2004-07-18 11:04 p.m.

Wedding Fever

So the wedding planning proceeds apace. Shame that it isn't actually Turtledove and Sweetcheeks doing the planning.

The happy couple thought they could relax and enjoy the early part of their engagement -- maybe they'd bat around a few ideas about where the wedding should be held, who will officiate and who will be in the wedding party, but not really stress about it until closer to the date, whenever that date may be.


What they didn't bargain for -- poor, sweet, naive fools -- was that the wedding would instantly become a huge deal. See, they're not just any engaged couple, they're the first children in their respective families to be engaged. The older sisters, through choice (me) or happenstance (Turtlesis), have yet to get married, and the unholy alliance of my parents and Turtledove's are relieved that the younger kids have finally picked up the marital slack.

Last night TheBoy and I went to dinner with my parents. (The Best Hope for Grandchildren were up at Tahoe, attending a wedding which my father went on about at great length before he finally heard me asking, "Dad, whose wedding was this? Do I know these people?") The parents attempted to pump us for wedding information; whether this was because the BHGs had been driven completely insane in the 6 short weeks since the proposal and were holding out on them or if the happy couple hadn't yet made plans specific enough to satisfy the parents' raging wedding fever wasn't entirely clear.

But what was clear, in between they-should-have-the-wedding-here this and look-isn't-the-baby-at-the-next-table-cute that, was that a titanic, if temporary, role reversal had taken place. For portions of the next year or so, I get a taste of the younger sibling experience, and I couldn't be happier about it.

See, when you're the first born, especially when there are a few years between you and the next younger sibling, every milestone in your life is a brand new experience for your parents. You are the subject of intense focus and excessive rule enforcement and heavy expectations. The younger sibling(s) get to kick back and watch the fun, and then when it's their turn to bring home their first report card or ask for an extended curfew, the older sibling says "hey, they're letting you stay out all night at 16? I had to wait until prom night before they'd let me do that! No fair!"

Now I get to watch not only my brother marry a pretty spiffy woman, but an intensely focused swirl of family chaos from a safe, entertaining remove. The BHGs get pretty much whatever they ask for as long as they're willing to invite my mother's best friend's catsitter, the Unholy Alliance get their wedding ya-yas out and the heat will be off TheBoy, me and Turtlesis, at least for the next little while. If I do eventually get married I can do so barefoot on the beach or in a red dress or with inadequate catering without Disappointing the Family. Everyone wins.

If we survive until the end of next summer, that is.

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