After the storm had passed and I had finally settled into my new apartment with my new husband 3,000 miles away from friends, family, and post-wedding nitpicking, my wedding photographer contacted me to tell me my wedding pictures were ready.

Now, I loved my wedding and I’m so grateful for all the work my friends and family put into making the day special for my husband and me. But I absolutely abhorred wedding planning. It was a trying, arduous experience full of compromises that made no one particularly happy, just not angry.

And now my wedding photographer was giving me the opportunity to relive (and preserve) all these emotions in the form of cold hard pixels.

Ooooh, here’s one of my dad looking pissed during the best man’s speech.

Oh wow here’s one of my four-year-old nephew with an annoyed expression on his face in every picture.

This one of the hall is especially beautiful: reminds me of how much money and time and effort I put into a centerpiece that no one ended up caring about, but caused me sleepless nights and serious contemplation of making a political statement against the wedding industrial complex and forgoing them.

So when I got a USB in the mail from my wedding photographer of my pictures, I delayed on sharing them with friends and family for a while. I even delayed opening them myself. Perhaps my tendency to avoid conflict/bad feelings made me do it, but I was nervous about what those images would invoke. In the meantime, while the USB collected dust in a decorative bowl on an end table, I did many other things.

Some of which include:

-Cleaned the bathroom. Several times. But probably not as many times as I should have
-Went on vacation. Long vacations. Short vacations. Day-cations.
-Got a job.
-Washed a Sherpa blanket in my community center’s non-industrial sized washer.
-Hand wrung said sherpa blanket for an hour and a half because it was too drenched for the community center’s non-industrial sized dryer to do anything to it. And still, it was less painful than sharing wedding photos.
-Developed an emotional attachment to my slow cooker.
-Hosted and attended many dinner parties like a grown-up person.

I knew I couldn’t keep the photos to myself (or in a decorative bowl) forever though.

People were starting to ask questions.

So when I went back to my hometown to visit, I brought the USB with me, ready to get it over with and move on with my life without this looming task hanging over me. The first person to see them was my best friend of 10 years. She came over to my parents’ house, we watched “Maleficent” and ate Korean popsicles, then went to my room where we used to share 7th-grade secrets to see my wedding photos.

I inserted the USB, slightly sweating, slightly already feeling emotionally exhausted.

“Aw, your dad looked so happy that day!”
“Your nephew in his bow tie was so cute!”
“The hall was really beautiful.”

Perhaps I’ll be more diligent in sharing my wedding photos with the people I love.

Right after I finish reading the “M” section of the dictionary.

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    Jasmine is a recent graduate from the University of California, Irvine with a BA in English and a minor in psychology. There, she was highly involved with the Muslim Student Union, taught a course titled "American Dystopia," and served as a social justice mentor for the Muslim Gamechangers Network in California. She likes to read, write, and become way too emotionally invested in fictional characters' lives.