I watch stupid TV in the background when I am doing other things like folding laundry or washing dishes or paying bills. My favorites are Say Yes to the Dress and What Not to Wear. Both shows are fashion oriented. They are silly and light and they make me happy. Say Yes to the Dress is a 30 minute show that focuses on two women every episode as they choose their bridal gown at an exclusive bridal store in NYC called Kleinfeld’s. There are always tears when the perfect gown is found. I love it. My favorite bridal consultant is Randy, the “sassy gay” consultant. He gives great advice to brides and is always willing to stand up to overbearing family members who aren’t allowing the bride to choose the gown she wants to wear on her wedding day. He is funny and adorable. But a few weeks ago, I watched an episode where Randy said something that stuck in my mind and has been resonating with me ever since. A bride was struggling to separate what her family wanted and what she wanted and was overwhelmed with the stress of the decisions and Randy told her, “this is the most exciting time of your entire life. You need to be happy with the dress you choose.”
Ok, yes, she should be happy with the dress she chooses. But the most exciting time of her life? A wedding? Wrong, wrong, wrong…NO Randy No. I found myself yelling at the TV in frustration. If your wedding is the most exciting time of your life, where do you go from there? When the wedding is over, is it all downhill from there?
It’s not. Not even close. And I am annoyed with Randy for even saying it.
I want to interject here and say yes, I got divorced. But my wedding day was pretty much exactly the wedding I wanted. It was a great wedding. I felt beautiful and in love and ridiculously happy. If you had told me I would someday divorce, I would have pushed you down and kicked dirt on your stupid face in dismay. This blog isn’t about weddings or divorces, it’s about the way we set ourselves up for disappointment when we believe that significant events are anything more than just one significant event in a lifetime of important events.
Is a significant event even a contender for the most exciting time of our lives? God, I hope not.
The births of all of my three children were incredibly exciting and significant.
Every milestone I have celebrated with them has been thrilling.
Moving to Texas from California was pretty fucking exciting and significant.
Getting my master’s degree.
Starting a second career in my 40’s.
Taking my daughter to college and saying goodbye.
Oh hell, coming out as a lesbian and finally living my truth has been pretty darned exciting and significant. Challenging as hell, but definitely a contender for the “most exciting time in my life.”
So, Randy…I am going to take you to task on this one, mister. Weddings are an important event but they aren’t the most exciting time of anyone’s lifetime. And if they are, well that sucks for that person. What a disappointing life that would be.
So here is the thing, and the point I hope to make…I am not sure single events are ever the most exciting time of our lives. I think life is an ebb and flow of hard times and happy times and boring times and sad times. But generally, events like weddings or even children’s births, while they are the most powerful, life altering moments in our lives, they are super blurry once time has passed. I have spent the last few weeks asking other people my age to make sure I am not totally off base here. Everyone I talked to admitted they remember very little from their wedding day. Several talked about how the memories are all attached to photographs because the photographic record has helped them lock in certain memories. Most of them talked about silly moments during that time period that had little to do with the actual wedding itself like getting gas in a crystal tiara and sweat pants after visiting the hair salon on their wedding day. For me, it’s the night I spent in the hotel before the wedding with my bridesmaids where no one slept at all and I insisted on sleeping in the rollaway cot because I couldn’t stand the thought of anyone being uncomfortable. I remember giggling a lot that night. But I don’t remember why.
I am going to Europe in five days with my Aunt. This is a trip that has been in the back of my mind for years. I started planning it over a year ago. I bought the plane ticket about 8 months ago. I absolutely can’t believe I am going. I told my boss that I won’t be checking in. I know I will miss my kids like crazy but I cannot wait for this grown up, amazing adventure to begin.
Right now, I have a deep, loving, and authentic relationship with all of my kids.
I have a beautiful home. Great friends. A job I love where I feel respected and valued. I have enough money to live comfortably.
I am happy and fulfilled. It’s not perfect. There are still yucky days and difficult moments.
But, it feels to me that right now is the most exciting time in my life. And I am certain I have many, many more exciting times to come. I can’t wait to experience them.