I went to my first wedding relatively late in life, as a sophomore in college. It was a Scandinavian wedding. Scandinavian events are either marked by painful austerity, or by an alcohol-fueled break from that austerity, and thankfully this affair was the latter. I danced up a storm. I drank up a typhoon. I didn’t think I wanted to catch the bouquet—- the elders had to aggressively usher me into the line-up of ladies—- but the second those roses left the bride’s palm, something primeval swelled in me and I ended up diving like a Steelers linebacker making a last-minute completion at the Superbowl. (Sorry about the stitches, Gertrude!!) Somewhere between the traditional pickled herring and smoked salmon and the tiered white cake, I threw up my arms. “Who knew weddings were so fun?” I thought, ankle deep in fish bones and butter cream frosting, a blonde maiden icing her head wound at the next table over.
I returned to the states with a greedy eye towards the near future: after all, in only a few years I could look forward to all the post-college hitchings that you hear about mostly in the form of complaints. Apparently, people start to rethink the value of certain friendships when all of a sudden they involve airfare to Tuscon, a $400 frock the color of nauseated seafarer, and a gift-wrapped Cuisinart. But I was ready and willing! And here I am, years later, woefully uncaked and underchampagned, a gift-wrapped Cuisinart pouting like an unadopted puppy in a corner of my closet. I haven’t been invited to a single wedding since that first blissful event so many years ago. Why?
Is there a possibility that I am widely hated by a group of cunning friend-imposters that are playing an elaborate ruse by “inviting me to brunch” and “confiding in me”? I am fairly certain that these people do, in fact, like me. No, I have a better answer: My male friends are all gay and my female friends are all comedians. And most of the gays are comedians, too, so really there's an overlapping Venn web of weddinglessness. And let me say, they are all lovely, beautiful people, witty, sparkling, special. But there is a type of person that specifically wants to settle down, a type of person that will chew through her nails with anxiety until the princess-cut diamond that she researched is safely past her knuckle. I do not have any of these diamond-researching hausfraus for friends.
If the Ghost of Friendmaking Past could chaperone me back to my freshman year of high scool, I would watch in horror as a fat, frizzy-haired version of myself in a Les Miserables sweatshirt blissfully signed up for the high school Drama Club—signing away that butter cream frosting, slice by slice, with every semester’s new musical revival! For every hour we spent in oversized suitjackets singing “Luck be a Lady” in the cafeteria, a future amuse-bouche was hurtled into a dark grave. When I burst onstage in hooker digs at age 13 for A Gershwin musical about Havana, somewhere in the distant future a bouquet of roses burst into flames. We didn’t know it at the time, but in those years we cemented ourselves as the Unmarryables, some of us legally, all of us undeniably. A furious yen for a career in lights eroded the part of the brain that holds fantasies of potholders and PTAs. Synaptic channels were fused such that from then on, when a man makes a joke, we automatically search to ruthlessly one-up him rather than simply laugh.
Knowing what I know now, I would sign myself up for the volleyball team, maybe the knitting club, a bosomous coven of utterly appealing future brides. I wouldn’t listen to their stupid conversation, I wouldn’t set or spike, knit or pearl. I would just sit there like Bernie in "Weekend at Bernie’s" racking up the required amount of time for me to be definitively included in the guest lists for their wedding circuit. Then I would get blacked out at all their weddings (cut to me passed out spread-eagle in a miniskirt on the hood of a white limo), ruthlessly one-up all the singles I meet, dump the sluts as friends, and go back to the cynical, man-eating faggotry that I have come to know and love as my talented group of friends.
But first: where's that fucking bouquet? BRING IT. BRING IT!!!!