Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Last weekend my little sister got married. It was beautiful despite the rain, she was radiant and so happy. She was married on my parents dock in a rare break in the clouds, and friends and family partied into the night under a tent to the sounds of a live band and the support of an open bar. My sister, mother and father (and yes; her new husband) did a lot of work getting ready for the big day; the tent, the decorations, the bar, the centre pieces and all the flowers, the bouquet, the catering (steak for 110 people plus a whole pig) and a four layered cake. Now we are all experts in what it takes to host not just a great party but a successful wedding - so that "next time" "we know what to do".
There are several assumptions here - that there will be a next-time and that if there were, it will be at their house!
My parents parting words to me after the wedding was that they have had a dress rehearsal and would ready to go next time ... all I need was to find someone to marry, please - soon? All weekend friends and family, people I have never met, and people from whom I would expect better, told me (yes, told me!) "you're next!" Is that a threat? It sure sounded like one. A threat that if I don't get my act together soon, I will continue to be a disappointment to my family and that I will never be really happy. Many commented on my single status, including my 90 year old Grandmother whose only full sentence to me over four days was that it was "such a waste" that I was still single, followed by that tutting sound so significant in Eastern European cultures.
There is a prevailing sentiment that you need to have a significant other to be happy. I am not debating that life is nice (and cheaper) with someone to share it with. There are the constant reminders that everyone else is coupling up, from weddings to notices that friends are buying houses and moving in together; having babies; plotting great get-aways together or just busy on the weekend doing what ever it is couples do (errands is what I have been told). There are hints that they are happier than I am and that until I find someone (my parents would probably say "anyone), I will never be as successful as they are.
I am not denying that life can be wonderful when shared. I have not gone out of my way to be single and I am not adverse to committing to spend my life with one special person or even to making that commitment in public. For the record, I would very much like to find "the one".
Telling me that until I am with someone, I am can not be happy and will not be considered successful is bad enough, but I do not need people to suggest that "I am next"! It is a reminder that I am not - that I am no where near being next. That nowhere on the horizon is there even the hint of a next.
And for the record, even though my sister's wedding was beautiful and Hollywood-eque, should I find the one, I am strongly advocating for eloping! Until then, I am going to live up being single and make all my married friends (and my married sister) jealous because I can do what I want, when I want.