All the Weddings

A friend recently noted that I seem to have been to a lot of weddings lately. I have thought about how many people I know who are engaged/married, but I hadn’t really put it into perspective before.

I’ve been to two weddings thus far for close friends, and I’m currently in two more and likely invited to another. I’ve also been to one family wedding recently, and two other close family members got married in the last 6 months. My sister is also currently engaged.

Every wedding has a story. Whether it’s the planning fiascos, drama at the event itself, or post-marital hardship, it seems no one is spared. The stories and photos of excess are ridiculous. Here are some “fun” memories of my wedding experiences thus far. Note: the first two snippets happened this past year, the last three all sort of fell into being last week

The Sob Story

One of my college roommates got married last April. She got engaged when her mom was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor. Unfortunately, her mom passed before the ceremony happened. I was asked to be a bridesmaid, but also to be the bride’s “something blue” (as in the something old/new/borrowed/blue). The ceremony was a mess. The wedding ran late, photos weren’t taken, people didn’t dance, the DJ didn’t have the first song, and of course, the whole thing was tinged with sadness because of the loss of her mother.  On top of it all, I ended up not as a bridesmaid, but as a reader. This would have been fine, had she informed me before the day of (and before I spent $1300 on associated wedding things), but instead ended up a clusterfuck of awkwardness. But they’re married! And, nearly one year later, despite some serious issues with in-laws and housing, they’re still together.

The “Big Fat Jewish Wedding”

My cousin’s wedding this fall was another ridiculous affair. The whole event spanned the course of 4 days. There were 8 Shabbat/religious Jewish ceremonies over the first two days. There were two engagement dinner/giant celebrations prior to the wedding itself. The wedding  reception had four separate bands play. Friends performed skits, family wrote comedic sketches, and toasts happened galore. The hoorah went on for an hour. The groom wrote and performed a song for the bride.  There was a wedding cake, 2 other types of cake, Ben and Jerry’s, and cookies with baileys served at the reception. It literally could have been a movie for my big fat Jewish wedding. All that aside, this couple seems happier than any other I know, and they really seem truly meant for each other.

The Midwestern Prudes

One of my high school BFF’s got engaged in May, and I’m a bridesmaid (for real this time!). Lately, this wedding planning has gone kerplunk. The bride’s grandmother is having major health issues, so the family is too preoccupied to help her plan – and this for a girl who puts family above everything else. The couple hasn’t had sex in a year. Confrontations finally happened; essentially, fuck me or we’re through. The bride is extremely attractive by all modern and traditional standards, but her fiancé was a virgin until her and isn’t skilled enough to get her off. In his defense, she does no self-stimulation and has no clue how to get herself off either. They are shy on sex and don’t talk about the details…and now there are issues of trust, desirability, intimacy, etc. All before the wedding has happened. This one is on the rocks of happening right now.

The “I’m not getting married EVER…never mind!” Couple

The other high school BFF has been proclaiming for years that she didn’t believe in marriage. Then, of course, it devolved to not believing in wedding. Then, of course, she met “the one” and in her individual feminist way, she popped the question. They’re not sure of the particulars, but there will at least be a bachelorette party, a bridal party, and a reception/celebration of some sort, although probably not a ceremony and nothing at all religious. The thank-goodness thing here is that other than the date being only two weeks before my sister’s intended date, it should be relatively low-drama.

The mother-daughter soap opera

Then there’s my sister’s wedding…Ah, insanity. Obviously I’m a bridesmaid here, although my distance from home prevents me from being the maid of honor (thank God!). Unfortunately, my mom and sister both trust my insight and advice while having entirely differing ideas and views over what the wedding should be like, with neither having any idea how to plan one. My parents were very gracious in a budget for my sister.

Issue 1: she wants to buy a house and have a wedding. Complications: she has no money, no job, no credit, and her fiancé makes pennies. Logical response: consult a bank, figure out how much you can get approved for a mortgage and what type of down payment you need, then prioritize from there. Blunt sisterly response: If you want a house, you’re never going to have bulk money like this ever again, so use the wedding money for that and have a small wedding or elope.

Issue 2: my mom wants to invite EVERY FAMILY MEMBER EVER, and my sister wants a more intimate wedding more focused on having her friends there. Complication: my mom thinks my sister’s friends are the “dregs of the earth.” Logical response: make a list of all the possible invitees, prioritize, and then do announcements to the rest. People understand that weddings are finicky things and they won’t get butthurt about it.

