Summer Wedding Series: Your Day Will Come Soon and Other Unhelpful Comments – May 27, 2013

So, you’ve adjusted your expectations and now you are contemplating the reality of actually attending a wedding.  Of course, the first fear that is popping into your head is: Great, now I get to hear comment on my singleness by all sorts of people.

A couple of years ago I was invited to the wedding of a kid I used to babysit.  I’ve found that these are the worst weddings* to attend, especially if there is a considerable gap in your ages.  It’s not as depressing when you were 12 and the child was 9, but it’s a different story when you were 12 and the kid was 4.  I RSVP’ed my yes, but as the wedding approached I found myself wanting to ditch.  I mentioned this to my parents, who were also attending, and they encouraged me to go.  I decided to attend, but before leaving I was griping to my parents again and said how I was dreading the questions and comments of others.  They both looked at me inquisitively.  I explained that people would make awkward comments on my singleness, asking “When are you going to get married?”  They both laughed and said, “No one will ask you that.”  I shrugged my shoulders and off we went.

Fast forward 30-40 minutes.  We’re waiting to sign the guest book and bump into a family friend.  We all make small talk, but within 2-3 minutes the dreaded question makes its appearance:

So, when are you going to settle down?

I almost laughed out loud.  I quickly looked at my parents, raising my eyebrows, essentially communicating “I told you so,” before laughing a bit and giving a rehearsed answer.

I laugh, but really, part of my wants to cry in those moments.

diyIn moments when I feel really insecure about my singleness, weddings seem to rub it in my face, taunting me with its beautiful flowers, buffet lines, and lately, cute flag banners.  Darn you cute DIY weddings!  Note: one should never visit the site Green Wedding Shoes when feeling this way.  Or go on Pinterest.

Actually, going to a wedding as a single person (and especially as a single person who’s getting older) is sort of like a battle field.  There are land mines all over and one best step carefully.  There are a variety of comments being launched at the single person and it’s easy to be taken down by one of these missiles.  The other day I posted on Facebook asking for people to send in the best comments they’ve received at a wedding.  Thanks to all who contributed!  Here are some of my personal favorites:

Your time will come soon

Why is a pretty girl like you not married?

So…met anyone special lately?’

So when are we going to see you up there?

Now don’t put it off too long!

Get over there (*push), you have to catch that bouquet!

Have you tried online dating?

Let me introduce you to that nice girl over there….

You’re next, right?

Oh you’re not married? I thought you tied the knot a long time ago……cricket

Don’t worry, God has someone for you… He’s just not ready yet.

You are such a sweet and supportive sister… I’m sure it isn’t easy for you.

So, are you seeing anyone?

I know as I read this list, many of these comments felt familiar and I’m sure you’ve heard some in your journey of singleness.

Really though, when entering the mine field of weddings I think the best defense is to expect the questions, have some good short answers prepared, and to respond with a diverting question.  Of course, if you wanted to freak someone out, you could just burst into tears and start pouring out your heart.  In my book, that’s akin to heaping hot coals on another’s head.

Here are some practice answers based on some of the comments above:

So when are we going to see you up there?

What I want to answer: When the men I meet start manning up and getting over their Peter Pan syndrome.

What I will answer: (Shrug) I don’t know.  But wasn’t it just a lovely ceremony today?

Don’t worry, God has someone for you… He’s just not ready yet.

What I want to answer: Really, do you know that for sure?  Did God give you a personal message that I am going to get married?  Or are you just uncomfortable with my singleness?

What I will answer: (Smile) Thanks.  So, how are you doing?

Have you tried online dating?

What I want to answer: What’s that?  Online dating? Why no one has ever mentioned that possibility to me.  What, your second cousin’s best friend’s pet sitter found her husband on there?  Sign me up.

What I will answer: I actually have.  Have you tried the cheese board yet?  The Toscano is delightful (Cheese – the ultimate tension diffuser).

Also, be prepared with an exit strategy.  No matter how much you try to deflect the comments, some people are determined to drill into the single person’s psyche.  The best response is to remove yourself from the situation.  Having to refill your drink or use the restroom is always a good plausible exit.

Finally, remember that while these comments can feel prying or insensitive, they do usually come with good intentions.  And for those who are married and perhaps inclined towards these statements, think twice before speaking.  Every time you do, a single person quietly thanks you.

So, what are some of the best comments and questions you’ve heard at a wedding?  Give your response through the comment section below.


*This not the worst wedding to attend.  I saw an episode of The Mindy Project where she attended her ex’s wedding to the woman she was dumped for.  But who goes to or is even invited to these weddings.  That would be the worst.  Followed closely by attending a wedding where a recent ex is present.  So, maybe going to the wedding of a kid you babysat for is the third worst.  I think.

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