I am not grown up enough for my life

I don’t feel grown up enough for my life.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, I was standing in the venue, and there were four people discussing how the tables would be angled around the columns, and where the bar would go, and how many “sanits” would be needed for the number of guests. And I was wearing sneakers, which seemed wrong. I felt like, as the bride, I should be wearing sleek, sexy, Manhattan shoes. I should have a sleek, sexy look. But I’d walked about 200 blocks the day before, and my feet were not interested in anything involving the word “stylish,” so I was wearing bulky sneakers. Because I was wearing sneakers, I was wearing shorts and a plain tank top. And standing awkwardly off to one side, as everyone discussed. I couldn’t remember what their roles each were. There was the caterer, definitely. But he’d brought someone who he called his “partner,” who seemed to have slightly different responsibilities. And then another person who was in charge of something else—because she used the word “sanit” a lot more. And then there was the videographer, and the sound and lights guy.

And beyond this circle of people who will soon run my wedding, there was an unrelated film crew, setting up, a tiny girl with red hair, running around looking comfortable and slightly entitled (I think she was about to be in a commercial), and two beautiful, petite Asian women wearing sports bras and yoga pants, who were stretching and fixing one another’s hair. From time to time, a young guy with a clipboard and one of those curly-wired ear pieces would pop up and scowl at us all. A young, modern Orthodox couple sat on the steps of the stage/bima, taking photos and smiling into each other’s eyes. They were obviously considering the space for their own wedding.

One of the people in my wedding circle was saying, “So, wait, you’re saying we can fit two tables between each pillar, with three feet between each?”

I tried to stand up straighter. I took my hands out of my pockets.

“Can I see your diagram?” I asked.

They all turned to look at me. “Um, sure,” said the woman who had the diagram. She showed me. It was confusing. Lines going everywhere.

I said, “Maybe if we put them length-wise?”

They paused. She said, tactfully, “Is that what you want?”

“She’s the bride,” said someone else.

“I don’t really know,” I said. I didn’t really know. And I didn’t want to mess up the tables for everyone by having to have an opinion so that I could hang out with the grown ups.

They turned back to their work. The little girl was up on the balcony, staring down at me. I smiled at her. She narrowed her eyes suspiciously.

I put my hands back in my pockets and slouched a little. It’s ironic, but getting married has made me feel totally childish. At least, the wedding planning part. I am surrounded by professionals who speak in professional jargon about the technical aspects of running the clunky, expensive machine that is my wedding. I, meanwhile, have never attempted to throw a party for more than four people. And four people don’t really even count as a party.

I’m not sure how much of this process I’m supposed to have mastered. Should I know the names of all the flowers? Should I care about the table spacing? Should I wear better shoes?

I imagine them leaving, the small crowd of sharp, brusque, elegant Manhattan wedding professionals who have just solved all of my wedding’s awkward, lumpy problems. They turn to each other and roll their eyes. “Seriously? Someone’s marrying that kid?”

“I know! Her shoes! And she just stood there like an idiot.”

“They get dumber every year.”

“You’re tellin’ me….”

I feel impotent. I try to imagine myself standing on the stage, under the chuppah. Getting married. But instead I picture the sanit people, waiting in the back, smirking.

I texted Bear. He wanted to know if the cat that hangs out in the venue is still there. He thinks the cat is really, really cute. Did I play with the cat? Where was the cat during all of this?

OK. At least I’m not the only child involved. The girl with the red hair is clearly much more grown up than either of us.

*  *  *

Un-Roast: Today I love humidity and my hair. They are lovers.


Kate on September 24th 2010 in beauty, being different, new york, wedding

19 Responses to “I am not grown up enough for my life”

  1. Wei-Wei responded on 24 Sep 2010 at 11:20 am #

    I don’t think anyone is ever grown up enough for their life.

  2. Kate responded on 24 Sep 2010 at 11:29 am #

    So true. But some people are a lot better at acting like they are.

  3. Sona responded on 24 Sep 2010 at 12:11 pm #

    Look – this is you and your family’s money. No one should make you feel inept – but you got to be in charge, as you’re the one footing the bill. There are lots of people who wish they had the resources that you have your wedding, so appreciate these moments. The second you think of the day as a way to express yourself, the less overwhelming this stuff will be. If their talk is much too esoteric, just smile and say, “Ok, just to make sure that we’re on the same page and there’s no last-minute changes, can you break down your thinking to me?”

    And if anyone pushes back on you, just say that this is the ceremony you and your fiance prefer.

    You’re a smart woman, and you deserve to have some fun despite the stress and drama. And you are busy, totally understandable that you are wearing sneakers ;) . And you’re the one paying the bill – so you can wear whatever you want!

  4. Cindy responded on 24 Sep 2010 at 12:36 pm #

    Sweetheart…I am 40 and feel like that ALL THE TIME.

    I have no words, but you should stand tall, and just be yourself. You are plenty old and mature enough to be getting married.

    I got married in a small SMALL Setting and our reception was in my back yard.

    SHEW. dodged that one!

  5. Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday responded on 24 Sep 2010 at 12:57 pm #

    I’m definitely not grown up enough for my life. On more than one occasion I’ve had solicitors/campaigners/canvassers knock on my front door and ask to speak to my parents. Or the owner of the house.

    Buddy, I AM the owner. If you want to talk to my dad you’ll have to get back in your car and drive to his place.

