Somehow wedding planning turns many women into a middle-school girl — overly-sensitive, prone to eye-rolling, and unexplainable bursts of tears. I see it happening to me, but not for the typical reasons that most people get called “Bridezilla” (let’s not even get into the offensiveness of that term). I feel like I should be different because I, shamefully, just really don’t care about flowers and tablecloths, and aren’t the REAL crazies the ones who flip out when the bridesmaids shoes weren’t dyed to match their eyes?
For me it’s the opposite. It’s the details of the day — or at least the weight that every potential vendor I talk to is putting on the details — that are making me tear up out of frustration. Vendors are asking me a thousand questions, judging me for not having my bridesmaids dresses picked out, and more than anything, staring at me confused when I ask David what he thinks about something. It’s like I’m already so prepared for their pointed jabs and judgments that I snap back defensively and nastily at the slightest comment.
It’s frustrating, as someone who grew up being taught by my parents and teachers that traditional gender roles are over, to see that wedding planning brings it all back to the 1950s. No one asks David what his color scheme is, even though he is the one who chose our palette.
Even at the tuxedo place — the one time when you’d think the groom would definitely have a say — the store manager put the listing in the computer under “the bride’s name” and pointed all questions toward me. I didn’t even know that lapels came in different styles, nor did I know what “pleated or flat” meant. I was chastized for not having my dress yet because “well, honey, the groom’s shirt just has to match your dress, otherwise your pictures will look weird.” And — horror of horrors — I’m letting my bridesmaids wear whatever they want, as long as it’s some shade of green. The look on that woman’s face when I told her that just about sent me across the table.
See? I’m reacting the same way as other crazy brides, but to completely different stimuli. It’s annoying that David just gets a “Congratulations!” and a wink, while I’m being treated like wedding planning is my job. Of course, he’s less feisty than I am, although I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have held me back had I actually opted to ring the neck of that tuxedo lady. He was equally as frustrated with her because every time he asked a question, the woman looked at me to give the answer. And every time he gave an opinion, the woman looked at me for the final answer.
Does it really just throw back to old stereotypes? Because it sure seems that way. Vendors are treating David like he has no time or need to worry about things like this, but I’m expected to be planning away, being judged for not having everything checked off the list, nevermind my real job. I just really have a hard time believing that such a majority of couples are that old-fashioned when it comes to things like this. Isn’t it 2011? Is it just Kentucky? Are we backwards? Would I be treated this way if we were planning a wedding in NYC?
Okay. Diatribe over. I know this post makes me sound all hyped-up and angry. I’m not really. I just have moments of utter frustration — usually during potential vendor meetings — where I want to start a conversation about gender roles and the 21st century and the fruit of our grandmothers’ hard work spiraling into an abyss where we daydream of devoting ourselves to petticoats and floral arrangements for a whole year or, worse, a lifetime … and I get a little freaked out.
I should probably have let David write a post about gender roles and wedding planning. After all, he’s the one with the degree in Women’s Studies. But, you know, he’s got a real job, so he can’t sit around blogging about wedding planning …