Paper Heart

This weekend I had the chance to attend a good friend’s wedding and it was a lovely affair.

I’m not really big on weddings, as I’ve said many times before, but this wedding was different. My dear friend Sarah had waited a long time for a guy like her darling Nic. She’d been through Hell and back, as she said in her wedding speech, and with him, she felt whole.

Congrats to Mr. and Mrs U!
Congrats to Mr. and Mrs U!

As the single girlfriend attending stag, I think I was supposed to be super jealous or something. I always read blogs from single women who whine that it’s not fair that they don’t have a plus one and I knew a girl who whined when anything good happened to a friend, especially a pregnancy, because it wasn’t about her. But I really wasn’t. I couldn’t wait for this wedding…and I hate weddings! Sarah deserved this day. She is a person who gives to others, who loves completely, and watching her find her other half made my heart burst with joy. We laughed, danced, drank, toasted the couple and chatted animatedly with my best friend the Psych Major as we talked about a project that could really take my career to another level. It was arguably the most wonderful day I’ve enjoyed in a long time and I thank them for their hospitality.

The Psych Major and I standing with the gorgeous bride.
The Psych Major and I standing with the gorgeous bride.

As lovely as Sarah looked, there was one moment that stood out for me and I was lucky enough to snap a pic of it. As Nic danced with his mom, Sarah looked on, watching her new husband and her face radiated so much love. It wasn’t just love; it was respect, admiration, adoration, every positive emotion you can possibly feel. In that moment, there were flashes snapping, happy chatter, but for Sarah, there was nothing else going on in that room but her husband and he was the most beautiful thing in the world. I actually teared up seeing her looking at her husband, because it was just such a lovely moment in time. I once saw a photo of a couple on FB and saw that same look and it inspired a whole other blog post of mine (the one that I am most proud of) because it was just such a beautiful photo.

sarahwedding

I think everyone wants to feel like Nic and Sarah, two people who have finally found each other and know that even if things get rough, they have each other. There aren’t a lot of people in this world who I think are in it for the long haul, but they are. I’m so grateful to them for reminding me that happy endings are real and I’m lucky to have watched them start their lives together. Sometimes, when we’ve had our hearts broken a bunch of times, we get cynical and it’s hard to picture that there could be a happy ending. But, we need to remain optimistic and hopeful and continue to be ourselves so that when it becomes our turn, we get to be the person looking at our partner with so much love. If there is anything I could wish for everyone I love, or anything I could hope everyone I love gets in their lives, even for a moment before we as humans eff it all up, is to have that moment where someone loves you like my friends love each other and for someone looks at them the way Sarah looks at Nic. Everyone deserves to have that kind of love even once, that unconditional, I don’t care who you are and what you did before me, because you are the very best thing that’s ever happened to me kind of love and I won’t lie, I tell my friends I don’t date because I’m holding out for that Nic and Sarah kind of love. I think we should all hold out for that kind of love and if we’ve found it, we should cherish it and enjoy it for as long as we live.

So, single gals & guys, instead of being jealous that we don’t have that plus one or that maybe it feels like our time to find our soulmate is over, take a moment to really watch the happy couple, because I promise all of those jealous pangs will go away (well, it depends on the couple. I’ve been to a couple of weddings where I didn’t think they’d last two years). They’ll go away because you’ll get a chance to see love in it’s purest form and you can rest comforted in the knowledge that your time will come in the right moment in the right way, even if right now it seems like it’s never going to happen or you blew that one chance with your soulmate. Because maybe that wasn’t your soulmate, maybe you haven’t met them. Or maybe you both needed to grow up and fate will put it back when the time is right (I doubt it, but hey, Nicholas Sparks has made a fortune on that theory). Or maybe it’s that friend you’ve never looked at like that, or that message in your online dating inbox that you’ve never bothered to read. One place you won’t find it? THE BACHELORETTE. But no one deserves less than that Nic and Sarah kind of love and you’ll know you have it when what’s hard seems easy and when you know they look at you like you are the most beautiful thing they’ve ever seen.

Day 26: My Dream Wedding

I hate weddings.

Like, a lot.

