June 1999

I love weddings.  I’m sure everyone who knows me well is pretty sick of my little obsession by now: I’ll spend hours flipping through bridal magazines, “Chapel of Love” is my favorite son, and my friends and I even have mock weddings with cheap rings and offbeat vows – I’m about to take my fourth last name.  Yes, it’s a tad eccentric.  But how cute is the concept of “happily ever after?”

I know the topic seems irrelevant.  School’s almost out, and I’m probably expected to say something like “have a bitchin’ summer.”  And I would, only the other day I realized exactly what I’ve been fixated on all this time.

My friend and I were at the mall when we passed a formal wear shop.  She suggested we try on dresses, and I was about to blow her off, when I saw the gorgeous white gowns in the window.  Naturally, I then agreed to her plan.

To our surprise, the women in the shop were very nice about letting us “play.”  We chose several dresses and got some white gloves and a veil to complete the ensemble.  Surely, this was a monumental moment of my life.

It turned out to be just that, but not in the way I’d hoped.  While the store clerks cooed over how this crazy beaded gown fit my friend, I took a long, harsh look in the mirror.

What I had hoped to see was a bride.  What I saw instead was the classic picture of the four-year-old girl in her mother’s clothes.  I looked out of place in the poofy white dress that had seemed so exquisite on its hanger.  I tripped over the heavy train dragging behind me.  The gloves and the veil were, like everything else, in my way!

I realized that, as much as I love the idea, I’m not ready to even think about getting married yet.  It’s going to take a lot of time and a lot of experiences before a dress like that doesn’t clash with… well, me.  And I thought of everyone with fake I.D.s, all the people who try to act older than they are.  And I had just one question: Why?  Why do we want to grow up so quickly?  The time will come eventually, whether we’re ready or not.  But for now, go spend some quality time on a swing set.  Buy a Patrick Puppy from FAO Schwartz and sleep with it.  Set up a ball game in your backyard.  Have a bitchin’ summer.

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