Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Wedding Crashers

As promised, here is my update on my search for a date for the wedding, or as it should be called, the “Wedding Date Woes”.

Sadly, my previous post did little to inspire guilt in any potential dates, and so I resorted to subtly making it known that I needed a partner by changing my Facebook status to assorted variations on the theme of “Candice is wondering if there are any eligible bachelors out there who would like to come with her to a wedding”. After 3 weekends of this, I only got 1 response, from Thomas*, who sounded eager, but then realized he was going away with his family that weekend. It was a case of “so close, and yet, so far” – something I have got used to in the last few weeks. After realizing that Luke, Duncan and Chris – all perfect, eligible bachelors - were unavailable, I moved onto the less obvious candidates on the bachelor list. First up was Shaun*. We get along fantastically, but having just returned from Cape Town*, and leaving for Austria* in a couple of days, the date of the wedding was a bit problematic for him. And so, I moved on to Alex*. This was a little more complicated, given that he is actually my ex-boyfriend. Nevertheless, he is a great guy and we still get along very well. I also knew that he would be the perfect person to take on a road-trip, because he loves travelling! Alas, it turned out that he was travelling to Sabi Sabi for the next few weeks… At this point, I must admit that I was starting to panic. The requirements for the date were moving away from “eligible bachelor” and towards “available and willing”, or at least “unlikely to make too much fuss if I abduct them”. Peter* seemed to fit the first category, and was thus the next option, despite having only known him for a few weeks. After much emailing, however, I discovered that, with his sister away and his grandparents being old and frail, it was a less than ideal time for him to disappear for 3 days. And so, I moved onto my last real option, Aaron*, an engineer, who was unfortunately writing a supplementary exam in the week after the wedding, and needed to commune with his maths textbook. Between these individuals were a few less notable others, who were not really options, based on their current girlfriends. Awkward!

And so it was on Tuesday morning, when I phoned Becka and told her that I wouldn’t be coming. I felt really bad about this, especially since I was the only school friend of hers who would be going. I was also incredibly disappointed, partly because I was looking forward to a weekend away, the wedding itself and just having fun, and partly because of the date saga. I know that the level of disappointment is generally proportional to the level of expectation, and so, if one has little or no expectation, one will never be disappointed. The thing is, I don’t think my expectations were unrealistic. After the engagement party, I really thought that getting a date would be easy, as I thought that I would either be in a relationship, or be able to find a date fairly easily, especially since I have a lot of lovely guy friends. Clearly, I was not meant to go to the wedding! My only consolations are that the guys all had legitimate excuses (none of them were like “Sorry, I can’t, I have to cut my toenails that weekend”) and that I have now well and truly got over any fear of rejection that I might have had! I have also saved a heck of a lot of money on petrol and accommodation (part of which I’m going to spend on getting my passport – and maybe a massage, as Luke suggested). And, I got a really gorgeous, (albeit horribly expensive) red dress out of the deal – one which will hopefully eventually be worn to a wedding, along with a lovely, eligible bachelor on my arm!
*names of people and places changed to protect the identities of the innocent/guilty/unavailable.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Wedding Planner

As I mentioned in my previous note, I’m attending a wedding in 3 weeks time. I’ve been extremely excited about this for most of the year – although the excitement has turned to panic in the last month.

The wedding is that of my friend, Rebecca and her long-time boyfriend, Danson. I’ve known Becka for most of high school and we’ve remained friends during varsity. She and Danson are one of the nicest couples I know, and while I’m usually pretty adamant that people should avoid getting married young, I’m certain that Becka and Danson are perfect for each other. The wedding itself is being held on 29 November, at Cathedral Peak, which is where Danson proposed, and Pietermaritzburg is Becka’s home town, so the area has special significance for both of them.

In my experience – mostly gained from watching numerous TV shows and movies - it is perfectly normal for the bride to be in a state of panic – or moderate anxiety – prior to the wedding. As far as I know, the guests are not really supposed to partake in this worry – they are supposed to show up at the wedding, comment on how lovely the happy couple looks, have a good time at the reception, smile in photos, eat some wedding cake and then go home. Easy. Fun. But somehow, with 3 weeks to go until the wedding, I am a bundle of nerves, for one simple reason: I don’t have a date!

Now, I should’ve learned from my previous experience with dates/partners/plus-one’s. When I was invited to Becka’s engagement party at the start of the year, I struggled to find a partner. I asked Luke and Duncan (both of whom were away for the weekend), Steven – who had a braai to go to – and Chris, who had to go to his brother’s birthday dinner. Just under a week before the party, I managed to get my friend, Ben, to come with me, and we had a fantastic time.

I seem to be experiencing déjà vu, ten months later… I have the wedding gift, a gorgeous red dress, and have organized to drive down to Cathedral Peak and camp at a camping site nearby. Alas, my search for a date has not proved fruitful. Luke is travelling to the other end of Kwa-Zulu Natal to complete his scuba diving qualification, Duncan is unavailable and Chris is away for the weekend. And now I am stuck and confused. I honestly have no idea who to ask! In my mind, it really shouldn’t be this difficult to find someone to come on an all-expenses paid trip for a weekend and to look good in a suit for a couple of hours! It’s pretty much a free holiday!

But, it is proving surprisingly difficult to find someone – and I don’t think this is because I’m being fussy. I don’t particularly want to take someone I don’t know very well, because the 5 hour drive - and 3 days together - could be a bit of a problem if it turns out that the random brother/best friend who is “so hot” proves to be seriously lacking in the frontal lobe department. On the other end of the spectrum, I know at least 2 guys who would give their left arm to come with me, but I’ve worked really hard to draw boundaries with these individuals, and taking one of them to the wedding will probably give them false hope about romantic possibilities with me – something I definitely don’t want to encourage! But because desperation is sinking in, I have now even seriously considered calling my ex, Alastair, out of sheer desperation, because I’m considering not going, because of my datelessness – and because there is no way I am driving to Pietermaritzburg by myself (for the sake of both my sanity and my safety).

At this point, I am holding thumbs and hoping that some lovely (or at least “alive” - because beggars can’t be choosers) boy-person appears and says “I’d love to come with you!”, or at least shuffles his feet, puts his hands in his pockets and says “Okay, fine, I’ll come”. Either way is fine with me!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Holiday

As usual, this post begins with an apology for the sparseness of my blogging in the past few months. This has mostly been due to varsity work and exams, which have taken up most of my time recently. Fortunately, exams went well, and I’m now waiting for the results – and hopefully my acceptance into Psychology Honours at Wits!

Needless to say, the “20 Firsts” list was also put on hold, due to time constraints. Luckily, I’m now faced with the prospect of 3 months’ worth of holiday, and so I should be able to tick off at least a few more items from the list. This is likely to be my last “proper” holiday for a while, because of Honours – and hopefully Masters. I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do for the next few months, but so far, I plan to go to work at the vet, as usual, read (both psych textbooks and all the books I’ve received this year, and which have remained on my bookshelf while academic texts have taken priority), sketch and paint (especially the half-finished works which are lying about), learn how to use Photoshop, potentially house-sitting, and hoping to catch up with friends (who I hope will not be joining the annual exodus from Johannesburg to the coast). I’m also going to a wedding in Pietermaritzburg at the end of November and hoping to go to Cape Town in January to visit assorted friends and family. Other than that, I’m pretty much going with the flow and seeing where things take me.