I have tumbled headfirst into the dark world of the matrimony industrial complex. It seems to have started when I bought my wedding dress, because they were the ones who asked me for my phone number and email. I didn’t think that was so strange, but there must have been some fine print I missed, because soon after that the emails and phone calls started. First there was an email from a Mary Kaye lady saying I had “won” a bridal package for myself and up to six of my friends. Ever since I “won” a two-week membership to a health club where they leaned on me to join for real at every visit, I’ve been skeptical of “winning” things. Somehow “winning” always seems to lead to “spending money,” or at least a very aggressive attempt to get me to do so. I ignored this email and soon got another one reminding me that there were other brides who would like to be so lucky, so I should claim my prize now. Then I got a phone call at home from a DJ service. I just told them we’re having a band – Light Bright’s band, in fact. How could I, as a musician, not hire actual live musicians? The other day I came home to a message saying I had “won” a cooking demonstration for Travalon and me. I ignored this one too, and they called back and left another message. This is in addition to the endless ads for “bridal services” I see on MyFace and this very blog. Of course weddings are big business in this culture, but do they really have to pester us brides-to-be so much? And why would I want a cooking demonstration? Are they hoping I’ll hire them to cater my wedding? I would have been more tempted if they hadn’t given me an 800 number to call back, implying that they are not anyone local. I’m trying to think globally and wedding plan locally as much as I can.