|A depiction of my future wedding day.|
There is this obsession with marriage and weddings that happens to people (I’d say women, but men get pretty weird about it too) around the 25-35 range. Everybody without a mate is desperately seeking one and everyone with one is wondering ‘when will he pop the question?’ or ‘when do I have to pop the question?’ Everyone around you is getting married and this odd competitiveness begins. “If Sheila and Bob get married before we do, I’ll just die!” Or, “Sheila and Bob had a taco truck and sparklers. We need a burrito truck and fireworks!” (Yes, I just implied Burritos were better than tacos. What of it?) Not only are there the quintessential “Bridezillas,” but now, thanks to Pinterest, we have the ‘who can DIY their wedding the most?!’ people. “Our flowers were grown from our own garden that we composted with our own shit made out pure kale juice that we juiced ourselves from a local organic farm.” There is a lot of pressure out there to have an amazing wedding. My boyfriend (former fiancé, former estranged fiancé, former ruiner of my 20s) and I have been together for almost (roughly, on and off) 9 years. That’s right! 9 years. Guess what everyone, we’re 30 and STILL not married.
|"Yes, I found this umbrella/TV combo on Pinterest and that IS us on the screen!"|
This does not mean I don’t want to get married. I’m fully on the crazy wedding train. I want the dress, the chocolate fountain, the open bar, etc. I want every little detail to be perfect. I just haven’t done it yet. I got some shit goin’ on and a wedding is a FULL-TIME JOB. Ask any bride. I’ve been to a lot of weddings. I’ve got some great ones to live up to. The first wedding I remember is when I was a flower girl at my Uncle Ron’s wedding here in California. (The only time I was a flower girl, but I’m not bitter.) I remember a big church and all that, but more distinctly, I’ll never forget my Uncle Ron singing “LOVE,” made famous by Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra, to his new bride. That might have been the first time I saw someone drunk and it looked awesome. His love for her was clear. (I can’t WAIT to sing to Travis drunk at our wedding. And I WILL.) I also vividly remember there was an ice sculpture that I could not stop touching. The point here is that I was like, 7 and I’ve NEVER forgotten that wedding. I attended a wedding in Vegas where all the food was served in cocktail glasses. It was the first time I had a Tom Collins. NEVER forgotten it. I went to a Mormon wedding where they served Sherbet Punch and I got Sherbet Punch drunk. NEVER forgotten it. I went to my cousin, Heather’s wedding and after we went for a reception dinner at Bucca Di Beppo and I had Chicken Cacciatore over mashed potatoes. NEVER forgotten it. The boyfriend and I had one of our most epic battles at our friends’ wedding in Gilbert, AZ. I puked. He left. Not proud. BUT I'VE NEVER FORGOTTEN IT. I’m about to be a bridesmaid at one of my best friend's wedding and I’m already creating memories I’m sure I will never forget. NEVER. (I tried to order a male stripper in Bakersfield, CA last week and I’m still getting emails. Its not good.) This is all because marriage means celebration to me. Not paper. Not taxes. Not a crazy step on the commitment ladder. I simply have not been able to afford it yet. And believe me, I’ve tried. But like I said, if you’re not loaded, it’s a full-time job.
There are varying responses when I tell people that my boyfriend of 9 years and I are not married. Marriage is very important in our society and in religion, so most have a strong opinion about it either way. My very religious family JUST began inviting my BF into the family picture in 2012. My sister-in-law didn’t have to wait 8 years. She was invited in right away because she married my brother, WITHOUT fully understanding the level of crazy my family was dishing out. And I get it. Marriage is a big fat commitment, but she’s only been around for a little over 3 years. Yet, they welcomed her with open arms. My brother recently came to visit with my niece and nephew and when we greeted them I said, “Genivieve, (my niece) say hi to Uncle Travis (my boyfriend)” and my brother said, “Oh, we weren’t sure if we were allowed to call him that.” In his defense, I believe this was because he thought we might be sensitive about it. If we haven’t gotten married yet, what business do we have being aunt and uncle to each other’s nieces and nephews? And how would people know we felt that way if we haven’t become husband and wife? I don’t know, but to us, we’re all family at this point. Frankly, I heard more “Why haven’t you two gotten married yet,” in Arizona. AZ suburbs tend to be a little more conservative. I don’t get it much here in LA because there are more liberals, everyone is more concerned about the gays getting married, and apparently, “its not a great career move to get married in the entertainment industry.” (Don’t worry. Someone really dumb said that to me. But people think that way!) Whatever the reason LA has for leaving me alone on the marriage thing, I don’t care. I just appreciate hardly ever answering the question. Until JUST the other day when someone asked how long my boyfriend and I had been together. After I told them, they said, “Wow! Shit or get off the pot! Am I right?!” I said, “I’m sorry?” They said, “Well, it sounds like he doesn’t want to marry you. Uuuuhh, sorry. I call ‘em like I see ‘em.”
‘Shit or get off the pot?!?!’ No. They were not right. My boyfriend has seen me poop, naked, without make-up, with a crazy, sweaty, morning fro, all while bitching at him for something and he’s still deeply in love. We have fully shit in the pot. We have shit all over each other. For real. You think we’re not committed? I got stories for days. I’ve got two cats out of wedlock with him. We’re tight. The fact of the matter is, it’s not about the marriage certificate or title of husband and wife for us. Truly. It is about the celebration of Travis and Andrea. In our minds, we are epic. And in my mind, we need an epic wedding and celebration worthy of the time we have put in together. A wedding party so great, that our nieces, nephews, cousins, parents, and friends will remember forever and so fondly, that people will talk for years about how great our wedding was and our love is. I want people to dance, I want people to eat like crazy, I want people to drink until someone gets weird and we can make fun of them, I want people to cry, I want people to be jealous… So, you can see how much pressure I have put on this day.
|My dream wedding dress. (HA. No, not really. Just like to scare my mother.)|
I realize that no matter what we do for our wedding day, it will likely be wonderful. But even the “cheapest” of the do-it-yourself’s require a budget and right now, there is none. And when extra money rolls in, it goes toward these crazy careers of ours. We don’t want help from anyone else so, for now, we are happy with that. We could go to a court house tomorrow and get it done, but that would mean I couldn’t show my children video of me drunkenly singing “At Last” by Etta James to their dad someday. Hey! Maybe my children will be able to see it live. I don’t know. But it will be great. All I know is I need to look hot in my wedding dress. And I can’t imagine someday my BF and I will say, “You know, we never got married. What do ya say we just call it quits?” Probably not. Its love, people and its here to stay.