I understand why some of us call an ex-friend’s ex-boyfriend’s friend of a friend just to have a date: they need a human shield.
Because weddings. Fuck.
The pleasure of your company is requested. Just yours. No Plus One. Though I go solo to weddings exclusively, this pisses me off.
I’ve searched my soul for an explanation to my annoyance, one that rises above pettiness. A part of me must be jealous.
I have an exquisite sense of fairness and a zero-tolerance policy for impoliteness. Simply put, singling out a single person is discrimination. And it’s rude.
Go ahead, chime in, rationalize tell me I am wrong. Good— I can almost hear you.
“Why should you pay $150 for a person you don’t know? How is that fair ?”
“If you have a limited budget, you have to limit the guest list.”
“Some of your friends don’t care (yes they do, don’t kid yourself) and some of them don’t know how to behave and some of them are only invited because you invited three people they know so you didn’t have a choice.”
All those reasons and more make sense when you hear them, truly they do. The thing is, what a single woman hears is, she doesn’t count. Only couples count.
She’s a Minus One.
Sweet reader, if you feel like you cannot show up at a wedding without the buffer of another body but there is nobody to buff up, say "thanks for thinking of me but no.” (Resist the temptation to add, “Maybe next time.”) You don’t have to give a reason on an RSVP card. Or ever.
Don’t waste the father-of-the-bride’s money. That’s rude too, especially if you are sure to have a shitty time. Let someone from the B list get bumped up. Heck, she might even want to go.
Or better still, join a “Play With Yourself Play Group” and learn how to attend any event with your best friend– YOU! (Unless dogs are allowed.)
What I am saying is, go or don’t go, dear one. Just don’t suffer.
In case the bridal parties of America don’t know or don’t remember, their ‘dear one’ does suffer. She is overwhelmed and anxiety ridden, inundated with opinions on why she’s single. Opinions she sort of believes.
Her self-esteem is shredded because she is not, in fact, “next” and she is scared she might miss her turn.
She can’t escape the silent accusation that there is something wrong with her, otherwise she’d be the one telling her friends they can’t bring a date.
She feels alone.
So what do we do? Well, in our matri-maniacal culture, we go ahead and make sure she is alone. Obviously.
We make sure she stands out, while she is forced to sit with your mother’s old neighbor and your crazy aunt who only gets invited because she’s crazy generous.
“Are you seeing anyone?” says the neighbor, the aunt and every other crazy person in the hall.
“Yes. Aren’t you? You might want to get your eyes checked,” says your dear one, in her head, days later, because who can think of the perfect comeback on command and under duress.
In America, if you are free, you have to be brave. We don’t consider that the person who is compelled to scrounge up a second for a ceremony might merely need a friend in the pew.
That’s the trouble with blessing couples and banning singles. We reinforce the message that romantic relationships are not only more important than friendships, but our uncoupled friend should understand.
She does. That’s why she wants to bring a date.