Last summer, my best friend R, then single, had seven weddings to go to. Seven. I felt horrified on her behalf: how could she possibly withstand the trauma of attending so many celebrations of romantic love when she, herself, didn’t have any?
She shrugged me off. The weddings were fun, she said. She loved seeing the dear ones get married. She wore pretty dresses. It was no big deal.
I didn’t buy it. But this summer–with three weddings under my belt so far and one more coming up–I’ve changed my tune.
Weddings are fun. They’re fun as part of a couple: D he might not be the most talented dancer, but–with the help of no small amount of scotch–he humored me; we made friends; we had fun.
But now I’m back to flying sola, and I am here to report that R was right: actually, it’s fine. Actually, it’s better than fine. It’s awesome. So, here, a beginner’s guide to making the most:
Step One: Go alone. The morning of the wedding I called my Albuquerque friend A to make plans for transportation. “Aren’t you bringing that guy you’re seeing?” she asked. “Hell no,” I said. I explained that I had been given the option, and had sincerely thought it through. There were compelling reasons: the guy (let’s not even discuss his initial, you can guess) would have been a fun date; he would have looked damn good on my arm; in my state of relative fragility, it can seem appealing to avoid presenting yourself as conspicuously single. But then, I thought better: what if I didn’t want to get stuck babysitting him? What if there were cute boys to flirt with? We aren’t committed–why limit myself unnecessarily? There’s no question: it was the right choice.
Step Two: Wear something skin-tight. Or whatever it is that makes you feel completely, undeniably sexy. During that phone call with A, she asked me what I planned to wear. “I’m not sure,” I said. “I have a couple cute halter dresses…and this slinky thing that I’ve never worn…” “Definitely wear the slinky thing.” she replied. I started to talk like a silly woman. “Well yesterday I felt great about my body, but today I don’t feel so great, I dunno…” “Wear it,” she said. I did. I felt hot.
Step Three: Apply red lipstick. A lot of it: by the end of the night, it will come off. Not because you forgot to put it in your purse, but because by the end of the night you will have no idea where your purse is. Or, probably, your shoes.
Step Four: Flirt. Recklessly. I don’t condone leading someone on when you’re dating over a period of weeks, months or years. But for a few hours in close proximity to an open bar? It’s not exactly polite, but it’s not the worst crime in the world either. There are times for restraint–this isn’t one.
Step Five (Optional): Maybe, make out a little bit. I’m just saying, if you find yourself near a handsome guest toward the end of the night, I would not judge you for kissing him. Bonus points if he’s legitimately single.
Step Six: Wear sunglasses to the morning after brunch. And do not remove them: no one needs to see that your mascara is still creeping down your cheeks or that your eyes are extremely red because you’ve hardly slept. (It helps if, on the way to brunch, you stop to pick up a generous and resourceful friend in possession of eyedrops.) Eat bagels, drink coffee and copious amounts of things with bubbles.
Step Seven: Be grateful that you are not accountable to anyone besides your bed, your dog, and your Netflix–all of whom are expecting you for the afternoon. And enjoy all of the above.
Repeat as necessary.