Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What I Did This [Last] Weekend, Part III - Flinching and Disappointment

More on this weekend... I was sad and annoyed and stressed and frustrated when I started writing this so it's probably even more negative than the others. Then I had a lot going on last week, was out of town this weekend, and had a job interview on Tuesday to prepare for so sorry for the delay in wrapping this up. Let's just continue....

My mom is clearly disappointed with my wedding choices and apparently the guilt from her 30-year lie has worn off and she isn't pulling any punches. Which is fine. I prefer a dark, grim reality to a bright and rosy farce any day. Andrew's mom was quite feisty and verbal about everything too! At dinner on Friday night we started talking about some of the fine details. Andrew's mom started with it and it turned into a bashing session! Our parents had a fun weekend of making fun of Andrew & I for not planning anything far enough in advance. Yes, I know I do everything "last minute" but that's what works for me! I've gotten this far in life and done just fine! Andrew's mom wants to have every second planned. She wants to know what will happen even if it will not have any affect on her. And that's all just because of her constant anxiety and worry. Well, I have news for her. I don't need to adjust my way of living in order to cater to her anxiety! Maybe she should buck up and deal with it. I deal with my anxiety over the things she does. The same for my parents. I suck it up and do what makes me feel uncomfortable because I know what's important to them. They can do the same for me. Sheesh... I'm just tired of working on things and bending for people and forgiving and looking at things from others' perspectives and trying to be understanding when I feel I don't get the same in return!!!

The thing is - I have everything for the wedding planned out in my head. I haven't made every little decision yet but I at least have it narrowed down to a few options. I just don't want to be one of those women who runs around telling everyone every detail of her wedding. I realize family wants to know some things, but I also want some things to be a surprise! Also keep in mind, I have an image in my head and it's hard to paint that picture for others in words, especially when one descriptor, or even a simple noun can invoke different images in people's imaginations. When I say "lace" I could mean so many different things: chantily lace, venice lace, corded lace, embroidered tulle, embroidered organza, even eyelet or embroidered satin with cutouts, rose patterns, daisy patterns, asymmetrical patterns, geometric patterns, maybe beads, pearls or sequin adornments, etc, etc. Each has it's own personality.

Once I told our parents all this, they graciously accepted my explanation and then the questions started flowing. And my mom started flinching! My dad asked what he should wear. I told him, "Whatever you want." Then he asked what Andrew was wearing. He shrugged his shoulders. I have told Andrew to think about it, I gave him options and websites and pictures to look at. But he still hasn't decided. We did inform the parents, however, that he would not be wearing a classic suit. MAYBE a linen suit but maybe not a jacket at all. Saying this, my mom's eyes bugged out of her head as though she just learned that Andrew beats me every night. She then questioned several times (that night and all through the weekend), "Really? You're REALLY not wearing a suit?" When the response was repeatedly, "NO. No suit!" she would hang her head, bury her face in her hands, and shake her head back and forth in disappointment.

On the way to SB, we took separate cars so my parents could drive up to Solvang at the end of the day. My mom kept flinching the whole way because we were driving in the far left lane and the median is right there next to you with no shoulder (this is on the 405 North going through West LA for those who know it). I texted Andrew, asked him to move over to the middle lane and he did. Apparently, his mom was upset about it too. I really hope I'm not so nervous and anxious about everything when I get older! During the drive to Andrew's aunt & uncle's my mom told me how upset she was that I didn't tell her sooner about going to meet them so she could have "dressed up more." "Dressed up more?" For a 1-hour stopover to eat bagels? As it was, she was wearing white slacks (with a crease) and a light blazer-ish jacket with a pretty floral print. And decked out in all her jewelery, of course. What more would she have done? I hate these conversations with her. I watch her hound my dad every holiday about not wearing a t-shirt. He has to wear a shirt with a collar all the time and he has to tuck the shirt into his pants. Even on his days off! Oh, and she hounds him about shaving too. He has to shave every day (again, even on his days off) and it must be done first thing in the morning. Image is everything, you know!

