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.