without her, I wouldn’t be me.  She handles me better than anyone else in the world and I’m doing my best to figure out how to do some of that for myself.  I fretted about not having “the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person/ Having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words” with my husband; in fact, I have that with my mom, and if I’m very very lucky, I’ll figure it out for myself soon.

My dad is the best dad ever though it took me this long to figure that out.  He’s always there, always helpful, always sweet, and always willing to sacrifice.  I don’t consider myself a daddy’s girl, but I will say that he’s exactly the kind of dad I want for my kids and I think that’s even better.

{Whew, this is getting long.  Bear with me.}

When my grandfather died last year, I was given the opportunity to speak at his funeral. While I was drafting my notes, I got to thinking about what I was looking for in a relationship, and I finally realized that it was in front of me my whole life. That man would be a lot like my grandpa: loyal and devoted, honest and direct, and a silly smartass.  He was always willing to lighten the mood with a joke or a funny face, and he told it like it was… and when the rubber hit the road, he was there.

But I didn’t get to tell him that, not in those words or with as much love as I felt once he died.  Much like him, when things get uncomfortable I’m more likely to crack jokes and make small talk than figure out and say what I feel.  I made a pledge to be more emotional TO the people I love, rather than ABOUT the people I love.

So we won’t be taking many photographs before our ceremony.  In that setting, I’d crack jokes and make small talk and be outside myself.  I often say that I’m fabulous in a crisis because I don’t feel much, I just do, but on my wedding day* I want to feel more than do.  J can make his own decision about how he wants to spend his time, but I’ll be hanging out with my peeps, passing notes (which will say basically what you’ve read here) and giving hugs.

I’m going to ignore the best advice because I have finally figured out how I want to feel rather than what I want to do.  The flower forgetting and honeymoon avoidance reminded me that feeling bad is a perfectly valid reason to do or not do something… and therefore, so is feeling good.

Have you stuck it out this far?  Is what I’m saying making ANY sense, or have I fallen prey to Bridal Brain?


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    I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt (and divorce papers) to prove it. Here I am again, pledging my life to my (new) love with eyes wide open (and heart racing) knowing full well how emotionally traumatic this can end… and doing it anyway.


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