by Sara Downey-Robinson
When I have to drop the hammer on my son for acting naughty, I give him some choices: A or B, kid. He’s two, so he usually goes with the unnamed option C, which is to go limp noodle and make some weird seagull-like noise.
Now, some people may find this frustrating, but I’ve taken it as a learning experience. My child has taught me that there is alway another option on the table. At times unnamed, yet there it is. The f*ck ‘em option.
It’s funny that really young children can impart some of the deepest wisdom. They haven’t yet learned a literacy for pretense, so everything they do is just authentic. And being authentic is just about one of the best things a person can be.
Authenticity in wedding planning can be a little thin on the ground. My husband and I lost sight of it while planning our wedding. We considered a destination wedding in Hawaii just to give the extended family an excuse for a vacation. We considered a nice little park wedding. We checked out a hotel. The options of an expected wedding were killing us. Here we were trying to fit into everyone else’s boundaries and expectations of what our wedding should be and none of it felt right. My husband and I went through so many option A and option B scenarios and we found ourselves fighting. None of the options we were exploring fit what our relationship was.
He wasn’t really excited to say our vows in front of other people. On top of that, he’s a traditionalist (you know, a The Kn*t sort of traditionalist). For him, that translated to dragging his heels on actually planning a wedding because he was so very uncomfortable with all the options he saw. Mike went limp noodle. Bless his heart, but all that limp noodling was making me feel very insecure about the lack of forward motion. And you know what really feels just awful all the way down to your gut? Wearing an engagement ring and wondering if you’re ever going to actually get married. Like, ever.
Then one day a wonderful thing happened. The silent option presented itself. In a move completely approved by our two-year-old (if not my father), we ran off to the courthouse and were married. Please note–and this part is really important: we didn’t elope with a vengeful attitude, but rather with true authenticity to our relationship. We pulled out a f*ck ‘em if they wanted a big white wedding. Sorry, y’all–this bitch is done. We later threw a party, which is what everyone really wanted anyway.
No joke–the wedding planning f*ck ‘em option saved our marriage. The pressure and insecurity melted away after we stopped trying to have a wedding that just wasn’t our jam. We found that with wedding planning there was a unnamed option. A wonderful, sweet f*ck ‘em. Some things you just know instinctually, but until you’re pushed into choosing options you don’t really want, you can’t always see that great silent option.
So there it is. No apologies (unless you truly hurt someone). In a sentiment my son would agree with: when you try to force yourself into stuff that isn’t you (option A or option B) you’re going to need to come up with a better plan. Otherwise, you’re going to just get in trouble again.
Photo from Sara’s personal collection