Thursday, October 12, 2006

On Singledom (Again)

E.: So do you think J. will talk to you again now that she's married?
Me: No. I'll never see her again.

-- Recent conversation I had with a girlfriend of mine

We were kidding, of course -- kind of the reductio ad absurdum of our particular social circle. The girls we know all tend to drop off the face of the map when they start seeing someone seriously. All bets are off when they actually go getting married. I'm sure I'll see J. at random intervals from time to time -- mostly for special occasions like birthdays (even though two girls have birthdays that coincide with her wedding anniversary, meaning that she'll probably be missing that particular party), but seeing as she already just this close to fell off the planet for wedding planning, I can't imagine I'll see her all that much now.

The wedding was this past weekend. I could wax poetic about how gorgeous everything was, from the reception to the dinner and dancing to the bride in her pretty white dress, but that's all been done. Take my word for it: everything was, of course, the picture of wedding perfection.

The ceremony itself was performed by a woman who was a close friend of the bride -- they were childhood friends and remained friends through the bride's graduation from law school while the other completed divinity school. The ceremony was fun that way -- part prayer and sermon, part reminiscing. Nothing personalizes a wedding ceremony than the officiant being able to refer to the bride's personal quirks and long search for the perfect mate.

One thing about the ceremony that bugged me. While I understand that I was there to witness and celebrate the union of two people, I didn't really have to made to feel like I was somehow defective for not having someone else in my own life. There is, I think, a fine line to be drawn between celebrating the commitment of two people to each other, and pointing and laughing at those people who aren't in a position to do that. This couple seem to have crossed that line a few times during the ceremony. Like 242 (I counted).

I remember a reading from the Bible. Thankfully, I don't remember where it come from (1 Corinthians? Paul? Something else?) but it was all about how much being single sucks. Stuff to the effect of "before I was nothing, now that I found you, I am complete." During this reading, I started checking out the groomsmen, who looked quite dashing in their tuxedos, though they were probably sweating balls.

It didn't end after that. The officiant wanted in on the action too. "We were made man and woman for each other," she started. Immediately I steeled up when I heard that heterosexist line, but I let it go for the sake of my friend. Then it continued. I don't even remember the exact words, but if I had to paraphrase, her sermon on love went something like this: "Two is better than one. We all strive to be part of a 'two' because we weren't meant to go through life just being a 'one.' Being part of a 'two' is being a whole; being a 'one' is less than whole. When we have someone else, we have that complement; that someone to be with; that someone to pick us up when we fall down; that someone to rely upon for the rest of our lives. That's just not possible if we're trying to go through our lives alone."

Obviously she was more eloquent than that, but I truly started getting sick of it. I've blogged about being single before and I stand by that post 100%. Being single is not a curse. Being without a partner is not a badge of inferiority or defectiveness. Many times, being single can be better than being coupled. The whole "grass is always greener" phenomenon.

I'm very, very happy for my newly-married friend. Really and truly I am, for she has found herself a man to be with and he makes her happier than I've seen her in a very long time.

But all I can say is, when I fall, I can and do pick my own damn self up, thankyouverymuch.


p.p. said...

"Being part of a 'two' is being a whole; being a 'one' is less than whole."

Huh? I can see 1/2 or 2/3 less than whole, but one? There is nothing more whole than one.

the other girl said...

Man, these people get a party and a gift registry....why do they need lots of fancy words to tell them they're better than us?

Pretty sure brand new bath towels say that loud and clear.

anne said...

Aah... I'm on wedding duty tomorrow. Needless to say, I can't wait.

HomeImprovementNinja said...

The only thing worse than going to a wedding is being in the wedding party. People think they're paying you a compliment by asking for you to be in it, but a real friend wouldn't ask you to go through that time/expense.

Rich said...

Being happy with who you are and how you've fashioned your life puts one miles ahead of the pack, no matter what it is. I'm instantly suspicious of strangers, friends, etc., who go on about "needing" to be with someone or who gush endlessly about being with someone. People, you've got to find other ways to define your existence.

mysterygirl! said...

Yikes. I thought that all the subservient-wife readings were bad enough at weddings-- that sounds terrible. And I'm with p.p.: being one is being whole. There are certainly ways to celebrate how great it is to be in a couple without some of that-- right?

Dennis! said...

P.P.: Therein lies the problem with these "two become one" metaphors.

Other Girl: OMG, you should have seen the gift grabs this girl was executing!

Anne: Uh... have fun?

HIN: Thankfully, my closest friends are girls who would never dare to put me in a wedding party. Especially after this past weekend.

Rich: I'm totally with you. Wanna go out? :)

MG: One would have hoped... but not at this wedding. When's dinner?

Ryan said...

Single person: Hi. I am single.

Taken person: HIII! OMFG I'm TAKEN by OMG the BEEESSTT guy EVVVEERRR!! He's SOOO cute and OMFG we go to MOVIES together and do FRENCH KISSES and all!! YAYYY FLOWERS and ICE CREAM and PRESENTS!!! He's SOOO awesome and makes me SOOOO HAPPY!!!!

Single person: x_x

At least the single person can masturbate, without the other person going ape shit and saying that masturbation is cheating.

It happens.

Dennis! said...

Ryan: Close, but the Single Person is more likely to just start off with "hi", with the Taken Person responding exactly the way you describe.

Rich said...

Dennis, let me know the next time you're in NYC!

katie said...

My boyfriend and I have been together for 2 years, and aren't really planning on getting married. For some reason all my married friends seem to pity me for this, and constantly try and make me feel bad that I'm not engaged.
Its like they won't be satisfied until everyone is married and miserable. I think it is an attempt to affirm their own choices, and it's lame.

Steven said...

OMG. I totally agree with the whole once they get married they disappear off the face of the planet belief.

And, it's worse when they marry Jehovah's Witnesses (those people are worse than Scientologists).