I spent this weekend in the throes of another college wedding. That is, I was a bridesmaid, I knew the rest of the wedding party and the couple's family (and over half the wedding guests), I was involved in a bunch of the planning, and I knew I would thoroughly enjoy myself.
But this one was different. See, the last two weddings I was in that fit the above description were while I was still in college mode. But this time, things were different. This time, it wasn't just an exciting wedding with my regular friends; it was an exciting wedding with old friends, while my regular friends waited back home for me to pick up my social life when I returned.
All this made me realize in new depth a regret that I've felt several times already. The longer I go on without a husband, the more experiences of mine he'll miss out on, and the more communities I treasure that he'll never know. I'm sure that I will conversely be welcomed into various communities of his via stories and friendships down the line, but right now, it's just a little bit sad.
It was sad when I realized that I am unlikely to marry a man from my cherished Ann Arbor crew. Unlike some of my oldest and deepest college friends, I will have no reason to return to that central location for holidays, where I would conveniently see old friends as well as beloved family.
It was sad when I realized that I am unlikely to marry a man from the Apprentices of St Joseph household. There will not be a moment at my wedding reception at which my husband and I will be surrounded by silly gentlemen doing something affectionately called "The Piston Dance."
It was sad when I realized that I am unlikely to marry a man from Conquer Through Love household. I will never receive a CTL nickname or bowling pin, nor will my firstborn son.
It was sad when I realized that I am unlikely to marry a man from my local Spirit and Truth young adult community. My husband will not be seranaded that he's "lost that lovin' feeling" by a large crowd of gentlemen as the ladies and I look on with joy.
Not that any of these are completely foregone conclusions, and not that the wedding reception itself matters so much. But each of these wedding traditions represents a friendship, a comeraderie, an inclusion into a group whose friendships and spirituality have blessed my own life so much that I desire for my future spouse to receive their blessings.
This weekend's wedding reminded me just how separate the different groups of my friends can be, and while the gaps between the groups can be connected by the telling of stories and the occasional visits, I am finding that the people in my life are such an incredible blessing that I want to be able to share them all with my future spouse, even those he's likely to never meet.
The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the Name of the Lord.
Born and raised in Jersey. B.A. in Catechetics from the Franciscan University of Steubenville. M.A. in Liturgical Studies from the Liturgical Institute. Brief but delightful stint in Atlanta. Currently working for a Catholic publisher in New York. Every feminaprovita on the internet is me. Life is good.