That time I almost got married
Every girl dreams about the day their dream man pops the question right? Well not this girl…not anymore anyway.
There was a time when I was very young and naive that I had my entire life planned out to the day (with a little wiggle room ) based on when I wanted to get married, how many kids I wanted and by when. I was on the clock every day. Every decision I made was made with the “schedule” in mind. It worked at the time, I was well on my way to achieving the goals I had set out for myself, the catch was I wasn’t actually very happy about it.
I always felt a bit like I was settling and as I got older and certain deadlines drew closer I started to second guess whether the schedule was really what I wanted at all.
I found a great guy. I was excited to marry him and even thought that kids would be great, but maybe not right away. I started thinking about my education and my career- neither of which were considered in the original schedule. I wanted to travel and experience things before I settled down and started a family. I never gave it much thought until opportunities started arising and I started to re-think my entire schedule.
My fiancé was eager to get married and start a family. He often talked about buying a house with a basement so I could turn it into a daycare….hold up now, pardon me?
I didn’t want to run a daycare, I don’t even like children. Who does he think he is making these plans for me. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to stay home with our own kids let alone a bunch of other peoples. I had plans for my career which all of a sudden I was supposed to give up because, no sweetie you want to get married and have babies and never function in the outside world again.
I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I was unraveling at the seams and fast. The date was set, we (I) had already chosen a venue, my dress was ready for my final fitting. I’d stare at my ring and think back to that uncomfortably hot summer morning in the back of his pick up truck where he popped the question sweaty and hung over after a music festival in the mountains of Vernon. I said yes. I wanted this didn’t I. I’d look at him with his beer and his friends talking about their glory days in high school and wonder if this was it for me.
I was 22 and picturing myself pregnant with 4 kids under the age of 4 screaming in the kitchen as I burned dinner again. He’d be home any minute to tell me what a failure of a wife and mother I was and then he’d leave again. Leaving me with all of those children and no social contact with anyone but him in the few minutes of the day he’d show his face to belittle me.
Now for the record he never did or said anything during our relationship that indicated he would ever turn into such a ass but I was literally having a breakdown.
I freaked out, freaked out so often that people started to think maybe I should see a doctor, get something to calm my nerves. You know just until after the wedding and then things would probably calm down.
He’d start talking about the house and this daycare I was supposed to open again and I started to shut down. I wasn’t mature enough at that point in my life to deal with the situation head on. I didn’t want to hurt him but at the same time I kind of did.
We had been out at a club one night and I had left him at the bar to hit the dance floor with some of my friends. I turned to look at him at the bar only to see him making out with one of my friends. I’m not sure where the super human speed came from but I felt like I traveled through the crowd from the dance floor to the bar in the blink of an eye.
I can’t remember if I slapped him or her, it didn’t really matter, I slapped someone and then an incredible calm came over me. Not a single tear, not a single word just calm and silent.
I left with another friend that night, I didn’t want anything to do with my fiancé or my so called gal pal. I needed to let it all sink in. I was numb but strangely at peace all at the same time. At first I thought maybe it would be okay, I’d cool off, he’d apologize and we’d move on. It took a few days for me to agree to speak to him again but once I did I had nothing. I couldn’t look at him without feeling sad, the minute he opened his mouth to speak I felt anger, but the minute I put that ring back in the palm of his hand I felt free.
It was over, I wasn’t going to get married, I wasn’t going to have my 2.5 children and live in my perfect tudor-style fairytale home with the white picket fence.
My dress arrived for my final fitting about 2 weeks later and reality hit me as I unwrapped the dress in my bedroom and tried it on, it fit perfectly. It was stunning and everything I imagined it would be. With all of the tulle and Swarovski crystals sparkling in the late afternoon sunlight I stared at myself in the mirror for so long that I started to think I was looking at someone else. The tears finally came and I’m pretty sure I cried so much and so long that at least the first layer of tulle was soaked through and stained with mascara. I woke the next morning in a pile of tulle with my veil ripped and my tiara tangled in my hair. I thought I might have to get the scissors to get it free, but instead I traipsed down the stairs to the kitchen and poured vegetable oil on my head and went into the backyard and laid down in the kiddie pool. All the while still wearing my dress. I was likely a sight to see for the neighbors craning to peak out their windows without being seen.
I’m not sure how long I stayed in the pool floating on a cloud of tulle but the tiara gently floated out of my hair and most of the mascara faded away.
When I finally did stand up I stripped out of the dress right there in the yard and walked back into the house leaving both the dress and a trail of water behind me.
I showered and got cleaned up, hung the dress in the backyard to dry a bit before I packed it back into the box it came in and shoved it under my bed.
Many years later I was cast as the young distraught bride at a murder mystery party and I decided to pull the dress out from under my bed. I unwrapped it and just stared at it for a few minutes. Maybe it wasn’t a good idea. Maybe it was what I needed to do to let go. So I wore it. I wore it to the party and when everyone asked if I actually went out and bought a wedding dress for the party I calmly said, “This old thing, no I’ve had this for years.” Thinking I was either joking or fully losing my mind no one asked anymore questions. Ive never really been an open book so even some of my closest friends don’t know about the time I almost got married.
That night red wine was spilt on the dress and the hem looked like I had been walking through the forest but I didn’t feel too awkward in it and I was happy I had gotten some use out of it. So after that murder mystery party the dress didn’t make it back into its box. It made its way into a steel barrel in my friends backyard where it was drenched with lighter fluid and lit up like a bonfire.
I stared into the flames watching the fabric of the dress slowly disappear as it burned. Sparks flew up into the sky as it popped and crackled. I knew in that moment I’d never have any desire to marry again.
I was a freaking hot mess then… it all worked out though and we both moved on. He and I became friends later in life, even dated again, very briefly. (A blog for another time)