Sunday, December 18, 2005

"But I'm So Busy" : Avoiding the WeddingWarpZone (Part I)

I'm not sure what happens when people begin to plan their weddings, but some brides-to-be enter what I call the WeddingWarpZone. It's almost as if the time pressure of planning becomes an inevitable force that sucks women into a zone, or tunnel vision. Everything else surrounding them (i.e. friends, family, their job) becomes less important than it really should be.

Take, for example, the case of my friend Lisa. About a year ago, her then-close friend, who I'll call SAB (or, SelfAbsorbedBride), had gotten engaged. Lisa received an email from SAB, sent to all of her friends after she got engaged. “Just a quick e-mail from Maui to let you all know that Jonathan and I got engaged on Sunday night. It was so beautiful and we are so happy and can't wait until we're back in the United States to talk to all of you. It feels so impersonal to write this over e-mail, but we couldn't wait until next weekend to share the news!”

Lisa thought that once SAB got back, she would have a chance to take her out for a celebratory drink, dinner... anything. Unfortunately, SAB seemingly entered the WeddingWarpZone-- even before she got off the plane.

Lisa emailed and called SAB to hear the juicy details, but SAB's short responses (both literally and figuratively) indicated that she was trying to start wedding planning ASAP and didn't have time for, well, anything else. Expressing that she really didn't have time after work for Lisa, SAB made it clear that her priority--and only priority--in those next months was her wedding.

In a six-month span, SAB didn't contact Lisa, let alone try and get together to catch up. Having made repeated attempts at contact, Lisa decided that she simply had to let go. To add insult to injury, Lisa heard daily from a mutual friend (who was also engaged and helping SAB with her wedding planning) about how she and SAB were constantly in the throes of helping one another plan, talking about ideas, etc...

When Lisa told me about the situation, I asked her how she felt. "Honestly? At first I was really hurt--[SAB] was the last person I thought could be so thoughtless. After that, I was actually just kind of pissed off more than anything else. In that year's amount of time, I had moved apartments, begun dating someone very seriously, and had changed jobs. These were important things in MY life - didn't that count for anything?"

Although not every bride enters the WeddingWarpZone, the ones that do inevitably end up hurting the feelings of those friends and family members (many of whom will be standing at the alter with them, or at least watching them as they walk down the aisle!) While a wedding is certainly an amazing thing to which brides look forward, it's important to remember that a new apartment, or a new guy, is just as exciting to someone else who may not be planning their big day. If you forget this, you are relegating your friends' experiences to a place of lesser importance. Big no-no.

Although it may not seem like there's much time for anything else but weddingweddingwedding, I do have some thoughts as to how to avoid entering this WeddingWarpZone, and doing things that may take from 5 seconds to half an hour--in order to show your friends you are NOT a SAB--and that they save that label for others, but not you.

Tomorrow, I'll take up the ways of avoiding this behavior. Although you may think you would NEVER end up doing this to someone you care about, isn't is safer to know you'll be armed with the information to never make these mistakes?

Stay tuned!

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