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Nedda Alammar Headshot

Weddings: An Invitation for Abuse

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If I were ever to fall in love, I think a sheer indication of absolutely no future would be if he asked me to marry him and have a wedding. The guy must be on crack if he thinks such a request would make me 'happy'. And I don't date crackheads, anymore.

The love of my life would know better than to ask me to celebrate our union before some god, close friends, and family; the cost of valium alone would far exceed the cost per head. That is, if we didn't include live entertainment, which I have to say I am quite fond of.

No suitor of mine would make me do so much work. The anxiety alone would destroy me -- constantly checking my mailbox for the RSVPs people forget to send; feeling like a total loser with every 'I regretfully will be unable to attend'. I feel like a loser enough when I check my mailbox, and my bank account. Must I really add to the pool of anxiety known as the state of my consciousness? My male liaison would do no such thing.

Although I do have a knack for hostessing; I used to throw great parties in high school. But that is neither here nor there.

A wedding is like a couple's bachelorette party. (no one ever says 'it's not cheating if you pay for it' at a girl party) A wedding, much like a bachelorette party, is carefree. Hazy. Full of pictures you never remember taking and of people you don't really know. Never again will life be so fun. Never again will food have a station and so many people in one room think they can dance. Never again will you have a staff of waiters, DJs, priests -- all people trained in creating a façade of fun so that no one knows they are marrying into a family of wackjobs.

But still, I refuse to have a wedding.

And sure, when the right guy looks at me through his weary eyes because I've worn him down with my charm and vodka, he will surely suggest something impetuous, like Vegas, city hall, or a gay bar. And yet, I will know that my

I do! I mean, yes!

really has nothing to do with the flattery that comes with being thought of as avant-garde or crazy for getting married in a gay bar. The real reason why I don't want to have a wedding, why I don't want to celebrate my love with a well-trained staff, is that honestly, I really don't think anyone would actually come. No one. And it's not that I'm horrible looking and have no friends. Actually, I feel bad for those people sometimes.

Other than my parents and sisters, I really don't have anyone else whose guilt surpasses want, desire, or need. I'm talking about Family. See, I am a daughter of immigrants. Iraqi immigrants. You watch tv. You know. It's just painful.

My mother contacting our relatives in Baghdad would go something like this:

Hello? Hello? Oh yes, hi, it's me. Listen, I have to tell you. My daughter is getting married. Remember when you gave me that horrible look on my wedding day? I still remember that. You should be ashamed of yourself. You really need to come to our wedding. Who gives a s--t about a visa? You're just making excuses. As usual.

A phone call from my father to Baghdad would be ------.

See, no gentlemen caller of mine would ever ask me to witness the human beings I'm supposed to love unravel into their truth right before my very eyes. It's simply inhumane. And un American.

Maybe I sound like a cynic. I know a wedding is supposed to be a celebration, a happy occasion. But I think if I really cared about the people in my life, I wouldn't have a wedding to invite them to. I wouldn't force them to think about exactly where they are in their lives, which is what all weddings do. Where they are personally, professionally, where they are in their battle against accepting bloating as gained weight, where they are in general--where the f--am I? No. I think the best way to invite my friends in my life is absolutely no invitation at all. And I think my liaison would agree, if he's meant to be.

My ideal wedding-ish celebration would be something like this: Captain Stubing on the lido deck with a buffet. And my suitor. And a registry at Bloomingdale's and Williams-Sonoma so all my friends and family can fuss over what they should buy me so I don't think they're cheap. I can't throw all the tradition out the window, can I?