softer than the summer night

Sorry, no image today. Tumblr is slowing down this computer/the Internet too much for me to look for something good.

My week has been awful – how about everyone else’s?

Today I got an invitation in my inbox that reminded me of something I wanted to ask about a while ago: weddings.

As a single-ish person who has never had the potential of a long-term relationship, I dread the idea of being asked to my friend’s weddings. It’s not that I don’t like my friends, or that I like/dislike the people they’re getting married to. I’m just jealous. This should not be surprising and I’d be disappointed if anyone judged me for it. My mother has gotten to the stage where she starts making off-hand comments about me never getting married to her friends and family.

Thankfully, the vast majority of my friends are well-educated and middle-class. Sociologically, this means they’re less likely to get married early, though they may have been in long-term relationships for a long time. (They’re also less likely to get pregnant, thus in some circumstances necessitating marriage, as was the case with one of my brother’s friend’s sister.) This means that I haven’t had to deal with the dreaded invitation asking if you will be bringing a guest to the wedding.

We’ll return to that later. What I had forgotten about was the bridal shower invitation.

I had, for whatever reason, been under the impression that only the wedding party would be invited to the bridal shower. Turns out this is not true. So now I’m working with two dilemmas facing just the bridal shower.

1) What does one give as a gift at a bridal shower that will offend neither bride nor mother of the bride?
2) How do I deal with all these people I knew from high school that have moved on and done incredible things with their lives?

It’s not that I don’t think my life is great. Overall it’s pretty good. I did things I enjoyed. I’m happy. But the bridesmaids are not people I’m friends with anymore. Most of them, in fact, used to be my friends, but dropped me as soon as they got to college. The bride and I have been friends for a long time, so I have no problem with her or not being asked to be part of the wedding party. It’s mostly that I am suddenly gripped by anxiety over seeing old friends again – friends who have, in many ways, leapt and bounded away from me even though we weren’t so different in high school. They’ve distinguished themselves academically, even moreso than I have. They have boyfriends or long-term partners. They have interesting, exciting, or lucrative careers.

I have none of these things, and it makes me feel like I’ve come up short… like I’ve wasted the potential I had so many years ago. At least I would have hoped that if I didn’t have the perfect career I’d have a satisfying, exciting personal life.

Oh, crap.

3) What does one wear to a bridal shower?

Any suggestions on a good bridal shower gift would be helpful. Are you supposed to get something for the bride, something for the couple, or something practical?

Now, back to the wedding.

I am unreasonably preoccupied with this debate over what to do about taking a guest to the wedding. I do not have anyone to actually take with me. (I have someone I want to take with me, but given the nature of our relationship I doubt that will happen.)

So.

1) I could go alone. I have no problem being alone, for the most part. I watch movies by myself, drive by myself, live by myself when I can. But I would hate to be at a wedding with no one to at least talk to. What if everyone else I know has a date? What do I do with myself? Who do I end up sitting with? Who do I dance with? Do I just stay sitting at the table the whole time? I suppose I could try to meet someone there to make friends with, but the couple is fairly religious, and I am not. I’m not sure how much I will have in common with their friends.

2) I could try to find someone to go with me in the next… month. Month and a half. Going to a wedding seems like a fairly big thing, and I don’t want to take just anyone. But I’m worried that the amount of effort I would have to put into a friendship/relationship in order to make going to a wedding not seem like such a big deal will be detrimental to the emotional relationship I’ve already established. More importantly, though, where does one find someone to go to a wedding with one?

Either way I’m going to the wedding, I just have to figure out how. My suspicion is that either way I will also not get to have hot post-wedding-in-a-pretty-dress sex either.

For a June wedding: dark green or purple? Or do I need a new dress because both of those are too dark for a summer wedding?

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Posted on May 6, 2012, in social conventions, thoughts and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. They probably have a registry somewhere like Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, JCPenney, etc., find out where her registry is and just buy something off of the list for both the shower and the wedding.

    Green or purple are both great colors for a wedding, just don’t wear all black or all white.

    • Thanks! I ended up just having to ask where the registry was, since their website didn’t have it up. As it turns out it was on the wedding invitation, which hadn’t gone out yet. They asked for some really boring things – I mean that nicely, but seriously, wedding gifts are super practical, which makes them overall pretty boring.

