This morning was the first time I was obviously panicked about our wedding without being in the middle of discussing, organizing, making something, or otherwise directly dealing with it. I was driving to work, and (given that I have an hour commute - balls) listening to a book on CD. This time around, it's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, which I have been very much enjoying. In the book, the Kingsolver family throws a 150 person party for Barbara's 50th birthday. The whole premise of the book is to document a year of eating only locally-sourced foods, so catering this event is tricky, but - in the same vaguely smug fashion in which every meal in the book comes together - they manage to do so with only a normal amount of effort and yield a glorious result. Apparently elderly relatives were still cutting up the rug come two AM, and everyone was happily fed and entertained the whole night through.
For those of you who don't know, either because you're currently non-existent (lookin' at you, Batman) or a reader who doesn't know me personally, I am getting married in (holy crap) thirty-six days. That's thirty-six days to prepare to host close to twenty close friends either in our apartment or a cabin we're renting, to magically manifest a chunk of money, to make a crapton of decorations and other accoutrements from scratch, to organize the logistics of everyone's travel, and to somehow figure out what the hell I'm doing with my hair and makeup (which are things I typically give about five minutes of consideration to on a given day).
Don't get me wrong: I'm pretty good in an isolated high-stress situation. Lost a kid on a field trip? I will OWN that search-and-rescue operation. Stranded on the side of the highway with a flat tire in the middle of nowhere in a torrential downpour? Let's change that mother-fucking tire. Suddenly noticed a massive overdraft in a bank account? I will shuffle my finances like a boss. Working continuously on a month-long project that has a humongous impact on a final graduate class grade? Er...I think I'll go curl up in a corner, vomit, clean that up, then go back to the corner to cry in a fetal position for a while. Put simply, my short game is excellent, but my long game could stand some improvement.
Planning a wedding has been amazingly fun - don't let my ranting convince you otherwise - but goddamn has it been hard. While I was listening to the description of the Kingsolver's torturously successful undertaking, my brain was just chugging away: how the hell do they manage to stay so calm, cool, and collected through logistically assembling a 150 person party in their yard, catered entirely by themselves, with live music, a bunch of people camping on their land, and a working farm to tend as well? I melt down with more than a single DIY task to complete in an evening! Am I just that much less capable than a bunch of Appalachian-dwelling farmers?
We've got just over a month until our wedding, and rather than blithely wondering whether our neighbors will be providing us with delicious home-raised lamb or chicken, we're frantically scrambling together the last HUGE chunk of money, tracking down missing RSVP's, and realizing how many DIY projects are as-yet incomplete. I'm starting to lose sleep and find myself distracted by wedding minutiae at odd times, like while showering (WTF are we going to do about towels at the rented cabin?), during my morning commute (I feel awful that people will need to pay so much for gas to get here!), and while indulging my lower bowel's needs (can our bathroom handle more than six people using it in a night?).
So what. There's nothing I can do about most of these things but lay my plans as well as I am able and cross my fingers for the rest. I guess the lesson about stress here is to just let it happen and move on. A panic yesterday about how to display our 200 some-odd cupcakes yielded a gloriously simple solution (upcycled Goodwill plates on chunks of PVC cut to different heights), and everything else will fall into place...or it won't, and we'll just move on. Batman, don't let the stress get to you, and if you do, try to find a way to laugh at yourself good-naturedly. When I started to panic about shower capacity while pooping...I mean, do I need to say anything more?