Photo credit to r.m. drake
Once week from today, I’ll be standing up for the first time as the maid of honor in my friend’s wedding. As a twenty-five year old female, this seems like something that could be considered the norm. I have a handful of female friends who have been in multiple weddings. They all get starry-eyed when I tell them about my duties.
This summer has been an amazing experience of getting to know my friend even more, getting to know her childhood friends, her family, her fiancé’s friends and his family. But I also find myself getting lost amongst all of the taffeta, macaroons, champagne, and glitter. This was never a world that I imagined myself part of.
I’ve never been a “girly” girl or someone who had many girl friends. The girls I did have in my life were more tomboys or “weirdos” (and I say that with all of the love in my heart. I speak fluent weirdo.) We never talked about getting married, or our weddings, or anything remotely similar to what I’ve spent the last couple of months doing and talking about.
I love my friend and her fiancé. They are two individuals who are very close to my heart. And this might sound selfish to say, but nothing has ever made me feel more like an outsider than being part of their wedding. This has nothing to do with them, because they have been wonderful. But being surrounded by all things wedding related has made me question so much of what I previously had so much confidence in. Because what they don’t tell you about being someone’s maid of honor, is that you’ll be bombarded with questions from the couple’s family and friends about your own personal life.
Are you bringing a date? Is he your boyfriend? How long have you guys been together? Is he “the one”? And all sorts of other invasive material and passive aggressive comments that make you want to throw your bloody mary into their stupid painted face.
Those prying questions have a lot of power, as most societal conditions do, to make us feel like an outsider. Like we’re doing everything wrong. I consider myself a pretty independent and confident person, but I have never felt so inadequate in my life. Because even though what I’m witnessing might not be something I’ve dreamed about my whole life, being surrounded by all things matrimony for so long starts to get to your head.
I am in a relationship. I’ve been dating the same man for a few months now, and I enjoy what we have. It’s slow, and organic. It’s intentional, not forced. We’ve done a hell of a job to avoid giving into traditional expectations of dating and relationships. But this summer has taken a toll on my mind a little bit.
Thank god the man is patient. Thank god we communicate, and he understands.
Because it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of things. It is exciting. I could not be happier for my friends and the amazing family they’re creating. But I need to remember that just because I am a character in this part of their life, does not mean that I have changed or need something different or “more” out of my relationship. Just because society insists on asking me over and over if he’s “the one”, does not mean I need to smile and say yes, or say no and question what we have. There are only two people in this relationship, him and me, and we are the only two opinions that matter when it comes to us.
So here’s to a happily ever after for all sheep, both black and white. You’re not doing it wrong. You’re just doing you, and that is perfect.