I’m a Terrible Bride

I'm a writer, not an artist, ok?  See how  only two dresses have some kind of straps/sleeves? Yeah, that's an overrepresentation. Strapless EVERYTHING, OMG.

I’m a writer, not an artist, ok? Click to see it bigger.
See how only two dresses have some kind of straps/sleeves? Yeah, that’s an overrepresentation. Strapless EVERYTHING, OMG.

I try not to talk about it much because I figure most folks don’t care one silly wit, but I’m getting married in the next year. This, so far, has meant that I’m doing a lot of talking to people who want to sell me lots and lots of things I’m “supposed” to have, and for which I don’t really have a lot of money.

We’re on the dress stage. And I’m suddenly finding out that there are a ton of presuppositions about what that is supposed to mean. I knew about some stuff: mom and girlfriends squeeing over a dress; white satin and lace and sparkly things; fitting rooms and sample sales.

But I didn’t expect so much pressure to like it all.

So that’s why I’m a terrible bride. I don’t necessarily love the experience. Getting into dresses was hot, time-consuming, stressful, highly pressuring and…well, hard. Picking a white dress out of a bunch of nice white dresses is like picking the prettiest flower–they all have nice things you can say about them!

And in this case, all the flowers are danged expensive, too, so that’s another thing I have to worry about.

But most people I’ve talked to about it have been all “oooh, don’t you just love it? Isn’t it so exciting?” Well….no?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited to get to marry my fiance. He is the bee’s knees. He makes me smile and makes me a better person. I feel like I can do anything with his support. But wedding planning isn’t exactly a bag o’ fun.

Beyond that, I find that some of these ideas have seeped into my brain somewhere along the line. I had this idea that buying a dress would come fully charged with “MAGIC”: There is supposed to be this magical moment where I put on a dress and look more beautiful than any woman who has ever lived or been imagined, ever. There might be fireworks, but at least sparklers and glitter cannons.

It turns out there aren’t even pom-poms and, when I put on a dress, I look exactly like me…in a dress. I don’t somehow look “more” or “better.” It’s just me, looking a little flushed from the lights and a bit bedraggled in the hair because you have to “dive in” to so many of these dresses that can otherwise stand up by themselves.

How I think I should look (left) vs. How I really look. Click to read the tiny writing.

How I think I should look (left) vs. How I really look. Click to read the tiny writing.

Despite all that, I think I’ve found my dress. I’ve been plagued with doubt because it wasn’t a magical transformation, but reassuring words from bridesmaids and groom alike are helping. Plus I’m going back to the bridal shop for the third time–I’m sure the owner has had enough of me by now–to try it on, all by myself, and see if being alone will reduce the pressure enough so that I can see myself the way I’ve been led to believe I ought.

 

Shameless plug for a site that has really helped me not be totally freaked out by getting married: apracticalwedding.com. It’s sane advice about a crazy subject. Go look it up, it’s great.

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Filed under Feminism, Uncategorized

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