If You Can’t Marry ‘Em, Write A Blog About ‘Em

I thought I would repost my very first post on this blog as I know a lot of you haven’t read it yet.

By the way, if you haven’t bought my book Getting Naked Later: A Guide for the Fully Clothed you can buy it here. Also, you should check out the reviews! I’ve gotten six 5 star reviews since it came out a month ago!

I have been in thirty three weddings.

I am not talking about how many I’ve been to, but  how many I’ve been in. I was a bridesmaid in some. I am a full time singer songwriter so I have sang and played in many more. Unfortunately, my job in these weddings has never been to walk down the aisle in a white dress. But I tell you what, if I ever get married, I will have lots of ideas to choose from.

Let’s just look at one wedding that I went to a few years ago that is a snapshot of my single life

Two of my dearest friends were getting married. It was a beautiful backyard wedding. Before the wedding started  I was talking to my friend Shannon, a very feisty, happily married 40 year old. This is what Shannon said to me that day, as she gestured towards my curled hair and perfect makeup  and my eggplant colored sleeveless dress that showed off my shoulders

“Kate, you look smoking hot. Too bad it’s just wasted. “

Most of you that are single are shaking the heads, putting this comment in the mental file called “insensitive things that married people say to single people.” Believe me, that mental file is chock full of comments people have made to me over the years , but this was not one of them. I  was not offended by this remark, because I knew that Shannon meant it as a compliment. What she was saying is “What the heck, Kate? You are wonderful person. I don’t understand why you’re still single. ” People say this to me often.

It is kind of a mystery to all of us.

During the wedding, I sang a love song that I wrote. My married friend Seth came up to me and said “Kate, in that dress, singing that song, any single guy here would want to dance with you. ” I felt very flattered. At the reception, thinking about those two comments as I was eating my chicken a la king, I started to feel very confident, brazen even. I was beautiful. Someone would want to dance with me.

I began to anticipate the dancing that was about to begin. One of those handsome single groomsmen would see me across the room and think “that was the girl who sang her song during the wedding. She fascinates me. I want to dance with her. ” He would walk up shyly and  ask me.  We would step out onto the dance floor and he would gently take my hand. Even that would give me butterflies, since no one has touched my hand in a long time. And then we would move together. Two peopled with different personalities, different weakness’, different strengths, moving as if they were one.

Maybe I would even fall in love.

The time came for the single men to ask the single women to dance.  I stood at the edge of the floor in anticipation like Cinderella at the ball.

No one asked me to dance.

Instead of feeling like the intriguing girl everyone wanted to dance with, I felt more like the Old Maid in that children’s card game- standing alone while everyone else paired up. I could have pulled out my knitting needles and my rocking chair right then and there. I wanted to say “Hey! Single guys! Over here! According to my married friends, this dress makes me look smoking hot! Doesn’t anyone want to dance with me?” I waited, hoping for a falling-in-love-worthy  song. Surely all those groomsmen were just being shy.

Sadly, the next song was anything but romantic. Can you guess what it was? I’ll give you one hint: it has nothing to do with wedded bliss and everything to do with an athletic club.

That’s right folks, the YMCA.

The YMCA seems to be a dance designed for people who can’t dance. A dance that you could do even if you were in a wheelchair.  If you are unable to learn the incredibly complicated 80’s dance that involves hopping up and down alone, you can at least fling your arms out to spell things. “Look at us!” we say. ” Who says we can’t dance? We are so coordinated! We can all spell out the letters for the Young Men’s Christian Association in perfect unison! “

I was annoyed, but I still I went out there and “danced” with all the other bad dancers.  More accurately I “spelled.” But I wasn’t in perfect unison with them. Instead of YMCA, I was spelling WPCD. A little secret joke between me and myself. White People Can’t Dance.  This has been a tradition for me at weddings ever since then. *

Finally, towards the end of the wedding came the dance I really wanted to participate in, even if it was reminiscent of awkward middle school moments;  slow dancing whities. **

But there would be no slow dancing for me. Not even in my smoking hot dress.

I wanted love, and instead, I got the white man’s overbite.

Seriously God? Seriously?

That night was kind of a snapshot of my life.  The reception started out with me eating at a table with dear friends and loving life.  I laughed. I felt accepted.  I was thankful. But then the dancing came and everyone took their partner . Another pair and another pair and another pair. I sat at the table and slowly ate my wedding cake, an important stance when you don’t want to look like you have nothing to do while everyone is dancing.  I tried really hard not to cry.

I don’t want this to be difficult for me. I want to be satisfied in who I am as a single woman. But when I look at those pairs dancing, no matter how hard I try to fight it,  I don’t feel smoking hot. I feel alone.

How do we find hope that is still hope even if it doesn’t end in a wedding dress? How can we prepare ourselves if we do get married? How can we be thankful for where we are today?  What can singles and married people learn from each other to help us cope with this journey? Is a life that has no intimate witness still valuable? If a traditional family never comes to us, are we doomed to loneliness, or can we build our own family?   Does God see me alone at my table, eating my wedding cake? Does He care? Does He feel the same way at times?

These are some of the questions that I want to explore in this blog. I love the thought of you going on this journey with me. Let’s walk fully clothed along this road together.

*I looked up YMCA and wedding on the internet as “research” and found this in Yahoo Answers:

Question: “Do fundamentalist Christians do the YMCA dance at weddings? It just seems like it would be the dance of the devil. Which village people singer do they like the most?”

