Today’s guest post is from Samantha Strong Murphey, who aspires to be the next J.K. Rowling, but so far, every time she sits down to write her masterpiece, it comes out as a masked version of Harry Potter. Until an original idea strikes, she’ll continue working as a freelance journalist, copy editor and blogger. She graduated in communications and philosophy from Brigham Young University and has worked as a reporter and editor for the New York Daily News and Utah Valley Magazine. Now living in Atlanta, GA with her husband, Samantha is passionate about karaoke, evergreens and media literacy. Check out her blog at www.scarlettcalledscout.com.
I have wedding demons.
Like my own hell-bent ghosts of Christmas past, they follow me, haunt me, shame me. They keep me company.
The dress — cheapest one I didn’t hate — picked to prove something.
The flowers, rushed.
The cake, expensive and tasteless and who cares about cake?
The tables, sloppy vision, blah and blah.
The photographer, perfect. Just perfect. But it’s hard to forget my misplaced pickiness and bridezilla moments with her — ugly moments hovering in retrospect.
The organization at the reception, messy timing, needless waste.
I could go on. I do go on — in my head in moments of weakness, too frequent moments these past 20 months. I stew and regret and then hate myself for caring — and for still caring — and for seeing no end to the caring in sight.
If I could go back, I’d get married in February. I’d wear a fluttery, fairy-like tea-length dress, sparkly pumps, hair down, no veil, tomato red lipstick. I’d have a little bouquet, something white and fluffy-looking. I’d have a cozy little open house at the clubhouse in my parent’s neighborhood in Midway the night before. No toasts, no speeches — those could come at a low-key luncheon at some low-key restaurant the next day after the ceremony. But I would perform some well-rehearsed, over-the-top karaoke love song that night. Just me. No one else. Then we’d sit by the fire on the big stone hearth and chat with friends and family. There’d be mossy little tree stumps on the tables with our initials carved in a heart on each one. More white, fluffy flowers — peonies? Ranunculus, maybe? Ice cream cookie sandwich bar. Glitter everywhere.
But I can’t go back. And even if I could change the silly details, it wouldn’t matter in the end, because the result would be the same — I married the love of my life that day, the honest-to-goodness love of my life.
I chant that to myself when my imagination heads straight for the dead-end past of superficial wedding would-haves.
I force-feed myself mature thoughts.
The fact is, the day I got married was a bright and wonderful day at the end of a long train of dark ones. My engagement was a time of confusion for me, pain even. My wedding day — for all of its charms — was a product of that period. It felt a little messy, a little unsettling. It felt, in short, like a wedding planned by someone else. And, in short, it had been.
My wedding was planned by a girl in turmoil and experienced by a girl at peace.
And someday — hopefully someday soon — I’ll make my peace with that.