Heeere Comes the. . . Single Wedding Guest? July 9, 2009Posted by Onely in As If!, Guest Posts.
Tags: heteronormative, single women, singles at weddings, singlism, solo travel, wedding guests
Onely likes guest posts by other writers who think about singles’ issues. The views expressed in our guest posts may or may not reflect Onely’s views, but we are always interested to hear from other singles advocates. Today’s post is by Autonomous, a regular reader and insightful commenter at Onely:
Wedding season is in full swing again, and the invitations are starting to arrive. While fewer in number the older I get, it seems to me that couples marrying for the first time in their 30’s to early 40’s have more grown-up tastes, more money to spend, and thereby the cost of attending their nuptials is more expensive as well. Unless someone quite close to me is marrying, job and finances necessitate I be selective about which events I can attend. The ones I do say yes to become my vacation for the season given the commitments of money; travel; time off work.
The most recent invite was not on parchment stationary and addressed to me personally, as in the traditional “Ms. — and Guest.” Rather, it arrived in the form of a bulk e-mail explaining travel tips to Napa wine country, providing a list of accomodations in the area, and offering a wine tour. The lodgings ranged from high-end cheap, to posh and very spendy. Going with the least expensive ($140/night- min. 2 nights) was a no-brainer. I began tallying the other anticipated costs: gas, pre-road-trip auto service just to be safe, and dining/groceries for several days, maybe a new pair of shoes. Of course, the wine tour must be factored in, because why drive 5 hours to wine country and not really enjoy myself?
Then I decided that I didn’t really want to take this great mini-vacation by myself (not this time anyway). I called my best-girlfriend in Texas to see if she might possibly want to take this road-trip with me. Since we made a promise to see each other at least once a year and I missed my annual trip to see her because of surgery, the timing and details of this proposed trip turned out to be a perfect plan for both of us–her husband happily agreed to take full care of their kids so she could visit me, and plane and lodging reservations were booked.
I sent a quick RSVP to my friend, the groom, to make sure that there were two places reserved for me and M for the wine tour. The reply was yes, but she was not invited to either the wedding or dinner “because of space.” He hoped I would understand. Yes, I believe I understand perfectly. If I were married my husband or wife would automatically be counted in the guest-list. But since I’m neither married nor seriously dating, it was assumed, nay, expected, that I would be alone?
Ironically, my friend and I have a committed long-term, long-distance relationship that has outlasted several boyfriends–and a few friends’ marriages. I did the calligraphy for her own wedding invitations, and my capital “G”s are beautiful now after writing the words and guest 200 times. Presently, I have never seen an official invitation for the wine country wedding, if such a thing was even created, so when I made all these plans it never occured to me that guests might not be included. A wedding sans kids I understand, but I’ve never heard of insisting that guests attend stag.
To be sure, there were many snarky responses ready to fire off because I was hurt and not a little indignant. This isn’t some casual acquaintance I’m talking about. His is like a second family. After a conversation with my mom during which she pointed out that wedding dinners are usually chicken anyway and that we might get stuck with some awful table mates, I decided to just make the best of it. If she wasn’t welcome, I would just forego the wedding and dinner and spend more time with her.
I responded to the groom that since she was traveling from Texas specifically to be my date for the weekend, I’d be an ass to leave my friend in the hotel room ten miles away without transportation during the wedding and dinner. We would do our own thing and catch up with the party later at the reception. I was thanked for being such a good sport. Like a pat on the head for being a good girl. I’m not a sport, it’s his pre-divorce party; I’m being a good friend to M because the tickets are booked. I also have an interest in maintaining peace within this family as I’m so close with several members.
In sum, in twenty+ years of receiving wedding invitations, I’ve never experienced such blatant singlism as I did upon receiving that e-mail, coincidentally, on the same day as the Onely women posted about Heteronormaholes. I’ll be interested to hear from Onely’s readers whether or not they would vote for this friend of mine to be King Hetronormahole for a day. Would you have been hurt by, angry at, or ambivalent to the situation? Am I a sucker for going anyway?