Notes on love and disparage |

Notes on love and disparage

Meredith Cohen

I know many women who long dreamt of marrying their Prince Charmings only to get engaged and battle fiercely with their fiances about everything from the honeymoon plans to the flavor and color of the fondant icing on the wedding cakes to the patterns on the everyday china in their bridal registries.I don’t have that problem.To commemorate our betrothal, my sister sent my fiance and me an exquisitely detailed handmade album to use as a scrapbook for pictures and keepsakes from the events leading up to our wedding. The first pages of the book have spaces for us to write down the memories of our initial meeting and the moment when we realized the relationship would last forever. We sat down to dinner after we received the gift with the idea of telling each other again how and when we fell in love before recording the memories in ink. I was halfway through my recollection of our first date when my fiance interrupted with a less-than-amorous epiphany. “I think someday, instead of traditional marriages, people will get hitched for, say, 10 years with an option to renew. It’ll be sort of like a sports deal with an ‘out’ clause. You’ll get to review your spouse’s record and stats over the life of the deal and decide if you want to extend the contract or send them packing. The lawyers will love it.”He has since been made to understand that his prenuptial agreement/divorce combination fantasy (or pre-vorce, as I’ve taken to calling it) is neither an engagement gift nor wedding gift he will be receiving.He also won’t be getting the pair of $800 brass bear-head bookends that caught his eye when we made our first trip to register for wedding gifts. While it was tempting to put the 25-pound knickknacks on the registry since it was the only suggestion he offered in the 56 minutes and 8 seconds we browsed through the store (he timed it), none of the guests on our invite list made it into Forbes’ billionaire issue this week, so it’s doubtful the tchotchkes would have found their way into our home anyway.After the bear incident, I decided a Get Out of Jail Free card for subsequent registering excursions would be a humane way for me to express my love for him. That is, until last weekend. We were visiting my family in New York and for reasons that no one can exactly recall, my fiance came with me and my mother on a registering appointment. What was scheduled as a 90-minute outing ended up taking more than three hours, although he will testify under oath that the elapsed time felt closer to a month.To his credit, though, he took one for the team and offered his input on the size of the red wine glasses (“Whatever you want is fine”), how many serving pieces we could use (“Sure”) and whether we need a food processor or a blender (“Yes”). However, lest he garner any sympathy for having missed an afternoon of college basketball on TV, had he not been there, we would not now be registered for the pizza cutter for which he’s been pining for the past two years. So, he’s not complaining, and neither am I. (If given the choice of getting yessed to death regarding the color of our salad plates or having him argue with me about whether we need 12 or 14 place settings, I’ll take the former every day.) Our latest wedding planning project (and by “our,” I mean “my”) has been deciding on the first song to which we will dance at our reception. I suggested Elvis Presley’s “Love Me Tender” or Frank Sinatra’s “That’s All.” He countered with AC/DC’s “Hell’s Bells,” Billy Idol’s “White Wedding” or Van Halen’s “Running with the Devil.”This week I traced his apparent lack of sentiment to his brother and sister-in-law’s first dance at their wedding. He thought he remembered them dancing to Prince’s “Purple Rain.” I checked with his brother, who thought the song was actually The Commodores’ “Brick House” (“She’s a brick house/Mighty mighty, just lettin’ it all hang out/The lady’s stacked and that’s a fact/ain’t holding nothing back”). His sister-in-law didn’t hazard a guess except to say she remembered it being something sedate and dignified. But his brother gets major points for offering up the best groom advice ever: Don’t get involved with the planning, pretend to get excited about everything, stay out of the way, and no matter what, “I don’t care” is never the right answer, regardless of the question.Sure, there have been moments in the seven weeks since we got engaged when he hasn’t exactly heeded his brother’s suggestions. “You know, if you hadn’t bought all those bridal magazines for $10 each, we might have been able to fly first class on our honeymoon.” “Do you want to look for wedding bands when we go to visit my parents?” “Whatever.” “I can’t wait to get married.””Good.”Although, if there was ever a doubt that he’s Mr. Right, it would have vanished when he suggested we shop for our wedding bands at Costco. No pre-vorce necessary – he’s a keeper.Meredith Cohen wonders if in real life anyone ever walks down the aisle to “Here Comes the Bride.” Questions or comments may be e-mailed to

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