On Thursday, Kyle and I will have been married for five years.
While that feels crazy and makes perfect sense all at the same time, it puts me kind of in a weird place while I watch all of the people I've ever known get married and throw weddings of their own.
Especially this last weekend, when my Facebook and Instagram feeds were FULL of wedding pictures from other people's weddings, including an ex and someone I used to babysit.
OOF. (More on the kid I used to babysit than the ex. I just feel old now, ugh.)
While I'm happy for the couples involved, and the ones who have gone before and the ones still to come, with every wedding candid I feel a bit of a sting.
You see, we missed three weddings the year after ours, as they happened in the first couple of weekends during the divorce. Three of our good friends tied the knot (two on the same day!) and we were just MIA. We'd been to a wedding a couple of weeks before, and we knew of others on the horizon.
But pretty much once our social circles heard rumors -- many of them completely overblown thanks to a specific trail of people -- that we were breaking up, the invitations abruptly stopped.
Aside from the point that I love a good wedding -- I love dressing up, I like dancing, plus ALL THE PEOPLE WATCHING OMG -- the constant visual reminders that we are epically uninvited stings anew.
During the divorce, people that we used to call friends dropped like flies, shying away from what they saw as drama (though not really, because the tongues, oh, they wagged) and we've actually kind of struggled to maintain grown-up coupley friendships since. I know that post-college that friendships outside of work environments and child-centric activities are actually pretty hard to navigate, and I try to take that into account. We have a lot going on with the kids and the house and yeah, we don't have the cash flow to spend on wild weekends and what have you like we used to. It's called responsibility. We haz it. Plus, half of my friends live in my computer box and with Kyle's most recent job change we're in this weird new place of being almost thirty and finding people who are not only interested in the same things we are, but that we have basic commonalities with, like a family (or a desire to start one) or a new-to-them house.
It's been hard to be one of the first to get married, buy a house, have kids, always slowly waiting for people to catch up.
But the weddings, they just sting. Like another reminder that we don't have all the friends that we used to, and that so much about our early twenties were extremely superficial, moreso than we might have ever realized had we not been forced to handle real, grown-up problems so early on.
When I look back at my own wedding, and the friends I felt that we had to have there with us -- not many are actually still people we call friends anymore. In fact, most of the people we call our nearest and dearest appeared during the hard times and have stayed through all of the uncertainty and choppy waters and all the ugly parts that no one wants to admit are ahead when you're running head-first down the aisle.
It's amazing how people turn a blind eye and pretend like you never existed -- to the point that they completely copy your wedding idea (including your date!) as if the fact that they came to yours means nothing since you're not boozing it up every weekend with them anymore. Obviously, I'd never find out, right? *insert intentional chronic bitchface here*
It does make me more grateful for the invitations we do get, the friends who have stuck around or reappeared or simply just remembered us. That one wedding a year is a big deal to us, and we make an extra effort to make it a fun date night for the both of us, as we know the opportunity to celebrate as our friends make the same promise we did (and have kept, which can't be said for as many of the weddings that have occurred in the inbetween) is more special, more rare for us.
It feels great to be included in one of the biggest days of your adult life, to be important enough to share in that special memory for someone else.
So that eases my insecurity about not being invited, my childhood scars from not being included flaring up nearly every other weekend. A little.
My sister told me once that you'll have a glut of weddings that happen in your mid-to-late twenties, then there'll be a bit of a break where you'll go to some first birthday parties and housewarmings, and then more weddings will kick up again in your early thirties as people either finally settle down or get re-married.
I'm looking forward to that second wave, as silly as that may sound, hoping that our pariah status will soon fade away like our so-called friends did when the whole point of a wedding -- the marriage -- needed them the most.