That “Not So Fresh” Feeling.

Douche Bag

So, it’s probably going to take me another week to get over it. Although, admittedly everything in me wants this particular phase to be over now so that I can get on with the business of living a fabulous life.

I’ve got that “not-so-fresh” feeling regarding my wedding. It’s probably because I’m surrounded by douche bags.

When Tony and I first started this journey, I wanted to do one of two things: Elope with 17 friends witnessing our nuptials in the Dominican Republic or go down to the court house and get it over with. In my mind, there was no real need for a wedding because my husband-to-be is an incredible gift by himself. He wanted all of this. Not wanting to deny him anything, I agreed – only if it was a small event.

Something magical began to happen to me as I considered locations, dates, colors and themes. I was actually enjoying all of this “I’m gonna be a bride and plan a wedding” shit. It was kind of hectic, super emotional, but all good. I concluded that Tony was right – we absolute SHOULD HAVE a wedding.

I called my mother to share the news with her and she was as excited as a dead possum on the side of the road. She completely loves Tony, but she’s never been Clair Huxtable. The one thing from my mother that has been souring about the wedding is the fact that even with a one year notice, she’s still able to come up with reasons why she might not be able to fly/drive into Detroit to see her first born get married. Then when you add my stepfather into the mix it’s a whole ‘notha Oprah and incredibly painful.

Downer? It gets better. Yeah, right.

Between the two of us, Tony and I probably know or are related to a small country. The stress over our guest list is STILL an ongoing issue for us. We feel like there is no way that we shouldn’t invite such and such and so and so – which extends the list WAAAY too far. And takes away from small and intimate and sacred.

What’s worse is that folks that we haven’t seen or heard from or even know very well have already sat their rude asses in a seat to see how “phoenix” is gonna get it done. They completely push aside how sacred and very serious all of this is to me, to tell me OFF when I let them know that my budget and my desires for my day won’t allow for their presence – though I’d be thrilled to have them continue to be a part of my life. Attitudes and noses turned up like someone ate a pound of greens and farted so hard that they should’ve taken a dump. Incredibly painful and insensitive.

I thought this was supposed to be about me and Tony. I guess it’s truly about all of our family and friends who barely call to check on us or come and see us, but demand our time and attention when they are going through a crisis. Don’t I get to have one day where it’s not about me being your friend or relative, but it’s just about me? Shaun. Finally getting her due – happiness. How about the idea that I’m marrying a white cat that I couldn’t love more? Who thought that would ever happen?

Thank you for your fucking selflessness. I soooo appreciate you.

Oh, it gets so much better!

I’ve had two friends during the course of this journey blurt out (not tell me politely over the phone, or invite me out so that we could set a different tone and soften the blow) how they were hurt or offended or bothered or unnerved or whatever the fuck they were that they weren’t playing a starring role in the wedding. And let me say this, I totally get it. I completely understand where both of these folks were coming from considering how much they mean to me. What bothered me was two things: the way they both gave me the information and how they acted towards me when I was completely unaware that they’d been offended. Had the info been given to me a different way – trusting the strength of our relationship – I would have been more than willing to find alternatives or create alternatives or at least acknowledge their feelings and explain why I chose to plan my wedding the way that I did. Instead, I’ve been avoiding their phone calls and emails because I need a moment to recover from the blow and to remember that 1) we’re friends, 2) all of our feelings are valid, and 3)there’s a whole lot of life ahead of us to share. They’ll get over it and so will I. But, I’m not over it yet. I’m really, really pissed and seriously hurt.

All of this led to a lengthy conversation with my husband-to-be. I revisited the subject of an elopement to find out that he was all too ready to concede that it was a good idea. He’s been catching hell from his friends and family also. Douches.

Both of us shared battle scars on how we’re both stunned at how insensitive some folks are being about OUR day.

It should be an honor just to be there. Nothing more. We want you THERE for the biggest moment of our lives.

My friend, James said that we can’t be mad at the sense of entitlement that some folks feel towards us. We feel it towards them. James said what we should be salty about (if anything) is the timing of folks’ behavior. He acknowledged that he’s felt some kind of way about his other friends tying the knot, but he would never say it to them before they walked down the aisle and would only consider saying it at some point after the wedding. He looked at Tony with an apologetic smile and said, “There is just some shit you keep to yourself and never say to the bride. Weddings are stressful enough without the added stress of friends and family.” I couldn’t agree more.

I’ve bounced back a little, though. I’m stepping into forgiveness. Stepping – not all the way there yet. I’m still staring at the walls in disbelief thinking about the shit people feel comfortable saying to me.

