September 16, 2007

Living on a balance beam

I love weddings. Several reasons come to mind--some of them come from my hopeless romantic heart that likes to see two people make a commitment to love each other for their whole life. Whereas others just come from my desire to plan a wedding. That doesn't mean I'm itching to get married, I just want to plan a wedding and use all the ideas I've seen and loved over the years. I'm a Martha-Stewart-loving kind of girl, so I look forward to planning a wedding someday and using all the ideas I've been storing up in my memory. I'm also competitive when it comes to domestic stuff, so I just want to prove that my wedding will be the best. Sorry, female friends out there, but it's true. You are my competition. Love ya!

I went to a wedding Saturday (the next to last of several during this wedding season) of a college friend. The fact that weddings often turn into mini reunions is another bonus. But as I sat at the reception, many thoughts went through my mind about how much you can learn about people at weddings. I'm a firm believer that small things about a person's personality often reveal larger truths about them. For example, the fact that someone refuses to dance at a wedding reveals a larger truth about their overall personality. Or if someone is willing to get up in front of everyone and dance like a fool just to get others involved or make them smile, that also reveals a great deal about that person.

I enjoy dancing, but not so much when I feel like there's potential to make a fool of myself. So I'll dance, but it will probably take some convincing.

I'm jealous of those people who can get out on the dance floor and shake what their momma gave them. They don't care what you think--they're just having fun. And thus comes the balance beam of life. Do you want to be too far to the right where it's safe and you don't have to dance and there's no chance of making a fool of yourself? Or would you rather say to heck with it all and dance your heart out and risk looking ridiculous--but still have fun?

This question applies to almost every situation in life and I've found in the last year or so that my mantra has become 'balance.' I'm always trying to find the balance. I want to be free, but not disrespectful or rude. Many rules (those on paper and those just understood in life) may seem stupid or pointless, but you have to search for balance. Some rules are meant to be fought, but others are not worth looking arrogant over. So how do you find the balance?

I keep thinking of a wedding I went to in which there were people from both ends of the spectrum. Some were dressed to the hilt and others looked like they just got back from taking a month-long hike on the Appalachian Trail. The excuse of the the under-achieving dresser was that no one would be looking at him--they'd be looking at the bride. Is that so? Not so much, skippy. Out of respect for all the work they've put into this wedding (and out of respect for the importance of the occasion) and out of respect for those who have eyes, please go change into something clean. It would also be nice if it matched. When you look that ridiculous, people will notice that you stick out like a sore thumb. And deep down, I believe he was also just being rebellious and arrogant. If you are fighting a rule just to be rebellious, then please sit down and get over yourself. If you have a legitimate reason, then feel free to fight. Once again, look for the balance. You don't want to let your life be overcome with meaningless rules and regulations, but you also don't want to disrespect others.

Maybe the key here is selflessness. Stop thinking about your own comfort, vanity and pride and ask yourself what you can do for others. Does someone really want you to dance because they just want to share that time and opportunity with you? Then get up off your duff and dance! Did someone spend months planning something and is making the largest commitment of their life and wants you to share in the experience? Then show some selfless respect and take a shower.

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