A Regretful Wedding

The day couldn’t have been worse. Our officiant asked us to present our own vows before being reminded we were sticking to the basics; I guess I was afraid of coming up with ways of describing why I cared for you. It was a reminder of my doubts. Could I promise you anything meaningful? At least if I stuck to someone else’s script, it felt less like a real thing.

The DJ did a catastrophic job. We spent hours working on a list of what we wanted for our big day. The woman who was supposed to MC told us the DJ would try to mix in our picks, but they’d go back to the stuff that would make people actually get up and dance if our stuff didn’t ‘work.’ She also disappeared without telling anyone as the dancing actually began, failing to actually do anything to encourage people to get out of their chairs. Your mother said she was expecting something better after attending a wedding with music provided by the same company, that she could tell the woman wasn’t really trying – but she didn’t want to give a bad review.

I was so overwhelmed by the size of it all. There were so many people there celebrating us, people I had never met and now will never see again. I had always wanted a smaller wedding, but your family demanded they invite absolutely everyone. And then we get there, and my family can’t even fill two tables. Your family is bigger, but it wasn’t that. No, most of my family has simply never accepted me. They couldn’t even make it to what was supposed to be one of the best days of my life. You tried to tell me that I was becoming part of your family, but I felt so outside of it. It never felt like the wedding was about us, but about you – about your family wanting to throw a big party, even if that’s nothing like what I wanted.

I felt so alone that night.

Like in everything else, I remember the music. “One Day Like This,” “Hoppipolla,” “Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space,” uplifting songs now tainted by melancholy. We both wanted “Chicago” to play during dinner but they for whatever reason played one of the quieter versions off The Avalanche. We danced alone to “Say Something Loving” because the MC did nothing, and then they went back to songs I hated using this moment as justification. We eventually begged a table of our friends to stop playing Sushi Go Party and dance to try to get the music back on track. Since I couldn’t have a more comfortable wedding size, all I really had that night was my music. Why couldn’t that stupid company have just given the safety blanket I had asked for?

We closed the night by slowly dancing to “Into My Arms.” Did I believe the words of that song back then? Would you find it more or less sad if the answer is yes?

And then you poisoned yourself. We think it’s funny now, but I was actually rather mad with you. It was an entirely pointless act, a reminder that you do whatever you want without considering the repercussions. That moment sticks out because it summarizes our relationship quite well.

The rest of the night consisted of you managing your pain, and despite my supposed asexual leanings, I had allowed myself to work up the energy to be open that night. Instead, we hung out with some faraway friends, including the guy that you had cheated on me with. But, no, that was fine, because it’s not like I ever had the nerve to tell you how much that actually bothered me.

I could never express myself honestly to you – not because I couldn’t find the words, but because I knew you would tell me how wrong I was to feel that way.

I’m sorry you have to look back on these moments aware of the inner turmoil that drove me through the last few years of our relationship. And I’m sorry I was actually happy that day. After I asked for our divorce, you kept mentioning how you wished I realized this sooner. That I didn’t put you through this, that I didn’t allow us to get married.

I’m sorry I believed that things would get better.

I’m sorry I became so overwhelmed by how much time and money your family was putting into this wedding that I was afraid to confront the cheating that occurred after our engagement. I was ashamed of the fact my own family was giving so little, it felt like I had to be along for the ride – everyone would have hated me if I called off the wedding after so much had been poured into planning it.

I stopped having a sense of self during those years – I belonged to you. I forced a smile because you were giving so much, giving me everything but taking so much too. I so desperately wanted to be happy with what we had.

And, for whatever reason, I still loved you.

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