I’m ready to get back out on the road. For what that’s worth.
I love New York, passionately, but in every good relationship, one needs some space from her partner. I need space. Lots of space.
I feel a bit like a caged bird, these days. The monotony of heading to the same office every day, without the thrill of filthy airports and the stink of jet fuel clinging to my clothes and hair…I get bored.
I get bored quite easily, you know.
This ennui probably seems incongruous with my frantic desire to get home that reared its ugly head throughout the fall and into the holidays. But there is such a thing as too much of a good thing, and the wanderlust is in my blood.
I’m more settled now. I have a beautiful apartment and I have friends over, and we twitter at each other all day about things with funny hashtagged names. In my living room, I have one of those rattan baskets full of blankets; I have a ceramic rooster in my kitchen; I have pictures of other people’s children on my fridge. If those things are not the hallmarks of normalcy, I’m not sure what is.
Oh, and one more item on my fridge: a wedding invitation.
The thing came in my mother’s calligraphed hand (she does that for people; she writes the names and addresses of party-guests beautifully)–just like mine did, years ago. This one came addressed to: “Meredith S_____ and Guest.” Those sorts of things used to arrive in the mailbox of “Mr. and Mrs. Andrew James L___, Esq.”
This will be my first wedding not as a Mrs, but a Ms. As just another so-and-so with a coveted plus-one.
As a general rule; I hate weddings. Not because I’m a grumpy divorcee, but because I just don’t like the marital-industrial complex; I dislike the bells and bows and whistles and must-haves. Rules and presents and things that must be just so in order for women to feel as if their unions are valid. Thousand dollar cakes; wedding invitations that come folded as an origami crane?
The cakes are going to get eaten, people. The invitation is going on my fridge until the blessed date passes, and then it’s getting tossed.
So there it was. My first wedding to attend in almost two years; my first such occasion since I split from my husband. I’d gone through such a frenzy of weddings between 2005-2008 that I’d forgotten, at one point, what it was like to not have to spend all of one’s vacation time and money on other people’s weddings.
(I used to get cranky about that–the cost. But with 5-7 weddings a season, most of them requiring travel, and half demanding a bridesmaid’s dress…to say nothing of the showers and bachelorette parties and associated costs. My stamina and bank account were both exhausted after the summer of ’08)
I suppose this is one of those post-marital firsts, that first wedding. Shifting uncomfortably in one’s chair at dinner, introducing one’s date to the friends who knew me as Miss, then Mrs, now Ms. Me; wondering about the comparisons and calculuses taking place in each of their heads. Me; paranoid.
Do I stand out on the floor when they call for the single women to come catch the bouquet?
How do I introduce myself; my date?
What do I say when people who don’t know about what has happened ask where my husband is?
“What are you going to wear?” one of my friends asked.
“Dunno. Haven’t thought that far ahead.” I mentally flipped through the dresses I had and realized that I had perhaps overworn some of them. That I had, after three years of wedding going and two years on wedding sabbatical, finally reached that point where there was nothing left to recycle.
“Who are you going to take?” she asked. I was suddenly glad that she’d opened the conversation with a softball.
“That’s a great question,” I said, and didn’t offer anything more. (I often say that; tell people they’ve asked a great question when I have no effing clue what to say next. And then again, sometimes I simply think someone has asked a great question.)
(I didn’t have a clue what to say; but I also thought it was a great question, just for the record.)
So I thought about what I was going to wear instead. I thought about black-tie-optional; and I thought about Barney’s; and I thought about everything but this being one of those quintessential “strange to be single” moments.
And I thought about the fact that I have to travel to attend these nuptials; that I have to get on a plane and fly to such far-flung places as Greater Los Angeles, California in order to be a guest.
Funny: I was most focused on the flying; the leaving; the travel. The getting away.