Recently I was speaking with a male friend of mine who is on a Tinder rampage, meeting a new girl at least every other day. I try to keep up with his stories, but it’s exhausting. I don’t know how he keeps his eyes open or his mouth moving after an intense week of dating.
Over chopped salads he asked me, How does it feel to know you’ll never date again? I dropped my fork, piled high with bits of vegetables that will keep me at close to perfect wedding weight, and just stared at him. It wasn’t something I’d considered or even thought about until right then.
You don’t reach a point of knowing you’ll never date again until you are at the point where you’ll never date again. There’s no warning. There’s no time period where you get to say goodbye. It’s just a part of your life that slips away quietly in the night, never to be seen again and you didn’t get get a chance to thank it for all it taught you.
I wouldn’t say I’m saddened by it. But I think I need a little time to let that sink in. – was my response.
Then my week of bridal activities appeared on the calendar and was quickly met with all of my non-single girlfriends hooting and hollering about letting loose without their significant others. I can’t say I shared the excitement in the same way. Maybe I haven’t been in my relationship long enough to celebrate having a break from it. I’m also not a mom who busts her ass every day caring for her kids and could use a well deserved break, so there’s that side of it as well. But I love these ladies, and spending a night (or several) with them is what I looked forward to the most.
It started in New York City.
Being that none of us had hit the “club scene” (is it still called that?) since maybe 2007, I defaulted to the area of NYC most easy to jump around without the burden of cover charges: the LES. Upon entering the first spot of the evening, I was quickly aware of how NOT young I am. I think some of the guys were still going through puberty. When a dude offered to buy this bride-to-be a shot, I questioned if he was even old enough. He looked at me like I was wearing mom jeans and changed his mind.
Second to the crowd and its pubescent nature was the weakness of my stamina. By 2AM I was leaning my head against the hard pillow of a lounge chair and begging my cousin to JUST STOP DANCING ALREADY! I mean, seriously I couldn’t believe how well this mom of two young children could dance to Drunk in Love four times in one night. She finally gave in to me, and my tired crew giggled our way back to Brooklyn. It had been a wonderful night, with amazing ladies whom I cherish greatly, but it didn’t provide me an answer to my friend’s question about saying farewell to singledom. I’d have to keep thinking about it.
Later that week I hit Florida, and more importantly, Key West. In a car packed to the brim with lovely women, suitcases, liquor and an ample amount of bottled water, we drove the four hours from Fort Lauderdale to what had been my second home the summer of 2012. For those not familiar with this beautiful low-key vacation spot, all you need to know is it’s one of the greatest places on Earth to visit when all you want to do is ignore your worries and enjoy a laid-back version of life.
During our two day stay, my lovelies and I soaked in some sun (and booze), laughed with locals and ate the best pork tacos ever (Amigos is AMAZING.) They made me wear a sash, carry around an inappropriate blow-up doll and dance with drag queens. To say it was all just “fun” would be an understatement. I laughed so hard at times that it’s a miracle my bladder still functions. And I danced so much I ended up losing weight on that mini-vacation (which led to another funny story that I’ll write about at a later time.) And as we drove back north on my last day in the sunny state, I thoughtfully watched the landscape of the Keys pass by my window in a blur. This was the last place I had enjoyed life as a single girl before becoming serious with Matt, and it was the last time I’d visit it as a unmarried woman. I smiled at the beautiful full circle my life had made.
When I finally reached my New York apartment (after several hours of delays at the airport), I’d never been happier to fall into the arms of my future husband. “I missed you,” he said, having just returned from his bachelor weekend as well. “Missed you more,” was my response. And before I fell completely asleep, in a drowsy state of being semi-awake, I imagined the single version of myself standing before me, and I told her “Thank you for the amazing years we had together.” She gave me a wink and a smile, then she turned away and was gone. And I fell into a deep and wonderful sleep.