One of the most surprising things I’ve found in my reading of One Perfect Day was the phenomenon Mead identifies as “wedding withdrawal.” I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised. What else can you expect when the world revolves around “your special day” for so long, right? How do you go from being something of a celebrity to being just another married person?
I am not one of those women who obsesses about her wedding day. I’m also not one of those women who sees this as the opportunity to take my rightful place as the center of the universe. I don’t have bridezilla tendencies. In fact, contrary to what this blunt and brassy blog would have you to believe, I tend to shy away from attention. I would much rather not be the focal point.
My problem with being the center of attention stems from my being shy, sure, but also from the fact I’m just not the type of girl that makes people stop and stare (at least not for a good reason). It’s uncomfortable to me to have everyone looking at me. It’s not like I’m Beyoncé or Eva Longoria; I’m just 2blu–plain, nice looking enough, but nothing to gawk at.
I’ve grown very comfortable being in the background. My dream was to be one of those rich people that no one knows, really. Rich but not famous, like the other microsoft guy who isn’t Bill Gates or the guy who owns NBC–we know they exist, but there’s no paparazzi photos of them unless they get caught in a scandal.
But there exists a woman who wants the world to revolve around her. She wants everyone to see the hard work she’s put into losing weight, the money spent on her dress, her hair, and her makeup. She may dress her bridesmaids in “nice” dresses, but nothing that would overshadow her. She wants to express her style, her personality, and uses the colors and themes to make a statement about who she is. She could really be marrying anyone; she’s had the colors, etc. picked out since she was in high school, or sooner.
So it’s easy to see why some former brides find it so hard to let go, why there are wedding withdrawal forums on bridal sites. It just doesn’t make sense to someone like me, who has been focused for an equally long time on the type of man I will marry and the type of marriage we will have. While both of us, I think, are a bit deluded that we have the power to orchestrate this perfectly to our own tastes, a wedding has an end and a marriage should not.
Don’t get me wrong; I would like to have something to mark the start of my marriage. I just don’t want a FMBM (For Me, By Me) day. I don’t even want a FUBU day. I want to celebrate the creation of a new little family, with all of the religious and secular commitments that such a creation entails. I want a time for our respective families to get better acquainted and have a good time doing so. I want laughing and singing. I want there to be meaning to the things we do other than it’s the fashion. For instance, I like bubbles. But blowing bubbles as the bride and groom leave doesn’t mean anything, does it? Rice has a meaning, though. Don’t know what it is, and it probably is wasteful to throw perfectly good food on the ground, but if I had to pick, I’d probably pick the rice.
Maybe the marriage part isn’t quite working out as these brides hoped on that day dappled in sunshine and full of bubbles. Maybe they’ve come down a cloud or two, and things look a bit different. Maybe the day to day grind is that much harder to return to now. It’s like Cinderella after the magic of the ball, finding herself back cleaning up after her wicked stepmother and stepsisters.
But alas, I’ve never been a bride. I’ve never been the center of attention, either. Perhaps I’m missing a deeper, more meaningful reason married women long to be brides again. So what is it? What is the reason behind the wedding withdrawal? Have you experienced it? How did you get over it?