In a shocking turn of events, a person asked me to marry him. What followed was horrific. I was bombarded with the lineage of wedding tradition that has been suffocating us for years. I attempted to break the mold and was thwarted at every step.
Everyone lied to me about weddings. I repeatedly heard people say, “Just remember. This is your day. It doesn’t matter what anybody else wants.” Well it turns out it does matter what everybody else wants…this is particularly true when it comes to Mimi Royer, the matriarch of my family. Mimi was not impressed with my wedding plans — nor were her sisters. Honestly, they tried to kill me. I will never forget the first conversation I had about my impending nuptials and how it was all going to shake out. I was with Mimi and the brood when I first broached the concept I was envisioning:
Me: So I’m thinking we rent a house, throw a pool party and serve cheeseburgers.
Mom: *silently sobbing*
Aunt #1: Alison, do you really think people will fly 2,000 miles to eat a cheeseburger?
Me: I can’t think of a better reason to fly 2,000 miles.
Aunt #2: But where’s everyone going to sit?
Me: I mean…it feels like we could rent chairs?
Mom: And where will this “pool party” take place?
Me: Los Angeles?
Aunt #1: So you’re having a destination wedding?!
Me: Um…no. Cause I mean…I live here.
Aunt #2: Where are the tables going to go?
Me: Tables are stupid. I want nothing to do with them.
Mom: But then where will we put the flower arrangements?!
Me: Not having any.
Aunt #1: So you’re throwing a white-trash BBQ?!
Mom: *silently sobbing*
Needless to say, they were not on board. They felt so strongly, in fact, that they tricked me into touring a wedding venue in the suburbs of Chicago, where I grew up. This ended with me having a full-blown panic attack. Every time I see a round table, I have a meltdown. I actually think I suffer some type of P.T.S.D. where weddings are concerned because 10-top tables and name cards give me hives. Swear. After the suburban-wedding-venue-tour, it was obvious that a traditional wedding venue was not going to work.
I wanted my parents to be happy, but when I started conjuring potential wedding locales, I tried to be inspired by all the things I like to do, but all I could come up with was sleeping — so I decided to go with that. Ultimately, I did end up renting a house in Los Angeles with a pool and a lot of pool furniture… i.e. lounge chairs… i.e. sleeping. It felt like the best decision — but like most wedding decisions, it was wildly expensive and at the end of the day, literally no one was happy.
The truth is if you honestly attempt to do what you want for your wedding, you will spend all of your extra time convincing The Royers that everybody likes burger trucks and that chairs aren’t actually all that important. And when you have the gall to point out that throwing a wedding in the city where you live does not actually constitute a “destination wedding” their brains will literally explode and they will finally know, unequivocally, that sending you to a liberal arts college was a terrible idea.
Despite my best efforts, many things did not go well on my wedding day. I tried to keep these issues hidden from my parents. I didn’t want Mimi and Jim having the satisfaction. Certainly, I wanted them to be happy but in the way that, at the end of the day, they would profusely apologize for being so short-sighted and then repeatedly tell me how smart I am.
Basically, I was bamboozled by a rich person. Motherfuckers get me every time. I rented the house from a woman who seemed very nice, initially. I can see now that she was being very nice because she wanted to take all my money… which she, in fact, did. She was real cagey leading up to the wedding. I had literally only seen the house once or twice and each time she rushed me through the venue, told me everything would be wonderful and then kicked me out. This trend continued when we finally checked in on the day of the wedding. This bitch had her house security system decked out Fort Knox style but seemed to have no idea how to use literally anything. My friend, Heather, and I were following her around the house trying to keep up, to no avail.
Rich Bitch: Mmmmkkkk…if you want to open a window, just type 47839 into this box or the police will come. All the doors are on the same system. In order to open the big glass door, you just push this button, turn the knob, unlock the bottom lock, push, pull, unlock the 2nd window, push, and then re-lock into the ground. If you need the air conditioning turned down, just page 736 to this number and if the pool overflows, just go into the garage (there’s a lock for the garage outside under the tree) and then type 98456 into the system near the garage door. OKGREATHAVEFUNBYE!!!
I mean…obviously I wasn’t listening to any of that because I was focused on how my parents weren’t going to be able to enter the building without the police being summoned. It was a disaster. I was literally trapped in that godforsaken house and sure as shit I found myself needing the garage key. I spent the majority of my wedding morning looking under every tree on the property. I never found it and the pool overflowed. It was a great start to the day.
Rich Bitch was relentless on the day of the wedding. She kept stopping by because she “forgot” something. I’m pretty sure that’s not how house rentals work, but I was busy trying to miraculously get skinny in the five hours I had before walking down the aisle. The Rich Bitch stop-bys did not prevent her from additionally calling and texting me with “helpful reminders” throughout my wedding day. It seems unreasonable that she was so dead-set on contacting me directly seeing as she had assigned us a Site Representative, who was tasked with being on hand to “fulfill any and all last minute items which might need tending to.”
What a fucking crock of bullshit that turned out to be. The Site Representative turned out to be Rich Bitch’s bumbling 21-year-old son who parked himself on the couch and watched Netflix on his laptop the entire time. I fucking hate the youth.
Stu: (Removes excessively large headphones) Yea?
Me: I’m so sorry to bother you. You see, I’m in the middle of a wedding and there are 150 people here. I just heard the toilet is broken. Do you happen to have a plunger?
Stu: (Nonchalantly shrugs) Don’t know, bro. (Replaces headphones)
This was the motherfucking coup de grâce.
I AM NOT YOUR BRO, YOU USELESS PIECE OF SHIT! WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU TRYING TO EMBARRASS ME IN FRONT OF MY PARENTS, STU?! I AM TRYING TO SHOW THEM THAT A WEDDING AT A HOUSE IS A REASONABLE OPTION, AND YOU ARE JUST SITTING THERE LIKE THE OVERPRIVILEGED MILLENNIAL THAT YOU ARE. HELP ME THE FUCK OUT, COULD YA, STU? I HAVEN’T HAD A DRINK IN 10 YEARS, MY ENTIRE SPINE IS FUSING TOGETHER, MY PARENTS LITERALLY HATE ME, AND YOU ARE SITTING THERE LIKE A MOTHERFUCKING CHUMP WHILE A TOILET IS CLOGGED AT MY FUCKING DESTINATION WEDDING! DO YOU GET THAT, STU?! A PERSON MARRIED ME, AND YOU ARE RUINING IT!!!
Eventually, I had to be pulled away from Stu by my friend Amanda because I was about to throttle him. All of my life experiences to date had culminated in the moment that most perfectly represents my miserable existence. I spent the next 15 minutes, in full wedding regalia, unclogging a toilet, because the God damn youth couldn’t get their ass off the sofa to help a bitch out.
I suppose, in retrospect, I can see why my parents were alarmed. I’m young(ish), irreverent, unwilling to help anyone with anything at anytime and completely self-obsessed. But I am 35 God damnit and needed to pave my own path. Was it a disaster? Absolutely. Do my parents continue to always be right? Yes. Do I prefer being stalked by a Rich Bitch and unclogging a toilet to eating cold chicken at a 10-top table in a suburban barn? You bet your motherfucking ass I do.