Jewish Journal


July 11, 2002

Plus Guest


I'm amazed Jewish boys ever find the courage to take a wife, because the ones I date can't find the courage to take a guest.

Dan and I met at The Well on Sunset Boulevard and Argyle Avenue. He ordered a Scotch neat, I ordered a boy cute. On our third date, Dan mentioned we'd lost another Jedi to the Dark Side. He'd received an invite to the wedding of his buddy, Brandon. And although his invite read "plus guest," the procrastinator bunny put off asking me. Dan kept waiting and waiting and waiting. Finally, a week and a half before the wedding, he popped the question.

"Will you, Carin, take me, Dan, to be my 'plus guest?' To fondle and flirt, 'til last dance do we part."

And while I said "yes," I couldn't help but wonder, why did Dan take so long to ask me?

Maybe Dan fears his old frat rats and college crew won't click with his new chick. But he knows I'm like Favre at Lambeau in a room full of strangers. Totally at home. And sure this decreases his chances of hooking up with a bridesmaid, but it increases his chances of hooking up with me.

So why is Dan biting his nails? Weddings can pile on the pressure. Especially when you've just started dating. He's scared Brandon's vows will start my own relationship legs running. I'll meet his friends. I'll take his name. I'll take his freedom.

He fears I'll hear "Here Comes the Bride" and sprint the aisle 40 in 4.5. I'll pull out my spare white dress, pluck some flowers from a centerpiece and throw myself under the chuppah, yelling, "Dan, take me to wed or lose me forever."

Are all guys this scared to bring a woman to a wedding? My Magic Date Ball says: yes. Men think women hit 25 and become a Lord of the Ring, on a quest to get Precious on her finger. They believe we want to see vows at the end of the tunnel, and Mrs. at the start of our name. And that taking us to a wedding will only rouse these marital instincts. Well, boys, quit reading Modern Bride in the checkout line.

I love going to weddings. I'm a perfect "plus guest." I've escorted purely platonics, friends with potential and even friends with benefits. Got my hora on with all of them. To me, weddings are free drinks, good grub and good times. They're seeing my date in a suit and wondering what he looks like without it. Weddings don't make me wonder "where's this relationship going?"

Sure, some women walk around a reception muttering "I see wed people" but not me. I want to practice our garter dance, not our first dance. I enjoy my dating life. And I'm having too much fun to freak out about the future.

Yes, the matrimonial clock is ticking, but I'm hitting snooze. My married friends make me feel like I'm the last kid picked in gym class, but I'm still not taking to their timeline. What's important to me is not when I marry, but whom I marry. And that's why I like playing "plus guest."

Weddings reassure me that everyone eventually meets his or her mate. And so will I. Someday my mensch will come. I'll find my "Caddyshack"-quoting, Torah-reading stud, who makes my stomach flip and my heart flutter. And when we're both ready, we'll fly down that aisle faster than a Golden Snitch in Quidditch. But until then, I'm perfectly happy living La Vida Single.

Dan and I went to Brandon's wedding and had a good time. The bridesmaids? Dan didn't give those girls in the bad dresses a second look. His friends? Totally impressed. "Dan, how'd you pull a chick who can talk about a defensive back in a dress with no back?"

Yes, the romantic night put thoughts into this guest's head -- but thoughts of our next date, not of our wedding date.

For now, my guy doesn't need the chutzpah to take me to the chuppah. He just needs to be fun, witty and most importantly ... tall. OK, tall and brave. Because at Brandon's wedding, Dan found the courage to pop the only question I really wanted to hear: "Carin, will you dance with me?"

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