On Sunday afternoon, my little sister Lizz is marrying one of my best friends from high school, Pat. They’ve been together for 11 years, and are the kind of couple that looks alike, talks alike, and complements each other in every way, giving me a touch of faith in this whole crazy love thing. I am pumped for the ceremony, which will be held in my favorite park in New York City, right under the Brooklyn Bridge. I am pumped that Pat will finally be my brother-in-law, a term I’ve used to describe him for years anyway. I am pumped for the reception, which will feature barbecue and cupcakes, and a “Celebrate Good Times”-free wedding dance mix created by yours truly. Heck, I’m even pumped to wear my bridesmaid dress. But there is just one little thing I’m dreading about Sunday: I have no date.Honestly, it never occurred to me that I wouldn’t be able to wrangle a member of the male species to go with me to one of the biggest events of my life. But after a bad breakup in February, I haven’t had much luck on the dude scene. I had a pretty fantastic date a week and a half ago and was secretly hoping that perhaps things would be going so well I’d be able to ask him. But alas, he appears to have fallen off the face of the planet. Panicking last weekend, I asked a good friend — the only one who isn’t already on the invite list with a date of his own — but, of course, he’s going to be out of town. I have another friend who I’ve thought about asking, but since he’s currently in the middle of a divorce, it seems cruel to subject him to a six-hour love fest, even if there will be pulled pork sandwiches involved. And so that leaves me. On my own. Solo. To my little sister’s wedding.
Every rational cell in my brain tells me this isn’t a big deal. This thing will be so mobbed with my friends and family that having a date would probably be a pain in the butt since I’d have to babysit him and make sure he hadn’t been accosted by a great aunt. Actually, I’ve never brought a date to a wedding, and in the end I’ve always had a great time. But, darn it, this is my sister’s wedding. Is a date really too much to ask?
Extended family does not make it easy to be a single. While I’m normally totally comfortable with my life, there’s no one who can crack it open and point a flashlight at what’s missing quite like they can. At a family event about a year ago, one family member jumped right in. “Why aren’t you married?” he asked. “I’d be so lost without my wife.”
“Now, now. Kate’s a modern woman. She’s got her career to focus on. She doesn’t need a man,” piped in another.
Really? Is that what they think? That I’m single because I want to be? Because I’m an extra on “Sex and the City”? Because I’m some fast-talking career broad who spits on the word husband? Ugh. That is so not it. I would love to meet someone whom I think I could start a life with. It simply hasn’t happened yet.
The other day, I unloaded this onto my sister and soon-to-be brother-in-law. “Don’t worry,” Pat said. “Lots of my chef friends are coming without dates.”
Hot chef friends? Just another reason why I’m glad my sister is marrying him.