fficially, my work insomnia has been completely replaced by wedding insomnia. I don’t know what you were doing on Easter morning, but I was jolted awake by the Bay Area’s long-awaited overnight rainstorm, terrorized by one thought, Oh god, what if it rains on our wedding day?
Bill’s and my wedding is less than two and a half weeks away. Ever the prompt ones when it comes to obligatory wedding rituals (Did I mention how we decided to do an engagement shoot fifteen months into our engagement? By the way: BEST DECISION EVER.), Bill was finally whisked away to LA for his bachelor party. While he was hobnobbing with Colin Farrell (right??) at the Magic Castle, I was rendered incapable of even feigning REM.
Because brides obviously have control over the weather on their wedding days (</sarcasm>), I thought and thought and overthought about it again. “It’s like rain on your wedding day/” – Though Alanis, very naturally, queued herself in my sleeplessness, the replays of her lyrics were super unhelpful.
Whenever I have insomnia, I try to not look at any screens. I wear an eye mask because I have to weigh my eyelids down. Ear plugs don’t make a difference. And at 4 a.m. Easter morning in my lonely bed, trying to tell myself “GO THE FUCK TO SLEEP” didn’t make a difference either. So I capitulated. I gave in. I swiped right on my iPad mini. When I’m so beyond that I can only take in images and cannot process text or sound, I open Instagram and hashtag my way through #bernesemountaindogs, #greatpyrenees, and other breeds that fit under #furbeast. (Okay, also, I was checking the weather three weeks out for the city of our wedding ceremony, and: high sixties, clear skies. So.)
Since the rain woke me into wired wedding wysteria (wedding + hysteria = Wisteria sinensis), I decided I could segue (by the way, Internet, that is how you spell it) myself into blissful dreams about living happily ever after if I looked up such blissful happily-ever-after things on Instagram. Visualize it, right?
Don’t do that.
I looked up @junebugweddings and @smpweddings, both of which accounts I already follow. Together, they double-dose injected me with Keeping Up with the Joneses, as if wedding planning without a contracted wedding planner in the age of Pinterest wasn’t enough of a personal competition. (If life is a marathon, wedding planning is just one leg of the race. Every dollar I save is a minute shaved off of my personal record.) As the calendar is just now moving into spring and the high season for weddings, many of the currently featured snapshots in Style Me Pretty and Junebug are still wintry and indoor. This makes the rarer sunny, outdoor pics stand out more from the IG stream.
All it took was one snap of one dress out on a lawn peppered with beachy sand, and I was emailing my dressmaker asking if I had gone “too safe” with the length of my dress. Being short, and being practical, I was firm from the very beginning that the skirt’s hem must barely be floor length. Our entire wedding celebration is outdoors, and I’m wearing flats so as not to aerate the lawns. But this IG bride didn’t do that. She had a long, flowy gown that grazed the grass and still had a train. The whole silhouette was extremely flattering and probably made her look taller than she actually is, and so at 5 in the morning on Easter Sunday I had a distinctly three-weeks-away bride brain moment.
(My worrying was eventually put to a quick end when my dressmaker succinctly replied that the fabric had already been cut.)
Comparison is an awful, awful drug.
Even after sending off a textbook impulsive email, my insomnia was raging hard. Looking up specifically wedding stuff was a bad idea. Needing a visual break, I clicked on that godawful algorithmically curated Explore tab, which I normally avoid. It all started with this:
I dunno who the fuck @melformakeup is, she doesn’t know who I am, my lips don’t look like that, and I’m convinced they could never take on that shape even if I pumped collagen every morning for breakfast. Even though, deep down, I knew Instagramming at 4 a.m. was a dangerous game, in my sleep-deprived and addled state I just kept going. I couldn’t stop myself.
After scrolling through a few more fleekish beauty ‘grams, a kernel of reason started kicking in outta nowhere: Mayka! This is crazy! You can’t look like that. Your face doesn’t have features like that. YOU ARE ASIAN, GIRL. Stop looking at ideals that don’t include you. – So I typed in #asianbeauty AND THAT WAS A MISTAKE.
Do you know what happens when you search for #asianbeauty at 4 a.m. Pacific Standard Time Easter morning on Instagram? NOT ASIAN BEAUTY. Instead, you get served. With lots of Asian booty. Particularly one user who likes to show off the brief-pantied ass underneath her Asian native schoolgirl skirt. It got really awkward really fast and I really needed Bill to come home and tell me to put the iPad away.
Shut it down, Lemon. I closed Instagram, thinking: Let’s make this spell of insomnia a spell of productivity! Where can I learn Asian beauty tips? Is there an online influencer with monolids totally owning the beauty space? I racked my brain for all of two seconds when it became obvious: Michelle Phan. It was time to become a fair weather fan. Believe it or not, in all my years knowing which names to look up when identifying influencers for brands and companies to emulate, I had never seen a Michelle Phan video.
And that’s how I watched four Michelle Phan makeup tutorials in a row.
Mayka’s Michelle Makeup Marathon aroused many thoughts:
- Wait, you can fill in your eyebrows with eyeshadow??
- So that’s how you use an eyebrow brush!
- If Michelle Phan can turn herself into Cara, Angelina, and Denaerys, who can I be?
- How does she so perfectly apply the right amount of pigment per layer?
- – I guess I’m heavy handed.
- You don’t have to apply foundation all over your face??
- This NARS Multiple stuff. I need to try it.
- Okay I STILL DON’T GET HOW TO APPLY CONCEALOR CORRECTLY.
- Dude, how much of this stuff was gifted to her?
- Why is she so goddamn cute!
Decades of painting my own face with stage makeup for dance performances, and I knew nothing about the everyday wear type of application.
– By this point, it was 5:30 in the morning, Bill wasn’t due home for at least another seven hours, my forearms were tired from holding up my iPad while laying down, and I didn’t feel particularly enriched by all the newfound worries I had unearthed plus growing list of makeup tricks I apparently needed to try. I don’t care what Michelle Phan says about how much Korean girls are loving the puffy eye look right now, I needed to quit the scrolling and go to sleep. So I got up (another no-no when I’m trying to beat insomnia) and physically placed my iPad in a different room. (Then I rolled myself up tightly in my sheets so that un-burrito-ing myself would be harder than just staying in bed. I like to tell myself that the fight itself tires me out.) Eventually I fell asleep until 10, at which point I had breakfast in bed of homemade strawberry shortcake (not made by me – thanks, Sarah!). And then I passed out again until noon.
This is me now.
This is being a bride and already being prone to insomnia.
This is wedding planning.
This is the less-than-a-month countdown.
Welcome to the suck.