It happens every time. You sit through a gorgeous ceremony where two are united as one before God and witnesses. You go through the receiving line (if there is one, which, at least among my acquaintances, is becoming quite rare), and then on to the reception where the real party begins. You get to catch up with all of your friends that you may or may not have seen for a number of years, eat cake and watch the bride and groom kiss every few minutes. And then it happens: the moment you've been dreading all day: the call for all single women to gather in the center of the room. The call that I always wish would find me somewhere other than the reception area.
Call me crazy but it's been a long time since I found the idea of the bouquet toss very appealing. Why should I? To join a gaggle of women in front of everyone scrambling for a bunch of flowers? Sorry, call me a prude but I'll sit back and watch rather than make a spectacle of myself.... besides, I never catch the bouquet anyway.
In the past I've always allowed myself to be dragged along with my friends, rather reluctantly standing there, smiling for form's sake but not making any real attempt to win the prize. But I'm done. Except perhaps in a very special situation, I really have no intention of letting myself be pulled into that crowd. I did it for the first time several months ago. I stayed right where I was as twenty single women and girls got together, hands outstretched. One of my friends, a bridesmaid, saw me still in my seat and came over. In response to my declining to join them she asked "Are you announcing that you're attached?" Ah ha! And there it was: the REAL reason for the bouquet toss: to show any young man in the room who was taken and who was still "on the market." Why? Do guys really watch the bouquet toss to find out which girl he might like to find out more about? I stayed where I was and, thankfully, my friends went about their merry way and someone caught that bouquet. Obviously, it wasn't me and I don't really mind. Even though, in the recesses of my mind, I knew that, by not joining them, I would be labeled taken in many people's minds, I did my best not to let it bother me. If someone doesn't know me enough to come talk to me and actually find out my relationship status instead of watching to see if I participate in the bouquet toss, I'm not sure I really care. And anyone reading this who knows me, remember: next time you see me at a wedding, don't assume I've got a guy just because I don't vie for the bride's flowers.