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Wedding secrets. Shhhh. December 23, 2010

My sister and I got into it a little bit today when she asked me to send her a picture of the dress I picked out.  I didn’t want to send her a picture.  I didn’t even want her knowing I had bought one.  It was nothing personal, I wouldn’t want to send anyone a picture.  I didn’t want to mention buying one to anyone.  When I picked it out, I swore my mom, future mother-in-law and future sister-in-law to secrecy.  And I wasn’t going to say anything else to another damn soul about it until the wedding.

The best laid plans of mice and men …

Well then my co maid of honor got in touch with me and asked when I was going to start looking at dresses, because she’d love to come with me.  I had to tell her I’d already picked one out.  Then I had to also call my grandma, who I was thinking would make me a dress, and let her know that I had fallen in love with a dress in a store, and that I wasn’t going to have her make my dress after all.  But that was going to be it, damnit.

Of course, I know that when that many people know a secret, it’s bound to get out (which is exactly why the government can’t keep secrets from us for very long).  I should have known that eventually, someone would blab.  Maybe even me.

Well, that’s what happened.  At least two people blabbed, and one of them was me.  Really accidentally, on Facebook.  I’m not even sure what I said, or in what context, but my sister says I did.  So she asked to see a picture of the dress, which I was very, very reluctant to give her.  I even considered sending her a picture of another dress.

She didn’t understand why I had such a problem sending her a picture of my dress.  I don’t understand why it’s a big deal for her to see it.  But what I do understand is that I’m the one behaving strangely.  I’ve been trying to explore why I have this really strong aversion to letting anyone see, or even talking about, the wedding dress I selected.  When it comes to my sister, the answer is simple.  We’re both getting married next year, and I feel like when we talk about our weddings, some kind of competition is starting, and I hate competition.  Especially with her.  I might be imagining it in this case, I don’t know.  I think there’s been a lot of this going on between us all our lives, though.  We are very, very different people, and our views clash a lot.  I think we both feel that the other is judging our every move.  I think we both do judge each other quite a bit.  Sometimes, I would just prefer not to reveal anything judge worthy to my sister, and this is just one of those times.  It is for that exact same reason that I have not looked at her wedding dress.  This isn’t a competition, I’ll just be surprised by all of her wedding elements when I see them, and then can appreciate it.

But it’s not just my sister I’m having this issue with, it’s everyone.  Really, the competition issue is just a minor excuse that is probably covering up larger issues I’m dealing with.  What I’ve come up with is this

  • I don’t want elements of my wedding to be judged out of context.  It’s hard for people to understand what I’m doing when they can’t see the whole vision I have in my mind.  I don’t want anyone to see one element of my wedding and get false expectations, or to dislike something and let that impression color their entire experience of my wedding on the day.
  • I’m not confident in my choices.  Well, that’s maybe a little poorly worded.  I am confident in my in my vision, and my ability to make choices that reflect my vision, even if it takes me a long time to do so.  What I’m not good at is defending my vision and choices when someone is critical of them.  I’m also not very good at saying no to things I don’t want.  And everyone has some idea of what my wedding should be like.  Very little of my vision seems to be understood.  So, for someone like me, who isn’t very  assertive, I’d rather not share any more of my vision than I absolutely have to.  Especially since my vision involves going off the beaten path a little bit.  When I start to listen to other people criticize my wants, I end up changing my mind a lot.  Case in point, bridesmaid dresses.  My original plan was for all of my bridesmaids to wear white and then accessorize with my wedding colors.  A bunch of people expressed negativity about that, saying I should be the only one in white (which I’ll address later), so I ended up changing my mind about what the bridesmaids would wear three or four times, until finally I came back to the original idea and I’m just sticking with that.  But now I feel crazy, and I probably look crazy and wishy-washy to everyone in my wedding party.  Ugh!
  • I believe that if I share too much of what I’m doing, I’m not going to like it anymore.  Sometimes when something becomes too familiar, it becomes distasteful to me.  But if I keep an element of mystery and surprise to my wedding, it will stay exciting to me.
  • I want everything to be a surprise.  And I’m superstitious.  I could be extending the superstition that it’s bad luck for the groom to see the dress to everyone.
  • I’m embarrassed about what dress I purchased.  I am quite certain that my dress was sewn by little children in a sweat shop, or something like that.  I’ll bet the companies that made my dress pay  no attention to any environmental hazards they might be producing in the wake of creating my dress.  I feel a great deal of environmental, human rights and anti consumeristic shame over my dress, and I don’t want the world to know it.  So here I go writing it.  Here I go confessing my deep, inner shame.  I bought a dress from David’s Bridal, the puppy mill of wedding dress boutiques.  Shudder.  I love the dress, when I don’t think about where it came from.  I promise, I’ll do something to make up for the horrible origins of my dress.  I’ll donate it.  I’ll make it into christening gowns for my babies.  I’ll sell it for cheap.  I’ll make a donation to Heifer International in the name of the people who sewed it.  Something!  Anything!  Please, oh powers of the universe and all that is good and pure in this world, forgive me!

