My wedding makes me want to barf.
I ordered my dress* today. Like, ten minutes ago, today. This shit just got real.
Never mind that I’ve been engaged to The Amazing Patrick since Thanksgiving. Never mind that we have a caterer booked and dessert ordered and a wedding planner hired. Forget that we sent out our save the date cards and created a cheesy little wedding website. None of that mattered until today because today I found something to wear. That’s not to say that when I receive this dress in the mail in a few weeks it won’t fit and I’ll just call the whole thing off and elope.
I know, I know. I’m a shitty bride. Who says that, anyway?
The thought of being a bride again makes me want to laugh and then take a shot of brown liquor, and I don’t even drink that crap. I’ve done this wedding thing twice you see, so how can I seriously show my face again as a bride? How can I claim another day as the “happiest day of my life?” Didn’t I already try and fail at this whole marriage gig? TWICE?
Maybe Patrick and I can just sneak off to the JOP with the kids and I’ll quietly become Mrs. Burrows in a ceremony made for four and then we can slink home and crawl into bed and hide under the covers so the Universe won’t notice I’m happy and married and screw it all up for me like it did in the past. If we don’t make a big show of being married, then perhaps I’ll go unnoticed by the Divorce Gods and they’ll just leave me the fuck alone. For once.
But that’s not going to happen is it? We’re going to have family and friends and people who love us and wish us well watch us publicly declare our love and devotion to one another. There is no way I’m getting out of this. Nope.
I’m so screwed. Someone pass the chum bucket.
I’m sort of, kinda of the mindset that maybe we should just leave well enough alone. That if we stay really still and try not to live too hard that things will stay the same and we’ll be happy always. Like someone’s old, drunk uncle said at some point: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
But someone’s sober, nagging mother also said, “Why buy the cow when the milk’s free?” Patrick, you can have my milk. All of it, forever. I won’t charge you a thing, I swear. And then I promise to stop using tired clichés.
I’m so scared to marry Patrick. This isn’t cold feet. This isn’t a red flag, either. This is me being honest and real and vulnerable, because that’s how loving him makes me feel.
The truth is I don’t love Patrick with my whole heart. That’s just not possible because falling in love with him broke my heart into a million pieces. He is the only thing I ever care about losing. (And of course my children, but that goes without saying.) I love him so hard I’m left raw and exposed and defenseless. Loving him makes me see with such clarity how delicate life is and how the inevitable changes of life can break little pieces of your heart until all you have left are fragments.
The more pieces you have the more sensitive you become, and how you use that sensitivity is up to you. Whether it’s by loving more, or being full of fear or anger or building up walls to protect you heart-pieces the sensitivity is there living in each beating part.
So, no I don’t love Patrick with my whole heart; I love him with all the pieces of my broken heart. I love him with my entire heart.
This is exactly why I’m scared of getting married. Loving Patrick broke my heart into a million pieces and marrying him will break those pieces into a million more. It’s exponential: the grace, the joy, the beauty, the pain, the fear of losing something so deeply precious to my existence.
If by chance the Universe is busy that day or the Divorce Gods have grown tired of me, I might slip by into the masses of other Happies who’re equally as raw and exposed and vulnerable as I am. Maybe this wedding day thing will actually be the big party we’re hoping for instead of the ritualistic, money-eating, marketing machine it is. And though I don’t think the day I marry Patrick will be the happiest of my life – I think some random Wednesday when we hold hands on the back porch swing after an argument we resolved with love and respect will fit the bill – I might come around to the idea of being his bride. After all, (sorry for the cliché, Babe) third time’s a charm.
*No, this isn’t my real dress, but I can’t show you that.