So I'm engaged. Like for realsies. I have a ring on my finger, and it was made for me by some guy in Finland which I will find a way to bring into conversation any way I can. As in "Oh, socialized healthcare? They have that in Finland. WHERE MY RING WAS MADE." Ok, I don't do that all the time. Only in my head. One has to indulge her douchiness in her head if nowhere else just as a way of not turning into Anne Hathaway or some shit.
Anyway, so I got engaged and everything is just moving so fast but it just feels so so right and all of a sudden I am actually interested in weddings. I have never really been interested in them at all, not even the first time when I felt like I almost had to apologize to people for having to come. "Oh, yeah, sorry you came all this way cause it's kinda not a big deal you know." Part of that was being 22 and just being done with college and being a little wackadoodle anyway. And part of this was this kind of prescient feeling that I know that I had now, that made me feel worried about the future in a way that you shouldn't be at 22 and definitely shouldn't be when you are walking down the aisle to someone. Here's a life lesson, guys: DON'T GET MARRIED AT 22. In fact, don't make any kind of life decisions between the ages of 22-26. In fact, don't leave the house between those ages. Just sit in your parent's house and watch old episodes of In the Heat of the Night because that will tell you really all you need to know about love, life, and loss.
But I digress.
So all of a sudden I am interested in weddings, but not in the whole "blush and bashful" way, but in wanting to create a small, intimate event for us and for friends, much in the way one would create a batch of jam or an expertly frosted sugar cookie. We started off with this idea of renting a cabin and just having a 2 day long party for our nearest and dearest, with a wedding kind of haphazardly thrown in the middle. I would cook and people would mountain bike and there would be beer and happiness and such. And then we started thinking about the price of such an event and decided maybe buying a home was more important. So we were thinking of downgrades and this whole time we are making spreadsheets and such. FUCKING SPREADSHEETS, YOU GUYS. AND THEN, we went out to a pub one night and after about 3 drinks of a super hoppy beer, my lightweight fiance bit his lip and told me that he thought we should elope and then go to Ireland and I said "OK!" because seriously, guys, with the spreadsheets. (Note: my job involves me spending an inordinate amount of time looking at spreadsheets many of which have to be coded which is another way of saying "SHOOT ME IN MY FACE AND LEAVE ME FOR DEAD CAUSE I HAVE LOST THE WILL TO LIVE.")
And with that pronouncement, I put the whole thing out of my head for about two to three weeks. Every once in a while I would cycle through dresses or look at a favorite elopement spot, but mostly, I just forgot about everything. There was a freeing in it, but I kinda missed it too, so once in a while I would harp on my poor hapless fiance that we had to "GET THIS TOGETHER!!!!!" mostly in furtive iMessages, sent while listening to Ryan Adams at work and to his credit, he didn't say "You need to get yo damn self together, missy."
And then I told my mom that I thought we would elope.
Now, here is a primer on my mom. She is small. She is smart. And she is like one of those damn turtles that when it gets something in its mouth, will not let go until it thunders. She is also very, very, very Southern. So when I said "elope," she heard BWAH BAH BAH BAH BAH WHO LET THE DOGS OUT. Or something. Cause she just pretended I didn't say that word. It was all "You can have something small" and "Your dad has a house at the lake!" or "Won't this be nice!?!" And then, just to make sure I was paying attention, she had to make some snide comments about my first marriage cause really, we haven't talked enough about what a doozy that was. AND THEN, to top it all off, she blames it all on my future MIL saying, "Well, I think you should do it FOR HER, because SHE would like it." Uh huh. Keep telling yourself that, MOTHER OF THE BRIDE.
Mothers. Bless their hearts.
So I am back on the wedding blogs. Somewhat questioningly. At this point, we are just trying to figure out the best course of action. Part of me was almost excited about thinking about this inane crap again because it is more fun than say, thinking about the failings of our public school system or the fact that I forgot my dry cleaning in my trunk for the 15th day in a row.
But then, it hit me....if I have a wedding, like an honest to God for real wedding....do I have to lose weight?
Cause I kinda think I do.
I got married the first time fat. I had a size 16 or 18 wedding dress and I partly don't remember because I didn't care and because wouldn't you block that shit from your memory? Of course you would. When we were most certainly going to elope, I planned on wearing something lovely and flowy and romantic and probably sticking a flower in my hair because when else can you fucking put a flower in your hair and not look like someone chilling in the Haight, smoking something sold to them by a guy named Madness? But if it's not just us, well, that changes things. For one thing, my mother and daughter both agree that I look like ass in anything long. So a short dress will be a definite. And I am ok with that. Short is fine, in fact, I probably prefer it myself. But that opens up the question of legs and then oh my jesus I am going to have to start running. And dieting. And I should really stop going to bed with a small dish of chocolate chips.
I thought I was ok with my body, I really did. I have spent some time getting to where I am, which is a comfortable middle ground--definitely not the smallest I've been, but far from the largest. I am happy with what I see most days, I like the way my clothes fit. I know how to fit and flatter myself. But then, this comes up, and all of a sudden, I am mad at myself for eating a cookie, and I am starting to think about going back on Weight Watchers which we all know makes me freaking crazy. I just want to look good in the pictures, I tell myself. It will be worth it for that, I think. And then, out of sheer nervousness about the whole thing, I eat something that I shouldn't. And then I'm mad. GOD, I'm a freaking Cathy cartoon.
Really, what I really really want is to look in the mirror and for once, to see myself the way he sees me.
To know what makes his eyes light up when I walk out in the red dress that I had on when he proposed. To understand the slow smile that comes from the horrible dance I do to "Va Va Voom."
Not to see everything else, the things that could be better, the skin that should be tighter. To be able to enjoy his arm around me at night and not worry that it is resting on something wiggly.
The scary thing is that I'm not sure that all the diets in the world or all the miles in the world or all the anything in the world can give me that. Maybe. But probably not. It's a head thing, I know, the same kind of head thing that made me slightly wackadoodle 22 year old and is currently making me a slighter yet still wackadoodle 30 year old.
But I try. I find that in navigating life as a single mom (as in, mom who lives alone with her three monstrous children), "I try" has become almost a mantra. "I try" to make it all work--sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. But I always try. So I will try at this too. To be at peace with the kind of wedding I have, with how I look at it. I try.
Cause in the end, I still get to marry the guy I thought about singing "Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover" to. And that is a sweet ass feeling.