and those who matter don’t mind.

That was the saying on the facebook image i shared… that she then shared too, not realizing when i posted it i was thinking of her… how she’s one of the former, not the latter.

I’m not the girl that grew up planning her wedding. i had a barbie but she never married ken (or gi joe or the ninja turtles either, for that matter). she didn’t have a wedding gown. my favorite of her party dresses was black and shiny silver.

I told the husband when he was still the boyfriend that i would never be married in a church, that i would never wear a wedding gown or a diamond ring. that i would not get married in front of people for what i feel is actually something that is very private. Hell, i said, let’s just not get married at all! The paper has no bearing on the love.

But after six years we started to hear the demands and thinking of the money we could save to combine insurance and file taxes differently we thought “eh, what the hell?” (romantic, no? Neither of us has every claimed to be) I repeated my restrictions and he was right behind me. Save the money for the house we’re planning to buy. Keep it small.

So we had a miniscule ceremony; me and him and the judge and two witnesses in the just recently cleared-of-protestors state capital building. We had considered strangers for witnesses but felt that to be too much unpredictability. so we settled for a friend of mine and a friend of his who would leave work for a few hours on a cold, raining, wednesday afternoon in March. There was a chorus on the level below us and they sang songs from Disney’s Little Mermaid as we were getting married. Afterwards the four of us went out for BBQ and then they went their way and the newlyweds went on theirs really no different than they’d been.

not even in name. i like mine. i kept it fiercly and protecively, not something to just sling away like you could ever be “done” with it.

We went on a tour of a nearby cave. we had a Dairy Queen ice cream cake i ordered with a ball and chain on top (romantic? no, remember? Hilarious? You betcha!!) we played some video games, watched a movie and got my pregnant ass to bed at a reasonable hour (a pregnancy brought on by the engagement, not the other way around which carries an Irki-itude of a whole other sort).

No family; and not an elopement. this was not a surprise, we planned it this way from the start. Did we have fun? Yes. Did we miss out on anything? Not. A. Jot. we had two parties later with the whole family and we don’t regret not spending even half as much money as we could have.

But then there is this one single voice that says the same thing over and over no matter how many times i relate how much it hurts me. who reiterates the same hurtful words when i tell how much those specific words hurt me. this voice telling me about the disappointment of not getting to be there, of not getting to help me plan a wedding, of picking out a wedding gown.

A voice apparently without desire to take in and understand that the disappointment is not my fault in the least. because that daughter who was fantasized about trying on dresses, planning, standing before everyone she knew on that particular day? That’s not me. That has never been me and it never will be me. that is a fantasy daughter created out of thin air and make-believe and i will never stop being myself in order to be her instead.

And every time i am told of the disappointment that she feels in the way i planned my wedding what i’m actually hearing is that unless i live up to the standards set out for me by the invisible fantasy daughter then i am a disappointment.

of course that’s how i’ve always felt. there has to be that disconnect, though, between the truths and fictions between far-off relatives. But does that make it hurt less? Not a jot.

but if i can’t even express my emotions to the one who has abraded them then why express anything at all?