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Dating Triumphs and Tragedies
by Nicole Roberge

A Young Old Maid

You know that old saying, “always a bridesmaid, never a bride?” Well, I’m starting to understand the allure in being a bridesmaid. Not that I’m too psyched to do the walk down the aisle in my sister’s wedding — I’m already panicked about that — but I do get how bridesmaids get into the whole planning thing. Some of them however, get too into it, and become a little psycho. While some, who may be those perma-bridesmaids, may be a wonderful help to the bride.

I’m finding that out now as my sister is planning things for her wedding, however I’m the only one who thinks I’m being a wonderful help. She just doesn’t understand that she has no sense of style whatsoever — from dresses to flowers. This girl needs a style guru like me to step in. I swear, one of the flower bouquets she picked out looked like a salad. It was a bed of lettuce with some tomatoes and cucumbers — and that was what she wanted me to hold as I walked down the aisle! I don’t think so. People would be putting some Ranch Dressing on it as I walked by and digging in.


So I have been trying to step up in my bridesmaid duties and pick out some classy flowers for my sister, not that she will listen to me. And while it’s fun to get into the exciting wedding choices, it’s not as fun when she asks for help and then disregards it. Sort of like when a friend asks you for dating advice and then goes on doing her own thing, gets hurt, and then comes whining to you. Yeah, kinda like that.

Maybe I’ve just got that kind of role in life where I’m the “Advisor.” I help friends with dates, I deter my sister from carrying shrubs down the aisle on her wedding, and I said no to ugly bridesmaid dresses. But it’s started to get me worried — if I’m always in this, “let me help you” position — will be ultimate fate be, “always a bridesmaid…soon an old maid?”

Okay, it may be a little early in the game to be calling myself out, but there could be a connection here — Old Maid was my favorite card game when I was little. See, I knew it. There’s a reason for everything. Boy, I was a smart kid.

I’ve gone through phases with my perception on when I’ll meet “the one.”

First, I was totally opposed to marriage. After all, I was going to be a busy lawyer who would ultimately be a Senator. Politics is life, baby. Yeah, that phase past and…that idea dwindled into…

The second installation where I was going to meet a cute boy with a guitar and live with him on his tour bus. Making music together. Hot. Right. But like Journey said, “They say that the road ain’t no place to start a family…and loving a music man ain’t always what it’s supposed to be…”

Then I got out of that giddy oh-so-in-love with singer-songwriter phase, and while I gave myself a year to grow up, my tastes in men grew up about a decade. Ah yes, the older man. I matured a bit and so did my preferences in dating. I saw myself cozying up to an older guy and really settling down in a “real” relationship…and while I think that’s where I still stand…

My knees are starting to ache and my back kind of hurts. I feel like I’ve been standing a long time. I’ve moved cross-country again, but still. I think part of me just doesn’t want to look, but that’s my other thing. I also had the (perhaps cheesy) notion that, “when it happens, it happens.” Sort of like, everything is mean to be, and when the time is right, the right guy will pop into your life. Now let me tell you, that can be a tiresome thing. Especially when you’re not actively pursuing anyone, which I’m not right now. Sorry guys, I’m still setting back in, and seriously, there’s not much out here to pursue.

So I’ve been through the various stages of dating perception and what I think I want, and I’m wondering what is next. Do I simply think, let’s just give up? If he comes along, great, if not, I got a good pack of Old Maid hanging around? I sure hope not. I mean, there’s always the role of bridesmaid, if my sister doesn’t throw a palm tree (ie her new idea of a bouquet) at me first. Maybe the real plan is to see what’s out there, and not have any expectations. Don’t think about age, don’t think because you like music he has to be a musician, and don’t let your own career get involved with things. Just don’t think. Wouldn’t things be so much easier if we just didn’t think? I should tell my sister that. Maybe my next dating quest will be for a gardener…who can educate my sister in appropriate flowers for a fall wedding. Then he can be my date. Am I thinking too much again? I’ve really got to stop that. I hope he likes Old Maid.

Dating Triumphs and Tragedies is published every Sunday by Online Dating Magazine columnist Nicole Roberge. She can be reached at

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