This is probably a strange thing to admit but I've never had that girlhood dream of meeting prince charming, adorning a long, white wedding dress, having a huge wedding and guest-filled reception, and finally, living 'happily ever after'.
I have two theories why none of the above was ever really important to me. One, either I watched my parents' miserable married life and had a crappy example to go by. Or, two, I had such low self-esteem that I never felt I was worthy of such extravagance or love in my life.
When I was a little girl I was pretty much all about my hopes and dreams as an individual. Whether it was being an artist or writer I knew I wanted to be successful and famous. Being married and a mother never made the top five of my list of life goals. When I was young I was about getting good grades, getting into college, and having a successful career.
Growing up I guess I could sense the tension of my parents. As I mentioned in earlier blog posts I am a child of an alcoholic so as you can imagine there was some drama growing up. The mental and verbal abuse inflicted by my father not only on his wife (my mother) but on me and my brother really ate away at my self-esteem. It made me feel unworthy and unloved.
The 'dream' of 'happily ever after' and all of the stuff that goes with it was never something I aspired to. I thought all of the wedding preparations were a waste of time and money. Do you really need an expensive wedding dress? And, must you wear white (which is supposed to signify virginity) even though you and I both know you and your prospective groom have been sleeping together ever since your second date? Must you invite every one and their uncle to a four-hour party that you probably won't enjoy? It all seems like a lie. Not to mention a waste of money!
Wouldn't it be more practical to begin your lives together, if you must get married, just between the two of you, a witness and a justice of the peace? It doesn't even matter where you do it or even what you wear. The purpose it to declare your love and make it legal. It shouldn't be about the pomp and circumstance.
I've heard a lot of women plan out their wedding with gusto and gumption. Some women succumb to societies' demands that they 'must' or that they 'should' have the perfect wedding. Lord knows, the media is constantly extending its influence between shows like: "The Bachelor", "The Bachelorette", "Shedding for the Wedding", and the recent royal wedding hype of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. It is no surprise that women get sucked into the overblown process of marriage.
For me, I believe the most authentic demonstration of love between a man and a woman is when they declare their devotion to each other spontaneously and with little fanfare. Sure, you can point out many a Las Vegas nuptial that didn't make it past one year. But at least they had the common sense to put the time and expense towards every day living rather than a day of make-believe and fairy tales.