You know that vision that you had of your wedding as a little girl? The one where you dressed up like a princess in a shimmery ball gown and walked down the aisle toward your life size version of a tuxedo donning G.I. Joe (let’s be real – even as children we knew that any guy as pretty as Ken was destined to be our gay best friend). That vision of marrying your favorite member of the Backstreet Boys, moving into a mansion, and living happily ever after had to come true if MASH said so…right?!
As a child, my biggest concern was if I could wait long enough after meeting Mr. Right to tie the knot….because I wanted to be old enough to drink champagne at my wedding! This, as a single woman, rocking the downhill side of my 20s, with a permanent “boxed wine spot” on top of my fridge, seems extremely laughable. In the meantime, my vision of happy has changed. My fairy tale no longer includes a shimmery ball gown, and G.I. Joe got kicked out of the picture a long time ago. You can call me cynical, or pessimistic, or skeptical if you want. In fact, I’ll agree with you! Don’t get me wrong, I still want the happy ending, but life has happened and my version of my fairy tale has changed. However, I still find myself surrounded by friends and family that want the shimmery ball gown. So with Valentine’s Day on the horizon and wedding season around the corner, how does a single girl navigate it all?
While on a date recently, I made a comment about needing to write my Maid of Honor speech for my best friend’s upcoming wedding. My date quickly responded with the typical: “Have you been in a lot of weddings?” question. To which I gave the typical response….I laughed in his face. To his credit he smiled and we laughed about starring in our own version of the movie 27 Dresses. This could, incidentally, be the story of my life…minus the promising love interest. Given the fact that I should now own stock in David’s Bridal and their alterations department, I often get asked how I do it. In today’s, “you’re not a real person until you are married and/or divorced” society, I choose to believe they mean how do you manage all of those demands, not how do you manage to do that without eating chocolate and crying the whole time. The best response I can give is: “Fake it ’til you Make it.”
One of the best tricks I learned from years in telephone sales was simply to smile. Even if the customer was hundreds of miles away and couldn’t see your face, they could hear your frown. The same concept holds true for supporting someone’s fairy tale. Even though you may not believe in romance or shimmery ball gowns or happily ever after, someone you love and support does. If you truly care for that person, enough to spend a small, potentially personal island sized fortune on hair, make-up, waxing, and the gluing of all sorts of chemically composed products to your body on their fairy tale, why would you want to let them feel your frown?
So the moral of the story is: even though you may feel like running up to every table in every restaurant this Valentine’s Day and handing the diners a pamphlet on current divorce rates before you steal their wine, remember that their fairy tale is probably different from yours. Then smile (maybe steal their wine anyway) and work on your own vision of happy.