Monday, March 1, 2010

seal of approval

I have a flaw. Yep, I do. I know. It's hard to believe. But it's a big one. I try to hard to please other people. Ever since I was a kid, I've hating fighting with friends. I hate disappointing my grandparents. I don't like when people don't like me. If you've ever seen the episode of Friends where Monica panics and bends over backwards to please the unhappy mother of Rachel ... yep, that's me. Okay, well, not really. I'm not that Type A. But you get the idea.

I don't deal well with disapproval. And while I have grown and come to accept the fact that not everyone will be thrilled with me at all times, it still bugs me sometimes. I like living up to the expectations of others when I feel as though I can. I'd like to be one of those women who is extremely confident in herself and is able to adopt a universal "screw you" policy when faced with the disapproval of others ... but I'm not one of those women. A lot of the time, yes, I can stand my ground, but when it's my closest friends and family, it's rough.

This issue, as one can imagine, has come to head during wedding planning. I've had to deal with the expectations of other more in the last year a half of my life than I ever thought I would have to in my lifetime. I'm not sure what it is about weddings that makes people feel comfortable to insert their opinions when they're not asked to. This is especially prominent with parents. On my side, we've got a lot of it. My dad's determined to rent a trailer for extra space in spite of the fact that the Mr. and I don't want or need it and my mom doesn't understand the concept of candid photography so she believes only formal photos will do regardless of my passionate love with candid shots. On Mr. FP's side, his mother is persistent in her desire to hijack our rehearsal dinner (because it's traditional for the groom's parents to take care of it) and turn it into a boisterous night out with our entire wedding party as well as all the out-of-town guests (numbering almost 20) even though we want a small, intimate dinner with only the people who need to attend the rehearsal dinner.

And while I would probably try to gain the approval and acceptance of them in any other situation, our wedding has been a whole different story. Honestly, it's issues like these that bring out my inner bitch. And I like it. I find myself freely saying no to things that go directly against our original version for the wedding. I don't understand how people -- even our parents -- can remain persistent in ideas that we've expressed animosity for in the past. It's strange. I thought we were all taught, at some point in our lives, that "no means no". Apparently, weddings clog the ears of those we love the most and make them oblivious to what we truly want and what's really important to us. *sigh* Maybe they'll get the idea some day soon. Even if there's only 115 days left, I'm holding out a little bit of hope. And if not, being a bitch seems to suit me pretty well.


Miss C said...

The trouble with being the kind of person who CAN adopt a universal "screw you" policy is that they don't learn anything from anyone.

Everybody needs to learn to compromise every once in a while.

Just decide which things about your day are supremely important, and don't take no for an answer. When it comes to everything else, decide whether the person's happiness for being able to help outweighs your unhappiness for letting it happen.

Some things are worth it, and some situations will be better if you just let go. Easier said than done though :)

Mrs T said...

I think parents have expectations about how things should go with weddings. It's harder for some to let go of the control. Good on you for standing your ground!

P.s. Thanks for the comments on my blog

Anonymous said...

I feel like this sometimes. I am a real type A person but I think trying to deal with nearest and dearest can tend make anyone a little sensitive. I actually drafted a post like this a couple of days ago. Sucks

Lisa said...

i've been thinking alot about this lately too. I try sooo hard to make everyone happy and it is wearing thin (especially when people are impossible!). there is just not enough time in the day. i'm attempting to focus my attention on people worth my time and effort. I am very lucky to get along incredibly well with my in-laws but the doesn't keep other people from my life from behaving so well

good luck with everything. its always nice to vent and try not to let people get to you (I'll try to do the same!)

Vee said...

Ugh, weddings are a funny thing. It's like when two people decide to get married, at least 10 other people find a way to think the wedding is about _them_. I'm a real people-pleaser too, and it has caused me SO much trouble thru the planning process. My parents are far away, so I sometimes complain that I don't have anyone helping me do stuff. But when I do take people to appointments with me, I have no idea how to find my own voice. I took my future MIL to a couple of flower appointments with me and I found myself looking at her every time the florist asked me a question. From now on, I'm going to all decision-making appointments by myself.

I did give up control on the rehearsal dinner. FMIL and FFIL want to take care of it, so I'm letting them take the lead with guidance from FI.

aapuzzanchera said...

I am not even getting married soon and I feel your pain. YOu and I seem to have similar lives. I am dreading planning the wedding. i have a feeling that my FMIL will want to totally take over everything. And I am such a people-pleaser it's crazy!

Ellie said...

Here's the thing. You can't please everyone, so you may as well please yourself. But, presumably, you love and respect your parents, and you don't want them to hate your wedding any more than you want you to hate your wedding. The easiest thing, for us, has been to give them control of something. I handed over the rehearsal dinner to Mark's parents and suddenly I'm not hearing any more concerns about how our wedding dinner might not be classy enough. I assigned my mom a project I don't really care if it gets done, but she's "involved" and that makes her happy.

As for your rehearsal dinner, try suggesting to your FMIL that you have an intimate bridal party dinner, but afterwards, meet up with the out of town guests at a bar or back at the hotel - this is what we are doing, and all of my cousins have done it. It works really nicely - and, bonus, it gets a lot of the ruckus out of people's systems before the wedding (and it's a great way to deal with not having alcohol). Plus, it gives your mother-in-law a party to plan, and you can hang out with your good friends in a corner all night and sneak out early claiming you "need your beauty rest".

For photographs, take the formal shots - you may never be glad you have them, but other people will - my grandmother died before I was born, and I love looking at the formal portraits of her with my parents at their wedding. You can do it quickly without a lot of fuss, and don't do the giant formal portrait of everyone. My sister just pulled different groups of people aside during the dancing and took the photos on the steps down into the ballroom. There are ways to make it work. Ask your mom to make a list of the most important formal portraits to get, asking her to limit in a way you are okay with (note I did not say "comfortable").

When in doubt, try my "lie" strategy. "Sure Mom, we'll do formal portraits." Then, "oh, shoot, we forgot to do the formal portraits - I was just so busy having fun!"

Ellie said...

And omg my comments are so long. Sorry!

miss fancy pants (the bride) said...

@Ellie: No worries, girl. I love long comments! And I think you're right, the formal shots will definitely happen, I know they're traditional for a reason and I'll be happy to have them. I think I just moreso want my mom to recognize the validity of a mix of candid and formal. But I like your "lie" strategy, it definitely sounds like something I would do, haha.

Julie A. Whitlock said...

stress pas. my formal shots are not so formal. but i will go through a lot of pomp and ceremony if that help or want me to barf up a lung when it's time?? free service!!!

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