At Andrew's uncle's house, we were sitting at the dining table at breakfast talking about the wedding. We asked for his advice because he is a musician! We told him we were thinking of having an acoustic guitar player during the ceremony. He suggested another instrument to accompany it. The idea of having a steel drum player came up. It is, after all, on the beach! I kinda liked it. Next he asked what I was walking down the aisle to. I hadn't yet decided but I new I didn't want the traditional "Here Comes the Bride." I imagine that in my head and it doesn't feel right. Andrew's uncle suggested an altered version of "Here Comes the Bride." Something calipso-ish with the steel drums. He hummed/sang it for us. I liked it. My mom's head started shaking. I'm pretty sure I even heard an, "Oh my god" come out of her mouth. My dad was more enthusiastic. Later, Andrew's uncle took us in to his studio and put the arrangement together in about 5 minutes (I'm in awe of musical talent). He recorded the tempo, came up with the guitar accompaniment, recorded that, made up the steel drum melody, recorded that (all on his keyboard and computer). Then played back the whole thing all together. It sounded great. Definitely more me. Definitely more fun. Definitely more beachy. I said, "I'll take it!" My mom's head was in her hands again, but this time she picked it up with a bit of a laugh (an, "I laugh to keep from crying" moment?) and she sighed, "Ahhhhhh, well that's my daughter. Always different!" The thing is, with many people (especially people of their generation, and especially our parents) "different" is a nice way of saying, "I wouldn't make that choice in a million years and I think it's weird/dumb/silly/stupid/lame.... but whatever!" In the dictionary, "different" means distinct or separate. It doesn't suggest better choices/options and it also does not suggest worse choices/options. So, let's use the English language correctly, okay? Otherwise misunderstandings occur and feelings get hurt.

In Santa Barbara, our first stop was the florist. We discussed bouquets first. The guy we met with was really good. He's also an event planner/designer. So he asked lots of questions about the room, what I'm wearing, my hair, my bridesmaids. I had an answer for just about everything he asked so our parents got some more details they were looking for. In particular he was concerned that it was a beach wedding and I was wearing an A-line gown with a light lace or sheer fabric (the bigger the dress, the bigger the bouquet). I told him I wanted small bouquets. He said that sounds right for what the environment is. He made a round shape with his hands and asked, "About like this, about the size of a cantaloupe?" I said, "Yes, perfect!" Then I felt my mom stirring in the chair next to me. She scooted to the edge of her seat and said, "Well, maybe a little bit bigger than that. Don't you want something bigger than that?" I smiled at the florist, imploring with my eyes, "I'm sure you've dealt with this before. Let's move on now and you'll just do what you and I agree on, right?" He got my silent message. We moved on! She made her requests for a corsage and that was fine. She flinched again at the groom not wearing a suit. Andrew's mom didn't give a darn and doesn't know a rose from a weed. So, no problems there!

The subject of my dress came up at some point during the day. An A-line gown with a light lace or sheer fabric. My mom asked me, "Do you remember when you were 5-years old and you saw a big, beautiful gown and you wanted to wear that?" Um, yeah I do. I also remember that I believed in the tooth fairy, I thought my dad had a bionic arm, and I needed help wiping my own ass. Things change!

Something else came up... something I anticipated... something I can understand. Andrew's family member guest-count is at about 30. My family member guest-count is at 9. My mom is feeling uneasy about that. But that's just the way it is. My dad has 6 siblings. And he isn't close to any of them anymore. 1 sister has lunch with him sometimes when she's in San Diego but she's kind of a phony. She's not genuinely close with him. She's strange - she sends me facebook messages and leaves comments. I comment back, don't hear from her again for weeks and then she just accuses me of not responding to her first message. Besides, we've never gotten invites to my cousin's weddings. My mom's brother MIGHT come. She's not close with another brother, and the 3rd brother can't afford the trip. Her dad is still alive but she refuses to communicate with him for reasons unknown. So, we're lacking in the "family" department. And I can understand her anxiety. I'm having my own. I worry that my friends won't make it. That something more important will come up. That this is going to be Andrew's wedding that I'm just a guest at. The thought of that makes me want to crawl under the table and disappear... a "poof" of dust and I am whisked far away to a land where people don't know who I am or ask any questions about me. I'm trying to push these fears away. So far, so good.

I'm going to end this on a positive note. A good friend pointed out that all of the flinching and negativity might also just be due to the fact that she can't picture everything in her head and once she sees it, she'll like it. This is probably true. I can't imagine my mom would be negative or unsupportive actually on my wedding day. I wouldn't rule it out completely but I wouldn't bet on it either. She'll probably be fine when we get there. I just feel like this weekend it was a bit much. I don't expect her to be perfect. But some improvements from the weekend would be nice! I'm just going to have to tell her that all of the flinching and disappointment hurts my feelings. Considering how sensitive and emotional she is, she should understand that!

1 comment:

  1. "I'm pretty sure I even heard an, "Oh my god" come out of her mouth."

    Well played! You're doing a great job, Christina. Hang in there :)