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Thursday, April 28, 2011

An Embarrassing Admission From A Romance Lover




I hate weddings.

Yep, it's true. This is a super embarrassing admission for a reader, writer and lover of romantic fiction, but weddings give me hives.

That includes my own wedding. Other people's weddings. Televised weddings. Real weddings. Fake weddings. I can handle Vegas shin-digs with Elvis impersonators, but that's about it.

The only thing I hate worse than weddings would be bridal showers. I would rather have a red hot poker stabbed in my eye than attend a party where 150 women dressed in hot, uncomfortable pantyhose have to "Oooo!" and "Ahhhhh!" about a bunch of dumb wedding gifts. Seriously. If I go to hell when I die, Satan will have a never-ending bridal shower set up just for me for all of eternity.

Which brings to me to the (incredibly irritating) topic at hand. The. Royal. Wedding. The fact that the world is being bombarded by news articles daily about this affair is beyond irritating. The fact that this was an actual headline this week...."Shane Connolly Feels The Pressure As Royal Wedding Florist" is completely meshugana. (OK, so it was in People Magazine, but still......).

In theory, weddings are a lovely and romantic concept. Which is why they always turn out so great in romance novels. In reality, they're about family squabbles, dinner buffets, and how to avoid that drunk Uncle Bobby during the reception. I was a middle schooler when Diana and Charles got married. I woke up and watched with my mom and dad and sister while that poor woman was forced to march down the aisle with fifty thousand pounds of silk train trailing behind her. Even at that young, impressionable age, I knew that looked like a bad idea.

Later in life, it became readily apparent that "weddings" had nothing to do with the bride and groom, but everything to do with family obligations. "Marriage" was something altogether different. "Weddings" were about pastel colored cake and match books with your names embossed on the top, and registering for gifts at Bloomingdale's like you were on Wheel Of Fortune ("I'll take the crystal goblets for $150, Pat!"). "Marriage" was reality....you and your new hubby living on a resident's salary in the woods of Vermont. Coping with cancer and the loss of a beloved parent. Dealing with infertility struggles. You know what true romance is? Not the big grandiose affair with trumpets blasting. True romance is getting an unexpected flower bouquet from your spouse after another heart-breaking miscarriage.

So, even though I watched Diana get married many years ago, I will be skipping this year's grand televised event. (My invitation obviously got lost in the mail). I'm not sure how the whole idea of celebrating a marriage transformed into this convoluted Vegas-style show, but I'm of the opinion that less is definitely more. Maybe two people in a quiet little chapel somewhere, whispering vows to each other?

Hmm.....that sounds like a good scene for a romance novel........



Enjoying twenty years of wedded bliss,
Penelope

20 comments:

KB/KT Grant said...

I don't believe in marriage and know I will never get married. Yet I love romance and the HEA. Heh.

Amelia James said...

If I could do my wedding all over again, it would be smaller and shorter, less formal and more fun. We'll be married 20 years in December and that's the only thing I would change.

Penelope said...

I think your attitude is more the norm than not. Today's generation doesn't see marriage as the ultimate game-winning goal anymore. But I still believe in true love and romance, which is one of the reasons I adore romantic fiction so much.

Penelope said...

Congrats, Amelia, on 20 years! Me, too! If I got to do my wedding over again I would have a backyard party with buckets of beers and a 1980's DJ! hee hee...good times!

Keira of LoveRomancePassion said...

Marriage for me when the time comes is going to be in a court house, followed by immediate departure for the honeymoon. lol

Amber (aka BBB) said...

I'm not big on ceremonies, period. Graduations, weddings, funerals... they are never about the person involved. They are for those attending.

Weddings in particular seem to be so stressful for the couple. And families seem to be the worst offenders at making the bride and groom miserable on their big day.

I've been married 12 years, and am so glad I eloped. I've watched the misery of other weddings in the family, and can only thank the stars I missed that aspect (and the expense!) of a formal to-do.

As for the Royal Wedding, I'm fine with it. I get the appeal. It's not the wedding, itself. It's curiosity re: the bride and groom. What irks me is that our news stations are ignoring NEWS in order to cover this spectacle.

Penelope said...

Rock on, Keira! The honeymoon is the most important part! :^)

Penelope said...

