So I was greeted this morning by the information that the last single person besides me from our college Nerd Herd has gotten married. This, in fact, is the guy who was gentleman enough to squire me to a formal after hearing that I'd been savaged in front of my Honors class by a boy I'd thought of as a friend and learned otherwise in brutal fashion. That was a charming, funny evening in its own way; an engaged couple who were friends of ours kept telling us that we danced like their seventy year-old grandparents at a Country Club dance. We were so stiffly formal that a few people from a neighboring university's ballroom dance society came over and asked us to join their club. Whee! Hot-blooded, we weren't, but it was a dance, he was nice enough to go with me, and he even bought me a little wrist corsage. Most of all, he kept me from feeling like a complete loser.
I don't begrudge him at all. After all, this is someone who wanted to volunteer for military service so badly after 9-11 that he changed his entire lifestyle, got in shape, and became a Navy Corpsman. At Christmastime a few years ago, I was in a store in Lexington. I didn't know that he'd mustered home from Afghanistan at that point, and as I was paying for my purchases, I heard his voice. I kind of made an ass of myself, but what can I say? I was so relieved that he was home and in one piece. I am not a "touchy-feelie" person, but I ran over and threw my arms around him: "Omigod, omigod, omigod, YOU'RE HOME!!!" Holy crap, was I glad to see him.
So now he's married, and I'm the last (wo)man standing.
I was already a little down on myself because I was thinking about my lengthy failed engagement and what it cost me. For that long, fraught ten years, I had my piece of the rock: it was two carats, yellow band with a white six-prong head mount. It was my badge of honor- my concrete, visible proof to the world that I was not_a_loser. Unfortunately, there was once that it was too visible, and it broke a heart that I would never have injured...had I known that it would...I resigned myself to having made a mistake with which I had to live, up to and until the point that it became patently clear that my fiance' was disporting himself elsewhere. I just got tired of pretending I didn't know and trying to make it work. Girls, if he's cheating on you now, he's not going to stop just because he walked you to the church door-and in the end, it's better that I was so busy building my career that I hadn't married him. It's cheaper to break up than to get divorced.
Statistics favor my unmarried state, though, since more couples are choosing to cohabit rather than marry. Also, my LGBT friends can't, in most cases, get married, so I should really just shut up about it. Still, I feel like I've failed a little, like I wasn't good enough to find anyone willing to lower their standards to marry me. If I weren't so absorbed in this pity party, I should remind myself that a lot of women of great moment never married...after forcing myself to 'hit the marks' on everything else, that's the one I just didn't manage. At this age, it almost seems absurd to consider.