By Holly A. Phillips
Last weekend, I got back in town after attending a wedding as my best friend’s “plus one.”
Her friend and roommate from college was the one getting married. By the looks of the invitation, it was going to be an affair to remember.
And so, dressed in our best, we headed to the church for the ceremony, complete with a full mass.
“Pre-wedding and reception, neither of us felt particularly low about being single. After, it felt like everyone else had changed, but we’d stayed the same.”
The bridal party was full of college friends, and it was clear, the audience was full of children — the call and response was more like a chorus of cries.
At the reception following the wedding, we were expecting to be sat at the infamous “Singles Table.” But there was no such table — in fact, we were one of the few singletons present.
While our married tablemates were nice, and hilarious, it was a clear divide.
“Where are you living now? I thought you had a boyfriend? Oh, well, are you at least, dating?”
Within mere seconds, my friend and I were forced to define our lives in a single sentence. This is the feeling I call, “Problems on the rocks.”
Our lives are more complicated than what we can sum up in a digestible bite over a four-course dinner.
When the questions were returned to the couples, I was shocked to hear most of the men say, “Oh, just being married.”
And what exactly does that mean? You’re looking back at wedding pictures right before having sex in positions that have a high conception rate?
But all I could do was smile, nod, and shovel another mini crab cake down my throat.
The open bar temporarily masked the elephant in the room — attending a wedding as a single person isn’t easy.
So, we drank, danced until our feet were numb, and delivered gritting smiles. And on the cab ride home, we cried.
My friend, my date for the wedding, was looking forward to a night with her college friends, similar to the ones they shared years ago.
But the fratastic boys she once knew had buttoned themselves up, gotten married, and some were now fathers.
It felt like everyone else had changed, but we’d stayed the same.
Pre-wedding and reception, neither of us felt particularly low about being single. It’s a road we’ve traveled before, and between maintaining a career, a fitness schedule, and social lives, we’ve managed to stay busy without boyfriends.
At the reception, the father-of-the-bride gave a speech that left the dining room misty-eyed. In it, he said that while his daughter was always the light of his life, he felt she wasn’t complete until she met her now-husband.
“We’re not losing a daughter,” he said. “We’re gaining you.”
Are we incomplete until we meet Mr. Forever? There are many times I’ve pondered the answer, but in that moment, I didn’t have a hand to hold as I dabbed my teary eyes.
For women, marriage is often seen as a beginning. For men, however, marriage is seen as the end to many things. But that night, the groom looked happy, and I couldn’t help but wish for a similar ending in my own life.
While I may not be any closer to finding a reason for a wedding dress, a few things were clear when I woke up the next morning, with dry eyes.
Settling isn’t an option; my walk down the aisle might be longer than others, but the man waiting for me at the end will be worth the wait.
Read more about Holly’s search for Mr. Forever on her blog, TheBitterLemon.com.
Attending a Wedding, Single
How to Deal When There’s no Single’s Table:
1. Be Confident- Splurge on a new outfit, apply a mud mask the night before, do whatever you have to do to make yourself feel good.
2. Bring A Date- Doesn’t have to be romantic, maybe it’s your best friend, but don’t go alone.
3. Be Social- Even if you only stay for an hour, say hello, grab a drink, enjoy a dance. Go, and conquer.