By: Anne T. Donahue
Until this morning, I had zero opinions on Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner. Which wasn’t out of spite, I swear: I don’t watch Game of Thrones, I don’t care about the Jonas Brothers, and the only celebrity union I’m truly invested in is . . . well, there are multiple. But the overarching point is that in my day-to-day life, whether or not the two ever got married wasn’t a concern of mine. And then they eloped in Vegas last night and they immediately became my heroes.
Here’s the thing about weddings: I don’t want to have one. And while I’m currently not in a relationship, I still don’t see myself being changed to the point upon meeting a great and decent man that I would abandon my dreams of not getting married in a traditional way. I like the idea of forever or as-long-as-we-both-shall-like-each-other, I like the idea of a partnership, and I like the idea of discreetly signing paperwork that makes insurance and healthcare easier to manage. I like the word “forever” provided we don’t make a big thing out of it because that’s a lot of pressure, and I’m bad at committing to things. (Ask my friends how great I am at cancelling plans.) But the idea of a wedding in an as-we-know-them sense of the word makes me feel sick. There’s too much public vulnerability. Too much pressure. Too much of my own neuroses that would ensure the day was a nightmare for myself and those closest to me. I know who I am, and I know what I’m capable of. And while I know I’m more than capable to make it forever with a man I genuinely love (should I meet one), I know I don’t have it in me to be a Bride™. And watching celebrities get married drives that point home even harder.
Which is an embarrassing admission, I’m aware. But in a culture rich in wedding-speak and nuptial coverage, the boredom and disinterest that comes in watching famouses talk about their dream wedding is on par only with how I feel when anybody talks to me about Game of Thrones. I’m not the target audience. I only care about my friends’ weddings because I love them and would physically fight anybody who made them unhappy. (And also because they’re my friends: I want them to tell me all about their weddings because I care a shit-ton about their lives and what’s going on in them.) But so-and-so marrying whats-his-name atop a mountain? The star-studded celebrity affair? The dress that cost eight million moons? I can’t. I’m sorry. Don’t hate me.
And then Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas got married in Vegas by an Elvis impersonator with Ringpops and I suddenly felt alive. Not alive enough to decide this was the year I was going to get married (could you even imagine?) but alive to the point that for one precious second, I understood it: weddings could be fun. And last-minute. And weird as hell. And involve zero planning and not necessitate spending more than one dollar on rings. They didn’t have to involve table settings or flowers or bridesmaids dresses or anything outside of a few fun and cool moments. Which are all things I already knew could happen at weddings, but had yet to see when we talked about two famous people taking the vows. Bless us everyone.
The thing is, it’s not like Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner had any influence on my own life, and it’s not like I hate all weddings like some type of bitter shrew. (I am a bitter shrew, but for different reasons.) But I like to be reminded on a grand, over-covered pop culture scale that weddings don’t necessitate a lot of pomp and circumstance. I like to be reminded that (maybe) even famous people feel like collapsing in on themselves when they think of walking up the aisle with everybody looking at them. I like to think that I’m not alone in my needing to make every serious thing a less serious thing because otherwise I straight-up can’t process it.
I also like to think that maybe I’m not completely alone in my “oh man, I like the idea of a solid partnership, but I would rather melt into the earth than have a wedding.” And that maybe instead of nodding politely when somebody says, “You just haven’t met the right guy yet!” (please never say this to anybody, ever) I’ll just cross paths with a guy who feels the same way I do. Maybe even forever. Who knows?