Hahahaha.... no. I'm FAR from tying a second knot. But I won't pretend like the potential of a second marriage hasn't crossed my mind from time to time. More just the party planning portion of it than any imaginings of a second marriage. You know, the FUN part. Because It's natural to imagine yourself in other's shoes and, after all, it does seem like just about everyone I know is either getting married, remarried, or even having kids soon. With so many wedding preparations abounding, it's easy to think, what would you do if it were your shindig? (And if you read this to the end, I promise to elaborate on some of those fun bits of what I would plan.)
As a little kid I was never the kind of girl to dress in white and pretend to have a wedding with a bunch of stuffed animals in attendance. Nope. I was much more the girl to imagine having super powers or battling dragons, and fantasize about growing up to someday own my own movie theater that would have an automatic delivery system so you could order popcorn or even pizza right from your seat. Yup, I was apparently fervently determined to contribute to the nation's obesity epidemic. Not much has changed since childhood. Well, minus the thinking robotic food services are a good idea... I'm still that bull headed kid that imagines awesome adventures and fun gadgets. Deep down, (or maybe not so deep,) I'm still that kid that sees a whole world through a lens of imagination and promise. Which is exactly why I'll likely never get married again, despite having an entire wedding near planned out.
As mentioned earlier, I keep seeing friends marry and remarry. It's all fine and dandy. I'm happy for them. But sometimes it bothers me. Not in an envious way by any means. More in a, you were divorced for all of two minutes and met the REAL "love of your life" already?, kind of way. I just feel people jump into some commitments WAY too fast. Because I'm pretty certain that you referred to your last husband or wife as the "love of your life" once upon a time too. It comes off as less genuine and more of you and your ex racing to see which of you can find someone to rub in the other's face first, or you just being too uncomfortable to be without someone. ...I can think of better reasons for getting married again.
On the same note I can't stand when people approach relationships like job interviews and when asked why they're remarrying answer, "well, he gives me flowers, and has a steady job and is good with kids/animals..." Nothing makes me wince more. This is not a position you're filling! If your answer is anything less than, "Because he makes me feel like I can reach out and touch the moon if I really wanted to, and makes me so happy I can't stand it!" you might want to take a step back and reevaluate the partnership. Because I'm pretty sure I'm capable of buying my own gorram flowers, establishing my own career, and taking Fido to the vet.
Me? I've never been so happy to be single. I'm not saying I would turn my nose up at a relationship if it came along. I can picture myself happy that way too. But I will say, if I had someone in my life I probably wouldn't be as focused on my schoolwork, nor would I feel as free to go to Japan. Why? Because the kind of guy (once in a relationship) that is supportive of such things (I've found in my personal experience) is rare indeed. These last five years of being single gave me ample opportunity to explore the world and discover myself all over again. And in that five years, I've come to realize what I've worked for and what I deserve. And that's first place.
WHAT IS "FIRST PLACE?"
Good question. And perhaps the best way to define "first place" is by recognizing if you're second place.
- Second place is when you're with someone as the consolation prize. They actually wanted Jane Smith, but after a lengthy failed pursuit, decided to settle for you instead.
- Second place is when you are dedicated to a relationship, but your husband or wife is dedicated to their job, (not even career but "job") and their family (not counting you as family,) or their friends, or their hobbies... or basically EVERYTHING under the sun except you, first. There has to be balance and these other things need ample attention too. But I had once listened to several years of "(insert random activity or weather condition or...) is only good for a few weeks, and we have all the time in the world." Well... apparently we don't. I've never had a relationship where something or someone wasn't a higher priority than I was 100% of the time, and I refuse to pander to that kind of "partnership."
- Second place is when YOU'RE the one that "filled the position." If you think your partner is more interested in your character traits or skills than they are in you? Don't settle. You deserve someone that loves you. Not someone that's "hiring" you. As much as you may be in love with that person and thinking, well as long as their mine what does it matter the reason why/maybe they'll grow to love me... I promise you in five years or so, you aren't going to feel that way. You're going to get tired of waiting for them to catch up to where you are emotionally, and resentful if they haven't. I remember during my divorce talking with my ex about different ways he can replace the things I was always doing for him. Dishwasher and laundry service kind of jokes. (We tried to get through things with a sense of levity.) But I'll always remember when I suggested restaurant food he replied "Yeah, but restaurants don't cook as good as you." ...My head heard the compliment. My heart heard something different. I know what was meant behind the comment, but I felt if I had stayed it would have been because I was a valued "employee." Not a wife and partner.
- Second place is when they deny telling you how they feel. Now, I'm not talking about actual verbal communication. Just communication in general. Love gives you the jitters. It makes us clumsy fools. But it also gives us courage. I'm sick of watching people admire from afar, brooding over what might have been, when they never "spoke up" in the first place. There are a million ways to tell a person you care about them besides calling them up on the telephone. It doesn't take vocabulary, per se. But dude, find a way to say it one way or another, because, a word to the wise? If you love someone, you tell them. If you can't find the courage to do so? Well.... That's probably not love. And you probably don't deserve that prize after all.
