Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Who's Opinion?

I've never had so many people have an opinion about my life.

People were quietly interested when I was attending Biola, when I got my pilot's license, and when I was reading Plato. But now that I've entered a part of life that they're familiar with, they must have their say.

"Black dresses won't go with Kakhi suits."
"You look pasty with foundation on."
"When you want your husband to think you've been busy making dinner, sauté onions."
"I read this book before my honeymoon and it made sex much better."
"It's going to be too hot."
"You have to invite her to the wedding. She'll be so offended if you don't."
"Those vows exclude gender roles."
"People aren't going to want to donate towards missions. They want to give you a gift."

I've never considered myself someone who was ruled by other's opinions, but perhaps, just this once, I want to leave all the decisions to my hard working mother so she can receive the brunt of people's contrary opinions.

What's really interesting is when I have a rebuttal to their opinion: "No, I think I like having simple white plates at the reception," I say.

"Well, it's your wedding," they reply. "You can do it however you want." As if to say, "If you want to ruin your wedding, if you want to look like a dork and embarrass yourself by having ugly white plates, then it's your wedding. Your the one who will have to live with the consequences, not me, so do whatever you want."

That's helpful, especially because no, this isn't my wedding and no, I can't do whatever I want. If it were entirely my wedding, I would be eloping to Hawaii, but I have another half now who has more decency than I and who would like to celebrate our marriage with family and friends. And so we've come to this compromise: backyard wedding, church reception, Hawaii honeymoon.

Most things are a compromise now. And after Philip and I have come to a decision, a compromised decision that required plenty of talk and maybe some discouragement on both sides, the last thing we need is for Joe Smoe to tell us how we should further change things. AH! We just reached our decision and now we're to change it again. AH!

In twenty years I don't want to remember these days as a continuous wrestling with other people's opinions. I want to remember the joys and laughs. I want to remember watching the sunflowers growing in the backyard. I want to remember rock climbing with Philip. I want to remember the weekly dinners, wedding gifts, and cups of tea from Grandma Taylor on Tuesday evenings. I want to remember the alterations lady at David's Bridal leaving me half-naked in the hallway as she answered a 15 minute phone call. I want to remember encountering 6 skunks on the Friendly Hills Golf course when Philip and I took a stroll there after hours. I want to remember putting panthers, Indian necklaces, blue jays, and Russian teapot stamps onto our wedding invitations because the post office was out of heart stamps. I want to remember the seamstresses asking me if my wedding dress was for my quinceanera. I want to remember my and Steve Burns' (our photographer) shocked expressions as my gentle mother beat our dog Max after he ran across the street after another dog. I want to remember my dad and Philip trying to shoot squirrels in our backyard with the BB gun. I want to remember the overweight lady I helped after she fell at the entrance of the Whitwood Town Center, and who apologized for not wearing a good bra as she hopped on one leg to her car. I want to remember my father easing the pain of my departure by telling people, "I don't think of it as losing a daughter, but gaining a parking space."

These are the humorous and memorable things I want to fill my mind.

So what do I do with people's opinions? Beats me. I think I'll go... pray some more.