I'm heading into my ...10th? 11th? time serving as a bridesmaid next month and I was reminded of the story of one of the last weddings I was in a few years ago in Atlanta.
Let me start by saying -- I love love. I love marriage. I am always honored to be a part of people's weddings: as an attendee, as a bridesmaid, or by playing songs on the piano from the Little Mermaid while guests file into the church (Yes. I did that once as a child. It was background music and no one realized what is was from - don't judge me).
But I've never been someone who needed to be in a relationship, so I'm not in relationships unless I'm totally crazy about someone. And, historically, I've been totally crazy about someone about as often as Halley's Comet is visible from earth. So I'm often single. Which is challenging the older I get, when "are you dating anyone?" is the first question out of everyone's mouths and if I tell people I'm not in a relationship, it's like I've short-circuited them. And it gets worse during wedding festivities.
At my age, I've been to roughly 9,007 weddings/bridal showers/bachelorettes and not that I wouldn't want all that tradition for my own wedding - I totally will -but after awhile, things get predictable. And in this particular wedding in Atlanta, I was a tad bitter from the last breakup I'd had so I had become the female version of the Wedding Crashers, practically betting people around me whether they were going to quote First Corinthians or Colossians 3:12 during the ceremony. And bouquet toss? Forget about it. I was the epitome of this scene from Sex and The City:
So with my shoulder shrugs ready, I headed to Atlanta for the bridal festivities.
Let me set the scene:
-I was the only non-Indian/Pakistani bridesmaid, which already singled me out a bit.
-I was one of only two out of the whole group who was not/or had not been married.
-I'm 5'8. The tallest of the other girls is about 5'4. The shortest? 4'11. I felt like Elf.
Or, like this:
We had a whole weekend of events and I didn't really know anyone well except the bride. Many of the other bridesmaids had never done a traditional American bachelorette night out so they came armed with accessories, games, and talk of staying out all night on our last night. (I might be getting too old for this).
I immediately set my sights on the pregnant one and silently vowed that when she went back to the house, I was going with her or would die trying.
(She actually lasted longer than I expected, but still enabled me to get back to my bed --aka The Floor [I'm getting too old for this too, but I'm still too cheap to spring for my own room] -- before midnight, so I count that a success.)
But we need to back up to earlier that day: The Bridal Tea.
First of all - I loved the venue, very southern and very girly and totally something I'd want as well.
We walked in, and not only was our bridal event there, but on the same floor, the rooms next to ours were also all bridal events. You couldn't swing your string of pearls without hitting a sign that said something like "The Future Mrs. Bearman!" or "Chrissy's Bridal Brunch!!"
I started texting my single DC friends for back up.
I walked in and found that not one, but two ladies were pregnant in my room, one with twins. I immediately felt like I was in the Bridget Jones scene where Bridget has dinner with "smug marrieds" and everyone is paired up around the table and they stare up at her in robotic unison and one man winks and starts patting his pregnant wife's stomach saying “You really ought to hurry and get sprogged up, old girl. Time's a running out. Tick tock."
I texted more furiously.
I got back the response, "Stay away from sharp objects. You sound very vulnerable right now."
Very funny. But before I could harumph too much at my DC friends' obvious enjoyment of my being left to the love-intoxicated wolves down south, we moved to:
The Reading Aloud of Inspirational Quotes About Marriage, portion of the day.
I had already asked my friends for help with this assignment, given my bitter state, and they suggested I just write down the lyrics to Maroon 5's "Pay Phone" and call it a day.
Very helpful, thank you friends. You will now absolutely be asked to sing "I honestly Love You" for my reception. Especially if you are still single.
So clearly I was on my own in this and thankfully found a couple quotes that were nice enough to offer, but not so nice that I'd accidentally dry-heave in the middle of reciting them. (In addition to my state of bitterness at that time, I'm also naturally not that googly-eyed in general. So certain aspects of weddings or baby-having just don't hit my feels like they are supposed to). Naturally, by luck of the draw, I was chosen to go first for this reading.
And thank the Lord I was, because shortly after me:
everyone started crying.
There was talk of love and why it's so important to stop and look around on your wedding day, and something about each other's "love languages," and in the middle of it all, sat me - silently whistling in my head, looking around to see if anyone else had eaten their cheese straws yet.
I started texting again. "I mean, I wasn't going to have dessert, but I mean...."
I get the response, "Whatever gets ya through, man. Whatever gets ya through."
I giggled to myself and the tea ended just in time for us to move to the art project portion of the weekend:
Working with broken glass.
So much for staying away from sharp objects....
We all cut and glued glass into mosaics on plates and bowls as momentos, and after a few more events, we all headed back to our respective homes. Shortly after I made it back to D.C., I received an email from another bride who's wedding I was in and her email said "you can thank me for not having you do this." Apparently, there's a new trend in weddings called: " Bridal Party Boudoir Photos ," where the whole bridal party gets photos done like this:
So at least I've wasn't asked to do that during the weekend.
Joking aside, the weekend and the wedding were very lovely and I say all of this tongue in cheek. I absolutely think my friends are beautiful brides who deserve all the fanfare and I'm grateful they invite me to be a part of it. I just find the Bridget Jones-esque moments too hilarious not to comment on. And I recommend that if you are a bride out there with friends who are single or just don't have very strong googly-eye genes, just don't take it personally if you find them texting when they are supposed to be sobbing.
And maybe stay clear of broken glass projects too.
Just in case.