Remember the time when you used to think that marriage is for ‘old people’? Fast forward to today. I am watching my friends getting married and some of them are already married.
It starts with a mild downpour in the early twenties and gradually turns into a flood of marriage stories in your mid-twenties and before you even realize, you are the single one in your ‘famous forever’ gang of friends. You find yourself attending break up parties one day and next you are hosting bridal showers for your best friends. My Facebook Timeline is a witness to all kinds of marriage stories- engagement ones, getting married ones, shortly followed by happily married ones and soon comes the beautiful honeymoon pictures and before long, people you once grew up with, are celebrating their anniversaries(let us skip the having babies part!).
The infamous wedding season has just ended and I have watched some of my friends happily venture into a new phase of their lives and I am waiting to watch the other lot get married in a couple of months. So as it turns out, people become extra curious and super worried about your marital status when they find you unaccompanied at the weddings.
“So you are next.”
“When can we see you in the bridal lehenga?”
“You must be feeling left out.”
“Your best friend just got married, you will have to find a new one!”
Out of all the questions, the last two really bother me sometimes. It is one thing to watch people you just know get married and it is a whole lot of different universe where you watch your best friends get married. Oh, and especially if you are watching it without someone to hold hands with!
So when people ask me how does it feel to be 25, single, and watch your friends enter the ‘La La Marriage Land’, I am always, always confused. When did we stop being girls? Is it really going to affect our friendship as they say? Am I ready to get married yet? Hell! Will I ever find someone worth settling for?
I really need to make peace with my two very conflicting sets of emotion of watching my besties get married. Sometimes I do not feel anything has or will ever change between us. Sometimes all I can feel is how different everything is, albeit the same. There are days when I meet them and feel that they are still my crazy other half and there are days when all I can notice is they are someone else’s better half. Some days our coffee rendezvous is as nonsensical as it used to be and the other days it is about a whole different world which I have just seen and heard about but never been to.
It is so difficult to ignore the fact of how we are a part of two different life zones now. Like when my friends were recovering from their honeymoon tan, I was busy recovering from another break-up. Whilst my priorities still remain the same, they have slightly marriage-prone priorities now (which suddenly makes my priority of my space and my happiness appear a bit selfish). I am sometimes considered under qualified for married life advice, but my friends who have seen-it-all and done-it-all, are overqualified for all my single life issues.
It is like all my friends somehow got their Masters and I still remained an Undergraduate!
Being single and watching this journey of your friends adds another mystifying angle to it. It makes me bask in the glory of my single-ness when I find them talking about the other side of married life. It makes me sulk in self-loathe when there are plans for a romantic movie date, and everyone comes accompanied with their hubbies and I make the red carpet entry alone.
These are the times when besides the world and my parents musing on my singlehood, I take it seriously for once. Am I ever going to buy double tickets for a movie with my friends or go grocery shopping with someone or no? But then again, these are specific days. These are the days I discern all the renewal around me with all its fierce magnitude and yearn to be loved and pampered (or maybe fall in love again). It takes a lot to be emotionally and mentally aware of the fact that my friends have found a soulmate, and she would never ever have to go through her good and bad times alone. Being single suddenly transforms into being lonely.
Like I said, those were specific days; the other days, nothing feels altered. There is a palpable sense of acceptance with the new identities amongst us. I lend an ear to their marriage, in-laws, grocery and sex stories and these stories never touch my singlehood nerve; they hear me ranting my ordeal and we laugh it out in the end. I feel immensely proud of the fact how high my friends’ husbands have set the bar for anyone to put a ring on my finger.
It surely is one hell of a journey from being partners-in-crime to witnessing them be a part of the illustrious happily married club. It surely does not justify me to get a new best friend or feel left out. If nothing then it at least makes me believe in “finding The One” and “The Forever in Love” fairy tale concepts.
So when someone asks me how does it feel to watch your best friends get married, it essentially comes down to this: how do I feel now when they are still the best people in my life, but I might/might not be?
Well, I don’t know what else to feel but perfect bliss for the most important people in my life to finally settle down. It is an incredibly surreal feeling of having watched them go through all the rough patches of life before finally setting off to wedding land with the most outstanding partner. Being a part of all their ups and downs is exemplary, what else are best friends for!
Sure they are not going to make time for me like before, we are going to have slightly modified agendas for discussion over beer and a little change here and there, but they will always be my set of people- married or not and I know I will always be their people!
It really does not make sense to make even the slightest endeavor to comprehend that we finally metamorphosed from attending marriages together to helping them pick their wedding dresses! Remember Joey and how difficult it was for him to watch Chandler grow over the years, find the perfect girl and then watch helplessly from the same door as they entered all new phases of their lives together? Not that he was happy with all these drastic changes either but the super ecstatic feeling of watching your dear friend settle down with maybe the best possible match is way, way greater than the solitary feeling deep, deep down your heart. We can despise the change all we want, but that is a part of life- moving on.