Don’t get me wrong: I am VERY happy for my sister. And I actually/surprisingly like her fiancé. I say surprisingly because I don’t generally like most people, let alone her past male companions. But this guy is easy on the nerves and has the rare talent of not pissing me off.
That said, their upcoming nuptials has added a whole new layer of stress and uneasiness in my life. For the past few months, this event has consumed my family’s time and attention. A dinner table conversation cannot exist without some mention of the wedding or wedding related topic. Any attempt to change the subject is taken with hostility – even if we’ve been rehashing the same detail for the 40th time.
Then there are the multitude of parties leading up to the wedding. Despite having to travel 3,000 miles for each bridal shower, bachelorette, and what have you, I always (naively) look forward to the festivities. But before I know it, I’m confronted with this conversation from an older relative or family friend:
Relative: So, are you dating anyone?
Relative: Really? No one?
Me: Really, no one.
Relative: How’s the job situation going?
Me: Not great.
Relative: Really? Nothing?
Me: Really, nothing…
I realize that this family friend or relative simply wants to make conversation. But this “small talk” creates an inner panic. Why don’t I have a boyfriend? Why isn’t my job situation going well? Why is my sister able to move on with her life while I keep spinning in circles?
Then it hits me: the real reason why this wedding is bothering me so much is because my sister is growing up without me. The days of sharing a room on family vacations are over. The days of having her as my wingman are over. We will no longer be known as “the sisters” because she will now be referred to as his other half. All holidays now have to be shared with his family. I can no longer call her at any time day or night as another person’s needs are now factored into every equation.
I always assumed that when my sister got married that I wouldn’t be far behind. At the very least, I thought I would have a boyfriend to dance with at the wedding. But at the moment, I feel miles behind her.
Of course, this wedding is about her and not about me. But I write about the dilemma I’m experiencing because it’s quite often that single sisters of the bride get pushed aside without consideration of their feelings. Two movies have been made about the father of the bride. But neither Hollywood nor popular publications have discussed the chaos and emotional journey that the sister of the bride encounters.
Again, the wedding is about the bride and not the maid of honor. But I wanted to take this moment to shine a light on those in the shadow.
Now onto writing a most heartfelt speech….
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