The Ex Who Won’t Find the Next

Have you ever been dumped by someone? I have and it hurt. A lot. It felt like someone cut my heart out with a scythe. The dumping was pretty painful because I had all of these plans for my future that included that person. But this person’s plans did not include me. Once that realization sunk in, I went from being devastated, to humiliated, to angry. I got to the point where my rage went beyond destroying every present, letter, email, and contact from this person. I wanted to inflict some serious and everlasting pain upon both him and his next person that he thought was better than me. But instead of going all Angela Bassett and setting fire to his clothing inside of a luxury automobile, I watched a lot of destructive films like Die Hard and Point of No Return (those explosion scenes are quite cathartic), while drowning myself in pepperoni pizza, cookie dough ice cream, and root beer. I figured that this was better than spending my life behind bars because I decided to abandon my good sense and emulate Bridget Fonda’s Mardi Gras assassination scene. Next, I prayed that God would send me a better man. Then I went on a date New Years Eve. Now, if I had spent all my time cussing out my ex, I would have never brought in the millennium dancing the night away at the Crow’s Nest with the person who was to be my next. And my last. If I had dragged my ex’s next across the floor by her weave, I would have never gotten a dream proposal outside of Saint Louis Cathedral in front of fifty tourists. If I had wasted my time trying to manipulate my way into my ex’s life after he had clearly moved on, I would not have been able to share in the raising of my awesome sons with the person I was truly meant for. And if I had not let that pain go and became that ex who won’t find the next, I would still be walking around like Erykah Badu’s Bag Lady, unable to hurry up because I’m dragging around too much stuff. And that would have been no good for my marriage. I would have missed out on a lot of good stuff in my life.

What I am trying to say is that if you’re the ex who won’t find the next, you may think that you are doing the hurting, but you are actually hurting yourself. So while you are thinking up the next outrageous thing to let everyone know that you’re still around and not going no where, please know that your ex isn’t giving you a thought. Your ex may take a couple of minutes to cuss you, before taking the family to the park and not wasting anymore brain cells on your latest absurdity. And if you think that fighting with your ex’s next is a way to get him back, you are only kidding yourself because when the smoke clears and all of the hair, nails, and clothing (chances are they’re yours anyway) are all swept away, your ex is still standing by their next because your ex has moved on. You haven’t. And chances are because you have wasted your opportunities by desperately clinging on to a ship that already sailed, you may have missed out on your own happiness. And that’s tragic. So if you are that ex who won’t find the next, ask yourself, who are you really hurting?

That Ex Who Won’t Find the Next is one of the many exciting characters one will encounter in Destination Wedding. Other characters include Wedding vs. Marriage people and That Couple. Stay tuned in to my blog for more Destination characters.

Don’t Be That Couple

Have you ever wanted to say to someone, “It must be nice being right all of the time”? You know that person. Everything must be done their way. In the way that they say to do it. To be completed immediately. Like right now. If there are any questions as to how said something must be done, you must confirm with that person to make sure that you are on their the same page. None of your thoughts or interpretations are acceptable or you will pay for it, and pay for it dearly. Now imagine being married to that person. You can handle them in several ways. You can go along with it. Hey, you knew what you married before the rings were exchanged and the ink dried on the marriage license and you accept that. Or you can resent it silently, while going along with it, but every once in a while you do things your way, knowing the crap storm that is sure to be hurled in your direction because you deviated from the provided instructions. Or you are that one who always argues back because you have your own mind too. If you are that person who always argues back, then you and your spouse have officially become that couple. You know that couple. The couple that argues about everything, makes no compromises, and falls a mighty long way because they can’t get past their pride. Yes, that couple. And as that couple, you snipe over the smallest things. You both have to have the last word so perpetual shade is thrown. You sit next to each other with stoney expressions and arms crossed. You each mumble under your breath about how stupid the other is. So… perpetual mumble. The worst thing is that everyone knows you are that couple because the shade throwing, backbiting, and sniping isn’t even confined to the privacy of your own home. Oh no. That couple shows out in front of everybody. And they have no shame. But the people around that couple however, are totally embarrassed. And after witnessing that couple going at it, the people around them just want to do that bent-over-one-finger-in-the-air-walk-out-of-the-church type of leaving.
Homer Simpson in Bushes

When you become that couple, people stop inviting you out with them because they know that they are about two outings away from having to give witness statements to the police because neither of you know how to pull up when the back and forth starts getting a bit too real. If you are that couple, people don’t want to come to your house either. And be trapped when things get really uncomfortable, like when the fur (and glassware) start flying.

