So, ok. let's talk about it. I'm not actually engaged, right? So why is it that I'm writing a blog about organizing a wedding? It's a valid question, no doubt. One that i've asked myself, believe you me. But it's not quite so simple when i ask it; it's more like, why am I writing a blog, buying d.i.y. wedding books, setting up organizational binders with printed labels, scoping out possible dresses and wedding bands, and actually buying gifts for wedding party members (yes, really) when I'm not engaged? When the wedding is, in fact, completely imaginary? As much a figment of my imagination as it was when I was 15 years old?
Well, there's the theory that turning 30 had a semi-delayed effect of making me finally and completely lose my mind. It's plausible, I'll grant you. I mean, wedding party gifts? Seriously people, how is there a wedding party when there is no wedding? I really might be off my rocker. Any day now I might decide that this here pink fuzzy wind-up bunny would make a better maid of honor than my best friend, and start asking my plants which one wants to be the officiant. Tell me, Mr. Money Plant, are you an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church? You are?! Well that's just splendid, splendid!
But let's cut me a little slack. I'm not terribly good at that, but maybe you'll take a stab at it. See it from my point of view, stand in my shoes. Say you've got a boyfriend. And you and he have talked intensely about getting married. You've picked a date more or less. You've had conversations about what the ceremony will and will not entail, who should be invited, what time, what music. You've visited a venue and tried to pace out where the chairs would fit best. The two of you have arranged it so that your parents will be in New York City at the same time specifically so that they can meet each other. He's all but outright stated that he's gonna pop the question before the parents arrive at the end of May. And you're 90% sure that he actually went ahead and ordered the (recycled precious metal created diamond) ring you and he spent weeks discussing and deciding on.
Now, given these circumstances, wouldn't you kind of feel that an engagement was imminent? Wouldn't you, in fact, kind of feel, like, semi-engaged? Or pre-engaged, maybe?
Obviously I would. And do. Does that make me crazy? Is there something wrong with me for wanting to talk about table setups and caterers and cake flavors? Food is going to be a very big deal at this shindig, duh. I want to discuss options for string lights and votives! I want to decide where best to place a buffet station! I want to start assigning tasks to my bridesmaids and the rest of my crew, because believe me, this wedding is going to take a crew. I want to decide what to call the tables, because table numbers are boring and names are better, and I want to discuss it with my life partner, damnit!
The point is, this is the biggest planned event that's likely to occur in my life, ever. And it's the first big thing we'll tackle as a couple - theoretically to be followed by stuff like buying a house, having kids, etcetera and so forth. And while I'm not your typical average girl in very many ways, this is one of them - I have been dreaming of making my wedding happen for at least 15 years. I also spent at least 5 of those years thinking that it was never going to happen; that that was not going to be an option for me, and forbidding myself to muse on the fantasy. So to have it dangled in front of me like this, only to get burned each time I reach for it... well, it's nothing short of torture. And most importantly, I'm a planner! Planning is how I deal with unknown quantities. Whenever there is a concept too big for me to digest in one lump, like say spending the rest of my life with someone who actually loves me... well, I dissect. I make lists. I hole-punch and I put tabs in notebooks and I fill up binders. This is how I deal. This is my coping mechanism. And right now all of my books and binders and notebooks are stashed away in my studio. Hidden from the eyes that do not want to see them.
Right now you're all going, what the hell is she talking about? He went to the venue with her! She thinks he bought the ring! Everything's right on track! Tortured? Burned? This girl is off her rocker. Can't she just wait two freakin' months?
And of course you're probably right. But there are a few things you still don't know. The first is that my other big coping mechanism is communication, i.e. talking. I talk things out. I make things real and tangible and handleable by forming words with my mouth, by hearing them with my ears. The second is that I'm not allowed to talk about it. Despite the fact that we visited a venue. Despite the fact that we've had several to many awesome conversations about how one goes about getting a marriage license and certificate in New York, about what his groomsmen should wear, about creating our own resin cufflinks. I'm not allowed to talk about it unless he's in the mood to talk about it, which is very rarely. If I do bring stuff up, I'm met with rolling eyes, huffing breaths, and "alright, baby, enough".
The effect of this conundrum? I feel like I'm forcing my hand. Like this whole marriage thing is something he's conceding to so that I'll shut up about it already. Like he doesn't want it, but he'll put up with it if he really has to. It's every girl's dream come true! Um. Now, if I actually and truly 100% believed that he felt this way, it would be over. No way no how do I want a life partnership to begin like that. But even when I know that's probably not what's going on, being made to feel like that is wildly unpleasant. Last night it brought me so far as to decide that not only does he not actually want to marry me, but that he didn't want to move in with me, didn't ever really want to be my boyfriend, and in fact never even really wanted to date me.
Yeah, he just stuck around for two years because I'm so damn easy to be with. HA. (Every one of my ex-boyfriends is in absolute hysterics right now, and getting ready to make a silent salute of amazement to the man that is my current partner.)
So who's at fault here? I don't really think it's a "fault" kind of situation. I get freaked out by what looks like a lack of commitment and / or interest and then I act like an idiot. He gets freaked out by the possibility that maybe we'll try it and it won't work and then he acts like an idiot. Two idiots in love, making each other insane. Isn't it just adorable. Disgusting. Ridiculous. Whatever, pick an adjective.
Two days ago I would have told you without flinching, without pause, that I'd have a ring on my finger by May 29. Now I'm not so sure. My mind seems to enjoy filling itself with doubt and then teasing me for ever being so gullible. I hope he still loves me. I hope he wants what I want. I hope I can calm the hell down and regain the happiness I had for a few weeks there, when I just understood how awesome it is that we have each other.
I'm gonna go play with my fuzzy wind-up bunny. I think I'll name her Priscilla.