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Rachel Fine

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Breaking Bride

Posted: 08/20/2012 11:25 am

Has anyone ever died of "overwhelm"? I'm concerned that I have a fairly severe case. If this wedding doesn't kill me, I might accidentally do it to myself.

Let me back up. I'm nearly one month out from what I'm assured will be the greatest day of my life. But given the past two months, I'm wondering if that's merely a comparative statement people use to explain the differential between the horrendous lead up and the sweet, sweet relief of the "It's Over" moment.

Or maybe it's like childbirth. Everyone talks about the miracle and wonder of it all with big sappy smiles, but when you push for a detail or two, the emerging story sounds a bit like a 30 hour version of the iconic scene from "Alien." Maybe we forget the bad stuff, or maybe surreptitiously hide it, in order to suck other women into the horror under the sneaky banner of "misery loves company". I'm not sure. So I will step forward, as a cautionary tale, at a time BEFORE all I remember is a "blur of loveliness," and walk you through the trenches, so you can emotionally prepare (and make a call or two about eloping).

I began my descent into madness two months ago. After an ill-conceived moment in which I thought having hair extensions would be fun. Not for length, per se, but for a Kardashian-esque thickness. And fun it was. Until I made the (who knew?) disastrous mistake of taking a bubble bath in which my supposedly human hair proved incapable of handling a bubbled adversary. My fiance Richie and I, on a well-deserved vacation weekend, spent seven hours with a fork and olive oil, trying to pick through what my hair stylist would later call "the worst matting he'd ever seen in his life". Were it not for a clever assistant who found a way to cut just the extensions from my head, we would not have avoided the solution being whispered in a panic around the salon: shaving my head. As in BALD BRIDE. Sit with that for a minute. It took about 14 hours and a significant amount of questionably procured pain killers to get my head (mostly) back to normal.

I believe it was the following week in which I decided to take an afternoon off wedding planning to enjoy a lovely lunch with an old friend. Who emailed me the next day to tell me she'd just found out she had Coxsackie Virus. For those not in the know (I wasn't), the unfortunately named Coxsackie Virus, which has run rampant in NYC this year, is pretty much 10 days of hell. Now, I'm a trooper through any kind of sick, until you add a massive fever into the equation. Luckily I did a ton of mental wedding planning during those 10 days. And by that, I mean I marathoned Dr. Phil from a couch-based fetal position.

Around day nine, just as I was starting to reemerge into the world, with what I would come to learn was clearly a compromised immune system, I caught the ol' summer cold and devolved into a big, snotty mess. Which was a treat. I kept hanging on to the fact that I had no appetite and all of this could be considered a less challenging version of bridal boot camp. In fact, the only thing I could bear to eat was a bowl of soup. Oh, if only I'd never made that bowl of soup. Wait, let me come back to the soup.

In the midst of Sick Summer, we received a call from our broker. We've been trying to sell our condo since last February and had pretty much forgotten about it being on the market until after the wedding. Until that fateful phone call, in which we were informed that a cash buyer had dropped from the heavens and wanted to move in as soon as possible. Yay? I mean, great -- who turns down cash buyers in this economy? And now we'd sold our house, a goal we'd set nearly a year ago. But it quickly dawned on me that we would be moving before the wedding. WE WOULD BE MOVING BEFORE THE WEDDING. To somewhere. My only option was to keep breathing (snot permitting) and start to pack some boxes. Back to the soup.

After an appetite-less week, I suddenly had a craving for some soup. Which I made in the microwave (my version of cooking). I'm no gourmand. And maybe someone reading this knows the correct amount of time necessary to microwave soup to get a different result than I got: an angrily boiling bowl. Now, I can only relate this part of the story in choppy slow motion movie effect, but within a couple of teetering steps carrying the boiling soup, my foot met the new moving box sitting just outside the kitchen door and the soup... met my face. And my shoulder. And my arm. And in that moment, I started Summer of Second Degree Burns.

I don't even know what to say about this part, except it involved ongoing hysterics and a crippling depression over what my WEDDING FACE was now going to look like.

So let's recap. At this point, I was an immuno-compromised, soon-to-be homeless, burned and nearly bald bride. Who still had an overwhelming amount of wedding planning to do.

Over the next two weeks, Richie and I spent every free minute house hunting (which was extra fun, covered in burn cream and and wearing less-than-fashionable sun protective floppy hats) and dealing with a team of lawyers, brokers and bankers who CLEARLY do not understand that the term Bridezilla did not develop in our lexicon without reason.

I think that's around the time our internet crashed in a way the cable company called "unique" and unfixable for two weeks. And our car broke down. And I made the switch from wine to Xanax.

If there's one legitimately silver lining in all of this unbelievable BS, it is this: I am SO marrying the right guy. It's easy to have fun with someone... while you're having fun with someone. It's harder on hour seven of picking out matted hair with a fork. Or as they restrain you from punching the broker fond of snidely passive aggressive sales techniques. Or while they carry you out of a shower sobbing with second degree burns. Through the hell of the past two months, there has been one beautiful, bright spot. And I've never been happier to marry him. If we can make it through this, we can truly make it through anything.

We have six weeks left until the wedding. And this is the part of the story in which I'd love to make some sarcastic comment challenging the universe about what else could POSSIBLY go wrong. But instead I will Keep. My. Mouth. Shut.

Please send good vibes. Or money. Or Xanax. Or your shrink's number. Or that silver bowl off our registry I wrote about last time. I really do want that bowl.

Rachel

 
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