Deadbeat Bride… or Everyday Stress Case?
Updated: Nov 25, 2018
This post originally appeared on our old blog, Born to be a Bride.
This bride-to-be is completely spent. Between work, working out (sometimes), cleaning the apartment, teaching myself how to cook, sleeping (sometimes), and attempting to create friendships in my new city while holding onto those from home, I am just beyond my limits right now. Some days I stress myself out even more by creating a list of things we have not done yet:
1 – Sign contract with photographer/submit deposit
2 – Research bands
4 – Order save-the-dates/compile address list
5 – ETC.
Then I put my brain on mute and turn to the checklist I tore out of Brides a week after getting engaged. Try as I might, I can’t find one item that should have been handled by now and hasn’t. In fact, many of the items in the 10-months-out list and some in the eight- and even six- lists have been checked off. But still, I manage to punish myself for being a deadbeat bride.
You know what it is? I waited for this time in my life. I dreamed about it. I doodled and scribbled and spoke and clicked around online about it. I asked pretty much anyone who would listen, “Do you think Josh is going to propose?” … “Do you think we’ll ever get married?”… or even worse: “When is it going to be my turn?”
I stamped my worn-out Ferragamo’s all over New York City for the five years I lived there wondering when and if I would become a bride. Now, my engagement is here and I can’t pick a save-the-date? What gives?
OCD: I have it. It might not always kick in when there is laundry to be done or counters to be scrubbed. But I do look at my life and expect a certain order, a certain perfection. When it comes to my writing, this is useful. I don’t miss deadlines. I don’t ignore emails. I don’t submit stories that haven’t been self-edited multiple times. When it comes to my personal life, things are not so simple.
I dream of being perfect and doing perfect and creating perfect all day long. I set up an unattainable image in my mind about what it will be like and then watch the image shatter as pimples still push through and familial disagreements still arise and the dishwasher is inevitably run with one lone glass sitting, forgotten, in the sink. But this is my wedding. There is only one chance. I want to look back on it and remember its splendor and pure perfection. Just like the few gray hairs that refuse to be saturated by a late-twenties emergency highlighting session, there will be things about my wedding that are not perfect. But as rationally as I can accept this in the abstract, when I start to plan, I sometimes start to panic. And then of course, the more I panic, the less I actually get done.
With every “what if” about our wedding, I set out to check certain tasks off our list and then worry that there are too many unknowns, too many options, and I might be missing something. This doesn’t make me a deadbeat bride, I realize that for the most part. But it’s on afternoons like this one, when I find myself winding down after a hard day and turning to this blog to fill it with images of peonies or gluten free pink ice cream cones or other exciting details, that the little voice in the back of my head starts to whisper.
What if I choose these bridesmaid dresses and later there is a style I like better?… What if we register at those three stores and then realize we should have just consolidated into one?… What if the cantor cancels at the last minute because we are getting married the week between Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur?…
Oh crap. That reminds me, I have to call the cantor.