Friday, October 09, 2009

Jim & Pam's adorable "Plan C"

I am a huge fan of The Office, so I watched Jim & Pam's wedding episode with great anticipation last night. They did a brilliant job with it, and I was surprised to even find a Mojo Mom connection.

[Spoiler alert, show details to follow. You can watch it online here.]

I've talked for a long time about how in motherhood we set ourselves up for disappointment by making such a big deal about pregnancy and birth, while not planning much for what happens next after we actually become parents. As new mothers, we can get caught up in the "big day" just like brides focusing on a magical wedding, rather than the rest of their lives as a married couple.

Fanfare, parties, how can the day after, when real life begins, and goes on and on, live up to that?

Of course, the tension between expectation and reality also shows up on the Big Day itself. We see Pam break down into tears as her wonderfully nutty family and friends turned her wedding day spiral out of control into something less than the perfect fantasy she imagined. Heck, even her perfect fiancee Jim spilled the beans about Pam's pregnancy, much to grandma Meemaw's disapproval.

So as Jim comforts Pam in the Sunday School room before the ceremony, he pulls out his "Plan C," and they run away. Just as the guests wonder whether they've called it off, Pam and Jim return to the church to go through with the ceremony, which gets further hijacked when the wedding party springs the YouTube "boogie down the aisle" procession dance on them. Rather than getting mad, Pam and Jim take it in stride, smiling at each other and making classic "Office faces" across the church. Pam looks truly happy and relaxed for a change, even as the procession gets sillier, with Kevin knocking over the candles with his Kleenex-box shoes, Andy using a walker to support his splits-bruised scrotum, and Dwight getting carried away and accidentally kick-box kicking bridesmaid Isabel in the face.

Through intercutting scenes, we see why Pam is able to laugh it off: Turns out that Jim had "Maid of the Mist" boat tickets in his pocket in case they needed to escape. They went off by themselves to get married, had their perfect moment alone by the waterfalls, then came back to go through with the ceremony their family wanted.

The wedding weekend was totally crazy, but they made it work. The wedding scenes by Niagra Falls were truly gorgeous and romantic. Pam and Jim looked like they were in perfect bliss together, even soaking wet! The church ceremony started out ridiculously but ended well. I think the tears in the actors' eyes were real (especially Steve Carell's proud papa look) as this beloved couple finally got the happy ending they deserved.

As Jim said, the boat was Plan C, the church was plan B, and plan A was, "marrying her a long long time ago, pretty much the day I met her." It took five years, but his patience finally paid off.

Throughout our lives, we have to make compromises to keep our family and friends happy. Real life is crazy, and things don't go as planned, but if we can let go of our perfect fantasies, and accept a reality that includes Plan B, Plan C, and a lot of laughter, we can write our own happy endings.

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