Thursday, December 11, 2008

Matrimony madness

Psst... don't forget to enter my Christmas contest! Good music = happiness. For reals.


Perhaps by virtue of our Canadian and career-ist nature, the bulk of my friends did not rush into wedded bliss right after high school. Sure, there was the one couple who married essentially when the clock struck 12 on his 18th birthday (did I mention that I took his french kissing virginity behind the portable in high school? Oooooh yeah!), and there have been a few weddings trickling in every summer.

... until now.

Somehow, as my official entrance to my late 20s rapidly approaches (one week, but who's counting? And am I right in considering 27 the official transition from mid- to -late 20s? Or am I the only neurotic who parses things up so precisely?)  (And how many brackets can I use in one post?), there has been a veritable explosion of weddings in my close friend network. At a recent gathering, one friend and I looked around, and suddenly realized we'd became the minority in a real hurry.

Now, to be fair, I realize that as a cohabitator, I don't get nearly the amount of flack as my single counterparts do. But, still, bear with me on this one.

One of my best friends in the whole wide world is getting married, and, as such, I find myself playing bridesmaid for the first time. Tonight was the first of my maidly duties before her big day-- a year and a half away. The Duke was shocked when he heard that the tasks were starting so early. I told him he didn't know the half of the fierce bridal competition in this city.
However, my friend has a particular challenge in her planning-- a very Italian set of in-laws, which means a hugely elaborate ceremony and a 7 course meal to her most distant of relatives, all to the tune of fifty thousand plus. 

So, this evening, the bride, her future mother-in-law, another bridesmaid and I made our way to a potential wedding venue. As we walked up the stairs, the other bridesmaid, who is getting married this summer, pulled out two pages of questions. And I realized all I could think of to ask was "How much does it cost?" and "Do we have to clean it?"

I was confronted with all sorts of minute details I had never considered. 
Are chair coverings included?
What about liability insurance?
When can the caterers come in?
Are open flamed candles allowed? 
Are any particular decorating companies banned? (One of my only questions was "What on earth can a decorating company do to get banned?")

As they discussed the area behind the head table, the hostess spoke about the type of drapes usually hung there, and the other girls giggled at my cluelessness over the lingo.

The two brides-to-be spoke of a wedding show, and how there was a contest for a hundred thousand dollar wedding.
"I don't even know how I could spend that much on a wedding," I mused.
"I would totally have it at random-garble-of-Spanish-words" said bride-to-be #1.
"What is random-garble-of-Spanish-words'?" I asked.
Bride-to-be #2 laughed and jokingly patted me on the head, as I shrugged. "Oh, Princess, you still have so much to learn!"
(apparently it is the place to get married here, some sort of grand castle, fyi)

As we bid the hostess, a newlywed herself, adieu, she said to the brides "Good luck on your weddings" and then, to me, "And maybe you'll have one to plan soon, too!"

Did I mention that another friend, along with these already discussed two, asked me today if I saw a proposal coming soon? And even my friend's husbands and fiances are asking him? And my friends are planning which of us unmarried couples should be logically next in line, given our relationship length? (The Duke actually gets a get out of jail free card on this one, as another close friend of mine is has been with her anti-commitment boyfriend for four years now, and it would be terribly rude to get married before them, now, wouldn't it?)

To be clear, it is not that I don't want to get married. Just not right now. I'm still giddily happy in the first year of living together. Why hurry to change that? Besides, a PhD is one demanding mistress.

Besides, what do I know about chair covers and boutonnieres? 


Mrs4444 said...

You're right; PhD's and weddings do NOT mix. That said, since I have often compared you to my Seattle graduate niece, I want to share some exciting news! She is currently doing her Post Doc at UCSF and just learned that she got interviews for a Fellowship(?) next year. The interviews are with Columbia, UCSC, and Harvard!! Holy crap, huh? (I knew you would appreciate the news, knowing how hard you work in your field.) She is so far juggling a new marriage and the Post Doc, so I know for sure it can be done, but first things first, right? :)

P.S. glad you liked your present! :)

Natasha said...

Well, obviously you don't watch a lot of TV or read magazines, because it's women's only goal is to get married. And if you're not in the process of getting married then you should be thinking about how you're going to get your boyfriend to propose to you. Perhaps by losing some weight? (In a lot of the diet ads I've seen recently the after shot of the girl is in a wedding dress.)

