insulting

In ALL, LIFE OBSERVATIONS by Stephanie Klein7 Comments

Above all other occasions, a wedding is an event where people get insulted. How could you sit me with that table, you know that’s not my color…how could you have chosen THAT as your bridesmaid color, could you have put me at a table closer to the kitchen, I can’t believe you didn’t invite me with a date, you made it clear you want to do it all yourself and you don’t want my help, I didn’t even get invited to the bachelorette party, I can’t believe he chose him over me as a groomsmen. And people remember how they were insulted many years later. It’s as if they add it to their list of things to remember, right before, “Buy milk.”

I never had a wedding. Talk of linens and pin-spot lighting, duties and charts, thank you notes and don’t forgets made me forget it was ever about marriage. It became about a wedding, and I just Could. Not. Deal. So I didn’t. We eloped.

NIGHTMARE. His mother, in a word, was a nightmare. No date we picked was ever good enough. The cousins are at camp, his dad will be in Switzerland giving a talk. It never, ever, ended.

No one really believes me at first. I think it’s the way I dress, down to my lovely jewels and pointy shoes. When I first say, “Yeah, we never even had a wedding” no one believes it; they bounce back with, “come on.” They see my job, smell my hair products, and eye my pedicure, and they think I’m high maintenance. No one can believe, at the end of the day, I didn’t care about a stupid wedding. I was never that girl, the one who dreams of her wedding day. I dreamt of being an actress or a writer, but never a bride. I always skipped that step in the dreams and went straight to a wife and mom. My only regret, missing a dance with my father.

I hate telling this story. There’s too much to explain and convince you of because I want you to be on “my side.” I want you to know that his mother was a psychopath, but that means describing her and showing you what I mean in a long winding description. It means describing his pathologic sister, then drawing parallels for you… so you could see the apple really doesn’t fall far. I’d have to describe her leaves and his rotten core. He was definitely low hanging fruit, despite his lofty degrees and wealthy upbringing. I hate telling this story; it means remembering.

You get to a point where you just don’t want to remember anymore. You’ve learned, and now you’re done with that. You want it gone. But it sneaks up when you don’t want it to. In shopping, in deciding which purse to carry or questioning my jewelry choices. When shopping for shoes or fabric, I think of his mother, and what she would choose. From what nail polish color she would choose for me, and which one I’d choose for myself, and what she’d think of my choice. I wanted so much to please that woman, and despite being a great cook, a smart passionate woman, a woman who loved her son, they never liked me. They wanted a socialite, to give him the Page Six life he “deserved.” I almost remember more of that vicious, back-stabbing lady than I do of her immature, ball-picking son.

My to-do lists were different when I was married. I spent many nights and weekend afternoons planning menus. I’d Starbucks it in the morning, then remain in my tank and sweat shorts, hair clipped in a curly pile on my head. I’d sit at the kitchen table with blank notecards and stacks of cookbooks. To-do lists weren’t just the butcher and baker—they became cooking tasks: roast tomatoes, make and freeze a lasagna. I made black-bottom cheesecake cups, and I hate baking. When you’re married, to-do becomes doing for others. There are more expectations and shoulds. Now I don’t have a kitchen table, and there’s no one to cook for. And don’t even go there: “have you thought about cooking for one?” I mean, really, that’s more insulting than a wedding.

Comments

  1. Beautiful piece. I can almost smell the hostility in all those cross-cutting relationships. You're a survivor. Now forget the Titanic and go thrive!

    PS–Dinner in Nyack last weekend. No tears. Too tired.

  2. the readers would surely be entertained by the "bunny" tales of the ex-mother-in-law; however, not wanting to remember anymore is a good start to ridding yourself of any negativity that takes up space in your precious, creative mind. though i used to love the bunny legends, i look forward to what will replace them.

  3. I've been reading your writes for a while and I'm kinda wondering what it is you do for a living. I'm guessing it has got to be something creative. Anyway, kinda curious..

  4. There were some signs out there. His mother and sister not liking you, them being demanding, him being just like them, etc. All of us sometimes miss or choose to ignore the signs at the time and then realize them after the fact. The good thing is that it is all over now, you have moved on, and you have shined.

    I know exactly what you mean about the insulting parts of weddings and how no one is ever happy. I also agree completely about how cooking for one sucks, but we have to eat.

    Ok, so I reread what your Dad said about the fruit. I totally agree with him and he put it so perfectly. Your dad is the man! Please let him know that I said that. Now if I could only find a ladder to get up to the ones on the top. I am tired of finding the ones on the ground, going out with them, and then tossing them back to where they belong.

  5. you're right. i would have pegged you as a big hoopla wedding kind of girl. it's refreshing that you're not. it's rare.

  6. That sucks. I am not normally this inarticulate but that just sucks. Looking at what transpired from one perspective, they might as well have kidnapped your first born and sold the child to a band of gypsies or burned your only draft of your magnum opus. It would have been nice to see you in your dress and happy. We would be happy to see such pictures.

    But looking at it from another perspective, they denied themselves something they really didn't deserve. They didn't deserve to have you be the star of their wedding. They will never have pictures of illustrious and gorgeous you in a wedding dress, and they are the ones to blame. Not all thieves are to be cursed. Sure they stole something from you and Mr. Klein, but you know that when you do have a wedding in the future it will be the only one you have had. It truly will be something special and memorable, especially if the gentleman is the one who gives you the inner giggle. I know I am beginning to sound odd because I always see the bright side to everything. And no, I am not Voltaire's Dr. Pangloss.

    Anyway, weddings are not for the bride and groom but for the people who are truly happy for them. That's the only reason I can think of having one, and hopefully, there is only one in your future. And I think that's why you didn't have one, you were fated to have only fantastic wedding without a younger twin of which you would be constantly reminded or which would detract from the wedding that really means something to you.

    Someone's calling for Dr. Pangloss. I am going to have to go. Bye!

  7. wow… thanks for writing this – i completely concur… i never dreamt of a wedding (well, the engagement was broken before we even could plan) but i have always skipped to being a wife and a mother… i thought that was weird, but i'm glad i'm not the only one. and strangely, the only thing i would miss is a dance with my father… and that i'd want to share with the world. nevermind the stupid dress and the bridesmaids' outfits.

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