Shortly after my wedding, I needed to head out to North Carolina for one of my besties's wedding. We were doing the great bridesmaid swap and she was getting married exactly four weeks after me. This turned out to be an amazing experience, one because her wedding was just as gorgeous yet completely different than mine and two, between the two of us we were pretty much prepared for anything that could happen. Needless to say the day was an absolute success and everyone had a great time. I was the MacGuyver of bridesmaids as I picked a lock, removed a link from a bracelet, and kept the groom from losing it because people messed with his car. (I finally have an understanding about how protective some guys can be of their vehicles.)
Now going to weddings on my own is nothing new to me. I tend to have so much fun at them I don't mind getting to do as I please. And in this case, between our wedding, Chris's new job, and all I would need to do while I was out there, it made more sense to go it alone. I never thought I would find a face that I despised more than the "poor you, you're single at what age?" face that I had become so accustomed to. Then I found it. The "you didn't bring your husband, how could you possibly travel without him" face that seemed to be laced with even more pity than the whoa is you, single girl face.
As a grown-up (well semi-grown-up) I have never made apologies for things in my life and I am quite happy in my marriage but I am still an individual. As is my husband. So it never dawned on me people were going to feel sorry for me for something I have been doing since I was a child. My first plane flight was all by myself at 9, so some 26 years later, I don't find it tragic. The look on these faces was priceless and puzzling. Why is it so odd to be at a wedding by yourself? Why is it odd that with our busy schedules it wasn't possible for both of us to come? Why did I feel like a horrible wife for having left my husband to fend for himself for an ENTIRE week? Wouldn't I have been a worse friend for bailing on my one of my best friend's wedding cause some guy couldn't come? I mean, I know, he's my husband, but still.
I came to realize it is the hypocrisy of life. Because mere days later I am im'ing with my sister trying to explain how some girls are not so good at the balance thing and that she should be prepared that more of her friends were going to make less than stellar decisions when it comes to boys with each passing year. That even she might someday find her priorities out of whack when she was struck a little bit "boy crazy." That's when it hit me. These people pitied me because somehow I was suddenly supposed to be "husband crazy." Just as Mallory was living with a friend who suddenly didn't have time, seemed only to care about talking to boys, and was bailing on competition practice all to hang out with boys, I was being judged for NOT making my entire world, from the moment I put a ring on my finger, revolve around a guy. We spend our lives telling "teens" they should be careful, don't let your hormones rule your world so you forget about everything else. Yet when you get married somehow you are supposed to turn into everything you were NOT supposed to do?
Now every former single girl has lived it. There is always an adjustment period to finding the balance of being in a relationship and spending time with your friends. The "honeymoon" period and all of that. But how can people learn the importance of being good friends if we are going to feel sad for them when they do the right thing. Would part of me have rather been at home enjoying my newly married bliss? Hell, yes. But was I going to let that part of me rain on my parade? Hell, no! I applaud all singles and marrieds who do not let the judgement of the world stop them from living their lives...going on trips, buying houses, visiting friends, and just being you! No matter what you do (apparently) someone is going to pity you, so I have decided to turn the tables and pity them for being slaves to "rules" and "convention."
You can be free no matter what your status and I personally loved my anniversary dance with Carrie and Joe and my wonderful date for the rehearsal dinner, Sabrina. A new friend in south Florida and we never would have had the opportunity to have such a perfectly romantic date if my husband had been bogging us down. Of course, Sabrina is a bit of a hussy considering she had a different date every night. That might be Lisa's fault for putting her at another table, but I was a little offended...until we slow danced.