Our apartment overlooks the Qipu Mall, a shopping complex famous with the fashionista set here in Shanghai. At night, the shipping trucks filled with literally tons of clothing roar into the docks below our windows. In the mall’s labyrinth of stalls, I can buy silk scarves, a full-body cotton dragon suit, three-inch fake eyelashes, and sweaters populated with tigers. But I can’t buy a single pair of shoes at the Qipu Mall; I’m gently waved out of stores when I ask for something in my size. There aren’t shoes for my giant feet in all of China. So our trips home to the States inevitably have to contain afternoons of shopping. This is unfortunate, as Dan and I are ridiculously indecisive. Last summer we wandered around Austin’s Round Rock outlet mall for twenty minutes while I agonized over two lace Ann Taylor tank tops. Would I use them? Were they flattering? Were they worth the money? Meanwhile, Dan staged his own drama surrounding a pair of work shoes. “We’re terrible shoppers,” I declared when we got back to the car. “You are,” my future sister-in-law said, newly convinced.
Parts of our wedding have been equally ridiculous. I wish I had back the hours I’d spent on the Internet looking—again—for the perfect shoes (because did I mention no shoes in China?). I flipped through the same websites day after day. I learned all about ballet flats. I settled on a pair of sandals (but I’m not settled yet). The search for my rehearsal dinner dress proved equally time consuming, and I knew the flower-girls will look cute no matter what they wear, but that didn’t stop me from haunting Etsy several Saturday afternoons.
Dan and I just aren’t great at making decisions, and this indecision seeps into other parts of our lives. We pay too much for airplane tickets because we don’t book trips far enough in advance. Sometimes I’ll start writing an email, then leave it. I’ve remained quiet in faculty meetings because I’ve worried over an exact phrase, and the conversation has moved on. I think about calling friends more than I call them. In the dreamy space that is novel writing, my characters stand frozen while I wonder about moving them here or there, fret over the writing as a whole, rework that chapter’s first sentence again, thinking of a thousand reasons my project might be a failure. Indecision and self-doubt are co-conspirators.
But as the wedding looms, we’ve adopted a new motto: F*ck it. Nail it.
Here’s an example from last night. I’m in pajamas at the dining room table. “Should we order these thank you cards?” I asked, pointing to a reasonable and reasonably priced set. Dan glances over my shoulder at my computer screen. Three months ago he might have shrugged and asked me to keep looking. Last night he surveyed the cards, nodded, and replied with our new go-to: “F*ck it, nail it.” Because we’re running out of time before the wedding, we’ve just had to choose. We’ve given up on agony and are acting like the go-getters.
Our f*ck is not an angry f*ck, just a carefree, careless, slightly exasperated f*ck, a recognition that there’s only so much thinking to be done. F*ck it says stop choosing and simply make a choice. The second half of our new motto–nail it–affirms our understanding that not all choices are equal. Carefree does not mean shoddy. Make the best choice at the time you’re choosing. Nail that thing, knowing full well that, in the end, it doesn’t matter so much.
In wedding planning, as in life, we should pay attention to our instinct. The best decisions Dan and I have made for the wedding thus far have been those we’ve chosen immediately, on instinct. On a road trip last summer, we’d stopped off at Wall Drug, walked into a gaudy tourist store named Golddiggers, and emerged with my Black Hills gold engagement ring, Dan’s wallet only fifty dollars lighter. Two days later, I bought my dress. It was one of the first I tried on, and I didn’t even want to look at any other dresses afterwards.
And if we don’t have a strong instinctual feeling about a decision—if nothing moves us to choose navy blue bridesmaid dresses over black ones—perhaps this lack of instinct also tells us something. The color doesn’t really matter to us. But maybe our time does matter. Navy blue versus black might be a f*ck it, nail it moment. Choose the color, and rejoice in having made a choice. There just isn’t enough time for anything else.
Dan and I are going to whip through these next six weeks of our unmarried life with this mantra in mind. We’ll nail our menu, nail the one hundred matchbox cars we’re going to paint gold (or maybe we’ll just f*ck that and scrap the gold cars because, really? Gold cars?). Then we’ll be married. At least I am quite confident in how I fared in my choice of life partner: nailed it.