I was blissfully enjoying my chilled glass of pino grigio when the DJ announced. "I need all the single ladies on the dance floor. I have a surprise for you all." His announcement followed by the playing of a popular song for single ladies that I have learned to dread.
A Surprise?! thinking to myself the DJ must meant to announce, "I need all the single ladies on the dance floor for public humiliation and shame time. That's right the bouquet catching time. Get out here you losers."
I watched everyone turn toward the bride as she danced towards the middle of the dance floor waving the "throw away' Bouquet over her head. All eyes were on the bride expect my non-single, married friends sitting near me.
"Come on Melissa that's you..you're single." My friend said with a big smile.
I smiled politely back silently thinking to myself, 'Yeah thanks...haha..I forgot for a second that I was a party of one. Thank god you were here to remind me!.' instead I did what has become a means of survival during this wedding ritual favorite. I gripped my drink tighter and shook my head, 'No, NO I'm fine here.' The whole time making sure to keep my eyes lowered to the floor not in shame but in defense. I wanted to avoid at all cost making eye contact with the bride who was currently searching the crowd for any pitiful singles. Making eye contact with the bride would equal being singled out (no pun intended) and once you are singled out by the bride there is no turning back.
"Oh come on, You have to! " My friend exclaimed as she attempted to push me away from my drink and the table.
Now a word of caution for my fellow single friends..the people who push you towards the dance floor are not doing this as a friendly encouragement. Oh no..this is for their own twisted entertainment. Because they two were once a single guest and were once in your position. They are motivated by pure revenge. Infact the original tradition began during the 14th centrey and involved guest ripping at the brides dress. It was believed that if you gained a piece of frabic from the bride's dress you would be lucky. Sine the bride didn't really appriciate her dress being ripped to shreds they decided to instead go with the safer and logical option of throwing things at the singles. So not only are you dealing with your friends revenge but you are dealing with many century's worth of revenge passed down from angry brides who got their dresses torn up.
Now don't get me wrong I understsand that the modern day tradition of Catch the Bouquet is suppose to be positive and lucky. You know the believe catch the bouquet and you will be next. Not only is this tradition ridiculous but its cruel and unusual punishment. And I even have some examples to prove my point.
1.) The playing field is never fair. There is always a mixture of different competitors. In one corner you have the fierce competitors who believe in the tradition...they live for this moment of the wedding. And because of this they will stop at nothing ..even drawing blood if needed...to catch this magical bouquet. They are the most feared competitors.
Than you have the Individuals who are 'single' but are rocking a large diamond ring and WILL BE next but feel that this will only be true if they catch this bouquet. They are not as fierce competitors as the previous group mentioned and infact tend to hide that they are even trying...but don't be fooled they have been known to throw elbows if needed. They are also hated by the previously group since they are technically not single and are yet another hurdle in the way of them being lucky in love.
And than lastly you have the individuals who clearly do not want to be up there but they were pushed and banished from their tables by their married friends. They can be found near the back with their arms crossed. Are no real competitions to the other contenders but unfortunately have been known to get in the cross fire of the bouquet dash.
2.) Ok lets be honest. This is an excuse to parade the singles around in front of family, friends and strangers. So that its known to all the guest these people are alone and available. Which unfortunately opens the door for the bride's perverted, drunk and very much married Uncle John to hit on these displayed singles all night. Because clearly standing in the crowd of singles means not only are you available but you are also desperate. It also seems to be a time for the married guest to have time to identify who is in need of plenty of 'your time will come' advice. Because singles love and are always appreciative of this advice because really who really wants to be single.
3.) After this ritual follows the male torture...the garter catching. Its uncomfortable for us ladies to see you going through your own humiliation but to be completely honest..yes we are checking you out too. Than after the tossing comes the best part of this event. The poor sucker who grabbed the bouquet gets the garter slipped up their leg by the male who caught the garter. What fun! Now I don't know about you but I have yet to go to a wedding where this is not an awkward interaction for both single male and single female. Its a rare wedding when the luckily bouquet girl sees the garter boy and they fall for each other...and of course being the next to get married.
We all know what happens. Usually its the bride's distant cousin who is dressed in her most formal slutty dress and who everyone is silently praying won't catch the bouquet. She is now paired with an awkward, adolescent boy eagerly waiting for his chance to slip the garter up her leg. Or the sweet timid girl who sits rigidly as the drunk, sweaty frat boy dances up to her with the garter spinning around his finger. Either way it usually ends awkwardly for everyone involved both singles and married couples. But we continue to do it.
So all my fellow single ladies and men...HANG onto that wine, beer, shot, table..or whatever you need to and stand your ground and just Say NO !