I’ve heard it being commonly said that ‘thrice the bridesmaid, never a bride.’ I found it funny and a little pathetic that my female counterparts would be on a countdown to a marital bliss or doom when their friends began getting hitched. I assumed the pressure was a bit more slackened for us guys because we were not on a race against a biological clock. So I planned to enjoy my bachelorhood the best way I knew how and bidding my hitched friends farewell from the life of freedom.
I enjoyed going for weddings. It was one of those memorable times when old friends met, caught up with each other and had fun. It was an honor to be asked to join the bridal train; that’s what they call it, right?
To be smartly dressed in a tux with a lovely woman on your arm for the day was a leisure activity I loved doing. And since I am good-looking (testimonial from my lady friends), I do grace the wedding photos with my charming self. And getting to witness at close range the wedding kiss as a groomsman was a pleasure I never tired of.
So one by one, my close buddies started to hang up their bachelor coats. Before I realized, I had served as groomsman for three friends, a cousin and a colleague. And with each friend who was whisked away into matrimony, my social circle grew thinner. And every new friend I tried to make was either too involved in his relationship to make time for some buddy time or was planning to get married. Was there a clock for guys no one remembered to tell me about?
I was only 29. Still young with enough warm blood to enjoy life the way I wanted. I hadn’t reached the Thirty Threshold yet. I had a few months and I intended to make the best of my grace period. Apart from my mother who would constantly ask me when she’d see her grandkids (whose mother doesn’t?), no one really gave me the what-are-you-waiting-for-to-get-married look. But by a quick mental count, the bachelor nest was getting empty and it was likely I might be the last one to leave.
I had to be serious. I was going through some wedding photos when the ‘thrice the bridesmaid’ thingy hit me. I was already past three. Another friend had just sent me an invitation to be part of his big day. Number six? Nah, I have to turn it down. Or very soon, I’d end up being a contract groomsman doomed to be just that.
But every lady I was interested in was seeing someone. They were quick to flash their ‘promissory’ rings in my face as it was a poaching detergent. As if it was a guarantee that the real ring would be put on it. I remembered when I had to get one of my exes (not up to double digits yet) a ring so I could get her to give me preliminary access to her cookie jar. I later broke up with her when things got stale. I know, it’s not my proudest moment. But I’m a changed man now.
I don’t know what happened to the marriage market. It seemed that my preference had all left the pool; with only the most difficult, complicated and emotionally damaged ones remaining. I should have taken my relationships seriously when I was 26.
But thanks to my mother’s fervent prayers, God showed me mercy and I met my missing rib. We had both spent much time savoring singlehood and realized a little too late that we had no friends yet. Her crazy met my crazy and we were both committed to making us work.
Now at 31, as I stand staring at my beautiful bride walking towards me, I know my time playing groomsman was prepping time for me to be the right groom for my bride.
© Josephine Amoako 2016