I was discussing upcoming articles with the big boss, and I mentioned that I wanted to write about, how, recently, I had started really wanting to plan a wedding.
“Do you think it’s because you’re almost 26 and your biological clock is ticking?” She asked.
“No,” I replied, “I don’t have a biological clock.”
And that was when my identity as a replicant was finally revealed. Sorry, I’m on the lam from Harrison Ford now, so I’m going to have to keep this short. Also, this article really didn’t go where you thought it was going to go.
What I meant to say was not “I have no biological drive” (because I would, one day, like to get married) but that I am not saying “I want to get married.” I want a wedding. I want to plan a wedding. There’s a pretty massive difference.
Which is surprising, because I always fancied myself one of those people who, if they ever did get married, would just head down to Vegas. Then friends started getting married, and friends of friends started getting married, and I realized that planning is awesome. All the planning. It probably happened because people asked me for input, and, by God, I had input.
I found myself pointing out to one friend that if the Father of The Groom got cufflinks from one store and not another store “you might as well just punch him in the face until his eyes bleed.” I did not know the father of the groom. In retrospect, cufflinks were not a totally required gift. They were kind of a nicety to begin with. So, this is the reaction of a crazy person.
A crazy person who is going to be so great at planning a wedding. A crazy person who is going to make sure that everyone gets the best possible cufflinks.
Seriously, I love making lists.
I love planning out minute details like whether you should carry a wedding bouquet of calla lilies or a boquet of red roses (calla lilies, duh, red roses are a cliche. Although, as McLuhan says – and he was perhaps referring to this very situation, if you misinterpret his basic point, and are also a deranged narcissist – sometimes cliche becomes archetype, so it’s not as though there’s nothing to be said for going with a classic like red roses. But calla lilies are something new, and is new not the new old? Personally my bouquet will be comprised only of dandelions and venus fly traps! But that’s just me. That’s just me being awesome. Don’t feel bad).
Planning like this makes me feel great. In the same way, I often feel like I enjoy planning vacations more than I ever enjoy actually taking them. If you are not someone who is good at being “in the moment” then planning is your jam. I love planning out things because it is a way we, as humans, distract ourselves from the inevitability of death and the turmoil of our lives. So, what I mean is, I love doing this stuff, because it’s fun.
Nothing requires more planning than a wedding. There’s a whole damn industry built around that very concept.
But it would be much more fun if it were a party you got to plan for yourself. Okay, yourself, with a fiance, but I sort of imagine that anyone I’d marry would know me well enough to let me take the reins on this one. When you have to help other people plan, it’s just a lot of smiling and nodding politely while they choose the wrong flowers (roses always win, Venus Fly Traps consistently overlooked).
Of course it’s easy to say “Jennifer, you just want a big party. You just want to throw Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball.” To which I say “yes. You are correct, friend.”
However, as a normal person, you do not often get to take over the Plaza and fill it with a mix of celebrities, socialites, royalty and people who recently witnessed a murder. I’m not friends with anyone on that list anyway, except the people who saw that guy I killed (Harrison Ford), but fellow replicants get all twitchy at parties.
Basically, unless you are Truman Capote, there are very few times in your life where you DO get to obsessively plan a party. Or at least obsessively plan one in a way that is considered socially acceptable. Blowing thousands of dollars on a birthday party and having everyone understand that you are going to take months to plan it would make you seem like a crazy person. Planning a wedding, on the other hand, will absolutely turn you into a crazy person, but it’s a time when everyone thinks it’s all right to be a crazy person.
And this seems great. It actually seems wonderful that you get to block out a time to obsess over minor frivolous details and everyone will just go with it. Planning a wedding doesn’t seem stressful, it seems like a vacation from worrying about things that actually matter. Instead of going home and worrying about – you know, the things one worries about, career, family, relationships – I want to go home and worry intensely about whether or not we should have a wedding cake made of red velvet, or if we should just go strong, and do pumple. So what this basically amounts to is – and if it helps, I’m thinking either The National Arts Club or the small, upstairs area at the NYPL as a location, and I’m leaning heavily towards The Book of Love as the first dance, unless you think that’s too much book stuff all at once: