You know, I had an abstract notion that this was a big deal. Somehow, even with me, a woman who’d never really envisioned this sort of thing in her life—I just never really thought it could happen to me; I never thought of myself as that kind of girl; I was too young for this; I had so much living to do—but somehow, even with me, the slimmest shard of cognizance had permeated the dense overgrowth of my bushy consciousness.
I knew it was, you know, kind of a big deal. I just didn’t think it would be this big. This epic. This, you know, humungous. I quail, I blench, I recoil, for I stare into the abyss that is wedding planning.
It’s only the second day, and I’m already to throw myself on pointy objects. I could impale my sternum with my pen. I could rip the spiral coil from my spanky new planner and jam it into my carotid. A flash of pain, a few bright spurts of primary-colored blood, and done. No more emailing venues. No more quick-patter sales pitches from women named “Andrea” and “Porfira.” No more scanning menus for edibles. No more price points. No more worrying about locating an officiator to validate the plighting of my undying devotion to Donny for all of my natural life until we are nothing but dust and the faded sepia memories of our adopted offspring.
And most importantly, no more having to look for a band to play at my reception.
I love remakes. I hate covers. (Unless it’s Television’s lugubriously slavish reproduction of The Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations,” which is something altogether another thing.) Wedding bands do nothing but slavish covers. It makes me break out in aural hives. I’m just a modern girl; of course, I’ve had it in the ear before. Is it too much to ask to find a band that a) doesn’t suck and b) will play something other than “At Last” and the hits of the seventies, eighties and nineties? It seems it is.
In the sojourn that is this wedding, I am Odysseus, and I fear to cross the river not Acheron but Styxx.
I console myself with these two thoughts. First, I hold close to my breast the secret knowledge that one of my ex-students is busily transposing The Stooges’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog” for her chamber music ensemble to play as my processional song. And, second, I chuckle all evil-like with the knowledge that Donny will not recognize the song when it plays and we glide separately down the aisle. It will be my private Idaho, my funnish pun, my joke that only I and a handful of my closest friends will get. I giggle even now.
Mostly, I’m hoping that it will keep me from weeping as I walk. (Update: I have discarded my concept of a $129 Target gown for one in which I wear something in a fetching arterial crimson. That image helps me with my almost completely inevitable weeping too.) I am an abundant crier. I wonder how a judiciously placed Zoloft would go down.
Seriously, I’ve been weeping listening to the MP3s of the various wedding bands attached to sundry sites. I can’t tell if I’m weeping from embarrassment or emotion or both. Probably both. This whole thing is so surreal I fear my head will simply implode like a television set. Or explode like one of Gallagher’s watermelons.
See, the thing is that I’m utterly unprepared for this. I never was the kind of girl who imagined her wedding, beyond a vague Barbara-Walters-hazy lens way. No details have ever been in sharp focus. I’ve only three friends who have themselves married. I was once a nominal bridesmaid in a traditional Thai ceremony. Now, were I in a space to pick four of my closest friends to be the four pillars of the gold and the silver gates, or were it necessary for me to explain the joining Donny’s and my hands with flowers or to ask the congregated to bless us with Rod Nam Sang, I’d be all set. I’d be all over that shit, yo.
Sadly, that is not the case.
And if it’s not already bad enough that I feel unequal to the task of being a traditional bride, I also find myself unable to be a very good non-conformist bride either. There will be no Ewoks, no Renaissance dress, no head-dress of ribbons and multi-colored ponytails. I don’t plan on a goth wedding cake, and I most likely will not be wearing black nailpolish. I will probably be wearing high-heel boots. I would like Donny’s and my dance to be a tango. But other than that, I’m feeling relatively conventional.
Which brings me back to the wedding band issue. It always comes back to the band.
I should note that Donny has already nixed the following wedding concepts: choosing the New York Aquarium as our venue; using our dogs as ring-bearers; providing shiny cockrings as both napkin rings and wedding favors; and having two wedding cakes—one to eat and one to walk through barefoot. I don’t know how he expects people to have fun with no walruses or squished icing. But I guess we’ll make do.
At the end of the day, that’s all I want—fun for everyone, even if it all passes me by in a blur. And good food. And some passable music. And maybe a stripper pole on the dance floor. Nothing says “festive” like drunk folk and centrifugal force.