A Wedding, In Pieces

23 Jun

We are in a house of windows. In a glass house, which is ironic if you’ve been with me for the past 72 hours. Storms are rolling in back to back, rain is coming down in hard sheets. The wedding is outside. Or was supposed to be. Our host has an 80’s love music compilation CD playing in a house-wide stereo system. The bride stands at the window just outside of the yellow lamp light and watches the rain while REO Speedwagon plays in the background. I am oddly reminded of the movie Forces of Nature, where the bride waits in the hurricane for her groom.

It has been a long road to this day. The family is held together by gossamer threads of duty. The grandmother might not come, people are not speaking.

I don’t fit in with these girls. Of all the bridesmaids I am the only one that only knows the bride through the groom. I gravitate to the mother of the bride. Something about the entire day makes me need a mother.

****

I am getting my makeup done. The artist asks if I have babies. I say no, and don’t offer any explanation. When she asks me what I want my eyes to look like, I say dark and heavy.

****

I am getting my hair done. The hairdresser asks me if I have babies. I offer a slightly more hopeful answer than I gave the makeup artist and say, not yet! She does big, loopy curls in my hair while she eats a sandwich and I try not to worry about her dripping mayo on my back. She says her GPS brought her here, she has never been so far out in the country. I laugh. She says, seriously . . . where are we? I tell her the honest answer, that I don’t know. I am just as lost as she is.

****

Every hour the tension increases. The bride is screechy and stressed, her sisters hate her behind her back. Our host, her aunt, gives us a talk about Jesus Christ and His Plan. If His Plan is for rain on your wedding day, you accept it. She says: You have to bend to his will. Submit. What he wants is what you get. I think: Jesus sounds like an angry toddler. She says that one year her husband and her decided to celebrate their anniversary with Jesus. Her husband got her a card that said: Happy Anniversary to you, me and JC! The bride sets her plate down and walks out of the room.

****

The Aunt’s job is to be the time enforcer. In the last 15 minutes she yells the time left before we have to leave every minute. TEN MINUTES, she screams. Peter Cetera sings in the background. NINE MINUTES. My bag is packed by the front door, I stand there with my dress over my arm, it’s making sweaty creases in my skin. EIGHT MINUTES. When it gets down to the last two minutes the bride begins the epic meltdown. She is screaming at everyone except me, because I haven’t even gone near her in the last 2 hours.

*****

I am in the backseat of the car on the way to the ceremony. I hate the backseat, I get carsick. The maid of honor is driving. The bride is rocking back and forth with her veil neatly tucked in her stiff hair, chanting something about hating everyone. Her little sister is in the back with me. We are both texting people about how badly we want to be somewhere (anywhere) else. Her sister says: I swear, she is normally a nice person.

*****

We use umbrellas to shield her on the way in, because the groom is in the parking lot. When it’s time to put on her dress and its not fitting she screams and tells everyone to get away from her. The rain stops long enough to get our pictures taken outside. All of our heels sink into the mud. We forget that we are supposed to have bouquets. We are unhappy and tired but we smile radiantly any time someone raises a camera. I see B across the way, in his tux, and my eyes water. It’s the first thing that’s moved me all day.

*****

The DJ is a large man in all black that sweats constantly. Not beads of sweat, rows of it, running down his face. He stands too close, always out of breath. He asks questions like: Are you family of the bride? Would you be willing to get up and tell that story? Do you, he says, mopping his face, have children? Do you like love songs?

No, no, no. Is there any other kind?

*****

I am sitting in my dress, in my muddy heels, with my dark eyes and my loose curls. The bride is raging around, she is sick of waiting, she hates the flowers, let’s go let’s go let’s go. I think of my wedding day, of the calm I felt all day, like an answer. This is the answer. I am walking towards the answer.

