When single women attend a wedding, they undergo what I like to call The Wedding Inquisition:
“So why didn’t you go out for the bouquet toss?”
“What about that groomsman? He seems nice.”
“I can’t believe you’re not married yet!”
“Shouldn’t you be getting a ring soon?”
“Where’s your special someone?”
“Maybe you should just propose to him.”
“Don’t worry. You won’t be single forever.”
If you’re a single woman of a certain age, you can relate. You’ve probably put on your share of 27 Dresses, and you’ve almost certainly heard these. The questions. The comments. The verbal assaults about your love life (or lack their of!). On the most important day of your friend’s life, somehow the attention has shifted to you. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this the bride’s big day? So, what’s a girl to do?
All I ever want to do at weddings is celebrate the love my dear friend has found, sip some champagne, and dance until the last dance. Meeting a handsome stranger would be the icing on my single-girl cake. So by the time I put on my 16th dress and slid into my black patent pumps, I was about sick of the inquisition and not in the mood for any relatives, let alone strangers, to be all up in my grill. Particularly about things they know nothing about. At the time I heard, “Why didn’t you go out for the bouquet toss?” from a family acquaintance (i.e. not a friend), the wounds were still fresh from a previous relationship. Being reminded of my back-at-square-one-do-not-pass-go-do-not-collect-$200 status stung. Needless to say, I was seething, but couldn’t come up with a PG-rated response that could be spoken in front of my grandmother! I simply smiled and said I preferred hanging out with my nephew.
The knife to the heart pains were also experienced by Kelly, 31, when she was sitting next to a couple at a wedding as the guests filed in. The photographer came by to take a photo and asked to take a picture. When Kelly moved in closer to be in the photo, the photographer replied, “Oh you want to be in the picture?” Ouch.
So, what is it about weddings that makes people think that with a cream-colored, calligraphy-lettered invitation comes an open invitation for probing and prodding into your business? Perhaps it’s the misguided good intentions of those who only want what they think you deserve. Perhaps it’s this societal notion that to still be single at a certain age is a crime against nature, and if you haven’t reached married status you are in some way flawed. Or, perhaps it is some complicated mixture of both.
Regardless of the reason, we need to find a way to address the issue. My theory is that the questions won’t stop until we start providing answers that will halt the line of questioning. I’m going to go with the old standby that honesty is the best policy, whatever that means for you. Be empowered to tell your critics exactly what’s on your mind. Whether it is a witty quip or a statement about the other fabulous facets of your life, let them know:
“I guess I didn’t notice. I was telling someone about my promotion.”
“I’m just not that into him.”
“I can’t believe I haven’t traveled to Paris yet!”
“I haven’t met my match yet.”
“We’re in no rush. We’re enjoying this phase of our relationship right now.”
“My special someone is at home. I didn’t think dogs were allowed in the church.”
“Is that what you did?
“I know. I’m worth the wait.”