When you’re a young girl, your world is abuzz with fantasies of being a princess, living in a castle and marrying the knight or prince and living happily ever after. You also spend a great deal playing with dolls. The only difference being, that when you have real children – you can’t simply put them away when you’re done ‘playing’ (since that’s deemed as abuse in most countries), besides you can still hear them scream from behind closed cupboard doors. The reality of changing diapers, colic, cleaning up vomit, infinite loads of laundry and sleepless nights are not something you get told about until you’re actually pregnant and start feeling excited about the notion of bringing a part of yourself into the world and the stories are confirmed once the little ‘spawn of self’ arrives and you turn from an excited mother-to-be, into some grey-in-colour, bewildered, crazy person, with a strand of patience the length of a matchstick.
I have since realised that marriage is somewhat shrouded in much the same way. You have these preconceived notions about how wonderous it will be to get married and that it should be ‘perfect’ – even though logic and common sense dictates that you already know, there’s ‘NO SUCH THING AS PERFECT’. But you strive for it nonetheless. You think of it as a day of a beautiful bride who is simply glowing, a groom who sheds a tear at the sight, the happy guests, the stunning venue with the most quaint and unique table arrangements – that really capture the essence and eccentricity of the bride and groom and then after the most wonderous day, they float off on a dreamy honeymoon…
The bride is simply glowing because she took an all too strong combination of the ‘calming medication’ her mother gave her, accompanied by the champagne the bride has had as an extension of her arm since 10am that morning when she realised the cake that was delivered wasn’t what she’d asked for and the flowers were the wrong darn colour. The groom sheds a tear out of sheer jubilation at the fact that the crazy ‘bridezilla’ is finally walking down the aisle, and the terror and extremist demands should hopefully end within the next 6 hours or so and maybe he can actually ‘get some’, because the crazy woman has been about as loving as Hitler and as attentive as a child with ADHD with a generous dose of ‘ZERO’ rationale. The guests are all happy because it’s not everyday they get treated to a FREE 3 course meal and wine. The table arrangements should look unique and capture some essence, albeit an insight into the dissection of a womans derranged brain. The honeymoon probably won’t be dreamy either – as I for instance with all the stress and worry of everything I have already tried to plan, some things successfully and other not so much… my darling dearest said,
“…since I probably won’t find the right place or you’ll find something to complain about, why don’t I just give you my credit card and you organise it…”.
To which I replied,
“…NO, because through all of this, I think it’s only fair that you actually do something…”.
Strangely only about 3 or 4 months before the wedding, just as in my pregnancy – did all the horror stories from past brides begin to surface and seep through the cracks of my perfect vision. It was also at that stage where I noticed things were not quite as they should be. For instance the flowers I had planned on apparently would not be in season, much to the denial of the florist whom I had consulted. The dressmaker forgot to actually cut the pattern or make the dress for my first actual fitting (which is on monday) and certain delegated tasks, I’ve established have not been executed as other individuals don’t seem to have the same sense of urgency – I was also reprimanded by said individual for being crazy and acting stupid and that they can’t wait for the wedding to be over and done with.
In my defense… I have an idea for the table arrangements that apparently only I can see, a dress that I designed in photoshop by ‘cutting and pasting’ roughly bits from 4 or 5 other dresses, a bridesmaid who is MIA and boss who won’t sign my leave form due to the fact that I don’t have a replacement for all of a week. I was stressed last week, but once my stomach ulcer started to flare up and my head was met by a neverending migraine… I decided dying over it may not be an option – and that firstly, the universe has a mysterious way of sorting itself out and secondly, sometimes the harder you try to get things to go the way you want them to, the more they’ll tend to bug out. So, take a deep breath – approach a wedding like you would children. Know that no matter how much you expect them to behave and act like you know they should… they won’t – but as long as you came prepared for everything from chocolate milk spills to dirty diapers, it may not be as you’d imagined – but at least it’ll be funny.
So please as friends and family alike. As wrong as it is to scare someone into not having children or getting married, I do think it only fair that they be forwarned – that it WILL BE stressful, tiring and test all human levels of endurance, patience and the boundaries of love, as I’ve learnt with my child – it was all worth it in the end. As I’m sure what I’m feeling now will dissipate and my wedding day will be just as I’ve always imagined 🙂