“When I get married, I'm going to have the most glam wedding EVER!” I used to croon to my best friend Ruba when we were in our early 20s.
“When I get married, I'm not going to wear white. I'm going to wear black, and my nuptials will take place in Italy,” Ruba would chirp back.
“I don't want a basic diamond ring, I want a sapphire. I'm too EXOTIC for a diamond,” I would roar to no one in particular.
“I definitely wouldn't be caught dead wearing a basic diamond ring. What color diamond do you think would go best with my skin tone?” Ruba would extend her silky olive hand toward me.
“What the hell are you girls talking about?” my father would ask, bursting through the French doors of the living room.
We were hungover and sprawled out on my parents' velvet couch watching "The Hills," our hair unbrushed and deranged, reeking of last night's tequila.
“We're talking about getting married, dad," I would say, primly. “Ruba's getting married in Italy. I'm getting married in The Hamptons.”
“Well, I hope you both have a lot of money," my dad would quip before making a swift exit.
We would roll our eyes at my “jaded” dad and go back to our bizarre little wedding fantasy.
And throughout my life, that was the extent to which I thought about marriage.
I wasn't one of those girls who grew up in a culture that pressured her into marrying “by a certain age.” In fact, my mother disapproved of marrying before 30.
Which was great. Because marriage has always seemed eons and eons away! And when something feels eons and eons away from your current reality, it gives you the freedom to envision the most outrageous fantasies about what it will look like.
Oh, my wedding will be surrounded by wild giraffes in Kenya! Oh, I'll treat all my guests to the most expensive champagne in all of Champagne, France! Maybe I'll even get married in Champagne, France. That would be chic, babe!
Never did I think about the daunting realities of a) how exorbitantly expensive weddings actually are, or b) how ungodly difficult it is to stand anyone in this world, let alone date them, let alone marry them, let alone possibly have their goddamn children and still bear to have sex with them after all that time and inevitable life trauma flies by.
And then I turned 30. And I met someone with whom I shared more than a Lady Gaga-style “Bad Romance." I had my first ever “good romance.”
And I realized, well, shit, even if we break up, marriage is no longer this far away thing. No, this shit is on the horizon and it's actually real. And I have an unwavering fear of all things “real" and “adult," so naturally, I have many fears about marriage.
Here are 30:
1. What if I don't want to get married at all? What if I want to take that $50,000 it will cost to have a goddamn WEDDING and travel for the next five years?
2. What if I decide not to get married and then deeply regret it 30 years down the line, but by then, I'm a withered-up, old lezzie spinster who no one wants to bone, let alone kiss, at an altar?
3. What if I don't ever get married, don't ever have children, and then die alone in a un-air-conditioned nursing home because I don't have anyone who loves me enough to change my adult diapers?
4. What if I DO get married and I end up having an affair because I'm a terrible person who just can't keep it in her pants?
5. What if I DO get married, trust my wife with my bleeding heart and soul, only to find out a decade into our marriage that SHE's having an affair with the pool girl because I'm not sexy or dynamic enough to hold her attention span for a lifetime?
6. What if I DO get married and it's BLISS, but then my wife tragically dies in a car accident and I spend the rest of my life pining after her?
7. What if, on my wedding day, I get blackout drunk and reveal a dark family secret during my speech? And it ends up dividing the entire family?
8. What if the real reason I want to get married is because I'm a f*cking narcissist who wants to wear a fabulous dress, boss my brides-bitches around for six months, and have a big party that's ALL ABOUT ME?
9. What if I get married and, for some reason after we're married, my wife and I end up fighting incessantly but never getting divorced because we're stubborn lesbians, so we just co-exist in a toxic, unhappy, sickly co-dependent dynamic for the rest of our miserable lives?
10. What if I get married and bear four children, only to have my wife decide she hates me and the children and leave me to play mommy all by myself?
11. What if I get married, decide to have children, and decide to be a stay-at-home mother, only to fall out of love with my partner but still stay in the relationship because I'm too afraid to leave her because I have no MONEY or CAREER of my own?
12. What if my wife, overnight, turns into a pro-life Republican?
13. What if my bigoted cousin says something homophobic at the wedding, and then my brother kicks his ass and the entire wedding turns into a disastrous bloodbath?
14. What if I decide to get married and get SUPER excited for the ceremony, only to have gay marriage overturned 24 hours before our nuptials?
15. What if gay marriage does become illegal and I do it anyway and I'm caught and sent to prison? (Who knows what kind of dystopian world America might turn into in five years? Or maybe I've been watching too much of “The Handmaid's Tale" — I don't know, it's still a real fear.)
16. What if my mental illness spirals out of control and my wife has to financially and emotionally take care of me for the rest of our lives — and does because she's loyal — but deep down, she regrets ever even dating me and dies bitter and resentful?
17. What if my wife gets an incredible, high-paying job in the SUBURBS and I'm forced to leave the city and live in the suburbs where I'll spiritually unravel and end up hopped up on an even higher dosage of antidepressants than I'm already on?
18. WHAT IF I DON'T REALIZE I'M MAKING A MISTAKE UNTIL I'M WALKING DOWN THE AISLE ABOUT TO SAY “I DO?”
19. WHAT IF I PUT IT OFF TOO LONG AND MY PARENTS AREN'T ALIVE TO EVEN ATTEND MY WEDDING?
20. What if marriage isn't something I want to do at all and I just think I want it because society has brainwashed me into thinking it's what I want, so because of that, I carry around a deep-rooted resentment toward my wife, the system, and myself forever?
21. What if I'm not self-aware enough to realize I never wanted to get married in the first place, and by the time I've figured it out, I've blown $25,000 in therapy and burned through my child's college fund?
22. What if a famous designer lends me a $30,000 wedding dress and I spill red wine down the front of it and am faced with a $30,000 bill that I can not pay?
23. What if my wife decides she doesn't want children?
24. What if I decide I don't want children?
25. What if we both decide we don't want children, and then at 55, we realize we regret our choice and in turn, harbor an ugly resentment toward one another for not pushing the other to pop out kids?
26. What if my wife loses her job and I have to carry the financial weight of the relationship and I fail and we can't make ends meet?
27. What if I faint at the altar?
28. What if I vomit at the altar?
29. What if we get kidnapped and sold into slavery during our honeymoon and never see our friends and family again?
30. What if I marry the woman I feel is the love of my LIFE, but somehow we both fall out of love with each other, have a messy divorce, and end up too guarded and too hurt to ever seek true love again, so we just become twisted and bitter and full of anger and like those mean, old chain-smokers who yell “don't do it” whenever we pass a sweet, young couple getting married in Central Park?