Sunday, June 27, 2010

Plus None

An old friend is getting married this summer, and I couldn't be happier for her. Like me, she's had a history of making bad relationship decisions. I've known this friend since we were kids, so we've been privy to each other's entire dating lives. I've met a number of her exes and watched her live and learn, tweaking what's she's looking for, adjusting her own attitude towards dating and relationships, about what's really important, and who might truly make her happy. And it worked for her!

She found her fiance online. They met a couple of years ago... they moved in, they got a dog, they took trips together... they're still so happy. They're saying "I Do" next month. The wedding is going to be pretty low-key - they're doing a tiny private ceremony at City Hall, and then hosting guests at their reception downtown - the standard dinner, drinks, DJ and dancing.

Now, this old friend is someone I've kept up with since grade six, albeit kind of in a vaccuum. It's not like there are a bunch of us from grade six that are still friends. It's sort of just her and I. We meet for drinks, or brunch, or to walk the dogs, just the two of us. We talk about our lives, share our stories, discuss current events, vent about our frustrations together. Or I go over to her condo and hang out with her and her man. We have our core values in common, but we've gone in different directions in life since those elementary school days for sure. She has a group full of girlfriends who kind of remind me of the ladies of Sex and the City. They wear heels, and lots of make up. They regularly visit the spa, they always have fresh manicures, they go out dancing or to fancy lounges, they drink martinis. Whereas, I'm pretty low maintenance, I avoid the club district like the plague, I like to drink beers with my friends in tiny dive bars where there is live music. I think banjos and mandolins are pretty cool. I like bluegrass and some old school country music. And the thing is, I think she likes my low keyness. She likes that we're different, that she can meet me with her hair in a pony tail and wearing the jeans she wore yesterday and not feel judged. I'm a break from everything, I think. And I'm happy to be that for her.

Today is the wedding shower, and in a couple of weeks, the bachelorette. I've met some of her friends over the years, but don't really know them. Showers and bachelorettes are always a little awkward - a bunch of women thrown together to celebrate the bride-to-be. I guess that's why all the silly games and traditions - to keep people engaged, interacting together, to keep it inclusive.

And here's hoping I find some people to bond with. Because my wedding invite arrived in the mail this week, and it looks like it's just me that will be attending this wedding reception shindig. No plus one.

Now, I know I don't have a boyfriend to speak of, but I had been counting on bringing one of my many male pals. At least to have someone to sit beside me, to bail me out of those times where the dance floor is packed and I'm sitting on the sidelines, downing a drink. Sigh. I know nothing about wedding etiquette, I'll admit, so maybe this is par for the course. But I won't know anyone at this wedding except for the bride and groom, the bride's family, and everyone I'll meet at the shower and bachelorette. Is this weird? Will I be stuck at some lame-ass singles table with the widow-aunts and uncles? Gulp.

I once went to a wedding with an ex-boyfriend where he was the Best Man. An old high school friend of his was getting hitched, so my ex sat next to him at the head table, while I was left to fend for myself all night at a table of random strangers. Awkward.

I'm thinking I should talk to my friend, the bride to be. Maybe this was an oversight? Maybe if I offer to pay for his plate, she'll let me bring a date? Maybe?

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