01 February 2010

Weddings make me feel this way...

I spent yesterday watching a very good friend of mine get married.

Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Joseph and Margo Gilleylen. God's richest blessings on your marriage. It was a BEAUTIFUL wedding and the food at the reception - AMAZING, but now the hard part of "marriage" begins and I will be praying for your success as you move forward as husband and wife.

It is always interesting to be a single woman at a wedding - especially, a single woman "of a certain age". (Mine is 45, in case you didn't know). It doesn't matter how accomplished you are, or what you are doing in your life, or even how happy you might be with your life, it is tough being a single woman at a wedding. Automatically, people are looking to see if you come with a date - and if you do, the questions will begin to fly - ESPECIALLY if you are showing up for the first time with the gentleman. (Poor babies - why would a man subject himself to that kind of scrutiny?) You are pressured to stand around to catch a bouquet at the reception (which I have learned to avoid with great dexterity) and if you shed a tear or two, it can be misconstrued that you are crying over your own status as a single woman in a world made up of couples - and not because you are just genuinely happy for the happy couple. And then there are always the questions from "well meaning" (read: nosey) older folks: "So, when are you going to get married?" or the blanket "Well, I guess you will be next" statement that is just like fingernails on a chalk board to me.

Let me state for the record: I LOVE BEING SINGLE!! I don't have a problem with checking "SINGLE" as my marital status on surveys and censuses and general questionnaires. I am not looking to walk down the aisle wearing the (almost) white dress with friends and family looking on. It may be great for some - but not for everyone. And I am resigned that it probably ain't for me. Call me selfish (as some have), but relationships and marriage are a LOT OF WORK - and I, personally - right now - where I am in my life - I don't have the time, energy or desire to "do the work" to make a relationship not only right for me, but for the gentleman who would have to deal with me.

I have learned to be content, happy, and sometimes downright ecstatic right where I am. Now don't get me wrong: it hasn't always been this way. Sure, there was a time when I wanted to be a "Mrs. Somebody". Every young girl dreams of finding her "Prince Charming" and being swept off her feet. But I learned early in life, that marriage is not a fairy tale. The books never go into what happens AFTER the happy couple rides away into the sunset: when there are kids, unemployment, arguments, crazy family members, sickness, or death. It is easy to have the wedding - more difficult to have the marriage. So, I am content to be single. And in our society that is not always easy because everything seems to be geared towards being part of a couple - cruises are cheaper if you have 2 people in a room; maitre d's in fancy restaurants seem to always have a sneer in their voice when they say, "will someone be joining you this evening?"; and go to a movie by yourself on Saturday night and you would think the world is going to stop spinning on its axis. And then you have the well meaning friends who do one of two things: they always have someone they want you to me - or they exclude you from stuff because "well, it was going to be a bunch of married couples there and we didn't want you to feel 'weird'" - REALLY? Whatever! Single people like to mix, mingle, eat, and fellowship too, you know. I'm just sayin': It takes a strong woman to be single and happy these days.

Philippians 4:11 says: "...for I have learned in WHATSOEVER state I am, therewith to be content." And that is me. Right now, right here: I am content. One day God MAY knock me upside my head and say, "Here is the man I have prepared you for and he is prepared for you." He may. He loves me and knows what is best for me. But until He does that knocking ... I am satisfied, fulfilled and happy right where I am. So, while I loved seeing Joe and Margo get married today - loved hanging out with my peeps and fellow well wishers, enjoyed the music and the sentimentality and the dressing up for the occasion ... I ain't pressed to do the same for myself.

Here endeth my vent. I'll get off my soapbox ... for now ... after all, the "worst" time of year for single women just about to begin: Can we talk about Valentine's Day? UGH! That is truly the topic of another blog on another day.

Be blessed.

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