I want to tell her to shut up. I want to tell her that she still can believe in miracles, like babies. She could still be that person that gets pregnant on her honeymoon. I want to tell her that this silly little day is nothing about what marriage is, that marriage is more about holding hands in the tax office than the hue of your Gerber Daises. And I want to fucking tell her that she is saying Gerber wrong. Every. Fucking. Time. She. Says. It.

*****

I take two Advil and an Ativan, and wash it down with champagne. The wedding planner brought it to us to toast with, and I’ve been trying to get everyone to shut up and sit down and toast and nobody does. I toast to myself, that this day is almost over and that I will never do this again.

*****

I am to walk down the aisle with B. I see him across the way and he smiles at me. I am filled with peace. I want to have twenty of his babies. I want to be barefoot and pregnant and baking and even poor. All these things, I think, I will sacrifice, for that one thing.

*****

I did not think I would cry, but when I see the groom see the bride, I know that he loves her. Standing behind him is B, stoic as ever. He won’t look at me because we pledged not to make each other laugh. Whatever happens, we said, we will not be the ruin of this wedding. Crazy in-laws, Bridezilla moments, wrong flowers, or JC’s rain: it doesn’t matter, as long as it isn’t us laughing.

*****

The reception is rushed, like an event with stations that must be attended. A girl that hasn’t seen us in a long time asks us both: When are you two having babies? We make eye contact, sigh. Let’s do the routine. Soon, I say. We are working on it! She elbows B and says: Oh, that’s the fun part, huh? He says: It’s the part I like best!

It is an empty lie, he delivers it with no conviction. She is too drunk to notice.

I am hollowed by it.

*****

We drive home. I haven’t been able to feel my feet in hours. The car is strewn with flowers and favors and pieces of tux. The CD we had is skipping, so B turns on the radio. I am so tired that I am in that strange world between sleep and wakefulness, watching lights stream by on a highway that is empty. It seems like we are going too fast. Terrible songs are on the radio, and I am too tired to change it. Poison comes on, Every Rose Has It’s Thorn. And when he says, “I know I could have saved our love that night, if I had known what to say”, I am wrecked. By a Poison song! Fighting tears. He could have saved the love! He just didn’t know what to say!

*****

Taking the dress off is always the best part of these events. Every girl knows this. We have been running for two days straight, and there is more tomorrow. But taking that dress off, taking a hot bath, getting into clean sheets, it is a beautiful thing.

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12 Responses to “A Wedding, In Pieces”

  1. carrie 06/23/2009 at 6:09 pm #

    I LOVE YOU

  2. Lanie 06/23/2009 at 11:23 pm #

    You’re a wonderful writer. I’m really glad I’ve found your blog.

    • lswan 06/24/2009 at 9:19 pm #

      Thank you so much!

  3. Liz 06/24/2009 at 7:29 pm #

    FIRST! (It’s funny for three reasons: 1. “first!” 2. ALL CAPS 3. Not first. Third, actually.)

    I’m so so happy you came to my blog after my be-typo’d comment on Posie. I’m so glad to have found your funny, smart, moving blog.

    I, too, have a bunk uterus. My son had to be inserted into it, near fully-formed. I know how hideous those questions can be. And once you achieve the miracle of one (at a cost of $21-uninsured-thousand dollars), those a-holes will start asking about number two. Effers can never have enough kids outta you. Until you have four. Four, according to my fertile friends, is too many. Then they will start hounding you about “why so many?!”

    I am adding you to my reader.

    This comment is too long.

    • lswan 06/24/2009 at 9:24 pm #

      It was funny for all three reasons! Like a trifecta of funny.

      If someone starts hounding me about a second after I have managed to create a first despite overwhelming odds, I will cut them.

      🙂

  4. Sara 06/27/2009 at 6:20 am #

    i love your writing.
    I LOVE B. Seriously. I admire your relationship. I admire how you both face life with strength and laughter. You will get the happy family you dream of!!! Plus more than those idiots out there can imagine…

  5. T 06/27/2009 at 8:52 am #

    Hi dear. Well that day played out about as well as expected eh? 🙂

    I love the way you described your wedding day. The most calm I’ve ever felt in my life was my wedding as well. It was love. It was simple. It was us. It was laughter, family and friends. It is how we are to this day 5 years later.

