Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Confessions of a Weddingaholic

So I'm pretty serious about this Joe guy I'm dating. He lets me lick his neck before could I not be serious about him?

We're not engaged, but we talk about it for our future. I only stick around in relationships if I can look at a guy and go, "Yeah, I think I'd like to sit awkwardly in a restaurant with you for a couple decades."

I'm not engaged, but I have a confession to make: I'm a wedding planner.

Not in a horrible JLo movie way, but in the "I already know what kind of dress I want" way. Weird, right? It surprises me, too, considering my long-standing opposition with pink and frills. But when Michelle and I were little, we'd pore over two kinds of magazines: American Girl Doll and wedding. We'd plan our dream wedding with Anonymous Handsome Husband, discussing everything from the clothes to the hair to the clothes to the clothes. (We didn't really know what all went into a wedding, to be honest. But people got dressed up and we were into it.)

I decided I would wear an off-the-shoulder dress a-la Princess Jasmine, I would hold red roses, my bridesmaids would wear red dresses, and the groomsmen would wear red bow ties and red cummerbunds.

YEAH. What can I say? It was 1994, I was nine, and I had a bowl cut. Style was not really in my direct line of vision.

But the point is, I've basically been thinking about wedding details since I knew what weddings were. To me, it's a lot less about wanting to be married and a lot more about planning something pretty. It gives me the same euphoric feeling as a new Crate and Barrel catalog. "Look at THIS decanter! And THIS one! LET'S BUY ALL THE DECANTERS!!!!1"

My best defense for being the Weird Girl Planning Her Fake Wedding is that thinking about those happy little details helps me sleep. I don't know about you, but laying there in the dark is my brain's favorite time to either stress about work, or play out disastrous ways for everyone I love to die. Something about darkness really brings out the worst in my subconscious. And centerpiece planning helps. But now the details are way funkier than red cummerbunds. They look more like this:

I finally confessed all of this to Joe a few days ago. He didn't leave a Joe-shaped hole in our door, so I got a little excited. And I told him one idea I had: no bartenders. Buy booze ourselves and let our friends pour their own drinks like the adults they are. But instead of telling me that I was a freakin' genius, Joe had the AUDACITY to be rational and say that a lot of venues probably don't let you do that. And our friends might be peeved that they'd just come all the way to a wedding just to do all the grunt work. I huffed quietly and then went about my day.

And it stewed.

And finally, after Joe had left town for Detroit, I let it all out in an email.

A) Our friends would NOT be upset that they weren't waited on. They'd be happy they could have as much booze as they'd want and they'd be happy to celebrate with us and if they didn't like it then they could shoveituptheir--BREAAAAATHE, Emily.

B) I told him (because I am a CRAZY PERSON) that when he turned down my idea, he was backing my fake wedding dreams into a corner. And if I'm ever going to fall asleep thinking about flower arrangements, I'm going to need my fake wedding to flow freely.

That night on the phone, he apologized (What a great guy. Apologizing in the face of Crazy.) and said he wanted to hear more ideas. I let another one fly: For the Save The Dates, we take pictures of ourselves wearing Bill Murray masks and have it say "We're getting murray'd!"

Joe told me it was a great idea.

And that was the moment I really wasn't. It was a HORRIBLE idea. It was weird and creepy and made no sense and was a terrible pun besides. But if Joe had actually told me the truth, I would have sharpened my nails into points and then slashed him across the chest. HOW DARE YOU RUIN MY BILL MURRAY PUN DREAMS!

What I realized is this: Sure. Sometimes we need someone there to give it to us straight. To smack us across the face and tell us we're wrong. But sometimes we just need support. We need someone to be there for us when we make decisions and nod along so we can come to our own conclusions without the blinding rationale-blocker that is the Defense Mechanism. And that relates to partners as well as parents, friends, even work-associates. We all just need someone who knows when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em. When to walk away and when you run. You never count your money when you're sitting at the table. There'll be time enough for counting when the dealing's done.

So...comments anyone? Am I the only one pre-planning her dream wedding/who has horrible thoughts before bed/who emails her boyfriend because she's bad at live conversation sometimes/who gets crazy defensive about really bad ideas sometimes? I'd really like to hear your thoughts. I promise not to lash out in email form...well, I'll try.


abbey said...

As someone who constantly talks about my wedding to anyone who will listen and always have this exchange: "So you're engaged?" "Oh god no. I am just planning ahead." Four years with my guy and frankly the only difference between engaged and not engaged is that with the ring I'm allowed to start making down payments. :)

He didn't leave a Joe-shaped hole in our door I finding subtle Friends references in your blogs, btw. Whether you mean to make them or not.