But this is what happens when you have a wedding and not a marriage. I know people get tired of hearing this, but marriage is truly about compromise. It’s thinking about your partner before yourself. It’s not about winning every argument, but acknowledging each other’s hurts. Sometimes, it’s okay to let your spouse have the last word. Sometimes, it’s okay to try it their way too. If their way works, great! If not, the world won’t come to a screeching halt. And for the love of your mate, don’t continuously beat your partner over the head with their error in judgment or miscalculation. Chances are, everything was done with the best of intentions. Being right does not automatically mean that you win. What does the “loser” think about always losing? That they can never be heard by the one person who is supposed to be on their side? You can be right all of the time and lose everything that you hold dear. Simply put: Do you want to be married or do you want to be right? If marriage is your choice, then don’t be that couple.

Look for that couple in Destination Wedding, coming out this summer.

My Wedding! It’s Ruined!

Wedding Program

My Wedding! It’s Ruined! Wow, how many times have we heard those words being said? Who has actually said those words? Raise your hand. Don’t be shy. Ah weddings. That’s the event every girl dreams about since they were old enough to pronounce the words, “Vera Wang.” The image of the perfect timeline of wedding events is cemented firmly into a young girl’s head. Cemented like the glue used to affix tulle to well…everything. We girls all know that it starts with the perfect proposal. Let’s go through the perfect proposal, shall we? It happens at the exotic spot or fancy restaurant. Man down on one knee with two karat, pear-shaped, G or H clarity, flawless diamond ring. The bonus is all of the friends and family nearby to have their faces rubbed in witness this blessed event. So if all of these things occur, it’s the perfect proposal, right? I must be weird because I actually cherish mine that humbly occurred in front of the Saint Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square, but I digress. So after the “Yes!” it is time to move onto the next step of telling family and friends, who are either really happy for you or they hate you, with phone calls, Facebook, and save-the-date cards. And what is the perfect date? Depends on whether you want to be a spring, summer, fall, or winter bride. You ask yourself the important questions of whether you are competing with holidays, milestone birthdays, or worse, another wedding. Because if you and Cousin Mitzy are walking down the aisle on the same day, your wedding will be ruined! Where will the ceremony and reception be held? A backyard? a church? a tropical destination? This is important to establish early because if any of these venues fall through, the wedding is ruined!

Wedding Coordinator or no? In other words, can you relinquish enough control to let someone else put everything together or do you want to do it all yourself? Flowers, cake (chocolate, vanilla, raspberry ganache? Three tiers? Four Tiers? Groom’s cake?), Food, Linens, Centerpieces, must all be perfect. If not, the wedding will be ruined! If the tulle is stuck in the wrong spot, the wedding will be ruined! Keep in mind that the careless selection of themes and colors will also bring about the ruination of your blessed event. I’m not kidding.

Where the wedding will be held depends on the how many guest you want to witness your event. Oh the guest list. Whoo! This has been the cause of many conflicts. One wrong guest and the wedding is ruined! If you have fighting relatives, who do you invite and who do you tell to keep their drama at the house? If your folks are divorced and have been remarried, how do you orchestrate that? And if this is marriage number two, how do you negotiate the attendance of the children with the ex? If the split was amicable, then problems are limited. Now if a big flat-screened television set and shade were thrown during the divorce, then getting your child to your happy day will take an Act of Congress (or the act of a good lawyer). What about that fresh uncle who grabs everything wearing a skirt? How about that aunt who prays for the words, “Open Bar”? What about that friend who lets you know that she will wear the same outfit she wore to your fiancée’s first wedding? Does she get an invite? Anyhow, once this list has been established, what’s the seating arrangement? Can’t sit feuding relatives next to one another. So figuring out who sits next to whom is as complicated as putting together a Survivor puzzle. Get it wrong, and the wedding is ruined!