Of course there are more Second place qualifiers, I'm certain. But these are the big ones for me. So, I'm going to be single for a good long while still, I'm sure. I'm picky now. Pickier than I've ever been. I know what I deserve because I know what everyone deserves. To be loved. Genuinely. And I'm not backing down. Me and my pet dragon are going to keep having adventures until someone comes along that can keep up with us. Someone that has as much a sense of inner child/no settling stubbornness as I. And if they don't... well, I still have a pet dragon, and that's awesome enough on its own.
But I promised at the beginning of this post some fun stuff if you got to the end. Namely, what I would do if ever planning a wedding again. Something better than stuffy white lace and boring flowers. No. If I ever did that whole mess again, it would be a celebration that would reflect me and my partner and our adventurous spirits. It would be a pirate wedding.
My last wedding had a guest list so large that I had to cut a bunch of my friends from it to accommodate a bunch of people I barely knew that were friends or relatives of my mom. I pandered to everyone. I didn't want alcohol present, because several people I knew to be in attendance have "problems" and I didn't want drama. (Besides I wasn't legal drinking age yet either.) But I was talked into it... not that it mattered, since those individuals brought their own anyway. ...You can't make this shit up. Anyhow... The day was very very little as I wanted it to be. The groom was about the only thing that remained as originally planned, in fact. But I made the best of it, and now I know exactly what to place on my list of do's and don'ts. And my next wedding, I'm going to make certain is about my partner and I. No one else.
Let's start with the ceremony shall we?
1. I'm on a boat!
People making a big deal about your wedding attire or those creative vows you chose to write yourself because pesky second cousin Beatrice, whom you've never met, won't appreciate the humor? Well, a sailboat wedding is for you. Limit the guest list to those close friends and family by having it on a boat with a limited capacity.
Don't want to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a big bulky dress that you're going to sweat your ass off in, be too uncomfortable to eat while wearing, and worry about staining or ruining by the end of the night? Not to mention need your maid of honor's help to go to the bathroom because it's so hard to get in and out of? Funny how those pirate gals had these troubles on the back burner, eh? The fun thing about pirate wear is, you probably already have some in your closet. Yup, grab a pair of capris, and that ratty old shirt that a bit too big, get a corset to throw on over it, and you're set. (The picture above is actually from the Pyramid Collection for about a 100 bucks. Which can be found here.) Instead of spending a fortune on fancy shoes and jewelry, any gaudy costume jewelry from your local antique mall or Goodwill store will do. And about those shoes. Boots for the ceremony are great but for that reception? How does abandoning painful high heels for barefoot on a beach sound? Which brings us to...
No expensive reception halls, or stuffy church basements. Let nature do the majority of the decorating for you. And again, did I mention the sand is more comfy to dance on than heels? Grab some tiki-torches and some wood for a bonfire come nightfall, open the rum and let the party run itself!
You're on a beach. You've got a bonfire going, and music, and.... who needs fancy place settings and such? Pirate food can be anything. But c'mon, who can picture movie with a captain's table, or any pirate feast without a roast pig? Let's do this thing luau style...-ish. Add a few kabobs and potato salad on the side... Hey, sounds like a good feast to me.
The drinks are as equally easy at that point. Rum and Ale are all you need, as mentioned. Make a Rum Punch, or have some rum and coke, and then beer will do the rest. No need to buy an entire liquor store. (Just the entire stock of Rum.)
The decorations are possibly the easiest part. Tiki torches instead of candles, a pirate chest for a card box/gift table, sand dollars and fake jewels and chocolate coins strewn about on the sitting tables, fish net table clothes... And hey, nature does the rest, you have the beautiful ocean and beach full of sea shells to use If you really want candles, fill shells with was and wick. And why not have your guests not only sign your guest book, but rope off a section of sand for writing messages in as well.
6. The Cake and favors, or, I've Got a Jar of Dirt!
Nope. I've seen too many cake disasters. I used to be a decorator. It was my job to witness them. When faced with paying for an outrageously overpriced, and likely extremely dry and bland tasting cake, I'd rather eat dirt. This is the best Idea I think I've ever had. A jar of dirt cake for each guest. No worries about it getting stale, or sand or bugs getting to it, because the jars will be sealed. Only one small truffle dish with a cake topper will set out for the ceremonial Bride and Groom Cutting... er... Scooping of the cake. (With a shovel instead of a knife of course.) :D The jars double as favors. Each labelled or engraved with the names and date, a packet of flowers will accompany each to be taken home, filled with real dirt, and flowers planted in them.
7. The Ring.
Yes, I have even fantasized this down to the ring. An affordable, yet stunning, and completely unique ring.
It seems the only thing I don't have in this fantasy is the groom. So no... no plans on ever getting married again. Just playful imaginings of one little day. Maybe I'll give one of the characters in a future book this fabulous ceremony. Doesn't have to go to waste that way. Hell, maybe I'll write in a dragon or two too. ;) Just for good measure.