A merry return

The trip to Arizona and the wedding was torture from beginning to end. I don't think I can do justice to the horror. My return trip home on Saturday took 11.5 hours and I've never been so happy to see the Manhattan skyline. New York really felt like coming home. Sunday I had to hibernate to recover. I spent the whole day reading my flight novel, watching a movie and taking naps.

The problems were nothing that I anticipated. By the time the reception came around on Friday night, and the bridesmaids were 2 hours late (partly because the groom forgot the marriage license and delayed the morning wedding, and because everyone told me I didn't have to wear the dress to the temple so I had to change, and because we had to clean the house where we stayed and there were logistics problems involving transportation to the hair salon....) The other big horror came from my mother and sister being at each other's throats the entire time.

I took it upon myself to be the intermediary to keep them from fighting. Which meant that I got the abuse from both ends. Jill yelled at me more than once when I tried to help her. My mother didn't quite yell at me but unleashed her angry tongue--anger at my sister's disorganization. I don't even want to go into the details. I suppose the retelling could be quite the comedy of errors, but today, the wounds are still too raw.

When we got to the temple for the sealing, I was prepared to wait in the lobby by myself. I brought an 800 page book to keep me company. I wasn't prepared for the tears. Right when we arrived and I met my mother waiting with the in-laws I started crying. I felt so sad, felt I was about to lose my sister. Things would never be the same between us again. I also probably cried because it was the first time I could relax since I arrived on Wednesday night. Things got bad right away. When my sister picked me up from the airport she got mad at me for teasing her about her ghetto car. She has a Jetta but can't afford to fix the crashed bumper or cracked windshield. I was trying to lighten the mood but she lashed back at me in real anger. Her tension was palatable and she was also PMSing so things were not pretty. My mother was just as bad and my brother was really sick on top of that. So I think just sitting in the temple annex, my whole body was able to breathe for the first time and with that breath came tears.

Of course, the tears shamed me so I went to the bathroom to wash my face and pull myself together. Once everyone went in for the sealing, the tears came again. I also wasn't prepared for the parade of happy, beautiful couples all there to get married. All surrounded by their happy loving families. It was a lonely place to be. So I went to the visitor's center to get away from that. It also bothered me to see all these hot mo'men coming in wearing wedding rings. I was envious. And sad. I couldn't help wondering what all those women have that I don't.

When it was time for the sealing to be over I went back to the temple lobby to wait. My step mother was there so we chatted. She told me about the delay. So we had to wait another hour for everyone to come out. Then the obnoxious photographer (way too cheesy) wanted to take a lot of pictures. We were all told there would only be a few temple shots of the couple. I was not dressed for pictures. Jill's sister in law left in a huff because her children weren't dressed for pictures either. Finally all the guests were going to leave to get lunch and the photographer took the bride and groom for more pictures. I tried telling Jill she didn't have time for more pictures if she wanted to eat before her make-up appointment at 2. It was now 1 pm. She got angry and yelled at me to leave her alone.

She missed her make-up appointment and called me at the restaurant where I was with my father, brother, step mother, and aunt and uncle. She was having a fit because her car wouldn't move out of park and David had gone off with his friends for lunch and she was going to miss her appointment. Could I come get her and take her? What? I got peeved that a)her new hubbie had left her at the temple and b)she was calling me for help instead of him and c)she should have listened to me in the first place and d) we had one car for 6 people and we were all in the middle of lunch so what did she expect me to do? We didn't have room in the car for her and the other bridesmaid and the bridesmaid's husband. I told her to call her husband. She yelled at me for this. When she did call him he said he couldn't come get her until after he got his lunch. So it was his fault she was late but I guess he couldn't be bothered to fix it.

Then it looked like I would also be missing my hair appointment at the salon. I had no ride. Jill got her gear shift to move and was on her way. We went back to my father's hotel. I cried when we got there because I was so exhausted, and hurt, and disappointed that I would have raggedy hair. My step mother was sweet about it and said they would drive me to the salon, that I needed to look good. The other thing we had to do was get back to Jill's friend's house so I could change into the bridesmaid dress. Then we had to clean up after the 4 people who stayed there because the woman who had been out of town was coming home that night. Step mom offered to go clean while we got our hair done but the bridesmaid couple without a car or hotel room who stayed at the house told her she didn't need to because it wasn't that messy. At 5 o'clock we headed back for the house and it took 45 minutes to get there. The reception started at 6:30. We arrived close to 8 pm.

I looked great but couldn't have cared less at that point. The reception was beautifully done. We took lots of pictures. My bra showed in the neckline of the dress so I had to wear a pink pashmina the whole night which looked cheesy but whatever. I really didn't care anymore. My sister's emo friends were there and I had to sit at their table. Their conversation was really boring, full of that young person's chatter that is meant to impress and exhibit one's witty repartee but is completely vacuous.

There were no single men for me to flirt with, not that I was in any kind of mood. I got a lot of compliments from the family. My sister and her husband looked amazing. When they danced, they looked like a movie star couple. My mother kept complaining about his brown suit (very mod) and how it made him look like Napolean Dynamite and was too small (Not quite.) The suit was fitted and was sexy, very Steve McQueen-esque. Jill said he was going for a Beatles look. But mom had complained about his suit all week. I think she was kind of out of her mind with stress. Her criticisms were absurd and over the top and crazy. She and Jill got into a nasty fight on the way to the reception because she was talking trash about Jill's new in-laws (who were nothing but sweet to us). Jill got so offended she wanted my mother to let her out of the car so she could walk the rest of the way in her dress and white satin shoes on the streets of a desert city.

One good thing was that I was very much needed. That felt really nice. I knew I was helping my family and my sister. Living in NY by myself, no one needs me. In my everyday life, I don't have opportunities to contribute, so I really enjoyed the feeling that my presence mattered and did some good. People were glad I was there. I did help my sister and did calm down my mother at points and was able to help organize a bit by taking charge when no one else would.

I'm happy to be home. And I am absolutely convinced now that I never want to have a wedding. If I get married, it will be an elopement. The family will get a notice in the mail. I told my family this and they all seemed very happy with that plan.