I’ve never really wanted to get married. I’ve thought I did, but when it came to it the prospect of being married filled me with such trepidation. I was asked a few times. I always said no. I think I was marriage phobic. What do they call that? Matrimophobic? (It’s ‘Gamophobic’, but I like my word better). I didn’t want to be married.
I was asked recently what my dream wedding looked like. I was asked this because……….guess what happened. I decided that I would get married. I loved someone enough to turn my back on a lifetime of singleness, and marry him. So I embarked on the task of planning my wedding.
I didn’t have a dream wedding. That’s not what I dreamt about. So what colours do I want? “I don’t know. I don’t care. Ask him.” What to wear? I can pick a frock as well as some, better than many. What to wear? I was advised to buy bridal magazines. But, no. I can think of nothing more tedious than wading through a fat pile of bridal magazines all containing a thousand white frocks. I watched “say yes to the dress”. It scared me. There was that showroom with rows upon rows upon rows of frightful frocks.
There was so much. The wedding, the reception, the invitations, the guest lists, the logistics of hundreds of people from other countries, the accommodation, the table settings; I don’t bloody know. I actually don’t care. I tried to care, but I didn’t. Conventional weddings are a little boring. I had no idea what would make me happy. I didn’t speak wedding.
I went furniture shopping with a friend a few years ago and she looked bewildered by everything. I have definite tastes in furniture so I couldn’t understand why she would spend time looking at stuff that was monstrous in my view. One glance and move along was my attitude. She seemed a little without opinion and taste when it came to furniture. She simply wasn’t interested. It wasn’t her thing. She didn’t speak furniture. I love furniture design. I love furniture shopping for the sheer joy of looking at contemporary design. It satisfies my art-seeking gene. I found new sympathy for her plight so long ago. Right then I felt like her with the furniture, except that it was a wedding. Clueless? Yep, that was me.
I’m a girl. I’m an older model, but a girl nonetheless. I’m getting married. It’s exciting, isn’t it? And through this all where was the object of my affections? Not taking part in the planning. I think he was just going to show up on the day. He picked me a couple of bridesmaids. That was his contribution. And he said he’d like to wear something European. What does that mean? He was busy. I envied him. I just wanted to show up on the day too and have someone tell me what to wear. I wanted to wear virginal white. What the hell, right! To tell the truth I wasn’t so excited about the wedding day. It all seemed like unnecessary work just so I could live with the man I love. But I was living with him already.
In the end I called a wedding planer-designer-event coordinator creative genius friend of mine and asked him. “Please do this for me”. He’s famous for fabulous weddings. I’ve seen them. I asked my friend to design my frock. You decide. My only request, don’t make me look like a wedding cake. No veil.
I spoke to the wedding planner at the venue. Yes, we had a venue. We had a date. We had it all. What colour? White! Do we have to have more than that? I was wearing a peppermint coloured head scarf. When I couldn’t choose a colour she said “Your scarf is a nice colour, why not peppermint”. And, if I’d been wearing khaki? I ended that meeting. I was impatient with it. She sent me menus. I don’t know. I don’t actually care. Ask him.
I started to realise that my enthusiasm for getting married wasn’t all it should have been. I wasn’t excited about getting married. I was excited about being married. I just wanted to live with him for the rest of my days. If that meant getting married, then ok. I’d do it. If we could have just popped in on the preacher and done it with a few friends it would have felt more exciting, I think. It would have been small and intimate and personal. Perhaps I would have been excited about that. But he’s never been married before either. He has family and friends and colleagues and business associates. If a man is getting married all those people must be there, must they not. And, on my side, similarly. They all have to witness it. So it’s for them, not for us. It’s personal PR. I didn’t want that circus. I never had wanted it. But I was willing to do it.
They say ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’. We were happy. We lived together and it was beautiful. I thought so. So why go through all that drama and pomp and circumstance just so we can do what we’re already doing. Marriage legitimises your relationship, a friend told me. Are we illegitimate? In whose eyes does it legitimise us? Do we need legitimising? Is that something that we need?
I was surprised that friends were more excited than me when I told them I was getting married. They were excited and amazed. I understood the amazement. I was quizzical about the excitement. A couple of people actually called me to ensure themselves an invite. They were expecting to attend the wedding of the century. Oh God, the pressure!
He and I didn’t really discuss the wedding. I just kind of made plans, eventually abdicated the planning responsibility to an expert, and waited to be told. So there wasn’t really any work for me to do. There wasn’t much to discuss. It was easy to ignore the subject. I loved that. It was preferable. We had a good life. We loved one another. We were content and happy. The plans we made together weren’t wedding plans. They were life plans. I made the excuse that he was too busy to be troubled with wedding stuff. If he brought it up, which he rarely did, I deflected the subject.
I was getting married because I’d been asked. But then, I wasn’t asked. He brought me breakfast in bed. He is a fabulous cook. He has a flare for combining flavours. I said something like “Watch out. I may have to marry you if you carry on like this”. He said, “Right, let’s do that then”. Later I said something about “If we did get married blah blah”. He looked at me, frowning and asked, “Have you changed your mind already”? “No, not at all”. So it wasn’t exactly a proposal, was it?
Anyway, it’s not going to happen. It ain’t broke. We’re not gonna fix it.