Six weeks from today I’ll be a married woman. Again. For the most part my path to the altar with Kelly hasn’t been all that much different than any other bride and groom…or bride and bride…or groom and groom. We’ve debated the merits of marinated asparagus spears versus warm spinach puffs, we’ve alternated between hard and fast “That’s. It. No. More. People.” discussions about the guest list and spontaneously inviting people we just met at a party. We’ve ordered and returned at least two or three wedding ensembles between us and grappled with the realization that, as lesbians, we somehow missed the straight girl shoe-shopping gene and have no idea what to wear on our feet on the big day. We made a half-hearted attempt to register at Crate and Barrel but abandoned it when we conceded that two middle-aged women who already live together really don’t need a new set of salad bowls. We’ve curiously fielded some petulance at not being invited and a few out right requests (and an occasional demand) to be invited, and threats of “oh I’ll just crash.” We realized it’s flattering so many people want to be there with us but I admit to feeling more than a little befuddled at the forwardness. (After all my mother quoted Emily Post like the Bible – it would no more occur to me to demand to attend someone’s nuptials than it would to ride my bike naked through the town. I’ll give you a minute to get THAT image out of your head…) And through it all, like most couples on the threshold of matrimony we’ve had moments of looking at each other and thinking “Are we SURE about this?”
Of course we’re sure. I’m sure as can be that Kelly is my lobster, my mate for life. I can’t imagine a life without her humor, her ability to finish my sentences, her reassuring presence at night, her penchant for spending eons in the produce section, the way she always lets me have the big chipped Tiki Lounge coffee mug that used to be hers, and her random “how’s my lady?” text messages. (I could however, do without her continuing insistence that taking photos of me from behind is a good idea). I’ve even made the big name decision and am eager to start referring to myself as Katie Collins. (The minute a co-worker told me it sounded like a talk show host I was sold). I’m sure about the marriage part. It’s the wedding part I’m starting to get scared about. What if I look like Moby Dick in my white suit? What if I spill Shiraz on my white suit? What if all the things we’ve planned that we think are funny…aren’t? What if we’re not taking this seriously enough? What if we’re too flippant? What if my penchant for making fun of myself makes others think it’s open season to do the same? (Hey it’s the fat girls first line of defense, mock yourself before others have the chance to. But sometimes it backfires).
You see, this weekend we attended the wedding of two of our best friends in the world. It was a picture perfect day full of color and flowers, the brides looked drop dead gorgeous and the ceremony was thoughtful and earnest (and hopefully not ruined by the insecure fat girl in the corner who couldn’t stop giggling). It seemed full of meaning. It seemed important. Ours? Is kind of shaping up like a Saturday Night Live skit. Oh sure eventually vows will be exchanged and I’ll finally get to wear my amazing new wedding ring, but for the most part? It’s one big joke-fest. Now it’s true we are those kinds of people. For us humor at our wedding is as important as making sure everyone has plenty to eat and drink. But it’s more than that. Humor for both of us is a defense mechanism when we’re feeling uncomfortable or as a means to deflect attention away from actual deep feelings. And no day is inspiring deeper feelings that my approaching wedding day. I’m to-the-bone afraid of how I’m going to look on my wedding day. I’m not pretty, never have been. I hate myself in photos and am slightly nauseous at the prospect of so many of them. I’m easily 60 pounds overweight with a strangely put together set of features. So I’m hoping if I cover up that particular terror of being on display with a few good one liners no one will notice that I had to have my outfit made because I’m basically too big for retail. (Kelly and Liza of course will be gorgeous, THAT goes without saying!). I know this seems at odds with my work as an actress but that’s different. It’s not me up there then it’s the character. This time it’s allllllll me baby…and that terrifies me.
So I grapple with my doubts and lie awake wondering what I’ve gotten myself into when we just as easily could have waltzed down to city hall, gotten hitched and taken Liza to TGIFriday’s to celebrate. (Hey c’mon, their deep fried green beans are pretty awesome). Why did we think this was necessary? Think of what I could have spared myself — all the angst over the outfit search, the worry over having enough money to pay for a great party, the gnawing cold hole in my heart where my mom and my sister should be during all this planning (oh please my dad would be on the deck with a manhattan). I haven’t been to a wedding in years, now suddenly this summer I’ve been to one with another looming in a few weeks, each one making me wonder if I’m somehow doing this the wrong way, if I really have it in me to pull off a wedding. If that hard edge I have so carefully cultivated can withstand that much well-wishing.
But then in the midst of an ordinary Sunday night dinner of Shake ‘n Bake and asparagus, with the iPod on in the background, Kelly calmly comments that she put the song “Hot Stuff” on her iPod wedding mix and that she’s thought of several new additions to our program, each one more hilarious than the next, and she’s already worked on her vows and wants to go first so she can ‘take all the good jokes”. And I realize that if she’s all in then I’m all in. Jitters or no jitters, fat girl complex or no fat girl complex, insecurities or no insecurities, meaningful ceremony schmeaningful ceremony, this is the right step. I want to marry this woman just the way we planned, with a lot of laughter and in front of a large crowd of our favorite people. Because nothing in this world makes me happier than watching my Kelly make people laugh. And I never ever want to miss a laugh. Here’s to marriage and here’s to laughter and here’s to the lady who has brought both of those things into my life. Cheers.