I hate planning weddings.with the exception of the psych major’s wedding and my friend Sarah’s upcoming nups, I don’t really like attending weddings. I’m not big on standing up in weddings. I hate every little thing about weddings almost as much as I have no desire to ever remarry. I wasn’t terribly keen on it the first time & found my vow renewal to be a pain in the ass. The absolute WORST assignment I’ve ever been given was to go to a wedding show & review it by planning a wedding. My photographer was dying of laughter when the florist said “you look like you’d rather be shot.” Yup. I probably would have preferred it.

A photo from the wedding show...this is right before I texted people asking for help
A photo from the wedding show…this is right before I texted people asking for help

The most wedding planning I’ve ever done was a file on my computer while I Skyped a friend & mocked her Pinterest account & picked some wedding dresses and bridesmaids crap & some flowers for my future wedding (as it was planned I would be announcing my engagement on my birthday & we had half seriously picked a wedding date) & nearly puked. Then, some kind hearted person booked an appointment for me (on my birthday) with the dress @ a bridal shoppe with all of those details; my tentative wedding date, my “fiancé’s” info, the dress I had picked, the bridesmaids dresses, all ready to go. My relationship ended 18 days before. I have never cried harder than after that phone call where the wedding store associate was excitedly congratulating me on my engagement, and ON MY BIRTHDAY and why didn’t I come in to try on the dresses?! The Gleason Table called to wish me a happy birthday only to hear my heartbroken sobs. To that person, you are mean & you suck. But even then, when I was happy about wanting to spend my life with a person, the idea of a wedding made me kind of want to barf. Personally, as I said to the guy when he brought up marriage the first time (Because he brought it up often & even spent one night picking tentative wedding dates) if a man could be content with us being engaged forever, I’d be thrilled. It’s not the commitment that scares me, or the life (well, it would now); it’s the idea of being MARRIED. Getting married AGAIN so people can quietly judge me from their seats. I tried being married and it failed and I’m afraid to do it again. Having people cluck their tongues while saying “oh, you’re getting married…again?” and worried about them disapproving. I felt self conscious that people would wonder how I thought this marriage would work when the first one didn’t. I worried my lack of enthusiasm would dampen his desire for the big party. I’d have to plan a wedding where everyone fights and bridesmaids feel entitled and all of the guests make demands and you spend a bunch of money that you could have used to buy a house and by the end you just want it all to go away. It’s not about the couple or the commitment, it’s all “Ew. Why those colours? Why that bridesmaid? Why that dress?” While I buy food & drink for relatives I never see & don’t terribly like. Blah.

But I digress.

My dream wedding sucks. There is no dress. There is no party. There is no engagement. There is nothing. There is me & my partner & some chapel that specializes in elopement. There is no one we know, except maybe my daughters. There is just us, the celebrant, and the witnesses they provide. We’ll tell people when we’re ready; or on Facebook with a status update. Whatever.

I think a marriage is two people. I get sharing that moment, but from years of over sharing when I’m happy or confiding in the wrong people, I’ve learned to be more cautious…as I write on my blog for strangers to read & people I know to dissect. But, even when I’m in a relationship, I keep my relationship posts high level or I comment on why they’re great, etc. I will share with my besties but I’m still a girl. I guess I want to keep that moment between us, our moment. A friend of mine reminded me that even my high school dream wedding was to elope. I remember when my marriage was failing, all of my family and friends mentioned they were at my wedding and therefore, they had the best advice for me. I learned from going to people for advice when my last relationship was ending that people can not always be trusted. I would confide in them and they would turn right around and I learned later that there was no confidence, my private feelings were being exploited & twisted like telephone. The judgey people when planning the wedding. The nosy in laws. I would think about what part of all of my past relationships made me happiest, and it was when it was just the two of us. If I did choose to get married again, I would want to be comfortable. I wouldn’t be comfortable @ a big party. I would want it to be just us, so I could get through my jumbled nerves, and spit out what I would want to say in my vows without a million people boring holes in me, placing bets on how long it would last. I would want my partner beside me, and that’s it, because the only person who needs to know what kind of wife I intend to be is him.

I’ll never be Bridezilla; I don’t want to be a fairy princess. I want the man I’m committing my life to by my side while we promise to be partners for life. No one else needs to be there to make that promise any less meaningful.