I got engaged over a month ago, to a man I love dearly, and couldn't be happier about it. I just wish everyone would stop asking, "So, when's the wedding?" It's the equivalent of people asking, "So, what're your plans after college?" when I was in school, and had absolutely no idea what I'd be doing afterward, or "So, when're you moving?" when I just moved four months ago and have no desire to relive that nightmare any time soon.

Unlike a lot of women, I am not really bride material. Some women, since they were little girls, have dreamed about their wedding day. A beautiful white gown with a long train and a veil, fragrant flowers all over the place, bridesmaids in pastels, an adorable little flower girl with a halo of blond curls, and of course, an equally adorable little ring-bearing boy to match. Ushers, groomsmen, stretch limos, multi-tiered wedding cakes, rice, doves, dinner and dancing. ... Oh yeah, and the groom, somewhere in all that mess.

Some women can't wait to get married, even if they have no potential prospects for a life-long mate; they've nonetheless been planning their wedding day for years. Some women just have a knack for all that planning. Find a florist, a DJ or band, a caterer, a place for the reception, book the church/synagogue/mosque/underground cavern/drive-thru chapel. Get a dress, get bridesmaids' dresses, find the perfect shoes, plan the menu, plan the honeymoon, choose your guests, pick your invitations, search through dozens of bridal magazines (just looking at those things gives me palpitations!), attend bridal shows ... it just goes on and on. I honestly don't know how women do this. I don't know why they even want to do this! Sure, a picture-perfect wedding (damn! forgot about the photographer!) will be an occasion to remember for a lifetime, and a really great way to blow ten, twenty, or fifty thousand dollars on a single event. Just the thought of the time, stress, money, and planning involved make me want to pass out. And yet, some people thrive on this. Some people have made careers out of it, they call themselves wedding planners or coordinators. I don't understand. I really don't. I haven't even picked a date yet, or even a country (my fiance and I are different nationalities), much less a specific location, season, type of affair, theme, etc.

In one thing, I am rather fortunate. My mother is not a typical Mother of the Bride, who wants to run the wedding, make all the arrangements, have everything just so. In fact, when I mentioned to her that I had considered eloping, she seemed to be completely in favor of it, as are many of my friends. Who really wants to put up with all of that stress? After all, can you really justify the months of planning and the huge expense, when it's not about the wedding, it's about the marriage?

I keep dreaming about weddings, generally mine, sometimes not. They may or may not involve my future husband (which I find rather amusing). For instance, last night I dreamt that I was marrying a guy I had a crush on in high school, never mind that we were both already engaged to different people. It was rather last-minute, other people had planned the whole thing for us and then told us about it, got us dressed and shoved in separate cars, and were bringing us to wherever the wedding was taking place. I had the distinct feeling that one or both of us was going to be left at the altar. Also, I didn't have any makeup on, and I was furious that these people would throw me into a wedding without putting makeup on me. I bore no resemblance to a glowing, blushing bride, and I was sure my newly-betrothed would take one look at me and run screaming -- or at least, walk enthusiastically away.

             sigh ...

Maybe I'm just not ready to be married yet. Maybe one day I'll be really excited about the prospect of planning a wedding. ...

Or maybe I'll just grab my future husband, drive to Vegas, and ask fat Elvis to get us hitched.