In this new normal, brides need new clothes. There’s nothing wrong with the old (new) clothes, but they were for another bride, at another wedding, a day in a year that would never have happened in the end. These old-new dresses, which have multiple fittings to perfectly match the exact measurements of a long-time blushing bride, whose greatest wedding worry may have been caused by cheaters over the bridesmaids’ dresses, hang guiltily in closets and heads. They’re keepsakes of an alternate timeline, beautiful and doomed, a Pompeii plaster cast.
Trips want new clothes. After all this time, after the postponements, pajama day after pajama day, some brides have come to realize that they damn well want to be a princess for a day, actually (someday) after all of the options for Have fun in pajamas casually and comfortably. The planned minimalist slip now just looks sad.
Other brides no longer feel like fairy tales, like ethereal, flaky forest nymphs. You feel tired. They don’t want to impress anyone, they just want to see someone (maybe). The bodice, the train is no longer enchanting, they now admit, it is exhausting. You will suffer a loss on a quick sale. The ads (“Nice. There’s nothing wrong with it, I just changed my mind. Smoke-free home”) are mini obituaries, dreams sewn into satin and tulle.
When The New York Times published a opinion Piece titled “You May Be Another Person After the Pandemic” was meant to inspire; Basically, it suggested making a pandemic project out of it, using a few little tricks to objectively improve your personality – like just acting like an objectively better person and getting therapy (stop the press!). But the headline became a plaintive fact made absurd in the hands of the internet and transplanted into memes that said: there is no “can”, we (me) will be different when this is over. We’re already different and it often doesn’t feel polite or particularly sociable. “You may be a different person after the pandemic” because it probably screwed you up. “You can be a different person after the pandemic,” because that is exactly what these things do.
A 2018 study by Japanese scientists who wintered in Antarctica found that family relationships immediately recovered upon their return, but work and social life proved difficult. Her ‘contextual intuition’ was rusty (how can you even order a ‘pint’?). The authors concluded that “adapting to human society may be more difficult than to Antarctica”.
We value consistency so much. We love a Childhood photo that seems to prove you’ve always been who you are now: a performer, an animal lover, a great dresser. But many of us have had our own personal pandemics: there have been illnesses and bereavement, and life-changing, global things that have changed us while the rest have never seen it.
Some people already knew what it is like when your brain changes (busy bodies holding the score like a Dickens curmudgeon) and I don’t think I’m the only one feeling shameful and crazy when it happened when isolation provoked more introversion than practicality meant coming to terms with being alone. But back then there were no explanations of trauma in glossy magazines; Bereaved brides did not understand why they no longer wanted the wedding of their dreams. I wonder what we will think of each other, the changed opinions (“Nice. There’s nothing wrong with that”).