Is There Life After Engagement?

I have more to add to last week’s complaint about being broke due to buying a condo and planning a wedding within the same year: This situation is turning me into a hermit.

Having spent the weekend at home with the fiancée — which was pleasant, mind you, and much needed since my job has been a grind lately — I went for a reasonably priced pub dinner on Sunday night with two good friends, P. and S. It transpired that they’d gone to an art-related event (I am very much into contemporary art and report on it as part of my job) with which a mutual friend was involved, in my neighbourhood, on a Thursday night, and hadn’t called me. They figure if I’m game for something, I’ll call them. I was never that guy before, but have become him in 2009.

If we were living some Hollywood cliché, the easy conclusion would be that my lady is pulling me away from my friends by insisting on some big crazy wedding. Am I whipped?

The reality is more complicated. The traditional-ish wedding that will cost as much as a new Japanese hatchback, while not my idea, has my consent for several important reasons. (A DailyXY reader, trying to be helpful, suggested we elope or something; Keith, this list is for you.)

First, we are close to our families and wouldn’t want to let them down. My fiancée and I are both oldest children and have mothers and aunts to please, not to mention my grandparents, who deserve to see their eldest grandchild married properly. Running off to Iceland to elope — like a couple friends of mine did — sounds romantic, but just doesn’t suit our respective clans.

Second, she is a Newfoundlander and I’m part Italian. White people don’t get more into weddings than those bunches. See first point above and magnify.

Third, our families are enormous. I’m one of six kids and my mother is, too. Think of all the cousins. Then there is the Papist/Malthusian nightmare of my fiancée’s brood: dad’s one of 13 kids, mom’s one of seven. Any wedding of ours has to be pretty big.

Fourth, the deal is she gets the wedding she wants and I get the honeymoon I want, a three-week Mediterranean adventure. And beyond that we’ve agreed that the first few years of marriage will be about enjoying ourselves (absolutely no babies!). Another 7½ months of austerity in the meantime won’t kill me.

Fifth, a real wedding is what she wants, and as all the single Ps and Ss out there may one day discover, what she wants matters a hell of a lot when it’s the right “she.” There will be plenty of Trinity Bellwoods art parties after the wedding, too.

Image courtesy of Klaxon on Flickr.

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