I’ve been looking forward to my bachelorette weekend for months now, and it didn’t disappoint – a chill, funny, quirky weekend with some of my favorite ladies (minus two sisters overseas and understandably unable to attend), some good food and drink, a lot of laughs, a dog, a toddler, a bunch of lemons, and it was wonderful. I felt safe, loved, taken care of, entertained, and happy.
And now, I’m feeling… weirdly empty. It’s over.
Early on in the planning game, everything about this wedding was wide open and bookmarkable and Google-Doc-able and Pinterest-able. Collecting possible good ideas from Offbeat Bride was extremely straightforward, as was charting out Excel spreadsheets weighing the pros and cons of this flower vendor versus that one. Some decisions seemed to fall into place all by themselves. Little specks, details of the picture, leapt up and demanded to be claimed, affixed to the canvas.
Most of the details are set, now. Some of them aren’t finalized, because they don’t need to be. The picture is no longer just the little specks, now. We can see the general picture – sometimes outlines, sometimes shaded and textured, always a clear whole. Still, bringing the last pieces of that picture into completion is a lot of mad scribbling with a crayon that’s maybe been worn down a bit too far for detail work, trying to coax the last bits into reality.
I’m not very worried about things getting done on time. Of course, like any good, detail-oriented paranoiac, I’m sure there will be things we’re wrapping up later than I want, and there’s still stuff to do, but nothing seems to horribly off timeline as of now, and I’m trusting that even if there’s angst and flapping leading up to it, even if there are compromises and things left behind, even if there’s a tropical storm or something, the day of the wedding will still be very, very good.
But what does cause me an odd kind of anxiety is the fact that for every decision we make – every stupid, little, unimportant decision about the flowers or the food or my lipstick color or whatever – for every choice of yes, it means that every other possibility for that detail, that speck of the picture, is going to be gone forever. Yes, we go with this for our first dance; no, we won’t do any of those other cool ideas that had been on the drawing board. Yes, this quote on the wedding program; no, not any of those other ones. Yes, the vegetarian option for my dinner; no, not the other two equally delicious entree options. Every choice creates a piece of the picture – and destroys all the other pieces that might have filled that place.
And then in a month – in less than a month – all of it will be over, and we’ll be looking at people’s photos on Facebook and trying to understand how this day even happened when neither of us can really remember it clearly.
It even impacts this writing project – I had two blog entries started and abandoned, and a handful more started in my head (unfinished entries included topics such as other people’s weddings, money, hair, maintenance shaming, weight loss, and false eyelashes – hard-hitting journalism, that one), but I couldn’t bring myself to really get momentum going on any of them – what if it’s not really what I want to be writing about right now? What if I haven’t honed my point enough yet?
Being a perfectionist is a really dreadful thing. My brain knows that ultimately, these little details – these little acts of choice and destruction – are going to be lost in the tapestry of the day, as they should be. I’m definitely not going to look back in ten years and think, “Damn, if we’d only picked the other shade for the linens, the day would have been so much better.” I know that some degree of faith and trust that we’ve chosen the right team to help us make this day happen is going to be required, even if that’s hard for my detail-oriented, hands-on stage managing to accept.
I know it’s going to take my gut a while to catch up with my brain, but I take enormous comfort in the fact that I’ll get there eventually.
I’m still going to keep grasping at details as they drive past, desperately trying to hold onto them for a few seconds longer before they disappear into the distance and fade into rueful memory.
And the really important part – the rest of our life together – will be there waiting to begin.
Twenty-six days left to finish coloring things in. I can’t wait to see the picture when it’s finished.