What Happens To A Dream Deferred? It eventually comes back.


Spring is in the air in Knoxville.  The weather has gone from nearly 90 degrees to a crisp high of 50 from literally one day to the next, and it looks like it’s heading back toward warmer side.  It storms heavily three afternoons out of the week, but always returns to the bright, sunny side.  My tulips already bloomed and fell apart in my yard.  And, of course, this weekend is the spring game for the football team.  I am (to put it mildly) so excited I’m about to pee my pants.

Yes, Spring is here, and that means that we’re all sitting on the cusp of the biggest season of all.  No, not summer, the other big season–Wedding Season.

I’ve talked about Wedding Season and Engagement Season before here, but this Wedding Season seems especially prominent.  Three of my office mates are in varying stages of wedding planning.  Two of them are marrying in the next three months and a third is marrying next year.

So the office is full of discussions about dresses, theme colors, invitations, parties, showers.  Rental of tents, booking of quartets and trios, RSVPs, diners, favors.  Maids of Honor, Best Men, flower girls, ring bearers, grandmothers-of-the-groom.  House hunting, cake tastings, vow selection. Ring engravings.  Honeymoons, who could forget  honeymoons?  GASP.

Sorry, I got a bit verklempt just typing the list.  I can’t imagine the stress of actually planning such an affair.  Hmm, actually I can, because we’ve talked about this part too.  In fact, I’ve engaged in a discuss about every aspect of a wedding with one person or another.  And please don’t think I’m complaining.  I enjoy hearing the details get ironed out and see the plans all come together for my friends and colleagues.  I’m excited for their upcoming nuptials!

And it’s not as if this is the first time I’ve gone through a Wedding Season.  Last wedding season was one of the most intense because there was a family wedding to plan and prepare for, and I had the pleasure of being Maid of Honor for one of my very best friends.  Last year a coworker planned every step of her wedding at her desk as I watched and chimed in.

But I worry about myself.  Because no matter how much planning and organization I watch these three people go through this wedding season…no matter how many times I stand at the altar for a friend or relative…I still don’t find myself lost in a day-dream fantasy about a white wedding.

I am sure that as a little girl I once or twice played the role of bride in a game of dress up.  In fact, I remember being a “bride” for Halloween. And the concept of marriage was a very real one when I was with The Boyfriend.  (At least it was in the first four years or so..) but I just have no ability to imagine pieces of my own wedding.  I can’t pick out colors, can’t imagine the first dance.  I don’t have music picked out, or vows I’d like to read or write.  I just do not fantasize about what my wedding will look like.

I do get lost in daydreams.  Just not about tulle and flowers and which sad of pink is better (blush is totally better than bashful).

Sometimes, when I get home from work and start cooking dinner, I wonder what it will be like to come home to a house with someone else in it again.  To have someone who is truly glad to see me.  And maybe someone who wants to sit in the kitchen while I cook dinner, just to be around me.  I look forward to the day when I sit down to dinner at a table with another person.  That, to me, is better than addressing all the “thank you” notes in the world.

I babysit frequently, and I can’t help but imagine what it will be like to put my own children to bed.  Reading was such a huge part of my bedtime routine.  I still remember the first time my mother read me a “chapter book” before bed.  We read “The Wizard of Oz” chapter-by-chapter over the course of a few weeks.  I can’t wait to read to my children.  And when the parents come home and my babysitting charge is just so excited…I dream about that too.  I always joke that I am fairly confident being single, but babysitting actually makes my ovaries hurt.

Holidays are a big time for me to get lost in the moment.  I still look at the Sear’s catalog to find the hottest toys of the season.  But instead of imagining opening them myself on Christmas Day, I imagine wrapping them up with my husband and sneaking down the steps to set them out for my children to open in the morning.  I daydream a lot about Christmas, actually.  I think about children running down steps in their pajamas.  I wonder what kind of traditions we’ll start–for instance, will there be a traditional Christmas breakfast we eat?  Maybe my husband will read “‘Twas The Night Before Christmas” to us before bed.  I have a hope chest that is full of Christmas things for my future children.  There is a plate and glass that are specially printed to leave for Santa.  And I have an advent calendar with various decorations that are put on a tree.  I can’t wait to watch my kids argue about who gets to put the star on top of the tree.

But not all of my daydreams revolve around children.  I just think about having someone around.  I think about having someone to share these things with.  Dinners, movies, special occasions.  I just think about having someone.

It’s actually surprising to me that I have started to do this again lately.  For so long, it was hard for me to picture my future at all because I spent so much time imagining my future in a very specific way.  I never really planned a wedding, but I did plan my future with The Boyfriend.  It was painful to imagine it for a couple of years after that break up.  Dreams that would never be realized caused me to physically wince.  But now..

I guess I just daydream more about actually being married more than I dream about the actual wedding.  It’s not important to me where I get married, or what favors we have.  I mean, I do want a wedding, and I want it to be special.  But the details, to me, can’t come until I know who I am marrying and what our story is.  So while it’s fun to watch my friends and colleagues plan their special days, it’s just not something that I can dream about very much.  But the real, solid pieces of marriage, the good times…well that’s something I’m willing to think about.

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3 thoughts on “What Happens To A Dream Deferred? It eventually comes back.

  1. I guess I just daydream more about actually being married more than I dream about the actual wedding.

    I think this means you have your priorities in order. The marriage is more important than the wedding, even though the wedding is pretty important, too. I don’t think I ever fantasized about my wedding… I was “Bride Ariel” for Halloween when I was a kid, but that was just because my mom wouldn’t let me be Mermaid Ariel because she thought it would be too cold. ^_^

    The older I get and the more weddings I go to, the more I think about the logistics of my wedding—the size, the time of year, etc. But I’m with you—I don’t really think about my wedding as much as I think about my marriage.

    1. I totally agree. For me, it’s not the wedding, it’s the marriage. Before breaking up with the boyfriend this week, actually, we had talked about weddings and how I never pictured myself having a big wedding. I have always wanted something small, intimate with just the closest people to me and him attending.

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