Friday, July 15, 2011

The Sexy Gay Jesus and the Wedding-Industrial Complex

Dear Sexy Gay Jesus,

Look, I know that You never went through this particular bit of ritualizing on account of You were really busy healing the sick, curing the lame, cleansing the temple, and being patiently (but, you know, maybe not without second thoughts, which is totally cool, no worries) crucified, and also the marriage laws of the old-school Galilee probs weren't totally in Your favor anyway, BUT. I'm getting married in T-minus six weeks here, and instead of being all uplifted on happy clouds I'm just feeling super anxious about the whole thing. Not the marriage -- he's my best friend, love of my life, and frankly we've been married for all intents and purposes since that sunny day back in September '09 when we bought a Hyundai together -- but the wedding itself is causing me enormous worry. Will people have fun? Will people show up? Will it be special and magical and wonderful, or will I collapse under the pressure of trying to make it be all of those things before I even get down the aisle (which is more of a sandy path through the woods, but still)? I could really use some of Your perspective and calming wisdom, so I don't spend the next six weeks grinding my teeth and dreaming up every nightmare scenario that surely won't happen anyway, and arrive at the altar (er, woodsy place) exhausted. Help me get my groove back, JC?

Anxiously Engaged

Dear Anxious,

Congratulations on your impending nuptials, my child! While it is true I have never gotten married, I have been to many, many weddings. I get invited to a lot of them. I would like to point out that just because a ceremony mentions my name, though, doesn't mean I bless the union. I'm not so much a fan of virginity fetishism and/or patriarchal property (lady) transfers. But anyway, weddings. As you point out, Anxious, there are many upsides to being married like state benefits or your grandma letting you share a bed when you come to visit. But GETTING married is another story. I have a few things to contribute that I hope will help you stay cool in the coming weeks:

1. It is both normal and okay to be dreading your wedding to a certain degree. Weddings carry a LOT of cultural baggage. Like, you don't just get charged for checking a bag, but for extra baggage and they are all overweight. (Haha, air travel joke!) This is especially so for ladies since it is your "big day" and the planning is considered girl stuff that your husband-to-be can just show up to hungover with a couple of his bros in matching tuxedos. I am sure your fiance is not one of those bros, but you should definitely make sure he is shouldering his share of the planning and fretting responsibilities. You may feel extra pressure nonetheless, but that's because patriarchy is stupid (sorry, Old Testament bros).

That's all the wine you brought? Seriously people, do I have to do everything around here?
2. Delegate, delegate, delegate. Though sitting down and making a list of everything that needs to get done both before the big day and on the day itself may be super-overwhelming, you can then start enlisting friends and family for various tasks once you know exactly what needs to happen. Tell your friends they can take pictures at the reception, pick up some food, or help set up as their gift to you. Non-douchey guests will be eager and happy to help you out and make your day easier. My forte is that whole Bottomless Wine Bottle trick, of course, but you may have an overbearing aunt or obnoxious younger cousin or something who will feel useful by being assigned glass-filling or table-busing duties.

3. Just let go (as much as possible, anyway). No matter how nontraditional, simple, cheap, and/or casual your wedding plans, something will go wrong and somebody will do something crazy. There's nothing you can do to control this. When bringing a number of people together for an event, mishaps, forgotten details, and a certain amount of interpersonal drama are basically inevitable. Accept that. The wedding is not really about you, anyway. This is a day for other people to celebrate you and your fiance and your decision to publicly announce your intention not to break up. Even if not everybody you want to be there can be there, it's okay, it's not like you'll never see them again. Trust that your friends and family will make their own fun without you having to orchestrate every moment of the reception. Booze helps, obvs. If anybody judges you because some detail wasn't taken care of, then they are douchebags and deserve to have a terrible time as they eat your food and drink your booze.

Once the wedding is over, you will have photos of that wooded path, your pretty dress and/or other fabulous outfit, and all the people who were able to make it. You will also have stories of what went wrong, who drank too much, who gave you that crazy concrete cat statue, and whose father refused to help with anything whatsoever. You will also be relieved! That is okay, you do not have to have a Magical Princess Best Day Ever just because you are a bride, despite what our culture might tell you. It's a big party with lots of details and expectations wrapped up in it, anxiety is normal. In the meantime, as the day approaches, try to remember how you felt when you and your dude bought that Hyundai together. That's why you're doing this, so your loved ones can share in your contentedness. Also, people give you money and presents and shit. That part is pretty good.

There's no cure-all to make you stop worrying, but hopefully some of these tips will help alleviate some of it. I will use my best Powers of Omnipotence to grant you beautiful weather and a happy, relaxed day. I also recommend some kind of post-reception after party with just the kids and lots of irresponsible/relieved drinking if at all possible. It'll give you something to look forward to when you are being forced to hug another poorly dressed in-law you have just met.

Love and champagne flutes,
The Sexy Gay Jesus

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