The sun is shining! The birds are chirping! It’s actually getting warm outside! You know what this means? It’s time to spend all of your money and precious vacation days attending your friends’ weddings.
I just don’t understand how in the world people are able to go on normal vacations. The people who are like, “I am going to Europe for two weeks! Just for fun!” don’t actually make sense to me. I fundamentally don’t understand how in the world their lives work.
Sure, I travel a lot, but I don’t travel to places I want to go to. I travel to places my friends force me to go (last year two friends did force me to go to Hawaii. Those are the best friends ever). Nearly every other weekend during my Spring, Summer and Fall is spent watching two friends stand in front of everyone they know, promising that they really will make this love thing work forever and ever amen.
There is this big urban myth about weddings being a great pick up spot. And I’m here to tell you that this is not remotely the case. And to plead with all of you that we finally clear the air on this (if only so my grandmother will stop asking me details about the guests of each and every wedding I attend). I’m sort of an expert in this; I’ve been in a lot of weddings. I won’t go all Katherine Heigl on you, but trust me on this one, I know weddings. During my career as a bridesmaid and Professional Wedding Attendee, I’ve only taken a date twice (each time was a disaster. Like, I broke up with each other them within two weeks of wedding attendance) and left myself open to being picked up.
It’s not like I don’t try, I do. I flirt. I drink enough champagne so that I’m actually able to form coherent sentences to people I find attractive (an ongoing struggle). But nothing works. The main issue with trying to meet someone at a wedding is that 95 percent of the people you know are either people you know or people who are somehow related to you. And, sure, it’s nice to catch up with your college friend Jeff, but Jeff isn’t suddenly going to overlook that one time when you were so drunk (hey, mom, if you’re reading this, ‘drunk’ is slang we use to mean ‘tired from so much studying’) that you showered with all of your clothes on and decide you really were meant to be together.
“But wait, Joy! What about the other five percent of people!” you’ll say. Glad to see you’re doing math while you read this! Good on you! So, the issue with that five percent is that while you may not know them, you know about them. They’re the guys who threw the bachelor party that almost canceled the wedding. Or the one who sits alone in his apartment on weekends, painting images of his ex girlfriend. You know the damage on those five percent. And there is no amount of champagne in the world that can make that knowledge go away.
If you’re a bridesmaid, your chance of hooking up is even slimmer. Yes, fine, maybe you meet the one guy who doesn’t fit the aforementioned description, and, sure, perhaps you even talk to him. But you know the moment you start dancing with him, the bride will come over and ask you to hold up her dress while she pees. And there is no attractive way to come back from that
Despite the fact that there is very little personal gain in attending the nuptials of a friend, I promise I’ll still spend the next six months traveling the globe to see people commit themselves to each other (and you should too!). I’ll dance with dads and flower girls, I’ll wear a dress that cost me $800 but makes me look like a bloated piñata. And I’ll do it with a smile. But not because I’ve scheduled a rendezvous with a groomsman, but because that’s what good friends do.
Joy Engel lives and works in Portland, Maine where she tweets far too much and solves the occasional murder-mystery while riding around on a bicycle. Everything she writes is her personal opinion and does not necessarily represent the views of her employer or its clients.