STAG in Arizona
It sounded like a good idea. In fact, it sounded perfect. I’ll attend my best friend’s wedding … alone. I’m her Maid of Honor and I’ll be tied up way too much to give whomever I bring the attention they’d need so why bother, right?
The Rehearsal Dinner
A young girl is walking around the tables and lighting candles. She’s like a feather with the way she swiftly — like air — moves about the outside patio careful not to interrupt any single guest, not that she could. Everyone’s encapsulated within the invisible walls they’ve created around their table. A waiter approaches my table and tilts the Spanish wine into my glass, also quietly. I’m about to sip when I see the woman next to me wait. I remember. Manners. I try not to look impatient while I wait for every single person to be served by this one waiter. Finally.
I politely smile across the table at all the couples. Everyone. Is. Married.
“You’re alone!” one of the wives with mousy brown hair and heavy eye make up blurts out from across the table. Everyone laughs.
We’re at a very posh hotel in Scottsdale. A famous football player who’s recently had a reality show is here. He’s smoking a cigar at a table surrounded by laughing babes in neon bikinis. I don’t know who he is, but everyone else seems to. All eyes on him.
My best friend is now married and the party has begun. OK, let’s see here. Who should I talk to? OK. Good, her. What was her name? Sarah? Jamie? Shoot. I’ll just say, “Hey babe,” instead. She was at my table last night. She was nice. She’ll remember me. OK, I’m walking over, about to say “Hi” and then her husband walks up. He hands her a new drink, one with a pink umbrella floating inside.
I find myself saying things like, “So, tell me how do you two know the bride?” and “Now, how did you guys meet?” And “Oh yes. The weather is beautiful tonight, I do agree.” And “I’ve always wanted to go to Kansas,” and, “These photos of your babies are so cute! Can I see more?”
The vanilla cake is cut. Husbands kiss their wives, a few babies start crying, and I go on a search for coffee. There must be coffee somewhere here. I need to kill this sudden exhaustion that’s hit me. I can’t leave. It’s only 9 o’clock! Get it together, Alice! This is your best friend’s wedding! I look for her, which is easy — the only one in a wedding gown. She’s tied up with guests.
I end up in a bathroom stall. I lock the door and sit on the floor for fifteen minutes and play Brick-Breaker on my Blackberry.
I feel pathetic. Now please understand it’s not that I’m not outgoing, it’s not that I’m an unsupportive friend — it’s just, well, attending a wedding alone just plain sucks.
Lesson learned. Bring a date.
However, I think if I can attend a destination wedding stag and hold my own I can deal with pretty much anything, right?
Alice can be reached at AliceActress@yahoo.com.