Hi Amber....eloping is a great idea! That makes it all about the bride and groom instead of everybody else.

Julia Barrett said...

I'm with you, baby girl! Not watching. I did watch Diana get married because I thought Diana was the greatest thing to happen to the British monarchy since Anne Boleyn! And look what happened to both of them!

I loved my second wedding to my soul mate because I planned it myself and paid for it myself so it was my way. Of course my cousins bitched about the lime-cilantro chicken! They wanted steak. Sorry! Vegetarian or lime-cilantro chicken! LOL! Twenty-five years of bliss! (got married in my teens the first time around - stupid me!)

Weddings do make me cry despite my innate cynicism, and right now I'm planning a wedding for 350 effin' people so I'm like...dying here! Help me, Penelope!
And no, hubby and I never did have a honeymoon - but we had that great canoe trip!

Hannah said...

Congrats on 20 years of marriage! I'm coming up on lucky number 13 and I can't believe it's been this long.

I don't find weddings very fun or romantic. Mine was different because I had two weddings--one an unoffical celebration in my husband's home country and an official ceremony that was part of a Sunday morning church service where my dad was the pastor and officiant, followed by a small reception. Oh, and my lovely in-laws did all the planning for wedding #1 (and my even lovelier husband paid for everything overseas)

I read a scene in The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley where the couple handfast wed in private due to political circumstances. It was so romantic!

Penelope said...

Julia...I'll take the lime-cilantro chicken, please. Yum! The only part about wedding planning I like is the flowers! I love picking out flowers....so if you need help with that, just let me know!

Penelope said...

Hi Hannah! That sounds like a good deal to me! One of my favorite wedding scenes is in Santa Claus Is Coming To Town when Kris Kringle and Jessica get married in the forest with the animals looking on. Sigh. Soooo sweet and romantic! It's one of the reasons I was inspired to write a Christmas romance series!

heidenkind said...

Say it ain't so, Penny. Weddings are fun! They're a party! Everyone loves a party.

Penelope said...

OK, I'll admit ONE time I liked going to a wedding. My college bud was getting married & within 30 seconds of the reception, I was totally trashed. And then...her mother came up to me in a total panic because the wedding cake arrived & they forgot to decorate it! So she asked me to go out to the garden, cut some fresh flowers & decorate the cake myself. (Did I mention I was totally sh*t-faced already?). Anyhoo, evidently, I did decorate her cake. Although I don't remember much about the whole thing! :^)

JenM said...

I think one of the advantages of getting married when you are older is that you are much more likely to have the wedding you really want instead of trying to meet other people's expectations, (especially since we paid for it ourselves). We got married (both for the first time) in our late 30's and we decided to go to Kauai and get married on the beach with a barbecue dinner.

We had 40(!) of our friends and family join us there and we threw a big party in the backyard of the beachside house we were renting - no tuxes or dresses (the guys all wore Hawaiian shirts), no DJ or dancing (although there was a conga line at one point), no champagne (we both hate it - we had tropical rum drinks instead), no wedding cake (brownies for dessert), and no sit down meal - just yummy finger food and shish kebob munchies. It was pretty amazing if I do say so myself and we are still happily married 10 years later.

Penelope said...

Jen!!!!!! I am soooo jealous...your wedding sounds fantastic. I like the idea of being in Hawaii...you got the wedding and honeymoon all rolled into one!

JenM said...

Yes, we spent a week on Kaui culminating in the wedding, then we went off for five days to the Big Island to a very chi-chi resort to recover from all of that rum. It was very fun. Since we are on the left coast, it makes much more sense to go to Hawaii then it does to go east.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

I feel ya and admire your courage to admit so.

I love wedding (there a reason to party and drink too much).

But you're right. It's easy for the event to get too big. I loved my wedding but if I had it all to do again, it would just be me and Mr. Whimsy exchanging our vows with a minister. Then (several days later) we would have a huge family and friend party/reception.

I was so nervous in front of all those people that I didn't hear my vows.

I also love bridal showers though. I even had a tea party theme.

So that being all said, I still didn't get royal wedding frenzy.

I may have if there was free booze.

Penelope said...

Hi Juju! I agree with your idea about having a smaller, private ceremony for the exchange of vows (which really should be a private moment, right!) and then a big-ass party to celebrate with friends and family later. Now that's a good plan!