For those of you who don’t know/actually care, Bourgie is planning a wedding. Apparently, some folks were a little miffed at Obi-Wayne’s and my decision to begrudgingly pay $200.00 to the government to recognize our six-year relationship as somehow more legitimate than the twenty-two-year relationship my old neighbors Joseph and Darryl had. Not because of the preferential treatment Obi-Wayne and I had received, but because WTF, no party?
At first, Obi-Wayne and I ignored the puppy dog eyes and the pouty faces. Who cared? It was a contract between the two of us that we needed to have fulfilled for a valid reason (one which shall be explored another day) and that was it.
But holy shit, YOU GAIS. The social pressure was enormous. People who had seen our relationship blossom from two best friends to two drunk (alright, mostly one) folks that occasionally made out to two lovebird and eventually two marrieds were disappointed because they too, had wanted to share in that moment. They, as our family and our family of friends, wanted to witness our joining together in not-so-holy matrimony, and then immediately imbibe copious amounts of champagne (because remember folks, we’re a classy bunch here) and attempt something close to something resembling dancing, probably with much flailing of the arms.
The point is, no matter what we have been told, the wedding is not about us. It is about our community.
So, here I am, a month and a half later, planning a wedding. At first, it was begrudgingly. “Curse you, Wedding Industrial Complex!” I would say, with my hand resting daintily betwixt my breasts for no other reason than to give me an opportunity to say “betwixt” and “breasts” in the same sentence. I’d downplay our upcoming post-nuptial ceremony-slash-reception as “something to do for the family”. I’d give nonchalant “I dunno’s” to anyone that asked if I was excited.
But as I slowly began to tell more and more people of our elopement and our plans to celebrate, the more I realized that this meant a lot to them. We had friends get happily teary-eyed. We had others beam joyfully back at us. I had one friend jump on my lap and dry-hump me in excitement.
We have weird friends.
Also, I may have dry-humped her back.
Also, I may have started the dry-humping.
The point is, that the deeper I got into the wedding rabbit hole, the more I realized that much of my trepidation wasn’t with the wedding itself, but with the possibility that I might be sucked into the wedding industrial complex (WIC). When I thought “wedding”, I thought about the white dress and the fancy cake and the something-blue-heels and the sleek-straight-hair-that-was-then-curled-and-lol-what-why and UGH. I didn’t want to have flowers. I didn’t want to have bridesmaids. I didn’t want to be “given away”, or lose my identity as Bourgie, and suddenly turn into The Bride or Mrs. Obi-Wayne’s Last Name. I hated how gendered the wedding world was. I hated how heterosexist it was.
I was afraid of selling out.
But as I cautiously searched the web for ways to navigate the WIC, I was able to find wonderful communities dedicated exactly to that. I didn’t have to have a hairsprayed no-hair-out-of-place undo! I didn’t have to have a wedding cake! Or blue shoes! Or a white dress! I didn’t have to be “classy“! Suddenly, I was excited at the prospect of trying on dresses, entrenching myself in bridal magazines, perusing the world of Offbeat Bride, picking colors with my mom…
And the more excited I got about planning, the more people fed off my energy, and the more I saw just how deeply people cared about us. The outpouring of love has been immense. A make-up artist friend told me she would put my social warpaint on for free the day of. A friend of a friend has offered to make gluten-free cupcakes at a heavily discounted price (Obi-Wayne has a gluten intolerance), and the latest gift I was given was so touching that it made me break down crying in the middle of my train ride home from work.
A lovely man with a conspicuous MOB tattoo even pulled out his red handkerchief and told me he hoped I was crying because I was happy.
It was nice…in a gangbanger with a heart of gold, customer service kind of way.
Anyway, this particular gift had come from my mother, who told me that she was paying for my wedding gown, which we’re collaborating on (i.e., designing). That right there saved me more than a couple grand.
It’s all so overwhelming.
And even my mother, traditional as she is, has been respectful of my offbeat wishes, although admittedly, she is far more encouraging of my more traditionally “classy”, “wedding-y” ideas. She, for example, nodded approvingly at my choice to have cupcakes rather than wedding cake (which is not as scandalous as it was ten years ago), and has been supportive of my choices in flowers and color schemes. She may or may not have balked at the idea of playing John Williams’ “Han Solo and the Princess” when Obi-Wayne and I walk down the aisle together and keeping lightsabers and nerf guns at a table so that when people get into political/ideological/religious disputes, they can solve it with a duel…you know…like civilized people.
But at the very end of the day, my Mãe-zilla (an affectionate moniker that my mother finds hysterical) and my family of friends have been supportive about every decision, every step of the way. So much so, that there may not be any need for the nerf guns.