Occurred: Throughout the past five years of my life
I look like “Bubblegum Barbie Bridesmaid.” For the sixth time in five years I will be, not just a bridesmaid, but maid of honor in a friend/sister’s/cousin’s wedding. I will wear a two-piece cotton candy colored gown, that grazes the carpet as I walk down the center of the church. The odor and pollen of the lilies and roses which I hold between my recently pampered hands, will demolish the natural dam my nose had created, allowing snot to flow like water from a faucet. Lucky for me, being the seasoned professional that I am, I know to hide not one, but two tissues neatly folded in the ribbon that binds the evil-mucus-making bouquet together. There is one tissue for my runny nose and watery eyes, and one for me to hand the bride as she cries tears of happiness while reciting vows which ultimately seal her fate as a second-class citizen.
Like Alice when she falls through the looking glass, the bride spirals through a whirlwind of decisions. For the next year, life revolves around her. She is the center of the universe and I am her side-kick, her little white rabbit in charge of keeping time, recording details, and staying organized.
But this fairy tale wedding that she strives for and that we spend 12 months attempting to achieve is never even comparable to Cinderella’s. In the end, in every one of my experiences, the bride is left disappointed. Something goes wrong; the linens are the wrong color, the seating chart is rearranged, or red wine spills on the wedding dress. At some point of the night, the bride will trade in her tears of joy for tears of disappointment that her day did not go as planned. And I, true to form, will be there to offer a shoulder to cry on. That is Bubblegum Barbie Bridesmaid’s job.
I’ve spent the past three weddings pretending that I agree with this institution of marriage. Giving speeches about two little words that hold such a large concept: soul mate. This belief that someone, somewhere possesses the key to unlock your heart. All you need to do is find each other. Despite the numerous toasts I have given that indulge this belief, I myself, find it a bit asinine. The idea that I am limited to only having one great love in my lifetime is ridiculous.
Men are a pair of sexy leather heels. They entice you while on the shelf, looking pristine and beautiful. The leather is stiff, a little rough around the edges. As you’re writing out the check you convince yourself that you can break them in; you will be the one to wear-down that stubborn leather. But at the end of the day, your calves are cramped, your arches ache, and there are two new blisters on each foot that will soon be calluses. You give up, and sell the shoes that seemed so perfect only weeks ago to the vintage store on the corner. Another woman comes along and sees your shoes. She tries them on and they’re a perfect fit. They don’t hurt because she already has calluses formed in the right spots.
I’ve always sworn to myself that I will never say, “You’re the only one in this world meant for me.” I don’t believe you are. Let’s face it, if I never meet you, chances are I would meet someone else and have a different kind of love. Not better, not worse, just different. After all, doesn’t it mean more to say “I choose you?”