Denial: the lies we tell ourselves to prolong unhappiness and discontent

It was easy to attribute my absence of interest in planning a wedding to the new job and the new business. AND I was never one of those girls who fantasized about her wedding day. Ever. I did have the random dream, with me waking up consumed by anxiety and remembering the snippet of my father telling me how much he spent on the wedding and I would attend the reception instead of hiding out in my hotel room.

I cashed out on my wedding fund at age 25. My mother, who called me her “little bird” confided in me shortly after the engagement that she gave up any expectation of me marrying years ago. And at my 10-year high school reunion, when I opened up my English journal that had been time-capsuled for the event, I was surprisingly impressed with the insight I had at the age of 17. We were tasked with predicting where we saw ourselves in 10 years, what our lives would be like:

“In ten years from now, I will be successful in my career. I might be married, with kids, but it’s likely I’ll be divorced because I get bored easily and can see myself committing to kids but not committing to a man.”

Dexter was laid back about it all. He had already experienced the big, expensive, black-tie affair – he said it was up to me, with the exception of getting hitched in Vegas because “marriages that begin in Vegas don’t last.” There was an amusing irony in that statement but I let it go and mechanically went on providing the response, “I’m just enjoying being engaged,” whenever someone asked about the wedding planning.

After 4 months, I started to feel weird about not making any gestures for the nuptial preparations. Dexter would ask and we would discuss ideas but nothing was acted on. Whenever something is bothering me, I can’t sleep, and at the time, I was having insomnia. So I called my mom.

“Mom, I need to talk to you.”

“You don’t want to get married.”

“How’d you know?”

“I’m your mother.”

Her advice was to give it a little more time and not commit to anything. It was natural to have reservations and doubts and no one said I had to get married, but I shouldn’t be hasty. So I didn’t do anything. And that’s when I made a new friend at work.

He was the most junior member in the office and he reminded me of me at that age – the young, energetic flirt with the healthy ego who got away with being a smart ass largely due to an irresistible smile. It started innocently. He would sit at his desk with his headphones on, listening to his ipod. I would do the same at mine. He would always smile at me when I walked by. Finally I asked him what “the kids” were listening to these days and he told me. We switched ipods. We started talking more and more, and one day, I looked at him and I saw pure potential. With the right haircut, the right hair product, the right clothes, the right shoes, with a little work on his walk, his talk, his overall comportment – he could have chicks eating out of his palm.

So I decided to make him my project.

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