Kilo and I had a discussion about this just yesterday...that we never bought into the Wedding Industrial Complex's fantasy. We both always thought that women who lost their sh*t over their weddings; who were crushed by disappointment; who were traumatized by the emotional roller-coaster of family, friends, logistics...that these were the women who were fixated with dress up bridal barbie and Disney's Cindarella wedding planning manual. In short, getting-married-females with unrealistic expectations.
Both of us manage severely budgeted events for non-profits. Both of us wanted our weddings to have meaningful ceremonies and fun parties. Nothing crazy. Nothing formal. Just us. With friends/families/food & drink. In short, realistic expectations.
Direct quote from Kilo-at-the-reception: "People who think this is the happiest day of their lives need better lives."
Weddings are, however, teachable moments. Learning experiences. There was meaning in each of our wedding experiences; golden moments, precious and exhilarating. Dare I say, just as we experience living, or trying to, while married to the military.
My lover has a saying about Army life. That is comes down to "embracing the SUCK." Sounds dirty, eh? The meaning isn't dirty. Embracing the suck means making the best of bad circumstances. Stop whining and do your sh*t. STFU already and get on with it. Do what you can do in the face of an uncontrollable life.
For the women we are, this is a really difficult practice.
We're professionals. We've learned what makes us happy and what makes us miserable, and in the face of misery, we've learned to change the circumstances to create happiness. Move to a better environment. Get a different job. Get an advanced degree. Live alone. Rent out rooms and live with friends. Throw weekly parties. Start a radical book club. Own a car. Exercise daily. Bike commute. Form an alumni group/book club/social movement and make friends. Break-up with toxic friends and uninspiring dates. CHANGE.
When we married, we gave up the ability to go it alone. To change as often as we wanted or as much as we could. The wedding itself was an indicator of that. Yes, I experienced joy and killjoys. Yes, real life took away some of the fun that I had hoped to have at my wedding. Yes, I was totally overwhelmed at the reality of the commitment and the logistics of the party; emotionally, financially, and even physically. But I am learning. I embrace the suck of the wedding. I put it in the past and I make peace with the death of the Happily Ever Wedding.
Next year, maybe he an I will throw an anniversary party. Go to a museum, drink some booze, and wear fancy clothes. Maybe we'll even invite our parents and siblings and grandmothers. Maybe we'll take our wedding back from the suck.
Maybe, yes. Se puede!