Betrothed and confused

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

In about nine months, I'll be getting married to the best person I've ever met. My fiancÚ is sweet, funny and too smart for his own good. He's also probably the only person I'd consider marrying in front of a lot of people.

My job requires me to be an extrovert, but that doesn't mean I like being the center of attention. The thing I like best about my job is getting to tell other people's stories; I'm not always that excited to share mine. Honestly, I don't think my experiences can stand up to what others have gone through. I don't find my life interesting, though I appreciate it if some of you do.

Coupled with cruelly consistent anxiety, this feeling can sometimes make me feel like hiding someplace dark and deserted for a few decades. I know I'm lucky to have a job where I get to be a storyteller, and I cherish it enough that my anxiety and silly self-esteem problems can go hide instead.

But one's professional life and personal life are quite different. While I'm basically the same at work and at home, I'll admit to being a little more shy in my personal relationships. It took Gideon a year to get me to talk about minor things that upset me, because I was afraid he'd get mad at me and leave. I still can't turn down my mamaw when she offers me food I don't like, and I'm not sure I'll ever be capable of giving my absent father a piece of my mind.

Now that I'm getting married, I can't help but fear I won't speak up about certain things I do or don't want at my wedding. My mom has been incredibly gracious helping plan the shindig so far, but she knows as well as I do that I never really saw myself having a wedding.

I thought Gideon and I would stay together long enough that when we finally got married at City Hall, everyone would say, "I thought you were already married!" In that timeline, we could have avoided saying our vows in front of 60 to 75 people. I wouldn't have had to worry about saying the words correctly or standing up straight or looking beautiful on the one day I'm supposed to be the most beautiful person in the room.

Instead, we're having a public ceremony followed by a night of hobnobbing with people I would normally not be nervous at all to talk to. At least I have solace in knowing I'm not the first bride to feel these nerves.

A wedding is such a nerve-wracking event that entire reality shows are devoted to how crazy brides become while planning their big day. I've watched all these shows -- "Bridezilla," "Say Yes to the Dress," "Rich Bride Poor Bride," "My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding," etc. - so I'm well-informed on how scary weddings are supposed to be.

Wedding planning hasn't been scary for me yet. So far, it's mostly involved tasting a lot of cake, which is by far the most enjoyable part of planning any event. My mom has been supportive, Gideon has expressed opinions and all my friends have been

really excited about the big bash. We're having it on New Year's Eve, one of the biggest party nights of the year.

All this makes me think I'm freaking out over nothing. After all, nothing has happened to make me feel uncomfortable yet. For all I know, I'll make it to Dec. 31 and everything will go exactly how it's supposed to. I could even be photogenic in the pictures!

That last bit is a little unrealistic, but I really do think I should just keep an open mind through this process. It's supposed to be fun, and it has been so far. Maybe I'm just overthinking this whole thing.

No, I'm not. Yes, I am. Well, here we go again.

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Samantha Jones is associate editor for Carroll County Newspapers. Her email address is Citizen.Editor.Eureka@gmail.com.