Friday, September 07, 2007

My sister's wedding

My sister's wedding was wonderful. The bride was beautiful, the ceremony was lovely, the reception was well-attended and the food and music were awesome.

Parts of it were hard for me though. So those are the parts that I'm going to write about! I hope that no one (including my sister if she were to ever come across this blog) would ever think that there was anything in my heart other than love and joy. I truly am happy and thrilled for her.

So after that disclaimer, back to me!

I had a mini-meltdown at the rehearsal dinner. I arrived early (even had Nemo get off work early), and we waited in the hot church for over an hour before everyone arrived. Nothing makes me madder than having to hold up everything for late-comers. I was tired, anxious, hot, and annoyed. I had told Nemo that I was going to pick Lucian up at a certain time, and the longer we waited, the more anxious I got. In the end, I only had to miss the dessert at the restaurant (which is really a good thing!) I guess I panicked for nothing. Is there ever a real reason to panic?

The wedding day was over 90 degrees, and extremely humid. It wasn't until we had walked down the aisle, were sitting down (with me as matron of honor on the altar), that I started to have flashbacks of my own wedding. The priest started talking about how my sister and new husband now have an everlasting bond, how marriage is greater than any one person, and how they'll be sticking through bad times as well as good. (I'm paraphrasing here, certainly not as eloquent as the priest was).

All of a sudden, it all came back to me. I could see myself and Nemo on the altar promising the same things, the same naivete in our eyes. How he held my hand and smiled at me. I almost lost it. Tears started coming. I couldn't breathe. The air conditioning wasn't working well and I could feel the sweat running down my back and the makeup running off my forehead. I had to take deep breaths because I thought I was going to start sobbing.

Finally, before I had to stand up and face the congregation (because up until then, we had been sitting facing the altar) I found my focus. I had to tune everything out, to pretend that I was somewhere else. It was the only way I could get through it.

Luckily right after the wedding, I had an appointment with my therapist. I wasn't able to see it clearly until after meeting with her, but I realized that not only do I feel like I was betrayed by Nemo, I'm a bit resentful of the church. The day I got married, I committed myself to one person for all of eternity - I meant it. But when your spouse abandons you physically, emotionally and financially, you have to make some decisions. Decisions that I don't think the church would like to hear.

I never wanted to hear what the church would say to me, because I'm sure they'd have advised me to stay in my marriage at any cost (because I wasn't being physically abused) to myself or my child. And it's not like I live my life by the Catholic Church. I believe in fertility treatments, gay marriage, a woman's right to choose, birth control, women priests, and probably a whole host of other issues that the church takes a stand on. Basically, I feel that I have no right to tell you abortion is right or wrong, that you should or should not have pre-marital sex, that you should or should not have fertility treatments. I especially feel that (mostly) old men should not get to decide what each individual should get to decide for him or herself.

So why do I feel so let down by the Catholic Church? I've never even personally addressed my situation with anyone there. I guess I just felt abandoned. I'm sure that there are others who have felt displaced also (just off the top of my head: homosexuals, couples who have used fertility treatments, women who have had abortions, couples who use birth control, etc).

Back to the wedding: I had to give a toast and I couldn't seem to come up with anything beforehand. My sister does not understand my sense of humor very well, and I was worried that I would unintentionally offend her. Amazingly, I was pretty calm about getting up and speaking in front of everyone. I kept it brief and from the heart and I ended up getting many compliments as the night wore on. Even my sister, who was a bit (how do I say it nice?) disenchanted with the best man's speech.

I was able to spend time with friends and family, especially ones that came from far away. It's always great to reconnect with people.

I was very happy with how my hair turned out - check out my pictures. My dress was comfortable, but hot. One of the bust seams ripped right before we walked into the reception - luckily my aunt was able to pin it back together for me just in time.

I'm mostly relieved that it's over, and glad that was a success, and that my sister is happy in her new life.

Now if I can just figure out how to be happy in mine....