Category Archives: social conventions

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?