My Best Friend’s Wedding

Once upon a time, in a land very, very close by, my best friend got married. My very best friend in the world. And she asked me to be her matron of honor and I was totally….honored. And it was wonderful and blissful – after all, she was MY maid of honor at my wedding and we were the closest of friends. So close, people thought we were lesbians until I got married.  We talked about her hopes and dreams and all that other fluffy stuff. I even went through a wedding magazine with her without throwing up.  Then we went to a bridal store and picked out her gown, and flowers and everything was turning out so nicely.

Then one day not soon after, I peed on a stick and found out I was pregnant with my first child. Ah! What a blessing! What wonderful news to share with my best friend! And the due date was a month before her wedding!! I wouldn’t even have to have a big pregnancy bridesmaid dress!  I couldn’t wait to tell her the news. A baby!! Not really a planned baby – but a wanted baby!! She seemed so happy for me. She talked excitedly about putting together a baby shower (she loves to plan stuff).  Could life get any sweeter than this?

No. It couldn’t. She invited me over for dinner a week later so that we could talk about her wedding and my baby. Excellent!! We could celebrate some more! As we dined on take out and she made sure I didn’t even sneak a sip of wine, she told me that her fiance was uncomfortable having me in the wedding. SCREECH. The needle on the record just scratched. WHAT?

Yes, although it was true that we’d been inseparable since our first week of college and we didn’t do anything without each other for many years, her fiance didn’t feel my presence in the wedding was appropriate any more.  Apparently, he thought that perhaps I got pregnant just to take the attention away from her, where it should be, and a good friend would not have gotten knocked up the same year her best friend planned to get married.  Plus, she explained, it was probably bad for my health and she thought I probably wouldn’t want to come after giving birth and she was really doing me a favor. By kicking me out of her wedding.  My best friend. BUT…this isn’t all bad…she had thought of a role called a “bride’s assistant” that she thought I might be perfect for. Meanwhile, her sister had been promoted to matron of honor and she was sure I would understand.

Wait. Hold up. What is a bride’s assistant you ask? Apparently it is a job you get when you get kicked out of your best friend’s wedding for having a baby. She gently assuaged me by promising that I could still do a toast and even buy a bridesmaid dress if I wanted. To look like I was in the wedding. I wondered where this Bridezilla was hiding my best friend? I wanted her back. I needed her back. I was having a fucking baby! She was getting married! We were going to do this together like we’d done everything else, of course. Right? RIGHT?!  Best friends forever!!  I told her I would be there if I had to have my baby during the ceremony. I promised I could live up to all of my duties. I would never let her down – and I meant it.  I mean, didn’t it say something about my loyalty that I was begging to be in a wedding? This is coming from a girl who doesn’t like weddings, or dresses, or flowers or showers or any of that. And I’m begging to dress up in a color that makes my skin look like vomit a month after I give birth to my first child?

It wasn’t enough.  On that day that I got fired from her wedding, our best friendship (and my heart) broke in two, and nothing has ever been the same since. I guess you might say we patched things up – we managed civil, distant and awkward conversations. I had to regretfully inform her that while it was a very tempting offer, I could not take the “bride’s assistant” job and dress up like the bridesmaids so I could pretend to be in the wedding.  I would just go as a guest. As fate would have it, she decided to promote me to bridesmaid after her fiance’s sister, another bridesmaid, got knocked up too. So after I got kicked out of the wedding, I got to get back in because someone else got preggers.  I never heard whether her husband thought his sister had also plotted to have a child just to ruin their wedding, but apparently he became more comfortable with my participation in it. I know in my heart this wasn’t his call. It was hers and she felt betrayed and it was convenient to blame it on him. During the next 9 months, she planned her wedding and I planned for my baby and we grew apart with an ocean of resentment between us.

In all that time, she never asked about my pregnancy or my baby, as if neither existed. I asked about the wedding, but it was hard to care about what the answer was. My best friend had died months ago.

Three weeks before her wedding, I gave birth to my son and nearly died in during the “routine” c-section.  My parents called her.  She came to the hospital. She didn’t really want to have much to do with the baby, but she was a little weirded out that I almost bled to death, so she came. And that counted for something, but I think she was probably thinking right then she had totally made the right decision, because there was no way I’d be at her wedding now.

Three weeks later, I left my newborn and my husband and flew to her wedding drugged with pain pills and crying the whole way. I dutifully strapped myself into a girdle, put on a very ill fitting bridesmaid dress, popped my pills every two hours and did what I was told to do.  I was still really swollen everywhere from the blood transfusions and anemic. I was likely the most misshapen bridesmaid of all time, but I did it for her. To honor what we had before this. This was her day and it was beautiful and she was lovely. But she had underestimated me. I was there. Not at home with my new little baby. At my best friend’s wedding. The one she originally kicked me out of.

At the reception, she asked me about when I wanted to give the toast.  Toast? What toast? Doesn’t the matron of honor do that? We hadn’t ever said a word about that since the day she dismissed me from the matron of honor job. I told her I forgot all about that. I wanted to forget any of it ever happened, but alas…I honestly had no idea she was expecting a toast from me – the person who knew her better than anybody at that wedding save her new husband — and who got kicked out of her wedding for having a baby. I hadn’t prepared anything. I declined to do a toast. She was shocked. I was relieved. The toast I would have given her the day she asked me to be her matron of honor was so much different then any toast I could give her now.  Did she not understand that?