Emily said...

Yay! I'm not alone! And oh yes I mean to make them...although they usually come more naturally than using my own words so I almost don't notice. Those and Office quotes. I think I leave about 4 per post.

Carey Poppins said...

You are not alone. My wedding day was planned and executed to perfection. So perfect that it really didn't matter if the groom was there or not. I sort of lost perspective during the whole thing - but in the end, one hell of a party! I understand exactly how you felt when my brother got all "rational" on you. Blame my mother. No seriously, its okay - he gets it from her. When I told her about my idea for a Sound of Music/Favorite Things wedding shower, she said "carey, where are you going to find a dress with a blue satin sash? And do you really think people want to eat struddle?" YES! YES! Give the people the studdle I say! And don't forget the shitznle! I was furious. Then I realized that I probably have never had shitznle so I probably shouldn't shove it down the throats of the ones I love. But as you can tell, i'm still not quite over it! So my advice to you my wonderful "not-sister-in-law", plan. Plan and dream and sleep in peace. And when the time comes, I will pass onto you my binder, not book, binder..the biggest one you can find...with the 6 inch rings!

Kathy said...

Please don't rule out the creepy/hilarious Bill Murray masks for the save-the-dates!

ljelgass said...

Sometimes on Sunday mornings I turn on Say Yes to the Dress and expect Ryan to participate in the comment-making experience. He used to seem a little freaked out by it, but now he pretends to read a book until, eventually, I notice that he hasn't looked at his opened book in ten minutes and has also been sucked in. We also discuss our non-existent wedding because we are also not engaged, and it's fun to think about how we could pay for said non-existent wedding with funds that won't amount to a down payment. So far it looks like a backyard barbeque and I'm making the cake... we're both pretty sure we've oscillated to an extreme with that one :)

erin costello bakerstein said...

Wedding bartenders are overrated. I tell you this because ours was scary and people still talk about it to this day. He was jaundiced, a certain baby-poop green that only late-stage alcoholism or a severe contagious illness brings. Even the whites of his eyes were anything but white. People were hesitant to get a drink from him, and if there's one dream I had for my wedding, it's that everyone be spinning around the dance floor, drunk as a skunk until the wee hours. My parents, John and I huddled with the few guests who happened to be Doctors and assessed whether it was safe keep him there. I couldn't even believe our caterer had provided us with a half-dead bartender (let alone the mashed potatoes that were CLEARLY made from boxed flake potatoes). In the end, no one got sick, but everyone was grossed out, and our bartender is most definitely dead by now.

Emily said...

Carey: I think a Sound of Music-themed shower sounds adorable! And you could have just bought a strip of blue satin and tied it around any dress! I'm sad that didn't happen. But I'm surprised you only have a binder. I would have expected a small storage space filled with planning details.

Kathy: I promise not to rule it out. It may have to be honed in, though.

LJ: My #1 reason for wanting cable is terrible wedding shows. And a backyard BBQ sounds great! I actually know a few blogs that will support your endeavors if you ever want them.

Erin: That is horrifying. Please tell me people still spun around the dance floor into the wee hours.

keithp said...

This is totally normal. It's not even technically legal for me to get married in most places, and yet I've still spent hours dreaming about it and planning it. Watching TV shows like "Say Yes to the Dress" and "Four Weddings" only encourage my irrational plans - but there's nothing wrong with dreaming about the happiest day of your life. And you (and I!) both happen to know some fellas who would like great to stand next to at an alter, or chuppah, or city hall, or disco club. And that makes the planning even more fun and exciting. (And then you're better able to choreograph your first dance since you know your partner's height.)

keithp said...

**My last comment should read, "And you (and I!) both happen to know some fellas who would look great..." etc. etc. Oy gevault.

Taylor said...

I am in awe as to what level of money is thrown at the ego.

might as well buy a boat.

Emily said...

Taylor, it actually makes me really happy to see all those numbers, because I can go "I wouldn't do THAT or THAT or THAT or THAT"...and watch all the money drop off. Admittedly, it's kind of like buying a Groupon: saving a shit ton of money...on something you don't actually need to spend any money on at all.

Keith, thanks for making me feel sane!!

Liketohike said...

I started pre-wedding planning when I was unofficially engaged about six months before I was officially engaged, and knowing a lot about what we wanted/didn't want helped when our official engagement lasted less than 6 months!

Also, your favorite niece can totally rock a tutu.