Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Bona Fide Bride Guide

Breaking News...

My roommate got engaged this week.
And then another friend of mine got married yesterday.
A lot of people in my life are finding their soul mates these days...

My soon-to-be-roommate Courtney claims to have a curse put on her where all of her friends get married within months of knowing her.  I've seen evidence of this. Within a few short weeks of knowing my roommate Chantelle, Courtney was witness to her engagement and was even present at their recent sealing.  Courtney has countless other stories that follow a similar vein.  While BYU is already a hot place for many to find a spouse, Courtney seems particularly prone to falling into peoples' lives at the cusp of their matrimonial fulfillment.  It's odd.

Despite her curse, I have yet to find myself a suitable match for marriage since I have known Courtney, and it's been almost a year.  This fact leads me to believe that I have successfully avoided the marriage curse.  However, in circumventing the eminent engagement that should have happened due to the curse, I'm afraid I picked up the curse myself.  Now it seems like everyone I know is getting married.

Or at least getting boyfriends.  My roommate Sammie is a prime example.  She found her boyfriend behind the counter at Taco Bell.  We -- that is, Courtney, Sammie and I -- went on a spontaneous adventure to that haven of precious non-wheat goodness (Courtney's top restaurant criteria) and Sammie was drawn to the friendliness of the boy behind the counter, whose plastic nametag donned the title ANDREW.  After a brief exchange while waiting for our nachos to be prepared, Sammie decided she'd give him her number and ask him out sometime.  As we left the Taco Bell, she lingered behind to talk to Andrew and... Welp.  The rest is history.  This guy behind Taco Bell happened to be exactly what Sammie wanted.  Wouldn't be surprised if they got hitched someday.

Then there's my former roommate Amoray, who was engaged already when I moved in to Omni 172 with her.  She had a splendid reception last month, and is now a happy newlywed with her spouse Nathan.  My final roommate, Alicia, was the one who just got engaged this week to her boyfriend Josh.  And then there's Esther and HER Nathan, due to get married at the end of August.  (YIKES that's not that far away....)  And my friend Jason just tied the knot.  And my coworker, Jen, should be engaged any day now, I think.  All over the place, new connections have been formed between people I've known for years, but never imagined that they'd one day find each other and decide to spend the rest of their lives with each other.  It's a little cray-cray.

Of course, Courtney also has pretty decent contact with most of the people I know at BYU, so maybe she is the one responsible for all the marriages and I'm just a victim by association.  But maybe that's just the way BYU is wherever you go.  Curse or no curse, people get married all the time.  It's a fact of life.

Time has played a nasty trick on me.  One minute, I'm in High School and marriage is this dim light in the distance within a dark tunnel.  Suddenly now it's this freak show of neon and sparkles that's RIGHT ON TOP OF ME and I feel like at a marriage-rave or something.  And I, of course, feel pressured to join in this drug-trip that's called love and find myself a dance partner who is equally high on the idea of eternal companionship.  And I know that one day the climax of this trip will be fully realized in a white dress and lots of flowers.

But the catch is that all this crazy love-drug stuff I see now is gonna change again someday into this glowing candle flame that -- while useful, beautiful, and powerful -- needs to be protected and fueled by hard work and patience. Marriage, contrary to popular (Mormon) belief, isn't the answer to all of life's problems.  It's not just a day-long thing. It's forever.  Or at least a lifetime. I need to be careful not to get too carried away with all the schmaltz and glamour of weddings.

Yeah, I dream.  I literally have dreamed about my proposal hundreds of times.  In my dreams, it's taken place everywhere from a romantic garden, to a stage in front of thousands of people, to my bathroom.  Yes, I do wonder what my dress is gonna be like and what my colors are gonna be and who's all going to be there and where it's gonna take place.  Amoray has told me that it's never too early to start preparing, and I agree.  Discovering your options isn't a bad thing. Asking for feedback and exploring what's out there is definitely good.  But what I must keep in mind is the fact that marriage -- eternal marriage, especially -- is not about the wedding day, but about the years, decades, centuries, millenia that come afterwards.

Moral of the story:  There's no hurry into eternity.  It's better to wait and buy yourself a lasting, durable survival candle than a dinky multi-colored kid's flashlight -- even when it is on sale at the front of the store for a buck-and-a-half.  For marriage, it's better to get the 100-watt, long-lasting bulb than one of them flashy disco lights with all the spinning colors.  Those things last like five minutes, and you can't even see what you're doing in the meantime!  Forgive all these stupid luminescent analogies, but marriage needs to provide the light that makes things clearer, not more confusing.  So don't jump to grab the first shiny thing you see.  Don't marry for the sake of marriage.  Marry because you love someone, and he loves you back.

I congratulate all of my married/engaged friends who have recently found new lights for their lives. I don't mind the Courtney Curse.  I like watching people I love find happiness in their lives through the greatest form of companionship. I'm sure they have made good decisions and have been guided by the Spirit of the Lord -- that ultimate source of light -- that the decision they are making is the right one.  They have a wonderful time ahead of them.  Marriage is great.  It's my ultimate goal.  But while they have been offered that wonderful blessing, I haven't yet.  I haven't found that special someone to share my life with.  I've had opportunities, but the Spirit hasn't given me the go-ahead yet.  But I really don't adopt that always-the-bridesmaid attitude some single girls embrace. Being single doesn't mean God loves me less.  It just means I need more time to learn some things about life and about myself.  Young single life is a great opportunity and, let's be honest, it doesn't last forever.  So in the meantime, I'll reap the benefits of my curse by attending lots of receptions and eating lots of cake.  Being single never tasted so sweet.

Listening to:  "Sweet Spirit" from the Sons of Provo Soundtrack.  (Trust me, I'm not listening to this song for any particular reason related to the topic of marriage. It just happens to be on my Sunday playlist and it just came on...)
Things Going on Today:  I visit Polly, my last Sunday here in Minnesota for a long time, I reckon.
Blessings:  Marriage, wedding receptions, old friends.
Today I learned:  Well it's morning, so I'll tell you what I learned yesterday...  The songs "Tonight Tonight" by Hot Chelle Rae and "Party in the USA" by Miley Cyrus have the same chord progressions.

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