If you’re planning a summer wedding, you may now be where I once was, just a few weeks before my nuptials: at the bar.
I was tired of making decisions. I was tired of caring about details. I was tired of answering questions. I was tired of worrying. Planning a big-ass event is hard. Planning one that’s supposed to be the Greatest Day Of Your Life Ever Or Else Your Existence As A Whole Is A Poorly Executed Sham And Everybody Knows It is especially hard, and you don’t have to have purchased stock in Wedding Industrial Complex, Inc. to be worried about it.
So I’m going to tell you a true thing that good people told me. Something I knew intellectually to be true, but something I found emotionally hard to wrap my mind around:
There are two kinds of people who seriously care about your wedding. One of those kinds of people is you and, ideally, the person you’re about to commit your forever life to. The other kind of person is an asshole. Keep reading »
Now that I’m an old-ass boring married lady, spending all my time vacuuming in heels, watching my stories and making martinis at 5 p.m. in anticipation of the imminent arrival of the most interesting man in my world, the only thing left for me to do in life is get pregnant.
But that is not the plan. Well, the making myself martinis at 5 p.m. is frequently part of the plan. Which would be a bad plan if, indeed, Patrick and I were trying to have kids. But this Sunday, and every forseeable third Sunday in May after that, I will celebrate my mom and my mother-in-law, and never be celebrated myself.
By my own design. Of my own volition. With the express agreement of my husband, who will similarly find himself celebrating his dad and father-in-law on future third Sundays in June, but never receive a hideous tie of honor himself.
I realize this isn’t normal for most people. But whether it’s normal or not, let me ask you to err on the side of not being a presumptuous snoot when talking to people who don’t have kids and who, moreover, don’t want to have kids. Keep reading »
How about this: unless you’re speaking to a person who is literally about to walk down an aisle to an altar at which they will proceed to exchange vows of lifelong love to another human being, don’t tell them they’re “next” to get married.
That’s what a friend of mine’s sister told her recently, and … well, I’ll just tell you what my friend — a single lady — expressed in response: “RUH RUH!?!?!” Because seriously. Nobody’s “next.” There’s not a wedding pecking order. Nobody is the first person to get married, and matrimony isn’t a race wherein some people come in second, third or fourth place. Keep reading »
Please don’t have a million people in your wedding party.
There, I said it. I know you are the most popular and lovable person who ever lived, and you don’t want to exclude anyone, not even your sixth cousin because your fifth cousin is totally going to throw a fit, but I think you will make yourself crazy if you have a million people in your wedding party.
Hear me out.
Actually, no, hear this person out, the letter writer to Miss Manners who lamented, “I have 10 bridesmaids but only five groomsmen! What do I do?”
What you do is cut some bridesmaids. (Gently, with a plastic butter knife.) Or better yet: don’t field a wedding baseball team in the first place. Wedding planning, even for small events, can be days after days, weeks after weeks, months after months, of asking yourself “What do I do?!”
The more people you wrangle on your wedding day, the more times you’ll have to ask yourself, “What do I do?!” Not because your friends and family are terrible. But because there’s a 99.99999 percent chance they’re human beings. Keep reading »
This Sunday, Patrick and I will celebrate our first anniversary as married people. I would love to tell you the last twelve months have comprised a life-changing, soul-altering period of self-discovery and exploration of what it means to be in love. That this column will be full of witty and insightful paragraphs full of meaningful revelations.
“Would you marry me again?” I asked Patrick over beers at our local dive. Sure, he said, “But I wouldn’t plan another wedding.”
On that point, we’re agreed. And we’re also agreed on this point: the main thing that the last year of nuptial bliss — and it really has been bliss — has taught us is that being married isn’t significantly different than being everything but married.
In fact, the most significant difference between my pre-marriage life with Patrick and my post-marriage life with Patrick? Twenty dollars. Keep reading »
It wasn’t until we were sitting on a bench on a beautiful, sunny March day in London’s Kensington Gardens, that Patrick and I had what I recall as being our first actual argument. Just under a year into our relationship, we took our first big vacation together. The details of the disagreement, of course, were beyond stupid: I didn’t like the way Patrick exchanged money. I thought he should exchange his money differently. More specifically, I thought he should exchange money the way I exchanged money, the way I had explained to him was the best way to exchange money.
I told you it was stupid. And it was our first day together in London. I had a whole week of being annoyed at money exchanges ahead of me.
Of course, it wasn’t about the money exchanges themselves, but about the fact that I felt like Patrick wasn’t listening to my valuable input about logistical minutiae. And I am the kind of person who feels like “my valuable input” roughly translates to “literally the only input you need.” Keep reading »
“Forget about having it all, or not having it all, leaning in or leaning out — here’s what you really need to know that nobody is telling you.”
That’s how now-infamous “Princeton Mom” Susan Patton began her letter to “Princeton women,” advising them to lock down a Princeton man by the time they graduate, lest their lives turn, over the next three decades or so, to fetid piles of vaguely unfulfilling upper-middle-class Princeton shit.
Princeton women — and all women, and actually everybody in a place of transition, as so many college students and young people and old people and middle-aged people are — please allow me to finish her premise with the actual thing you “really need to know that nobody is telling you.”
You don’t have a “shelf life.” There’s almost nothing you can’t undo, deal with or mitigate the damage of. You do not have to set your life trajectory on ascend, now or at any other time. You are going to be fine. Keep reading »
Yesterday in Austin, Texas, a city I’m very proud to call home, 250 people gathered on the south steps of the state capitol for a nice round of bigoted back-patting, peppered with lines like this, from state senator Donna Campbell: “They want to redefine marriage between a natural man and natural woman the same way they want to redefine the Constitution.”
This, of course, while the Supreme Court was hearing arguments on same-sex marriage.
“Our core values are being attacked on a daily basis,” Campbell told the crowd.
I like that line, about “core values” that are “being attacked,” because if there’s one thing that gives me a little pleasure when thinking about people like Donna Campbell, and others who would deny civil rights to all Americans because something something Jesus, it’s the thought that maybe they stay up at night seriously worried that the gays, or whoever Donna Campbell thinks “they” might be, are coming for her values and children, cowering beneath their quilted comforters.
Maybe that thought is funny to me because things like the “Future Bride” baby onesie exist in the world. If anyone is coming for your children, it is hyper-normative heterosexuals who can’t even wait for a little girl to get out of goddamned diapers before casting her as a sexual being. Keep reading »
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a tongue-in-cheek checklist from the Wedding Industrial Complex to all the brides out there who are doing weddings wrong, and who will no doubt regret their many wedding-related sins forever.
But seriously folks: I have some regrets about our wedding.
Not the but-what-does-it-all-mean kind of regrets. But the logistical, practical kind of regrets that I think I can help folks getting married avoid having in the future. Read on for proof that I am not the smartest bride who ever lived. Keep reading »
I seriously never thought I’d say this: I miss being engaged.
I don’t miss wedding planning, and I don’t miss being talked to as if, as a human with a ring and a vagina, I had no interests aside from talking about the details of “my” (so rarely, “our”) big day. I sure as shit don’t miss shopping for wedding dresses. I don’t miss getting Wedding Industrial Side-Eye because Patrick and I had, like, a wedding budget.
What I miss is the day-to-day experience of preparing to love someone publicly. Keep reading »