Friday, November 14, 2008

It's A Beautiful Day, Don't Let It Fade Away

You know what I really dislike? I really despise when people refer to my wedding as "Your Special Day." I have been trying to put my finger on what it is about that phrase that irks me so completely and totally and after I great deal of self-reflection...I don't really know.

I think it's somehow related to my distaste for euphemisms, especially for euphemisms that smack of a good case of the know-it-alls, mixed with just a dash of overly inflated importance.

For some reason, every time I hear the phrase "Your Special Day," I'm somewhat reminded of...and I'm really not sure how to put this delicately, so I guess I just won't...I'm reminded of the day we needed signed permission slips to attend 5th Grade Health Class so we could learn about reproductive systems, puberty, and menstruation. Each time one of those words was mentioned, it was flanked with the words "Your" and "Special." Special, indeed.

And "Your Special Day" also conjures up the very first time I went to the bra store with my Mother and the salesclerk who said "awwww, are you here for your first bra!?! That's so sweet! It's a Special Day!"

I guess perhaps, it's the idea that someone who is somehow older and wiser has the right to label your most personal experiences of maturation as "special" or "important" because they have already been there.

Because if you notice, no bride goes around calling it My Special Day. ("Gosh, I can't believe I only have three months until My Special Day!" or "Hi, I'm calling to make a hair appointment for My Special Day!") Only other people deem it "Your Special Day."

I guess I find something sort of condescending about it. Do I think people are intentionally condescending? No. But that's just how I feel. Go ahead. Disagree. I'm sure many of you do. That's fine.

And heck, while I'm at it, I have to confess that I find something silly about it.

I'm actually not anti-wedding, or anti-wedding-industry or any of those things. Sure, I guess I wish for a simpler day where weddings weren't such a commodity and brides didn't feel compelled to put on a show of their everlasting love or make people feel like flying across the country had to be "worth it" ("worth it" can be defined as offering an open bar or a plated meal or at least 3 passed appetizers). But in the olden days, before weddings were circuses even for the most common of folk (I'm pretty sure the Rockefellers have been whooping it up at weddings for quite some time now), they also didn't have iPods or Spin class or DVR (which ok, I don't have either, but one day I hope I will), so I just consider it part of what the world is now, and something I can choose to accept or reject (or resist or be too wimpy too resist), like so many other things that exist today, created by enterprising individuals who when push comes to shove, I actually admire for their ingenuity and fiscal acumen. (OK, perhaps not their acumen, but I love that word - it conjures up some sort of wise superhero for me - AcuMan! - can solve problems in a single bound!)

Ahem. To regroup - while I don't hate the wedding industry - I feel compelled to note that every single vendor that I have dealt with thus far cannot seem to say the words "Your wedding day" or "the 15th of February" or even "the day you're getting married."

Which is why I also hate the phrase "The Big Day."

For some reason, each vendor must substitute those words: "The Big Day" or "Your Special Day" as if to incessantly remind me why I'm spending obscene amounts of money.

"Hmmm...why am I paying craploads of money for flowers which will likely die in a couple of days...? Oh WAIT! It's because it's a SPECIAL DAY...and in fact, not just ANY special day...but THE Big Day." Whew! The cost is definitely justified now! Glad we've got that settled.

I am actually working with one vendor who puts "Your Special Day" as the actual subject heading in every email she sends me. She's a really nice woman, but I'm about 5 minutes from telling her that I hate her just a little more every time she sends me an email.

I don't know. I think I'm just hungry. I shouldn't blog when I'm hungry. I think I just get extra cranky and I don't censor myself as much as I probably should.

Unfortunately, I am simultaneously mentally reviewing what's sitting in my fridge, and I'm now even crankier because I just concluded there's a whole lot of nothing. I am instead reverting to my favorite daydream, where I walk over to my barren fridge and open it up, but much to my surprise, somehow it has magically been replenished, complete with all of my most favorite items (strawberries, ice cream, and guacamole, oh my!...ok, and a nice sparkling wine from California...with a straw). Yum-tastic. Now that would be A Special Day.