    I still can not get over how happy I am that you and my Swani were latched. It’s too great in my eyes.

    It is funny to think that the “do you have kids” question is so hurting. We don’t mean to be bitchy about our inabilities it’s just so shockingly in front of us each and every day in so many ways.

    Being questioned about it from most everyone we meet in 5 minutes sure is fun. Although they are just shooting the breeze and trying to start up a chat it is amazing how deep it can cut. Not them. It.

    I think the best part is the tilt of the head and the look on their face of “you weren’t supposed to answer the do you have children question that way”. Usually quickly turned into a try at making lite of the situation by saying something oh so funny and original such as the “trying is the best part eh?”

    Listen, I guess you are right sex is the best part of the fact that I am barren, undiagnosed yet entirely unable to be preganified in 6 years. Thank you for that. I feel warm and fuzzy all over.

    I must say some good runner ups are:
    “it will happen honey, just give it time.”
    “i bet if you just stop trying so hard and thinking about it so much it will just happen”. – That is especially fun to hear from the same damn people who just asked you if you had children.

    Since I’m polietly sharing my feelings. Let me make a quick comment here about adoption.

    Every single person follows up the knowledge of us adopting with “are you adopting a baby?”. When I explain the fact that going through the state, and only going for legally free children (rights are severed from birth family) makes our chances of a baby about 5% I usually get that look of “uh oh….it’s gonna come to you with problems. baggage. issues.” As if we don’t all have that. I’d like to know what each of these people knows of the child I don’t even have yet.

    Then there are the ones that like to go a step further and educate you a little about adoption. As if the education of years in the adoption process from research on up hasn’t educated you enough. Now they would like to share one or two horror stories like how their great aunt Pat once adopted a child and now she hides in her room all day with the door locked cuz the kid is a phyco. And of course they are, they were adopted!

    Thank you. I appreciate the fact that you would like to further rock my soul. I’m sorry but do you happen to know who my husband may be screwing on the side or what the groups honest opinion is about me? Or would you like to ask me now to top it all off if I heard the news about how my Nanna Bee just died in a freak Taco Bell explosion!! Cuz I”d love to hear more information you’d like to share.

    Really I want to calmly put my hands on their nec… ok fine…their shoulders and turn them towards me. Look them in the eyes inches from their face and say “You’re pretty fucked up. I didn’t know you were adopted.” and then walk away.

    Well as always my luv thanks for being my purge pal. Spoiled eggs and spam signing out….

    Luv ya lady.
    T

  6. Arielle 07/02/2009 at 8:49 pm #

    omg LOL “Happy Anniversary to you, me and JC! ” makes me think of that song “JC are you with me”

    I loved your recount on pieces of the day. You and Uncle B are very special.

  7. amanda 07/10/2009 at 9:02 pm #

    This was stunning. I tripped over from your comment on Five Star Friday, lucky me.

    • lswan 07/11/2009 at 12:05 am #

      Thank you! I just tripped back over to your blog and am all swoony it’s so good. I love how the internet plops awesome people in your lap!

  8. Elizabeth Hitztaler 07/21/2009 at 6:30 am #

    You are a wonderful writer. Funny, but honest about the hard shit. Just the way that I like them. I found your blog from Liz’s blog, and I found her blog from googling something crazy for ball jars or something for my wedding. This is why I love the blog world-took me out of the ridiculousness of wedding land…plus I love any blog I read that one of the first words is Fuck. You are awesome. Keep your head up!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. A Wedding, In Pieces | Story Bleed Magazine - 11/18/2010

    […] the original post from Lindsey at her blog, I Digress:  Tales from a Baby-Starved Wingnut Subscribe Follow her on Twitter @mrslswan Edited By Jen Playgroupie | November 18th, 2010 | […]

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