So I'm pretty serious about this Joe guy I'm dating. He lets me lick his neck before work...how 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 realized....it 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.