Essentially I more or less had to completely remove myself from anything and everything wedding related for a little while or else I was going to turn Bride-zilla and never come back from the edge.
We finally found our venue, so I'm pretty ecstatic about that. We're going to be having an outdoor ceremony lakeside at Penn Scenic View and then moving the reception indoors. It even has a large balcony area overlooking the lake for cocktail hour. Going to see the venue had been an experience all on it's own. But that's what happens when you have three additional opinions and inane questions being asked. Add to that major sleep deprivation and you have a cocktail so sour no one wants to take a sip.
To add to the hectic vibe of the day, I got a phone call two days earlier that my wedding dress had arrived more than four months earlier than expected. I made arrangements to get to the shop just before closing the same day that we were looking at our wedding venue in order to try and save on gas. Remember, three weeks ago, gas was at it's highest price ever.
Now since my fiance was going along to see the venue, we had to drive separately so that he could leave at that point of the day to go teach his class that also happened to be nearby. But that still left me with two mothers and an 11-year-old niece in tow. The moment we walked in the door, our niece started to whine about wanting to try on her bridesmaid dress. When I explained that it hadn't been chosen yet, she insisted that she would choose. I told her no. Of course the two mothers insisted we might as well check some out. Insert enormous eye roll here for getting unwanted opinions on something that doesn't directly pertain to these people.
I then listened to both mothers lecture on how bridesmaids have to be matchy-matchy and that it wouldn't be appropriate for half of my bridesmaids to wear their dresses with straps and the rest not to. It didn't seem to matter to them that the bridesmaids (who like me) can't wear straps because of sloped shoulders would be a distraction every five minutes by adjusting their straps. Or better yet, the busty ones forced to forego straps would be popping out mid ceremony. I pretty much lost my cool and told them they both needed to shut up because it wasn't their decision and that bridesmaids dresses had moved on since either of them had last been married. See the bride-zilla wanting to come out and snap?
Finally, my consultant was free to bring out my dress. It was a perfect fit. And I mean perfect. My grandmother will only have to hem it by one inch and bustle it. Talk about easy-peasy. However, by the time I got my dress, my niece had been whining sufficiently long enough to convince my mother to go pick out some dresses for her. Now keep in mind, she's eleven and just starting to wear juniors clothes and is approximately a size 5. I am a size 10 and had to order a size 16 which turned out to be a perfect fit.
She tries on one dress and it doesn't quite zip up and she starts bawling about how fat she is. And I mean bawling. This kid has officially stolen the title of bride-zilla and she's only the junior bridesmaid. I am now standing in my wedding dress and fielding glares from every other customer in the store. And nothing can get her to stop crying! She literally has a psychological problem in which she's convinced herself that she is so overweight to the point where she works out more than Richard Simmons.
When she finally does stop crying, she has adamantly decided that there is a dress she wants to wear for my wedding because it is literally a hot pink short skirted version of mine. I glare at my mother for even pulling the dress off the rack and put my foot down. Absolutely not. First off because it's nearly three hundred dollars and I will not ask that of my bridesmaids. Secondly, I am not going to have my bridesmaids look like me on my day. Call me selfish, but I want to be a little unique aside from the fact that I'm the only one wearing white. I certainly don't want my dress to be less awe inspiring just because the guests have already seen seven different colored versions of it walk down the aisle before me. This puts her into another burst of tears. And for once, I can't wait to get out of my wedding gown and out of the store. I'm tired of getting glares that accuse me of being an evil wench just because my niece is psychotic and spoiled.
That day, Jeff and I also clarified with our mothers how the guest list would be split. My mother was perfectly okay with the split. His parents were very much not okay. They felt as if we were shorting them. Que extended pain and suffering due to guest list limitations for quite a while longer. Eventually I learned that this stemmed from her feeling as though we'd be shorting ourselves on the available guest list for the bridal shower. Insert large eyeroll here for a bunch of useless kitchen gadgets that would be triplicated with a bridal shower. Jeff and I already have too many rolling pins and wooden spoons, thank you very much.
I spent the next week on the phone with everyone. The venue manager (in order to obtain contracts for every cabin/lodge on the property), the caterer to finalize the date and location, the event planner, etc. I signed away nearly every penny to my name in order to put down deposits and spread the joyful news to my bridesmaids and groomsmen that their lodging for the weekend would be all expenses paid. I then put away everything wedding related and vowed to not give it a second thought for at least a few weeks.
Memorial Day weekend reopened a few of the wounds however. Mostly due to the 11-year-old niece who spent a great deal of time again whining about her weight. Combine that with the fact that she's missed her period for a couple of months and you have me greatly agitated that she won't listen when you tell her that she's working out too much and is now getting to be too thin. Pretty soon, I'll be kidnapping her to put her in the hospital for eating disorder treatment. But she was also complaining about how I'm not going to be including her in going to choose the bridesmaids dresses in a few months (in about August probably). I explained as nicely as I could that I needed the time to be for big girls and that I could not be baby-sitting her. I needed the freedom to be able to go out for dinner with my girlfriends who would be coming in from out of town and not feel like I have to say no because she can't go barhopping afterwards. Also, she has too expensive of taste. Top that off with eventually if she doesn't become anorexic, she'll outgrow her dress whereas the other girls will have their dressing hanging in their closets for a few years to come. She doesn't seem to quite grasp that dresses cost money that the rest of us work hard for. She merely sees it as grandma will be paying for it, so who cares about what those little numbers are following that weird "S" shaped symbol.
Once I finally got the wedding to be off topic for the weekend while we were camping, I still had to deal with her obsessive behavior on her weight. And the multiple attempts on her 2-year-old sister's life due to stupidity. And every time that you yell at the older girl to stop doing something, she turns it into, "Why do you hate me?!" and goes running off. Personally, I don't think it's smart for a girl who can't tread water to be standing on the slick steps to a 30-foot quarry with her baby sister. To complete that mental image, my fiance who uses those stairs almost as much as he does the ones we have at home, fell on them twice and neither girl had on a life jacket. I about died when I saw them down there by themselves. And when she ran off all upset that I hated her, she then tried to lie to her grandfather about why her baby sister was soaked up to her waist. Adorable 2-year-old of course is telling her pappy all about standing in the water with the fishies.
I officially no longer want children. For gosh sakes, they don't even wait to be teenagers anymore before they become pathological liars with eating disorders. What the heck?!
Now you can understand why I haven't been writing for a while. There's nothing like spending your time ranting on a kid. I feel bad, but I don't know how to get through to her and it does nothing but stress me out to be around her all the time. Jeff is actually the one who's dubbed her bride-zilla. And when I really need some time away to get my head together and collected and calm, it really doesn't help when this girl insists on attaching herself to me all the time. I appreciate that she wants to spend time with me, but I can't be her mother, especially when her mom wants to be her mom. And I definitely cannot keep sacrificing time with my fiance in order to play happy family with her, especially if she's going to have more mood swings than I can manage in a month in the course of one evening.