So, the Man in a Can was an activity we did for my church Young Women's group when I was 14. We cut out pictures of wedding dresses, color schemes, and rings, made lists of attributes we wanted in a future husband, and picked out names for our future children ("So, basically pre-Internet Pinterest," says my brother). Then, each of us sealed up the contents of our wishful wedding planning in a Number 10 can, to be opened only when we had become engaged.
So here I was, face to face with my DIY Pinterest Time Capsule, opening it a year and a half late. I remembered the activity; I also remembered having a really bad attitude about it. I'm pretty sure I sat in the corner with some of my friends griping about how it was dumb, and styles were totally going to change between now and whenever I got married, and what if some of us never got married, and I wanted to go rock climbing for our activity but no, we didn't have the budget for that. But I eventually sucked it up and clipped a few things out and put them in my can, and I think at some point I actually started enjoying it. 11 years later, I was a little bit anxious. What if I opened it and saw a picture of the perfect dress, and had regret about the dress I actually wore at my wedding? What if I had found the perfect color scheme back at 14, and all the time I spent agonizing over my wedding colors had been completely unnecessary? Who knows what kinds of long-buried expectations and newly discovered regrets this tin can would stir up?
Still, it had to be done. With Aaron's help, I opened the can, eager for a glimpse into my own adolescent mind.
The first thing I learned was that as a teenager, I had way different taste in jewelry. Here are my prototype wedding rings:
They're just so...boxy and clunky and...eugh. Not my cup of tea. And diamonds aren't really my thing either. Here's my actual wedding ring.
Next, I looked at my wedding dress choice. Teenage me was actually pretty close to adult me in this choice. I really like the bodice and the overall shape of this dress. And it doesn't actually look much different than the one I ended up going with.
But then I pulled out my list of attributes for my future husband, and it got really weird.
Most of these are pretty generic Mormon/teenage girl answers. Who doesn't want a partner who is loving or patient or smart or respectful or sensitive? All of these apply to Aaron, but that just means he's a good guy. Then I started to notice that some of these were a little more specific: "Spontaneous and fun-loving," "funny," "loves music." Again, still nothing highly unusual. But then I noticed two things "will sing to me" and "brown curly hair would be nice." Whaaa? First, Aaron sings to my almost constantly. It's possible we sing to each other more than we talk to each other. And I mean...brown curly hair? Aaron is literally the only person with brown curly hair I've ever been romantically interested in (besides like...Josh Groban....) How did I call that as a 14 year-old?
The only conclusion I've been able to come to is that I had latent psychic powers as a teenager. How else would I have known that I'd marry a music-loving, curly-haired man, and wear a drop-waist, butterfly sleeve dress for the occasion? It's spooky, man.