On Being Single At Weddings

I’m learning again about being alone – it’s this thing that is equally parts cool and upsetting. Some nights I bask in my freedom; I come home leisurely and without concern. I can work as late as I want, don’t have to think about dinner, and I can watch the scary crime-time TV shows that she didn’t want to watch before bed. I think back to something I said in this blog a long time ago – “You can be lonely but you’re never alone.” This is accurate because my people have all rallied so hard around me without even discussing it amongst themselves. I have quietly accepted all of the love and seldom have a night where I am devoid of plans or the presence of people. However it’s still hard that at the end of the night I climb into bed alone. While my furry friends are happy to take up space in this bed, they don’t let me rest my head on their chest, or vocally tell me they love me – I am missing the intimacy and closeness you can only have with another human.

I’ve had an amount of weddings in the wake of my breakup to the point of it being comical. The first one I literally thought would kill me because I was officiating it and it came three days after my parting ways with my beloved. My friend Halie, or as I affectionately call her: Bucket, was getting married. She had another ordained friend who was willing to step in, and she said she couldn’t possibly imagine what I was going through and totally understood if I couldn’t do the ceremony. As much as I wanted to take her up on this generous offer, I couldn’t. I had written it already, I wanted to do it – it was just a matter of physically and emotionally being able to do the damn thing.  I fumbled through my speech all morning – I couldn’t pronounce anything right, I was speeding through it, and for some reason the words “quartz” and “together” were impossible for me to say. The foremost was really unfortunate because I was SO pumped to be able to reference crystals in a wedding ceremony – you have no idea. Anyways, the actual marrying of things went fantastic – the fucking second I stood up there with Halie and Trevor – everything in the entire world disappeared, it was literally just the three of us making a lot of eye contact talking about love. I quasi blacked out for the 12 minutes I spoke, and then they were married and I got a lot of compliments.

The reception that followed was incredible – we had a giant cabin on Bear Lake and everything was amazing. However, it was a bit daunting to be single at a wedding for the first time in years. Like I’ve said, ‘Sex & The City,’ makes singlehood look so cool, and it’s really not all that inspiring. I spent a lot of time awkwardly negotiating myself into conversations, standing in a corner, and feeling like I really wished I had someone on my arm. It’s not like I’m incapable of socializing, I’m a very extroverted person who goes above and beyond by becoming best friends with the person bagging my groceries; but it’s just different. I don’t quite know the words to explain it but if you’re reading this and can relate, I don’t even need those words – so cool. I made the choice to leave that night, rather than party my face off – my friends understood, and I got to wake up in my own bed the next morning without guilt or a hangover and that meant everything at that time.

I was a bit more prepped for the next wedding. I didn’t have to officiate so that was a bonus. Once you do one, you open a portal into priesthood, I swear. It is the utmost honor to marry people and facilitate that space for them, especially friends, but it’s also terrifying. You stand in the center of their day and what if you suddenly develop tourette’s and blurt out the word “PENIS!” – single handedly ruining the best day of their life?  Okay, so that’s never happened but it is also a distinct possibility. My friends Megan & JJ were getting married and I was merely a blessed guest. It was cold in the canyon, but it didn’t matter. They got married in the mountains and it defined beauty. I looked at them and wished on all my lucky stars that I would look at someone too like that one day. That I would stand in that space and know what they felt, pledge my allegiance to love someone for all of time and mean it with all my heart.

Flashback to a few weeks ago when I had to tell Megan something. I said: “I hate to inform you but Jenn and I have parted ways. I will absolutely still be coming to your wedding but I also might lose my shit if I came and there was a place card with her name on it and  an empty seat next to me for her.” Megan immediately messaged me back with nothing except compassion and empathy. “Bring somebody else,” she said. I said “No, I don’t want to bring a stranger to your wedding!” I replied. She said plus 1’s were given for a reason and she trusted me to use that wisely.

First I asked my beard, another coworker, to come with. In a heteronormative universe, I think he’d be my husband. Due to the fact of me being tragically gay, this is not an option. So then I got my best gal pal Caity to come with me as my wedding date. She danced to Lady Gaga, knew when I needed a drink, and was so good at interacting with my friends they all “wished us well and that something would happen between us.” I hated to inform them she was simply the Samantha to my Carrie, and we were actually just people that coexisted in a space of showing up for one another. As the wedding was up one of Utah’s famous canyons – we had a real hard time finding our way down. We finally got a Lyft driver who was willing to come up, but we also held hands in the backseat because he was the creepiest dude ever and we thought he’d make lampshades out of our skin.

This is  a precarious space. It’s a space of uncertainty, likely to fall or collapse. I don’t know all the words to say besides that I am safe and well and optimistic. The world will always turn on its axis, the universe will forever evolve, and we will always be here. For that I am grateful. If my friends would stop getting married that would be chill AF. If you choose to – know I will make it. I’ll be there with bells on. ALL of the bells and love, I will always be okay. For the love and support I’ve received – I am humbled and grateful to the core. I send back the same in kind, namaste.

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