At any point in time I have multiple plates spinning. It is a fine but blurry line between too many plates and not near enough, but “luckily” testing lines with a dangerous combination of curiosity, ambition and pride has been a historic specialty of mine.
I get a masochistic kick out of challenging myself to see just how many plates I can keep going, and this week definitely set a record that put a significant dent in my office’s keurig supply, my sleep and liver health (good thing those things regenerate, right?).
Between insane work expectations, wedding planning, marriage planning, doctor appointments and just plain life, all the plates went airborne this week and left me scrambling at the bottom, hoping nothing would break.
I wish I had some wise words or a witty experience to share with you all today. All I can say is sometimes slow starts with coffee and a travel magazine, 3-mile weekend walks with your roommate and a lazy afternoon with your fiance and the latest Sherlock episode can’t come at a better time.
There’s a lot of pressure in wedding planning to create an event that magically embodies my taste and personality in a way that not only provides every attendant with a seamless, joyous experience but also surpasses every other day of my own as the “best day of my life.”
I’ve had the good fortune to be surrounded by parents and a community whose examples have taught me that “successful” marriage is about commitment over time, actions not always feelings and continuously breaking your own selfishness to better love the other person. But while everyone seems to be down with this whole “marriage is not for you” thing, weddings are a whole different story.
I’m also fast learning that there are far more concerns to take into account than traditional wedding talk lets on…feelings, family, finances, and oh yeah, the fiance himself. Which means this whole “my wedding,” “your special day” stuff from wedding magazines, vendors and pretty much everyone else isn’t exactly true. It’s all enough to make a girl feel frustrated and frankly, a little lied to. In Wedding Planning Conversation #1 alone, it was all I could do to keep from pathetically (and now hilariously) wailing, “But it’s myyyyy wedding!”
When I shared my conflicted emotions with a married friend, she just smiled knowingly and listened patiently. She then told me she ended up happy with her wedding not despite but because there were things included she hadn’t originally pictured or gone 100% as planned. When she looked around she saw bits of her and her husband in the compromises.
Despite my surprisingly strong need desire to have a make-your-own-cupcake takeaway table, I think this is true. Because how does it make any sense that a commitment to care for someone else starts with a day all about only me?
Last week I found myself in an unexpected but all-consuming state of crazy. Somewhere between fearing discussing marriage with the boyfriend, rolling my eyes at yet another engagement announcement on Facebook and scoffing at friends’ complaints about how frustrating the post-talk, pre-engagement phase is, I had the overwhelming realization: I need a wedding Pinterest board. Like now.
Within a few hours I was right beside those friends, pinning all the things and moaning, “Why doesn’t he just do it already so I don’t have to be stuck waiting around? I don’t even know if it will really happen! Not to mention waiting for my fate to be instigated by a man is decidedly insulting for my feminist sensibilities…but there’s still no chance I’m the one proposing.”
Little did I know I wouldn’t have to wait more than a few days, as I was whisked off to New York City for the weekend with loverly friends, front mezzanine Broadway musical seats, a leisurely Central Park stroll, gluten/dairy/soy-free baked deliciousness from Babycakes and finally, a candlelit rooftop proposal overlooking the New Yorker and Empire State buildings. (Yeah, he might be a keeper.)
It turns out, though, getting engaged only exponentially increases the amount of uncertainty. Not only are there actual wedding plans to make (blagh), but we’re going to have to broach everything from worrying about people’s feelings to wondering where we’re going to live to actually figuring out this whole getting my own medical insurance thing.
And then there’s the questions. So many questions. I realize it’s only been a week so everyone’s just really excited for us (and truthfully, rant aside, I am too), but it worries me. I’m still the exact same person. Same goals, dreams, struggles and passions. For some reason, when a girl gets engaged, everyone seems to forget about this. Suddenly, wedding planning is all anyone thinks to ask about. I’ve seen it happen (and been guilty of perpetuating this myself), and it just makes me want to yell, I’m a whole person!
This is one reason I’m super grateful for my awesome friends, in addition to a whole lot of support and surprise celebrations, they just…talk. I had dinner with one such friend this week. After spending an hour and a half sharing work stories and life updates, we finally got around to talking about The Engagement. But you know what she was more interested in than the proposal story? Talking about how she’s seen us grow in our relationship over the past two years of our friendship and how neat it has been to see us appreciate each other the more we understand each other. Love her.
All that said, it has been quite fun typing this whole thing with a shiny diamond on my finger. 😉