Thursday, July 5, 2007

Time for the honorable mentions!

I really did get so many amazing entries to my crazy wedding story contest. It was nearly impossible to decide! Here's one that won for Honorable Mention by Bobbi Harrison. I loved this story so much. Ultimately, though, it wasn't as much of a "wedding" story as some of the others, but here it is now for your enjoyment! I call this one: Always a bridesmaid....

About a year ago, I joined a popular, Web-based singles community. Admittedly, I signed up as more of an experiment than a way to meet men. I was curious about the guys who were willing to take a shot at finding love online. Were they searching for a soul mate or just looking for another way to hook up? What about the guys in their 40s who had never been engaged or married? (Or, those in their 30s who had three ex-wives?) Were they commitmentphobes? Emotionally detached? Mamma's boys?

Arghhh, who am I to be so judgmental? I asked myself. Like many women, I have struggled with my weight and body image issues for many years. In truth, I wondered if any of the men registered on the site would find me even remotely interesting or attractive.

Soon after I submitted my profile - complete with a not-so-fat photo of myself - I had my answer. Genuinely surprised, I had received a number of e-mails from guys who wanted to get to know me.

One random evening, I checked my account and found a message from a man named Mike. He was tall and attractive, and looked sort of familiar. But after reading his profile, I couldn't imagine where we might have met. And his e-mail certainly didn't seem to indicate that he knew me. Still, I was curious. So I clicked on Mike's picture for a larger view.

When the full-sized photo opened in a new window, it revealed another man standing next to Mike. A man I definitely recognized.

Steven had been married, albeit briefly, to my niece, Tracey, who is six years younger than me. In fact, Mike's default pic had been taken at Steven and Tracey's wedding, where he had been the best man and I, at my heaviest, had been a bridesmaid. As I squinted at the photo, I swore I could see myself in the background, wearing all those yards of purple taffeta.

More than a little freaked out, I promptly cancelled my subscription to the online dating site. My experiment was complete.

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