Thursday, March 1, 2012

Father of the Bride

A few nights ago we watched the movie Father of the Bride with Steve Martin. Not on TV, not on a DVD, but on a VHS my Dad recorded at least twelve years ago, complete with commercials from the 90s. We've been watching this movie and other sappy 90s thrillers for as long as I can remember.

Seeing the wedding of Annie Banks unfold as a kid, I thought, "That's exactly what I want!" Now, if you're not familiar with the wedding portrayed in the movie, let me fill you in. Annie hires a wedding coordinator and the event costs $250 per person. She wears a big, poofy white dress and the bridesmaids wear big, poofy pink dresses. The men wear tuxes and the ceremony takes place in a church. There are swans and fancy food and dancing. When I was eight years-old, this is exactly what I wanted.
(Watch out, here comes much cheese)

Thank goodness things change as my current wedding plans look nothing like that. But one thing I still resonated with from the movie is the discomfort of leaving home, of moving on, of closing one chapter and moving on to the next. There's a scene where the daughter, Annie, is shooting hoops outside on the night before her wedding. She tells her Dad about the sadness of packing up her room and not feeling quite ready to leave. He's not quite ready to let her go.

Now, I haven't lived at home since I moved out for college six years ago, but we've lived in our current house for the past fourteen years. There are so many memories here. I like coming home and sleeping in my own bed in my old room. Sure, it's not really my room anywhere, but there's a certain peace to coming home to a place that rarely changes, that still holds those memories back to fifth grade like artifacts in a museum.

Like the time I saved rolly pollies from the rain by putting them on higher ground.
I mowed this lawn and weeded that garden.
We celebrated Christmas by that fireplace.
Our dogs, Trinket and Oscar, used to sit on the back of that couch.
We put our initials in that concrete.
I recovered from six different surgeries in that bed.
I came back to this house after returning from Cambodia and never felt more safe or more at home.

And now, sitting here at the kitchen counter, getting ready to leave for the airport, I'm not ready to go. I won't be back until after we're married in May. So much will be different whenever the next time is that I get to come home. I won't have my room anymore. Money for car repairs and college tuition won't just magically appear. My parents won't pay for gas so that I can come home on a weekend. We won't have a week or a spring break away from college. The comfort of knowing that at any time, no matter what, I could always hop in the car and come home if I needed to feels like its evaporating. The reality of adult life is slowly sinking in and I'm not sure I'm ready for it.

Starting a new life is scary:
How will we pay our bills?
What do I need to know about health and car insurance?
Are gerbera daisies annuals or perennials?
What is the correct temperature for canning peaches?
Which paint should I use on walls?
How do I use the DVR?
How do I put my student loans on hold?
What do I need to know before accepting a full-time job?
Which kinds of credit cards are the good ones?
What if my car does that funky lurching thing?

Whereas my parents have always been my go-to's for these sorts of questions, suddenly it feels like I need to have this all figured out because I'm getting married and officially moving out. That means something. That comes with its own territory. That's another stage in life where my expectations of what I thought this would look like are clashing loudly with reality.

My Dad drove me to the airport. We talked about changing my cell phone plan, transferring health insurance, paying bills, changing my name, moving out, and moving on. My Dad always gets a little teary with goodbyes, but this time it was both of us. I've spent the last few weeks planning details of the wedding day, but only the last few days thinking about all these changes that come with marriage and thinking: I'm not sure I can do this.

Granted, I love Jeremy, I want to get married, and living with my parents is neither a good nor healthy option. In three years, I may chuckle about my anxiety about growing up. I suppose that's the perks of writing: a good memory. There have been plenty of other times that I was sure I wouldn't be able to handle the changes on the horizon.
And then I did.

Deep breaths, young one.
Your physical age is twenty-four (even in your emotional age feels like fourteen).
It's gonna be okay.


Carley Brown said...

It's pretty insane the amount of information that a person should know about life and survival in our current time. Congrats on growing up, its a good feeling, even though very often scary at times.