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Countdown to Breakup Girl's
Wedding Tour '98:
In an odd way, the first few weeks after a breakup may, socially speaking,
be your busiest ever. Your friends will bombard you with phone calls and plans
"just to get your mind off things" -- why, you'll be a regular
The actual life span of a butterfly, however, is only about a month.
Soon enough, the initial crisis-mode flutter begins to die down ... is this
start of a lonely stretch of pay-for-view and cooking-for-one? Hardly. Oh,
you'll be plenty busy. Especially right now. After all, 'tis the season.
Annex your mailbox and spit-shine your shoes, amigos: it's time for ...
other people's weddings.
Somehow, it seems, your breakup has released into the air a pungent
pheromone that, upon contact with other couples, causes marriage. Not since
college-admissions April have you been so acutely envelope-conscious. Back
then, the mail check hinged on thin vs. thick; today, the mail check hinges on
"OCCUPANT" vs. calligraphy. And even on non-envelope days, you've
still got the New York Times wedding pages (which I've heard called "the
women's sports section," har har), any alumni magazine, and the temple or
church bulletin announcing the engagements of people you used to babysit during
You know Breakup Girl well enough to understand that any tinge of bitterness
here has nothing to do with any icky notions of ring-digging or being
"incomplete" without someone else's last name (and these days, those
are co-ed phenomena).
Also, Breakup Girl LOVES HER FRIENDS. All twenty or so who have graciously
invited her to their weddings. Make no mistake: she begrudges them nothing and
is sincerely thrilled to see them happy. She is also fully prepared,when
children come along, to be the Cool Aunt. (As in, "Well Mommy if you don't
have time to sew our costumes/play goalie, etc., let's ask Auntie BG -- she's
But still. It's just that, well, weddings are the
seeing-cute-couples-in-the-park syndrome to the max. Like, there's just one
really, really, really cute couple, but instead of walking on by, we all have
to stop and look at them. And listen to them. And toast them. And refrain from
accidentally hitting them with a frisbee.
On the upside -- especially if, like Breakup Girl, you have cool friends --
you get a righteous fiesta. Also, there is a sense in which you may regard your
wedding spree as a valuable learning experience. When your time comes, heck,
you'll already know all there is to know about pulling off the big event. No
need to buy the "Your Special Day" CD-ROM or take that day-long
workshop at the Y. You will already have developed a casual fluency with terms
such as "alphabet shower," "nosegay," and
"snood;" a sharp eye for great little bridesmaids dresses that your
galpals can totally wear again; and an educated opinion on the reply card vs.
"the favor of a reply is requested" debate. In short, you will be the
And grooms-in-grooming: heads up. This is on the test. If you pay attention,
you'll learn not only how to select the perfect gravy boat, but also how to
return it for cash. More such information may also be found in Dan Zevin's
forthcoming The Nearly-Wed Handbook: How to Survive the Happiest Day of Your
Life (Avon Books, this June), which is where BG blatantly stole the gravy
boat line from.
Sad fact is, though, that there are weddings that offer a different kind of
learning experience. Like, where you learn that you're not quite over the
groom. Or where you learn that the happy couple forgot to warn you that your ex
would be there with her new blackbelt boyfriend. For Breakup Girl , these are
the reasons why she is not so much "always the bridesmaid," but
rather "always the Good Sport."
Fortunately, though, none of the weddings that Breakup Girl will be
attending on her Tour fit this description.
They will all be fun and issue-free, she swears. So she is more than happy to
deal with your problems.
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