Dear No One in Particular,
I am one of those people who think in terms of "rounding" and averages. Ever since I first learned how to round up or down, I've looked at numbers according to their distance from the number 5. Greater than 5 qualifies as many; less than 5, few.
This way of thinking is indelibly tied to the way I view age. 0-5 is baby age, 6-10 budding adolescence. 13 is adorably young, while 19 is positively adult -- old, even. All of this is patently ridiculous, of course, but I can't help but look the number 5 as a turning point, the pivot upon which "a little" turns into "a lot".
I'm 24 now, which means that I still see myself as relatively young. But once I turn the corner from 25, I'll be 26 -- a grown-up age. A 26 year old has their life on track; a 26 year old has a 5 year plan, does not live in an apartment and definitely does not have kitchen appliances sitting on the dining room floor like a 24 year old. Despite the fact that 26 is still 2 years away -- so much can happen in 2 years! -- I'm already panicking at the thought that I will be Officially A Grown-Up in very soon.
Of course, being a grown-up is not a switch that turns on after you pass the quarter-life point. It's a process, as Kanye would say. I know in my heart of hearts that I'll be a fine grown-up, whenever that may be. But a part of me wants to be a Toys R Us kid forever.
A good deal of this -- perhaps all of it, if we're being totally honest here (which we should be able to be, right? If I can't be honest with a couple million strangers, then who can I be honest with?) -- has to do with the fact that 3 weeks ago, the Boy and I celebrated our 6 year anniversary. Of course, 3 years is a long time to be with someone, but 6? Six whole years of being in a relationship? That is definitely a long time. And because we've gone past that milestone, marriage is a topic that we've been discussing more and more.
I love that I say "we" and "discuss"; the Boy is a typical boy: the thought of marriage is something that is far, far down the line for him. Like, Bejing far. Really, the only man I've ever known to admit to fantasizing about his future wedding is, we all suspect, a very closeted gay man. Who also happens to be very out as a total douchebag, but I digress.
I, on the flipside, am a typical girl: I've been dreaming of weddings since I was 5, making Barbie and Ken (Ken and Prince Eric also went to the chapel to get married, but that's another story) tip-toe down the aisle in lace scraps and cloth napkins.
I've held many an imaginary wedding in my day; my most memorable took place in 5th grade. After magically managing to con one of the boys in our class into being the groom, my best friends and I spent an hour in the bathroom, dressing the "bride" in toilet paper and seat covers. We made a rather convincing veil and bouquet, and a not so convincing train to tuck into her Catholic-school-issue plaid kilt. I officiated the wedding, but unfortunately it dissolved a mere 24 hours later. Luckily for my bestie-bride, I was also a successful divorce attorney and managed to get her a Lunchables as alimony.
Now that I'm getting older and in a long-term, loving relationship, a wedding is becoming a very viable reality. It would stand to reason that my brain is positively sizzling with white lace and flowers; that every synapse is firing to the tune of the "Wedding March". But, oddly enough, it's not.
Somewhere down the line I decided sorry Billy Idol, but I don't want a white wedding. I'm not altogether convinced I want a wedding. Oh sure, I want to be married -- I very much would like to marry the Boy -- but I don't want a wedding.
My ideal situation would be to elope: to call up some close friends and head to Vegas. I would be married by an Elvis impersonator at some cheesy little chapel on the strip. I'm not kidding you guys -- I would wear turquoise blue with cheetah-print pumps and Elvis would officiate. It's my dream, and it's utterly unattainable because it would kill my mother. Kill her dead. And I can't have that on my hands.
So I keep putting together various scenarios for if and when we decide to get married. I have a specific chapel in mind if we must have it indoors, but ideally we'd just sign something at City Hall with as little pomp and circumstance as possible. We'd have dinner with close friends and family at somewhere iconically San Francisco, preferably with a gorgeous view. When dinner ends and all the olds go home, we invite everyone under the sun to a bonfire on the beach, where we dance all night in the firelight. Sparklers, cupcakes, and booze will be involved.
The details are still hazy, but driving home tonight I had a revelation. I've always agonised over the music: what to walk down the aisle to, what will play during our first dance? Tonight I decided.
This will be the first song we will dance to as a couple:
And half-way through, when everyone is getting bored with us watching us spin around the beach, deliriously in love, the needle will skip and this will cut in:
And everyone will dance, deliriously in love with love and life and the way that the flames reach up to tickle the stars.
(I know I'm not the only one who enjoys a good wedding fantasy. Dish in the comments, my darlings, and we will ooh and ahh over the romance together!)