Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Politics of Weddings...(A Friend Who Disappoints)

Weddings are funny things.

They bring out the best in some and the worst in others.

Weddings can be very political

Some are opposed to the wedding industry, which historically seems to have laid out some pretty rigid expectations (how a bride should look, for example) that seemed trapped in the land that time forgot.  

Others reject the consumerism of the whole enterprise.  While others are frustrated by the protocols and social expectations (who you should invite, for example...including those people you hate).  

Many people unthinkingly buy into the whole fiasco, spending money they don't have, while others reject bits and pieces of it, and adapt it to their lifestyles and ideals.  Still others reject it outright.

Weddings can also be reminders of our own success and failure at the relationship game.  

A wise friend pointed out that many people who reject weddings so deeply are often the ones who've decided they'll never have one of their own.  Somehow they didn't win in the game of love and have developed contempt for the whole enterprise.  They somehow don't fit into the LOVE world. I know because I was one of these people.  For many years (mostly in my idealist 20's), I thought weddings were stupid, for nitwit girls who had nothing better to do than wear a stupid dress and bat their eyes at some equally stupid man who bestowed on them a stupid ring which is their pride and joy.  Lame.

I thought those girls were boring and dull and I didn't want to be one of them.  I wanted to be my own independent self and never need anyone.  I can do it on my own!  I don't need a man!  I don't need anyone!

I was a hater.  And they were sheep!
This picture is just too perfect with that sweet baby lamb. Perfect farm/barn wedding venue "accessory!" ... And can I just say how much I love the groom's kilt and the bride's red and white polka dot peep toe shoes?! Because they're awesome.
Sheep lovers

And then I grew up.

I learned:

It's okay to fall in love and completely trust another person, even if that seems a little unrealistic in this messed-up modern world.
It's okay to depend on someone. 
It's okay to want to be safe and secure.  It's okay to say so.
It's okay to be vulnerable.
It's okay to want to spend your life with someone.
It's okay to want to make every day easier and better for someone.
It's okay to let yourself go and not have to control everything.

It's okay, despite all the evidence to the contrary, to realize that you are lovable.
(And if you get your heart broken in the what?  By now you have lots of experience dealing with it).
You are MY Happy.     From Luxe // Awe! Really like this quote. Using love quotes in your wedding design can really bring out the poet it you and they leave a lasting impression on every guest who reads them. Love, Luxe  Full Service Wedding Coordination &  Design
Too much?

And it's even okay to put on a stupid dress - because at some point, the rest of the world doesn't matter and you just want to stand up and profess your love for this person who means the absolute world to you.

And it doesn't make you stupid or dull or naive.
It makes you human (and maybe just a little insane).  
And you don't need the dress if you don't want it.
#Wedding #signage rustic ♡ Wedding Planning App … How to organise an entire wedding, within your budget ♥ Weddings by Colour ♥
Really?  Somehow I doubt it.  But there's nothing wrong with working on it with someone you really love and trust.

A few weeks ago, a good friend informed me that she will not be attending my wedding.  She didn't provide a reason.  She just told me she "had a feeling" which grew and grew (no personal responsibility taken) that she "didn't want to attend any more weddings".
And she didn't want to attend mine.

I was hurt and deeply disappointed.  

We planned our wedding to share this day specifically with our dearest loved ones.  I was deeply hurt that someone could be this uncaring, this hurtful.  And I felt a month of grief and loss that someone so dear could abandon me on such a special day.  It felt like a death.  And a serious insult.  I still feel this way. Some days I feel compassion for her, but right now isn't that time for me to try to understand her politics and tell her it's okay...that I don't mind being dumped right now so you can go to Europe in June or not have to pretend you like David if you don't.  Or whatever the issue is.

Her views right now just aren't my problem.  

This person is putting a weight and a meaning onto weddings that isn't my business.  And heaping them with her own bias.  Her politics and her piled-on views are more important than my special occasion.  And so it's her loss.

She won't be there for all the smiles and eating cake and picture taking.  She won't be there to meet my family and enjoy the flowers and sunshine in the garden (or the rain) and she won't get to see my happiness as I make a vow to love my best friend.

And she won't be there to see that sometimes a thing is just a thing. 