Since then, we’ve both had two kids and live in the same city and have careers — we still have a lot in common. But we’re just barely friends. She still invites me to her parties and I accept once a year.  My other friends tell me I should “divorce” her. But I can’t. And I won’t. To honor what we once had. Which was a friendship. True friendship. Like Oprah and Gayle. Like Liz Lemon and Jack Doneghy. Like Jon and Kate, before the eight.

And even though its been a long road, I’m sure we’ll all live happily ever after…

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11 responses to “My Best Friend’s Wedding

  1. so sad! :0(

    & it really hits home…my BFF for 13 years just up & dismissed me…i got cancer, she disappeared…sorry 2 inconvenience her, or make her feel uncomfortable around me…i 4got it was all about her!

    oh well, guess that’s y we prefer male friends – so much less drama!

    From Love – I know it! I’m sorry you went through it too. I mean, its so baffling. But thank God you’re well now and you know who your real friends are.

  2. What a sad and beautiful post. I think that alot of women have had something similar with a formerly close friend. It’s sad what we allow to come between us.

  3. I sometimes think that weddings bring out the WORST in people. You’re a bigger person than I for still seeing her once a year.
    Dealing with somewhat of a bridezilla best friend myself right now, this post made me unnecessarily angry… I’ll try to forgive your friend, although I totally thought this story was going to go more along the lines of “I got too drunk and the bride kicked me out, and then let me back in.” So. Maybe you could make one up like that?

    From Love – I agree. Weddings should be Public Enemy #1 for all the emotional havoc they wreak upon society. I’m actually kind of shocked I wrote about this, but I had a lot of wine last night. It’s been 5 years and I still can’t find any humor in it. Good luck on your toast!

  4. NO SHE DI-ENT! Oh Love, that sucks. I agree with Belle – weddings really can bring out the worst in people. I still don’t really understand what would make her behave that way. Did she ever apologize? Well it sounds like she lost out on the wittiest and most awesome and funny best friend EVER.

    From Love — The good news is that I have some friends that wouldn’t kick me out of their wedding even if I was having sextuplets on the same day. In fact, I bet they’d help me deliver. 🙂 They know who they are…

  5. First, I was having a heart attack until last line. I thought you weren’t going to mention Oprah. PANIC!!!! But you did, and all is well in the universe.

    Second, I am with the rest of your friends. Divorce that biatch. Why are you being so mature? Is that what grown ups are supposed to do? Noooooooooo.

    From Love – I got so melancholy writing that I almost did forget my shining star, Oprah!! Thank you for making sure I’m keeping it real. My ex-best friend was an ESTJ. They aren’t known for their tact. So I have to forgive that she was born without feelings.

  6. I agree with Belle. You are the bigger person. And funnier. And your husband can digest milk products. And, did I ever see a pic of you from her wedding? I want to. Such a bizarre deal–especially since she seems so non-bridezilla-y.

    From Love – I have not a single picture from that wedding. She asked if I wanted to buy one of her and me. Um, actually I’d rather buy a picture of myself post op after my son’s delivery, because I think I probably looked better half dead then at that wedding. About the non-bridezilla-y part – EXACTLY. That is what made it so bizarre. Hope to hear more from you Kansas.

  7. Though, am much younger than you, have been deceived a few times in friendship. This has made me conclude that all the people we come in contact with, including friends, offer us subtle cues of their unworthiness, but we’re not courageous enough to acknowledge them, and our mental inertia keeps us from emotionally distancing them only to keep things from changing. But then someday, the same tendency to deceive shows itself up in some much more significant issue, and we’re left totally shocked, unprepared for it.

    You might find some other good friends if you look around, so what if you wouldn’t know them since college times! 🙂

  8. Oh yes. OH YES. Just lost a friend for the same reasons. Breaks my heart and makes me want to scream at the same time, you know?

    I want to punch your friend. And mine too. What jackasses.

    From Love – Thanks for the show of solidarity. I remember an Ask Aunt Becky that was related to this topic. Man, I thought I was the only person whose best friend turned on her out of insanity. Apparently this happens a lot!?

  9. What a horrifying story! Downright horrifying!

    Good for you for being the bigger person and actually going to that horror show of a wedding. Although part of me was hoping you’d take her up on her offer to give a toast, and channel your real feelings through the haze of pain meds and emotional scarring.

    Of course, on the whole, it’s probably better you took the classy route! 😉

  10. Ha – I was also hoping to hear that you did a toast in which you told her off. But dang it, I guess I respect you more for not doing it.

    I was dealing with having had 2 miscarriages while planning of one of my best friends’ weddings, and she was incredibly shallow and mean about it. Like your friend, she never seemed Bridezilla-y before either.

    A few months after the wedding, she presented me with the bridesmaid gift. A lovingly crafted scrapbook full of pictures of her and her husband on their wedding day. I threw it away.

    From Love – Oh gross!! My friend totally would have given me something like that if I hadn’t further ruined her wedding by not toasting! Glad you threw it away. I’m shocked how many people have gone through this!!

  11. dammit what’s with best friends turning into monsters just as you are having your first joyous baby?! It happened to me. My best friend came to see my new baby 2 weeks after he was born. She didn’t turn up to my son’s blessing at church/celebratory lunch cos she slept in (she never sleeps in…ive known her for 15years and that is one point that she often states to people). ahh. all this giving your all to these friends becos u had a shared past thing is killing me 😦 I just can’t let go and ‘divorce’ these people.
    Thanks for letting me cry it out on your page 🙂

    From Love – I really can’t believe how many people this has happened to!! Thanks for visiting…

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