Broadcasting to you live, from a dark place.
Mark and I spent hours, literally hours, on the phone just a few short years ago commiserating as single people often do. Left in the cold while the rest of the world spun happily, it seemed. What was wrong with us? How did we get left behind? Then I started dating someone and so did Mark, virtually at the same exact time. Mark is marrying that girl today. He’s happy. Complete. Or closer, anyway.
I am not. There is nothing, nothing, like a wedding to put me in a dark place. After the loss of my father almost 10 years ago to the evil cancer, weddings involving any sort of fatherly toast or daddy-daughter dance sent me reflexively to the bathroom to salvage what was left of my eye makeup. I’d hide in there until I heard applause or the DJ’s call to get everyone on the floor or pass the mic. That’s just one element.
There’s the other element of relationships. Weddings, while not their intent, have a really amazing way of casting a spotlight on the failures of relationships which came before. For the bride and groom I’m sure, but also to the attendees. I’m positive there isn’t one person in the room that thinks (or is thinking) “what if?” about their own lives. Some are grateful in their reflections, knowing they did the right thing, others not so much. Then there are those who are perhaps confused or worried about their present relationship situations (my particular category).
No matter the friend or relation, weddings always bring for me a sense of dread. And that feels awful and selfish and horrible, as much as it sounds I’m sure. I’ll be happy to be surrounded by friends once I get there, but I’ll also keep close to the wine (and the bathroom with its abundance of Kleenex).
When I give my love and congrats to the bride and groom, I’ll mean it. But if you see me sort of blankly staring off, just let me be. It’ll pass. I promise.