Best Answer- chosen by asker “The Village People are a creation of Fundamentalist Christians, so yes. They like the construction worker best because the Lord likes hard work. “

Another not so popular answer was “Fundamental Christians prefer the Hokey Pokey, while pentacostals are hot for the electric slide.”  This is what happens when you do research on the internet.

**All of these moves and more can be seen on the youtube video “How To Dance Like A White Guy.”  Very scientific, incredibly accurate internet research.

8 thoughts on “If You Can’t Marry ‘Em, Write A Blog About ‘Em

  1. I can totally relate to your happy-turned-sour wedding moments. One of my best friends got married last September. I truly loved being a part of her wedding and was deeply happy for her and her new hubs. All was well as I talked and laughed with old college friends and new acquaintances. Then, the slow dancing began. My laughter soon turned to choking back tears as I solitarily nibbled on wedding cake and threw back a few more drinks from the open bar (the word “few” being *ahem* open to interpretation). It certainly didn’t help that I’d been recently broken up with by a guy whom I thought I was going to marry.
    Being older and single at weddings tends to consistently be a roller-coaster of emotions. If it’s any solace to us both, at least we know that there’s at least one other person out there who feels the same. :/

  2. ah Kate, you have a gift, love your writing, but my heart does feel sad for you as a single-person-not-wanting-to-be-single as opposed to just single person because i’m tired of marriage being the finish line held in front of single people, but you know all that. just wanted to say ‘thankx for sharing this again’ – as i read this a few of my other friends come to mind and i am sad for them as well [knowing they are desperately desiring this and confused as to why it has not happened for them by now]… i do imagine [knowing my history of being married at age 35 so a lot of singleness worked in before then and not a whole lot of embracing it as my end point in life til right near the end] that there were some guys there eyeing you out and too scared, shy, or embarrassed about the potentiality of messing it up and so it just didn’t happen and they are sitting somewhere in a bar tonite singing the song they wrote [cos guys don’t blog or something] with the same lyrics from the same event… ai. sometimes we all just need a kick up the butt i think but i’m glad you are being proactive in your pursuit even if that brings its own awkward scary and humorous stories at times… and just keep on… that’s all i got really, because i think choice and circumstance are involved as i don’t personally believe God picks person A and person B and brings them together [except in some extreme circumstances] but rather creates an idea of a good person to be and a good person to be connected to and so hopefully those two meet up at some time…

    and thankx for sharing your piece on mu blog as well [http://brettfish.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/taboo-topics-singleness-intro] – this really is a piece that is strong on a lot of peoples minds and hearts and it is good to see someone like you writing so strongly and real’ly into it…

    all the best
    brett fish

  3. Hi kate! i started following your blog a few weeks ago and I just love love love reading your posts. I’m uber blessed every time. It gives me so much joy to have someone put into words emotions and struggles we single women often just brush aside or feel scared to express. But You are so brave in your writing!

    I am turning 32 this year and unlike you, I’ve been single for the whole part of those 32 years. 🙂 There were those years when I tried so hard to make myself feel “satisfied” with my singleness. But like you mentioned, it can’t be forced. It’s a journey that we make and as it draws us closer to God, and I realized that as we cling to God more, it does shift from being a pain into a joy that is hard to explain. I am not saying that I don’t have a desire to get married anymore. I desire it more today than any other time ever in my life. But the journey has stilled my heart, amazingly. I’m still not perfect and 100% secure but I’ve become more and more secure about myself along the way and I think it’s God’s miracle because normally people get more and more insecure and desperate along the way. 😀 God is just so awesome to use singleness for his glory. I hope we do get married soon though! 😀

    So yes, I want to join you and the other single ladies (and men and non-single people) here on this wonderful journey. I think I have a lot to learn from your honesty and courage in facing these struggles that we single women go though!

    • Hey! I guess im a little late but this particular blog touched me because its also the story of my life! I had gone through all the stages ( from ugly duckling to swan) and i too had still gotten smacked with the truth,, all my friends were paired off and i was ALWAYS the third wheel. I too have never had experience, im 21 and its crazy feeling the pressure of my future career wse as well as “companion” wise. But i too came to the same truth, to truelly be alone is to be seperared from God, and if I felt that way it wasnt because God was putting me in a timeout corner or anything like that it was mainly because I was seperating myself.

      Can I trust you to be sufficient and still give me the desires of my heart?

      I too stand with you and I too believe that I can learn truths from your journey and I appreciate you to being so real and palpable enough that we can feel you.

  4. Kate –

    I’ve been following your blog now for a number of months and absolutely love it! Thank you so much for sharing so openly about your singleness, the struggles and joys in that journey. Thanks for reposting your first blog this past week. I could absolutely relate. I joke with my friends that the movie 27 Dresses is my life story – and somehow I’m not getting any royalties 😉
    God has me on a very crazy journey in this period of singleness – it’s one that is way too long and complicated to share at this point but it’s been an amazing, difficult, incredible, painful, growing journey that He’s had me on over the past year. Your blog has been such an encouragement to me and has allowed me, many times, to laugh at the journey and God’s humor in our lives.
    My journey has also inspired me to begin a blog – which has been a huge blessing and healthy outlet for me (https://princesswarriorjourney.wordpress.com/).
    I’m looking forward to purchasing and reading your book in the near future. Thanks again for sharing your story with us!!

  5. There was a time I when I enjoyed weddings. I was married. For that and the answers you shared, my opinion has changed. I find ways to send my regrets to the invitations. A cowards way of avoiding the ‘traditions’ of joining the single guys for the garter toss.
    Perhaps we can start a site for singles who hate the disappointments of the reception.

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