A Dose of Wedded Crazy

Tis’ the season for drinking overflowing glasses of free champagne. Tis’ the season for dancing awkwardly and making awkward conversation. Tis’ the season for fasting for weeks to feast for an hour. Tis’ the season to dodge flowers flying at your face while sporting five-inch heels.

Oh yes addicts, it is wedding season.

I haven’t attended too many nuptials and I’ve only been a bridesmaid once, but for the first time this year, I’ve come to understand what all of my friends have called “wedding season.” Suddenly, Wedding Crashers makes a hell of a lot more sense to me, instead of just being funny. Mr. Possibility and I will attend three weddings together in the next month, located inNew York and in the South. I’m debating if I want to go against my personal belief system and go to a tanning bed since I’m tired of being pasty white, and I’m figuring out how many dresses I should buy or if I like what I have.  I’ve been invited to about six weddings this year; one of my best friends is engaged to be married next year, while the other is probably being proposed to by the end of 2011.

Unlike how I probably would have reacted to my gaggle of girls getting hitched a few years ago – now, I’m genuinely happy for them. I’m thankful they met someone who they want to share their life with and more than anything that they are so ridiculously smitten it makes my teeth hurt.

But I also know things will change.

Recently, my friend K and I went to see Bridesmaids. Lillian (Maya Rudolph) and Annie (Kristen Wiig) have been stereotypical friends forever, and while Lillian’s life has taken a nosedive, Annie’s career is excelling and she’s engaged. The movie is the lead-up to the big day, highlighting the bachelorette and engagement parties, dress fittings, and the heart-to-hearts wedding bring up. And of course, because it is Kristen Wiig and a starring cast of comedians, each of these blissful events are chaotic and flat-out hilarious. K and I laughed from the first sound we heard until Wilson Phillips serenaded us out of the theater.

While the selling point of this movie is definitely to laugh – as most things do, it got me thinking: why do weddings make people so crazy?

I haven’t attended my best friend’s wedding yet or held the coveted and dreaded MOH title, and I’m definitely nowhere close to planning my own, but if Bridesmaids portrays anything, it’s that there is something about saying “I do” that can make a bride or her maids say “I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”

I think the reason behind the delusions and the outta-control behavior has nothing to do with being jealous of the blushing bride, but more about change. From long-term cohabitation and the end of boy-scouting at bars, to discussions turning away from Prada sample sales to questions about pregnancy and fertility – marriage brings a new dose of reality to the couple, and also to the pair’s friends.

Will our friends still be the same after they become wives? Will we get along as well? Will they worry about our “poor” single selves? Will we be able to talk as candidly and open? Will we hate the new group of friends their husbands bring with them? Will our friendship be as strong and close-knit?

A few days after the movie, K and I were passing the day Gchatting aimlessly when the conversation of varying roles people play in our lives came up. There are certain things a man can never give that a woman can. There are words your girlfriends say that would never make sense to our boyfriends. And if in the case of K and I, while a man may have connected you, it isn’t the dude that makes you friends.

So while weddings bring on madness and transformation, and often come in bulks at the start and the end of your twenties, they aren’t the end of a friendship. A wedding band may put an end to one-night stands but it doesn’t damper the connection between a woman and her ladies. And if a man tries to come between a duo, even if he is the groom, there isn’t much hope for him. Because we’ve been promising in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, for better or for worse, since the day we named our friends our best.

In celebration of wedding season, remember to celebrate something else – your girls. Married or single, engaged or jaded, go see Bridesmaids, sans men. It’s worth the trip, the ticket, and the giggles. Just a word of advice though, don’t eat Brazilian food beforehand.

PS: Have a crazy story from being a bridesmaid? Tell me and you could win a prize pack from Bridesmaids. 

The Bravery of a Fool

There are not many late-night, frantic, and ridiculous phone calls between women discussing the unpredictability of the typically predictable male that don’t involve questions concerning being a fool.

The adages are plentiful – only fools fall in love and everybody plays the fool without an exception to the rule. And the negativity behind this term is not just in a noun, but also a verb – fool me once, shame on you – but fool me twice, shame on me. While women may want to be beautiful and irreplaceable, a vixen, and maybe an officially official girlfriend – one phrase they never like to adopt is being the fool of a man.

Maybe I’m being too cliche in my perspective of this definition. But to me, a fool is someone who knows there is a chance for destruction with a man who has a reputation or has warned you of his troubles, and yet, against any recommendation or any red flag waving in the vast unknown – they willingly pursue and maybe even commit to such a character. Perhaps it is a lack of judgement or an inability to be prudent with those they date or open their legs for – either way, I think it’s a title we’ve all claimed at some point. Most of us, probably well knowing the role we were accepting before we took the stage.

But why would anyone want to be a fool for anyone? Wouldn’t we rather stay logical and collected, calm, and in control of the love we decide to share with only a someone who is willing to offer us the same? Isn’t being in a relationship only worth the wager if you know that while the stakes are high, there are two players playing on an even-playing field?

Call me crazy – but I agree to be in love, you must be a little foolish. It is not an easy task to openly offer up your heart, your emotions, and your hope to a person who may or may not handle such precious things with care. With a simple slip of the mouth, slip of the pants, or slip into a stranger’s bed – a man who you once trusted with your most intimate self could leave you waiting in the wings, covered in not just the dust of his speedy exit, but the residue of his countless lies. Sure,  all of these things are possible and no, they don’t always happen. But they could and they do. If such pain is plausible, we’d have to be irrational to rationalize love. Right?

Or is it that the thinnest line isn’t between faith and fortune. Or between flattery and fumbling.  Or loving and lusting. Or what we want and where we are. Or the beginning and the ending. Or  making love and making the dirty. Or exclusive and free.

But rather – the most blurred connection is between being a fool and being brave.

And if I follow the absurdity of fairytales or the blatant reality of my parent’s example of a relationship that can endure the test of time and health – being brave is the quality that made the dues payable. But to be courageous, one must always be a little asinine, or we wouldn’t realize what we were risking. And really, the largest investment we make in a relationship isn’t even in the person – however dreamy he may be – but the liability is in ourselves.

We must be brave enough to fall in love and absurd enough to trust someone other than ourselves with our most valuable assets. Because once they are out in the open, in front of the court to see and ridicule, there is not always a guarantee that a prince charming will ride our way. More often than not in times that are Millennial instead of Medieval – the knight’s armor is less than shining and more shunning. After all, the fool is not the princess or the lady in waiting or even a maiden of the most prestigious court. This character is rather the one who entertains, the one who hides their own face in an effort to bring joy to the lips of others. But the fool is no fool to her antics or her charm, to her words, or to the price she could pay for being honest or sarcastic. She knows the chance she takes, she knows the pieces that could shatter – but she does it anyways.

Because what we forget about being a fool is that to be one, you must realize your own value. And you have to know that if the crowd doesn’t take to what you present, you know there is safety and shelter in your own care. And in that power comes the ability to accept being a fool and knowing that though we get a wild card to play a prank on a friend on this day each year, there is never a holiday for deceiving ourselves.

Rather – it is something we do constantly, time after time, man after man. We convince ourselves he will be different. That it will be easy and just as we imagined. He will do those things we always wanted him to do. He will surprise us. He will love us unconditionally, if such a love is reasonable. We fool ourselves into falling in love again. And again. We accept the burden it carries when it doesn’t work out as anticipated and we bow to our audience, to the fates who tricked us again, and we go backstage to prepare for the next show.

For the next brave attempt at the foolish ways of love.