Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Bridezillas

Not to follow one morose and miserable entry with another a month later but here we are. I am officially anti-wedding. I have had a group of close girl friends for many years now, wonderful, considerate amazing accomplished women who i felt blessed to count as my inner circle. they have been here for me through thick and thin, supporting me, advising me, laughing and crying with me. in the many years we've been friends, we've grown up. We're now grown women with adult lives and responsibilities. During those years of growing up, we would discuss everything! All the potential for life that lay before us. We laughed, dreamt and discussed what might happen, always with a focus on our inevitable weddings. we always played a part in each other's fantasy weddings, helping plan, making toasts, selecting dresses, dancing together at the reception. Little did we know the reality of weddings that awaited us.

best friend #1 got engaged at chistmas, the very first of us to get a proposal, a ring and a ticket into unknown territory. Years of watching wedding shows on tv did nothing to prepare us for what was in store. We (myself and another best friend) were asked to be maid of honors at this joyous event. The wedding was a mere 7 months from the engagement and was to be a quasi destination wedding. I say quasi because her fiance is from the British Virgin Islands and wanted the wedding at his family's church. So not a destination wedding for him or anyone from his family, but certainly so for us and her family. Incredible stress and drama arose from every angle of this planning process. Any time we tried to ask questions or move the process along, we were shut down by a bride who had too much on her plate and didn't want to deal with the wedding. ( Case in point: The invitations didnt go out until 6 1/2 weeks before the wedding. ) We were up all hours of the night, trying to plan her bridal shower and bachelorette party, trying to keep her calm, prod and poke her relatives to get passports or look at tickets to come to the wedding. The flights were expensive, the dresses (they were ordered late, obviously) cost exorbiant amounts of money and crucial details like "where will we stay?" "who is dropping us off at the airport once you've left for your honeymoon?" "who is doing our make up the day of?" "do we need to get our nails/hair done before hand?" "how will we get food?" were not considered, let alone addressed. Despite our bang up amazing surprise bachelorette WEEKEND in Atlantic city, our bride seemed to become withdrawn and damn near entitled as the weekend progressed. Months of work and very little genuine thanks in return. Same (but worse) with the bridal shower. Not only was the bride not so appreciative, the guests were rude! I felt excluded at the party i planned and was hosting! Unbelievable. But that was not all. I had no idea that consenting to be a maid of honor meant consenting to servitude in its most noxious form. "Worked like a Hebrew slave" is a phrase i heard and thought during the week, even after the months of stress, shouldering the incredible costs of planning, drama with her family and friends..... At the end of it all, we didn't even get a shout out at the reception. We got attitude after the wedding for not scurrying along fast enough to grab her cathedral veil & train off the ground. Mayhbe I'm insensitive, maybe i just don't give a rat's ass after all this, but isnt that why the wrist loop is on the underside of the train? So that the bride can HOLD UP HER OWN DRESS?!?!?!

Beyond getting mistreated, being unappreciated, feeling like outsiders and not getting fed enough, the worst part of this entire occasion has been the feeling of losing best friend #1 completely. she so completely left her family, friends and old life behind to cleave to her new husband, life and family of her own that it feels as though she's gone forever. Her new priority and duty in life, according to her Baptist wedding vows, is her husband. And since West Indian cultural traditions expound that a wife should never air her husband's or her marriage's dirty laundry to anyone, the chances she'll confide in us, or me, are slim to none. So we've been outmoded, out manuevered and made obsolete. During her relationship with her now-husband, she retreated from her friendships with us and spent almost all of her time with him. My hope for her time or attention now that she has firmly entered married life is slim to none.

Losing one best friend to the married life isn't so bad, right? That's only one out of a few really good friends i've been blessed with. I'll miss her, but at least i've got others. Or so I thought.

best friend #2 got engaged at the same time! Right before Christmas, 2006. Cept i didn't know. in fact, she didn't tell me until i returned from india and finished school FIVE MONTHS later. Hurt and a little dejected that i wasn't able to celebrate this momentus occasion with my best friend, i was even more hut by her brush off when i asked, beqildered, why she would wait, not tell me for so many months and then ultimately tell me in such an offhand way! Given that we've been best friends since we were 16 (8, almost 9 years for those counting)and had spoken numerous times of each others' involvement in our wedding plans, I expected to be asked to be part of the wedding party. Honestly, considering how bitter a taste my maid of honor experience left me with, I think even wanting to attend another wedding is good on my part. I love my friend so much that not only do i want to attend, I want to help! So months pass, and I assume she is merely waiting for the craziness with friend #1's wedding to die down before she asks. My dumbass is even thinking she might make me a maid of honor! How wrong I was. Today, as I caught up with her face to face for the first time in an entire YEAR, she casually mentioned how she hasnt even found dresses for "the girls" yet. It was at that moment that my insides crumpled and I realized that not only was she not going to ask me to be her maid of honor, she wasn't going to have me in her wedding at all. I feel pathetic for caring so much, but i was so hurt and sad i wanted to cry. This is my best friend! I have to find out this way that she doesnt consider me so in return? It hurt so much! It was like being dumped, cut from the varsity team, having my pumpkin smashed on halloween, having my puppy run over and being told that well, I'm just not that important or special. For eight years (almost 9) this friend has been an important part of my life, one of the most important people, period. We never had the chance to go to high school or college together, our friends were always different, but we were always tight. Or so i thought. The most painful thing about it was that it seemed to come out of left field! I had no idea we weren't as close anymore :( I spent my year abroad in india, sent postcards, emails, even tried calling from there, but with no response. My friends are one of the greatest priorities in my life and i do my best to keep up with them, to help them, to stay in touch with them, support them, see them. It hurts when it isnt returned, and when it seems that after everything, our friendship just doesnt mean that much.

In short, weddings suck. They have taken two of my best friends from considerate caring women who love me back and turned them into bridezillas who emotionally smack me around and then leave me for something better. i could really title this "i hate weddings!" or "i welcome some of my close friends to get married and be nice to me along the way, while we retain our fabulous friendships even with all the marriage mayhem."

1 comment:

Passionista said...

I know it hurts and is sad when people who you would probably do the world for, don't return the same sentiment. I've felt this way before from friends and/or family. But in truth, there is nothing we can do to change those people or their ideas on what friendship might mean to us. I can almost bet that both of your friends love you and appreciate you dearly but do not share your view of what that translates in reference to their weddings. It could be that there are traditions that they are following, maybe # 2 has all family in her bridal party. And with the stress of marriage/engagement it changes people. None of this is an excuse to behave however they please. But you can control your relationship with them from your end. You threw #1 a great bachelorette party and bridal shower, what a great friend you are! No one can take that away from you. She will always look back and be able to say what a great friend you've been and maybe that thought will stick with her when it counts. You can still show your friendship to #2 by listening to her stresses and pain, and being there when she needs a friend or shoulder to cry on. You will have proven and demonstrated what these women should be embodying. This may not bring you the satisfaction that you truly deserve, however no one can speak bad of your value of friendship. You may find one day that their appreciation will come out in another way. The most important thing is that you be the person you want to be, because you have to live with the choices you make. If your relationship with these women has been fulfilling, don't let this one thing stand in the way of destroying that outlet forever. Reevaluate what you need from these friendships and hopefully you are gaining something rather than losing. If the latter is the case, maybe it's time to walk away. Love ya Frack! I hope that all your future experiences with weddings are better than these :(