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“I Do…Have Wedding Jitters”

As the big day approaches, my fiancé and I are squabbling about little wedding details and big life questions – but it’s too late to back out now.

The summer has been rough – I’ve been juggling a quartet of part-time jobs to feed the rental beast. And, oh, yes, I’m getting married.

Planning a wedding in a long-distance relationship is an art in itself. We are now less than one week away from the big day, yet the checklist of tasks I’d thought were long done are not. There are last-minute cancellations from a dozen or so people. There’s a death in the family, a death amongst friends of friends, a stroke, a job shift. That’s life and so it goes.

But there’s also the ceremony music that I’ve long been pestering the fiancé to finalize, and the gifts for guests that simply had to be redone. There’s the first dance that we’ve never practiced, and the song that we decided on last-minute.

We are not singing off of the same song sheets as most other couples. Perhaps by nature we are contrarians. We have been living two separate lives on two different continents.

Along with the insanity of wedding planning, there are the ongoing arguments with the fiancé spurred by my fixation on discussing my hopes and dreams for the future. My dreams of the future – no, our future – escalate with every new Facebook post I see from peers on new babies, new homes, and new jobs. Why does everyone on Facebook seem to live a charmed life?

Our conversation, which feels like eating a stale dinner at this point, goes something like this:

“I love the idea of having a house together and starting a family. What do you think?”

“I can’t say or promise anything on this. Why can’t we focus on being together first and then, down the road, we’ll see what happens.” There is escalating frustration and exasperation in his voice.

Sheesh. What’s wrong with window shopping? Or at least entertaining a loved one’s dreams? My blood boils and a fight starts. I dub the past season “treading water and keeping the sharks at bay.”

Against this backdrop of anxiety is the knowledge that this event, which we’ve been planning since the start of the year, will soon be over. I’ve often thought about it as the long, hot, and torturous wait at an amusement park at the peak of summer. You’re on this long queue that seems to snake on forever. You dream of sitting on the ride, anticipating the thrill and chill of what the ride will feel like. Sometimes you feel like backing out; other times you’re itching to get on. Before you know it, you’re at the head of the line – your turn is next.

It’s now too late to back out, so you step on, close your eyes, say a prayer, and before you know it, it’s over. Just like that, a flash of a memory.