Apparently it is the height of the Fall Wedding Season, and the view from my mailbox has proven that I am a hot commodity. With all the invites to showers, bachelorette parties, seasonal parties and weddings I have noticed two little words that cut like a knife to this single girl that does not have a significant other. The words stare blankly at me. The words knowingly mock me in an innocent handwritten calligraphic script: and Guest. There they are eight simple letters.
When these letters are configured together they are enough to cause a girl that is part of a pair to have heart palpitations at the possibilities of her own wedding vows. But for the single girl "and Guest" is enough to cause my perfectly mascaraed eyelashes to flutter in distress with the potential of arriving stag.
Do I go? Don't I go? Do I bring a friend? Will I bring a guy or a girl? If I bring a guy, friends and family will assume we are dating. Then the really hurtful questions will begin: "Who is this? When will you be getting married?" All which cause my head to spin.
Will I be the second half of a dubious duo again? If so, when? Aghhhh! It's all too much, especially when all the questions are already answered, only to be revealed in God's time. Still I am pondering, would it really be the end of my social life if I were to arrive at a wedding alone?
I had a friend, who has since passed away, once ask me, "Have you ever gone to a movie by yourself? You are the type of girl that has men falling all over her. I'm sure you have so many open options and invitations. I bet you have never thought of going to the movies or to dinner by yourself, have you?"
At the time I thought Chris was ludicrous in his thinking. Really? The idea of me going to the movies by myself was ridiculous. The though sent chills down my spine especially with the thought of being one of those seemingly sad, single, middle aged people in the theater by themselves. When I see the loner filling one singular seat surrounded by a sea of empty, carcassed, silhouetted chairs I can't help but to wonder, "Who is taking care of their cats while he or she has abandoned them to watch this movie?"
Perhaps the singling has idiosyncrasies like overzealous laughter, "Is that person laughing just a little bit too loudly to fill a void in their life? Has this person been hurt and thus avoiding human contact? Is that a cat's head sticking out of their coat?"
But once I rationalized Chris' thought pattern, I understood what he was trying to say. He was asking me if I was afraid of being alone, deeper yet he was questioning an inability to go against social 'norm' standards in partaking in social activities as an individual. I took his quizzical nonsense as a challenge.
For the first time I went to movies by myself. Yes it was different and I was quite nervous about the oddity of being seated alone, I sneaked in after the lights had dimmed. My insecurities were only combined with the inability to discuss plot, character, setting and themes afterwards with someone that shared the same viewing sensations. Regardless I enjoyed every minute of "Bridget Jone's Diary." Yes, I took myself to a chick-flick, date movie on a Saturday night and survived. But that is me, if I'm going to go; I'm going all the way. Do it and do it right! Still a movie is not a wedding.
I have had eight months to prepare for the possibility of arriving stag to the social event of the season; still the actuality of the possibility has not begun to sink in until now. NOW! Ten days and counting down! Eight months have dwindled down to ten days.
As I tend to do, I have rationalized and over analyzed the situation. I am a bridesmaid in this wedding. The entire reason for my existence is to serve the bride and look pretty. Which let's face it; I do on a daily basis. It is not a big deal.
Would it really be fair to drag a gentleman caller the epitome of social status in Covington, TN, especially where the off chance that said gentleman will know another guest would be slim to none? Would it be polite to leave a gentleman at a table to fend for himself when I would be required to perform bridesmaid duties all evening?
All rational questions required the answer of the most disturbing word in the English language, "No." However I also have validated differing, let's refer to them as 'Devil's advocated' opinions. Almost any man would be lucky to escort me to the wedding. If not only for the chance of having a beautiful woman on his arm, I will be all 'done-up' sophisticated-like, insert southern accent here. But also he should be honored to spend time short interrupted spurts of time while I'm not bridesmaiding, with me.
Honestly, I’m not having any luck at vying for the attention of a gentleman caller and a possible date. For the most part, single men are weird, sorry boys. And, I'm not into the marrieds, not sorry. Perhaps, I should begin taking advice from Bridget Jones, "Maybe is true what Smug Marrieds say that only men left single are single because they have massive flaw." Bridget Jones, The Edge of Reason, by Helen Fielding.
Ehhh, but I'm not willing to give up on all of bachelordom. Perhaps I should fall in love more easily, as the baroness from The Sound of Music says, "There's nothing a man finds more attractive than a woman who is in love with him." I'm not one for infatuation with the L-word. Besides, I am not programmed to have to always have a boyfriend just so he can be an adjective to me. I am just me, as I say, "Please don't perceive me as more or less than I am. I don't try to live up to my reputation, I just am."
On my last date, my fortune in my Chinese cookie read, "Don't give up. The best is yet to come." God is taking his sweet time and I am willing to wait. In the meantime, I am strong and stubborn enough to withstand the social 'norm' standards. These antiquated ideas are a temptation of sorts, an enticement and a challenge. Who among the single, doctoral or political candidate attendees will not be able to resist a flirty, sideways glance, a raised eyebrow and the sultry, pouty lips of an unattached bridesmaid? I, for one, am willing to ascertain the situation.
So, the question remains, "Would attending a wedding as a single be the end of my social life?" Not a chance. Besides, if I change my mind I could always carry a large handbag complete with "and Guest,” a newly adopted kitten. But I'm not one for cats, I much prefer the company of men.
*Miss Coco Noir is one of my many aliases.