Mouse rant blog vent mouse.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

The struggle continues

Every time I open my MSN home page, I risk getting annoyed at the sexism in the guise of helping women article blurb. I always mean to make it a regular thing to post about these articles, but then I get distracted by something else. Well, no time like the present.
Today's "helpful" article is how to survive the wedding season even if you a pathetic, man-less loser who therefore naturally resents your friends for getting married while you languish, unwanted and unloved. Of course, they simply call it "The single gal's wedding survival guide".
Under the guise of helping single women who suffer from a world that is admittedly prejudiced against single women, this article cheerfully reinforces that prejudice. Hey, if you can't catch a man, well, at least you have a sense of humor, right?
To begin, a list of what is required of single women at weddings:

1. Attend (on your own).
2. Buy a dress for (on your own).
3. Buy an expensive gift for (on your own).
4. Navigate toasts, intrusive questioning by well-meaning relatives and friends, and bouquet-tossing silliness -- on your own.


My god! The horrors! Coupled women don't know the pain! Except getting a man hardly spares any woman from the last three items on that list. I've gone to alot of weddings lately, and I assure you that just because I have a boyfriend doesn't mean that I am somehow spared dressing myself, purchasing a gift, or having to answer nosy questions from rude people. As for the first one, what the hell does that mean? I've gone to plenty of weddings date-less, but that doesn't mean I was alone. For god's sake, I knew the couples, so I magically happened to know some other people that were at these weddings. And often I went with another friend or relative! Amazing. (Anyway, who says that you can't have a date to a wedding if you're single? Doesn't everyone do that now?) It never occured to me that there were any real drawbacks to being single at a wedding, until the last one I went to and a girl friend who didn't have a date whispered to me, "God, I hope no one asks me to dance."
Another list, of "Supplies":

--Advil
--Tissues
--A cell phone (so you can call friends for moral support)
--Business cards (in case you meet someone cute)
--A spare pair of comfy shoes (so you can kick up your heels and get funky)
--A good excuse to leave early
--A list of fun things to do afterward (rent "Pirates of the Caribbean," enjoy a bubble bath, take Schedule 1 drugs)


Advil, you probably shouldn't be taking, because at most weddings there is also liquor, and that's bad for your liver. Tissues, for what? In case you cry? Is there something about being single that makes women vulnerable to crying? I like to guess who's going to cry at weddings, so I watch the crowd carefully, and I can tell you right now there's no way to guess who's going to cry. Single women are not really more likely than any others to cry. A cell phone? If you have one, why wouldn't you have it anyway? And what do you need moral support for, anyway? Must be in case the line at the buffet is really long, and in that case, I suggest just drinking wine until it dies down. Giving out your number and dancing are both decent ideas if that's what you like, but since this writer seems to think that single women hide in the bathroom weeping and calling their friends at weddings, I don't know when they are supposed to find the time to dance and flirt. The second to last item on the list resembles good Earth advice, to have an excuse to leave early, which is good advice no matter what the event. But the last one seems to be aimed at creatures not of this planet. Who needs to drug themselves into oblivion after weddings? Thinking back on what I did after weddings I've attended without a date, I don't ever remember crying my woes away in the tub. More like hung out with other guests that also ducked out early and made fun of the couple's relatives.
Advice on what to wear (hint: a dress is a good idea):

I hardly need to remind you that looking good is no substitute for feeling good -- but looking fabulous will compensate quite nicely. So pay extra attention to your hair, nails, etc. And if you have to choose between buying a ho-hum frock that seems sensible because you'll wear it again and a stunner you may wear only three more times in your life, spring for the dress that will make people swear they saw you in the pages of InStyle magazine.

You can let yourself go after you capture a man. And who the hell says "frock"? What is this, a Jane Austen novel?
Most women, single or not, have a bunch of dresses they can wear to weddings. My suggestion is to wear one of those. Odds are you already like it, since you already bought it.
The next advice is way to stupid to repeat here. Basically, it's a bunch of really unwitty comments to retort with when someone asks if you're seeing somebody. Here's a little secret--when someone asks this, they don't really care what the answer is. They are just making conversation. If you're not seeing anyone, simply say, "No." Even if you are uptight about being single, it's really not going to help to have a pre-scripted, paranoid reaction to a simple question.
How to act (This is basically how to catch a man, since this is apparently the only time you'll ever get to be around single men. Don't blow it.):

1. Cry your eyes out. If bitter melancholy overwhelms you as your friend/cousin/sister walks down the aisle, let the tears flow as you murmur, "Isn't she beautiful?" Sob. Repeat at the reception as needed.
2. Drink lightly. Nothing is more depressing than a drunk single woman. Besides, you need to be able to fend off the bride's Uncle Vic.
3. Rock on. Most weddings have an open dance floor, so there's no need to wait for anyone to ask you to dance. Grab a friend and boogie. Dancing lets off steam and brings an attractive glow to your complexion.
4. Flirt. They say that a wedding is a great place to meet someone. I think this is a lie manufactured by the wedding industry to keep singles from boycotting these events. But if there is a cute guy, chat him up. So what if he's 16?
5. Don't be alone. Single or married, there are plenty of folks who find weddings as uncomfortable as you do, for whatever reason. Find 'em.


The first piece of advice is utterly contrary to all this other advice about looking good and not looking desperate. I assure you. If you cry, it will smear your make-up. If you're the type who cries at weddings, the tissue to the corner of the eye will suffice.
There are way more depressing things than drunk single women. For instance, there are people who get drunk and fight with their spouses--way, way more depressing.
I don't have a problem with dancing, sorry. Whatever.
Don't flirt with a 16-year-old. If anything is going to screw your chance of meeting someone nice at a wedding, it will be acting like a moron.
That last piece of advice tells me that this writer not only doesn't remember what it was like to be single, but she actually doesn't know any single people. Believe it or not, most of them have friends. And if said single woman is friends with the couple, odds are she's friends with other guests. And odds are that she'll be hanging out with them at the wedding.

If you accidentally stumble onto the trapdoor that sends you spiraling down into how depressing it all is and how alone you feel, step outside, clear your head and repeat after me:

I'm not even going into the so-called mantras. No one has needed this crap, ever. If weddings actually depress you like this, you have problems that no mantra is going to fix.
I've been to tons of weddings in my time, and I have never, ever seen a single woman spiral into depression about being alone. If you want to see desperate single women at a wedding, announce that it's time to throw the bouquet. Then you will see a bunch of single women desperate to get out of the room before anyone sees them and tries to get them to participate.

61 Comments:

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There is only one advantage to being married at a wedding. Just one. And that is the guests and crazy D.J.s no longer mercilessly stalk you--a single female--to force you to stand out there on the dance floor to have a five-pound bouquet hurled at your head.

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