Weddings: the singles table

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Miss me? I should apologize for being so sparse on entertaining you all with my hilarious single life but the truth is that since we have been blessed with the most gorgeous summer Vancouver has seen in decades, I decided it was as important for me to delay posting just as much as it was for you to delay reading. See what I did there? I gave you a break too! Ha! But seriously, my summer has been insane. Summer 2013 in a nutshell: Parties on top of parties and tans on top of tans. I am exhausted!

The past two weeks has been particularly chaotic as my family was in preparations for my cousins wedding A.K.A the wedding of the decade, which happened this past Saturday. An entire fleet of blood took several airplanes from Toronto and gathered here where three events later, my liver has been pushed into the witness protection program. It’s not just me either, if you take a moment to scroll through your Facebook feed; there is another trend of summer: weddings on top of weddings. In your late twenties and early thirties, weddings are officially on steroids.

Being a single person at a wedding is no cake walk, especially when family is involved. While I had the most amazing time with my family celebrating a new extension to our tree, there were a few moments that only vodka could dilute…

Firstly, why is being a single person at a wedding so tragic? During the ceremony, after the priest explained the sacrament of marriage, he then asked the unmarried young women to stand up. Thinking surely, I was not the only one; I stood up, single and proud! I was the only one (with guts) and I stood there awkwardly for a moment until finally the other (2) women rose with me and admitted their status to which the priest lectured the single male suitors to man up during the reception! Later, my Dad, the wedding MC made a point to come to our table, spotlight and all and advertise to over 300 guests that his “beautiful daughter” was single, and that interested parties would need to complete an application form. It wasn’t that being put on display as a single girl was the bad part, in fact, I found it very amusing, but the looks of pity you get afterwards is what really made me scratch my head. The “Oh, you’re the single girl?” conversation starters and the “he’s out there, you will find him soon!” or “it’s your turn next!” quips really were the icing on top of the hundreds of perfectly shaped wedding cupcakes.

Here’s the thing. Being single at a wedding is in fact, an absolute blast! You don’t need to worry about taking care of anyone else but yourself; you don’t need to share your drink tickets and worrying about catching the bouquet and making an ass of yourself in your 4 inch stilettos is irrelevant. In fact, while you are parading behind the bride looking like an NFL quarterback ready to HUT, HUT, we’ll be at the bar, sipping our fancy wedding cocktails and anticipating your dress waxing the perfectly polished dance floor.

What I have learned over time is that you can choose to be the sad and tragic single person at any predominantly coupled event, or you can flaunt and dangle all of the perks of being single and awesome in front of their pretty little committed faces. This isn’t to say I am suddenly anti-relationship as I assure you, I am still love’s biggest cheerleader; I’m just saying, embrace your current state of affairs whether that be multiple dates each weekend, or cuddling up to the one person who makes you tick. Just don’t pity the single, there’s as much to envy about this life as there is in your committed one.

Cheers and Congrats to all the newlyweds of this year!

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Budget Single

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I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while after a male friend of mine brought it to my attention how difficult it is to afford to date in this city. Unfortunately for men, the reality is that the first couple of dates, the pressures are on them to pick up the tab, and when you are dating someone new, chances are you want to impress them in those early stages, although going dutch is no longer uncommon for high traffic online daters. Vancouver is a pretty tough city to date in on a budget. We are notorious for our superficial women who shop at Holt Renfrew, take lavish vacations, and expect a two carat diamond on their finger before they will ever accept a marriage proposal. I’m serious, these women exist. I’m here to tell you that not every woman/person is like that. I know this because I am one of them.

There is so much pressure on women to “find a rich man”. This gets said to me a lot and it really is the wrong way of thinking. Women are under the impression that they need to be taken care of and courted. This is true to a certain degree. The definition of a man taking care of a woman should not involve dollar signs however in the initial stages of dating, there does need to be some effort put forward in order to show the other person that you are interested in making them happy. Being chivalrous within your means will always be appreciated by the right woman. Things like holding the door, pulling out a chair and picking your date up are simple strategies to be taken seriously as a potential suitor.

Last summer, I remember a man took me on a date that cost zero dollars and zero cents, Bocce at Locarno Beach. He showed up with a bocce set and it was game on. It ended up being a ton of fun despite the fact that a seagull swooped down and took off with our pallino (that’s the white shooter ball for those of you that don’t know Bocce). There was never a second date but this guy got an A+ for creativity. He spent no money and yet was able to entertain me for a couple of hours. The best part was that even though we didn’t have any real dating chemistry, the game made it less awkward and made the vibe easy to transition to friendly.

