“Of course I will!” I said. “Put me down for myself plus one!”
With two days to go, I still haven’t found anyone to go with me and the bride is making noises about names for the placement cards at the wedding reception.
I email the groom.
“My first choice date has fallen ill and might not recover in time, but I’m sure I can find someone else,” I write.
I realise almost immediately after sending the message that this doesn’t really buy me any time or put me in any better a position, and that now I will probably also have to make up a lie about a non-existent date and a mystery illness. I decide that I’ll email them back the next day and say that I caught whatever it was, too, and that I’m sorry but I won’t be able to make it after all.
In the end I go to the wedding alone. I feel indignant because no-one even asks me how my pretend date is doing after falling ill.
It’s the party after the meal and towards the end of the night, the DJ changes the music so that people can slow dance. Everyone pairs up apart from me. I sit on the side of the dance floor. The look I’m trying to go for is “Don’t mind me. I’m happy for all of you, in love with each other. But I’m also happy to just sit here, thinking my whimsical thoughts.”
I see two girls, who also came alone, dancing with each other happily. What a nerve, I think. One of them could easily have asked me to dance. They start laughing. I make eye contact with one of them. I laugh as well. I don’t know what we’re all laughing about.