I don't remember daydreaming about my wedding when I was young. I played Barbies and sometimes there was a wedding, but that was their wedding, not mine. Daydreaming, planning and even fantasizing about my wedding didn't come until I was 19. I had a boyfriend 5,000 miles away who I wouldn't see for another year and I had been indoctrinated with the wedding culture of Provo, Utah. Not marriage, mind you. Wedding. And so I continued, looking in magazines, at blogs, through wedding photographers' websites and wedding albums of friends and strangers on Facebook. I did this even as I was breaking up with that boy, as I fell in and out of love with another boy, and another. And another. I daydreamed and planned when I was all alone, not a prospect within 50 miles (both figurative and literal). And I continue to do that to this day, finding the mistakes others have made and vowing not to have it happen to me. "My cake will be perfect. Not too big, not too small. My dress will fit perfectly. The weather will be amazing. My photographer, no matter what it costs, will be outstanding," and on and on it goes.
But what I did not consider, or rather, what I did not allow myself to think about until recently, was marriage. About the after-party. And the after-after party. And the hangover. And the squabbles and fights and tears. All I saw was smiling wedding photos hung on sunny walls in an apartment so cozy and inviting. But before, that apartment wasn't mine. Heck, I'm not sure those photos even had me in them. I was playing Barbies in my head; It was their marriage, not mine.
Until, like I said, recently. Recently when I pondered on what it might be like to be a wife. To endure the hum-drum life. Until recently when I allowed myself to realize that with marriage doesn't come a transformation into someone else — I'm still me. I still have all my ratty clothes, my messy hair, my mood swings and snotty humor. I allowed myself to realize that I'll be the one in the wedding photos, and who knows how sunny those walls will be?
I guess I should have prefaced this with what my subsequent thoughts on marriage were. It wasn't just thoughts of, "Oh hey, marriage is about more than the wedding and let's consider wife-dom." It was, "What if I marry the wrong person? What if that person is the right one but then changes? What about fights and hurt feelings? What about sex? What about trust? Broken trust? What about all those things that can be controlled, and yet I cannot control them?"
So, you see, when I daydream and when I play(ed) Barbies, I was disconnected. It was their wedding, their marriage, and as such, they (whoever "they" are) did not/do not possess my insecurities. My lack of trust. My doubts about others. About myself. "They" could handle anything, or, more than likely, wouldn't have to handle much at all, because marriage is perfect when it's not my own.
A couple weeks ago I had a dream that is worth telling you about. Here it goes.
I was on a double date. I can't remember who the other couple was — all I can recall is that they were a bit obscure and it made no real sense why I would be hanging out with them — but I will never forget who my date was:
Beaker. That's right. Beaker. Be jealous.
It was our first date, Beaker and I, but it seemed to be going well. I was more interested in him, than him in me, but I was pretty confident I could win him over. So as all four of us were walking (Beaker did so unaided by any puppeteer, mind you) down a stairwell, I let the other couple go ahead. Beaker was behind me, so as I watched the other two walk away, I whipped around, pinned Beaker to the wall with my forearm (he is heavier than he seems on television) and said, "LISTEN! I have a question for you, kid." His eyes got big — er, bigger than usual — and his pupils dilated to an unnatural size as I stared into his fuzzy, mumble-filled soul. "When we get married and I get pregnant and gain fifty pounds with our first child, will you still love me?!" After hearing the question, he calmed down a bit, got a big smirk on his face (yah, who knew? That frown-pout isn't permanent) and said to me, "Well, yes, but that'll happen with the second kid." What the crap? But this answer was strangely satisfying to me, don't ask me or my sub-conscience why, so I let him down. "Oh, good," I said to him. "Well, let's go then."
That was it. I don't know why I was dating Beaker, why I felt so confident that he'd like me back enough not to be freaked out by me bringing up kids on the first date, or why he was so heavy! He's a puppet, for goodness sake. Felt and googly eyes.
One more inconsistency: I'm pretty sure Muppets cannot reproduce.
But me and Beaker's love would overcome all such mysteries.
I forgot to say, the trip to Texas was a surprise for everyone except Kelsey and Ben. I wanted to make someone in my family pee their pants when I scared them (didn't quite do it though ... this time). I recorded (or tried to record) their reactions, which are pretty fantastic.