Of late, the ritual of checking my mailbox has become an activity filled with feelings of anxiety and at times trepidation. The two-week stomach churning wait for an ‘all clear’ medical test result, did not rank highly among my list of ‘life’s top ten fun things to do’. Nor did an unnecessarily overwrought and frantic spell of obsession, over the arrival of a ‘dream job’ offer that never came. Thinking that the highs and lows of of my Post-Traumatic stress had reached their apex, the music of Sesame Street playing as my personal theme tune, I sashayed over to the box. Only to encounter an envelope that would make my blood run cold.
I knew it was coming, but like so many of life’s vicissitudes I had put it firmly to the back of my mind. There it lay sandwiched between thoughts of of Tesco’s opening hours, my ageing grandparents and the suitability of a pink fur coat for British spring time. Left on my living room coffee table, carefully concealed within a shameful assortment of Topshop receipts its existence remained unacknowledged for two days straight… Until of course I decided to open it. In the most flowery of words and ornate fonts my presence was requested to celebrate the marriage of one of my dearest friends.
Weddings are odd little affairs. On one hand they provide us humans with a neat little ending of sorts, a storybook conclusion to years of dating. But on the other they give validity to a gnawing and nagging examination of exactly what we’ve been doing with our lives and worse beg the question: ‘Why are you still single?’ Nowhere was my singledom more apparent, than in the invitations address. Apparently ‘Your’ (meaning ‘my’) company had been requested. I kept searching for the ‘plus guest’ nod, but apparently we singletons are to be doubly punished. Not only are we expected to sit by on the Reserve’s Bench, while our closet friends declare their undying devotion to one another before God. We must do so alone. Our wedding attire stamped with a Scarlet ‘S’ for single, while all about us whisper of our tragedy and misfortune.
As you may well have gathered, I am expecting the absolute worst. The mournful glances, the two handed interrogations from gloating couples and best of all having my hand held by well meaning Cloak Room attendants who softly utter the words ‘don’t leave it too late.’ (Yes, that did really happen.) In order to counter the slings and arrows of being the sacrificial lamb at the centre of an unsolicited pity party, I will be attending the wedding in fancy dress. No, not as the back end of a pantomime horse, in case you were wondering. But as the glorious and resplendent Mrs O. No one does dignity quite like Michelle Obama. I intend to sashay towards my church pew, clothed in a Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress (which I don’t own) paired with a Chanel Boy (also a work in progress). Completing the look with a top note of the other famous Mrs O. Sunglasses please.
Luckily the wedding is not until June, giving me ample time to tick the missing items off my luxury shopping list. Though already I can hear the demanding and shrill voices of justification; ‘you spent how much on a bag?’ I believe my top rated wedding rebuke is the one that goes something like this: ‘Tom and I used to spend like that, but now we have kids.’ It’s an oldie but nonetheless a goody.
I realise I am coming across as somewhat of a ‘Debbie Downer’. But truly I am happy for my friend. I’m elated, ecstatic if you will… over the moon, as they say. I think that is what’s called over egging the custard Coran. Perhaps you’re right. Maybe I am a little jelly. While my poor, miserable, single, self is stuck here calling Harrods to find out when my dream bag is in stock, planning a girl’s holiday and wondering if £1400 is too much for a jacket. Couples the world over ask ‘why they can’t get their partner to clean the bathroom?’, ‘what happened to their joint account?’ And most pressing of all ‘Who ate the last biscuit?’ Yes, it truly is terrible being single…I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Now, I’m sure you’d all like to join me in a roast toast… ‘To the bride and groom…’