A few months ago, I was begrudgingly the plus one at another wedding. My date was my best friend & I was so annoyed by the fact that I was going I had to will myself into it by visualizing all the food I’d get to eat for free & planned my time accordingly to stand in front of the bar before free wine time ran out.
The wedding was full of everything awful. Lanterns in the forest, soft jazz playing while you walked to your seat, true & heartfelt love & adoration exchanged between the people up there in dresses & suits. I’m kind of kidding. I actually really love lanterns in the forest & I have a soft spot for Sinatra. Let’s be real, I just have a soft spot for weddings that don’t play ‘I hope you dance.’
I didn’t know anybody there. I had only met the bride & groom once, so I filled my time by staring at people and analyzing their outfits. After words of endearment were said we had to stand in the greeting line. I swear if I ever tie said knot, I’m just going to let everyone make their own independent decisions. If they’d like to tell me congratulations they sure can. If they’d like to avoid me because they don’t want to give me & my entire extended family an awkward sweaty hug, I’ll allow that too.
Since this wedding was shaping up to be fucking perfect, they of course had everyone stand together while the photographer stood up high & took a picture of all of us hungry bastards who were just ready for the reception. Maybe that was just me . . . but I spotted someone with a beard so my blood pressure waned a little. Friend said she recognized him & his friends and proceeded to launch into how she thought he was single & where she thought she met them & how she should probably talk to them at some point later that night. I just agreed so we could walk to the car where I could pull my stuck leggings off of my thighs for a few minutes.
The reception was glorious, OF COURSE. There were twinkle lights & free bread rolls & I was so hungry I had to time how I ate my meal so I wouldn’t look like the fatty of the table. After friend & I talked about depressing things & she bartered for the rest of my wine, the music instantly started to blow our faces off. They played ‘Cecilia’ right out the gate and my usually anti-dancing cohort said, ‘will you come dance with me?’ I’m sorry, but if you can’t shake it to that song you might have something clogging up your soul hole.
In between dancing, smoke breaks, trips before 9pm to refill the old chard & potty time, we continued to bump into the trio of people she insisted she knew and kept wanting to, at some point in the night, speak to. I was hoping she would make it happen soon because the over-eating bloat was starting to set in & my contacts were getting so stuck to my eyes I was slowly becoming unable to make out the right beards. Are you wondering why I didn’t just go introduce myself? I would never do such a thing. I prefer to do those things they tell you to do in lists in magazines like: twirl your hair, apply dripping amounts of lip gloss, casually look in his direction & hold his stare long enough to let him know you’re interested but not too long so that he thinks you’re a creepy asshole.
After friend was good & vodka drunk she wandered over to our soon to be friends & they talked about how all of them thought they knew each other & it was so weird & yay & I just stood there and looked at the girl’s dress because it had pockets & I was legitimately just wondering what she had in there. Bearded friend, we’ll call him Trent, told of us how he was currently living in Homer, Alaska. I used to live in Alaska & Homer was one of my favorite places. Ever. On the planet Earth. Even though I’ve only been to pretty much the Midwest & Canada. But it’s magical there. Upon him saying this I let out a sort of weird, jealous-that-you’re-living-there-and-not-me grunt. After that hot moment Trent was nice enough to change the subject & tell us that it was nice for a while but he had come to be ok with the fact that he was soon moving back to the lower 48. Our pack eventually broke to go get refills & relieve bladders & I sat down to relieve my old feet of the bad flats I wear to special occasions.
And then it happened. That dreaded switch from a fast song to a slow one. I always have the instinctual urge to run & pretend like I have somewhere to go. I have no problem sitting at a table by myself but it’s like it’s some kind of monstrosity at a wedding. Nobody sits! Just as fast as it happened I looked up to see Trent taking his friend out to the dance floor. And what happened next I swear was like some ninja move. Friend appeared out of nowhere, & I really mean nowhere, & grabbed him before he got one loafer on the designated dance floor. I knew immediately what she was doing but my belly full of steak clouded my judgement . . . & my speed obviously. Next thing I knew Trent was standing next to me asking me if he could ‘have this dance?’ I got a pity dance. As badly as I want to insert a sad face emoji in here I won’t. I think I apologized about 17 times for the fact that friend just warped me back to 7th grade when I had a gap in my teeth & a bad habit of wearing my brother’s clothes. I was being forced, or rather he was being forced to dance with me because he got asked too. It wasn’t awful, but I can’t say it wasn’t awkward. I remember wondering if I had sweat stains that were going to be visible from his eye level & that he said, ‘leave room for Jesus!’ We laughed but I probably also inserted another weird man grunt in. After we stumbled between songs wondering if we were going to dance again, someone luckily announced a newly arrived nacho bar at the back of the room. I was free to be angry at friend because ground beef & corn chips were taking up everyone else’s time.
I sucked it up & lasted the rest of the time so that everyone could be safely delivered to their hotels with stiff sheets & I was swiftly on my way home.
Trent told me he was moving to the south somewhere so I didn’t even begin to think I could stalk him on Facebook. Oh wait, I totally did that the second I got home at 4:23 am. On the way home I saw 5 shooting stars & wished on them that I would just ‘figure it out.’
Here I am . . .trying to figure it out. And I have more weddings to go to this year. And I have more encounters I will probably be forced into that will provide fodder for me to write about while I’m eating my feelings.
I hope you’re forced to dance with someone soon because it’s good to do with strangers. Unless of course there’s a nacho bar. Nachos always come first.
-a damsel & her dog-
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