Dr. Trinibride said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiments! (Especially the one about the fridge being magically filled...) But really, it's like you're a small child - 'Isn't it exciting, it's your Special Day!!'. Bloody patronising as well. And we spend a whole lotta money for the priviledge of being patronised!

Annie said...

I completely agree! That phrase is very patronizing. But I do appreciate your fridge fantasy!

Kate said...

I am taking back the phrase and will now refer to my wedding day only as MY SPECIAL DAY. And when anyone, my fiance included, tries to say I can't have exactly what I want exactly how I want it for MY SPECIAL DAY I will just remind them that it is, in fact, MY SPECIAL DAY and my wants will not be set aside for things like "money" or "practicality" or "laws."

keyla said...

I rather people say "it's a special day" than "the happiest day of your like". I have had many special days -including pay day, holiday, wine day..." and think every day of my life is one of the happiest. Hey I have a good job, a salary to pay my bills and guilty pleasures and have the love of my life right next to. If this isn't happiness I don't know what is.

zoliepup said...

Very true words... Maybe part of this sentiment is because we are not 22 year old brides?

I'm adding you to my blog roll ;)

Sezzy said...

I'm a bit oversensitive to condescension as a young person in my profession, so I definitely find the phrase "your special day" condescending. I think it's in the same family as "He's a special boy" and I automatically imagine it with air quotes, which I inherently despise.

Of course, I also hate being called pet names by people I don't know and shrink into a tiny ball when people try to touch me... ugh, I need a martini.

Anonymous said...

"strawberries, ice cream, and guacamole, oh my!...ok, and a nice sparkling wine from California...with a straw"

You've just described the menu at my dream wedding.

Helen said...

Oh, I second you - and Keyla. The one that really, really riles me is "The Best Day of Your Life". Oh, fabulous. Everything after my wedding day will be downhill, because I have chosen to have a party with teh man I love, get an extra bit of sparkly and a surname?

Nothing left for me after that, I'd better go home and die.

If the wedding is the best day, then what's the point of marriage? should we get hitched and then have some strange conjoined suicide pact? Why does no one talk to our chaps like this? Why is it *my* Special Day (complete with air quotes, eugh), and not his?! Garrrrgh!

(Err, I may have just unlurked myself. Congratulations on regularly summing up how I feel about my wedding. And, at the same time, sorry!)

Elizabeth said...

There is defeinitely a part of me that thinks that the use of "your special day" is some shorthand for "I don't actually remember what it is that you hired me for". As if that one phrase should cover ever event that they handle - bar mitzvah, wedding, anniversary, 100th birthday. It saves them from remebering why on earth you think this day is special enough to give them large amounts of money. But I'm cynical.

And I just checked my desk snack drawer, only to discover that no gourmet cheeses or ints of ice cream have suddenly appeared. Damn.

Nicole said...

Oh, for serious, I have the exact same sentiment about those phrases. And the word precious. Doesn't the word precious just make you want to gag?

I actually had a roommate who went around calling it "My Big Day" when she was engaged. I still would like to punch her in the face.

Meg said...

I always had the feeling, when a vendor said "Your Special Day" or "Your Day" that they were mentally marking the price up by 25%. Also, it weirded me out that they all focused almost solely on the bride - there were two of us up there, getting married. And the regular people who said "Your Special Day"... well, I just found myself thinking that they were easily brainwashed and maybe not quite as bright as I'd previously thought.

Although I think Kate's plan of constantly referring to it as all-caps MY SPECIAL DAY would, as well as being obnoxiously funny in its own right, make for a hysterical drinking game.

Blablover5 said...

Personally I hope my special day involves a lot less people, stress, and ribbon and more calm and nature.

Or conversly that every day can be my special day cause hey, I'm still alive and kicking.

Krista said...

Haha, that is an amazingly funny post. I haven't had anyone call it "my special day", but you're right ... It reminds me not of my first bra fitting, but what Judy Blume's character Margaret (Are you there God? It's me, Margaret) would have called while waiting to get her first period.

As for the "big" day. I admit, I call it that. But not because I want to justify why the vendors cost so much. Because it reminds me there's a goal in site. The end of it all, which is actually the start of something new.

I wholeheartedly enjoyed this post, and I wish I had your "special day" fridge.