Wednesday, September 20, 2006

THE INEVITABILITY OF THE NAYSAYERS: HOW TO BE A GRACIOUS BRIDE

The other night, I had the pleasure of watching my favorite sports team in the world, The New York Mets, win the National League Eastern Division Title. As Cliff Floyd caught the final out in left field, and team members tumbled onto one another near the pitcher's mound, I felt nothing but elation. For the first time in eighteen years, The New York Mets had once again become the top of the heap during the regular season--which earned them a berth in postseason play.

The win flooded me with memories about how "Amazin" the Mets used to be---in the days of Strawberry and Darling, Hernandez and Orosco. I grew up with the New York Mets, and distinctly remember attending 1988 NLCS game 3 against the L.A. Dodgers, where Jay Howell, one of the Dodgers' pitchers was thrown out of the game (and subsequently, the series) for using an illegal substance--pine tar--on the ball. My dad bought me a Mets teddy bear at a souvenir stand that night, and I named him "L.A. Cheats" (perhaps not the most subtle name, but please, I was, what, nine years old?) I still have him.

While I still was giddy with excitement the next day, I got to thinking about how people were starting to rain on my parade.

I feigned anger when TallGuy (also a Met-lover), for example, said to me at dinner (I'm paraphrasing him, as I didn't decide to take out my tape recorder at the table): "I don't really see what the big deal is - they were going to win the division anyway... I mean, it was inevitable that they would win the season -- I think baseball overdoes it [i.e. champagne celebrations] for that kind of stuff." I immediately became defensive.

What was the big deal? I huffed and puffed. Here's why:

"There have only been THREE other teams in the HISTORY of the Mets ('69, '86, '88) to WIN the division title!"

"They just BROKE the Atlanta Braves' FOURTEEN year winning streak of division titles!"

"Because Jose Valentin, their eighth hitter, became the hero of the game once again by hitting two homers to help lead them to victory?!!"

Grr. There were so many reasons why this moment was special. I understood TallGuy's point, but I was annoyed that he was making it.

"STOP BEING A NAYSAYER", I told him. I then realized how ridiculous I was acting. We both laughed.

There are other Naysayers out there when it comes to the Mets-- some talking about how the always entertaining Pedro Martinez wasn't the same Pedro he used to be while on the Sox (and would that come back to bite the Mets in the ass). Some others talking about how the Mets had problems hitting against left-handed pitchers. Still some others talking about how the Mets are the poor-man's team in New York City (when compared to mighty Yankees of the Bronx).

For all of the awesome headlines in the NY Post and the NY Daily News, I was also seeing glimmers of doubt. Doubt about how good the Mets really were (since their division was "bad", according to some), doubt about how far they'd make it, etc. etc. etc....

"STOP NAYSAYING!" I wanted to scream at the television and these articles that were casting shadows about the division win.

I can't explain it, but there's something magical about the moldy apple in the top hat (see my sweet photograph which I took at a recent game) that pops up and down when a Met hits a home run, something about the run-down Shea Stadium, and something about Mets fans that gives me reason to believe in something I love.

As you may have seen in my prior posts, I like to make sports analogies when I can. Whether or not you enjoy MLB, the Mets, or NASCAR, sports are part of our social fabric, and therefore, very relatable.

And just like in sports when it comes to the critics (the Mets are overrated, Tom Glavine is over the hill, blah blah blah), there are NAYSAYERS EVERYWHERE -- including in the midst of wedding planning.

Everyone's a critic. I hate to say it - but it's true. What you think is beautiful or fashionable or elegant is probably so, objectively speaking - but while you may think that everyone should be 100% in agreement with you, life doesn't work that way.

Your mother may end up fretting over the flower arrangements (too many hydrangeas? too few?), and even your closest friends may untactfully question the cost of the bridesmaid's dress (inexcusable, as is choosing a dress that is so unaffordable that they'd have to say something!)... there are NAYSAYERS everywhere -- if you choose a destination wedding, people will complain. If you choose a hometown location, people will complain.

YOU CANNOT PLEASE EVERYONE. NAYSAYING is just as tacky as acting like a bitchy bride who is entitled to everyone's attention 24-7.

My suggestion? Ignore the naysayers, but understand that no matter what you do, you can't please everyone. Therefore, go into wedding planning with a fresh perspective--keeping yourself open to suggestions and criticisms--instead of becoming an overly defensive, high maintenance bride. If you act with that sense of entitlement, you not only will alienate those around you, but you will fail to make your guests comfortable in the process.

My first reaction to TallGuy was to act defensively. But then, you know what I did? I laughed - and during my few days of vacation from work, I took some time to watch the post-game celebration on my own.

There will always be those who question, those who criticize -- but I've chosen to block out those doubters and thoroughly enjoy this post-season experience -- as a die-hard fan without a chip on her shoulder.

A bride should never have that chip on her shoulder -- and should remember that she's planning for the non-naysayers. Enjoy yourself - and remember that being a gracious bride with a good perspective will keep you happy throughout the entire process (just as being gracious and acting without defensiveness will hopefully carry me to a NLCS game at Shea....)

Stay tuned!









1 comment:

Never teh Bride said...

Like the old adage goes, you can't please everyone!