They’ve been engaged for about a month, and found out about the budget about 2 weeks ago…and I spent 3 hours last week talking both parties down from hysteria. This does not bode well. Historically, my sister and mom are intermittently codependent and at each other’s throats, so do you see why I’m glad to be far away?

4/22

My friend’s wedding was this weekend. I’m very happy for her. She was beautiful, the setting was gorgeous, and it was great to see old friends. It was heartbreaking that her mother wasn’t there, especially since she danced with her dad to “I Remember.” Other than that, it was a frustrating experience. I was invited to be a part of the wedding as a bridesmaid originally, but the whole weekend I was not included as a real part of the bridal party – wasn’t introduced with the party at the reception, wasn’t in the program as a bridesmaid, didn’t receive the pre-wedding jewelry, and wasn’t included in the wedding party photos. I mean really, the bride didn’t care enough about me being a part of the memory to include me in the group photos? I only wish she had made it clear up front that she felt that way, and I would’ve declined being part of the wedding at all and saved myself the $1200 I spent (no exaggeration, unfortunately) on this wedding.

With that, I really hope that my other friends getting married remember that a wedding is supposed to be a celebration of your love with your partner. It’s about rejoicing with your friends and family that you’ve found your other half. The emphasis should be on the marriage, not the wedding. The wedding is one day/night, and the marriage lasts (hopefully) a lifetime. So, spending ridiculous amounts of money and getting incredibly freaked out seems like a waste of time. All the small things don’t matter in the long run!

In other news, I checked my mail tonight for the first time in a while, and had mail from the agency I worked for during most of the year. I was mailed an award for my work on one of our projects, which was awesome! I had no idea I was being awarded anything. It’s really nice for them to acknowledge the time and energy I put in for them. Plus, it’s from the managing director of our team, which is pretty high up. This should definitely help me in my endeavors to return back to this agency once they start hiring :).

Other things are all lined up and working out. I have an apartment lined up including a move-in date set. Rapture is coming up, and some rope experts are visiting in early June. I’m going home, visiting my grandmother, and then graduating with my Masters. I’m going to visit family in Boston, and a good friend is going to visit me in DC. Then, I start my new job and have Dark Odyssey: Fusion. In the last weeks of June, I’ll be able to settle down and I won’t be doing any traveling/visiting for a good long while and the real fun can begin! I’m hoping to spend at least one weekend at MD/DE beach this summer, rent a boat for a day, catch an Orioles game, and enjoy all DC has to offer. Summer is the best, what with Jazz in the Park, fireworks, etc.

And to throw in some kink, I’m really enjoying playing and experimenting with electrical play. It’s another one of those things that I didn’t start out fantasizing about, although I’d always been curious about it (I’m curious about everything…). I did read an ebook once where a girl was hooked up to an electrical unit – attached to her nipples, clit, and anal/vaginal probes – and then the settings were put just high enough to sexually stimulate without taking her over the edge. She was left that way for hours as payback for an investigation gone awry. I found it incredibly hot, but more for the teasing/denial than anything else. Well, turns out the electricity can be pretty hot in and of itself.

There are different types of electrical toys, and they’re all very different. Tens Units stimulate deep within the tissues and muscles, and cause involuntary contractions. Violet wands, on the other hand, are more immediately painful/reactive and stimulate the surface of tissues. I’m really curious about using the tens units around the nipples or immediately around the clit. I’m also really intrigued by the idea of insertables for either piece of equipment. I very much enjoyed feeling the violet wand on my nipples, which are incredibly sensitive and delightfully responsive to pain; I’m almost positive I could climax just from that. It’s almost enough to buy my own toy, although I don’t know that I’d maintain enough sanity and control of my movement to be able to even use it on myself. I’m still not into stun guns, cattle prods, and tasers, though – they’re all still way off-limits (if not for the sound alone)!

I’ve also gotten to the point where rope is my safe place. I mean, I’ve always been able to find peace in being tied up – something about being forced to focus on the moment – but it’s more than that, now. When things go poorly or I have a terrible day, I can find  comfort in rope. It calms me down and can cheer me up. It also can arouse the hell out of me…but it’s strange that something so mundane can have such an intense, visceral reaction. It really makes me feel kinky. I like to placate myself into feeling “normal” by thinking about how the toys and tools of the BDSM trade are just icing on the “I like strong, power-wielding men” cake. At the end of the day, though, I’m just as kinky as the rest of the BDSM community. I may have to acknowledge an actual fetish for rope. Hopefully, I can not feel too weirded out by the fact that I have fetishes. It seems so much more extreme than saying I’m kinky, and I really don’t know why the words have such vastly different connotations in my mind. Something to explore later, perhaps.