plan for rain on your wedding day


I had lunch with a good friend the other day. She’s getting married in May and the wedding came up in conversation – I’d be kind of an asshole if it didn’t. As we were walking back to the car she said something that stuck with me. She said, “I’m planning for rain on my wedding day.” She already has a personalized umbrella company on standby.

Love it.

As you could probably guess, she’s not an optimist. As I hope you already know, neither am I (cynical realist people, cynical realist). A tenet of my way of life is to go through it with zero expectation. That way you’re always pleasantly surprised. To some this sounds like a safe way out, but it’s exactly the opposite. By not having expectations, I’m able to live a fuller, richer life, not hampered by my emotional response to the results of events about which I expected something more or something less.

happy chuck norris, 70th birthday! (albeit a day late)

Case in point: I was on the ol’ Facebook chat with a friend a few weeks ago. Asked her how she was and she alluded to the certitude that not all in her realm of existence was cheese and crumpets. I inquired as to a more thorough explanation. Her response to my query was as such (do I sound fancy yet?): her boyfriend didn’t live up to her expectations with what he did for her birthday. She had just gotten back from a long trip and she expected him to be so excited to see her. Basically she was just a bit underwhelmed by his emotional response.

Now granted, one would expect one’s significant other to be excited when one returns home from one’s long trip…and there we have our problem. Disappointment caused by expectations. “Our lives are measured not as much by our experience, as by our expectations.” Love, George Bernard Shaw.

step by step

Don’t expect the whole kit and caboodle. If she would have come home with no expectations, she would have been delighted when her boyfriend merely kissed her. But we were taught not to settle. We were taught to shoot for the stars, hope for the best and all your dreams will come true. Now I’m not saying don’t try your hardest at whatever it is you’re doing. You work your friggin ass off and endure the grueling process that is realizing your dreams. But don’t expect them to be fulfilled. This causes you to keep looking into the future and forget about the present moment. And dear lord, that is anathema on this blog!!

As I write my book, it is hard for me to stop envisioning the final product with a bad-ass guy on the cover looking all tough and bad-ass-ish, with 400 pages of adventure and excitement, drama and broken hearts within. I have to keep that scene in mind that’s flowing from my hand onto the paper. I have to keep in front of me the conversation that a supporting character and a nondescript one are having. I have to progress the storyline with each sentence, with each coordinating conjunction, with each punctuation mark, with each subordinate clause. Focus on the moment, and don’t expect the end-result. As John Lennon would say, life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.

When that first friend has her wedding and it downpours, that’s going to be one hell of a wedding day, running make-up and all.



5 Responses to “plan for rain on your wedding day”

  1. Michelle Honald Says:

    Dude, April contingency planning for rain on her wedding day is not April being a pessimist, it’s April being April (and a Scripps PR kid to boot). Didn’t I always tell you all that in PR you need a Plan A, B, C, D, E and so on? She was always about five steps a head of me (and everyone) when it came to that! P.S. Love your blog.

  2. jeffhirz Says:

    Michelle! I never said April was a pessimist! I just said she wasn’t an optimist 🙂

  3. Jess Says:

    I completely disagree that this April is not an optimist! She IS, in fact, an optimist! She it preparing for rain or shine. AND the fact that she has a personalized umbrella company on standby has also given me an idea in planning my own wedding!! But that’s not the point – if it rains, then her pictures will be perfect! The whole wedding party will be accessorized, the pictures turn out better when the sun isn’t shining anyways, and she would have been PREPARED! I would call this April a PLANNER!!

    Another note on “expectations” – I am a firm believer that when you’re disappointed, it’s your own fault (for the most part). What causes disappointment? Expectations. Who created those expectations? YOU DID!! I look back at my own life and own disappointments and yes, I felt I could place blame on others. When, in the end, it was ME who had the expectations and then I was let down when they did not follow through. I’m not saying we should never be disappointed, just try to realize why we’re disappointed. It took me a long, almost 29 years to realize this. Tough lesson, but consider it learned. I guess I’m just trying to make a point that we are all in charge of our own disappointment. Again, for the most part.

    Does this response make me sound negative? I really don’t mean to be! Just reflecting on your writing – keep sharing, Jeff!! I love all your blogs!!

  4. the nuts and bolts « livin' like a freebird Says:

    […] initially perceived their life could be – albeit it never turns out how you think it will. Sometimes it meets expectations and sometimes it doesn’t. But before you find out if your dreams will measure up, you have to brave the nuts and bolts. You […]

  5. it rained on her wedding day « livin' like a freebird Says:

    […] it rained on her wedding day By jeffhirz (This is kind of a follow-up post to a spring posting.) […]

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