Avoiding Bridezilla status
August 4, 2006
Most women vow it’ll never happen to them. I’m no exception. But alas, seven months into our engagement and just weeks before the wedding, I’ve finally crumbled and morphed into my very own special breed of bridezilla. And my patient, sweet, husband-to-be Rick doesn’t know what’s hit him.I’m a far cry from the traditional bridezilla, whom etiquette expert Gail Dunson describes as a betrothed woman who exploits the notion of the wedding as a day entirely unto herself. Dunson says such women, “terrorize their bridal party and family members, make greedy demands and break all rules of etiquette, to insure that they are the single most important person on the planet from the time they are engaged to the time they are married.”Although my behavior doesn’t remotely resemble that which a classic bride from hell demonstrates, I’ve come to find that the person on the receiving end of my unique brand of wrath has been equally traumatized.Apparently I’ve tried too hard to have Rick collaborate with me on the details of our pending nuptials. I was under the mistaken impression he would want to be more than peripherally involved.In my quest to avoid becoming a bridal bitch, I took advice from the WE: Women’s Entertainment television network, home of the highly disturbing but utterly mesmerizing documentary series, “Bridezillas,” that follows real brides on their journey from “sweet to certifiable.” WE suggests engaged women fend off the appearance of irascibility by inviting their fiancés to participate in the planning process and allow them to share their opinions and even offer ideas.I know now there’s a reason WE has “women” but not “men” in its network name. Grooms (or at least mine) don’t want to participate in the planning process until which time it involves the discussion of potential honeymoon locations and tasting the food that will be passed during the cocktail hour.While we have the good fortune of the presence of my mom (who has placed 98 percent of the wedding planning squarely on her own shoulders) in our lives, we still have our own little list of tasks that must be completed prior to our successive marches down the aisle. However, chores like buying Rick a pair of black dress shoes and booking a hotel room for the wedding night shouldn’t be the driving force behind what’s become a weekly World War III-type battle.Despite the paucity of our to-do list, lately I’ve found that I’ve become (somewhat) uncharacteristically emotionally needy. I’ve been getting increasingly tense and hysterical about assignments not being completed quickly and efficiently enough. I frequently burst into tears if Rick’s not ready when I am to pick pithy musical quotes for inclusion in our wedding program or if he hasn’t given much (or any) thought to how he thinks we should format the letter for our out-of-town guests’ welcome baskets.Recently I’ve caught him looking at me not like he can’t wait to commit his life to me, but like I might need to be committed. And I know he’s confused. No fewer than a dozen married men (including my dad, brother-in-law and his brother) told him that he should remain silent without exception when the conversation turns to anything wedding-related.Sometimes I think it would be easier on him if I were more obviously high-maintenance. Like, if I had demanded an engagement ring large enough to double as a tiara. Or, if I insisted that a horse-drawn carriage transports us the 50 yards from the ceremony to the reception. I could have cried unless Vera Wang personally designed me a one-of-a-kind wedding gown. I suppose I could have said that fresh tulips from Holland are the only flowers I’ll allow at the reception. And I might have locked myself permanently into a closet until which time InStyle magazine agreed to feature my veil in one of their quarterly wedding issues and on their semi-annual television special. Had I asked him to commission a $250,000 personalized Grucci firework display for our wedding night, then maybe he wouldn’t have felt as put-upon when I implored him earlier this week to decide by next Wednesday exactly what he wants inscribed on our wedding bands.Now that the countdown to the big day has begun, though, hopefully relief is in sight for my poor dear who’s spent the better part of our engagement like a poor deer in headlights.To alleviate his increasing agony over hearing from me about our to-do list thrice daily, I should probably have him watch a few episodes of “Bridezillas” on WE. Maybe that’ll make him realize the grass is way greener on our side than on the side of the brides who insist on navigating their side of the lawn in $1,500 Manolos with rose petals strewn in between every step while trumpeters announce their entrance.E-mail questions or comments to email@example.com.