Since last July I have been in the Age of Weddings. One of my closest friends married my cousin, another friend married another cousin, and then another cousin got hitched, and an uncle and now a brother... You get the idea. I used to think weddings were super fascinating, with all their details- bridesmaids' dresses and choice of hymns, first dance, colour schemes, bridal entourage photo shoots, etc. Partly coloured by watching too many Hollywood rom-coms at a young age, no doubt (Runaway Bride, 27 Dresses, The Wedding Planner... for all the broken marriages, looks like Hollywood is still pretty obsessed with weddings).
And then I went from a vague idea of what weddings are like to reality- which apparently involves a LOT of organization... excel sheets, to do lists, schedules, meetings, choices, family discussions, hard work, creativity, meltdowns, compromises, communication, Whatsapp groups, practices, family time, and so on. Not all sweet dancing to romantic music as you can see.
Still, I mostly thought that weddings were fun... until I got to the actual wedding. And then I began to notice a pattern. This is what I saw:
At weddings, I turn into a raging melancholic introvert (and avoid everyone).
Even my closest friends. I just get overwhelmed by all the people and social situations and expectations and loud music and my introspection volume turns up to loud and I'm thinking about my last romantic disappointment and feeling sad and dissatisfied and plus I want to dance but no one asked me, and I'm hungry but the starters missed me again, and life is nothing but disappointment and pain.
Speculating on my future
I develop a painful guilt complex.
I don't just sit in a corner and avoid everyone. I sit in a corner and feel horribly guilty, because look, there are so many great people that I know who I should be spending time with, and so many opportunities to network, to connect but I JUST CAN'T DO IT. Or maybe I'll talk to a couple people, be very distracted, and then go hide again. Most unsatisfying social interactions ever.
But I also turn pretty and get compliments/insults.
So as most people who know me IRL know, I don't often dress up. So at weddings when I put on a little make up, wear a pretty dress and get my hair done, people are ASTOUNDED and AMAZED. Almost too much, if you ask me... I'm hearing, 'I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU COULD ACTUALLY LOOK HALFWAY ATTRACTIVE OCCASIONALLY, SUE!' In fact, one auntie told me, "If you dressed like this more often, maybe yours would be the next wedding!" I'm sure it was well-meant, but aargh. And my eight year old niece's first words to me were "You don't look like Sue!" (And this after I put on the lightest level of makeup) A very small part of me remembered Meg from Little Women being dressed up for a party- 'They've turned you into a doll", but I reject the implication, and mostly just enjoy the feeling of being the pretty girl.
Wedding hair. I shed pins throughout the evening.
This is the effect of tiredness plus melancholy. I come back home from weddings wanting to obsess about everything with my sister, and then we talk too late, and I wake up after too few hours of sleep feeling sucked dry, and emotional. And then I'm mad at everyone, can prove logically that everything in my life is horrible, and burst into tears, and sob for really no good reason except that I'm single and tired. And life sucks. I basically turn into my eight year old niece when she's tired.
Thankfully, life returns to normal pretty soon after. The transition point is the BIG FAT NAP I take after the wedding, and the quiet personal prayer time. Nothing like prayer and sleep to get life back in perspective. (This time I broke my own introvert record by sleeping for the first hour and a half of the family party we organized the day after the wedding. I'm sure no one noticed.)
So weddings... not all they're cracked up to be. However, I will say that the food, the jiving and the flash mobs make weddings mostly worth it. Oh, and the sacrament.