Obviously this is tongue in cheek, but it's easy to get swept up in how your life is expected to go. Find boy, get married. Don't let it get to you, because it never ends. I thought the "When are you and [The Hubby] getting married?" would be the last of the annoying questions I would ever have to hear. But, low and behold, "When are you going to have kids" is now the bane of my existence.

I'm glad to see that you're happy with the way your life is presently and recognize that matrimony madness is just that - madness.

Deutlich said...

How the hell did I miss that our birthdays are a week a part?! I turn 27 on the 26th!!

Anonymous said...

Hi love. I forget that you and Duke have only been living together for less than a year - it felt like you two had been together forever when I saw you!

I too would not know what any of that stuff is. It's sort of like going to a car dealership and going, "Ooh, I could go for a new car," and then realizing there's four hours of paperwork to be signed and blah blah blah. Needless to say, there are no weddings nor new cars in my future anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

Man, Amy and I haven't even thought about chair covers yet! We just assumed they came with the package.

Marriage is definitely not something to rush into. Pledging your life-long commitment to some one in front of your family and friends is pretty big deal! That's why Amy and I waited for a few years. I wanted to make sure we were both ready. Now I think we're finally getting there.

Nilsa said...

You'd be surprised how quickly you get up to speed on all things wedding. I have a fantastic book for you if/when the time is right. =)

And just be glad all your friends are exploding in marriage. I'm at that stage where all my friends are married ... and now some of them are getting divorced. Yikes!

Mandy said...

Ugh, being a bridesmaid is one of THE toughest jobs out there. I am convinced the wedding industry has its very own foreign lingo that only married woman and brides to be can speak.

Essentially Me said...

As an Italian, I can tell you that all of that minute detail regarding wedding planning gets old really fast. And I've been to A LOT of Italian weddings. If I get married, I am certain that all of that nonsense will not occupy my mind when I make preparations for my special day.

Crushed said...

I was mid twenties till I turned 28...

I notice that several of my mates are married now. Or might as well be. I seem to be the only irredeemable confirmed bachelor left...

Who? Me? said...

The way you feel about weddings and being married is how I feel about kids. Once you get married, everyone expects you to have kids right away. Even if it's not what's best for you. I want kids...but just not right now.

the frog princess said...

One word: Elopement. If I ever find a man I care to marry, that is exactly what's going to happen.

I totally agree that 27 is the entrance to the "Late 20s"... I've only got a year left here myself, then its, *gasp*, 30!!

25 and 27 were my two most wedding-heavy years. I think it's tapering down now, as nearly everyone who is in a position to get married has done so... and the baby influx is also going strong! Another one just came on Tuesday!

Katelin said...

i have four weddings coming up next year and probably another engagement popping in there too and i'm right there with you. long term bf with no really urgent desire to get married, and seriously if someone asked me about seat covers i would be clueles.

Tough Girl 101 said...

Try a wedding planner! LOL. just saying, you can be neurotic and you DON't have to do it.

S. said...

I'm FAR (waaaaay far) from the marriage thing (ummm...single.)but if that day ever comes: Wedding. Planner.

Wedding planning is much too daunting a task for me. Especially, after I read all those questions for the venue. (Decorator banned? That one still gets me)

Being a bridesmaid was pretty fun though. I wouldn't mind do that again =)

Maxie said...

I wouldn't know what to ask either. I mean besides what does it cost and will your bartenders cut my friends off if they get too drunk.

That's about it.

Caz said...

Amen sista! With AB's lil'Bro getting married last month everyone's been bugging us about when we're next (particularly because even younger bro doesn't have a girl in the picture.) Luckily however, it'll be quite a few more years down the track (5?) and only a few of our friends have recently jumped on the wedding bandwagon. Our best-couple-friends however have just gotten engaged so looking forward to that.

Personally I'm SO not ready for marriage yet. I'm loving the living-together-thing.

Anonymous said...

all i have to say is you go girl! it'll be the taming of the phd. the duke will wait ;) lol

Paula said...

i'm still in my mid-twenties and i'm 29. it's what you make it, hehe. (and i'm not admitting i'm in my late twenties til i'm 30!)

amazingly, most of my friends AREN'T married, although most of them aren't single like me! the only person i'm REALLY close to who is married is my little sister so i don't feel too stressed about it yet! :)

Michelle said...

Ah jeez, that sounds painful. I can't relate. I was one of those married-at-18 freaks. We planned our wedding in four months, and my husband did most of the planning!

eric1313 said...

nothing wrong with taking one's time to decide what to do.

