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Wedding hell for the single man

Well here we are once more in the midst of wedding season.

I know this because I have now received 10 invitations.

Yes, people, I said 10.

(Oh, and five high school graduations, two college graduations, one baby announcement and a partridge in a pear tree.)

During the months of May, June, July and August, the wedding season becomes a single man's hell.

Of course, you care for the couple who have chosen to get married and receptions can be a lot of fun, especially the ones with an open bar and a decent DJ or band.

I should mention though that weddings often carry pitfalls for the single man.

These pitfalls range from who you bring to the wedding as a date to how much to spend on a gift.

I have noticed, especially here at home, that if you don't bring a date to the wedding, people try to fix you up.

Well, stop it.

Don't.

I usually call in my friend Cassie, Angela or Misty.

But then it always ends up with me being asked repeatedly how long we've dated.

There have been a few times I've gone to a wedding with a male pal, and that just ends up raises some very personal questions.

Even if you are dating someone, questions arise: Have we been dating long enough to even broach the subject? Do I really want to make introductions to my family/friends? What if I meet someone better at the wedding?

Then there are the wedding gifts.

I have created a special file at home now of the various registry list I've printed out from this store or that store.

I look over these lists and I'm amazed at the gall of some of the couples in their requests.

One of my friends registered at Home Depot.

I thought it might be fun so I looked up the list.

The couple requested things like screw drivers, picture hanging kits, bath towel holders among other things.

Makes sense.

These are things they need.

But then, there is an entry for a chainsaw.

Yes, a chainsaw.

Not just any chainsaw but a $380 chainsaw.

I don't have a chainsaw and you can pretty much bet that the happy

couple won't get one from me either.

My fundamental problem with many weddings is that you know it will never last.

He has a wondering eye or she can't commit without momma's approval.

These are the ones that really irk me because I know that the gift I give will become a custody issue.

"Jay, sorry man, but when Belinda divorced me, she got that great toaster oven you gave us.

I know you wanted me to have it."

And for anyone who don't believe small appliances become a custody issue, trust me, they do.

So I have decided that this summer, on my birthday, some friends are going to throw me a big party.

I'm making my own personal registry list including the store name, the price and I'm sending it out to everyone I know.

Call it a "Single Man's Birthday Reception."

OK, you know I'm joking.

Some of the invitations I've gotten will get a nice little card in reply.

I'll be cordial and proper, but there won't be a gift.

As a professor once told me at college, "pull yourself up by your bootstraps."

Well I did and I've purchased the small appliances I needed myself and no one can take them away in a custody battle.

If they don't like the card, then might I suggest that they "pull themselves up by their bootstraps, and buy their own toaster oven."

Jay Thomas is happily single and the managing editor of the Greenville Advocate.

He can be reached at 383-9302, ext. 136 or via email at jay.thomas@greenvilleadvocate.com.