Perhaps I haven’t made it clear why I am crazy. Perhaps you are curious. Perhaps you are not. But either way, perhaps you will enjoy some fine examples of the roots of this insanity, which become clearer and clearer as the wedding plans progress.
Keith and I have decided to get married in the Caribbean. To avoid the paparazzi and jinx-ation, I will refrain from mentioning the exact location at this juncture, but suffice it to say it’s a U.S. territory other than Guam, the water is safe to drink and no vaccinations are required for entry. Unless you are made of coral or eat barracuda (in which case you could theoretically fall prey to bleaching and/or ciguatera, respectively), the prognosis is pretty good.
Here are the reactions I got when I told a few people about the destination.
Jamie: Can’t wait!
Dave and Rob: We are there!
Future SIL: So excited!
Loren: It’ll be like group vacation!
Um … Lew?
Lew: [five minutes later] Are you SURE you want to get married there? What about a nice domestic place like Maine … or Cape Cod?
Ah, Cape Cod. Site of at least 10 family vacations and one uber-traumatic barf (circa August 1982). Accessible only via mind-numbing six-hour car ride, about which Lew complained non-stop for two months leading up to each of these family vacations. What a great idea! We can have the reception in the kitchenette of our efficiency room at the Salty Sea Cap’n Motel, where the disposable paper bathmats are decorated with a cartoon map of “the Cape” and the carpet is the softest of Astroturf. And OMFG! That old man from Nantucket — of every limerick fame — could officiate!
Me: Yeah. We’re sure.
Jan: What about Dave and Rob’s beautiful backyard in Dallas?
Lew: What about … Tampa? Southern California? [increasing desperation] Gulf coast of Mississippi?! Little Chapel of Love in Las Vegas???
When pressed, neither parent was able to articulate exactly why a five-star hotel in a place where American cell phones worked just fine and to which you could fly non-stop on a major airline was so far beyond their comfort zone [the Upper West Side and three European Union countries].
I tried to accept their anxiety and get past it, but, as is always the case, guilt and sad imagery of Jan and Lew began to haunt me. Was I a horrible daughter for asking them to come to a wedding somewhere they didn’t want to go?! Was I being totally selfish?!
I decided to inquire, hoping they’d reassure me with something like this: “Put such thoughts out of your head! This is your day, and we are beyond happy to travel anywhere for you. You’re a fabulous daughter and we love you.”
Instead, the response was more along these lines: “We’d really prefer you get married closer to New York. [pause] But we’ll still come.”
My utter relief was short-lived as they went on to obsess about who would take care of the cat while we were all away.
Jamie suggested we just cancel the wedding, given that it was seven months away and they were still short a catsitter.
Then Jan had another idea.
“You know, Marsha Feldman’s son just had a gargantuan wedding at the Breakers in Palm Beach. It sounded absolutely breathtaking.”
Breathtaking, you say? You know what else sounds breathtaking?! A PANIC ATTACK, which I’m about to have.