There Are Starving Children in Africa: Why I Feel Like a First World Brat

When I think about the things that bother me, I feel guilty that I’m even upset. In the grand scheme of horrible things going on all over the globe, I shouldn’t be upset about wedding details, or having to hound HR to confirm my employment. Just look back at those two issues: boo hoo wedding crisis, and wah you have a job. Seriously, it’s shameful. Yet, yesterday I was so upset I was brought to tears.

As you know, I’m getting married very soon. Well, soonish. We are getting into the 5-3 month window. It’s time for the bridal shower and bachelorette plans to begin. My bridesmaids are all family, three of them are underage and four of them don’t even live in the United States. My girlfriends are also all over the place. Luckily, my mother has agreed to host a small shower for me in my hometown with my aunts and some family friends. My maid of honor is my sister, who is 19 and a freshman at a huge state school with a good football team. All the festivities for the wedding will be during football season and she has a boyfriend who is really into sports…blah blah blah.

So, since I don’t live near my sisters and Blacksheep won’t be around to plan anything, I have asked a close girlfriend who lives near me to plan the shower and the bachelorette party. I asked her because we are basically best friends. We do everything together, and she seemed fine with it. REcently she was the bridesmaid in a girlfriend’s wedding, and she isn’t even that good of friends with her and helped organize a destination bachelorette party for the bride. I figured since we’re really close, I’d ask her. Well, there was no planning going on so I asked her if she wanted some help. She said she would help, and all of a sudden I was planning my bachelorette party and my shower.

There are a few upsides to planning everything yourself.

1. You have complete control and get to do it however you want.

2. See above upside.

The thing is, I don’t think it’s appropriate for a bride to plan these events on their own.

As FH pointed out last night, I should have expected this when I asked my 19-year-old sister to be my maid of honor. This is true. Still, why don’t any of my girlfriends want to do something like this?

I feel terrible and guilty that I want a shower and bachelorette party so badly. I mean, what’s the big freakin’ deal? Do I even need to have one? I understand why my girlfriends don’t want to plan anything for me, I really do.

1. I have no friends in my bridal party.

2. They all live far away.

3. Most of them are broke.

4. It’s a pain in the ass to plan parties like this.

5. It’s depressing to plan showers and bachelorette parties when you’re single.

Still, when I was asked to be my best friend’s maid of honor (she called of the wedding, but that is not the point), I was so excited to help her in any way.

I just feel like my friends and sisters are being so selfish. When I told my sister the date I was thinking of having the shower and bachelorette party, she freaked out.

“Seriously, why that weekend?”

When I explained that the month before the wedding was not going to work because of scheduling conflicts and holidays, she conceded. She then suggested the month of the wedding. I also felt this was not going to work because then those girlfriends who would travel to the shower, would then have to travel again for the wedding. This seems unfair.

“That weekend is a big deal in [insert college town name here],” she whined. “There’s a home game. I have tickets. It’s the worst.”

“Okay, whatever.”

“You couldn’t have possibly picked a worse weekend.”

“Awesome.”

I hung up the phone and broke down into tears. I hate to be all, “me me me,” but isn’t that the point? I’ve tried so desperately throughout this process to not be a diva. To not discuss the details of my wedding. To not bore anyone with talk of the wedding, when in fact, I’m fucking excited about it.

This is my first marriage. FH and I have been through hell back to be together. And I’m excited, God damn it. I grew up around the bridal industry, and like many girls I love weddings. Everything about them. Still, I’ve held my tongue. Not talking about it, as if it wasn’t happening.

When people ask me, “So, how are the wedding plans coming?”

My response is always, “Oh you know, nothing too exciting. Just trying not to stress.”

Well people. I’m. Stressed. And, it is exciting.

I’m also deeply disappointed in all the selfish people I have surrounded myself with, including my sisters, who don’t give a shit that their big sister is getting married. My sisters and girlfriends, who always need me, aren’t willing to commit to a weekend where we can celebrate something as lovely as a wedding and marriage.

Last night, while venting to FH I said, “I guess we should have just eloped.”

But you know what, FUCK THAT.

I have been a good girl. I’ve worked hard. I love FH more than anything, I’ve tried to be a good person and good friend who isn’t selfish.  Don’t I deserve a beautiful wedding and the festivities that precede it?

Still, even as I whine–boo hoo no one wants to plan my bridal shower or bachelorette party–I think about all those poor people in war stricken countries who can’t have beautiful weddings, and people who struggle to feed themselves and their children, and my mother who has freakin’ cancer, and all those people who are struggling with challenges far more important than a stupid bridal shower. I feel like someone should slap me and say, “Snap out of it, Barbie. There are starving children in Africa, you know.”

And even though that is true, I still can’t help feeling upset.

Last night, FH and I talked about how I try so hard to please others that I end up suffering. I know that with the wedding planning that has been the case. I am blessed with parents who want me to have the most beautiful wedding I can envision. My mother and father have said yes to almost all the vendors I’ve wanted to go with, and the colors, and the music, and the food. Both of my parents have told me that they are so proud of my accomplishments and they want to reward me with the wedding of my dreams. Still, I’ve done a lot to concede to what the family wants, and even what my sisters want. And honestly, this doesn’t really bother me. I don’t want to be a psychotic control freak. I really don’t. I let the girls pick their dresses, and even listened as one of my bridesmaid told me that no matter what dress I picked, she’d look fat. But that she’d wear whatever I chose.

I know a lot of this comes with the territory of planning a wedding, but so does a girlfriend or sister planning a shower.

Anyway, there isn’t much I can do, but it saddens me when I think about how I don’t really have any girlfriends (including my sisters) in my  life who will do this for me.

Nevertheless, the children are still starving in Africa.

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6 comments

  1. I, for one, am very excited about your wedding. It will be lovely and amazing. I wish I lived closer–I plan a kick-ass bachelorette party! (And by kick-ass, I mean a thoroughly nerdy, Alice in Wonderland-inspired afternoon tea.) It’s a shame that they can’t be more enthusiastic. This is a once in a lifetime experience for you, and they should be more supportive.

    1. Thanks for the supportive words. I love the idea of afternoon tea. You’re getting an invite to both showers, hopefully you can make it to the one that ends the night with debauchery.

  2. I don’t know you personally, and I am assuming that the wedding has already happened? since this was in the summer? But I didn’t want a shower, and had to babysit my maid of honour in planning the stagette, and it was a crapshoot because she didn’t ask anyone to come until the weekend before!! So even though I am a teacher and have the whole summer off, most of my friends are not and only a handful (read: the ones who I told about it months in advance because that’s when I told her I wanted to have it) could make it. It turned out fun though with just a handful of my favourite girls and all but one of my bridesmaids (my sister in law couldn’t make it). I hope yours turned out well too, and that the wedding was all that you hoped it would be!

    1. Thanks for the comment. Yes, it’s all come and gone. Overall, the wedding went swimmingly. My bridesmaids all drove me bananas with their incessant bitching but other than that I can’t complain. All of my bridesmaids were spread out all over the globe, so I had my bachelorette with some girlfriends here and it was fun. I was disappointed in my maid of honor, who is also my sister, who didn’t even attempt to come up to my city to do the bachelorette. In the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t that big of a deal. Rarely are things in my family about me, so I think I wanted a smidgen of attention.

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