Second Thoughts, Setbacks, Surprises & Scheduling Conflicts…

Tuesday morning I had an alarming text followed by a phone call from my bride. She was having second thoughts days before her wedding.

Ironically, she was also more concerned about upsetting my schedule than cancelling her wedding. Why? Because her wedding has been rescheduled three times since April.

Consistent changes to Tarrant County pertaining to “event’s” are only one of the many reasons for one setback after the other.

These setbacks for her as well as my other 52 clients waiting to reschedule make for a very tight situation on my books.

My schedule is in general “always tight” but this year has been on of the weirdest and most unpredictable wedding seasons I’ve ever had. EVER.

I scheduled a meeting with my client, Misty at Starbucks Wednesday morning. I needed to know what was going on and hear it in person. Could this wedding be saved? It would depend on how many factors were weighing against it.

Tuesday afternoon I was with Cindy picking up a Pawning Planners trade and mailing several sold items for Texas Twins Treasures.

I brought up the “Saturday wedding” issue with Cindy. I often talk to my twin sister about anything and I mean literally anything. We are compensating personality twins.

Cindy is far more spontaneous and funny while I’m far more serious and OCD. I overthink everything in my life. I must have a plan. I must have a list. I thrive on order and structure. Cindy thrives on adventure. This years wedding season has thrown any degree of structure and predictability out the window. A pandemic is something no one planned for.

Cindy is on her phone as usual when she asks “what have I missed?”

Me “I had a text followed by a phone call. My bride isn’t sure she wants to go through with the wedding but is worried it will mess up my schedule if she cancels the latest reschedule.”

Cindy “why? What’s going on?”

Me “we are meeting for coffee Wednesday. I will let you know if it’s a dealbreaker or not.”

Cindy and I have been selling our custom logo design masks since mid March. Keeping up with the demand hasn’t been easy for my storefront at Texas Twins Treasures.

Meanwhile on the events side of my life… It’s been a juggling act of trying to restructure large events into smaller groups per county rules that change over and over and over.

I’ve even had a few couples change counties to prevent their event from being caught up in the guidelines Mayor’s continue to change due to this pandemic. It’s a lot.

Other vendors are now requiring Release Of Liability clauses to clients due to this pandemic but I’m not.

Other vendors are also going bankrupt but I’m not. I planned for a rainy year years ago. Not a rainy day but a rainy year? Yep. I am not worried about going broke. But I know many vendors are.

My clients and I have a good relationship and if masks aren’t required, my clients give me the option to wear one if it makes me more comfortable as they do their guests. We’ve been working it out.

Last weekend in another county not requiring masks, my clients made the event “mask required” due to the bride undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer treatments.

MOST of the guests respected this request and wore a mask. One of the guests decided to start a ruckus over wearing a mask and threatened to remove his pants. I told him “go ahead and take your pants off but you aren’t coming inside without a mask.” Thanks to security on site, I won the “debate.”

I’ve pretty much seen it all in the events business. Wednesday though I would find that I hadn’t heard it all.

I walked in to Starbucks and saw Misty waiting for me with a journal. This wasn’t unusual.

Normally my clients and I go over key points in writing to ensure that nothing is missed.

Sitting down I saw the journal had two sides with a line down the middle that read “Yes” on one side and on the other “No.” I waited for an explanation.

“This is going to sound crazy but I trust you to hear me out and give me the advice my mother would if she was still alive God Rest Her Soul. In April, my fiancée had his hours cut. In May, he lost his job. He hasn’t attempted to look for another job. He’s gained over 30lbs. He’s pretty much stopped bathing or taking any pride in his appearance and he’s become a BLM fanatic attending marches and his behavior is now sarcastic and in a few situations recently even beyond sarcastic towards me and recently is verging on becoming abusive. He attacks me for not wearing makeup at all times and all the while I’m supporting him singlehandedly because he’s exhausted his savings traveling to these marches. This isn’t the man I fell in love with. This isn’t the man I want to marry. He has also told his mother that she could move in since our plan was for him to move into my home. He didn’t consult with me about this. I can’t afford to support him, his mother and his latest passion. I’m a prisoner heading into a cell if I follow through with this wedding. I hate to say it but I’ve been offered a position in Arkansas at another bank and I’m strongly considering selling my house and moving. I’m ready to start over. I’ve lost any hope at changing the direction this pandemic has had on my plans to marry and my life.”

