Warning: this blog post is rather personal and slightly sappy.
One of my many shortcomings is my insecurity. I feel like I’ve made great strides in this regard since, say, eighth grade, but there’s a lot still going on. One of the ways this manifests itself is in the field of love. Bear with me here. It’s not that I’m one of those people who can’t imagine someone loving me, or that I don’t feel like I deserve love. It’s more that I’m somewhat uncomfortable with it. Let me explain.
I was watching ‘Dan in Real Life’ this weekend, while getting ready for the barbeque. There’s a scene in which one of Dan’s three girls is demonstrably heartbroken when her father sends her teenage beau away. She screams and cries and calls her dad a traitor to love or something. I mean, she SCREAMS and CRIES about how much she loves said-teenage boy and how he’s perfect and dreamy and blah blah blah. Now, we all know I can cry. And I have definitely shed a tear or two over love lost or confused, but I have never had a breakdown of that magnitude. I just have never felt that, “He’s perfect, we’re perfect, what I have is perfect.” Or maybe, if I have, I’ve just never let it to the surface.
Sure, I’ve had my giddy moments of glee over the years and I feel like I’ve been very blessed to find love not once, but twice. I still, though, think that I put up a wall that I don’t allow myself to go through. I don’t want to shout from the rooftops or sing at the top of my lungs or click my heels together in the rain. I worry about drawing that kind of attention to myself. I worry that I will look vain or silly or smug. I worry that only super attractive people are allowed to be open about love. I worry that drawing that kind of attention to my relationship, my feelings, will make them both disappear. I worry that there will be some sort of karmic force that will say, “Bam! You lose! You should have kept it to yourself!”
And I felt this way when Ben & I got married. I wanted to throw a really fun party for everyone, but I didn’t want to spend time on myself. I bought my dress (a bridesmaid’s dress in white) online for about $200. I felt like I wasn’t allowed to have a dress I really wanted because I wouldn’t look that good in it anyway and it would be silly to spend money on something that wouldn’t look very good. But it’s not as if the wedding was cheap. Far from it: we had a great band, an open bar, tons of food, an afterparty, a fun rehearsal dinner, etc. But when it came to me, I didn’t want to go to a store to go dress shopping. I didn’t want people looking at me, thinking that I was trying to have some sort of day for me. The day was about our families and friends and trying to make them happy. That’s not to say, of course, that I was entirely selfless or anything. I made the reception a heavy hors d’oeuvres party — instead of a plated dinner — because that’s how I like to eat. But still, the fact remained that I had a very hard time ever saying, “But this is my day and I want to look pretty.” The truth is, I felt extremely nervous and unattractive on my wedding day. My dress didn’t fit all that well and I hated my hair in that updo. I had fun at the reception and loved seeing my friends. But, honestly, I was really relieved when it was over.
Now that it’s the second time around, I feel even more nervous. I feel like no one wants you to celebrate a second wedding. I worry that people think, “Hey, you failed the first time, you should probably be quiet about this one and just hope no one says anything.” So, I’ve struggled as of late. Since Aaron and I decided that we should get hitched, I’ve felt very uncomfortable. I feel uncomfortable when people are so excited because I wonder if it’s sincere. I feel nervous when people are blase because I worry that they are skeptical about our ability to make this work. I worry when people don’t say anything at all.
As I said, I’ve struggled. Should we just run off to Vegas; should we just walk down to the courthouse; should we throw a party; should we have a ceremony; should we invite no one; should we invite everyone? You get the picture. We started thinking that what we really wanted was to have a small party with our closest friends and family. We want something intimate and friendly, easy and relaxed. We want something, though, for us.
I have decided that while I’m still uncomfortable with people looking at me, and while I still worry that things may come crashing down, I am going to make an honest effort to recognize that this can be about me. This celebration can be a celebration about me and Aaron and that there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s not hubris; it’s love. And as a very wise friend recently reminded me, love is something that is always worth celebrating.