I hate weddings. Hate is a strong word. So maybe I just have a strong dislike for weddings. Or maybe I just don't believe in the happily ever after crap anymore. I've been down that rose pedal laden aisle. The wedding itself was great. But a marriage isn't about the wedding. It is about two people who are getting ready to share the rest of their lives together or at least a few years of supposed bliss until the unraveling begins or one person finds what they believe are greener pastures.
Sharing the rest of your lives means getting very acquainted with the daily not so fun stuff. It is really about finding the person you can be yourself around the most; someone you can be with for the long haul without wanting to emotionally check out or drink yourself into oblivion because marital misery is taking over. I know there are up sides to marriage like someone to talk to, sex...okay that could be on the pro or con list. But it is the little things that really get under the skin and make one question or re-think the up sides of living solo. Couples living equals laundry and toilets becoming a whole new challenge. The snoring is absolutely a deal breaker. Bad man feet are the worst and I don't know about you but I have discovered that the gastrointestinal situation men bring to the table or under the covers is baffling and disturbing and definitely not sexy. And what if the way they chew their food at every meal starts to grate on your nerves like nails on a chalk board after 10 years? It happens.
My brother is getting married this weekend and I am happy for him. Truly, I am. His wife-to-be is great and the wedding is planned as a semi-casual affair. But I still have a hard time going to weddings and listening to vows, promises, lyrics to gushing love songs, seeing dreamy eyed bride and groom only to remember my own wedding and the demise of my marriage. Do I miss the companionship? Sometimes. Would I ever trade in my wedding or marriage experience or regret it? No. Am I a little jaded? Maybe.
As a divorced, 42-year-old working single mom and doing everything from being a handyman (sometimes I think if I have to change even another single light bulb I am going to scream) to homework helper to cook to taxi for 14 years and not sure if or when my King will arrive (a Prince just won't do at this age), going to a cupid fest is hard. My emotions go from "oh please, not another toast" to "Oh, they are so perfect and wonderful together" to "get me out of here before I go comatose due to an overdose of heart shaped things and flowers and picture taking ". I've been single for so long I seriously don't know how to act around couples anymore, especially newly married googoo eyed ones. I get uncomfortable. I get a little resentful. I get jealous and weird feeling and then there are moments I am just plain thankful that I am not in their shoes. My best friend is in her second marriage. Let's just say her shoes would give me horrendous blisters.
There are times when I am so aware of the no man in my life void that it hurts and other times when the freedom I have as a single woman is such a great gift. So, this weekend I will have fun celebrating my brother's leap of faith and love, smile and look lovingly at the newly married couple knowing that half of me will be wishing it was me up there marrying my Mr. Wonderful and the other half thanking God it isn't while hoping that this really is their happily ever after.