My sister is getting married this weekend in a small ceremony that uses social distancing and some homemade touches.
And I know this is not the wedding day she planned. Or even the Plan B. And I know right now it’s hard to have anything happy in these times in which nobody feels like celebrating.
But this is my message to brides:
Hold on to this moment. Even amidst the pain and confusion. Even amidst the virus and the pandemic. Even amidst the peace and the justice.
This is not the moment you wanted. It’s not the moment you planned. But it is your moment. And it is as good as any to breathe in happiness and exhale negativity. And that’s all you need to get married. You just need a moment to reach out and take your happiness.
I hope you recognize it for the precious moment it is. Whether you are surrounded by hundreds of people or just a few. Whether it is in your backyard or at a fancy wedding venue. Whether you are writing your vows or taking age-old ones.
You are marrying the person you love. And nothing can take that from you.
I’ve written the story of how my fiance and I met, so I thought I would share it with you.
Once upon a time, a shining knight heard a fair maiden’s call from across the glen, from her ivory tower. He rode as fast as his white horse could take him so that they could meet. (It took him awhile because he had to stop and get beer, and they were out of what he wanted so he had to go to a few markets before finally buying an entire keg.)
When he finally found her, he saw that she was practicing archery by shooting arrows at hay bales shaped like the patriarchy. He was in love , and so was she. She turned around from her targets, her eyes sparkling in the sunlight, and his first words to her were “Are we really doing this? This is completely made up.” And she put her fingers to his lips and shushed him because this is how everyone meets their future husband, duh.
He took her by the hand and carefully set her bow down for her in case he said something kind of dumb that would anger her, and told her to go wait by the horse. Unfortunately, she loved horses, and after a completely unnecessary joyride through the magic forest, she came back and was ready to ride off into the sunset. But she couldn’t find him. She looked through the entire tower and found him in the library. The knight had become so enthralled by the walls of books that she had accumulated that he refused to leave until he read one last chapter. She shrugged and plunked down on the love seat to finish her own book and the keg. And they lived happily ever after.
(Just kidding. We met in high school, and we’ve never left each other’s side.)
So, are you excited to get married?
Are you excited to move?
Are you excited to buy a new mattress?
Yeah, sure. I’m about as excited as getting a problem tooth pulled. I’ll be happy when it’s done, but there will be a lot of pain in the meantime.
I mean, why do people ask if you’re excited about huge life changes? (I know. Where did my status as an optimist go?) But don’t they realize how much stuff (aka money, energy, tears, potato chips) goes into making a life change? Because I’m super tempted to tell them the truth. Just in case they really don’t know.
And I guess it is exciting from the outside. When you’re not involved and you don’t have to stay up late picking napkin colors and wrapping yourself in packing tape. You’re blissfully unaware, and that must be so so nice.
The point is that the next time you’re going through a life change and someone asks if you’re excited, think about telling them the truth. And then bite it back and tell them that it’s “great!” Because maybe in convincing them, you’ll convince yourself.
I started a new job, got engaged to my long-term boyfriend, and Friday is my birthday.
Guess I’m getting my life in order, huh? Looks like I’m settling in and settling down. Adulthood, and everything.
More like “yeah right.”
I haven’t been busier or more worried about the future. There’s so much to consider, and everything is in flux. I have calls to make and flowers to arrange. I have birthday cake and wedding cake to taste. I’m looking forward to the weekend at the same time that I don’t want to grow older.
So, I tell myself, It’ll calm down. And then I can start figuring things out. Things will settle down, and then so will I.
Which is what I told my mom last night when we started talking about arrangements. And she classically rebutted, “But it won’t ever settle down.”
And I opened my mouth and then promptly shut it. Because she’s right. I’ve been saying this same thing for weeks upon weeks upon weeks: when this weekend is over, I’ll be able to take some time for myself. And I don’t have to tell you what happens when that weekend ends and another one begins.
So, the point tonight is really incredibly simple: you are not going to settle down to settle down. You have to go with the flow, even when the flow is really going. And if you think you should wait until you’re ready to do anything in life, then you’ll be waiting your whole life.