Shortly after Patrick and I got engaged, my mom called with a request that was so cute, I didn’t know what to say: “The ladies at church want to throw you a bridal shower.”
The “ladies” in question were women who had watched me grow up in our small-town Methodist church, with whose daughters I attended countless birthday parties, bunked with at church camp and defied the chaperones at all-night lock-ins for Jesus.
I was touched. I hadn’t had a conversation with these women for years and yet they wanted to throw me a party. And not just any party. A presents party! Keep reading »
People on the internet have been telling me I’m fat for at least a decade — since whenever the first full-body photograph of me appeared on a blog author page. I still remember one of the first times it happened. I was probably 22 years old, wearing a pink pencil skirt and cute black top, retro-style, in the photo.
“Just like I thought, she’s pear-shaped,” snarked one commenter, who apparently previously inferred from the quality of my writing that my body was not up to his high expectations, only to have it all confirmed by a photo.
I stood in front of the mirror in that same outfit, staring at my body from every angle, trying to figure out just how pear-shaped I was. Was it my thighs causing the problem? Had to be, right? I measured them. I calculated my BMI. I took more digital photos and compared them to the existing photo. I went through the size tags on all my clothes, trying to find the biggest one so I could prove to myself that I either was or wasn’t fat. Definitively.
Keep reading »
You can read wedding magazines, and wedding blogs, and wedding everything, but you’ll almost never turn the page and see the marriage. Everything stops in a last, beautiful moment, blurred by sparklers or bubbles or birdseed as the (inevitably white, inevitably young, inevitably thin, inevitably straight) couple disappears into the back of a limousine, a horse-drawn carriage, or, if they’re very edgy, maybe a racy vintage sports car.
Having a wedding can be glamorous; certainly the Wedding Industrial Complex sells it that way. And being engaged is exciting. People send you pretty cards and congratulate you for being nothing more than very lucky. They ask you where they can go to buy you some presents so they can reward you for being in love. You are actively encouraged to brag about yourself. Everything builds up to the big day. Your perfect day! Your princess day!
And then … what? Keep reading »
Like everyone else in the country with excellent taste and a belly full of adult beverages, I very much enjoyed Beyoncé’s half-time performance at the Super Bowl on Sunday. I loved her all-woman band, particularly Bibi McGill’s spark-shooting axe. I loved the Destiny’s Child reunion. I loved that my Beyoncé half-time BINGO card included a square for “killing it,” which I ticked off within seconds of the show’s start.
And yet, my reaction to her post-halftime announcement of the upcoming “Mrs. Carter Show” tour was not to cheer her on in a post-feminist choose-your-choice fist-pump, but to huff: “Call me when Jay-Z goes on a Mr. Knowles tour.”
Why does the most powerful woman pop star in the world want, or need, to remind everyone she’s married? What does a Mrs. moniker have with her ability to sing, dance and write songs? And no, the name issue isn’t what gets me. I’m not raising a figurative eyebrow at “Carter,” I’m raising a figurative eyebrow at “Mrs.” Keep reading »
The New York Times, ever concerned about the plight of the three people it takes to make a Style Section trend story, has identified a disturbing new tendency among women to … plan their weddings. But wait for it: they’re not just planning their weddings, they’re doing it on the Internet and they’re doing it while single.
The horrors, they are horrifying. Time to muster the judgment and disdain appropriate to the situation: these pathetic cases are wasting their sad-ass time, and their real human relationships are suffering for it, because using the Internet means shunning all human contact, only going outside once a week to get a gallon of milk and a bag of cat food. Keep reading »
It happened in slow motion; I couldn’t stop myself. It was like I watched from outside my body — NOOOOOOOOOOOOGGGHHH — as I reached into the seat pocket, pulled out my phone, and took an artsy photo of — STTTOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPPPP — my newly paired engagement ring and wedding band.
“It’s a six-hour flight to Hawaii,” I probably told myself. “What else am I going to do to pass the time?”
And then a force greater than myself caused my thumbs to move swiftly across the iPhone screen, open Instagram, and post the photo — tinted green, of course, to match my beautifully manicured, fir-colored fingernails and peridot-paired diamond, posed artfully above the mostly unreadable text of a Big Island guidebook — before I even knew what I was doing. Keep reading »
So, Britney Spears is no longer engaged to that dude she was engaged to, and obviously the only logical response is the one People chose, which is to lament the end of Britney’s “fairy tale.” Because all weddings are fairy tales, and literally any man a woman can be engaged to has got to be Prince Charming?
I bet Britney Spears is really sad that she’s not getting married, but I’m also not going to assume that she might not also be a little bit relieved. It sounds like that guy was not a particularly good match for her. Sounds like they made the right decision here. What’s sadder than a broken engagement? A divorce. What’s sadder than a divorce? Staying in a bad marriage until you die.
It’s okay to end your engagement. It’s okay to end it if you just bought a gazillion dollar ring. It’s okay to end it if you’ve put a $10,000 deposit down on a rooftop venue. It’s okay to end it if you’re literally opening the doors to the courthouse. This is not something we say to people. But it’s true. Keep reading »
“Are you going to grow your hair out for the wedding?”
Obviously my stylist needed to know, because she was standing there with scissors. But family members? Dress shop employees? After the hundredth time telling people “No,” it got a little tiresome.
The question, in and of itself, isn’t offensive or stupid. It’s probably just small talk. After all, it’s incredibly uncommon to see short-haired brides, especially represented in mainstream wedding-related media; it’s understandable why people ask.
But there are an awful lot of preconceived notions about weddings and femininity and the all-importantness of a one-day event packed into that deceptively innocent sentence. Keep reading »
Because the world is a mysterious place, they have given that dude who wrote Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus an advice column. Who are “they”? I don’t know. People who are reassured by “logic” that basically boils down to “Men be watchin’ football, bitches be shoppin’,” I guess.
And because I only deserve nice things part of the time, I read this advice column. The fact that anyone would ask this stooge for tips on how to unclog a garbage disposal, let alone how to fix one’s relationship, shocks me into a long, slow rubberneck practically every time. But one letter in particular has stuck with me since I read it. In this letter, “Kissless” in Colorado wonders why getting married didn’t magically make her husband want to kiss her all the time? Keep reading »
People just love to get engaged at Christmastime. I imagine this is a result of a combination of factors, from feeling more family-oriented than usual (although the holidays have the opposite effect on many of us) to the celebratory atmosphere at large and increased presence of shiny objects generally. I spent Christmas Eve “liking” a whole new host of “Blankety Blank is engaged to Persony Person” updates before heading to sleep in my childhood bedroom with my new-ish husband. Keep reading »