"It's Her Day"

We're now several months into our wedding planning, and everything is going beautifully. And by "beautifully," I mean nothing is being done at all, and I don't even want to think about it anymore.

Apparently I'm not the only one. The few times I've tried to get John to talk about wedding plans, a translucent, milky film comes over his eyes, like an inner eyelid, allowing him to sleep standing up.

The whole thing has been very frustrating for me, and it all came to a head one day while I was reading People magazine on the toilet. I flipped to the "Star Tracks" section and saw a little blurb about The Office star John Krasinski. He had recently become engaged to actress Emily Blunt, and the magazine wanted to know all about their wedding plans.

"Whatever she wants to do is fine," he said. "After all, it's her day."

That's what he said. "It's her day." Because that's how awesome he is. He was thinking about staying home and taking a nap, but, by God, if Emily wants to wear a pretty dress and pretend to be a princess, he'll take a quick shower and head down there. It's all about her.

And of course the magazine just gushed over his response, because not giving a shit is so romantic: "Wouldn't we all like a fiancé like him?" You bet! Who wouldn't want to plan their wedding with the groom sleepwalking through the whole thing, too weak to escape?

And that's when I realized something kind of, well...ugly. As much as we bitch about how indecisive and unenthusiastic our fiancés are about wedding plans, we don't actually want them to be involved at all. In fact, we do everything we can to exclude them. We get together with every woman we know—sisters, girlfriends, mothers, mothers-in-law—and we just commandeer everything, because men don't know how to do this. Oh sure, we've never planned a wedding either, but we'll do a better job because we have secret Wedding Hormones that are produced by our fallopian tubes. Men, on the other hand, have Dumbass Genes, and would wear a "Free Mustache Rides" T-shirt to the wedding if left to their own devices. The nicest thing they can do is stay out of it because, after all, it's our day.

So what do we want, anyway? Do we want our fiancés to be invested in a significant way? Or are we so addicted to the fairy tale that we don't want to give up a single decision? How can those two positions live in harmony? How can the guy ever win?

Here's the thing, Cinderella. It's not your day. It's your wedding. And unless you're planning on marrying yourself, that day belongs to both of you.

Yes, I know, your fiancé doesn't care. He shrugs his shoulders, he doesn't have a preference. He doesn't seem to want to make decisions. But why?

Personally, I think it's because he's terrified. Chances are you're already emotionally out of control and paralyzed with unrealistic expectations, so that piping up with the wrong suggestion now could be life-threatening. He's seen enough eye-rolling at this point to shift into self-preservation mode. It's safer to disengage than make a mistake.

Men have already had it made very clear to them that they just don't get it. And I'm not just talking about weddings. You see it over and over again in the media, particularly in advertising, where the stupid husband/sensible wife archetypes run rampant. He's an idiot who won't ask for directions, and she's the smart one who humiliates him at every opportunity.

April Winchell
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