I’m thinking of ending every conversation with, “These are not the droids you’re looking for.” It’s enigmatic enough to cause confusion, but specific enough to convey that I’m right, the conversation is over and it’s time to move along.
At least, I hope it is, because I’m rapidly finding it is impossible to be both a misanthrope and a bride.
I can’t say I wasn’t warned by wiser people. Not that it mattered, I guess. Warnings have never had much effect, mainly because I tend to think conventional rules don’t apply to me.
This isn’t as wonderfully narcissistic as it sounds, believe me. Usually it means I’m the .01 percent who catches swine flu after a flu shot or whose laptop battery explodes when it gets too hot. This is partly why I refuse to jump out of a plane: clearly I’d be the one deploying a spare tire instead of a parachute.
It stood to reason in my silly little brain then that I’d be in the minority when it came to planning my wedding – that I’d be the one to blissfully walk down the aisle without ever having had to stamp my feet, roll my eyes or sharpen my chef’s knife.
My first indication that my logic was a bit tricky was upon hearing the sentence “You’re engaged.” It wasn’t so much the words themselves; it was the extended emphasis on “you” that drew the word out like a mildly unpleasant flavor of taffy. My casual acquaintance rolled it around in her mouth for a while and finally spit out an implied question mark as if she wasn’t quite sure what she’d ingested.
Her friend nodded in wonder: could such a thing really be true?
What’s the proper etiquette in a situation like that? I’m guessing I won’t win any nods from Emily Post for responding in a similar fashion with, “Indeed. You’re married.”
Of course, the opposite of incredulity – mind bending girly shrieks delivered by near strangers – can be just as intolerable. Not that I object to genuine well wishes and congratulations, mind you. It’s the insistence that I must suddenly become the new BFF of every woman in a 50-mile radius just because we all wear a diamond ring on the same finger.
My ring seems to have inadvertently granted me passage to some secret den of married women who are all-too-eager to share advice and opinions. Their familiarity quite honestly creeps me out, especially when women who have historically gone out of their way to avoid me now corner me in public bathrooms to ask if I’ll be wearing a corset under my wedding gown.
When I admit I haven’t even gone dress shopping yet – let alone selected what I’ll be wearing under it – they begin to froth. Apparently I should have been dress shopping long before my guy proposed.
They ask if I have at least registered at theknot.com.
In fact, I have. I even went so far as creating a cute little profile for myself and several idea boards with my favorite color schemes. But then theknot automatically generated a “to do” list based on the wedding date that was quite literally 783 items long, and that was just for the first three months. I stopped logging in after that.
It’s not enough for the Wedding Club ladies, of course. They block my attempts to wash my hands and proceed to extract every conceivable wedding detail out of me, not because they truly want to hear my ideas, but because they want to bludgeon me reasons with why their weddings were either far better or far worse… and then upsell the services of family members, pets and the homeless man down the street who would be all-to-willing to participate in my wedding.
By the time they’re done, I’m usually limp and muttering incoherently in the corner, hands still unwashed and twitching gently. I can only be grateful that I’ll never be admitted into the Motherhood Club, which, I’m told, is far more brutal.
Still, even store clerks seem to want in on the wedding fun. Just the other day the checkout girl at Target complimented my ring. She had a lovely engagement ring of her own, but that didn’t stop her from asking if she could try mine on.
“Can I try your ring on?” is not a question I’m accustomed to hearing at Target. There, the only questions I want to hear are if I have any coupons, or if I require a bag for my jug of Jim Beam. I could only blink in response.
“Don’t worry,” she said. “There are video cameras everywhere here.”
As if that made it okay. I’ve ceased using credit cards at Target because I don’t trust them with my meager banking information; even Tiffany & Co. has an elaborate process involving velvet trays and notarized documents, and that’s just to have the ring steam cleaned. I was not about to play ring toss with a complete stranger.
“I’m sorry, but I haven’t taken it off since my guy proposed,” I said. She had the audacity to look annoyed, and didn’t give me a bag for my jug of Jim Beam.
Sigh. These are not the droids you’re looking for. These are not the droids you’re looking for.