"SAY YES TO THE DRESS," AND A REVISITING OF YESTERDAY'S ESSAY, IN WHICH I MISTAKENLY SAID I HAD NOTHING TO WRITE ABOUT
This essay is really about two things. I’ll get to the second thing close to the end, but right now, I’ll get to the first thing.
I was reading yesterday’s essay about having nothing to write about to Megan, and after I was done, she started to hold forth on the show “Say Yes to the Dress.”
“You know the thing about ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ that gets me?” she asked.
I said that I did not.
“It’s the fact that it’s not about getting married,” Megan said, “it’s about the whole dream of getting married, the fantasy.”
I asked her to elaborate.
“Okay,” she said, “it’s this: we see the whole fantasy of getting married. The woman trying on the dresses keeps talking about how she feels like a princess and everything, and it sets, right there at the beginning of the marriage, this benchmark that’s virtually impossible to live up to afterward.”
I then asked if what she was saying was that perhaps a show like “Say Yes to the Dress” leaves most couples ill prepared for the fact that marriage is work, and that by making the wedding a fantasy, it makes the transition to the hard work of reality all the more difficult.
“Exactly,” she said. “Because the truth is, couples struggle, and slog through the day to day work of just making their marriage work. And ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ completely ignores the fact that the wedding is not the marriage, and if you expect to the marriage to be the wedding, you’re headed for trouble.”
I then said that she was on to something, and thanked her for reminding me of my failed marriage.
She glared at me.
“You know what I’m saying,” she said.
Look, I’m all for a gala wedding and everything, but if I had my druthers to do it again, I’d want to marry someone who just wants to wear jeans and a tee shirt. Then, instead of some stiff reception where everyone had to wear black tie or something, I’d have wanted a reception with picnic tables, good barbecue, and quality craft beer.
This is not to say that I’m against a gala event. What I am saying, however, is that I’d want to save the gala event for some marriage milestone, say, making it to 20 years. To me, this is really something to celebrate, although by this time, the wife would probably be looking for a dress that she could wear more than once.
So to my way of thinking, courtesy of Megan, “Say Yes to the Dress” would be a lot of fun if it showed us the reality of a marriage that works, as opposed to the fantasy that comes before something that, according to recent statistics, has a 50 percent failure rate. Of course, the only problem with this would be that the couple would probably be all for doing the jeans and tee shirt thing again, and just using the dress money to throw another party with barbecue, picnic tables, and craft beer. Alas, the reality of marriage, most of the time, is that it’s about saying yes to the clean tee shirt.
And the second thing:
Just reminding you that yesterday, I said that I had nothing to write about, and that listening to “Say Yes to the Dress” was yielding nothing. Then I chatted with Megan for five minutes, and had all I needed for this essay. If you write, think about that.