Summer in this city is a gold mine for budget friendly dates, and given our mountain laden backdrop, this can transition through all seasons in Vancouver. Here are a few of my favorite little to no money date ideas:

*Beach Bocce
*Hiking – check out http://www.vancouvertrails.com/ for options
*Coffee and a Seawall stroll
*Picnic – unlimited park options
*Dessert Only – there are a ton of dessert bars in the city to make this seem like an upscale date
*Movie in the park – Vancouver is full of these in the summer, and they are even extending in to other cities in the lower mainland now! Check out http://www.freshaircinema.ca/summercinema/movies.html and http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2013/06/free-outdoor-movies-vancouver-2013-burnaby-stanley-park-nat-bailey-surrey-langley/ for the schedules.
*Local Wine Tasting – check out http://www.localwineevents.com/events/listing/us/56 for upcoming events.
*Concerts at the PNE – there are a lot of PNE events that are free with a simple gate admission. Although I know the PNE can be a very expensive place (especially food wise!) if you are really on a tight budget, eat before you go, but don’t skip out on the mini donuts! Check out http://www.pne.ca/thefair/live-shows/summer-night-concerts.html for summer event details.
*Matinee movie
*Happy Hour only

At the end of the day, if a person is really interested in getting to know YOU and not your wallet, it’s not going to completely matter how much you do, or don’t shell out on a date. I also believe it is important for a woman to reciprocate after the first couple dates. It means she values her time with you and wants to be respected as an equal and not a wallet muncher. I know it’s especially tough out there for dudes in this city. Vancouver women can be a tough crowd to please with all of the expensive luxuries and fashion expectations that surround us. The right person for you will be happy with the small and simple gestures that let them know you put thought into it. In my opinion, this is more important than any five star lobsters I could ever eat.

Happy dating!

The single and the high school reunion

 20130809-185315.jpgI’ve been waffling over the idea about attending my 10 year high school reunion, which is taking place this Sunday, nearly all summer long. I always imagined my high school reunion would consist of me boasting about my fabulous family with husband in tote. I never imagined a white picket fence, but I guess I never thought I would be alone when the dreaded ten year mark approached; and then I thought about it long and hard. Let’s be real, modern times would dictate that being single well into your thirties is the new norm. There were several factors that played into my final decision of RSVP’ing “Not Going” to the Facebook invite, many of which I’m sure plenty of you will relate to. Let’s start shall we?

Reason #1: Facebook

Obviously social media has bridged that gap and the lingering question of “I wonder what he/she is doing with their life?” A simple name search into Mark Zuckerberg’s revolutionary networking website, and you will have all your answers up to and including travel details, sentimental life moments and if you’re lucky, detailed updates (rants) about all the drama in their lives ie. “my kids Dad is such an effing loser! I wish I had never met you!” I imagine those one’s are the hardest to get away from in a face to face encounter reunion style. Sip, nod, sip, nod. Repeat per person.

Reason #2: The event details

It used to be that you would plan to have the event in the gymnasium of the school you attended. mimicking the school dances you used to attend but this time with more chatter, less grinding, and legal cocktails. It seems as if these days people are just lazy to organize an event that will suit all attendees. Most take place in a bar that’s nearly impossible to book to accommodate an entire, or even half of a graduating class. Mine is to be held at a park in the form of a BBQ at 1pm this Sunday. I believe there was even mention of face-painting (for the kiddies, of course). Now here’s my gripe: I am single. I like drinking, especially when reminiscing about my awkward teenage years. I also don’t remember my parents taking me to their high school reunion. While I am completely happy about the fact that people have children, I am happier seeing wallet sized photos than witnessing the little munchkins running wild with ketchup all over their faces in a park where I would presumably be, if I attended, eloquently inebriated in order to tolerate such surroundings.

Reason #3: High school experience

It’s not that my high school experience was terrible, but it also wasn’t the “greatest five years of my life” like the old saying goes. Some of us had hard times, perhaps were bullied a bit, and are now in a great place in life. Digging up memories from less than happy times is no fun for anyone. I would be more inclined to attend my 20 year reunion when the more significant changes have taken place. Who am I kidding? I will probably care even less then.

Reason #4: The guestlist

Of the attendee list, which most of us in modern times can conveniently review on Facebook, a mere 40 people out of an almost 300 person graduating class will be in attendance. Of these people, I know and remember (only vaguely) about four of them. Talk about awkward. I would have to be hammered off my ass to enjoy that setting. Don’t you love mingling among a group of people you were around each and every day for FIVE YEARS come up to you and say “I don’t remember you, what is your name?” My response would be “another cocktail please, waiter!” oh wait that’s a CHILD because I am at a family high school barbeque! If there was a bouncy castle, you might have had me, but you don’t so count me out this year folks, and next time, please plan a more adult friendly event that single people can also enjoy, and arrange for babysitting.

And again…

NEXT!!!