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On this day I do.   —   Frustration

When I was a little girl I didn't fantasize about what my wedding would be like when I was all grown up. I didn't wobble around in my mother's high heels with a white sheet pinned to my curly little head, dragging the fabric behind me as I posed in front of a mirror blushing and smiling. I never plotted and planned the color of the flowers or the list of who was invited and who was not. And I never imagined the kind of diamond I wanted to decorate my dainty little ring finger.

Never in my life had I given much thought to weddings at all, let alone my own, until I moved to NYC and accidentally acquired a small group of girlfriends. Imagine my surprise when I heard one girlfriend confidently admit that she had been dreaming of her wedding day since she was six years old. SIX! She went on to explain in detail the cut and quality of the diamond she expected her imaginary groom to propose with. She prattled on about her dress and the music she wants her dances to be to and what kind of food will be served on what kind of dishes. Jaw dropping forehead slapping kind of detail, but never a mention as to what kind of husband she expects to have. Other friends also admitted to dreaming about their "perfect wedding" at a young age, dressing in white sheets and prancing around chanting "I do!", over and over again in a sing-song voice.

When I listen to these conversations, which I might add happen far more often that I'd like them to, I feel like I'm made of dandelions and dirt, sitting there, out of place, and loosely held together by my own making. But I nod and try to smile and ultimately leave confused, frustrated, and with a headache.

And do you know how much money people spend on weddings? When I found out I almost passed out. Seriously. I could put myself through college or buy a house with the kind of money people spend on a ONE DAY party. With all the needy fucking people in the world that would benefit from only a dollar a day and here we spend $10,000 on a wedding dress. And who will be benefiting from all of this? They say it's all about standing in front of everyone you know and declaring your love for each other and your forever and ever-ness. Well, Adam stood on the steps of Union Square in the middle of Manhattan at six in the morning and pronounced his love to me in front of the entire city, or to those who were awake and passing by at least. And we still had money left over to buy bagels. No one cares about your declaration of love for each other. I mean, they say they do, and if you weren't to get married you'd probably be nagged at by Aunt Estella and maybe your mom, asking when you're going to tie the knot. But after the wedding is over, no one is ever going to appreciate your vows to one another, or the $100 a plate meal they're eating, or the $1,000 cake they took two bites from, or the free alcohol they're drinking that cost you a year's savings. When did this ancient tradition become so out of control? When did we start putting so much emphasis not on the marriage, but the wedding itself? It all makes me want to throw up.

but ...

I have a girlfriend that is getting married in ten days. Contrary to what I've written above about weddings, this girl is actually doing it right. Her best friend who is a wonderful seamstress is making the wedding dress. Her parents are holding the wedding and reception in their backyard. Her mother and other relatives are cooking. Our mutual friend and amazing accordion player is providing some of the wedding music as well as some other surprise friend-provided music that somehow involves a chorus of kazoos. The wedding party was allowed to pick their own attire, and the guests were instructed to dress casual and summery. The yard will be decorated with white lights and landscaping and flowers. It's quaint and elegant and affordable. And I guarantee it will be unique and memorable. So why after months of stressing about this wedding, are her friends and relatives creating more fuss for her? Why is it that people want to make a wedding day that isn't their own wedding day, all about them?

I just don't understand what motivates most people, honestly, sometimes I think I'm not even part of this race. Maybe I am just made of dandelions and dirt but with magical eyes that look in the mirror and see a real girl. Maybe I just have a knot of roots and stones where my heart should be. It would explain why I seem to only grow in direct sunlight. But maybe I'm not the alien species at all. Maybe I'm just part of the small group of us that are the last of the real human race. The ones with heart and sense, the grounded ones, humble and quiet. Maybe the rest of the world is the alien, full of selfishness and religious anger and greed. But somehow, I doubt it.

and on another note ...

I had a friend refer to my writing the other day as "your suicidal blog posts". I wondered about that for a while. Questioned if my view of the world was really as bleak as he painted it to be. But I've decided that while some of the people may read what I have to say and wonder to themselves how I get through the day without jumping off a high-rise, the other ones who read my words are nodding their heads in agreement. In all honesty I have a good life. I'm in a good relationship, I have a good job, I live in a nice apartment and I have some pretty decent friends. I'm honest and humble and I believe that I am a pretty clear thinker. Despite some anger issues I have with living in this city I try to enjoy my days and appreciate how fortunate I am. I'm a pretty strong individual and an even stronger female. I'm not naive and I'm not confused about what I want out of life. I suppose to witness things in this city and to disagree with them and to talk about it is considered depressing or bleak. But I choose to be aware instead of blind, and if that makes me look at a homeless person and frown, rather than look at a flower and smile, so be it.

Posted 5.19.2004

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