This moment is sponsored by AWKWARD

Many of you know that I went to Missouri last weekend to see the family, but mostly to watch my brother officiate his first wedding. The girl getting married has grown up in our home church and I’d call her and her entire family family friends. The newlywed husband works for my brother in his landgrading business. My mom was helping to cook for and serve at the rehearsal dinner and reception, my dad was doing the sound during the ceremony, and even I somehow ended up helping to serve cake.

Because of the photographer’s ineptness, no pictures were taken before the ceremony, even though the bride had requested such. (I don’t have many good things to say about this photographer. He was lazy, not dressed appropriately, and didn’t work during the reception, he just ate. And because of his refusal to do any pictures until AFTER the reception, the bride and groom didn’t eat in fear of getting food on their clothes. BAD PHOTOGRAPHER!) Anyway, because of his stupidity, when it finally came time to throw the bouquet and garter, most of the guests had already left. So, the word came downstairs to where we were cleaning up from the reception that our presence was requested upstairs for this silly little tradition.

And basically, that’s when everything got really awkward. Because the single people in the room consisted of me (the 30-year-old spinster, apparently), a fourth grader, a high school student who didn’t want to participate, and the maid of honor who at least seemed to have a boyfriend. To make matters worse, a woman I’ve known most of my life began telling everyone to back away from me, that they wanted me to catch the bouquet. That it was about time I got married. Even my mom was joining in the cheers and my brother was laughing. Meanwhile, I sort of wanted to melt into the carpet and disappear. Because this was awkward. Embarrassing. Putting attention on me that I’d rather not have. Needless to say, Bridesmaid caught the bouquet and everyone shut up.

I have never, ever, except maybe when I was about 10 years old, enjoyed this tradition. I always feel awkward and stupid. I’m not that girl who is knocking others out of the way in the belief that catching that bouquet means you’ll get married next. Actually, there’s a picture somewhere from a friend’s wedding in which I was a bridesmaid and HAD to participate in the silly tradition and someone took a picture of the group of “single ladies” (you go, Beyonce!) and I’m standing there looking slightly bored, arms by my side, talking to someone as the bouquet sails through the air. That pretty much captures my attitude toward that little tradition.

I know my mom and all those people who watched me grow up want the best for me. My mom one time even confessed that she wanted to see me happily married so that she knew that I would always be taken care of, which is a sweet idea when you think about it. But marriage for whatever reason hasn’t happened for me yet, and sometimes I get tired of the constant hammering on it by the older ladies in my home church and sometimes even my family. Sometimes, when you’re 30 years old and not married, people begin to talk about you like you have a disease, especially if you happen to be female. “Look at her,” they whisper when you walk by. “She’s not married. And she’s 30!”

So, for all you single ladies out there, remember that being single isn’t the end of the world. Your self-worth isn’t dependent on whether you’re someone’s husband or someone’s mother. It’s dependent on who you are in Christ. It’s dependent on all the little things that make you special. For those of us who deeply desire to have a family of our own, weddings can be sad reminders of what we don’t have. My advice: don’t spend your time dwelling on that. You have this one moment and then it’s gone. No one is guaranteed tomorrow, morbid as it sounds. And I’d rather live today to the fullest instead of mourning something I don’t have.


8 thoughts on “This moment is sponsored by AWKWARD”

  1. yeah, the only reason i went up to catch a garter at the last wedding i went to, was because my friend told me a couple of weeks prior that he was getting the DJ to play “Legs”. i knew if i didn’t go he’d be disappointed, so i went, and managed to avoid catching anything. still, it’s awkward when there’s only 5 or 6 people and 300 guests.

    sorry about the bouquet awkwardness, that must have been awful. 😦

  2. Well, actually, I kind of wanted to catch the bouquet so that I could at least hit people over the head with it. That would have been a nice touch, eh?

  3. Yeah, have you ever noticed that out of a good hundred plus guests, only five females gather for the bouquet? And same for the guys with the garter. Are there really that many “attached” people at weddings or lots of singles who go into hiding?

  4. I hate this tradition as well. Not that being a single 31 year-old man is all that great. If catching these darn things actually did a little good then I’d be all for it.

    The worst thing about my church family is that they all gather at these weddings and insist you get out there. If only it were possible to go into hiding. Your best bet is to leave early (I find that they keep carrying out this tradition earlier and earlier these days).

    At least there is one advantage to being a guy. It is embarrassing enough to be forced out into the group but at least we have pockets to insure that we can avoid catching the thing under nearly every circumstance. I’ve seen ladies forced to catch a bouquet flying directly at their noggin more than once.

    On the upside, the weather was fabulous on this side of Missouri over the weekend. Hope it was pleasant on the, um, dark side. Ha.

  5. I used to be okay with this whole “tradition” and had fun with it, until a wedding where a very similar instance occurred. That was it for me. I have no problem being a “spoil sport” as I have been called at subsequent weddings. Not to mention, as a guy, wanting to catch a garter is frankly a little awkward on a variety of levels. Especially when the tradition also requires us to hang on the car rearview mirror! At least you get to catch flowers.

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