Speaking of people, who are the groomsmen? Who are the bridesmaids? Who gets the coveted spots of Best Man and Maid of Honor? If the wrong selections are made, the wedding is ruined! I don’t know about men, but with women, the selection of bridesmaids is a complicated process. Who they will be has been established in the Kindergarten sandbox. The list evolves depending on circumstances. They can be removed if the person moves away, never to be heard from again or if there is a feud like stolen Barbies or boyfriends. The list grows as the bride grows up, where she is adding people from high school, college, and work. The wedding processional can be fifteen people long! Personally, I have witnessed a few occasions where bridesmaids selections have come back to bite the bride in the backside. It is important to select people who are truly happy for you and will support you. Also, while some there are some bridesmaids from you-know-where, sometimes, the brides have unrealistic expectations of their bridesmaids. You are friends for a reason and they should be treated as such. I absolutely loved my bridesmaids. Sure, they gave me what I needed, but in turn, I hope I was able to do the same for them.

So now that we’ve gotten the people all sorted out, what are they going to wear? Some brides get this notion in their heads that in order to have all the attention, their bridesmaids should be put into the ugliest dresses possible. Because if the bridesmaids look better than them, the wedding is ruined! This is crazy talk because the selection of dresses isn’t a reflection of how ugly the bridesmaids are, but of the bride’s poor taste. And insecurities. On the other end of the spectrum, there are brides who expect for their bridesmaids to get mani/pedis, hair (weave) done, facial, tanning, and diet. Yes some require diets. So basically, after dropping money for the dress, shoes, accessories, and travel, they need to empty their purses some more for the luxuries that they cannot afford on a regular basis, let alone a once (hopefully) in a lifetime event. Because in the bride’s mind, if their women walking down the aisle aren’t hooked all the way up – according to their specifications – the wedding is ruined!

Finally, most importantly, what are you, the bride going to look like when you walk down the aisle? Got to pick the perfect dress. Some brides have been known to cry when they find the dress. Personally, I didn’t. I was happy to find something that looked great (not really a ruffles and bows kind of girl), fit, and was good priced. Long veil or short veil? Tiara or simple clip? And what shoes? It’s all got to come together with the hair (a particular challenge for me), makeup (One of my bridesmaids hooked me up with that because bleech!), nails, and other grooming. Then brides are on that mission to find something old, new, borrowed, and blue. And if the bride isn’t perfect, like if groom wedding guests don’t cry and marvel over her beauty, the wedding is ruined!

So tell me, in recalling your own wedding, how many things have actually gone off without a hitch? Did you think your difficulties ruined the wedding? Do you look back on them fondly or are you still stewing over them years later? Were you stuck in your feelings about these mishaps to the point where you overlooked the spontaneous wonderful things that occurred? The things that your guest remember? Like I still cannot get the image of my 80-something-year-old grandmother getting her groove on at my sister’s wedding. That memory still makes me smile.

I have questions for those brides who believed that the wrong linens being used or the cake toppling over were truly devastating: Did your groom show up and say, “I do” with love in his eyes? Did everyone arrive safely? Return home safely? If so, then I personally believe that issues like people who show up without an RSVP can be laughed about later. With your groom. Oh remember him? I think that brings me to my second point of this post. People fall into the trap of wanting a wedding. Read back though this post about the process concerning what happens in a wedding. How many times did I mention, “the groom”? In what context was he mentioned? Did he play an important role in your event at all or was he just an accessory?

Brides need to remember two things: There would be no need for a wedding if he didn’t ask you to marry him in the first place. After all, the wedding lasts only one day. A marriage though, should last a lifetime. As hard as you work to put together the perfect wedding, you work even harder to maintain the perfect marriage. Even then, it does not stay perfect as committed people grow and change. Learning to live with someone else with their own thoughts, beliefs, desires, dreams, opinions, and feelings takes work. If you don’t do that, the marriage is ruined! Honestly, I believe that is more devastating than a perceived ruined wedding.

So if the reception didn’t go exactly how you pictured it a million times over in your head, but you are doing the first dance as husband and wife, then your wedding was not ruined. Most importantly, if you’re still dancing lovingly in each other’s arms ten, twenty, fifty years later, then you have had the perfect marriage. And that trumps a perfect wedding any day.

Be sure to check out my new novel, Destination Wedding Coming Soon!