I've been to one wedding since my separation and divorce, and have seen several postings from friends on Facebook about people getting married for the first time.
I read them, I look at the pictures of beautiful brides smiling with pretty white teeth framed by perfect lipstick for their perfect day.
While I'm not much of a baby/kid person, I delight in hearing people's stories about the funny things their children said or did, the kids' accomplishments in school and just how lovable they are. It makes me feel good.
When I see the bridal pictures, I feel....nothing.
Remember that episode of Sex and the City when Miranda "fakes" a sonogram? "It's a boy, oh boy!" How I feel about the big, fancy wedding is something like that. Yep, I know I'm supposed to beam with happiness when someone gets married, but all I can think of for the happy couple is, "Oh, the hard, hard road they have ahead of them."
Then I calculate what money was spent on the dress, the decorations, the reception, those perfect photos, the gifts and honeymoon and think, "Man, they could have bought a house for that." I still feel bad about the money my parents spent on my wedding, only for the marriage to fall apart after four years.
But if I dig deep, I find a small glimmer of hope that maybe he's still out there, waiting for me, to show me that a partnership doesn't have to be so difficult. That one person doesn't have to do all the work in a relationship. That perhaps I could walk down another aisle (preferably on a beach or in a garden or art gallery this time) into a happy marriage.
But brides, don't toss me that bouquet just yet.