Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Four steps ahead
The last major altercation I had with my mother was over what my husband and his groomsmen were going to wear to my husband and my wedding. It was an interesting situation.
Basically, mormon men (of a certain age) almost always have access to suits. Most LDS American men (over the age of 18) have at least one suit - unless the family is destitute. And despite having no money for anything else, the family will scrimp and save to get the males in the family a suit for church and a possible mission.
So it was incomprehensible to my mother that the groomsmen in our wedding, all in their mid twenties, would not own suits. And that they would see no reason to buy or rent one for my husband and my wedding. And that we would not demand that they rent suits or tuxes for the wedding.
Around a month prior to the wedding, my Mom called me. She said she had found some gray tuxes (with tails) that could be rented for $100 each. She said she would even pay for them (a kind offer, this would not be a drop in the bucket for my parents). Now, gray tuxes will no doubt come back into fashion (as everything does!!) but they were not in style then.
I politely but firmly told my mother no. I said that this was my wedding and I was quite comfortable with the groomsmen wearing nice shirts and ties.
My Mom kept talking and getting progressively more distraught, saying things like, "Groomsmen have to wear suits in weddings!" and "How is it possible they don't have suits??!". And "it just won't look right".
Finally, at some point in the conversation, I said "Fine, maybe I just won't get married".
The point of this story is that in some ways, I take after my Mom.
Upon hearing that I was not going to get married, my Mom didn't say, "Oh, so you're breaking up?" or "Oh, you're moving out since you're not getting married?" or "Oh, so you're moving back in with us?" (three hours away, with no job).
My Mom says "Well, we can clean out the room in the basement..." (if you don't know my Mom, this comment is beyond classic for her. And I do love my Mom).
The subtext, fully, was all of those four things, that by not getting married, my then fiancee and I would break up, I would move out, quit my job and need to move back home.
My response was, "No Mom, I'm not moving out. We're just not going to get married."
That's when my Mom hung up the phone on me.
(My husband's friends wore nice matching shirts and ties and it looked great. From everything I've heard, no one noticed what they were wearing except people who had heard this story. And perhaps some mormon relatives who aren't used to men in their twenties not wearing suits.)
The point of this post is that I too, often think four steps (or more) ahead. I'm an over-planner.
I think if x happens, or if someone feels a certain way, naturally other things will fall into place. I will have to do x, y and z.
That is not the case with life or with relationships.
It makes sense that I'm this way - that I try to anticipate what will happen. That I try to prepare myself, as I have been caught blindsided by life before.
The truth of it is, I can't prepare for everything. No one can prepare for everything. I can only trust in myself, that the best way to respond will become clear. That I will be open to new paths and new solutions and learn from my past and those that love me. And to attempt to enjoy life along the way - as who knows what tomorrow might bring.