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  • Writer's pictureBethany Lynne

Worth Men-tioning Ep 3: Plus One, Minus Two

Author note: There have been many men to enter and exit my life. Whether as a friend, acquaintance, or romantic interest. Each of these men have brought something unique to my life – a lesson to learn, a truth to observe, a growing pain to experience. Whatever the case, I’ve kept a list of their names so I would never forget. I desire to tell their stories, as they are a part of mine. No names will be used in an effort to respect their privacy.

Let me take you back to the time I was unseemly late to a wedding reception of a bride and groom I’d never met before.

The year is 2017. My best friend in college, who also happens to be in to me, begs me to accompany him as a plus one to the wedding of his former roommate, a week before it occurs. I reluctantly, yet kindly, agree, and clear my schedule for the day.

Fast forward to the day before the wedding, when I am informed my best friend is not attending the wedding as a guest, but as a groomsman.

I immediately inquire as to why he requires a plus one, when clearly he will be occupied the entirety of the day. He conveys the unique nature of the wedding, promising we will spend all but the ceremony portion itself, together.

I think this to be nonsensical bull crap, but hold back from expressing my women's intuition, as I don’t believe it will be received particularly well.

The morning of the wedding I am informed the arrival time of the grooms party has been pushed to hours before the ceremony for the purpose of pre-wedding merry-making, photo ops and groomsmen well, grooming. Due to the wedding taking place an hour away, I accompany him to the church. There I wait impatiently in the foyer, for two hours.

When the ceremony is about to start, my wedding “date” swoops in to escort me to row, seating me with his parents, the only other people present I am familiar with.

The other guests seated around me inquire the natural, yet over-stated question of the day, “How do you know the bride and groom?”

“I don’t.” I reply through a thin lipped smile. “I hope to meet them… at their reception.”

The ceremony begins, and much to my social embarrassment, my date’s father takes out...

an ancient mobile phone,

the kind that actually folds over,

and begins to take photos,

in rapid succession,

even leaving his seat,

standing in the center aisle,

getting closer with his first generation Samsung,

for the entirety of the thirty minute ceremony.

Multiple pairs of eyes flash towards my row. I keep my head down to avoid eye contact.

The ceremony ends. I am eager to escape this second hand embarrassment. My “date” swoops by again to briefly inform me I will be riding with his parents to the reception so he will not miss taking the party bus.

I take hold of my sapphire blue dress and crawl into the back of a dirty, dog-hair-laden mini van. We begin the trek towards the reception hall, or so I think. After a lengthy detour to the middle of nowhere, I see we’ve arrived at a Walgreens, where much to my horror, an order is placed to on-demand print all the low quality cell phone images taken at the ceremony. I am informed of the intent to assemble said prints into a dollar store album, to be presented to the bride and groom at their reception.

We wait at Walgreens for forty-five minutes. I remain in the back of the van attempting to control my raging allergies fighting the thick layer of dog-hair in my seat.

The photos are at long last printed, and as we continue our roundabout journey to the reception hall. I am tasked with compiling the album in the back of the shaky van.

At long, mother-loving-last, we arrive at the reception hall, nearly an hour past the start time and make an obvious, and un-fashionably late entrance. To my continued horror, I see my date’s parents have selected two particularly low-res images to place in dollar store frames, and upon entering the hall, place said images on the bride and grooms head table as "decor". The parents task me with presenting the album to the bride and groom, who I am indeed, meeting for the first time.

All my burning ears hear is the bride's, "Oh. Wow."

As I try to keep the rest of my body from burning with shame, I turn to see the wedding party seated, not on the floor with the rest of the guests, but on an elevated platform. I am sat at the very back of the room at the island of misfit wedding guest's, watching my plus one across a ballroom for the rest of the evening.

I look on grimly as my date tears up the dance floor in the most uncomfortable sort of way. I refuse his offer to join him, my sensibilities unwilling to undergo further embarrassment by proximity. We are two of the last people to leave the reception, nearly 12 hours after arriving at the ceremony venue. We take the hour long drive back. He is chatty, I am silent.

Upon arrival to my apartment, I turn and state to him plainly, "You know we will never be a thing, right?" I'm convinced his expression could not be facially replicated.

Though quite an uncomfortable ordeal, and an unfortunate ending to our friendship as we knew it, the absurdity of the day gave me the needed push to finally be direct. This day has served me well as a marker of remembrance. I have not let things go on quite as long ever since.


P.s. My sincerest apologies to the bride and groom for my awkward presence. Your wedding was lovely, and I wish you every happiness.

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