T – 4 days until V’s wedding, and I’m a bit apprehensive about the event. My friend told me that she was getting married back in early July, but no invite to the wedding was to follow. Indeed, just two weeks ago she kindly informed me that she would be very happy if I could “come to the church and see the ceremony,” the obvious implication being that I’m not invited to the reception.
I’m so unpracticed in these things. This Saturday’s wedding will only be the 2nd wedding in my life that I’ve ever attended (unless you count my old babysitter’s wedding, which I attended in the year 1992), and frankly, seeing my contemporaries walk down the aisle is simply mind-boggling to me. Marriage for me seems so distant, so abstract – V’s wedding seems about as real to me as a wedding from a Julia Roberts movie (not a completely unrelated comparison by the way – I believe that Julia Roberts and her numerous cinematic marriages to the perfect man are personally responsible for creating all of these mad wedding dashes that I see around me). I’m happy for my friends who are happy about getting married, but I wonder what it’s all for. What does a marriage title bring to a person that a fulfilling relationship shouldn’t already provide? What’s the advantage? I think that marriage really only has a symbolic significance; I also think that so many people want it because society tells us that we should want it – on those grounds I have a hard time getting behind the concept.
So, I’m not thrilled to go to this wedding and I’m aware that my presence probably doesn’t matter much to the bride. I’m quite sad that V and I are no longer very good friends (or that we never became really good friends), as the missing invite attests. When I met this girl she had only just met the man she is about to marry – it was 4 years ago, and over those years we spent a lot of time together. I have a million acquaintances in Italy, but no truly close friends, not like my high school and college friends. Creating non-romantic bonds with people in Italy is something that has not come easily to me over the years: this is a sad fact, one that I’ve been aware of for quite some time but that I don’t fully know how to explain.