It is a truth universally acknowledged that the bride is held responsible for all things Wedding. And that the groom is expected to know — and do — jack shit.
This is why my fiance’s mother tells me that she’s unsatisfied with certain aspects of the wedding before contacting her OWN SON. This is why, when my fiance and I attend a party together, people talk to him about normal stuff and pepper me with questions about the wedding. This is why whenever someone says something that starts with “You should” and ends with something expensive and time-consuming they’d like to see at our wedding they say it to me and not him.
The solution I have found is throwing my fiance under the bus. And muttering to myself the Polish saying, “Not my circus, not my monkeys.”
And I don’t feel bad because he sort of deserves it. The only reason I got suckered into planning a giant fucking party instead of going to the courthouse is because, more than a year ago, he looked at me with sad-puppy eyes and told me he wanted to “celebrate our love” in front of everyone we love. It was a goddamn bait-and-switch. He knew I’d do all the planning because I am a planner, and he’d get to have the big (well-organized, tasteful-but-affordable) party he wanted AND play D&D in the interim instead of addressing invitations.
And so, my coping mechanism has been choosing a few responsibilities that people think should automatically get assigned to the bride, deeming them neither my circus nor my monkeys, and throwing my fiance under the big yellow bus whenever anyone tries to make me do them.
For example, my fiance’s parents are upset we’re not having a religious ceremony. Instead, we’re having 20-minute ceremony by a lake with our friend officiating. Neither I nor my fiance is religious, so it seems disingenuous to say vows that mean nothing to us. Besides, the religious leader at his family’s house of worship is a crazy McFundiepants who thinks it’s totally cool to preach about gay people burning in hellfire.
With the wedding just several months away, my future in-laws are starting to realize that, shit, we aren’t kidding. We’re actually NOT going to have a religious ceremony officiated by Crazy McFundiePants. And *I* am apparently supposed to right this egregious wrong. Not their son. My fiance’s mom cornered me during a recent visit and told me, “You know, I always thought I’d see my son married in a church. Now, I know you can’t get married in our church unless you convert. *long stare* *awkward pause* But if you won’t do that, we can perhaps have our [religious leader] do a ceremony in a more flexible church.”
I flashed back to all the envelopes my fiance didn’t address. All the addresses he still hasn’t collected. All my planning-related questions he’s ignored. All the times he’s gladly let me field questions and concerns and requests from his parents instead of stepping in to help. All the monkeys he automatically decided were mine.
“I’m so sorry,” I said, eyes wide. “I told your son I would do a religious ceremony if it would mean a lot to you. But he said he didn’t want to do that. He’s just so ENTHUSIASTIC about having the ceremony just as he wants it. In fact, he demanded to plan the whole thing! He chose the officiant without asking me, and, honestly, I have no idea what’s going to even happen at the ceremony. So you should ask him any questions you have about the ceremony … and then tell me what’s going on because I have NO IDEA haha!”
Now, all (increasingly frantic) messages about the ceremony are being directed to my fiance, who just does what he does best — ignore them.
Another example: My fiance wants to wear a blue or grey suit rather than a black tux to the wedding. I think that’s swell. But his family will arguably be more upset about this than about our sacrilegious wedding ceremony. My fiance knows this, and therefore his phone “drops calls” whenever his parents ask what he’s wearing for the wedding.
A few weeks ago, I got a call from his mother about a monkey that I am apparently supposed to tame.
“Oh hi hope all’s well how’s work anyway, where are the boys renting their tuxes for the wedding? They need to rent them soon. I assume you found a good place. They need to get measured. I think they should wear red bow ties.”
I’ve been telling my fiance for MONTHS now that he needs to figure out the wardrobe logistics for himself and his groomsmen. He hasn’t done shit.And, unlike with the caterer, photographer and all the other monkeys in this circus, I’m not going to step in and handle this. He can call my bluff and show up in a gorilla suit for all I care. I’m going to look fabulous.
“Oh!” I replied innocently.”I have no IDEA what any of the groomspeople are wearing. J won’t tell me. He wants me to be surprised. Every time I ask, he says, ‘Don’t worry! I have it handled!’ You know, he was looking at some pictures of grooms wearing SHORTS the other day, and he asked me what I thought! I wonder if …. no…. he wouldn’t. Would he?”
This isn’t about fucking with my fiance’s mom. It’s about forcing my fiance to experience what I have been experiencing since we got engaged — monkeys, monkeys everywhere! Screeching and throwing shit and clamoring for my attention when I’d rather be doing other things. And, just when I have the monkeys under control, people come up to me and say, “Oh, hey here’s another monkey for your circus!”
Well, handling my fiance’s parents’ expectations about their son’s (lack of) religion and how he chooses to dress himself for the most important day of his lie is not my circus, nor my monkeys — although I admit I’m going to enjoy standing back and watching the shit fly!
Did you ever throw your fiance under the bus while wedding planning?