It happened again. I actually met a man who made me think, ya know, I could actually fall into bed with him. He was tall, with a strong, broad back, a devilish smile that exposed perfect teeth, pale green eyes and a head of long, curly salt and pepper hair. I spent the afternoon with him, assisting my friend Gabrielle with her interactive art installation, “Till Death Do You Part: Marry Yourself!” Ordinarily I would’ve enjoyed helping strangers get themselves dressed up for their wedding, blowing bubbles and tossing glitter. And for the first few hours I did. But the more I thought about it all, the more depressed I got.
A wedding. I had a wedding once. I said my vows and meant them. As I assume everyone does. Though still, 50% of marriages end in divorce. That, in and of itself, is depressing. The fact that I rarely speak to a man I stood at the altar with and promised a lifetime together is even more depressing. I was Maid of Honor at my sister’s wedding, drunken toast and all. She’s still going through her divorce. I danced at my cousin’s wedding. Ditto. So I guess about, yeah, 50% of the weddings I’ve attended ended the same way. Sad.
And though I’ve been endlessly enjoying my solitude lately, ad nauseum, the idea of marrying myself was also depressing. I don’t need to make any vows to myself. I manage to maintain a reasonable level of happiness and do a relatively admirable job of following through with many of the promises that Gabrielle has included in her “multiple choice vows.” But the frosting on the wedding cake was realizing that I was, for all intents and purposes, invisible to this handsome man. Which made me think back on my many social forays over the past few months. I put on my costumes, glue rhinestones to my face and venture forth. Not once have I met anyone new, certainly no one who’s been even vaguely interested in me. Not sexually, not romantically. And if it weren’t for the fact that I am what some might consider “connected” in the extended freak community here, no one would even be interested in me socially. No one really wants to meet women of a certain age, regardless of how interesting they may be. And I am imminently interesting!
So yes, I could’ve married myself today. Yet all I could think was “Well, no one else will want to.” Which isn’t exactly what one is supposed to be thinking when the goal is self-empowerment. Gabrielle asked me if I wanted to do it and I said yes, but I didn’t follow through. Honestly, I was afraid I’d break down and cry. A few of the women who married themselves did get choked up. As ridiculous as the situation sounds, looking yourself in the mirror and vowing to love yourself forever isn’t all that easy. Given the mood I was in, I didn’t think I’d even be able to get the words out.
And here I sit, crying over a scene in this stupid Titanic miniseries, where a man didn’t want to leave his dead wife behind. Thank heavens there’s chocolate.