Thursday, May 29, 2008

Single? How to work a wedding

This story caught my eye when I pulled up my internet landing page. Once again, I found a way to spruce up the advice the author hands out to both men and women that find themselves single and staring at a wedding invitation. I’ve approached this a little different this time, by inserting; okay interjecting my comments in red font throughout the article below:

As awkward as it is to attend a wedding with someone you’ve only just started seeing — there’s nothing like accidentally catching a bouquet to accelerate the normal relationship timetable by, say, two or three years — (What the hell? Catching the bouquet at a wedding means you’re headed down the aisle with your date for the evening? Fuck, that’s reason enough to go alone, isn’t?) going to a reception all by your lonesome self is even worse. This prospect is so daunting, (Daunting? Going to a wedding alone is daunting? It’s fun. I’ll show you) in fact, that most singles fall back on one of three strategies: a) taking along a brother or sister (Call me square, but I just can’t get into incest.) (or a platonic friend of the opposite sex) and hoping no one asks any questions; (Huh? What’s wrong with a little platonic friendship with sexual benefits, again? Why can’t anyone ask any questions? I’m confused.) b) sadly nursing a triple scotch in the lounge while all the happy couples are out on the floor slow-dancing; (This is the only thing I agree with so far: Nursing a triple scotch at the bar, but for different reasons than what the author suggests. I’m usually at the bar, feeling badly for the couple that just tied the knot; knowing what I know about the bride or the groom, wondering when the divorce proceedings will begin.) or c) invoking the “family emergency” rule and not showing up at all. (For fuck’s sakes, go and have a good time; there’s free food and booze.)

So what’s an unattached invitee to do? Here are a few ways to dispel your anxieties, preserve your friendship with the bride and groom, and (just possibly) meet someone in the process. (Duh! I have many stories to tell about meeting people at weddings. That’s a different blog story, but why in the hell wouldn’t you go? There are lots of single people and chances are if you’re single, you’re going to meet a plethora of new, single people. Maybe you might even get a little action in the coat closet too.)

Plan ahead. Perhaps because the occasion evokes so much dread, most single wedding-goers show up at the reception without doing any homework. That’s a mistake, says Keith Ferrazzi, author of Never Eat Alone: “You don’t have to wait for the wedding day to make contact with the other guests. In fact, it might lessen your nerves if you reach out a couple weeks in advance. You can say something like, ‘It’s always awkward not knowing everyone at a wedding, so I’m trying to get better acquainted with a few guests so we can all have a better time.’” To pull this off, of course, you’ll have to ring up the bride-to-be and ask her who’s sitting at your table, but odds are she’ll be dealing with so many gruesome details that she’ll actually enjoy helping you. (There’s really nothing to plan for except making time to hit the mall and pick up a gift. If you don’t have time for that, just get a card and give them money. People can always use money. Under no uncertain circumstances are you to call the bride and inquire about the seating arrangements. Trust me; she has much bigger fish to fry at this point. She’s trying to keep her affair with the best man a secret from her future husband. Put your big boy or girl pants on and go and have a raging good time.)

Work the crowd. Granted, a wedding reception isn’t the biweekly mixer of the Greater Cleveland Insurance Brokers Association. (Hey, I think the author just slammed Cleveland. Booo-hissss.) But that’s no reason to leave your networking skills (You must be kidding?) at the door, says relationship expert Dr. Diana Kirschner: “A wedding provides a smorgasbord of people to meet. Even if The One (Think… fucking a perfectly hot new stranger in the coat closet….) isn’t there, every new person you meet has a network of 200 other people they know. Say hello to everyone, and subtly let them know you’re available.” (Don’t pass out your business card and start asking for business, unless of course you’re pimping prostitutes for coat closet action.)

Don’t wallow. “Slow dances are the bane of every single guest’s wedding experience,” says Diane Forden, editor-in-chief of Bridal Guide magazine. “This is the moment when you may find yourself suddenly abandoned at a big table as every couple in the room darts onto the dance floor. Take a deep breath, get up, and circulate. You can find someone you know at another table to talk with, take a walk around the reception site, or freshen up in the ladies’ room. But whatever you do, don’t sit there sadly gazing at those dancing couples, because your happy mood will instantly deflate as you ponder your single status.” (I just don’t know how to respond here. Personally, I’m not a big slow dancer, unless of course there’s a pole of some kind close by. Consider yourself blessed that you’re not up there on the dance floor getting felt up by the groom’s mother or the bride’s father. Unless of course one of these two people are your coat closet rendezvous.)

Amuse yourself. (This article is amusing for me.) “Look at a wedding as a chance to get dolled up,” Forden continues. “In these days of casual wear, it’s fun to look like a runway celebrity. Splurge a little and pamper yourself with a few spa treatments, or buy a new dress and a new pair of shoes. Guys can get new cummerbunds (Oh yeah. I can think of at least 20 guys that I know that will run right out and splurge on a brand new cummerbund. Who is this author?) The result will be an instant mood lift.” (No. The mood lift is located at the bar, or in the coat closet.) And if you’re feeling lonely and left out during the reception, try to find ways to turn that to your advantage. “I only go to weddings alone if I know there will be lots of kids there,” says Carol from New York. “Then I have my playmates, and the other adults appreciate the attention their children are getting.” (I mentioned earlier that I’m not into incest. Well that’s a double on child porn. I gotta draw the line somewhere. Stay away from the little people at the wedding reception.)

Have a little perspective. Take it from me: When you’re absorbed in a single, dismal, self-pitying frame of mind, it’s easy to lose sight of the icy stares, forced laughter, and under-the-breath bickering that transpire for many ostensibly “happy” couples during a deluxe evening. (Good God. Not everyone that’s single is dismal and not everyone that’s coupled is unhappy. Just be. Single or coupled; Just be.) My own dateless wedding strategy is to pal it up as much as I can with the folks at my table. (I think if I were at his table, I’d locate the bride and beg, borrow and steal to be relocated. “Please. There’s some weirdo singled guy; whose looking dismal and daunting about being single. Can I move my seat to the fun, single table, pleasssse?”) Then, when I’m in danger of feeling blue, I replay all those overheard insidious comments as I lean back in my chair, nurse my triple scotch (Nuff said...the only thing the author and I share in common....) and watch the slow dance. It may not be very nice, but it sure does work! (Well, that’s because he’s never had sex in a coat closet, right?)



Casey Parish said...

I think I have to agree with you in pushing this author to get in that coat closet for some fun. Yeah weddings can be boring and sad as a single person if you are a boring and sad person, but unless its mostly my family there (in which case it doesn't matter if I'm single or not) I could definetly see the many opportunities in a wedding reception while single. Your inserted comments were right on the money as usual. Good Call!


Neve Black said...

Hi Casey,
Thank you for reading and commenting. Family related weddings... More frequent visits to the bar and DNA samples prior to any coat closets. :-)


Link3220 said...

Where the author began "Don't wallow" for a second I thought it said "Don't swallow", and thought he might be getting to the part about closet sex. IMHO, if you're lucky enough to find a female willing to suck you off in a closet, you have no right complaining if she spits your stuff out on someone's coat instead of swallowing. Never look a gift blowjob in the throat, I always say.