Last night I got married in Taco Bell.
My wedding guests feasted on nacho cheese Chalupas and Cinnatwists while I exchanged vows. I wore a cotton tank and a tousled ponytail and my groom was in blue jeans. Refried beans and beef perfumed the air as customers crunched on Nachos and hard shell tacos around us. He slid a glossy gold band onto my left finger and pressed his pink lips to mine.
A loud shriek then rattled me awake.
I woke up with no wedding band on my left hand and no husband by my side.
It was another bad dream, or what I would like to call a “doomsday wedding nightmare.”
I’m getting hitched in one month. The ceremony will be simple and quaint with a modest guest list of seventy-five. I thought a quiet ceremony with cupcakes would help me bypass the anxiety that keep brides awake the month before their nuptials.
I was wrong.
During the day I’m dandy.
I do have my fits of fret and worry and sometimes I wish we’d eloped to Vegas to say our vows for an Elvis impersonating priest. But with the help of my mother’s wisdom and the shoulder of my maid of honor, I’m swimming along smoothly.
But when my head hit’s the pillow at night, my stroke loses strength and the chaos set in. Demons of wedding day doom have interrupted the rhythm of my REM cycles since my sweetie proposed six months ago.
They visit once a week.
I expected dreams about a ripped dress or tripping in my heels at the altar, but the bridal fiascoes that disturb my sweet dreams haven’t been quite this nice.
My soon to be mother-in-law was knocked unconscious by a baseball during Canon in D, in one dream; there was a little league ballgame going on next door the lakefront location. I also lost my white gown and was forced to wear a bright pink flamingo sundress down the aisle. I cried when lover boy took my hand; not tears of joy, tears of humiliation.
I’ve dreamed that a parade of Disney characters crashed the party as my guests nibbled on butter cream cupcakes. Goofy and Pluto handed out autographs as I soon discovered my butter cream cupcakes were infested with little green worms. I jumped awake when a bridesmaid nearly choked on one of the squiggly creatures.
Another time I strolled down to meet my hubby to find someone else. A big, burly British guy with breath that smelled like whiskey and cat litter stood in his place. Nobody believed me when I tried telling them he was not the right man. I wept through the ceremony that time, too. Tears of horror.
I’ve also woken up to a hairless head the morning of, and wore a flowery white hat at the altar like my grandmother wears on Easter Sunday. I looked out to find my kid sister in the front row, completely naked. My eyes bled black mascara as I sobbed. Tears of shame.
I’ll be a wife in thirty days. Time to be a grown up.
I’m the girl who washed Barbie’s hair in the bathtub until I was twelve. I still watch the Wizard of Oz regularly and my mother still has to remind me to get my oil changed. I don’t feel like a grown-up who is about to get married.
It terrifies me.
I’ve always thought it would be easy and fun to feed and entertain friends and family on my wedding, there to celebrate a beautiful milestone between two people. According to the little green worms in the cupcakes, I was wrong. Things will go wrong; I’ll get anxious and worried. The fear of imperfection taunts and teases every bride. We want our lips to be plump, our accessories to sparkle, and the cake to dazzle. We expect our day to be perfect but perfect does not exist for anyone or any bride.
This expectation can suck the sugar out of sweet dreams and give us nothing more than anxiety and nightmares.
As mom helps zip my dress and bridesmaids dust my cheeks with blush on the wedding day, the big, bad, boogie man of my wedding nightmares will have to retire.
Droplets of tears might swell in my brown eyes and mess up my mascara but they’ll be good tears. Tears of joy.
With a beautiful bouquet in my hands on a deck overlooking a lakefront sunset, I’ll vow the rest of my life to a man. And even Goofy and Mickey couldn’t ruin that.