We went to a wedding last weekend.
I'm delighted for the couple; they make each other happy, their children seem to get along, and I wish a hundred years of joy and love to them. As a celebration of their union, the party was a glorious success, people laughed and cried, ate, drank, and danced. There were smiles all around, and the bar, it was open. Unfortunately, no matter how I prepared and planned and anticipated the plethora of triggers I would be encountering, a wedding is no place for a chronic migraineur. At least, not this one.
I haven't been able to afford new clothes in years, so I honestly had nothing to wear to this wedding that wasn't black or ill-fitting. Months ahead of time, I started looking for something appropriate, and by the grace of gift cards and clearance racks and at least five separate trips to several different stores, I found something that fit me, that we could afford, and that didn't make me feel dumpy or like I was trying too hard. I settled on a simple black shirt, pink skirt, black heels and fedora combo that I thought looked pretty cute.
The fedora should be discussed. I have never worn one before, and I waver between thinking they are the dumbest trend I've ever seen and that I want one because that one person over there looks ADORABLE in them. I'd tried them on before, and I've always hated them on me, but for some reason, when I put on my brother's fedora a few hours before the ceremony, I thought it wasn't the worst thing I'd ever seen on me. I'd brought a black ball cap, which didn't really compliment my look, and would have ruined my tediously curled hair, but overhead lights are always a threat and must be anticipated. The fedora wasn't my usual style, but it fit my outfit and the ambiance of a wedding a whole lot better than a ball cap would.
More than five people told me, "You look SO GOOD!", in that way that assured me that I normally look like a steaming pile of triceratops poop. I played polite, but reflexively returned the compliment with a similar tone of incredulity in my voice. One person seemed to notice and flinched from it, but who knows if her reaction was because she recognized her own insensitivity or if she thought I was saying that she normally looks like a steaming pile of something or other.
The ceremony was outside, and there were flute versions of easy listening hot hits blaring on a couple of huge speakers from the first moment we arrived. I had one earplug in faster than you can say brain jangling.
They turned off the music for the vows and all, but it was back on immediately after, and even non-migraining attendees mentioned the uncomfortable volume. If the guests have to shout to be heard over your background music, it is no longer background.
When we moved into the hall for the reception, it was even worse. The flute continued during dinner, and then the DJ turned it up a notch for the dancing. Not only the volume went up, but they pulled out their strobe lights for the true party effect.
I medicated throughout the night, wanted to stay as long as I could, but once they pulled out the flashing lights, I didn't make it past the first few songs. I didn't even get cake.
By the end of my night, the middle of the reception for everyone else, I felt like I might cry or scream or just faint over dead from the sensory overload. It's been four days and I'm still dealing with the consequences. It was worth it to be supportive to the happy couple, and I'm not sorry that I went, but I'm tired. It's becoming increasingly difficult to get excited about major events in other people's lives, because they so often involve me getting served a hot migraine sundae, with extra migraine sauce, topped by a big, round juicy migraine.