Singles: Just Say NO to Wedding Invitations

This article, which is as insightful as it is cringeworthy, only really falls short in one aspect: it fails to delve into the pack mentality and basic sociopathy of married people at weddings in their behavior towards singles. Other than that, it’s sure to give any prolonged single shell shock.

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/22/fashion/22NOTI.html?pagewanted=1

Here’s the question: why should singles have to put themselves through this crap?  We know why non-singles want them to be put through that gauntlet — it’s fun for pack animals to gang up on and attack the loser, like chickens that will go crazy when they see a spot of blood, and peck another chicken to death.  Why, though, do so few singles seem to have discovered how liberating it is to just say, no, I’m not coming?  I mean, it seems that most married or attached people don’t really want you there anyway, unless they are looking forward to abusing you somehow — it’s nice to have some losers around to make an even more glorifying juxtaposition for the sake of the glorified, but the downside is that it’s kind of like inviting a jumbee to the ceremony.  Everything you do makes them gasp and gossip, so how much worse could it be to just turn the invitation down?

Sometimes you “have” to go, if it’s a sibling or whatever, but I think it should be more than reasonable and understood that you are just going to make a cameo at the ceremony itself and get the hell out of there before the reception.  That should require no explanation of why, but even if it does, it shouldn’t be too hard…well, shouldn’t, but realistically speaking, get ready for a fight.  Isn’t it nice to be so wanted?  Seriously though, they should all understand that inviting you to a wedding is like inviting a white person to a Black Panther rally — the first thought that crosses your mind is if they are inviting you so that they can use you as a piñata, and for good reason because that’s what most singles figuratively end up as at weddings.

The real nasty ones are the wedding receptions where they go the extra mile, beyond the bouquet or garter toss.  I’ve seen weddings where they stage “games” for the singles in attendance.  First, they flush out all of the singles with goading and pressure, and get them into the spotlight of shame, then go on to humiliate them with a game show-like affair, all for the benefit of the happily-attached audience members to laugh at.  I can think of few things more disrespectful than to turn your own wedding into and opportunity to smugly flog those who are simply not lucky enough and attractive enough to be among your social class.  Do the marrieds realize how that makes them feel?  Better question: do they care?  No, they don’t.  All of that is done for the benefit of everyone but the singles being humiliated.  Weddings are rife with tactlessness, but then, marriage is apparently the celebration from being exempt from tact (and tax).

Maybe it takes a real wake-up call, a really nasty experience to make you finally figure it out and contemplate other options.  At the last wedding I went to, the ceremony ended with me being yelled at by a neighbor as the bride and groom were walking back down the aisle: “You’re next!”  Yep, that’s the last time I’ll be publicly tarred and feathered.  In over 10 years, I’ve never been to another wedding.

If you really think about it, there is no way you should be expected to put up with that nonsense.  If people truly care about you, they ought to understand. A wedding is, after all, a chance for marrying and already-married people to celebrate not being you. You owe it to yourself to refuse to willingly participate in your own social censuring , or at least limit your attendance to a token obligatory cameo appearance.

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7 comments

  1. My cousin’s wedding is coming up in the late spring/early summer. I’ve been wrestling with this issue myself. What would be the point? I’m not really that close to her but she invited me. I wonder if I should make an appearance to socialize with the other relatives I’m close to though. But in the end, all I lack in myself would just be on display….hmmm

  2. I had to go because it was my brother’s wedding. That was in the 1986s.
    Yes, they all look askance at you. People who you don’t even know but “know” you,
    waggle tounges. It’s a minor ordeal and you look for the exit. “They” have a right to be
    human. You don’t. I got promptly sloshed. They helped me up to the best man’s
    apartment, where I promptly threw up. Things haven’t improved 33 years later.

    1. It is good to see you around, Missattempts.
      I’d feared for you when you stopped commenting at the sites I frequent. While your story here is sad, I hope your current health has been better and you’re doing as well as you can.

  3. I noticed that you mentioned something like “flogging single people”. I have noticed in our society, that single people are often “shamed” or “looked down upon”. I think this stems from Victorian era puritanism. People who do not sign contracts with the government – and hence – let the government into their love-lives – are to be ridiculed.

    I have always found that strange, considering how much of a detriment marriage is to most men.

    1. It’s true, Scarecrow.
      We singles are considered to be selfish, lazy, unmotivated, and just plain weird. Not only that, but there is the assumption we hate children, which might be true for a *very* small portion of us, but certainly not all. In large corporation jobs, I’ve even heard that we are far more likely to put in extra hours, call in late/sick less, and cover shifts for coworkers…yet ironically it is people with families who get promoted before us.

      It is unfair, but one can one do.

  4. I’m a guy and 37 years old so most of my friends and relatives have already married so I’m not getting that many invitations to weddings anymore. Also, I’m divorced so not many people (at least those who know this) dare to say to me “you’re next” because they obviously realize the possible danger of bodily harm to them. Anyway, if someone asks me if I have considered getting a new girlfriend I always reply that a man who remarries is like a dog who returns to inspect his own excrements. Also, I usually say this comment to guys who are getting into a new relationship after a divorce.

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