after the wedding cake

January 27, 2011

A wedding signifies the beginning of a new life. Something very deserving of celebration. Very similar to the birth of a child–a day filled with excitement and expectation of the future life of this new human.

A wedding is a symbol and celebration of another new life—the coming together of two people to create one, united existence. The result can be beautiful. Or not so much.

But whichever result the union brings, one ingredient that has arguably zero say in the final outcome is the wedding day.

The wedding day is supposed to be a never-to-be-repeated, joyous day, but I repeat, the wedding does not a life make.

How many times I have heard a woman say that she just can’t wait for her wedding, or, even more so, for the moment when the doors open and everyone turns and gazes upon her beauty thanks to her breathtaking gown that caused her parents to take out a third mortgage on their home.

Possibly, for many women, this feels like the only day where all eyes will be on them. People will think only of her. And the wedding is all about the bride. Grooms can attest to that.

But, frankly, the only person to really and truly enforce this rule is the couple–and maybe just the bride, depending on the groom’s constitution.

I overheard a woman discussing a current reality show in which soon-to-be brides compete to win a dream wedding. Each episode has a challenge and a subsequent challenge winner who, as her prize, receives a cosmetic surgery of her choice so she can look just like Barbie on her wedding day. Did Heidi Montag design this perverted horror story masquerading as a light-hearted contest?

It sounds like the love child of Extreme Makeover and A Wedding Story with a sizeable implant from The Real Housewives of Orange County.

There are just no words.

Except for the comment from my chatty tablemate. She described this embarrassing and degrading parade as “neat.”

Sounds like a phrase from her era–something the Beave would say. But I don’t think Mrs. Cleaver would agree with Bridalplasty nor with the moral code of the a-moral execs who decided over strippers and beer to air this pathetic excuse for entertainment.

Roses for the less-hurried

January 22, 2011

Time is a funny thing. I caught a glimpse of my high school graduation keyring from oh-so long ago–an item I cared so much about at the time–which catapulted me back momentarily to my awkward days of ill-fitting clothes, acne and general teenage insecurities that are only grown out of with time and experience. (For me, the baggage seeming to hang on for a painfully long time.)

I remember days that I would gaze in a sea of despair at my calendar, confirming the 85 dreadful days I had to travel before summer vacation. My growing anticipation and sure belief in the greatness of life after high school felt like a boiling pot inside of me waiting to overflow unless I pushed for the premature exit. Fortunately, I knew better.

And then, as it happens for most of us, life pushed me forward, and as slowly as it seemed at the time, I soon saw myself take my first final in college, finish my senior project and then grasp my diploma proudly, all in what seemed like a week’s time.

Life has a way of gripping us so tightly sometimes that we almost can’t grasp where are until we are on to our next challenge. Events swirl around and keep us occupied with tasks that are so important in the moment, making it a struggle to appreciate, or even acknowledge, what we are experiencing the moment we are experiencing it.

Roses really do have a wonderful scent. I, for one, plan to continue to stop and smell them.

Reasons for Resolution

January 4, 2011

As Kelly Clarkson’s poppy girl-power sass echoes through my bedroom, I curiously ponder what everyone is hoping for in 2011.

It might be hard to admit that life is really a continual cycle of repeated moments, but the truth remains. This fact becomes brashly apparent to me at the beginning of each year, more so than any other time.

The media continues to tout the secrets to reaching new weight loss goals, a new you for the new year, unforgettable celebrity faux-pas of the past, and, of course, the stand-by: trends to toss and forthcoming fads.

We are all forced, or maybe subconsciously persuaded, to evaluate our lives and look to the future. For everyone, this means something slightly different. Finances, no doubt, for many; a career change for others; health improvements; home improvements; world travel.

These are all admirable goals. I, for one, plan to become more organized, grow my writing career, eat better and improve my Spanish.

Goals keep us striving to advance, to improve ourselves. There is something very beautiful and unifying about that.

And, when we finally reach the top of that hill we are climbing, we find that the view is not only breathtaking but also inspiring, and then quickly set our sights on a new challenge. Because that sense of pride and personal achievement is not something that can be bought and shipped to our door. Maybe that’s why it feels so good.

And, admittedly, that’s anything but cookie cutter.