I consumed almost no wedding-related media in the eight or so months between when Patrick and I got drunk at the lake and decided to get engaged and when we actually tied the knot on April 21, 2012. I came to like Offbeat Bride and its attendant forums and creative user group, though I was ultimately put off by its (I think unavoidable) preciousness. Not surprisingly, I found the full-throttle focus of wedding-related magazines and sites to be frustrating and demoralizing rather than helpful.
Instead of answering actual questions I had about weddings — about how much should it cost to feed 80 people? Why is it so hard to find tea-length wedding dresses? What’s the history behind women being “given away”? — I was being given solutions to problems I didn’t know I had: for starters, I was almost certainly too fat. And my hair was too short. My bridesmaids (who would obviously be all women) either should or shouldn’t wear matching dresses, but whatever I decided would be ultimately wrong according to somebody. I hadn’t given enough thought to napkin rings and their very important role in the formal place settings my guests would be wholly unable to enjoy themselves without. I was already behind on making the 6,000 origami swans that I was previously unaware I needed to personally hand-craft. The list grew and grew. Keep reading »
I have known since I was a wee child that someday, there would be a woman in my life that I would hate more than any person on the planet. She will be the epitome of all things evil; a seething skin-bag of meddlesome, ignorant lady-pus, hardly worthy to walk among us and yet, walk among us she will. Unabashed, her goal in life will be to make me miserable. She will shame me and mock me and re-fold my towels in the most offensive possible way, all in the name of “helping.” She will make passive aggressive comments about my weight and my pot roast. She will kiss my husband on the mouth in front of me.
She will be my mother-in-law. Keep reading »
I’m not convinced that the problem with marriage is that it is broken; I am convinced that a problem with marriage is that it isn’t big enough for everyone.
In the past week, both The New York Times and Slate have addressed modern marriage and its related problems, asking whether privatization of marriage, and state recognition of other kinds of civil care-giving agreements, isn’t the way to go from now on. Keep reading »
Over the summer, “Bridesmaids” actor Chris O’Dowd married British writer/TV host Dawn Porter, who was also not keen on changing her professional name. She has a piece in UK Glamour about wanting to take on her husband’s name in the spirit of blending families, but at the same time not wanting to lose the last name that’s always been hers. So, she compromised on “O’Porter.” Keep reading »
Flipping through my mom’s old yearbooks as a kid, I was taken by the bouffant hairdos and the small-town charm of her tiny East Texas high school; I was also amazed that there appeared to be basically two clubs in the whole place. Guys got funneled into the Future Farmers of America. The young women? Future Homemakers of America.
Farmers and homemakers. Boys and girls. Public and private. Knowing the incredible life my mom has lived — as a high-powered vice president at major American manufacturing company, brilliant accountant, veterinary technician, working mom — it really doesn’t seem like “future homemaker” encompasses even a little bit of what she had the potential to do, or what she ended up doing, in her life.
Certainly “homemaking” didn’t sound very appealing to me, either as a kid or a young professional woman. Getting excited about new drapes? Advancements in vacuum cleaning technology? No, when I want excitement, I’ll go for whiskey or a deadline or both. Keep reading »
On Sunday, Patrick and I celebrated our six-month wedding anniversary by watching nearly seven hours of what Netflix claims are “Halloween favorites” and eating a delicious homemade caprese salad, as Patrick decided that six months is the “caprese anniversary.” No doubt he has some culinary deliciousness planned in six more months.
How has my life changed since April 21, 2012? In some ways, not at all. In other ways … not a lot. In still more ways? Not much. In fact, the manifestations of marriage in my day-to-day life are almost negligible, and perhaps because Patrick and I already lived together and wanted to be with each other forever before we decided to put a piece of paper on it. But also perhaps because, after you spend months planning the hoopla of a wedding — even a small one, even an inexpensive one, like ours was — almost anything would seem banal in comparison. Keep reading »
Your engagement story is supposed to make people swoon, not cringe. But these real people who really screwed up obviously didn’t get that memo…
1. Hot Air Balloon Fail: London floor-fitter Lefkos Hajji concealed a $10,000 engagement ring inside a helium balloon, thinking she’d pop the balloon — and he’d pop the question. But as he left the store where he purchased the balloon, a gust of wind pulled the balloon from his hands and far, far out of reach. Hajji then spent two hours in his car trying to chase and find the balloon, ultimately failing. His bride to be refused to speak to him until she got a new ring. Read more…
The few times I ever imagined my future wedding as I grew up in suburban north Texas, I imagined it taking place in the church I was raised in, the altar strewn with pretty flowers and the minister who baptized as a child me officiating. This vague idea of what my wedding might be like never quite left me, even as I left organized religion as a young adult. Weddings were a church thing. Churches have ministers. Ministers do weddings. Seemed pretty simple.
But as I attended more and more church weddings as an adult, the more I realized that there would be no way I could have one of my own: it’s not exactly fair to ask a Christian minister to, you know, leave all those Jesus-y parts out. They do tend to like to get in a bit of that where they can.
My husband, Patrick, was raised Catholic. I was a Methodist. While we both spent our youth as devout practitioners of our respective faiths, we don’t currently attend church and don’t have any plans to. We are happily lapsed, though we both look fondly back on our days as Bible-beating teenagers. I, for one, credit the church for giving me moral guidance and an amazing social circle when I was in school. I’d do it the same way all over again. But it’s not who I am or what I believe today. Keep reading »
Minutes before I walked down the aisle, one of my persons-of-distinction, Trenton, pulled a bunch of multi-colored plastic Tiki goblets from a sack, busted open a bottle of cheap champagne from a cooler, and measured out five healthy pours for the five of us in the little dressing room. Most of my pre-wedding moments are lost in a blur of being late to the venue, jumping into my dress and checking my makeup, but I remember that Tiki toast like it was yesterday.
That moment of support and solidarity is what I always imagined a wedding party is for — not to be put-upon recruits in the business of folding silverware (though our folks cheerfully took on this and many other tasks in turning a Dallas rock club into a wedding venue) but to be touchstones in a stressful and joyful and momentous time.
I had four party-persons stand with me on my wedding day, and looking back, I absolutely wouldn’t have had it any other way. Because of my mixed-gender group— Patrick’s side was similarly mixed — we deemed these (very good looking, if I may say so) folks our persons-of-honor-and-distinction, rather than bridesmaids and groomsmen. They are our favorite people. Keep reading »
I made sure to get the thin crust pizza, because I knew that once it was just me and a couch and Liam Neeson rescuing some people from some horrible shit and/or wolves, I was going to eat all that pizza, and I did not want the bread bloat. I was treating myself. I was worth it. I was alone.
For the past two and a half years, in the process of dating, moving in with and then marrying my husband, I haven’t been alone much. I’d almost forgotten how to do it. I’d almost forgotten how to do something I love to do, and something that I’m very, very good at doing. I don’t mean being single. I mean being solitary. By myself.
For most of my 20s, I was in long-distance relationships, make-up break-up relationships or deep into singledom. I had a lot of opportunities to cultivate my own favorite kinds of solitude: taking long afternoon drives out into the Texas Hill Country, getting a six pack of High Life tallboys, watching British comedies all night, going bonkers on multi-hour sewing project marathons that ended in inevitable disaster. Doing whatever I wanted, when I wanted to, and never having to wonder whether eating all this ranch dip at 3 p.m. is that going to mess up dinner plans. Because I didn’t have dinner plans. And I fucking loved it. Keep reading »