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I’ve Become That Woman

When I was younger I was forced to attend a lot of family weddings.  I have so many cousins I literally cannot name all of them and that isn’t even counting all the “new” cousins I gleaned from weddings.  I would sit there in my Sunday best scratching and picking at clothes that were uncomfortable until finally the bride was kissed and we could race downstairs for food.

Eleanor was at every wedding.  She was also at every baptism, confirmation, and funeral.  Eleanor wasn’t family, she was just single.  Eleanor was just a lonely old woman who liked to attend every single church activity for a sense of belonging.  And she always cried at the weddings.

I had done pretty well avoiding formal affairs because I always felt that I didn’t fit.  I didn’t fit into the clothes that would make me look pretty because they didn’t exist.  I didn’t fit into the pews comfortably because I couldn’t cross my legs or lean on arm rests.  I didn’t fit in with celebratory people and so I would skip the ceremonies and stay home.  Usually with the date that would never let me down; the large cheese pizza.

I’ve gone to two weddings this year.  And I’ve felt like I fit at both of them.  Weight loss helped, of course, but growing up and loving myself helped even more.  I wasted my twenties feeling awkward and uncomfortable in nearly every situation.  I don’t want my thirties to be that way.  Instead of trying to have a good time, I just make a good time.

I cried yesterday at the wedding.  I have no idea why.  I didn’t know the bride or the groom.  I was invited by the bride’s mother, a woman I work with.  I attended the event alone.  I was seated in an empty pew.  Just me and about twenty feet of chair left over.  It filled up, obviously, but that didn’t stop one of the other attendees from turning around and exclaiming, “You came here by yourself?  But you have a boyfriend, don’t you?  Don’t worry, you’ll meet someone someday.”

I wasn’t worried.  I hadn’t even thought about it.  Until she said that.  Until I realized that people were noticing I was alone.  Maybe that is why I cried.

Between the ceremony, the reception, and the dance I was told four times not to worry.  My person was out there, they would pop up when I least expected it or when I stopped looking, I just had to put myself out there, etc etc etc.  I was trying to have a great time even though everyone around kept reminding me that I was alone and for that reason I might want to be a little sad.  I still laughed and danced and had a great time, but the night was tinged with…loneliness.  And THAT is what makes me sad.  Not that I was alone but that people, with what I’m sure was the best of intentions, made me feel lonely even though I wasn’t.  There is a difference between being alone and being lonely.

My person is out there.  But until our paths cross, I will keep getting healthy and working on myself from the inside out.  And I’ll keep going to weddings and shedding a few tears of hope.  And I will most certainly dance.


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