All of this being said, I’m in this weird conundrum because here I am, blogging about my wedding.  That very same wedding that I don’t want to share any details of.  What am I doing here?  It’s not like a bunch of people actually read this.  It’s more of a diary, really.  Now that I’ve written all this down, I think I’ll stop linking my Facebook page to this blog.  Wow.  Yes, this post just took me here.  And I seriously wasn’t planning this when I started writing it.  That’s the power of inspiration, though, I suppose.

Or maybe I should just get myself a new journal.  My journal mysteriously disappeared over the summer.  The last time I remember having it in my hands was at Jeremy’s house, in his family room.  I was writing in it.  But it didn’t make it home with me, and we’ve looked all over his house and not found it.  I don’t think I realized how much I’ve been missing it.  I never used to keep a journal, but I started this past spring, and I grew pretty attached to it.  Maybe that is all I need right now.

Because I would like to share some of my wedding planning with the world.  For example, I’m making gouda in my kitchen right now.  I’m just writing this while I wait for a clean break.  Which I appear to have now.  I better go cut the curd.  Bye now!

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4 Responses to “Wedding secrets. Shhhh.”

  1. calvin Says:

    I think that you should show her the dress. I am sure you both know that you are competing, healthy competition can be a good thing. At the end of the day your sister can pick a better dress than you and you can’t pick a better dress than her. The look and style of your dresses is personal choice.

  2. jessimonster Says:

    I did send her a picture, eventually. I don’t know if I agree with you about competition, in this case. I’m not sure what we do is healthy, and it’s not in anyway enjoyable for either of us.
    She already bought a dress months ago, but even if she hadn’t, I’m not worried about her getting a better dress. The issue is that I don’t want her passing judgement on my dress, or any other element of my wedding. I don’t care for it. Just like I don’t care for the way she passes judgement on my parenting (although, to be fair, I also pass judgement on hers), or the clothes I wear. Her opinion is not going to change who I am or what I do, but it’s still irritating to feel like I always have to defend my choices.
    To be clear, I’m not innocent in this. I have recognized the role I play in perpetuating this behavior and have been working hard to lessen it. If I expect the situation to change, it has to start with me. But in the end, I’d prefer not to open myself up to judgement, by her or anyone else.
    But, like I said, that’s not even the main issue, because it’s not just her I want to hide my dress from. She was able to talk me into showing it to her, because she’s my sister. But anyone else isn’t going to be able to do it. I don’t care how crazy it is, I don’t want to show people my dress. It probably has the most to do with my consumerist shame I mentioned in my last bullet point than anything else. If the same dress was organic or fair trade or second hand, I’d probably be bragging about it to everyone.

  3. Shanna Katz Says:

    Jess-

    Do your own thing, and love yourself for doing what feels right. Goddess knows neither of us are having “traditional weddings” (I’m wearing burgundy and oh yeah, my partner isn’t a dude), and so both of us are going to have to put up with judgement. And you know what, if you like white for the bridesmaids, DO IT. Our wing people are wearing either black dresses (any style/length/etc) with a white accent or a black shirt/pants with a white tie…and they get to choose which. I’ve had people tell me black at a wedding is a bad omen…and then I point out I will have black on my burgundy outfit, and it usually shuts them up. Remember, you’re doing this for you, and so a) do what you want and b) if it doesn’t feel right to share, don’t.

    Also, I totally know this guilt thing. We’re doing this big social justicey wedding, where all of our vendors have declared themselves to be LGBTQ supportive (or are queer themselves), yada yada yada, and our favors are donations to queer organizations (and an animal rescue), etc…but we have a target registry. Why? Because it has lots of cheap housing items, and we want to be affordable. We also have BBB, but Target is cheaper, and easier for people to get to, and damn it, I like a lot of their stuff…but does that make me a bad social justice person for linking to it?

    Hugs!

  4. Jessica Says:

    You might have to share some vendors with me. I want LGBTQ supportive vendors, even if I am marrying a dude.
    We’ll probably register at Target too, if Jeremy has his say. He loves that store. But I’m putting an end to him buying groceries there once we’re married.


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