And that it's okay to be happy for once in your life and stop finding the negative in everything for 5 minutes and that everything isn't always about your views.  And that the world won't end if you smile and act normal and have a glass of champagne and a goddamned piece of cake.  

Many happy weddings to you!


  1. Bravo, Terri! What an incredibly insightful, well-written piece. It resonated with me on so many levels.

    It resonated because I've been deeply hurt by a friend this week.

    It resonated with me because I've spent a lifetime trying to please a cruel, demanding, self-centered mother who has never realized (and will never realize) that it's okay to be happy for once in her life and stop finding the negative in everything for 5 minutes and that everything isn't always about her views. And that the world won't end if she smiles and acts normal.

    It resonated because I'd love to fall in love. But I'm 59 and not particularly slim and not particularly attractive. Most of the men in my age group that I've met by going out to bars are looking for women who are 25 to 35, not their own age. Most of the men I've tried to meet on the online dating services to which I subscribe are either (a) scammers, (b) men looking for women who are 25 to 35 or (c) men looking for one-night stands. I don't belong to any groups and I don't meet men at the office. I don't have many hobbies that are of interest to the men in my age group - most of them are retired or semi-retired and want someone they can travel with. And many of them are looking for someone to hike, bike, kayak, ski or play golf with, none of which I can do as I have arthritis in both knees.

    I've resigned myself to the fact that I'll have to content myself with the love of my sister, my friends and my cats.

    From reading your blog, I've learned that you're a wonderful, kind, thoughtful, generous human being. Your friend sounds as though she's dealing with some serious personal issues and needs to work through them before she'll be able to give you the unconditional love you so obviously deserve. I hope with all of my heart that she comes to her senses before your wedding. And if she doesn't ... well, it's her loss, not yours.

    Much love,

    1. Hi Denise...thanks so much for your thoughts and your view. It sounds like you are trying to be positive about life and I think that choosing to be grateful and find happiness within is critical. I have some negative people in my life too and it's draining. All one can do is listen. A psychologist told me one time that when people start complaining we should ask them what they are planning to do about it. In other words, are you happy to just be a victim or are you going to try to change it, if you can? And if you cannot change it, try to change how you view it. I think there is a lot of work in that. Not easy. ;)

      The "game" of love is so ridiculous nowadays. We just want someone to see and value our "inside" but there is so much superficiality. It's so much about looks and bodies. I know a few men who are with horrible women just because they're attractive - women who yell at them and carry on like crazy people. And I also know people who are afraid to leave relationships even though they are unhappy, so it isn't a panacea either. It seems impossible to meet people.

      It is possible, I believe, to find a kindred spirit. I think it takes finding a friend first but I know there are no guarantees for any of us. I hope you find someone, but if you don't enjoy your space and your cats and your freedom to not have to clean up after someone. ;)

      You should email me so we can talk more...!

      xo Terri

  2. I am glad you can see that this action is about her and not about you. It is probably so hard not to take it personally but as a gift to yourself you seem to be able to remember that you can still enjoy your day.

  3. It is so sad that people get so wrapped up into themselves that their self-pity overrides their feelings and love of others...a long term friendship is now cracked in two...just callous! You deserve much better !!

    The Arts by Karena

  4. Eloquently expressed, Terri. Such a sea of emotions to navigate. It sounds like your friend thinks more of herself in this relationship than of sharing in your joy. I'm sorry. I hope you can put it behind you and go on to enjoy this time in your life.

  5. Thanks Lorrie. It just feels like such a mean-spirited thing to do. And it isn't like David and I are terrible people who one should be morally opposed to uniting...!

  6. Anonymous12:38 pm

    Terri, after arranging my whole wedding around my (and I will name, names) grandmother. She did not come! I was deeply upset, but end the end the most important people where there. The ones who would share my memories and stand with me. Life is short and to find love a celebration, no matter if it is your own or someone else's.

    Lisa, London

  7. I want you and David to have a grand time and enjoy your special day with family and TRUE friends. Have lots of cake and take tons of photos. I can't wait!!! :) xoxo

  8. Oh Terri, I'm sorry to hear this. It sounds like your friend has some real issues, and maybe is an unhappy person. Sadly, her issues are making you unhappy. While I'm sure it has been hurtful to you and David, she may be hurting too, but in a different way. To forgive is one of the hardest things to do in life. You may not be able to forgive her any time soon, but after a while ... if you can get to that point eventually, you'll be at peace. Enjoy your special day and focus on the positive -- and all the people who will be there to celebrate with you.

