|I hate slow songs! Stupid DJ.|
1. You do not have to go to all weddings. If invited, you probably have to go to family weddings to keep the peace, but even then there might be an out. Check with your mother. And you should go to the weddings of your dearest friends, especially if they are in your town. But after that, no.
2. The bride won't be crushed if you don't go. If the bride is neither close family nor one of your dearest friends and you don't want to go, send your regrets ASAP. If you can afford to, send a present. It doesn't have to be a big present unless she is family and your culture demands it. The bride will like the present and will scratch your name off the list with mingled regret and relief. On the one hand, no you. On the other hand, one fewer mouth to feed. On my wedding day, my number one priority was my dress. That probably sounds bad. But really. Must. Keep. Dress. Immaculate.
3. Tell the bride to seat you at a table with cute guys, preferably her cousins. This is, of course, only if you do not know many people at the wedding. Naturally you would prefer to sit with your friends. A mix of friends and cute guys would be ideal.
4. Prepare your Getaway Hideout. You will need cab fare, a delicious snack, a new DVD you have been longing to see, warm slippers and a dressing gown. Feel free to buy new slippers and dressing gown, if you can afford them. Alternatively, plan to go to a friend's house or alternative party after the wedding reception. The important thing is to have somewhere much nicer than the wedding reception to go, should the wedding reception suddenly resemble the sixth circle of hell.
5. Dress to kill. Nothing kills your self-esteem stone dead at a wedding like realizing you look dowdy. Go to the hairdresser or to the manicurist or to both, depending on your cash flow, and wear a great dress. Wear great shoes. Look utterly fabulous. I never looked more utterly fabulous than at the first wedding I went to after my divorce. I looked so fabulous, I confused myself with Mae West.
"I'm a doctor," said one of Single men at my table.
"Well," I said. "My mother would want me to sit next to you."
6. Carry a snack. Sometimes it takes them an hour to get dinner on the table, or the photographs take forever. If your blood sugar drops, your mood will also drop. If you carry many snacks, you can offer them secretly to famished-looking cute guys. I'd go with almonds. Peanuts are too smelly.
7. Singles' Wedding Angst happens to almost everyone. If suddenly your heart drops to your stomach, which is most likely to happen when dinner is over and the married people are groping each other on the dance floor, do not think you are weird. You are just having Singles' Wedding Angst. It's as common as a hangover.
8. But do not cry. It's the bride and groom's day. The bride is happy (I hope). She wants everyone to be happy too. Be happy. If you can't be happy, fake happy. If you can't fake happy any longer, go home. Brides are like precious baby kittens and must be protected from all unpleasantness. I'm serious. Whatever happens on a woman's wedding day, she will remember f-o-r-e-v-e-r.
8. Make your getaway. If, during the reception, you are hit with a wave of Singles' Wedding Angst and you think you will cry or go insane, run away. Paste a smile on your face, say good-bye and thank you and congrats/best wishes to whomever you must say that too, and then get in a cab.
Once upon a time nobody was allowed to leave before the bride and groom. However, the bride and groom now often stay until 2 AM. The wedding was expensive; they want to be there for all of it. However, it is outrageous to expect absolutely everyone to stay until 2 AM. Therefore, if you do not think you can stick it out anymore, perhaps an hour after the cake cutting, say all the pretty things you must say, and flee. Don't make it look like fleeing. Walk, don't run. Smile, don't weep.
9. Don't forget you look fabulous. There you are in your cab. Do you want to go straight to your cozy hideout, or do you want to visit friends? Is there an alternative party that you know about where friends are hanging out? Are your friends out bowling? I personally find it amusing to go to bowling alleys, etc., dressed to the nines.
10. But don't be stupid. However, if there's nothing going on, don't for heavens sake go to a bar or something like that by yourself, as if you were a jazz singer who has just been dumped by her coke-dealing boyfriend. Go home to the snack, DVD and fuzzy slippers.
IF YOU ARE THE BRIDE. Don't think too much about whether your Single friends are enjoying themselves. Put them at tables with each other and cute guys and then stop worrying. I really mean that. I drove myself crazy worrying about my Single friends and if they would come down with Singles Wedding Angst at my wedding. It is their job, not yours, to manage their Singles Wedding Angst. Saying, "Oh my goodness, I love your dress" would be thoughtful, though. "Did you wear that for ME?"
Don't forget that my baby Graham Greenesque novel is due in July! Pre-order here or, if you seriously can't afford the shipping, you can get it from your nation's Amazon. Alternatively, you could go to your nearest bookshop and demand that they order it for you from Ignatius. Bookshops want to see you, and Ignatius has distributors in Canada and various EU countries.