For the longest time (the past few years anyway), the range of my reactions to the news that my friends were getting married spanned anywhere from sitting in the corner of a dark room with a sick feeling in my stomach—moping—to feeling elated and joyous while I excitedly supported the union; showering the couple with kind words and thoughtful gifts.
My exact reaction to the situation was a function of my actual relationship with the guy or girl in question. You know I’d definitely be moping if the woman getting hitched was someone I deemed attractive. The same reaction was sure to ensue if I felt that the guy I knew was undeserving (unintelligent, immature, unattractive …), and remarkably fortunate to “land such a gig”. (In actuality, predicting “how much happiness he deserved”, extrapolating from what I knew of him as a child, and sulking when he exceeded my expectations; especially since he got there before me. Jealous, in other words.)
Of course, there were other situations—like not finding her particularly attractive in the first place—which resulted in a more mellow response. But, after a few years of artificially induced(?) emotions, I just realised that I am too old for this. I needed to come up with a more standard response, something that worked for all such situations; and not have to go through the ordeal of carefully evaluating each circumstance before determining how I felt about the matter. Apart from taking too much time, I was occasionally unprepared to stomach the starkly enlightening realisations that popped up while I pondered.
So, I’ve finally decided to go with a one-size-fits-all approach that basically involves the perfunctory show of support (the wishes, the presents, the smiling presence at the wedding …) while moping when no one else is looking.
You don’t need my blessings. You don’t really care (or need to) about what I feel about the sequence of events, so why would you even want my support?
So I won’t. Of course, I’ll look like I am, but on the inside, I’m not. And you can’t make me. This works for both of us; whoever the other person in question is.
Addendum: This same treatment will be extended to any readers of this journal who may be getting married (unless it’s to me). I’m sorry, but rules are rules.