Monday, March 20, 2006

THE BIG DANCE: WHY THE NCAA TOURNAMENT IS A LOT LIKE YOUR WEDDING... (SERIOUSLY)

I'll be the first to admit: I have March Madness.

Sitting with my college friends this past Saturday at Brother Jimmy's on the Upper East Side, I reveled in watching "my" team kick major butt and take some names. Feeling the glow of victory--and tasting the slab of southern-style BBQ ribs in front of me at the bar--was my version of heaven.

As I think about the "Cinderella" teams (Bradley, anybody?), and those that have surprisingly bowed out under pressure (Iowa, for example), it goes to show, that you just never really know what's going to happen. That, I think, is the reason I love NCAA basketball; the surprise victories, and the unexpected defeats.

So, you, ask -- WHAT THE *(#& DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH MY WEDDING?!

I was talking today with a colleague of mine, who is planning her October '07 wedding. Always a calm and down to earth presence, Ellie explained to me, albeit in subdued tones, how freaked out she was about the enormity of what she had to accomplish before the big day. Some of her statements were along these lines: Everything costs so much! I normally would do so much more research when spending thousands of dollars, but how can I? There's no time!

As she listed all of the "to do's," she passed along a piece of advice that I think every bride-to-be should think about.

Ellie said that, in the end, she could plan all she could, but the most important thing to her was that she loved her fiance. Despite all of her hopes that the flowers, the food, the music would be "perfect", she knew that if something went wrong, or wasn't the way it should be--it wouldn't really matter all that much. Sure--she'd be upset. But life would go on...

I think, when talking about weddings and the planning process, Ellie had it right. Brides-to-be can plan and plan some more, until their faces turn blue, but even the most careful and skillful planning won't necessarily end up with 100% perfect results. And, if that happens, the conclusion isn't SO bad after all.

I've said it before on previous posts, and I'll say it again -- a wedding is a beautiful thing, and you certainly have a hand in making it beautiful (both aesthetically and spiritually), but remember what's behind it--and why you're doing it.

The young players on UNC, I'm sure, were devastated to learn their run was over for the year when they lost to George Mason in the last round. But thinking about the larger picture, I would assume (and hope) that Tyler Hansbrough realized how lucky he was to have stepped on the court to play in the tournament in the first place--and that he had single-handedly quieted the Cameron Crazies and ended J.J. Redick's final game at Duke with a loss (in regular season).

No matter how much "practice" you put into the big dance, it's not always going to end up the way you could have expected (for better or for worse). Sometimes things go your way (ie: Adam Morrison and Gonzaga), and sometimes they don't (ie: Patrick Sparks and Kentucky). And that's ok. At the end of the day, if you can say you gave it the old college try, that should be the most important thing to take with you. I admit that it might TAKE A WHILE for you to reach that conclusion, but I think it's something good to keep in the back of your mind (and who knows? Perhaps this advice might just prevent someone from screaming at the caterer when dinner is served too early)!

Stay tuned!

No comments: