As the wedding draws nearer, jitters start forming to the queer behaviour of entertaining thoughts of ‘what ifs’.
It has indeed been an extremely trying & draining journey in the past week and I foresee, more lies ahead.
While the rest of the world coaxingly advices to ‘enjoy the entire process of planning’, which I really want for it to happen as well, things just doesn’t seem to be heading that way.
I’ve been acting out-of-sorts with my poor attitude recently to poor ol‘ Luke, who despite all odds and tantrums, is always ready to hear me out, calm me down and toss me a big hug thereafter. To which, I would then feel utterly dumb for having that thoughts, after hearing his very logical rationale.
Luke has always been the more practical, logical, rationale one in the relationship. However, this does not necessarily mean that standards are compromised. He thinks of the bigger picture, long-term goals. And often is unable to cope with sudden changes to his ‘overall plan’ which he often accounts for, from time to time. He is a rather laid-back, flexible chap who is able to adapt accordingly to the whims and likes of the people around him, for fear of trouble – which he will stay clear of at any cost.
I on the other hand, tend to be the more impulsive, irrational, short-sighted (in every sense of the word) one. Perfection I strive to achieve in everything I set myself to do, always seeking the best (hopefully within reason) unless there is a real need to compromise. I try to be as understanding as possible, putting myself in the other parties’ shoes, which can also get quite frustrating when communication ends up one-way.
My recent distress for the wedding preparations stemmed mainly from initial procrastinations to start getting things done (not really a fan of calling vendors for quotes), which led to constant nagging from everyone who cared about my preps progress which was obviously not progressing, to Luke recently reaffirming my ‘failures’ to get anything completed. During the Easter weekend, I finally decided that enough was enough, and that I was going to voice out my displeasure in the barely-there wedding preps as well as doubts about our compatibility.
I was urged not to start the discussion with: “I think we should call the wedding off” by mom of course. And I didn’t. Instead, I told him during Saturday’s brunch that we needed to talk…which(we didn’t) we ended up having our brunch plates over our individual sections of the Straits Times. We did finally talked about it eventually, while on the way to PP.
As usual, I started my grouses on his attitude, how I felt alone in the preps (which I later understood is a rather common practice), his disinterested face each time I mentioned about the preps, etc. Whether the wedding meant anything to him, due to his unwillingness and frustrated face each time I needed him to pass me a deposit. His doubts, on whether I was intentionally choosing only premium vendors…(how can you compared to prices 5 years ago??) And this was wearing me thin, having to deal with that same frustrated expression each time I had to clear money matters with him, only because he was settling the bill. I knew for a fact that every other task under my care (which was taken care by my pocket) was done and the only outstanding ones were things that required his approval before I could give any confirmation to the vendors.
He didn’t rebut a single word while I was going at full steam, even to the point that perhaps, we weren’t suited for each other just yet – due to a conflict in expectations. And maybe we needed to re-evaluate our options, re-assess the relationship. The optimistic in me did managed to squeeze out just in time, and ended (on a more positive vibe) by saying that hopefully it was the pre-marital jitters that was getting the better of me, and that everything will be back to normal (as re-assured by Fay) the moment the wedding was over.
I waited for his reply. Patiently. And this time he was different in his response. He was quick not to fend off my accusations as he normally would. And was actually taking time to respond in the most appropriate way (calmly) possible, careful not to spark off another argument if possible.
In the most gentle way possible, he replied how:
1) a wedding (to him) is just a day, while a marriage is for a lifetime. Why was I stressed (like many other women I cited in my examples that I wasn’t alone for feeling this way)? Because I was too caught up trying to create the PERFECT wedding that I forget about the lifetime we have ahead of us after that day. Which was also the reason why he wanted the wedding to be simple but happy. No need for lavish, extravagant ra–ra. He wanted to ensure that we have a happy life after the wedding. That we needn’t worry about expenses. That we were comfortable to do the things we wanted to do.
2) I have to let him know if I want him to be involved in the decision-making process. All along, because I had gone ahead with decision making of the gown, hotel etc, he assumed that I wanted him out of it and would only be involved after I had short-list few options to choose from. So he mentioned how confused he was…
3) his expectations vs. my expectations. Which is more difficult, scaling up his expectations (when he has not prepared for it, but still gives in anyway) or decreasing my expectations (for things that are not necessary). Has he not given in to everything that I’ve wanted thus far? From an ala–carte bridal package, to a nice venue and 2 honeymoon trips (which he is still trying to plan for, knowing that I really want them)?
4) in choosing to be with him, I acknowledged that he wasn’t wealthy enough to provide my ultimate PERFECT wedding and knew his expectations when he proposed.
Note: I later clarified that he did not state his wedding expectations clearly, which hence led to misunderstandings between us.
I definitely felt like an arse, fool and contemplated jumping out of the car to find a hole to hide. He did make plenty of sense in what he said and I was the weak for not being able to view the bigger picture of things.
He stretched out, and gave me a big, tight squeeze – telling me how much he loved me and how much I meant to him. Suddenly, all that I benefited from the EE swirled at the back of my head as I realized that what mattered at the end of the day, was that both of us enjoyed the wedding and more importantly, we were ready for the next phrase of our lives.
The wedding, whether grand or simple – was not the most important thing. Starting our lives together as one, was.
And while we’re still squabbling about dowry, catering (read: money) matters just about an hour ago, we now have a better understanding of each other’s expectations and would make an effort to address each other’s concerns as best as we can.
It is indeed a blessing to be able to confide honestly in the man I am about to marry.