In the age of save the dates, there’s a process that you go through when you get that wedding invitation in the mail and start opening it in your kitchen. You think to yourself, “Ugh, I hope this doesn’t fall over so-and-so’s wedding.” And then you think to yourself, “Actually, hopefully it does so then I don’t have to go to both.” And when you finally begin unfolding everything to reveal all the details, the RSVP card falls out of the envelope and you’re left with two choices – what are you having for dinner at the reception, and are you allowed a plus-one?
If you’re married, engaged, or in a long-term relationship, this doesn’t matter. Your ship has sailed and you know who you’ll be sharing an Uber home from the reception with. But if you’re one of those reeling human beings who’s approaching thirty and having minor panic attacks with every right swipe that goes unnoticed, you find yourself up Shit Creek without a paddle and a hole in your canoe that’s quickly going under. You don’t want a plus-one at this point, you just need one to save face.
Luckily, finding the perfect plus-one so you appear to be a highly-functioning member of society can be achieved by simply obeying the following steps.
Find an extrovert.
If you show up to this shindig with some Negative Nancy, you’re going to be twiddling your thumbs with your dick in your end for the duration of the reception because your date is closed off to the rest of the attendees. You need to ask yourself, “Will this person be able to hold their own if I go rogue to the dance floor and end up necking below the country club’s back patio?” If the answer to that question is no, you need to move onto the next Gloria Cleary and find someone who’s willing to work the room – both with and without you.
If you’re single and have the luxury of being offered a plus-one, you’re probably finding yourself in a position where you should have a plus-one. Whether you’re a good friend of the groom or related to the bride, chances are you aren’t some bottom-of-the-barrel has-been that they added at the last minute. Plus-ones are for people that are supposed to be there, so you need to plan accordingly.
That being said? You can’t show up with a troll. Whether your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend is in attendance, showing up without someone on your arm screams, “My Sunday nights are spent having existential crises while scrolling Bumble.” You need to make a splash, and that splash needs to come in the form of someone that’s out of your fucking league. This can’t look like some floozy you picked up off a street corner or your ex-girlfriend who got fat after the breakup and is still single. This has to be a certified knockout – a tall drink of water – that will make people turn and say, “Wow, they actually got their act together.”
No new friends.
In search of your diamond in the rough, you have to be cognisant of the situation you’re putting yourself in. They’re offering you a plus-one. Not a partner-in-crime. If you’ve exhausted all of your options, simply accept the fact that you have to bite the bullet and roll solo. No ifs, ands, or buts.
There’s going to be a moment where you think to yourself, “Oh, I’ll just ask [insert friend’s name]. They weren’t invited and I bet they’d love to go.” No. No. This is unacceptable behavior, and I have the ethos to tout this shit because I’ve made this miserable mistake before. Those fringe-friends? They weren’t invited for a reason and the bride is simply going to look at them and say, “Why the fuck am I paying for a meal and drinks for this person?” You need to pick yourself up by your bootstraps, dig deep, and find an acceptable random person who will make everyone wonder, “Huh, when did they start dating?”
Rookies need not apply.
You know that sinking feeling you have when you’re going into an NFL season with no one but a rookie quarterback and false hopes that maybe a miracle will happen and you’ll somehow sneak into the playoffs at 9-7? That’s pretty much what you’re asking for if you decide to bring someone who isn’t well-versed in wedding-going. You can’t have someone tagging along who’s going to get starry-eyed and swept away by the excitement of an open bar and high spirits, or else you’re just begging to take care of someone rather than have someone be your caretaker once your twelve flutes of champagne settle in.
Talking during the ceremony, getting too aggressive during the garter or bouquet toss, or introducing themselves to the father-of-the-bride and asking, “So how do you know the happy couple?!” No matter how your greenhorn date skins that cat, you can bet that they’re not going to toss a perfect game when it’s their first time toeing the slab.
And if they do? Maybe they should be the one you’re necking with underneath that country club porch we were talking about. .
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