When I lived in the U.S. and used to wonder when and if I’d get married, I worried that the majority of my family wouldn’t be able to make it to the iconic event (iconic in my life, that is.) After all, I’m by NO MEANS from a wealthy family and most of my relatives are lower-middle class who can thankfully afford to live their everyday lives but who unfortunately can’t afford to live beyond that. Meaning, had I lived in the States, they most likely would not have been able to attend my wedding there.
Now that I’m in Chile, I’m seeing another side of this coin materialize. I’m going to get married without ANY of my good friends present. I’m serious. Zero. I’m talking college friends, post-college friends, best friend, family friends who are like blood relatives and those who have known me (and vice) versa since I arrived in the U.S. back in 1980 when I was 3 years old. Not one of them will be present on April 17th when I finally get married to the awesome guy I get to love forever more.
In short, I’m sad.
I’m not saying this in a “woe-is-me” fashion but in a very matter-of-fact kind of way. It saddens me that my closest friends won’t be here and that I can’t share this wonderful day with them. And while I’m not the first bride who isn’t going to have everyone she cares about present (hello – I’ve had to miss many weddings of people I consider myself very close to), I do think (perhaps incorrectly) that most brides have at least SOME of their friends present, if they can’t have them all. In my case, NONE of my U.S. friends will be there. So I’m here writing about it, as I drink a glass of vino, and in about five more minutes, I’ll move on from this sad realization and carry on with all that’s good about my wedding and life. That’s all I’m giving myself, people. This blog entry and five more minutes to feel sad about it.
The fact of the matter is that none of my friends are purposely NOT attending my wedding. There is so much that comes into play when a friend chooses to get married outside city limits. First, it’s time. Their time is as valuable as mine and of course coming to Chile automatically means at least 4-5 days of their time that they have to peace out from their lives. They might have a whole lot going on that just doesn’t allow for that kind of check out from their every day. I completely get that. Then there’s the earthquake. If there was anyone who was remotely considering coming down, the earthquake and all they hear about it on tv surely deterred them from acting on travel down to Chile. Finally, the all-encompassing issue about money. We all get that. I get that completely! One of my close family friends got married in Scotland and I wanted to cry when I couldn’t attend!! Why? Money of course! A ticket to Scotland, hotel in Scotland, food and other miscellaneous outings would have put my cost for that wedding upwards of US$2,000. At that point in my life, I just couldn’t do it even though there was nothing I wanted more than to see this person get married.
Cognitively I completely understand all of the above. Further, I’ve been on that end before and have lamented not being able to attend a couple of very important weddings. Logistically I TOTALLY get the reasons why travel to Chile is short of impossible at this point in time. In fact, it used to be that I was going to get married over Thanksgiving holiday this year. Then G and I decided “Why wait?” I know for sure that the change from November to April threw a good handful of people off. People who might have otherwise attended.
But I’m still sad (for the remainder of this blog entry plus five more minutes.)
For a second I even thought about doing a type of “reception” or “party” in the States in June when I’ll be there for work. But then I thought “Why?” My wedding is in April and that’s when I’m going to celebrate it. Yes, I’m sad that people who are very important to me can’t attend, but that’s just how the cookie crumbles. I’m not going to do one thing after another just because they can’t come down here. My wedding is April 17th 2010 – that’s how it will stay.
Alas – life goes on. And my life, in light of recent events here in Chile, gives me little reason to complain. I’m fortunate through and through. I’ve met great people here and I’m happy to know they will be there when I get married. After all, my life is here now and they get to embark on that new part of my life WITH me. I’ll be happy to look around and see their faces – I really, really will be. And my family will be there, not all of them, but the ones who matter most to me, will absolutely be there. How awesome is that?? Two of the three family members I have who still live in the U.S. will be traveling down to be with me – how can I complain?
It’s all good in the hood. I’m just a wee bit sad to think of my special friends who won’t be here … but starting now, that sadness is fleeting … five more minutes and it’s gone.