I Now Pronounce You Happy As Hell
This blog post comes to you while I am in the midst of processing several emotions. My best friend (whose bachelorette/bridal shower I posted about previously) just got married. This was my first friend wedding and I have to say they set the bar pretty high. Almost unattainably high. Like, I probably can’t even get married now. I’ve already experienced the best day of my life and it was my best friend’s wedding in San Antonio, Texas. The most I can hope for on my wedding day or for the birth of my child(ren) is the second best day of my life.
I was lucky enough to be a Co-Maid of Honor which made me privy to cool things like emotional breakdowns, crafting, sleepless nights and champagne in the bathroom. I’ve heard horror stories about being a bridesmaid and I don’t know whether I have a really high tolerance for terribleness or whether this bride was the best ever, but I loved being part of this wedding. Considering that today I found a hole in my favorite pair of 9 dollar Target leggings and declared it “the worst day of my life,” I’d say my tolerance for terribleness is at an all time low, making Maya the best bride ever.
This being my first friend wedding and my first bridal party experience, I would be lying if I said I didn’t have my struggles.
I wasn’t always sure how to de-stress the bride. In times of high tension I get self conscious that my actions will introduce new stress as opposed to relieving already present stress. On the day of the wedding, when my brother accidentally brought the coffee I asked him to deliver to me all the way to Maya’s floor instead of calling me in the lobby, I did what any neurotic weirdo would do: I intercepted him at the elevator and forced him to stand in the hallway.
I did take a risk by allowing my mom to come in and say hello and in an effort to prove my allegiance to de-stressing the bride I acted like a security guard trying to keep a starstruck fan from overstaying her welcome at a meet and greet with a huge and easily irritated pop star. I believe I even gave a “sorry these guys are so obsessed with you” eye roll to the bride as I ushered my mom out. After the groupies were gone, I decided my new role in the Bridal Party Prep Room would be eating triangles of bagels and standing in various places. I killed it.
Emotions are high at weddings. And when emotions are on the rise so are hugs. I love hugs, I used to be against them from people I had just met mostly because I can’t stand the movements of uncertainty leading up to the embrace, are we shaking hands? Are we hugging? Is your right arm going over while mine goes under? Are both of your arms going over? I don’t like feeling vulnerable by going for a hug and being met with an outstretched hand but I also don’t like feeling unloving when my extended hand lands in an open, unreceived embrace. Hugs are sketchy, but cheek kisses are the worst. Cheek kisses are grounds for staying awake all night, reviewing the play-by-play and wondering where you went wrong.
It’s hard to find that perfect angle that lands the kiss in a friendly manner on their cheek and not in a creeper manner on the side of their lip, or in a humiliating manner inside of their ear. I’ve come to expect a cheek kiss from an adult male because there is no pressure to reciprocate; it’s a gentlemanly thing to do. But a cheek kiss from a female sends me straight to stress-town. I never know they’re coming and once I’ve missed it, I can’t shake the feeling that I let them down.
I like to keep a mental note of who does a cheek kiss greeting so that I can do a cheek kiss goodbye. I did that over this wedding weekend and when I put myself out there with a cheek kiss goodbye, MY cheek was untouched. She downgraded me from a cheek kiss hello to a simple hug goodbye. I have never felt so foolish. One time I greeted a, not quite friend, but close acquaintance with a hug but then hours later only high-fived him goodbye. I still think about how abrupt that change in physical contact must have seemed and how he must have been confused and/or totally crushed or completely unscathed and is off living life like a normal person who doesn’t think about the proper, unwritten rules of high-five, to hug, to cheek kiss progressions.
Aside from stressing myself out trying to de-stress my bride and trying to predict who was going to kiss my cheeks, there was only one other difficult part about being a bridesmaid. And that was keeping it together while watching Maya walk down the aisle. I KNOW no eyes were on me and I KNOW the photographer was focusing on the bride because I KNOW the whole day wasn’t about me, but I’m just very thankful it was like that because the still image of a face holding back tears is not super attractive. Some people look constipated. Some people look mad. I look like my eyes are going to pop out of my skull and my head retracts backwards into my neck folds and my mouth goes limp, allowing my brain to focus on containing the tears. So it was mad CUTE.
I didn’t have much practice in holding back my tears because it was not until I saw Maya walking down the aisle, arm in arm with her parents that it all finally became real. There was no more planning, no more scheduling, no more last minute details to finalize. It was a wedding. It was my best friend, someone I have known, confided in, joked with, grown up with and loved for 25 years getting married.
I said at the beginning of this post that I am in the midst of processing a lot of different emotions. I was so unbelievably happy when these two got married. I mean I started KISSING people’s CHEEKS for god’s sake, my especially friendly and outgoing demeanor fueled by pure joy. But then the wedding ended and I hugged the newlyweds goodbye, again choking back my tears and allowing my neck to retract against my windpipe. I’m in a constant cycle of remembering the wedding, reliving it in my mind and being filled with happiness followed by facing the harsh sadness that it’s over. Who knew one event could make you the happiest AND saddest you’ve ever been in your life?
It all boils down the fact that the wedding was so perfect. If I could go back in time and make one change it would be to have the DJ make an announcement when the tamales were being served because I missed that and it’s a major contributing factor in the sadness portion of my current emotional cycle.
I have to get really REAL for a second here and make a very sappy comment about love and commitment and all the dumb, gross, marriage stuff. Being a child of divorce, I have a weird take on marriage. Not that I don’t believe in it or think it’s a sham or impossible to have, but more kind of like what is the point of marriage? I was lucky enough to grow up surrounded by amazing single parents and not being married still yields awesome kids, happy lives and everything like that.
But then I went to this wedding, and I saw the jittery excitement in my best friend as we hid in the bathroom before the ceremony. I saw the calm happiness in the groom’s eyes as he read his vows, I signed the Ketubah (Jewish marriage license, basically) that these two wrote together so honestly and collectively. And then I got it, I got why people get married and I truly have them to thank. When the feeling surrounding a couple announcing their love to each other is so real, honest, and easy it is impossible not to be swallowed up in it.
I know it’s cliché for the bridesmaids to have total life freak outs and start the hunt for their future husband right after the wedding but the truth is, I’m, like, suuuuuper busy right now.