When my friend Thal got married, I was the only single gal in attendance. This is by no means an exaggeration; it's the absolute truth.
All of the other attendees were already married or engaged. I, however, had just suffered a devastating break-up a couple months before and marriage was the furthest thing from my mind. It never crossed my mind that this would be a problem for anyone, until I took to the dance floor during the reception with a bunch of the married male guests.
It should be noted that no one was dancing with each other, but just dancing in a mass they way people tend to do at weddings. But every time someone playfully swung me out and back into them, I caught the eye-rolling and judgmental scowls of the wives of these men and realized I was not exactly making any friends by trying to enjoy myself. As I watched them leaning over the tables to whisper into each other's ears with their eyes firmly fixated on me, I understood that some "mean girls" never grow up, and to them, I was either a threat or a tramp - or maybe both. In fact I was neither. I was simply a woman who was doing her best to laugh during her best friend's wedding, instead of crying over the recent event that had ripped my world apart.
I did my best to ignore them. I knew in my heart that I wasn't interested in any man at that wedding, even if any of them had been single. Since Chris (Thal's now-husband) works in finance, it's from that world where the majority of the male guests had come. I love Gordon Gekko, but on my television; not in my bed.
As the reception went on, and the lot of the wives and fiancées became tired, they headed upstairs to their respective hotel rooms. I, however, stayed downstairs with the guys to do shots and sing along to really bad 90s music. I wasn't tired, I wanted to drink too much and if those women wanted to pass judgment yet again for this choice of mine, then that was their problem. They were just flattering themselves to think that I'd be interested in any of their husbands.
Eventually the party moved to the hotel bar where we took over several tables and stayed until last call. There were about 15 of us remaining; I was one of the guys, and honestly, I don't think a single one of them saw me any differently than that.
Shortly after we had our final drinks we decided we wanted to go find some food. We stood in the lobby weighing our options for late night snacks when one of the wives came downstairs to see where her husband was. Of course, just like the rest of us, he was wobbling in place with glassy eyes, but I was shot a look from her as if I were the one to blame. Yes, it was I who got him and everyone else drunk. It was my fault; I did it, and had she not come down when she did I was going to try to have my way with every single one of them despite my aversion to pleated pants and loafers without socks.
After a quick reprimanding from this particular female guest, the last standing of the party hung their heads and followed each other, single file, into the elevator. I stood there -- sans buddies, sans food -- and went upstairs to watch bad TV.
I didn't make it to the goodbye brunch the next morning. I chose to stay in bed until my train left to come back to the city. Thal and Chris had already left for their honeymoon, and although I had fun the night before I knew, soberly, that it would be a lackluster situation in the light of day. I also knew that I didn't have it in me to dodge anymore stink-eyed looks from women I'd probably (hopefully) never see again.
I know that it's almost impossible to go through life without being occasionally judged for who you are when you're the odd person out in a room. I don't fault those women for their gossip or glares; perhaps I would have done the same thing had I been in their shoes. But I can't say for sure; I'm just not on the marriage train yet. Frankly, I think it missed my stop. So my message to you, mean girls, is to keep your judgment to yourselves. You might find yourself in my position one day.