This is a lesson I continuously relearn as I prepare for a wedding and am inundated, am inundating MYSELF, with image after image of beautiful glorwing glorious brides in expensive dresses and expensive locations, laughing and twirling and telling you how it was just so so so their perfect day.
This is a hard lesson to learn, even though I have known it for years. Even though we fancy ourselves modern, realistic, pragmatic women, above the fantasy of the princess and the prince, it still lies there below the surface. It festers.
I mean, you don't have to look far to see the evidence. There are a zillion websites, a kajillion chat boards devoted to bridal make up and bridal hair and shoes and bras and veils and hairpieces and it goes on and on. There is a TV SHOW about brides competing for PLASTIC SURGERY so they can be the perfect bride.
The perfect bride.
And I start to think of that and what it means. It certainly has very little to do with marriage or being the perfect wife. It has little to do with being comfortable or happy or relaxed on your "big day".
Indeed it roots much more deeply in a certain fairy tale nostalgia that we all get one perfect day. One moment tantamount to your 15 minutes of fame. Everything is about us and we have the right to be grossly, intensely and immensely vain.
Oh, no doubt.
And then I still I think there is more to it than even that.
When I think of brides I think of disney. And those fairy tale books I read in which so many lives changes on a dime when the princess was recognized by the prince for the beauty she was and whisked away from her life of work and sadness. Cinderella, Right? Sad and dirty and then suddenly a perfect beautiful princess so ideal that the prince came after her, and gave her a new life, forever. Her shallow fantasies of attending the ball in the best gown actually a downpayment from her beautiful soul on the final investment of a life with the prince. Fuck the chores. I want a night of perfection. Even if it means leaving the prince in the dust as I run off at midnight, sad and confused. Even if it means a lifetime of punishment. Because ofcourse it WONT mean that. Ofcourse beautiful perfect magic that will last a lifetime will be born from my big big moment.
And ofcourse, no one is that naiive. No one really believes that being beautiful and perfect on their wedding day is the secret portal to a life of ease and luxury and earned opulence.
And yet a little bell rings. A small ache nags. No one wants to be fat on their wedding day. Or old. Or Poor.
No one wants a tacky wedding dress. No one wants to make their big entrance only to have everyone go "meh".
They want to amaze. They want to thrill. They want people to be wowed by a beauty they never truly realized existed.
Much like a kiss at midnight, I think a small part of us believes that who we are on our wedding day is a harbinger of things to come. A mystical moment to show everyone how we can shine. A moment to regress to all the childhood fantasies we have since abandoned and dance the night away and do it on a cloud and not get VD.
But the reality is most of us will walk down the isle average. perhaps pretty. made up and probably well dressed and most likely somewhat impressive in some small ways. We will make our loved ones happy because they love us and love to see us thrive.
But if we are old we will still be old, and if we are fat we will still be fat. Our nose will be big, our skin uneven. And if we are poor, well, we know how that goes.
It is a big day. It is a beautiful day. It is a moment you make a decision to love someone immensely for as long as you are allowed. That is beautiful.
But I will not be a beautiful bride. I will be a 37 year old in a lovely dress with a ton of baggage with wrinkles and frizz and fat.
And nothing will change that.
But if i am lucky I will be surrounded by friends, embraced by close ones, and next to the man I love.
And that should be more than enough.