I wasn’t completely honest in that post yesterday. I THOUGHT I was being honest, but I realized after having a little talk with some close friends that the post I wrote yesterday is what I want to be able to write. It’s what I wish I could be able to say. The truth of the matter is, the whole ordeal of me getting married is much more complicated. And ultimately, I feel really disheartened and disappointed about the whole thing. But since I don’t want to feel that way about something this important–and that is supposed to be happy and wonderful–I’m trying to look at it as positively as I can.
I never thought much about getting married when I was younger. I didn’t have some dream wedding in mind, no location I’d always hoped for color schemes I lusted after or decorations I wanted. The only thing I did assume I’d have was lots and lots of people. What I love about weddings–and I haven’t even been to that many–is the friends and family gathered around, celebrating with you, standing witness as you declare your love, devotion and commitment to each other. That is what I wanted at my wedding. And the truth is, I’m really sad not to have that.
The problem is two fold. The biggest problem is obviously money. We just don’t have any. (And we’re actually thinking about using some money my parents had been waiting to give us to work on the tenant’s unit, which makes this whole thing all the more heartbreaking.) The second problem is that once you start inviting some people, the flood gates open and suddenly your guest list is 200 people long. And the thing is, I’d WANT all those people there, it’s not just the feeling of obligation, it’s a genuine desire for them to share in the experience. But we can’t have 200 people come for our wedding, we just can’t. We can’t afford it. There is absolutely no way. And I promised Mi.Vida that I wouldn’t try to make it happen. I made a solemn oath that I wasn’t going to do that to him, or us.
The truth is, the other major aspect of this whole getting married thing was really disappointing as well. Not only was there no proposal but I’m the one who broached the subject, not just once but multiple times. The day Prop 8 was struck down officially by the Supreme Court I was elated. I asked Mi.Vida if the ruling meant we were getting married. He basically answered, “yeah, I guess so.” Actually, in the moment, he kind of seemed like he didn’t want to marry me at all. I was so taken aback by his attitude that I didn’t really bring it up again for a few days. When I finally did, he admitted that while he didn’t really think marrying me would change the way he felt about me, he did think it was a necessary and important next step, for legal reasons. The epitome of romantic, right? He also said that his perceived reluctance had to do with his fear that I’d promise to keep it small and then change my mind and decide we just had to do something bigger. He really, REALLY doesn’t want to do something bigger. Parties are very much NOT his thing, and he’s not in the least bit interested in planning a wedding with me, let alone attending one.
So the whole thing has been disappointing. I feel like I’m missing out on so much. I didn’t get proposed to, I didn’t get a ring. I didn’t get to announce it to anyone, all excited and blushing, flashing my finger for all to see. I won’t get to design invitations or send them out. I won’t be getting a special dress or my hair or make up done. I won’t get to choose bridesmaids (that one is kind of a relief actually, I imagine someone’s feelings would be hurt if I did). The whole thing will be so incredibly low-key. Just our immediate family and one mutual friend (possibly a friend of MV’s if his sister can’t make it) and our children. There will be 13 people total there, including us and our two kids. The only way it could be smaller is if we eloped.
I don’t know, the whole thing is disappointing and I keep telling myself that a party next summer will make up for it, but honestly? It probably won’t. We can’t really afford to throw something big shindig then either. I mean, where would we have it? How would we feed people and stock a bar? Who would even come all the way out to California for some weird, hey-we-got-married-six-months-ago-but-didn’t-invite-you-but-want-to-celebrate-now affair? I don’t know. I guess I’m just hoping that by then it will all be behind me and I won’t be so disappointed by the whole thing not really working out.
So I guess that is really how I feel about this. The truth is I haven’t called or texted anyone to announce our impending marriage (except my parents to tell them to keep 1.4.14 free). The only thing I’ve done is changed my FB status to “engaged” and written yesterday’s post. And that is pretty much it. I guess the whole thing just feels kind of silly at this point. We have one child, we’re expecting another. We’ve bought a house. We did a little ceremony before our daughter was born. Every knows we were waiting for Prop 8. It’s just very anti-climatic. It doesn’t really seem worthy of big announcements, you know?
Anyway, I don’t mean to shit all over my own good news. And obviously I am happy to finally be getting married. But I’m also working through a lot of baggage about what I get to be a part of and what I’m missing, about what the tradition of a wedding, and all that leads up to it means in our culture and what it means to me, and how I define all of this when I’m doing it so differently.
Thank you all for your congratulations yesterday. I’m sorry to lay this on you less than 24 hours later but I didn’t want to be disingenuous about the whole thing. As you all know, I’m nothing if not honest.
ADDED: I realize I forgot to mention another BIG complication: I’m having a baby in 2.5 months and then only have 2.5 from his birth to when I get married, so there won’t be any opportunity to do much (like try on wedding dresses) when I’m either hugely pregnant or sleep deprived, and nursing a baby, all with an extra 20+ lbs hanging around. I know we could wait but doing it in January is important to us and waiting another year and a half, when we’ve already been forced (by circumstances entirely out of our control) to wait 4+ years is not something we want to do, especially since the money situation will only be worse after a year of me working part time and three months of maternity leave. So yeah, Teo’s arrival also complicated things quite a bit. I should have mentioned that.