Myth: All little girls fantasize about their wedding days.
How’s this for nuts? Even though I was never a big Friends fan, I felt let-down by an episode in which Monica had to pick up a wedding dress for her sister-in-law-to-be, and she, Rachel and Phoebe spent most of the rest of the episode parading around in Monica’s apartment in wedding dresses, yammering about their wedding fantasies.
Yep, even Phoebe, the cool one.
As a child and teen, I remember knowing girls who could go on for hours about their someday wedding. They’d get this glazed, “welcome to the cult” expression on their faces, and describe in great detail the music, the flowers, the dresses, the shoes, the groom’s attire, the church, the way their father would walk them down the aisle, the limo, the rice, and where they’d be going on the honeymoon. They could describe the living hell out of everything but one essential element: the groom.
Then there were the rest of us. The ones who shrugged during these conversations and, when pressed, acknowledged that we might enjoy wearing a blood red wedding dress, exchanging Cracker Jack rings, and having Siouxsie and the Banshees as the band. And we always knew who the groom was going to be: some rocker we were into, usually. Hey, at least we were thinking about it! And some of the rockers later married girls our age, so apparently we onto something after all (shudder).
Oh, yeah – and several of us thought wedding veils were more creepy than being buried alive. Don’t go Freudian on me here – the point was simply that we all shared these points of view, and that means there are probably plenty of other girls out there who feel similarly.
I always thought it strange that the girls who fantasized in such detail about their weddings had no idea who they wanted to marry, but the girls who really didn’t care about weddings had a pretty good idea who they might be willing to be stuck with for the rest of their natural lives. It made me think that the wedding-fantasizers were kinda missing the whole point, but hey, what do I know?
Inevitably, I found that wedding fantasies seemed to run in families. And a lot of those families had seen more than their fair share of weddings. When I was 14, I actually thought women got divorced and remarried just to have dream weddings. One friend’s mom had married the same man three times, and each time the wedding got a bit more brag-worthy. What was I supposed to think her point was?
I’m not sure who started the “all little girls fantasize about their weddings” myth – society or media. But TV and film are definitely reinforcing it. Phoebe on Friends always stood for the non-traditional among us. Her background, her outlook, everything. She was always the different one who just didn’t get the things everyone else took for granted as normal or required. But apparently the possibility that a human female could scratch her head and say, “I never really got into this stuff” didn’t even cross the writers’ minds. Phoebe was as semi-hysterically fascinated as the others. Traitor.
I admit I think it’s a bit twisted to indoctrinate little girls with wedding planning obsessions when we really don’t spend enough time teaching kids of either gender what marriage is supposed to be about. But at the very least, couldn’t TV and film just once in a while present the alternate viewpoint? Not every male character is sex-obsessed; why must all female characters be wedding-obsessed, when that’s hardly the case in real life?