October 01, 2010

And if the wind is right you can find the joy

I've been trying my best to keep perspective and not feel subsumed by the reality of my impending wedding. I really think it is important to be grateful and emphasize in my brain space that no matter how many small issues might crop up along the way, having a wedding is an immense privilege.

And despite the rhetoric, I don't need to permit such an occasion to consume my life, my activities, or my emotions. I haven't always been successful at keeping this perspective in the front of my brain space. I am human and the ubiquitous messages proclaiming that weddings are ultimate pageants of individual expression and symbolism can be pretty difficult to ignore. I hadn't anticipated the pressure I'd feel to feel specific ways about aspects of the wedding. For example, I felt like I was *supposed* to follow the bridal industrial complex's diet cottage industry messages by trying to whittle myself into some impossible-for-me size. I didn't do that, of course. But I certainly felt like I was supposed to.

I have felt like I was supposed to project back to those who inquire about how I'm doing (as though weddings are an ailment for which one needs consoling) the caricature of a frazzled, stressed out, wedding-obsessed bridezilla. As far as I can perceive, I haven't done that either, in part because I don't actually believe such a caricature exists outside of the spheres of entertainment television and media that created her. Sure, people grow to be immersed within familial negotiations and many become weary with concerns over budgets during the planning stages, but I believe those situations warrant some amount of flustered bewilderment. Entrenchment within a negotiation to be true to myself while pleasing not only my parents but symbolically honoring the entire history of my familial heritage is daunting. And that is precisely the high expectation that many attempt to meet. Trivializing weddings into mere vanity and flagrant materialism might be apt if one disregards the (yes) loaded (and yes, sexist) but significant microhistories of weddings within individual familial contexts. This is another aspect I hadn't considered; How incredibly important a wedding can be in terms of unifying those who have enveloped the couple since they were infants.

Despite my wedding being scheduled for 8 days from now, I have time to do fun, relaxing, non-wedding things. I keep saying if it isn't done by now it probably doesn't need to be done. That's not true of course, because we aren't allowed to go set up yet. But it brings me peace to think that I don't to obsess about what we should have accomplished. Is it going to be perfect? Of course not. But that is really ok with me. I only hope it is ok with all the other people to whom it matters.

The photos in this post are from a boat trip Chris and I were fortunate enough to take with our friend Elaina and her lovely parents. We got to see one of the most incredible Pittsburgh sunsets I've ever witnessed. And we got to watch it all from Allegheny River. We went on Wednesday after I got home from work. And it was a nice reminder to keep a reasonable perspective about all of this.

I think weddings colonize as much time as one wishes to let them. They are intended to be joyous occasions, so it is no surprise that so many brides to be immerse themselves within the excitement of the planning process.  Maybe I should have titled this post in defense of the mythic "bridezilla?"

All of this is to say that I appreciate those of you who have stuck around through my wedding babble. And I can promise that it will be concluding relatively soon!


Min said...

best wishes on your wedding! it'll be terrific! :) no worries. and those pictures are fabulous. you make pittsburgh look beautiful

thatdamngreendress said...

well expressed! It all comes down to just enjoying a beautiful day with your most loved ones, so anything that gets in the way of that should be ignored, because it's ultimately irrelevant! That being said, it's funny how people evince surprising fervour regarding certain 'wedding traditions'- my off-beat mom got pretty insistent about the need for fruit cake, of all things, when my sister got married! My sister compromised by having 2 cakes...

Kathleen said...

Yes, the wedding is just one day. Something always goes "wrong." I was helped by the fact that I hadn't been to many weddings when I had mine. It's over incredibly quickly. But resisting buying into the fuss is as hard as resisting cultural body-image issues.

triciathomas said...

That sunset it so beautiful!! I hope you enjoy these next few days because they go by so fast and you can never get them back!!! I loved my wedding and enjoyed it so much!


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