I am the youngest of a large generation. Two older sisters and a sleighful of first-cousins that are practically like brothers and sisters to me means two things: 1) I will always be the baby of the family; and 2) I am a part of lots of weddings. To date, I have been a ring boy once, MC twice, and groomsman three times.
This past weekend, the last of my cousins got married, finally taking that step after 12 long years with his girlfriend. Of course, one of the most cherished pasttimes of weddings (at least by inquisitive aunts) is asking the single ones "When's your turn?" For years - particularly during my sisters' weddings one and two years ago, respectively - I was able to pin the responsibility on someone else. "No, no, Michelle's next!" and "Nelson is 11 years and counting without buying that ring!"
When this cousin announced the engagement a year ago, and after a few joking reminders of my place in line, one of my other cousins said to me in all seriousness "Wow... you really are the only one left."
It struck me that he was perfectly right. I no longer had a scapegoat on to whom to deflect harassment. I would have to find my own witty rebuttals. I rehearsed my replies of "When I'm good and ready", "Whenever they let me back into Vegas", and "When Andrea Corr dumps that Shaun guy and comes back to me".
And so, I walked down the aisle, pretty (but taken) bridesmaid on my arm, and awaited the barrage.