Airs of indifference and being “too cool” for this wedding stuff

Guest post by Monica J
Too cool

I have this idea that I should be embarrassed about wanting a wedding. It's mostly because of a combination of a few things… I'm notoriously cheap. I'm a raging feminist. I spent most of my youth and adolescence swearing that I'd never get married for personal/political reasons (because the personal is political, right?). And, frankly, I don't like to call attention to myself.

I don't mind being in the spotlight, but getting married feels a bit like forcing everyone to give me things, do things for me, pay attention to me and my love because we're special snowflakes. That's the sort of thing I normally avoid.

And so I keep pretending to care less than I do. Insisting that my dress isn't a big deal — I'll still get to get married, even if I don't look pretty doing it. If our retired-baker friend has plans and we don't get a cake, that'll be okay, since we can always get a sheet cake from the grocery story. Flowers? Who needs 'em?

It reminds me of when I was a senior in high school, and I wanted desperately to go to the prom. I wanted the fancy date, and the limo, and the poofy dress, and the flowers, and the whole deal — but I didn't want anyone to know I wanted that. See, I was disaffected and surly, and knew that nobody was going to ask me (because there are some girls that just don't get asked to prom). And so I had to pretend not to care so as to maintain my adolescent pride. I convinced a bunch of my friends to go, because “we had nothing else to do that night,” but not because we were excited. We did the whole thing, all while pretending we didn't want to. We got our hair and nails done professionally, rented out a trolley to carry us there, and had a good time, while pretending that we were above it all.

I remember prom dress shopping with my mom as an ordeal, and she remembers it as one of the worst days we've ever spent together. We have a generally very good relationship, but I have a history of being an absolute pain in the ass while clothes shopping, and getting something as fraught as a prom dress was a nightmare. I guess that's why my mom originally didn't want to go wedding dress shopping with me.

But you know what? She did go shopping with me, and we had a great time, and we found me THE dress. I had my moment of numen, and knew that this was the one for me. And I wasn't embarrassed about it at all, which was the best part.

When I went dress shopping with my mom, I was able to go to every dress store in the mall (which is a lot) and still admit that I hadn't found the dress. There were a few that were good enough, and I emphasized to my mother that I would be okay in one of those. But she insisted that “okay” was not good enough for my wedding day — I needed to feel great. I needed to really love it.

So we drove the forty minutes out of our way, and I found my dress at a department store, in the prom section. We went to all the dress stores in that mall, too, after, just in case. But I knew.

And I felt great about it. And it felt good to be that excited, to have permission — and to have given myself permission — to care deeply about something as inane as a pretty dress.

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