About a year ago I wrote an article about having a dream wedding Pinterest board. It, unsurprisingly, received a few negative comments pointing out that the idea of a woman obsessed with planning her wedding day is somehow a blow to the feminist movement. Obviously, I disagree, but I do realize that not every woman dreams about her big day and thus I pretty much stopped talking and thinking about the damn wedding Pinterest board I started.
It was easy too, I spent most of the following year only casually dating guys and the one that I spent the most time with could barely even commit to being in a relationship with me let alone committing to someday marrying me. Because I may be a closet romantic I continued to add to my board in small doses with even the most casual string of good dates. I’d imagine how that guy would fit into my already established wedding desires and subtle add one or two pins with him in mind. It sounds crazy, but I really want to meet a woman (note: a woman who has marriage and, in particularly, a wedding on her “to-do” list) who can honestly say she’s never done this. In fact, I feel like if you’re thinking about getting into relationship or even kind of feeling a guy there SHOULD be a moment where you turn and look at him and think, ” could I marry this guy?”.
All that aside, the point is I mostly left it alone. It was a hard year and there was an enormous amount of time needing someone specific rather than wanting something.
But now here we are entering into wedding season. Most of my friends bemoan this time of the year because honestly, even participating as a guest in a wedding is moola that most people would like not to spend. It’s an obligation to top all other obligations and the sense of dread the minute a close friend announces their pending nuptials is real for a lot of people, but not me. I think I’ve mentioned before that this year alone 6 of my friends have gotten engaged. It hasn’t so much filled me with fear as it has a mixture of jealousy, pressure, and a sense of nostalgia so deep I sometimes become very melancholy. The nostalgia, of course, is due to the fact that these people are my friends in one way or another. High school friends who I spent with painting our nails and loudly singing along to the radio. Fellow summer camp counselor’s I’d spend time sitting on the porch talking about boys with. Former roommates who use to come home at night and gossip while getting ready for bed while I stood in my scrappy old pajama’s. There’s a lot of, “I remember when…” surrounding the fact that this person I once knew when we were younger versions of ourselves is now about to get married. FREAKING MARRIED! And now we are not young, that chapter in our lives is, in many cases, over. To lesser extents I feel pressure and jealousy and then recently another, more predominate feeling came into play.
Wedding fever. If it’s not a thing I’m making it a thing by writing this post and claiming it is a thing because I say so. Last night when I confessed to my best friend over an hour long phone call that I had it she immediately asked, “…what the fuck is that?!” I explained that like baby fever, ( a recognized real thing that happens to women sometimes) I was currently obsessed with the idea of getting married. No, seriously, obsessed. I constantly read the Wedding section of Huffington Post, digest every piece of information about being engaged and married, and have spent more time on my Wedding Pinterest board than I’m really willing to admit to. I literally hear wedding bells in my sleep and often find myself pursing around the inter webs day dreaming about an event that, even in the best case scenario, is probably a couple to a few years away.
“Are you even dating anyone?” A normal and sane person might ask me. And while it may sound slightly insane if I said no (because who dreams about weddings when they are so so blatantly single) the crazier thing is that I am dating someone. Obviously the fact that I have wedding fever is a secret just between me and basically anyone reading this article but I know you guys won’t tell him and his hard stance on hating all social media assures me that he won’t happen to wonder upon this post and become instantly terrified.
Because he would definitely be terrified, at least at this point early on in our relationship where the discussion of something so theoretical would cause anyone to have an instant panic attack. And that’s a very sad, and almost annoying thing about relationships in your latter twenties. It’s a completely valid conversation to have sometime between calling it official and moving into together (in this case we’re much much closer to the former than the latter by any means). But back in reality, no woman, or man for that matter, wants to admit that the kind of relationship their looking for is one that will last, and ideally end in some kind of marriage situation. We’ve talked about that, of course. After a few dates we both confessed that we weren’t looking for just a fling and a few more weeks after that we had a tougher conversation about where our lives were headed and realistically agreed it probably wouldn’t work. However, the next morning after running to get coffee I (with a very elegantly practiced speech) stated that while I like being realistic I didn’t want to be the type of person who made decision based of what could happen. He agreed because well, we both like each other too much to stop dating… yada yada yada tangent, tangent, tangent.
Right, so lets get back to the real center of my wedding fever. It’s not necessarily that I see myself marrying this particular guy and thus started my wedding obsession. To answer the obvious questions from above, yes I’ve thought about it (again, it’s almost crazy not to at least ponder the possibility after a certain age) but we really didn’t have a “wow this is the one” moment from the get go. Although we’re not stupid, having that type of moment and going hard all in usually only leads to terrible things, trust me, I would know. Plus weddings are expensive and time consuming and money and time happen to be a little low in my life right now. So if it’s not that then what is it? Is it simply the fact that all my friends are getting married?
I’m no Sigmund Freud, but if I were a licensed physiologist I’d probably start with that as a main reason. Deeper though t’s really more about having this desire to have something serious, meaningful, and visible to the people I love and care about. Deeper still, is the fact that I did spend almost a year wanting someone who just couldn’t commit to me and I so desperately needed him to. As I healed and let that go I stopped feeling the NEED to be with someone. At 26 I’ve learned not to need anyone and that my only true commitment is to myself, my friends and my family. Which has birthed something completely separate – a wanting to be that connected to somebody. An idea that romance isn’t dead and that I want it. To put it simply, I’ve fallen in love with the idea of love and now I don’t know how to stop it.
I know a couple staunch feminist who are probably cursing this article by now. I see myself as a feminist and even I cringe a little at how this all must sound. But I also feel like it’s normal at this stage in my life, that it’s normal when you’re trying to build a relationship, that it’s normal when you see people close to you look so happy and so blessed to have found that person already. It doesn’t make me less of a strong woman to admit to any of that – in fact I think it makes me stronger. I think there’s a lot of women out there who can relate to this feeling, a lot of people in general who think these thoughts but can’t exactly express them.
So I’m going to wait out my “wedding fever” because it’s a hell of a lot more realistic than me having baby fever at this point. I’m happy to be in this stage of a relationship were the only thing we’re building together is a friendship and a foundation without giving any extended thought into where it may or may not lead. And most importantly, I’m going to continue to dig into being in love with love and a believer in romance and celebrating it with a moderate sized celebration where I get to be a princess and marry someone I can’t see living my life without. For now I’ll just pin all my dreams on a meaningless board and wait.