  9. Anonymous3:51 pm

    Maybe your friend is a secret introvert and is just really uncomfortable at "events". I am an introvert plus have chronic health issues and serious food allergies. Going to events is a nightmare for me because at most social gatherings there is food and the host is then feels obligated to cater to my needs which is awkward for me. I may get sick in the middle of the event also so I would have to leave as would my husband to take care of me and my son would tag along to make sure I'm all right etc. I hate feeling that my issues may take away from the point of the event, in this case the bride and groom. I didn't go to my husband's mother's funeral because I was already having a flare and there was no way I could sit in a car for 8 hours and then make small talk with strangers all the while not being able to eat anything I didn't bring from home. Honestly? While I felt terrible for my husband it was a huge relief to not go. I have decided to not attend anything if it entails physical and mental suffering on my part any more. So that is another perspective. She may have issues you don't know about and doesn't feel comfortable sharing.

    1. She has no medical issues. She is an extrovert with many friends and is constantly attending public and private events and doing things for people. While I appreciate your comments (and can relate to them myself) this has nothing to do with her not coming. She isn't coming because she has queer views in her head about the world.

  10. Weddings can be so so troubling for everyone else... I had to fire a bridesmaid a few weeks before our wedding and ask someone else.... my father started shit the night before our wedding and showed up with a lot to drink already started... and my step mother never showed up.... the wedding was amazing in the sweetest little church in Montreal, the photos are great and we are still married 37 years later... You will have the day you both want and to me that's all that matters, everyone else behave!!! xxxxxxx

  11. Anonymous6:30 pm

    Oh Anonymous! i couldn't have put it better!
    So true, I thought i was the only person in the world who thought this way.

  12. I hope you have a wonderful wedding. Sounds like your "friend" is not being such a good friend at a very important time in your life. We never truly know what people are really thinking. We have to carry on and hope for the best!

    1. You are right. I don't know what she's thinking and it's really irrelevant at this point, so I do just have to carry on without her. Very disappointed though. Very sad most of all.


  13. great insightful post! yes weddings bring out the best (and sometimes worst) in everyone, don't they? At the end of the day though remember it's about you 2 -don't let anyone else spoil your day!

  14. I wonder if your friend has been able to separate out the "wedding" from "your wedding". I say this because I struggle with it. I love heartfelt, personal weddings where I know the couple wanted me there and I wanted to be there to witness their day. The ones where family offered food, decorations, special activities and you just feel really good about life as you leave. I hate all the other weddings and usually refuse to go. And I thought I'd post because - I do get the two crossed up sometimes. I have missed a few weddings over the years that I assumed were going to be big expensive shows of debt and consumerism but found out later I was totally wrong. Silly, huh? And I feel terrible afterwards when I find out I blocked out the message the bride was trying to give me in the invitation. I'm so suspicious that way anymore. I've had to work too many food service jobs not to notice all the low paid workers cooking, cleaning, hauling, etc. at those perfect weddings.per magazine and television. So I err on the side of caution and I make mistakes.

    1. Yes I see what you mean!

      All the people helping with my wedding have been generously paid. Except the people in China who probably made my shoes.

      It is easy to be cynical of the big affair where no expense is spared. But an intimate, well-considered wedding for 24, for your best friend, seems like a sensible one to attend. ugh!

      xo Terri

  15. Where's there's so much light, it's incredible how just a smidge of toxic darkness can overshadow happiness. It seems to go with the territory of any happy event and hopefully we're strengthened in the end by it. You and David are going to have a beautiful, meaningful wedding.

    1. That's a very sweet thing to say. You hit the nail on the head exactly. :)

  16. Years ago I read Alice Walker's, My Mother's Garden. In that book Alice and her mother walk through the late autumn garden with some tomatoes that could still be used, might still ripen. Her mother said, "Take what you can use and let the rest rot." It has been a rather freeing mantra for me. Focus on the good. Be happy.