  6. Gaby responded on 24 Sep 2010 at 1:27 pm #

    I’m in total denial over my adulthood. I’m always a little surprised when I think about it and suddenly realize “when the heck did I become a 24 year old??” I always thought 24 would feel more grown up, or things would be different, and at some point the world is supposed to change overnight so that you can suddenly see it differently. I think I’d be more comfortable still worrying about pop quizzes, my puzzle collection, and how I’ll convince my parents to let me stay out late watching a movie, or let me borrow my mom’s concealer to cover up my breakouts. I don’t even have the mental space to care about my breakouts now. Or about what shoes look appropriate.
    I think maybe it’s that we haven’t been adults for long enough so it’s still something new and uncomfortable. It doesn’t come naturally. It took me at least 9 years to perfect my barbie dream world scenario, so I think I need to have the same patience with adulthood.
    And knowing how to plan a wedding is by no means a measurement of adulthood, it’s just a different set of interests and priorities. That planner or the caterer is probably a terrible writer, would never cantor at a synagogue, or care to help girls all over the states feel better about themselves. Pus I really doubt she’d be as fun to talk to over a 2+ hour lunch date. It balances out.

    ps. I’ve embraced the effects of humidity on my hair too! Let those curls run wild!

  7. Kate responded on 24 Sep 2010 at 1:30 pm #

    That’s hilarious! I love the thought of you saying just that to a solicitor at your door.

  8. Kate responded on 24 Sep 2010 at 1:32 pm #

    You’re pretty fun to talk to, yourself, over a 2+ hour lunch date :) It’s amazing when blogging makes me friends who can step off the internet and into my physical life.

  9. Anna responded on 24 Sep 2010 at 1:53 pm #

    Beautiful post. I think we’ve all experienced this feeling before in some way or another. I know I certainly have, despite the fact I’m nowhere near getting married. I don’t feel grown up enough for my own life whenever I have to do anything employment-related, be it job-searching or interviewing. I’m just a 22 year old college kid. What do I have that their business/organization could possibly want?

  10. San D responded on 25 Sep 2010 at 7:46 am #

    I think that “taking charge” makes you a grown up in a sense. Hopefully we will always be “children at heart” and react to the world around us with a certain naivete. But once you have a career, become a parent, experience a tragedy, buy a house, all markers of adulthood, you will feel more like an adult, someone who has had to make the hard decisions that turn us all into “adults”.

  11. Ashlie responded on 25 Sep 2010 at 10:47 am #

    Weddings can be beautiful, but also very silly. All the jargon and the “team” of people putting together the details can get super puffed up, but honestly, at the end of the day, your actual wedding will be a blur, and the business of carrying out your marriage will be much more important, and there is a rarely a team at that point.

    Your words make many, many people feel good every day. You are much more important than the commercials and the diagrams, so don’t forget it.

  12. Yoyomama responded on 25 Sep 2010 at 11:25 am #

    I am about to turn 60, and I am still not feeling grown-up enough for my life. Especially when I go to my mom’s house. And even more especially when some little girl younger than my children with a clipboard and an earpiece thinks she is the boss of me.

  13. Lauren responded on 25 Sep 2010 at 5:08 pm #

    This is very similar to how I felt when I was planning my wedding as well. I often showed up to vendor appointments wear jeans and a T-shirt and always wondered if the florist, the planner, the caterer, etc thought I was crazy….

    You are the bride…. beautiful and totally capable!

    Congratulations to you and your fiancé. Try to have fun during this time as much as you can!

  14. Claire Allison responded on 25 Sep 2010 at 6:38 pm #

    If it’s any consolation, the planners probably left thinking something along the lines of “thank goodness she let us do our jobs in peace! Isn’t it a relief not to have some crazy bridezilla?”

    Seriously, people in event planning love an agreeable client, if anything they like what you’re doing.

  15. C responded on 29 Sep 2010 at 2:28 pm #

    If it helps, I feel this way all, the time, usually with no provocation. I usually can’t ever remember how old I am (29. After a few seconds to think), and I feel like I could wake up tomorrow in my childhood bedroom, wearing a Care Bears nightgown and only be slightly confused about it.

    I used to think this was something only I did, but as I get closer to another milestone age and people make bigger deals about it (I couldn’t care less about soon turning 30, as long as there’s cake) I’ve had conversations with friends about Feeling Grown-Up. And I think your reaction to the Wedding Circle People was grown-up in the best ways. In the end, isn’t being a grown-up mostly about cherishing what makes you feel happy, no matter what other people think? And two days after your wedding you won’t remember those sanits, but if Bear sees the cute kitty during the reception, you know that will be a story you re-tell during all your happy grown-up married years.

  16. Rebecca responded on 29 Sep 2010 at 5:27 pm #

    …Jargon can make *anyone* feel immature and foolish.

    Trust me,
    you are not either of those.

    If there are professionals who will take care of stuff that you don’t want to,
    or that you don’t care about,
    let ‘em.

    Concentrate on what makes you happy instead.

    Very few brides actually care about EVERYTHING in their wedding–it’s okay!

    (that said, they should have made a point to include you…silly vendors)

    Go on and play with The Cat.
    ‘s all good. :)

  17. bipolarlawyercook responded on 10 Oct 2010 at 9:20 am #

    I’ve been married 10 years– I’m still confused about where to put the damned tables. And excited about the cats at the venue we went to last week for a party for someone else’s wedding.

    Pet the cats. All of them. And congratulations. Those sneakers are awesome (even if they are metaphorical sneakers and not the actual ones.)

  18. anna and the ring responded on 15 Oct 2010 at 10:49 pm #

    Yeah, jargon is designed to make people feel superior. Fortunately they are not.

    Just because they think one way does not mean they are right. (Although they may be!).

    Also if you don’t care about certain aspects that’s ok. Life is far too short and if you are paying people to sort it, they should.

    (Hi, by the way, new to your blog!)

  19. Eat the Damn Cake » (finally) a summary of the whole weird and wild wedding experience responded on 19 Jul 2011 at 1:05 pm #

    [...] I am not grown up enough for my life: a post about how technical wedding planning can get, and how I’m not good at being technical. [...]