As a women of a certain age watching all her friends getting married and having babies, buying houses and beginning a life with someone else, the discussion of weddings is pretty constant.
In no formal way am I getting married. No date has been set, no question has been popped and no ring has been purchased, but I’m settled and living with the person I hope to grow old with. Of course this means people are asking me what I’m thinking of doing with my hair for the Big Day, what colors will be my theme and what food do I plan on serving.
Whoa whoa whoa there. Back that cart up! First of all, who says I’m planning anything? Secondly, who says I even want that stuff?
It seems to be a socially acceptable expectation that the moment a couple decides to start a life together, a wedding for all to enjoy will follow. Excuse me for wanting to save a little cash for more important points in my life but a wedding is the last thing I want to have. And no matter how I state this, clearly or subtly, people just look at me like I said I’d voluntarily cut my right arm off.
As if it is unheard of for a woman to not care about a wedding. Sigh…
Probably because of my age and probably because it’s somehow expected of women to have some kind of deep seeded need to plan a wedding and be the focal point of said party, I get odd looks and lots of cajoling to reconsider because they know better. I do want a wedding, I just don’t realize it yet. Or my favorite, if you don’t have a wedding, you’ll regret it later in life.
Either way, it’s been coming up more frequently these days and no matter how I put it, people don’t seem to understand me. I don’t want to be a bride. Someone’s spouse, yes…but not a bride.
And it most often becomes a discussion when I’m watching TV or a movie with someone else of the female persuasion and the characters involved are headed down the isle. She’s all pretty in white including a veil and flowers. He’s standing nervously watching her approach with that goofy grin most grooms have. Then she arrives and the groom tells her how lovely she looks. It’s during a scene like this that I hear this question: “Don’t you want that?”
Sigh…I don’t know how to explain it any better but no, it’s not important to me. And neither is the color of my flowers or the font on my invitation. When I answer this way, I get odd stares and creased foreheads like I’ve grown a third eyeball from my nostril. Like I’ve just said I’m willing to live blind for the rest of my life. Because, you know, spending some thousands of dollars on one damn day is the equivalent to living a life without eyesight.
So there it is. Weddings don’t mean the same to me as it does to other people. Just like there are people out there who choose not to have children. Or there are people who choose to focus on their careers or traveling. Not everyone has the same needs as the next. To some, a wedding day is a huge deal and they can’t see their life fulfilled without having one. For those people I gladly raise my glass and offer a toast of good luck and a long happy life together. I won’t talk poorly about their choice to participate in the whole wedding process from start to finish. I’ll be happy for them because this makes them happy and it’s harming no one.
For me, I don’t need a wedding or any of the little bits and pieces that go along with it. I’ll happily celebrate over my great-grandmother’s pasta sauce with my family, both old and new, and signing of some legal documents to bind us together in the eyes of the state. No flowers. No dress. No cake. Just us together.
But I’ll happily except a toast in honor of our choice to be together as partners and for us to live happily ever after.