      I’ll have to dig around and make sure I can still find the green dress, and that it still fits. I’m wary of wearing the purple one since it is clearly an evening/cocktail dress (beaded, layered skirt, low neck, and very dark).

      I could also just be looking for an excuse to go shopping. What.

  2. Our opinion on this is that it’s up to you when or if you get married, just like it’s up to you when or if you have a child, etc. Don’t live your life for the satisfaction of anyone but yourself, certainly not your mother.

    As for your multi-part dilemma, does the bride-to-be have a gift registry? If so, choose something from the registry. If not, consider a gift card. If you’re worried about that seeming too impersonal, consider a gift card to a spa, salon, or something other than a store or restaurant. As for whether to get a gift for the bride, the couple or something practical, barring a gift registry, we suggest you get them something practical that they can use as a couple.

    As for dealing with the people you knew in high school and their incredibly successful and rewarding lives, this is a bit more difficult to address. You cite that they have exciting, lucrative careers and successful relationships. If you believe that seeing these people is going to negatively affect your shower-going experience, I suggest you keep in mind that one in five outwardly happy people are actually disillusioned with their lives. It may prove an amusing time-passer to try and guess which of the bridesmaids actually hates her life, and envies you for being single, with no apparent weights tying you down. If necessary, make polite conversation and try to have a good time for the sake of your friend, the bride-to-be.

    Also you lament that it feels like you’ve wasted your potential. But according to your blog you’re in your twenties. Many people in their twenties are still figuring out where they want to go in life. We know people in their thirties and forties who’ve come to similar realizations and managed to set their lives straight; in other words, you’ve probably not wasted your potential, and realizing that you feel this way is the first step toward turning the ship around, so to speak.

    As for what to wear, Jill suggests a skirt and top, or a pair of slacks and a blouse. If it’s warm, a sundress might work. She says to go one step more formal than jeans.

    As for the wedding itself, we suggest you go alone. Your friends may be spending $50 or more just to feed your guest, and if you aren’t serious about him or her maybe you’d consider saving the new bride and groom the money they would be spending. But beyond the cost – let’s face it, you need to do whatever is going to make the wedding more enjoyable for you – a major reason to go alone is that you shouldn’t have to conform to society’s belief that people need to be in relationships in order to be happy and have a good time, whether at a wedding, or at home on a Friday night.

    While at the wedding, be as social as you are comfortable being with people you don’t know. Your friends will probably seat you at a table with other single people, or at least people they feel you will get along with. (Bear in mind that it’s not a given that every single one of the people in attendance is religious; after all, you’re not religious.) On the other hand, if your friends aren’t sufficiently considerate of your feelings to seat you with people you can socialize with easily, feel free to leave early. We would.

    As for wedding attire, if it’s an evening wedding, dark colors are probably fine. If it’s a day wedding in June, you might want to wear something lighter.

  3. Bridal Shower: Give something to the bride. As for proper attire the invitation should say, if it does not consider where it is being held and dress accordingly. A simple summer dress will be fine at a nice restaurant or someone’s home. I’ve attended a bridal shower that was a paintball excursion so naturally I dressed for that occasion. Btw…you don’t have to attend the bridal shower, but still can attend the wedding. I’ve done this plenty 1) because a lot of times wedding events are out of town trips for me or 2) I hate traditional sappy bridal showers or the ones that go to strip clubs. (I much prefer couples showers).

    Considering you are very anxious already I realize my comment will be easier said than done BUT here goes…Quit comparing yourself and your life to others. You are happy and satisfied with you and your life; Find comfort in that. You don’t really know what any of these other people are like, they could be miserable saps and hating their life choices. You have no control over any of that. You do have control over your feelings, your choices, your life. Go be happy, exude happiness, enjoy the socializing. Don’t let people trap you into too personal conversations.

    Wedding: You’ll need to RSVP soon if you haven’t already done so, I am thinking you’ll have to go solo. Which frees you up to dance with whomever, talk to whomever and not feel you have to entertain a guest of yours that knows no one at the event.

    Gift ideas, check out this link for ideas:
    http://weddings.about.com/od/gifts/tp/bridegifts.htm

    -H

  1. Pingback: a schoolboy yawns // tmi tuesday #10 « sexsational

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