Earlier this month, in the middle of the week, we were about to
walk run out the door to get to work when I commented on the date. He looked at me blankly. I casually remarked that we had been married nine years. I was stoic in my reply. We looked at each other for a moment, sighed, and kept on moving hustling the child out the door (we may only have one child but, oh, the time it takes to get to the car). There was never any mention of the milestone again until today.
Today, I started to pack our belongings, to get a head start on the impending move. I opened the drawer in my great grandmother’s wardrobe where the photos, baby blankets, favourite childhood books and stuffed toys are. I dragged out the vacuum sealed bag with my wedding dress in it. Suddenly, I was overcome with emotions I had cradled since our wedding.
This last few years have been challenging to understate considerably. It seems at times that carrying this vow, this ring, this dress has been a kind of epic journey like a certain Tolkien tale. So many times, I’ve had to choose to continue through my own Dead Marshes, desperately trying to ignore the Candles of Corpses. I often brace myself for the next part of the journey.
Finally though, this nebulas emotional skeleton grabbed me with both of its gnarly hands and decided it was time to fight. It wanted to drag me under, to the same fate as his parents. Anger welled up, my chest heaving as the mass of emotion malignantly expanded more quickly than I thought possible.
I. HATE. MY .WEDDING. DRESS.
I picked it. Out of pressure. Mum and Dad loved it (they were paying for the wedding) and really, with the event only 6 weeks aways I didn’t have a lot of time for looking. That was how a lot of the wedding went actually. I picked lots of things to spite the matron of honour. She had tried to hijack the wedding so many times I just made decisions to annoy her. My husband was overwhelmed with a promotion at work and had left me to make most of the decisions. The decision I did charge him with was the venue. I had told him I wanted a beach wedding. He picked a church (a crappy looking one at that) and had arranged the minister before consulting me. My father almost died in a motorcycle accident just weeks before the ‘happy day.’
Basically, the wedding dress had become the ultimate symbol of how tragic the wedding plans were and subsequently an omen for the next few years to come. I may go into a bit of detail later about just how horrible things were when we first got married, but for now, back to the dress… I had planned on keeping it, have it redesigned for our tenth anniversary. Now, I am not so sure.
I pulled it out of the vacuum seal bag today and desperately wanted to take a pair of scissors to it and shred it and pour all the frustrations and trauma from the first years of our married life into destroying this object that ultimate contains no value judgements or moral quality at all. I felt like I was losing my mind. I burst into tears and kind of shocked my husband a little.
I’m not really one to cry these days. We’ve been through so many ridiculous situations that I just don’t let out the tears so much anymore. I think that is my problem. Even though we have been purging our physical items, have made deliberate and effective changes to the way our life flows and regularly reassess whether things are working or not, I’m still largely defragging my mind, spirit and body.
For me, I’m beginning to wonder if the whole process of minimalism has been to get me to where the external is no longer crowding out my self. I am beginning to hear me for the first time in, well, to be honest; since I was four. That’s an incredibly significant thing… the wedding dress… not so much. I still hate it.
Maybe this part of the journey is to the top of the mountain, where I’ll symbolically throw it into the only place it can be destroyed… the past.