NaNoWriMo is halfway over. And I am hovering around 30,000 words, which means I am on track for the writing goal and victory over NaNo. So, it is only natural that my writing has ground to a halt. Because I have found myself in the unlikely situation of planning a wedding.
Thankfully, it's not my own.
I've come to have a Pavlovian response to seeing a woman in an uncomfortable white dress. Hearing Mendelssohn sets my teeth on edge. If I see one more cake pop decorated to look like it is wearing a tuxedo...
I don't really have memories of good wedding memories to draw from. And no wedding on TV is ever a the joyous occasion it attempts to be. Weddings in movies are forever leveraging the common tropes of Americana storytelling. So I can't even steal from those.
I've hit a wedding wall.
Total Douchebag Dumps Me at Denny's
While this one doesn't actually occur at a wedding, you will be able to see how it lays the groundwork for my wedding distaste. The story of how I became engaged to Denny's Dude is a pretty short one.
“I think we should get married,” I told him one day. And that was it. We were engaged.
A few months later, we were sitting in a diner, because I was craving pancakes. Breakfast for dinner has always been one of my favorites. I asked him if he wanted to wear a tuxedo or a suit for the wedding. He didn't reply. I told him I felt like he didn't want to help plan our wedding. He said that he guessed he didn't.
Then he said that he didn't want to get married. And as fast and unceremoniously as we were betrothed, we were broken up. Boy, can I pick 'em.
Total Douchebag Ruins My Reception
My wedding itself was quite lovely. And went off without a hitch. It wasn't until three weeks later--at the second reception in California--that Douchebaggery occurred. The night before this reception, I had a terrible fight with my newly-minted husband because he was incredibly rude to my father.
I was furious. I will put up with a lot in this life. But... Never. Disrespect. My. Father.
And we broke the cardinal rule of married folk and went to bed angry.The next morning, we hardly spoke. Actually, it would be more accurate to say that he would not speak to me. Not one word as I did my hair up like I had at our wedding. Nothing as I dressed in a semi-formal white gown that was perfect for a late-morning, second reception. I was holding it together because it had taken me forever to apply my mascara the way I wanted it for pictures. I put my wedding headpiece in my hair and we met my parents at the car.
Still not a word from the hubby.
I climbed in the back seat with my mom. My dad opened his car door and told me that I looked great. Still no words from the man I married. But my husband found another way to communicate. He proceeded to drive the streets and freeways of Los Angeles recklessly and at a frightening speed. When my mom reacted to a particularly harrowing moment by grabbing my leg, I told him to either stop driving like he was or to pull over and let us out.
I met his gaze in the rearview mirror. That was when I started crying. My eyes were red and swollen for the next three hours. And I’ve got the reception pictures to prove it.
I was so excited that he invited me. I felt like it was a sign that our relationship was moving forward, that we were becoming closer. I was a great date. I was accommodating, and flexible. Helpful and delightful. When he and his brothers went golfing before the rehearsal dinner, I took the rental car and went out alone to explore the town. At dinner, I made an extra effort to overcome my occasional shyness and talk to the guests.
Before the wedding, I accompanied him to the country club, then sat alone for a couple hours while family pictures were taken and groomsmen duties were undertaken. When he complained of the oppressive Southern heat, I ran out to get slushies, to which I added a shot of Jack Daniels. It’s an old college trick, and I was happy to trot it out. When his brother complained of a headache, I dug ibuprofen out of my tiny, vintage bag. I held babies, purses, and drinks during pictures.
You know that scene in The Godfather when Michael Corleone pulls Kay into the family picture at his sister’s wedding? Yeah. That did not happen with me.
But I was a goddamn great date. It was only later that I found out that I was his second choice.
She told me that he had begged her to go to the wedding with him . She said he wouldn't take no for an answer. She told me how he had sent her dozens and dozens of texts and pictures that weekend, and he kept telling her how he wished she were there.
That fucker. I was the second choice. I was so excited to meet his family. To be included in this wedding weekend. I thought that it meant that we were going to spend our lives traveling and making love and seeing symphonies and shopping for antiques.
And all that time, I was his second choice.
Here's the thing. I want my story's heroine to have a wonderful wedding and a wonderful--if fictional--life. I think I owe her that much.