Un-fucking-believable.

Yep, still stepping.

CLEARLY not there yet.

This mess has kept me up – like literally sobbing – for days and may have contributed to the bad reaction I got from my medicine this week. Crying over some shit that has NOTHING to do with why I’m getting married in the first place.

My baby sister and husband-to-be told me that I’ve spent more time putting out the fires of other people’s angst than I’ve actually put into planning my wedding that is only 8 months away. In my boy David Earle’s voice, “DREADFUL.”

Absolutely DREADFUL.

NO MORE.

Tony and I have decided that we’re not going to halt having the dream wedding that we want, but we ARE cutting the guest list completely in half. With all of the drama, we’ve been able to immediately decide who should be in attendance for our day and who really should not. I had a chance to try on some gowns with my girls, found one, had lunch, took pictures and went to a craft store dream of centerpieces.

That’s what I should be focusing on.
Centerpieces and dresses and my man’s face when he sees me radiant and happy to be marrying the most consistent person in my life right now.

I should be focusing on all types of girlie stuff like Henna and jewelry and to wear/not to wear heels.

I should be remembering that if no one shows up and if no one gets over themselves, that I’m building what’s looking to be an incredible new life with a man who I said “yes” to and who said “yes” to me.

When I think of those things, I feel a little less sour and a lot more like a bride. I remember that my friends and family actually love me. I remember that I love them.

When this whole ordeal blows over – I still will.

I just had to get this hurt and disappointment off of my chest. For a minute, my wedding experience was completely ruined. Then I thought about my husband-to-be and checked myself.

I’m gonna take this medicine, hope it doesn’t wear me out, and maybe get a real night’s sleep – even though it’s already after two in the morning.

Love yawl. Thanks for reading.

Soon-to-be-Mrs. Kotaran,

~phoenix

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8 comments

  1. *MyGodComPlex* · September 2, 2010

    PHX… 1st of all… Thanks for sharing this nightmare… I am gonna make Walonda read this for sure… lol… I have always thought that the wedding ceremony was for family and dear friends… The reception or after party as I like to call it should be for the people… That’s where you are introduced to the rest of the world as husband and wife… If you are having something like that, just invite everyone to that… And I would think your friends would understand you are trying to cut cost and stress… If not, like yous said they will get over it… You got enough going on to let yourself get stressed out about it though… Yup… The after party… That’s whats up… At least that’s the way I hope my day will go… Whenever that is… No rush of course… lol… Keep ya head up doll…

  2. Traci Currie · September 2, 2010

    Phoenix,
    I agree with GodComplex above. This reminds me of the movie “Sex in the City” when the main character was going buck-crazyyy, and in the end decided to roll to the “Justice of the Peace.” I sent you a personal email sharing my thoughts on something that happened to me, but overall just know that I am lifting you up positively…I pray that this WALK down/up the aisle belongs to YOU & TONY 1st and foremost…whether friends/family are in attendance or not…CONGRATS BEAUTIFUL!!!
    Much Love, TC

  3. Aricka · September 2, 2010

    Note that all of this is just my opinion:

    This kind of mess (dealing with people and in the end, their ultimately unimportant emotions when it comes to matters between you and your partner) is the exact reason why I don’t tell people about my nuptial plans. As much as I like and love some folks, it’s no one’s business unless they are putting their hand directly in a cake bowl or applying a shade of eyeshadow. You’ve got to stop sharing every intimate details with the world and expecting the type of privacy necessary for the sanctity of your union. Everyone feels entitled because they literally have a first or second hand account via Facebook, Blogger, Cliff Bell’s, Sunday dinner. It is more than ok to keep your inclusive list down to literally a hand full of people (if less) on who get’s “inside trader” info. Too many eyes on the pot makes the pot boil over and burn out (Aricka’s proverb).

    2) FUCK THE GUEST LIST!!! Everybody does not have the right to have a front row seat to your life. Do you remember that advice from years ago on the poetry scene? I don’t know if it was Dee that said it (probably), but it’s as true in your everyday life as it is now, if not more. If I thought about every single person who has touched my life in some season, some way, some time, my list would need a three ring binder. But the reality of it is, a) this is recession, and b) if i haven’t had a working relationship with you, you haven’t called, emailed, texted, sent some snail mail as a “hey, you know I just wanted to see how you were doing and to let you know these things going on in my life”, then you’re not getting an invitation. Period. Ultimately, think about the people who you would ABSOLUTELY want to witness this beautiful and SACRED union between you and your partner. Not whose feelings will be hurt, not whose going to take their ball and go home. IF that doesn’t work, thinking about that same person eating and drinking on your dime, and still not calling you or checking in on you, AND giving you a crappy gift. That will call for a strikethrough to their name immediately, trust.

