Bride Elect (Evolution of a Bridezilla)
Chapter Twenty-Eight—God Bless the Shouldheads
Running somewhat parallel to the Loopies were those I considered the “Shouldheads”. They were different than the Loopies because they were already in the loop and offering up advice and insight while being so. The Shouldheads offered advice on everything from our attire, venue, guest list—and all other things in between or beyond. Their intentions were wonderful and heartfelt—if not beyond the call of duty at times.
Perhaps the hottest topic among many of the Shouldheads was the plans I had for my uterus. To be fair, the Shouldheads had a long head start on this one. Now that we were getting married, some thought that the topic of family planning was fair game for re-visiting. Why else, after all, do people get married if not to have children? I have always marvelled people, and the variances they have when it comes to boundaries. Get people talking about money and often certain inquiries regarding personal income, or house prices can be the source of taboos and faux pas; however, those same people who are quick to call such inquiries “rude” are totally okay with asking all kinds of questions regarding fertility and family planning.
Long before I even met Palucid, I had people soliciting my opinion regarding my “biological clock”, and whether or not I wanted kids. Sometimes, my ambivalent response would evoke a startled, if not incredulous, “What!? Don’t you like kids?!” I always found this to be something of an obtuse question given my career and training. Rest assured, if I didn’t like kids, I would not spend my time, energy, and money training to become a teacher.
Other times people would see me do some fairly random things and view it as compelling evidence that I would be, “a wonderful mother someday”. In one case, it was French braiding. When my hair was long, I taught myself to French braid hair. When my nieces were little, they would happily sit still so that I could give them a braided hairdo. Some of the elder women in my family saw this and proclaimed that I should have a little girl someday.
Another thing that seemed to inspire people to launch into some kind of uterus prophecy was just my way with children. Keep in mind, I am a teacher by trade, so I tend to be fairly comfortable around children. Children, often more intuitively astute than their adult counterparts, would sense this and, in turn, feel welcome and comfortable. My ease with children, and my playful way had more than one of the Shouldheads telling me I should have children.
Wedding-specific shoulds started with, you guessed it, traditions. The first one, oddly enough, were the matters of throwing things: specifically, the bouquet and garter. My bouquet was far too pretty for me to throw away. The shouldheads argued that I could very easily get some kind of throw away bouquet, many brides buy an extra bouquet for just such a reason. My recounting the very small number of single women (Grandma, one friend, one niece, and two children under the age of ten) did little to sway the shouldheads. As for the garter—despite the slightly larger number of single men at our wedding, it still seemed illogical given I was not planning on wearing stockings.
The mention of my not wearing stockings opened up a floodgate of shoulds regarding attire. We were offered cautionary observations regarding the groom’s attire. There were frets regarding the possibility of Palucid wearing shorts (instead of pants), a hamlet shirt instead of a collared shirt with a tie, and of course the whole controversy over his wearing sandals instead of proper dress shoes. I can only imagine how heads would have exploded if they knew I was planning to be a ‘bare foot bride’. The shoulds would have really hit the fan!
In most cases, we were offered very sound and logistical should—not that we followed up on any of them. For example, we were encouraged to consider renting a tent for our outdoor ceremony in the event it should rain. We were also encouraged to open up our guest list to include family pets—in particularly our cat, and my brother’s dog. Our cat could be dressed in a white tie, and given the task of “ring bearer”, while my brother’s dog would offer her services as garbeurator at the banquet. Of all the shoulds, the logistical ones were the most tempting.