Random Blog A Musing Farf

Friday, September 22, 2006


Yesterday at lunch (see below), I met up with Wuzi, one of my best friends who recently got engaged, in order to calm her down after a fight she had with her mom regarding the wedding.

Wuzi is totally non-traditional is many ways – she lives in the East Village, has a cool and funky sense of style, goes to Burning Man and refuses to wear an engagement ring because she hates the idea of diamonds. She is also completely traditional in many ways – she is an attorney, wants to get married and enjoys a spa day as much as any Upper West Side yuppie. I adore her.

Anyway, the now resolved conflict between Wuzi and her mom centered around wedding location and number of guests. Wuzi wanted smaller and her mom wanted bigger. I tried to help her see both sides and translate what her mom was really saying, and while Wuzi understood by the end, she was still angry. And then I thought that not long ago, my mom and I were having the same fights.

I really wanted a small wedding. I ended up with over 200 people. Father had to invite colleagues for “political reasons” and Mother’s family is so large that a complete family reunion would probably have a higher population count than many small countries. I capitulated and then, at the wedding, ignored people who did not instantly look familiar. But there was one particular battle that really stands out and it is so ridiculous that I am almost embarrassed to write about it. I like to call it the Great Bagel Battle.

My mother was insistent that we had out some kind of food at the end of the wedding. I hated the idea as we had invited most of the wedding guests to join us for an after-wedding bowling party and who wants to carry food to a bowling alley? Plus, the entire reason we got married where we did was the food options. People were not going to be hungry. Mother refused to back down from her plan to give out bagels and coffee at the end of the wedding. We screamed on the phone. I reminded her it was my day. She reminded me who was paying. I was convinced that we would never speak again.

After three days of yelling, Sister spoke up. She suggested a compromise. Instead of bagels, we pass out black and white cookies. It was portable and fit with the New York theme. Brilliant. I did not love the idea but I could live with it. So could Mother.

Mother seems to remember wedding planning as this stress-free time where we generally got along perfectly. I remember it as a constant back and forth between what she wanted and what I wanted. However, in the end, except for the wedding size, there was nothing I cared about that I did not get and my father did a great job acting as a translator and making sure my mother and I were sane. In addition to the Great Bagel Battle, there were other, smaller skirmishes involving angry phone calls, unreturned emails and foot stomping by both of us.

But, there were also wonderful moments. Like the first time I tried on my dress and Mother slipped a necklace around my neck, having instinctively knew what would complete the look. Or the time that we grabbed lunch in a deli and spent an hour laughing at a ridiculously over the top florist we had just met (although we did steal some of his ideas). And as the months pass, I remember more of the good times and less of the fights. Even the Great Bagel Battle has become a joke.

So, to Wuzi, my unsolicited advice to you is to just run with it. There will be many more fights. There will be days when you swear that you will never get married. But there will also be touching moments to remember forever and when you see your mother tear up at the sight of her youngest daughter walking down the aisle, you won’t even notice if Great Aunt Jo is sitting in the crowd.


mom said...

As for the size of the wedding...you have forgotten that you and Husband (son in law) kept adding people every time I thought the wedding list was complete. Other than the great bagel battle, every thing else was easily resolved. I always remember telling people that planning the wedding was a true "labor of love". BTW, I do not stamp my feet...I might hang up the phone in frustration, but I am NOT a foot stomper.

Suzanne said...

The B&W cookies were brilliant. And I still kick myself in the head for missing out on bowling. Oh well. Congrats to Wuzi!!!