Five Shades of Grey

Clarity and focus doesn’t always come-3

(Originally appeared in the Alaska Highway News August 2014)

Disclaimer: I have received permission from my daughter to publicly mock her in the local newspaper. Her response to my request; “No problem Mom…so pleased that I have provided adequate fodder. ”

My otherwise fairly reasonable, emotionally stable eldest offspring has become a “Bride to Be”. Oh, she fought a courageous battle, but at the intersection of picking the perfect font and tulle versus taffeta, she has lost her mind.

She is a conundrum, wrapped in Dupioni silk and mini lights, encased in fondant and sprinkled with glitter.

“Mom…..I don’t know what has happened to me?” she whispers into the phone to me late at night. I hear rustling of pages and I know that she has that damn bridal binder open on her lap again. “Honey….just put the book down now. It is late, everything (including the invitation font she is currently agonizing over) will look different in the morning”. Then I try to make a funny by singing a la Doris Day, “Que Sans Serif, Seriiiiif, whatever will be, will beeeeee”.

“Mooooooooooom! Don’t make fun of me”, she says laughing, knowing that my gentle ribbing comes from a place of love (and sanity).

When I got married, the only real concern was, “do we have enough tin foil to cover cardboard letters to create our names and place high on the Legion Hall wall behind the head table?”. In fact, my mother planned the entire thing and I just showed up.

Nowadays there is so much pressure for these young brides.

From the time Amy was a young teenager dreaming of her Prince Charming, we have spent every long road trip planning an imaginary wedding. We have planned weddings with a Parisian theme complete with gold, pink and glitter and we have planned country theme weddings covered in red and white checked gingham. We have pored over wedding magazines and watched every episode of “Say Yes to the Dress”.

Unfortunately no one says anything about the indecisiveness that creeps in and overtakes the bride to be. Before she was engaged, Amy could “Lean In” and make decisions with Sheryl Sandberg-like confidence. After the engagement, decisions were no longer easy…..

Here is an example.

Before engagement:

Judy, “Amy, have you ever wondered what your bridesmaids would wear?”

Amy (taking a sip from her Kale, cucumber and Acai Berry post yoga workout shake): “You know mom…..I believe everyone is an individual you know? Like, it is important for them to be individuals and express that individuality, not to put a label on it. In the end…it is about them just being there by my side right?”

After engagement:

Judy, “Amy, what are your bridesmaids going to wear?”

Amy (drinking her third espresso of the morning and blinking profusely): “They are going to be grey….but not just any grey. I want them to be the same grey as that Siberian husky dog I posted on my Pinterest page and I want them to be stretch taffeta or silk”.

Pinterest…..that old chestnut. Every bride to be has a Pinterest page filled with 20 different tablescape pictures and 15 different lists and DIY projects. NO WONDER, our young brides are losing their minds!

Back in the day there was a simple recipe for wedding planning. Now we agonize over jelly jars and burlap and hope that it is “pin worthy”.


We are less than a month away from Amy’s big day and there are plenty of things that I know for sure.

She will be a beautiful bride.

It will be an amazing day.

I will cry. (note……I DID cry)

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