Besides, marriage itself is an empty ceremony for the most part. I'm sure you and the Duke would have a good marriage and would live up to the ideas behind the vows, but you are both already living them, so really, it's just superfluous nonsense when you think about it.

Do what I plan to do: Screw convention and get married in Vegas. The vows mean the same coming from a robotic Elvis as they do coming from the Pope.

It's how you live them that matter.

Anonymous said...

I'm right there with you, except with me it's about kids. Everyone wants to know when we're going to make a baby. Well, guess what? When I have my degree and we can afford to feed one. So roughly 2013. I'll be 33. That's plenty young enough. Sheesh, I get irritated with people who don't understand that you don't just marry or procreate because you hit some magic number in age or relationship length. Also? Do not understand baby details, such as co-sleeping and swaddling.

Z said...

I'm waiting to hit this stage (for all that I am already 27) - the first of my really close friends is getting married this summer, but no one else is there yet. I was the first to go (1.5 years married now, how the hell did that happen?) but am waiting to hit that year(s) when it seems like EVERYONE is getting married. Since (almost) all my friends are getting advanced degrees, I'd give it another few years. But when we all turn 30? I imagine I'll have a wedding every weekend or so. GAH.

Matt said...

A 7 course meal?

Can I be invited? I wont start any

Daisy said...

In Sydney you would be considered crazy to marry before 30 - and I have to say it's nice for me down there! As I'm about to hit the point of late-20s as well, even just being home in the states for the holidays I am faced with the same issues! My favorite is that people can't seem to understand why I haven't fallen in love in Australia (yet - they always add yet.) lol. Can't wait to get back to Sydney!!

dmb5_libra said...

im still holding on to my mid-twenties at 26.....and there really has been an explosion of engagements, weddings, and babies from friends my age. i think i'm going to be an cougar when i get old, not a spinster :)

Sassy said...

Two things - first, I totally do the age bracket thing, and yes, 27 is officially the begining of "late twenties", but don't feel bad, because next May is my official "mid Thirties" Yikes!
And second, weddings don't have to be all of that. Small and simple is sometimes so much better. Seriously, mine was ceremony in the park in our neightborhood, reception in our backyard. And everyone loved it. And I never even considered chair covers. :-)

Yoda said...

Happy almost birthday!!

Fuck mid-to-late twenties. I found out that judging by the quality of apartments and the overall living condition? late 20s are SO much better than the earlier.

Also, being brown, I'm blessed with a freakin' HUGE family. I dare not even think of a wedding. The sheer idea of having to meet so many people on one day terrifies me.

captain corky said...

I think you have a good idea of what you need right now and if it's working why mess with it.

My wife will be finishing up her second masters degree in May and then a week later she'll be in the delivery room. By the way, that's a secret for now. ;) Let's just say that the end of this semester has been a wee bit more stressful for her this time around. Although, she did teach English 101 and 102 when she was pregnant with Max. LOL!

Yoda said...

Oh! I forgot to add the most important bit. Using iTunes, you can create an 'iMix', so that the less fortunate ones who don't win the prized 4, can still buy your songs off iTunes :-D

So@24 said...

I am so so confused.

EF said...

i don't see why most people don't elope...seriously, then just throw a big reception for friends (to get those darn gifts, of course!).
So much less stress, work and new languages to learn!

Errant Gosling said...

I feel your pain. All through my mid-twenties (I'm still calling 27 "mid" -- it makes me feel better) weddings of one sort or another have approached the double digits annually. Of course, the next step after "when are you getting married" is "when are you going to have kids" and seems, if possible, even less pleasant. So, cheers in the meantime. Good luck with the PhD.

Crashdummie said...

wow, it seems insane. 2 of my closest friends are getting married next year, and so are 3 other aquintance of mine.

but atleast now u get to see the weding preparations behind-the-scene and will know what u will be getting into if and when u decide to get hitched :D

benjibopper said...

sorry but late 20s start at 26.

and yeah, i remember the mid-20s wedding rush. i joined late. now we've late-joined the child parade. all loads of fun as long as you go at your own pace and do it your own way.

BraceletSeeds said...

I remember somewhere reading that the average age to marry for women in America is now 26 whereas it was hovering around 19-22 previously. I wish I could find that study so that I can cling to it crazily as my peers clink glasses :)