Jan. 22nd, 2011

jackshoegazer: (Jacqui/Love)
Planning and budgeting a wedding is hard. Seriously, we are having, from what I understand, a small wedding and we'll be pinching every penny to pull this off. I mean, who the hell decided that this stuff should cost so much? And of course, on top of all the expenses, you have to ask your closest friends to buy dresses or rent tuxes and pay for lodging and travel. This is just an obscene amount of money, and let me reiterate, we are having a relatively inexpensive wedding.

And I will admit, I have issues with money. I feel weird spending money. I have huge amounts of guilt whenever I have to spend more than $20 on something. I wrestled with myself for weeks leading up to buying a nice camera. Where there was a very nice but expensive coat I really liked, Jacquelyn had to practically force me to buy it. I am very, very good at convincing myself I don't really need something.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I'm not excited and looking forward to this. I am. This is going to be a crazy experience and I prefer experiences over merchandise any day. Anyone who knows me knows that I don't put a lot of stock into traditions and I'm the first to question the validity and relevance of a cultural tradition, the first to kick the tires and check under the hood to see if it's worth buying into. Before I decided to get married, this was all abstract cultural stuff I never gave much thought about.

But now, actually interacting with photographers and caterers and dress designers and getting quotes on flowers, and reading up on etiquette and who is supposed to pay for what (and what if your family is poor and can't afford to pay for the rehearsal dinner) and how you must suddenly rank your friends and decided who gets invited and who doesn't and constantly run against other people's expectations and ideas about what a wedding is supposed to be, especially in a time when the idea of marriage in such flux and less and less people are getting married and a whole group of people who can't get married want to get married and are finally getting a chance to get married. Who am I to balk or criticize the trouble and problems associated with getting married when so many people don't even have the option? It's like that aphorism about getting old, it is a luxury not afforded to everyone.

So I know this isn't a well-organized essay with topic sentences and pithy conclusions, but just thoughts that I've been wrestling with during this process. Several times, in the midst of financial problems or family-and-friend drama, we have tossed our hands in the air and said, "Fuck it, let's elope and spend this money on a bad-ass vacation!"

But I keep coming back to the same thing...

There aren't enough initiatory rituals in our lives. There just aren't enough major milestones marked with rituals and celebrations and magic and merriment. And any initiatory ritual contains elements ranging from ecstatic happiness to terrifying strife. Nothing in this world happens without friction and nothing worth having comes without a cost, without work. It's built right into the very wiring of our brains, you have to push through the pain to get the endorphins. So as hard as this is, as much as I have to wrestle with my self and my culture and my ideals and my family and my friends, it is going to be worth it, one way or another.

Because when you boil it down, it's about marking a major life decision, about changing your life, about ceremonially adding another person to your innermost circle, surrounded by your tribe both biological and chosen. And pulling that off, methinks, would be the greatest magic trick of all.


jackshoegazer: (Default)

February 2012

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