    3) Be excited about what you want to be excited about. The planning part is kind of half and half for me. I’m not into tradition or girly girly stuff (except the dress), but that’s me. If you want to get excited about something, DO IT. Centerpieces, flowers, aisle runners, candles, plates, glasses, frigging tablecloths, DO IT. And share it with that less than handful of confidants and with your partner if you’re going to explode from all the excitement. I know you want to scream it from the roof tops (I do every. day.), but understand that some folks are not where you are. They were there or aren’t there yet. That might make them limited. It’s human. You can forgive the behavior.

    4) Oh the mothers. If she can’t come, whatever. If she’s not excited, yes it’s hurtful. Or if she’s cautious. Or praying real hard. Or looking for an excuse to denounce your wedding (oh sorry, I started talking about my mother), whatever. My grandmother gave me the best advice ever: “Keep otha’ folks out yo’ marriage. When ya’ll tie that knot, it’s jus’ you n’ him”. Sage. Simple. True. And goes for the planning, and the relationship too. Remember she’s a lot of things besides your mother, with her own set of emotional baggage. Decide you’ll treat her as a person just as much as a mother, and it will release you of obligating her to be the ideal: happy for their daughter, not bitter about their own relationships, etc.

    5) I know it’s an important day, but remember why it’s important. Because you and Tony Wony are committing to one another. And no matter what, the wedding part is just a day. You and Tony Wony are committing to forever. If people really want to be apart of THAT, they’ll be there in your lives even if they’re not at the wedding.

    Le Sigh. That’s all I have to say about that. Have a glass of red wine, get a red pen, and just strikethrough. Then breathe. I love you.

  4. Kelly (Newlywed) · September 2, 2010

    *Sigh* I know this madness all too well! If it wasn’t one thing it was another, my issues were coming from other sorts though. I will give you my opinion (cuz they are like assholes and everyone has one lol). Do what is best for you and your husband to be. In the end, its YOU and HE that will be starting the journey of matrimony. If your “friends” can’t take not being involved, fuck’em. Harsh, right?! Well the song/bible says to every time there is a season, this might just be your “weeding” not wedding season. The time to get rid of weeds, or anything that is going to hinder your growth. Seriously?? Our guestlist started at 175 people and ended up at 50. We even changed states and got married out of michigan. People were “hurt” disapointed, but they will get over it, if they don’t then thats their problem. Stop trying to be a people pleaser this is YOUR DAY! And I agree with Aricka…be careful of details you put out about your wedding, too many cooks in the kitchen ruin the soup. I know its exciting and you want to share every little detail but when you do, you give license to comment/opinion and its not about them, its about you. I know its not in your nature to be selfish but you have to take a deep breath, put your big girl pants on and say NO firmly. Those left standing when the dust clears will be with you forever but I’ve had to leave some “friends” in the dust…hell even FAMILY, but you must forge ahead for your happiness because thats whats important here! Your day will be here and go by in the blink of an eye, i promise, and you won’t want to regret not being cognitive of the journey. You’ll be looking around at faces you may have said “eh, they coulda stayed home”…Our marriage is sacred, and we’ve learned together, some battles are worth fighting and some are better left to the wayside. Don’t start your union off with baggage better left to the wayside, and be careful what you share, you don’t want people chipping at your soul. I wish you all the best and so much happiness.

  5. jeangraesalterego · September 2, 2010

    Thanks everyone for your responses, thoughtfulness and emails.

    Little Buddy and Kel, priceless advice. Most of this was seriously my own fault. The first thing the wedding planning books tell you is to keep the details to a small core group.

    What do I do? I post the shit on Facebook and send an email to the fam. So, I accept my responsibility in this. However, to make sure there’s no baggage going in, I’ve got to clear this all up and take back control of our day.

    Kel, the “weeding/wedding” analogy – perfection. Thanks for chiming in.

    ~phoe

  6. Kelly (Newlywed) · September 2, 2010

    No problem love, keep this advice for your marriage in general too. What you two share is yours and yours alone. You’ll have single friends that may not wish you well because of their own unhappiness or single status. Keep what goes on in your family (you and your husband) in your home and it will make for a happier union. Its unfortunate but all that say they wish you well, don’t always heed to the well wishes. Be more selective about what you share, will it be something you look back on and say “damn I shouldnt have shared that…” keep your soul as pure as your love by dissallowing any negative to try and penetrate your bond.

  7. Shon Norman · September 2, 2010

    Elope.

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