And not a single one for me.
For a woman in a complicated relationship, wedding season is a toughie. I've done a bachelorette party. Next week I'll be celebrating my friend L's wedding. Next month I'll be celebrating my friend C's wedding. I get a month off, and then another friend's wedding in October. Not to mention blog friend Nicole just got engaged (yay!). Oh, and last night I boohooed through Bethenny Frankel's wedding on Bethenny Getting Married? Yes, I am a huge emotional dork and reality TV junkie. I own that. Besides the sheer expense of lots of friends getting married (totally worth it, but yikes!), there's the emotional cost of struggling with my own relationship and where it's headed.
The year between having been SCL dating for 6 months and when we'd been dating about a year and a half (when I still believed we were getting engaged soon), I was pretty wedding fixated. One of my favorite wedding daydreams was thinking about our first dance. SCL and I are both ballroom dancers, so I imagined foxtrotting to Frank Sinatra or some other crooner in a beautiful gown, the crowd "oo"ing and "ah"ing at our mad dance skills. I struggled with the right song though. "Our" song is really inappropriate--"PDA (We Just Don't Care)" by John Legend on his Once Again album. It's about getting down in public. Not exactly the kind of song you'd want to play in front of the old folks. Or my big brothers.
See how easily I slipped back into it? For fuck's sake, even just blogging about it puts me back there. I digress.
As I fretted over how I'm going to survive this wedding season, I figured, hey, I'm going to be surrounded by this wedding stuff for the foreseeable future; how do I make the most of it? I've decided to try to examine my own desires to get engaged, have a wedding, and get married. What's really behind this? I'd like to think that it's just that I love SCL and want a "life buddy" as my friend L describes it. But I think it's more than just that. I think part of it goes deeper to my own lack of self-confidence and self-worth, probably a result of my abandonment issues from having a shit father--some inner lacking that even the most beautiful wedding couldn't satiate.
And the thing is, my head fucking knows this already. Look at my friend going through a divorce. I was her maid of honor--beautiful wedding, beautiful couple, and now look at where they are. They don't even like each other anymore. And look at my own mom--divorced and abandoned by the person she thought she'd love forever. I know it all in my head, but the truth is in my own self-delusion, I think that it won't happen to me. Just like a lethal car accident, lightening strike, breast cancer, or other horrible tragic things. The truth it, any and all of these things very well could happen in my life--a divorce being one of the more likely.
So, what's up with this fixation on marriage? The truth is, I don't know. My friend (at least I like to think we would be friends) Elizabeth Gilbert (author of the beloved Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia) just published a new book called Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage. And I am obsessed with it. So obsessed, in fact, that I plan to write many a blog entry about it. Maybe I'll even write about it a chapter at a time because it's that good. I hope you'll stick with me as I work through this very though-provoking book and uncover my own feelings, desires, and beliefs about marriage---and hopefully see what it is I'm really after.