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always a bridesmaid
Audience Response

MARISSA, AGE 26, HONDURAS, CENTRAL AMERICA, 8/1/00

Dear Nina:
The moment I saw the title I knew I was going to connect with the film. A good friend of mine married his girlfriend of seven years last weekend and another close friend will get married this weekend. It will be the fourth wedding of a close friend I attend this year, so your documentary really caught me in the middle of some major self- analysis.

Going to weddings wasn't always the emotional challenge it is now. I used to be happy to be single and living independently. Even though I would have a boyfriend, I would openly say that I didn't want to get married yet, that probably in the future I would want to. I was very happy with school and work and traveling and spending my time with my family and my friends. But lately I go to weddings and find myself evaluating my own love life during the ceremony. Instead of rejoicing in my friends; happiness, I'm secretly feeling sorry for myself as I realize it has been four years since my last serious relationship. I start realizing that I'm not really that interested in the single life and that it doesn't have what it takes to make me happy anymore. I start feeling envious of the kind of love my friends have in which they are willing to give up the perks of single life for the joy of being with someone that truly understands them and accepts them the way they are. I'm envious that they found someone that's willing to take that leap of faith of living a life together. And I start wondering why I'm not even remotely close to being in a serious meaningful relationship.

I can't really say I want to get married now, but I guess that the thought of doing it is finally starting to seem more like a real interest in my life and not just something I would do down the road. For starters, I want to be in a commited relationship. I guess I reached that age in which many of my friends and acquaintances are either married or engaged or involved with someone they are pretty sure they are going to marry. Some of them already have kids. And here I am, single, with no boyfriend and 26, an age that's pretty steep for a woman to be single where I live.

And I would hate to think that I want to get married out of the pressures of society, but I have to admit that if my friends were't getting married, these feelings would probably not be bugging me, you know? I have a very nice life; I have been truly blessed with a great family, good friends and a rewarding job. You could say I'm complete, except for the part that I don't have whom to share this great life with.

My parents have had a good marriage for 30 years. I'm extremely close to them and I admire the way they treat each other, how they stick together for the tough blows and how they simply enjoy each other';s company. I guess I have modeled my idea of a good marriage based on what I've seen as a successful marriage. And I can see it's hard work, a lot of giving unconditionally, a lot of understanding, a lot of forgiving. I know it's a big step, something serious you really have to pay attention with whom you do it. So I should at least be with someone right now getting my feet wet, right?

I'm worried Nina and I hate being worried about something I thought was going to happen naturally, when the time was right. Now, I see that I have to rationally look for someone, evaluate, compare; it all seems so unnatural. And single men my age (or older) are scarce around here. So I'm starting to feel a bit anxious about my future. And every wedding I got to, the feelings grow stronger. Seeing your documentary and listening to you express your own concerns about marriage so openly, stirred those feelings again. Even though it is something I try not to think about, I always do, in the back of my head. And certain things trigger it, little things. Sometimes it's a movie, sometimes seeing couples with kids, and definitively weddings.

I don't have all the answers for these questions I have regarding love and marriage. I just wanted to let you know it's comforting to know that there is someone else out there that shares some of my concerns and worries. I truly admire your courage to let other people know what you feel, especially those close to you. Letting your close friends, your family and the man you love hear all these fears really takes guts. I'm not a filmmaker, so I can't point out what techniques or procedures you did a good job using. All I can say is that your story was so human and so real it hurt.

I hope you and Nick are happy together, if not forever, for the time your relationship allows it. But most of all I wish you find yourself with someone that shares your same dreams and hopes for a future together, someone that gets you and your goals and wants to go there with you.

Marissa

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