I pulled out my own notepad as I always do to take notes during this conversation and numbered the key points. With any list the most important are at the top of my lists and minor issues on the bottom. I think in a circle.

First, he now has no income or plans to find another job and wants to be a traveling protestor?

Second, he’s stopped bathing regularly coupled with weight gain and possible self esteem issues he’s transferring to his fiancée by accusing her of gaining weight and not taking pride in her own appearance?

My client is a bank manager and well heeled. I’ve never seen her and can’t imagine seeing her looking haggard or shop worn. This is a very classy and articulate lady.

But her demeanor today is that of someone depressed, anxious and uncertain.

The fact that moving a fiancees parent into her home was decided without any of her own input was also troubling.

There were so many dealbreakers going on here that I decided to start with the mother in law issue first.

“Have you talked about children or aging parents before?”

“No. I’m at the height of my career and was ready to consider having children. I put my career first. I assumed we would start a family. I never assumed I would be raising his mother and I’m not prepared for that either. We’ve never gotten along well. I can’t imagine having her in my home attempting for run it.”

I consider this knowing the cost of moving an aging adult into assisted living can run thousands of dollars a month. Her fiancée isn’t working. He’s exhausted his income. He’s using any opportunity to discredit her self esteem. He’s also decided to move his mother into her home without even discussing it. She appears withdrawn and weepy. I grab a Kleenex from my purse and hand it to her.

“If it were me, I would address his lack of income or ambition to seek employment. I would then enforce this discussion to include the cost of moving his mother into senior living. Regarding this consistent running you down and accusing you of letting yourself go, this is a form of manipulation. You are independent. You are self supporting. You don’t deserve to saddle yourself down with so much luggage. The truth is that you’ve already decided and needed confirmation from me. I understand that. On more than one occasion I’ve talked someone out of marrying and based on what you’ve told me, my advice would be that with the direction your relationship has taken with a wedding less than a week away you need to cancel. I will call the venue and discuss the fact that Tarrant County has changed group events to 10 or less and negotiate getting you a partial refund based on things beyond your control we may be able to get some if not half of your investment back.”

She smiled at me. She hadn’t thought of getting any money back and knew that her fears regarding her future with her fiancée were not unfounded.

Divorce leaves scars but a divorce after moving your spouse into your home along with their parent or parent is even more difficult to pull out of.

My client would’ve been married a few months ago. Due to Covid she was still single. Still in her own home. Still able to have her freedom. She’s in a position of power, custody and control regarding her future.

“I’m thinking of going to Arkansas this weekend and checking out the area. It’s time for a fresh start.”

“I agree. Arkansas is beautiful. I had a lake house on Beaver and there are so many things to do and see. A change of pace would do you good.”

We talk about the weather, my family, the loss of my dog. My life since March and the many changes my clients have faced. The setbacks and the stigma of the anti mask people verses the pro mask people. The presidential debate. Whether she should get a dog as a companion?

We have both exchanges lists. Mine to her brings a laugh. I’ve made sad faces on a few points and mad faces on others. I write in emoji now without realizing it. I’m upset that a year ago this beautiful young lady was so excited and that excitement was replaced with angst. But, I’m thankful she realized there were too many flags to foresee a future.

Sometimes the excitement of planning a wedding is overshadowed. This wasn’t going to be one of those times.

We make plans to see each other again whenever I’m in Arkansas for a traditional event or prison wedding. We discuss different types of pets and their personalities. Dogs or cats? Cats don’t need as much attention as dogs but dogs are more attentive to their owners. We laugh and I admit I miss my Beagle, Foxy. Fourteen years of being followed around my house and now nothing. Silence. I miss him but not enough to try and replace him. I had a wonderful family pet and I’m not ready for another. I may never be ready for another pet. I travel a lot and I’m anxious to get my nearly 60 clients anxiously waiting to marry taken care of as soon as we can get them rescheduled…