Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Bouquet Chronicles

A few years ago I wrote a post titled "Weddings, Weddings, Weddings," which you can access  HERE. In this post, I quoted Jane Austen profusely and discussed the many weddings I attended along with the bouquets I did not catch.  
Although older, not much has changed...except one thing:

 Between the end of April and the end of June this year, I have attended the weddings of six of my closest friends.These women have each played a special part in my life, and have shaped me in distinct ways. Two I have known since Jr. High, three I have shared my college experience with, and one has danced her way into my heart and stolen my shoes. However, I haven't just attended these weddings, but I've also played the role of bridesmaid in half of them. This means, throwing showers, getting pedicures and manicures, buying gifts, being in photos, car decorating, taking care of logistics, fitting into bridesmaid outfits, cake eating, dancing, and finally, CATCHING THE BOUQUET!!!

I've been attempting to catch the bouquet for years. I've tried different angles. I've tried asking the bride to throw it right at me, and still it eluded me. You'd think my height would give me some advantage, but nope. I'd  been having about as much luck catching the bouquet as I have catching a man. Coincidence? Maybe, but I can't pass up a good analogy. Due to popular demand, here are the best tips I have for catching love from my many years of not catching the bouquet. 
  1. Keep yourself open and ready to catch whatever comes your way
  2. You must align yourself properly 
  3. Sometimes it is simply a matter of being in the right spot at the right time 
  4. If you really want it, be prepared to fight for it 
  5. It is not as fulfilling when you have to pick it up off the ground
  6. Sometimes both you and the bouquet take a beating before you come together
  7. It's OK to let a few slip into the hands of more willing and ready ladies
  8. Always be on the lookout for "sneak attacks" who come out of nowhere and steal your bouquet
  9.  Sometimes set-ups work, and sometimes they don't.  
  10. Despite failures, keep showing up with the hope that today you might catch the bouquet 
"Always a bridesmaid, never a bride" might be my motto this summer, but despite being completely single and having practically all of my best friends find their eternal companions, these weddings have left me feeling full instead of empty. As I watched these ladies run off with their other halves into the unknown of forever, I felt transported to the days of tutus and tea parties when I used to believe that good people always got their happy endings and true love was the most powerful magic of all. It felt good to be there again. I feel happy for these new husbands and wives, and hopeful for my own future fairy tale.

Sometimes finding love is like catching the bouquet at the wedding. It may take a lot of tries, and a lot of failures. It may fall into the hands of a girl who looks like she is no older than twelve, or even stolen out of your hands by a little boy who shouldn't even be in the game. You may run full speed only to fall flat on your face in the grass, but despite all the failed attempts, love is beautiful, healing, and worth every possible attempt to catch it.

And when you do finally catch it, don't be ashamed to let out a victorious roar!  

Yes, I finally caught the bouquet, but catching the bouquet is not the end of this story.  Undoubtedly, there will be more weddings, and I'll show up with arms extended to catch another opportunity at love. So, perhaps not much has changed after all, but before you point out my lack of Jane Austen quotes...