I could preface this by saying I pay attention to gender. I'm a women's studies grad student, for crying out loud. When I go to the movies, and am bombarded by this: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHzSBEVbXtM] I immediately note that not only am I not the targeted audience, but by virtue of being female I am precluded from being A) a warrior or B) a patriot. I've written on the definite links between masculinity and its role in patriotism - and what that means from a feminine perspective, but I digress. I will save this rant for another day.
So Groom and I dove into the world of wedding registry this weekend. We went to Macy's and met with a nice lady who made me fill out some paperwork, told me how about the deals, mentioned to me about signing up for a credit card to get more deals, and then directed me towards the formal china. I asked Groom why he was playing on his blackberry while the sales lady was talking to us, and he stated that she wasn't talking to him until it was time to operate the registry gun. I hadn't really picked up on this until Groom mentioned this.
When we were considering venues for wedding locations, everyone talked to me, except when it came to money, then they wanted to talk to Groom. I did catch that the Williams-Sonoma folks would ask me how registering was going, when I thought it was clear that I was checking out cookbooks and eating their candy. Groom is a fantastic cook, and is also very thoughtful and thorough, and was debating the pros and cons of different items. It would have made more sense for them to ask him questions, and to tell me to quit treating the samples like a buffet.
What is fascinating about this process is that in general, there seem to be very distinct roles that people believe a bride and groom should play. There is a certain way a white Christian middle class couple should plan a wedding. And when the bride cares more about the budget and shoes, and the groom is a professional at shopping (I'm not kidding about this - he analyzed each shoe I tried on to make sure it was quality and made me pay more than I was comfortable with to make sure the shoes would last a long time), it confuses these socially acceptable roles. A couple I know that recently got engaged decided to elope, and have what they were calling a mini-reception. I was actually upset with them for diminishing their reception and not taking pride in being practical. This friend told me that friends of his didn't think it qualified as a real wedding, and were also not going to do a bachelor party for him because of this. I hope that changed.
Groom and I are doing the wedding our own way. We have been questioned on guest list, location, the how-tos, and if I want traditional elements like a shower or if we will do bacherlor/bachelorette parties (as long as its not penis-themed, I'm down). I am a budget freak, so I worry about the cash flow. Groom is making sure our travel is arranged. Mostly, we are just doing what ever it is that we like to do. While this is weirding out some of our friends and family, we don't know how to do it any other way. I think its important that Groom play a leading, not supporting role in this planning process. While we have been together for a while, I still think of this as evidence as to how we will work together on big projects in the future. Following set gender roles just doesn't work for either of us. So to all the grooms who are picking out the flowers and worrying about china patterns, and to the brides who only care about the menu or the music, I salute you. A favorite blogger of mine talks about feminism in teaspoons and Groom and I are happy to do our part. Take that Kid Rock - now I'm a warrior too.