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April 27, 1998 e-mail e-mail to a friend in need


Countdown to Breakup Girl's Wedding Tour '98:
Someone Blue

In an odd way, the first few weeks after a breakup may, socially speaking, be your busiest ever. Your friends will bombard you with phone calls and plans "just to get your mind off things" -- why, you'll be a regular butterfly.

The actual life span of a butterfly, however, is only about a month.

Soon enough, the initial crisis-mode flutter begins to die down ... is this start of a lonely stretch of pay-for-view and cooking-for-one? Hardly. Oh, you'll be plenty busy. Especially right now. After all, 'tis the season.

For what?

Annex your mailbox and spit-shine your shoes, amigos: it's time for ...
other people's weddings.

Somehow, it seems, your breakup has released into the air a pungent pheromone that, upon contact with other couples, causes marriage. Not since college-admissions April have you been so acutely envelope-conscious. Back then, the mail check hinged on thin vs. thick; today, the mail check hinges on "OCCUPANT" vs. calligraphy. And even on non-envelope days, you've still got the New York Times wedding pages (which I've heard called "the women's sports section," har har), any alumni magazine, and the temple or church bulletin announcing the engagements of people you used to babysit during services.

You know Breakup Girl well enough to understand that any tinge of bitterness here has nothing to do with any icky notions of ring-digging or being "incomplete" without someone else's last name (and these days, those are co-ed phenomena).

Also, Breakup Girl LOVES HER FRIENDS. All twenty or so who have graciously invited her to their weddings. Make no mistake: she begrudges them nothing and is sincerely thrilled to see them happy. She is also fully prepared,when children come along, to be the Cool Aunt. (As in, "Well Mommy if you don't have time to sew our costumes/play goalie, etc., let's ask Auntie BG -- she's probably free.")

But still. It's just that, well, weddings are the seeing-cute-couples-in-the-park syndrome to the max. Like, there's just one really, really, really cute couple, but instead of walking on by, we all have to stop and look at them. And listen to them. And toast them. And refrain from accidentally hitting them with a frisbee.

On the upside -- especially if, like Breakup Girl, you have cool friends -- you get a righteous fiesta. Also, there is a sense in which you may regard your wedding spree as a valuable learning experience. When your time comes, heck, you'll already know all there is to know about pulling off the big event. No need to buy the "Your Special Day" CD-ROM or take that day-long workshop at the Y. You will already have developed a casual fluency with terms such as "alphabet shower," "nosegay," and "snood;" a sharp eye for great little bridesmaids dresses that your galpals can totally wear again; and an educated opinion on the reply card vs. "the favor of a reply is requested" debate. In short, you will be the alpha-bride.

And grooms-in-grooming: heads up. This is on the test. If you pay attention, you'll learn not only how to select the perfect gravy boat, but also how to return it for cash. More such information may also be found in Dan Zevin's forthcoming The Nearly-Wed Handbook: How to Survive the Happiest Day of Your Life (Avon Books, this June), which is where BG blatantly stole the gravy boat line from.

Sad fact is, though, that there are weddings that offer a different kind of learning experience. Like, where you learn that you're not quite over the groom. Or where you learn that the happy couple forgot to warn you that your ex would be there with her new blackbelt boyfriend. For Breakup Girl , these are the reasons why she is not so much "always the bridesmaid," but rather "always the Good Sport."

Fortunately, though, none of the weddings that Breakup Girl will be attending on her Tour fit this description. They will all be fun and issue-free, she swears. So she is more than happy to deal with your problems.

And so:



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