“We haven’t done much to be perfectly honest!” I chirped. That particular day I had written a 5,000-word essay about Adderall addiction so weddings weren’t exactly front and center on my mind. Pretty blue wonder pills that manipulate the brain into focusing on impossibly boring tasks, like filing, for example, was what was taking up residence in my studio-apartment sized brain.
The girl cackled a long, slow, witch-like cackle. She dramatically raised a wild, un-manicured eyebrow and took a healthy swig of her beer. “Yeah right. I’m sure you have every last detail planned. It’s always the bridezillas who say they haven’t ‘done’ much,” she slammed her beer on the bar and began to shamelessly gnaw at the dead skin on her bitten down thumbs.
I raised a wild yet manicured brow right back at her. “Bridezilla?” I repeated, mentally prepping myself for the blatant idiocy that was about to be tossed in my direction.
“Zara! Don’t be insulted! You’re like such a diva. I bet you’re like the biggest control freak in the world about your big day! You’ve probably been planning this since you were, like, seven!” The girl got really close to my face. Her breath smelt sour, like beer and hummus. “Don’t worry,” she whispered, “my wife is just like you. Tell Meghan to call me if she needs to vent!”
I’d like to tell you that I gave her a long, articulate lecture about how she was clearly stereotyping me as a bridezilla because she’s a misogynistic lesbian who assumes that all feminine-looking creatures with long eyelashes and long hair are wedding obsessed. I’d like to tell you that I told her that I frankly don’t give a f*ck about my wedding details and I think people who get stressed out about the FLATWARE being made up of the finest china or the invites being adorned with the finest calligraphy are stupid for getting so bent out of shape over these tiny minute details no one will ever, ever remember. I’d like to tell you that I informed her that if it were up to me I would do a Facebook invite for my wedding in lieu of print invites and dress as a mermaid for the ceremony. That it’s actually my fiancée (Meghan) who is obsessed with planning the wedding. That it’s her in the black androgynous skinny jeans and the badass leather boots who is the bridezilla out of the two of us and that no, I haven’t been dreaming of my wedding since I was seven. I’ve been dreaming about having enough money to buy whatever I desire at the Chanel boutique in Aspen, Colorado since I was seven. Weddings didn’t really cross my mind until I fell in love, and while I’m ecstatic to be marrying the love of my life, I recognize that the “wedding” is just one day in the great expanse of my (hopefully) long life and I really just want it to be a wild party with drag queens and 90s cover bands and that’s about it.
But I didn’t tell her any of this. I smiled and walked away because I couldn’t muster up the energy to defend myself. I couldn’t bring myself to get riled up over a practical stranger’s misconception over my attitude towards bridal culture. Because the truth is, I’ve been dealing with smug lesbians making assumptions about my alleged “diva-ish” attitude since I came stumbling out of the closet over ten years ago. As if my aesthetic preference for handbags with obnoxious designer labels and tendency to sleep in red lipstick, somehow makes me a surefire bitch with a vapid soul and zero career ambitions beyond mommy-hood and a princess wedding.
Since the moment my fiancée proposed people have been treating me like I’m a raging lesbian bridezilla. Look, honey, I’m many things. A loud-mouth. Socially anxious. Acne scarred. Five pounds heavier than I was a year ago. But a bridezilla isn’t one of them. My far less femme-presenting fianceé is the one who gets aggressive and stressed and obsessed about the wedding details I could care less about. In fact, I cried at a wedding-planning brunch because it felt so viscerally wrong to me to be having a traditional wedding at all!
“We should get a unicorn cake!” I said brightly sipping my mimosa.
“No, Zara. We want this to be sophisticated. Not a child’s party,” Meghan said defiantly.
And that was the straw that broke Zara’s back. “I never wanted to have a traditional wedding,” I began to sob. “I never wanted the stress of a wedding. I’m not a traditional person! I didn’t sign up for this!”
My sister who does catering and wedding planning for a living sat between us trying to stop her lips from curving into a smile. “This is very normal,” she calmly said, with the reassuring authority of a woman who’s been through this a thousand times (which she has). “Why don’t you take a step back and just let Meghan and I produce the whole thing?” she purred, sweetly. I nodded my head. I wanted nothing more. I would rather take public transportation than discuss the f*cking linens. And I detest public transportation.
I probably sound like a heartless lesbian who isn’t excited about her wedding in the slightest. However, let me assure you, that’s also, simply not true! I’m teeming with excitement over the fabulous party my wedding will be and can’t wait to be Meghan’s wife. The thought of my wedding makes me ecstatic. You know why? Because I’m no bridezilla. I’m not involved in the planning process outside of booking the Mermaid who will be swimming in the pool the first hour. I also expect things to go wrong. I expect someone to get too drunk and fall in the pool and make a spectacle. I expect to stumble down the aisle and fall over as I’m wont to do when self-conscious. I expect a big family argument to erupt, one that everyone tries to protect me from knowing about, but I’ll inevitably find out about, and proceed to cry until my maid of dishonor Ruba feeds me Champagne out of the bottle. I expect my wedding to be as messy and as glittery and as unique as Megs and I.
I recognize that it’s one day of my life and while it’s a big one, it’s not the end of the world if the weather sucks and my hair frizzes and we all have to cozy up inside. It doesn’t have to be perfect. I don’t want it to be perfect.
I also have accepted that even my own lovely lesbian community, which is notoriously empowering of women-kind, is still teeming with damaging stereotypes. That even “feminist” lesbians all to often associate femininity with being an entitled diva with only traditional passions. That people expect my pants-wearing partner to be rational and expect me to be an emotional wreck with delusions of grandeur. But I don’t let any of it get to me anymore. I don’t tone down my femme-y style in attempts to be taken seriously by my own community, anymore.
Because I simply don’t care what anyone thinks.
And my fellow femmes, neither should you. Live your truth. Go as your fabulous, over-the-top, girly AF self. Be the beautiful, wild contradiction you are and keep them all guessing as you shatter glass ceilings and take over the world whilst sporting unapologetically hot pink lipstick, a leopard print micro-mini-skirt and sky-high mother f*cking heels, babe.
And when those bitches call you a “bridezilla” simply bat your long spidery lashes at them and tell them they have no idea. Because they don’t.