I generally dislike weddings mainly because I fail to comprehend them --- why would you ask people to come from all over the world and then just talk about how you love one person more than them? But I also secretly dislike them because I've never had one.
A wedding may not be something that every little girl wants but I certainly did. I wanted to get to wear the big wonderful dress and have all my friends together and I wanted to have all the beautiful lights in the trees and tulle dancing in the breeze and the candles and the music and the sense of community and the sheer beauty of it. I've always been interested in creating beautiful spaces and beautiful events and the wedding event is the epitome of these things.
Of course I grew up in an unconventional family and a slightly unconventional community so as a little girl I felt completely free to imagine my wedding pretty much groom-less and I did. In many ways the groom is absent in most little girl's fantasies of their own wedding. It is about the dum-dum-da-dum and the dress and the flowers and the bridal party more than anything else. My fantasy wedding would include a multi-family improv show in lieu of a ceremony and feature a performance by Marilyn Manson at the reception and would take place in the very same location where Jurassic Park was filmed.
The wedding I was working last night was deeply conventional in a Texas twang kind of way. The outdoor ceremony began with the lords prayer and the reception (which was held in a barn) featured country music (most of which included the word "Texas" in the song). The bride and groom ended the night by running a gauntlet of sparklers -- the bride, of course, in cowboy boots. And somewhere during this evening while I oversaw a buffet of sliders was this: I would have gotten married and lived a "conventional" life if that life had been presented to me.
I always think that somehow it is a different breed of person who gets married in her early-mid 20s and has 2.5 children and lives in a single family home with a flawless front lawn. I've always felt like some kind of an outsider to that life -- like a little girl window shopping for her future but never being permitted to enter the store.
What I realized last night is that what I have done in my life and what I haven't done has nothing to do with the kind of human I am. I am not a different breed of person who is immune to a more conventional lifestyle. If given the opportunity to live a more usual life, I would have jumped at it. I would have worn the white dress down the isle with the candles and the flowers and the tulle and I would have rode off into the sunset in whatever kind of footware was appropriate for my location and my upbringing.
In many ways I was taught and I accepted that a wedding is the beginning of adult life. But what happens when you're well into adulthood and there is no wedding in sight?
My life has presented me with singleness just as other people lives present them with a spouse or partner. And being single has made me who I am just as being married has made others who they are. It isn't a singles vs. coupled world that we live in. It is simply a human vs. sacrifices world. Are we going to live our dreams even if they make no sense or are we going to give into the comfort and stability of the daily grind? Which do we want? Most likely a little of both.
Do I still dream of my improv-show/controversial-yet-oddly-eloquent-celebrity-performance/dinosaur-landscaped wedding? Yes. Do I still dream of me going it alone in the beautiful dress on top of some rock outcropping with the sun setting into the ocean and then ride off into the sunset on a tulle clad brontosaurus? Yes. Do I have the energy to ever pull this off? Maybe. But for right now there is a dirty car that needs to be washed and baby chickens that need to be integrated with the big birds and a dog with too-long toe nails and a new business endeavor to start tomorrow.