As a female, I think I can safely say that many of us feel like our lady problems are ours alone. Men don't really "get it" when we freak out over our hair or a pair of shoes or gossip. And I would say I topically agree with that blanket statement of men not understanding.
But after I spent an afternoon with five groomsmen and a groom in a Boston hotel, I have to say guys might not understand exactly what we stress out about, but they do freak over similar things in similar ways.
On Saturday, July 27, two very beautiful people devoted their lives to each other at the W hotel in Boston. The wedding was lovely, the food was delicious, the booze kept a-flowin' and dancing shoes were on everyone's feet. After the "I do's," everyone seemed to have stopped holding their breath and enjoyed the moment. Leading up to that moment, however, one man's life was filled with slight laughter, anxiety, vodka and a tuxedo that almost didn't come with pants.
I had decided to stay in the hotel room before getting ready, thinking I would be left to my own entertainment devices for three hours before doing up my hair for the ceremony. I had forgotten that the groom had to check out of his room earlier that day, so the groomsmen would be coming into the best man's hotel room. I was sharing said room.
Loud and laughing, all six fellas walked into the room with their tuxes in hand, ready to get ready for a friend's big day. I sat on the bed, silent as could be, trying to remain unnoticed while these amazing friends yelled at each other, laughed and wondered how the hell the little tux pocket pouf was supposed to work.
The phrase "This isn't happening" got thrown around a bit, mainly in jest after the groom thought his tux lacked a pair of pants.
Shirt styles and pant crotches were a huge concern to all party members. Leading up to that Saturday, the groomsmen were having a hard time with the style of their shirts. They were super blousy in the arms, begging for doves and bunnies to be pulled from them in a magic show. But despite the fact that these sleeves would be underneath a jacket most of the time, then rolled up anyway later at the reception, all five dudes continued the conversation of changing shirt style the day of the wedding. The majority of them did.
From my perspective, it was dang funny to watch a bunch of grown men become so concerned with the style of a shirt and continue the conversation for a whole day, then decide it was too much to bare and go get new shirts.
In between getting ready, of course, there were some beverages made. Calms the nerves, you see. But I swear, about five times, accusatory statements about drink contents were thrown out. A few examples: Whose drink is whose? That's mine! Did you put vodka in my rum? No, dude, that one's mine. Just drink it!
I was about to get my handy-dandy sharpie and bring an end with some cup name-labeling.
I thought ladies had all the problems on wedding days, but I was proven so very wrong as I sat on the bed, just listening to the sound of male discontent and watching faces change as new challenges presented themselves every few minutes.
I've photographed women getting ready to walk down the aisle once or twice with my father, and they have issues with shoes being too tight, dresses not fitting "like they did the other day," mother-in-law ordeals, flowers, hair styles, hair spray (you can never have too much!) and myriad others. And I thought they were in the majority with big-day nerves -- not to sound completely ditzy, as I know men get nervous about agreeing to spend the rest of their life with one woman. Can we say "cold feet"?
An afternoon spent in a hotel room as an obvious fly on the wall, watching what I would call male mayhem unfold, was pretty eye-opening. Dudes worry about their hair being styled, their beards and mustaches trimmed, deodorant applied (put that stuff on before you put your tux on), puffy-sleeved shirts buttoned, cufflink attached and drinks being "stolen."
Needless to say, ladies, cut your dude a break when he doesn't "get it." He has a whole set of his own issues he's working on. And they're not that dissimilar from your own.