So, I had an epiphany the other day while catching up with an old friend of mine. You see, bridey, she’s getting married, so of course we were discussing her wedding plans, annoying family drama (which inevitably presents itself during the process), and the seriously stupid shit people say when they hear you’re getting married. Like, “We were wondering when you were finally going to met the right one.” Right? BRUTAL! My friend is my age (just about 39), and comments like that are just dumb. But, what struck me the hardest was when she said, “It’s strange, planning my wedding has made me feel incredibly lonely.” Whaaaaaa? Lonely? “Why lonely?” I asked. Her answer stopped me in my tracks and literally made me need to sit down (I totally pace while I’m on the phone).
“Because, I’m 100% in it alone. Everybody else has already gotten married, had kids and is dealing with their own shit. They don’t care that I’m getting married. I mean, they’re happy for me, but they just want to show up on my wedding day, and be done.” she sniffled. WHOA… I never thought about the “lone bride”. I mean… I just wrote about why getting married in your 30s is so much better than getting married in your 20s because you’re smarter, and stronger and more resilient to the bullshit. And, while all of these things still hold true, this kind of conversation definitely shed some light on what it feels like to be the last 30-something standing. Complete isolation.
I mean… Does she not deserve to have her big day simply because she waited too long? That seems entirely unfair. But, do people really not care as time ticks by? I tried to put myself in the position of the married chick with kids dealing with her own shit… Oh wait! I’m actually that girl. I have two kids, been married over a decade, and yet, I’m still excited for my friends who are getting married now. Perhaps it’s because I am more tuned in due to the wedding-world I live in, but to not be happy or care that one of my friends is getting married? No. Absolutely not.
Buuuuuutttt… If I’m completely honest, I probably don’t care the way I would have cared like 10 years ago. Because too much has happened since I walked down the aisle. Too much has happened since I said “I do”. Two kids, illness, hospitalization(s), job loss, new jobs, buying a house, work, etc… All huge life events that make my actual wedding day, and planning that went with it, seem far away and small. Kind of like a mirage dancing in the distance. It’s still important, but certainly not the most important moment in my life.
Bridey, you know what I said to her? I uttered my favorite fucking word on the planet… Perspective! I reminded her that while her friends and family love her, and want her to be happy, their perspective has changed since they got married. They have had experiences that have changed them, and changed their thinking about weddings and wedding planning. Does that mean that they don’t care? Absolutely not. But, they aren’t about to get wrapped up in the minutiae or give advice on which flowers to select. What they will give you, is advice. They’ll tell you to stop obsessing over the details, and enjoy the dude and the day. They’ll tell you everything they would have changed about their wedding if they didn’t get in their own way, and allow every.single.detail. to get under their skin. They’ll tell you how fast your wedding day goes, so enjoy every second, even if it’s raining. They’ll tell you a bunch of shit… So, listen, and learn.
Bridey, if you’re a 30-something bride feeling lonely, recognize that you’re not alone. Know that your friends and family DO care, and they love you. They just have their hands full with their own lives and their own perspective. It’s not personal, it’s literally just life. And, they will be there to celebrate with you (and your hus), and to love you, just leave them out of the plans…
Image via Fotonord