If I was one of those people who celebrates half birthdays, today would mark my 4-month wedding anniversary. Because I am not one of those people, it’s actually a pretty unremarkable day.
Four months ago, Italian and I signed papers in city hall, and became husband and wife according to the province of Ontario.
Think again. Are you sure?
In August of last year, I announced the engagement, and wrote the following:
“As an adrenaline junkie at heart, I am looking forward to this. What can be more extreme than getting your (very different and weird) friends and (less different, but just as weird) family together in one physical space? But wait, it doesn’t end there. I get to parade around in a white outfit with the soundtrack from the 1700s written by a German Jew, while the spectators stare and cry. There is a lot of hugging, and we get to eat after. Doesn’t it sound both strange and uncomfortable? Excellent! I’m in.”
All of the above still applies. The white outfit, and the soundtrack from the 1700s coming right up.
Yet, the whole wedding planning thing took us by surprise.
People will tell you that your wedding day is all about you. I am here to tell you that unless you head down to the city hall with couple of best friends in tow, that’s a lie. A beautiful lie, a well-intentioned lie, a reassuring lie, but still a lie.
The wedding day is about tradition. It’s a universal human rite of passage among humans. It’s about the family. It’s about inviting aunties and uncles, simply because they are aunties and uncles.
And there is nothing wrong with that.
Yet somewhere between getting the wedding venue, losing the wedding venue, needing to buy a house asap, going through mortgage hell and jumping through seventeen thousand hoops of paperwork, it was just all too much.
I think we just had one too many of those conversations that start annoying, then make you feel like you are dying, and then leave you wishing you were dead. Like a 60-minute discussion with the catering company about how many glasses of what type we should rent. Pilsner or lager? How many shot glasses? Glass or plastic? What about wine glasses? Which of the following seven options do you prefer? WHO THE HELL CARES? They are glasses. Do they hold liquid? Excellent. If they fulfill their basic function, then they are “good” glasses. As per Aristotle.
So we signed on the dotted line.
Come to think of it, I do not remember if the line was dotted or not. However, I do remember that I was not anxious either before or during. And I remember that we had pizza after. And drinks. And the type of glasses did not matter.
What I wanted was a small and, most importantly, uncomplicated wedding where I knew everyone. And a huge party that would be meaningful to the family.
A bit of an oxymoron, as it turned out. But… I do not like to pick. Or settle.
Small wedding for me? Party for the family?
I say both.
You CAN have it all, as long as you know that making everyone happy will never be part of that package. Did we make some people upset? Of course.
When you make a decision, and those who love you think you should have made a different decision, they tend to get upset.
Even when it comes to something as personal as whether to marry (at all), who to marry, when to marry, and how to marry.[That’s ok. They will love you still.]
Some choose to think that the paperwork part is more important. Some choose to think that I am already married. In a way, I am.
But I AM choosing to believe those who told me that my wedding is all about ME. And I think that the part where you stand in front of friends and family, and declare your commitment to another person is the more important one.
That’s the actual wedding part.
I wanted two things. A small wedding. A huge party.
I get to have both of those things. On two different days.
Having it all.