The Absurd and Amazing Adventures of Cafe Girl: Daring to Hope

January 29, 2012

Daring to Hope

Last week, Good Morning America had a feature in its 8.30A hour called Single Bridezillas. The piece highlighted the trend of Singleton women who had a wedding already planned before there's a proposal, or even, in some cases, a boyfriend. Two young women in their mid to late twenties, attractive, professional, urban talked about how they had planned their dream wedding - from selecting a dress, to picking the flowers, to choosing the caterers. They had folders, they had filing boxes, they had inspiration boards. In short - they had a wedding ready to go, sans groom.

Culture seems inexplicably uncomfortable about a single woman on a quest to be married. The tone of the piece was quizzical, and ever so slightly judgmental. These women are "putting the cart before the horse;" focusing on having the perfect wedding rather than a strong marriage. They don't care who they marry, they just WANT a wedding. They'll just scare the men (who presumably don't ever want to be married) away. There will be no room in their dream weddings for the opinions of the currently non-existent groom. Even the term "Single Bridezilla" is derogatory - a single woman, on the rampage to be a bride. Stay away from her boys, she'll eat you.

I've never been one of those women who've dreamed about their perfect wedding ever since they were a little girl. When my teens turned into my twenties, and no first dates, or any kind of dates appeared, I came to believe that l would never be married. I watched as my peers found life companions while I remained inexplicably single. One year turned into ten, and by my late twenties, it became too exhausting to hope for love, something that seemed so impossible to attain.

Because I never thought that I would get married, I've spent most of my womanhood avoiding the dream of a wedding. It was too painful to wish for and want something I thought I could never have. I didn't want to dream because I didn't want to hope. Hope was, and still remains for me, something risky and dangerous. When I hope for love, I soften my heart and open it to the possibility of disappointment and the pain that comes with. Worse still, to want love and marriage - something every one else in this world seems to be getting - and to not receive it makes me feel that there must be something wrong with me. That line of thinking feels me with shame.

And so, it is easier not to want, not to hope and to pretend as if my singleness is a desirable state of my own choosing.

A few years ago, watching the "Single Bridezillas" piece would have caused me great discomfort. I would have placed myself in the shoes of those women and projected my fear. How could they want marriage? How could they risk imagining the happiest day of their lives? How could they believe that getting married is something that would inevitably happen to them? How could they possibly do this without being terrified of the shame that comes with possible failure? In my discomfort I would have formed judgment - these women were desperate and crazy. I would never be like them.

These days, I'm wondering if  these women have something I need to learn more about - hope. Perhaps they are a little crazy, a little desperate, a little scary. Or maybe, these women just have immeasurable hope. Hope that one day, they will find that person for forever. Hope that the one they were intended for does exist. Hope that love, marriage, and a life together will happen for them. Hope enough to take a little risk and dream a little, fantasize a little, even plan a little. Hope enough to share their dreams with us on national television.

I could learn a little from this kind of hope. The kind of hope that asks of me to risk. The kind of hope that asks of me to dream. The kind of hope that asks of me to desire. In this season, this kind of hope would do me good.

Watch Good Morning America's piece on Single Bridezillas here.

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