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June 11, 2008

Bridal Magazines. Seriously?

Image: Flickr/Patrick Verheij

Image: Flickr/Patrick Verheij

The other day at the bookstore (actually the same day that I encountered Mr. Tumnus) I had the misfortune of sitting next to two college girls who were thumbing through a three foot tall stack of bridal magazines.

Mind you, neither one of them had an engagement ring on and based on the loud and annoying conversation I overheard, neither one of them were even dating.

There they sat, misty eyed over $1000 dresses and china patterns all gushy about how one day, they would have the perfect wedding – as if that had any impact on the type of marriage that would follow. I wanted to walk over to them and say with a syruppy smile on my face, “You’d be better off spending that $1000 on marriage counseling. That’s what you’ll really need. Almost 60% of first marriages end in divorce, you know. Have a great day!”

Now, before you get the wrong idea, I’m not really a mean person. I just have really mean thoughts. I ususally talk myself out of them soon enough, and in fact, that’s what I did while I sat there and thought about my reaction to Barbie and Muffy.

Once I thought about them for a while and put myself in their flip flops, I realized something. They weren’t that much different than me – just younger. And more tan. All they want is a little hope. A little happiness. Ok, so they are looking at unrealistic scenes of marital bliss and thinking that if they buy the perfect dress, then the perfect guy will pop out of the woodwork as well. Yeah – it’s ridiculous and shallow. But don’t I do the same thing? Only I don’t look at Bridal porn, I drool over West Elm and Pottery Barn catalogs. I see the outdoor parties with the perfectly color coordinated table settings and outdoor paper lanterns but what I’m really hoping for is a set of beautiful friends like the ones adorning the pages of these catalogs.

When I see the casual yet organized family room spread peppered with the sandy colored haired surfer kids smiling broadly, doesn’t a small part of me actually believe that a cherry colored media center with labeled bins will get this for me? You’d better believe it.

So maybe I should lay off of the sorority set and realize that I’m just as bad, if not worse. I should know better. I have lived long enough to know that no amount of stuff can bring you happiness. Just like a dress won’t bring the perfect man (because, news flash – he doesn’t exist), a coordinated room of Pottery Barn furniture won’t bring a perfect set of friends and a perfectly organized house. But to be fair, I think I should give it a try….just for the sake of investigative journalism.

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