Monday, June 19, 2006

SBD Sentimental Junk

OK, at some point y'all have to wonder why it is that I read romances. I don't like children, I don't like circuses, I'm dodgy on heroes of a certain caliber, and I don't much like heroines. But other than that, I'm hopping on the Romance Train!!

And today I have to write about sloppy weddings and other undeserved sentimental crap.

OK, I'm a stick in the mud--I don't much like weddings. I didn't even like my own.

I went to a friend's Greek Orthodox wedding and got so sick watching the bride and groom kissing the bejeweled bible that I almost had to leave. (Puritan Protestant bigotry apparently lies very deep within my bones. Really had no idea that I had such a visceral aversion to idolatry until that wedding.) For my own wedding, I spent months fighting with my mother on every detail, screwed up the hiring and confirmation of the photographer, and fought with my father the day before the wedding about the food to be served.

It would be easy to blame my parents' behavior about my own wedding for this ongoing discomfort about weddings, but it's not them. My anxiety has pre-dates that disaster. (The wedding, not the marriage. Twelve years next week.) Clarification: The Wedding was not a disaster. Planning the Wedding was terrible, but what did I expect? I went to my wedding, ate the food, and conversed, but it wasn't my favorite day. I just don't quite *get it.* I felt the whole day as if the assembled crowd was expecting me to break out into a Debbie Reynolds song and dance number just to demonstrate my complete glee:

Good Mornin'
Good Mo-oh-orning!
Ain't it great to stay up late!
Good Mornin', Good Morning To You!

I never played at being the blushing bride when I was a kid. Best-friend-Beth and I played at being twin queens of Mars who had arrived in our spaceship, co-piloted by pet Pomeranians, to pluck unsuspecting Barbies and Baby-dolls into indentured service on our home planet. I don't get the silk flowers in the hair, the need to smear cake on the groom's face, the tears. I watch other people choking up, but I must be missing a synapse, because I really don't get what the big deal is.

I read romances to follow the development of attraction into a relationship. Sex is good too, don't get me wrong. Mostly though, I want to see those two people merge together into a trusting unit.

I figure by the time they're walking down the aisle, they've pretty got this all worked out. But every once in a while there's a scene where the bride is looking at herself in the mirror on her wedding day, and the reader is supposed to feel all choked up. I usually can't make it through those scenes. And I can't figure out why the mother or older sister comes in to flutter all over her. (Well,there's usually some veiled comments about "the wedding night" just to remind the reader that bride=virgin.) But I can't get into anyone's head at this point--not even the groom's. Many books end up as DNF if this focus on the wedding goes on too long.

My favorite wedding scenes are the ones where something goes terribly wrong and the bride and groom simply have to leave partway through. Ahhhhh. No sermons, no weeping mothers.

And why are we weeping? I guess we're watching two young innocent people join together to start their lives together. And we in the audience are charged with supporting them as they learn how to be married together. Well, call me a cynic and serve me on toast, but if they really have no idea what they're getting into, then we in the audience shouldn't let them get married.

No. Really. I mean it.

OK, I think I finally know what I'm getting at here. (Thank God.)

I don't like the idea of the blushing innocent bride who just So Excited to be getting married. Oooo. Look at the pretty flowers! Ooooo. A cake! I wonder if it's chocolate. Wouldn't THAT be exciting! Ooooo. Look how pretty my boyfriend looks....

STOP!! The woman clearly has the attention span of a flea. Call it off. Nope.

Suisan's got alarm bells clanging so hard in her head that her teeth hurt. If you're getting married to eat cake and pick flowers, then you need to go back to celebrating your tenth birthday. If you're ready to get married, then do so. But please don't expect me to get all squeelly about your bouquet. It's yours. Enjoy it. Love your man. Support him and call him to task when he's behaving like a jerk. But really, this ain't no party. It ain't no disco.

It's a great thing to step forward into marriage, but please don't let's pretend that it's all one big costume ball. OK?


Beth said...

I hate weddings. HATE them. Hate hate hate hate. There's a reason why they come with (or SHOULD, for the love of all that's HOLY) an open bar. God, it's all so boring and cliché. Pee-yuke.

Suisan said...

Kind of like the prom.

With less beer.

CindyS said...

Damn, I have so much to say but I must get to bed so I'll have to drop in tomorrow.

I also hate weddings. They aren't bad if you are a guest but, egads. I always knew that my wedding day was not going to be the greatest moment of my life - I have panic attacks for Heaven's sake.

Oh and don't get me started on things that strike me as 'wrong' according to my faint knowledge of religion. To this day, I have a problem with the eucrist because it seems to *me* that it is idolatry.

My mother has since then explained that there is God, the Holy Spirit (you never hear about this guy) and Jesus and they are one. Still not buying it.

Didn't I mention I have to go to bed? Okay, off with me.

Marianne McA said...

I think, ideally, your wedding vows are just a statement of the relationship that already exists - and the wedding is more of a public statement of intention, where you gather all the people who've loved you, or taken an interest in you, and formally and officially declare that you're now with your spouse.
And they cry because they've loved you and it's the end of that stage in your life, and the beginning of the next.
For me, it's the same sort of crying as when your child starts school, or leaves school - just a momentary pang at the passing of something.

I'm not hugely big on weddings myself, but I think if you do your own thing, that works.