Ah, we are in the thick of wedding season, aren't we? Ooh la la la.
Dear Auntie Seraphic,
I know that you've written about dances before, at least to some degree, but I can't find where. Since we are in the thick of wedding season, it is a topic which would be well worth bringing up again.
So, you're at a dance or wedding reception, dancing it up and having a grand old time when suddenly the song ends and on comes a "couple" dance. Maybe it's a slow dance, maybe it's a swing dance, maybe it's a two-step. Whatever it is, you suddenly find yourself surrounded by dancing couples who paired up so quickly it almost feels like a conspiracy. You notice, however, that not everyone has a partner yet. There are NCBs scattered about, not dancing. Some are even on the dance floor! The song isn't over yet; maybe they will see you and ask you to dance! You are presented with a few options. You could:
a) Stand on the fringe of the dance floor, looking hopeful and available so that no one needs to guess whether or not you would like to be asked.
b) Sit down near the dance floor and smile wistfully while watching the dancing couples.
c) If it is a faster song, stay on the dance floor, dancing to the music anyway with a handful of girlfriends, though not so enthusiastically that one could assume you prefer it over being asked to dance with a partner.
d) Leave the dance floor to chat with a friend. You may run the risk of not being asked, but it could still happen and at least you'll get to catch up with a friend.
e) Forfeit your chance to be asked and disappear to the washroom because you can't bear watching all the dancing couples.
f) Find a man and ask him to dance yourself.
What, in your seraphic opinion, is best? Should we ever ask a man to dance? I never do because I want to be chosen and I want the man to take the initiative. Also, I'm fairly certain that men are less likely to ask if they expect that the woman will ask. If none of us ask the men to dance, they'll have to ask us! Unfortunately, many women ask the men anyway and us non-askers are left smiling wistfully on the fringe. What to do??
Another question: Is it wise to dance (during the non-couple dances) near the men you would like to be asked by so that you are right there and ready when the "couple" song comes on? Or is this simply come off as really clingy? Does it make us too available, thus leaving the man to seek a challenge elsewhere?
Please enlighten us!
The primary task of a Single woman at a wedding is to keep a happy smile plastered on her face and survive. When the happy smile starts to slip and the urge to say something sarcastic or ironic to someone is overwhelming, then it is time to go home.
You described the Couple Moment very well. As the Single woman's primary task at a wedding preserve her happy smile for the sake of the Bride, whose day it is, not try to meet Mr Right, I recommend you do whatever it is that you want to do except run away to the bathroom. Running away to the bathroom is a major fail and a sign that the smile has slipped and you must go home.
I recommend chatting with friends while scoping out the talent, and then, if you feel like it, asking someone you've been introduced to dance. If you haven't been introduced to any of the men, ask a female friend to dance.
One advice-giver I respect would recommend lingering around the dance floor with a happy smile plastered to your face. I don't think this is necessarily the best option for weddings, though.
I am very against women over 21 (unless Alisha and other habitual Swing Dancers) asking men to dance, but I am even more against Single women being absolutely miserable at a wedding. Sure, it is inevitable, but every guest owes it to the bride to enjoy him or herself as much as possible.
At the most boring, miserable wedding I was ever at, sandwiched between two bored and miserable fellow Single gals, it was very very hard to look happy and we all did our share of hiding in the bathroom. At the very end of this long night, some cute guys who had been seated, on the other side of the vast warehouse of a ballroom, at the "Cousins of the Bride" table spotted us and loudly exclaimed in tones of excitement and chagrin, "Hey, there were SINGLE girls here!"
If we had positioned ourselves near the Cousins of the Bride, I suspect we would have had a much better time.
Grace and peace,
P.S. to all: Hit the Label "Wedding" for everything I think and advise about Weddings. When I was still Single, my attitude was mostly "Almost all Single women feel lousy either in the later stages of the wedding reception or afterwards, so don't sweat it."
However, having had a wedding since, I also understand how important it is not to let the Bride ever, ever, EVER know that you felt this way during her wedding for she will never forget it. No matter how Bridezilla a Bride, she is the most vulnerable woman in the room, and she must be protected.
Therefore, do what you have to do to either BE or LOOK happy, even if that is leave by cab at 10 to your blankie, DVD and box of chocolates. Don't tell the Bride you're leaving. Just disappear after you have told her it was a wonderful wedding, she looks gorgeous and you are so happy for her. Maybe leave your good-byes with her mother.("Mrs Brown, I had a wonderful time, but I've got an early start tomorrow and I don't want to distract Sandra, so would you pass along my best wishes? I'm Angela by the way. Congratulations on such a lovely wedding. Thanks so much for the invitation. Good night!)
Another hint: Push the boat out. Look your best for any wedding you go to. Don't leave your prep for the last moment. Focus on being a great guest, not on meeting Mr Right. Have a treat waiting for you when you get home. Don't take the bus home alone. Get a lift or spring for the luxury of your very own cab.
Third hint: Most brides love to toss the bouquet. For the bride's sake, go smilingly along with the dumb ritual.
Fourth hint: You don't have to go to all the weddings you're invited to. You really don't. If you don't accept, but you still send a gift, the bride might very well be impressed. (Just judge how much you really mean to the Bride first. If you haven't seen her since she was 7, just send the gift.)