Greetings faithful followers of The Thirty-Something Bride (TSB). It is with great pleasure that I am humbly filling in for TSB while she sojourns through communist China. She sends her warmest regards. She thought it might be novel for me to guest-blog about the wedding preparation process from the often neglected perspective of the thirty-something groom. She has given me free range to write about whatever I wish, but as a caveat I must say the opinions expressed here are do not necessarily reflect those of TCB and if they don't, I assure you retribution from TCB will be swift! And to the ladies, I intend to be candid, it is not my intention to be mean spirited or misogynistic, because neither are in my nature, so I beg your pardon from the outset.
Disclaimers aside, Gentlemen, it is incumbent upon me to prepare you for the process of wedding planning. Hopefully, with a little guidance you may avoid some of the pitfalls that I have found myself in. I hope it helps.
I have heard it said that a wedding to a lady is like their version of the Super Bowl. This is an over-simplification. It's more like you are being asked to QB for your favorite team in the Super Bowl down by 4 with 2 minutes left on the clock. Just the scenario that you reenacted thousands of times in you backyard during your childhood and no doubt thousands of times playing Madden in your adolescence. It is important to them beyond our capacity to really understand. And each detail of wedding planning takes on an awesome significance which is a means to this end. And that's OK.
The process itself is baffling, things that we have taken for granted as mundane take on a whole new significance. You will be introduced to a whole new vocabulary and you'll learn such words as tulle and fondant. Your beautiful bride to be will be reduced to tears over the improper formatting of the fonts used on your wedding invitations and you will be expected to be sensitive and understand why. You will be awestruck at how much everything costs (both financially and emotionally). You WILL be asked to do things that are contrary to your very idea of what be a man is.
Let me tell you this right now, My Brothers, the majority of what being a real man means is setting your own needs and desires aside and doing things that you don't want to do. To be a dutiful groom to be, husband, or especially, a future father, you must master this concept. You are about to take a wife, if you cannot come to terms with this concept...then you are not ready grasshopper.
Sounds tough ehh? Take heart, you will be rewarded ten-fold. If you master this principle you will hold the undying affection of your betrothed. But for the time being I have compiled a "To Do" list that should help move you towards domestic tranquility.
Number One: Invest in Tivo or DVR
If you are familiar with the stand-up comedy of Ralphie May then you know exactly why this is first on the To Do list. It is the greatest martial aid ever invented and I'm sure divorce rates will drop because of it. Still can't figure it out my neophyte friends, put simple, you are going to miss a lot of games buddy. Deal!
Number Two: Insist on Pre-Marital Counseling
This one is a bit counter-intuitive, but it falls squarely into the category of being a man and doing what you don't really want to. But this one often has very positive results. It will teach you both the skills you need to resolve conflicts in a healthier way. Plus, a good counselor can act as sounding board for some of your complaints. Often our observations are dismissed because "we are just guys and don't understand" sometimes it takes a third party voicing your complaints or observations to overcome this stereotype. I can say without hesitation that it has been the most helpful thing TSB and I have done for each other. But be careful and shop around for the right counselor for you both, visit several counselors if need be, because the last thing you need is a finger-wagging old wench who's office smells of cat piss telling you everything is all your fault.
Number Three: Be Proactive
Rack up those brownie points wherever you can fellas. For example I got tickets for TSB and I to go to the nightmare known as the bridal expo. Going sucked but the fringe benefits really paid off. Try to do something every week wedding planning related on your own (but don't make ANY decisions by yourself) to show that you are engaged in the process. Most of your suggestions will be promptly discarded (thankfully) but you will nonetheless reap the benefits of having done them just by showing your bride to be you care.
That's all I can bear to blog at the moment, as storms in the area are threatening power failure. In our next installment, we'll complete the list and discuss some headier topics.