Internet, say your car was really close to breaking down. I mean, it’s day by day, dire situation. Your brakes could go out and fling you into oncoming traffic at any moment. I offer you two options:
1. Run out and grab a new car really quickly right now OR
2. Wait 6 months and your family will generously gift you with a car.
Obviously, the answer is run out and grab a new car really quickly right now, because your car is a death trap, except don’t tell anyone and HIDE the car so your family will give you another car in six months. Right?
How about a similar situation: Your fiance is deploying (for the sake of argument, let’s say he was given three weeks notice even though that never actually happens) and it would be really convenient if you were married now, but you also want a big pretty wedding in Jamaica, with all of your family flying out to join you six months from now. I again offer you two options:
1. Run out and get married really quickly right now – I mean, even in 3 weeks (which never happens), you can get your close family and friends together for a nice ceremony, and send your new husband off on his deployment secure in the fact that his new wife is taken care of OR
2. Wait 6 months and have the dream wedding you wanted.
Again, the answer is obvious. You get married really quickly right now, except you hide the fact that you’re married so that in six months, your family and friends will shell out to fly to Jamaica so you can have the wedding of your dreams as well.
Clearly, in both situations, the answer is the same – lie to your friends and family to make sure that you get what you’re entitled to.
Now, let’s add a blogger spin on it. Say you’re a writer on a bridal blog, and you’ve just made a post coming clean about how yes, it’s true, you are already married, but you’ve decided to hide it from family and friends so that they aren’t aware that you’re already married when they come to the destination wedding you’re planning in Jamaica, with the dress, the vows, the whole nine. Some commenters on your public blog disagree with what you’re doing. I offer you two options:
1. Accept the fact that when you blog about something, not everyone will agree and may comment to that effect and move on OR
2. Delete any and all comments that you don’t like.
Again, why am I giving quizzes with such obvious answers? Clearly, you email anyone who commented explaining whylying is okay in your particular situation. You express shock that someone dared express a dissenting opinion in blog comments. When they still don’t agree with you, you THEN delete any and all comments that you don’t like, and head to another blog, where you post all of the emails, secure in the fact that your regular readers will tell you it’s totally okay to lie to your friends and family. After all – you are entitled to that special wedding day!
I’ve written about this elsewhere - the notion, common especially among young military brides – that just because you’re married doesn’t mean you can’t get married. That there’s nothing wrong with it. That solely due to the fact that you were born female, you’re entitled to your wedding day. You should also note that the linked article was written three weeks ago – so my annoyance with this phenomenon certainly isn’t a personal vendetta against one person with one entitled attitude.
My question, though - if these women didn’t think they were doing something wrong, why are they lying about it or hiding it? If there’s nothing wrong with a quickie wedding and then a “real” wedding later, why not just give people the heads up?
There is nothing wrong with getting married quickly before a deployment – Phil and I would do the same thing if faced with a sudden (which never happens, but again – 3 weeks, for the sake of argument) deployment. There’s nothing wrong with having a big “meet the family” party when he comes home. There’s nothing wrong with saying “Hey, friends and family, come on out to our vow renewal” when he gets home.
But lying - lying – to your friends and family, for no other reason that I can see other than to preserve your dream of the perfect wedding - I can’t get behind that, not even for a fellow military bride. You can plan a quick wedding (in that 3 week notice that never actually happens). You can get by on just a civil ceremony.
Another common argument is that the civil ceremony is just signing a paper – it’s not a real wedding. I think my parents, married nearly 30 years, would be distressed to know that they didn’t have a real wedding. Do you think the IRS will get mad when they find out my parents have been filing jointly, but only had a civil ceremony?
Now that I’ve explained where I’m coming from, let’s move on to the blogger hysteria.
(I’m not going to post all of the emails exchanged, because you can feel free to read them on the other blogger’s post.)
The Bridal Bloggette appears to be a relatively new blog, trying to fit itself in to the crowded wedding blog niche. Several different brides are going to blog about their wedding planning, offer do-it-yourself help and general serve as a resource and gathering place for other young women planning weddings, from what I can tell.
I read a post on this blog today explaining the exact situation above – the bride was already married, but wasn’t going to tell friends and family. I left a comment saying that lying certainly wasn’t cool, and asking why the writer would need to have a big wedding if they were already married – after all, is it about the marriage or the wedding?
The writer sent me an unsolicited email to… I don’t know? Tell me why it was ok for her to lie? Chastise me for disagreeing with something she wrote on a public blog? Regardless of her reasons, she shortly deleted my comment (and the comments of others) and took the whole thing to her personal blog. Why? Because if you take it to your personal blog, as the wounded party, you get responses like:
“How dare she disagree with you!” and
“She must be jealous!” and
“She must need a hobby, even though all she did was leave a comment on a blog like any normal person would and then you took time out of YOUR day to email her and then she responded! Even though you actually are the one who lost her mind, SHE obviously has too much time on her hands!” and
“OMG why does she even care? It’s not like you wrote about a wedding on a wedding blog and she’s actually getting married! Everyone knows that if you disagree with someone on the internet, you obviously give an unhealthy-sized shit about their life.” and
“Wow, she must be made of PURE EVIL to not totally be behind not only you lying to YOUR family, but to also create a wedding blog where you tacitly support others lying to THEIR families!”
The fact that she emailed me, on top of the fact that she’s advocating lying are, of course, totally ignored.
Look, any other military brides or brides in general who may stumble upon this post after reading the drama started by someone who can’t handle disagreement maturely – if you need to get married quickly, for whatever reason – DO IT. If you want to have a party afterwards, do that. If you want to have a vow renewal, do that. If you want to have a whole big wedding re-enactment with the dress and the church and everything else – that’s FINE. If you come from a country or a tradition that calls for a legal ceremony at one point and a church ceremony at another – ALSO FINE.
But don’t, please don’t, lie to your friends and family about it. No matter how many people tell you it’s ok, no matter how many people may kiss your butt about it on your own blog – lying is not ok. Ask yourselfwhy you’re lying. Is it because you don’t feel like you’ll get the attention and celebration you deserve if your family already knows? That’s probably true. If you’re grown up enough to get married, though, you’re grown up enough to accept that. You’re starting your lives together. Don’t start it on a lie.
This is what doesn’t seem to be getting through to so many people, both military and civilian, who do this for any number of reasons. It’s not the two ceremonies that’s wrong. It’s not throwing yourself a wedding when you’re already married that’s wrong (even if it is kind of tacky). The LYING is what is wrong. LYING. It’s not okay. No amount of “WHY DO U EVEN CARE??!!11!!” is going to make lying ok.
Also, as advice to bloggers in general – if you post about your life and then get upset at anyone who disagrees with you, sending hysterical emails about “WHY DO YOU CARE WHAT I DO SO MUCH!!!!” is kind of weird. You posted it on the Internet. People read that shit, you know (but don’t bother to comment – a couple of people told me that dissenting comments are, of course, being deleted).