Wedding Aftermath

Posted: 13 April 2005 in bitter old woman, queerlife
Tags: ,

This blog began when D and I were about to get married. I think I thought that after the honeymoon, the aftermath would be over fairly quickly. Congratulations, congratulations, oh let me see the ring, here’s a gift, here’s a card. In fact, it’s dragging on. I think one of those wedding books/magazines ought to have mentioned the psychological commitment to everyone else after the wedding.

Traditional weddings scream “let me please you, make you happy, satisfy your every sappy desire”. They cater to everyone but the bride and her partner, requiring the happy couple to stand in front of a lot of people they feel friendly with to varying degrees, make bold promises, engage in PDA and then entertain the group, all smiles and happiness until either the group or the marrieds are too exhausted to go on. In return for the privilege of watching the couple slowly dissolve under all of the expectations and stiff, unfamiliar clothing, the guests (or vultures) bring a token of appreciation. After all, a spectacle like this doesn’t happen every day. I’ve always assumed that the gifts pour in for a couple of weeks or so, the cards, the money, the congratulations, the “oh, wasn’t it beautifuls” and then the couple are left to sink or swim in peace.

I think those that elope, or, like D and I, choose a private ceremony, aren’t prepared for the trickling way that wedding aftermath goes down. It’s been five weeks and the cards and gifts are still trickling in. Aside from wedding fatigue (after all, it’s easier for the newlyweds and those in the neighborhood to move on since it’s a tangible reality day after day while everyone else sort of drags their feet in absentia) there’s the odd self selection between those that choose to recognize the commitment and those that have sort of…disappeared. Aunts, uncles, cousins from my stodgy, keep it to yourself, paternal side have sent generous gifts and beautiful cards. My maternal side, the side that raised my sisters and I, that has always been supportive – not a peep. Ancient family friends of D’s mother, gift. Our own sisters, nothing. Not even congratulations. Not to say they aren’t happy for us, they visibly are. But for whatever reason, no acknowledgement. A friend of mine I haven’t seen in over ten years, a lovely ecard. Friends I consider closer, have seen more recently, nothing. Which makes me wonder, how long will the trickling go on? Or do we just assume, in this day and age, that of course they’re happy for us, they were just to busy to get to the Hallmark store.

Lest it sound like I’m bemoaning not getting to return duplicate toaster oven gifts, I’d like to point out that we didn’t really expect gifts to begin with. Frankly, the people we know that actually have money either gave up front (my parents paid for the honeymoon), or are quite possibly dismayed by our outward lesbian wedding flaunting (aunts, uncles, grandmothers). So it wasn’t the gifts we were expecting so much as phone calls, cards, emails. The absence of which has left me wondering: are they happy for us and just forgetful; are they happy for us but disapprove of our co-opting a traditionally straight convention; do they think we’re an aberration of nature; or, it is their red state-ness preventing them from recognizing our commitment? Funny thing is, I don’t know if all that would have been much more than a blip on my screen of concern except for the trickling.

Part of the trickling, of course, involves the VVM. Who seems to want to know, every time I talk to her, what the wedding tally is. She doesn’t ask like that of course, she has more subtle ways of steering the conversation. And even though I don’t talk to her that often (another post altogether) it still pries into my peace. I’d like to know that my family loves us and accepts us, or they don’t. But, I’d like them to demonstrate that and be done. Or, barring that, I’d like there to be less attention drawn to the fact that I don’t know, i.e. quiet on the VVM front.

By the way, one month in and we’re still blissful. When we see each other. Which is, of course, another post all together.

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