The summer of 2002 was the summer of weddings. I was a bridesmaid four times that year, which back then was totally fun. I was 22 years old, and I didn’t mind spending all of my income jetting around the country with taffeta in tow. I was excited to do it. I wasn’t married yet, or even dating anyone, and I always showed up hoping that I’d meet my future husband.
But now it’s 2018. I am 38 years old. I have kids and a husband and a mortgage and student loans, still, even though college seems like a faraway land—because that’s what pushing 40 does to a person. It makes them feel old.
I need new underwear, and if I’m being honest, I’ve needed new underwear for three years. I just keep wearing the same ratty shit, and occasionally, I don’t wear any at all, because sometimes no underwear is better than the uncomfortable alternative in my dresser drawer. My kid needs braces. My husband needs a root canal, I need new tits, and our yard is in desperate need of landscaping. One of the kids needs tutoring, and the other one needs to see a pediatric allergist. Do you know how much allergy shots cost? One metric f*ck ton, that’s how much.
We don’t have a lot of extra time or money, so NO, I do not want to be a bridesmaid (brides-matron?) in your wedding.
Unfortunately, I am an overly nice person, and I couldn’t bring myself to tell you no. I said, “Yes, of course! I’d love to!” Knowing full well that I’m a people-pleasing liar who wanted nothing less than to be in your wedding. I agreed to do it because I felt guilty that you don’t have more friends. I said yes because I am co-dependent, and I worried that you might be sad or mad at me if I declined. I regretted it the moment the words flew out of my mouth. I wanted to grab them, stuff them back in, and come up with an excuse to say no.
The truth is that I was already a bridesmaid for you once a lot of years ago. That marriage failed before you even hit year two, and I really don’t understand why you would do this to yourself again. Also, it really irritated me when you asked my son to be the ring bearer. Is it not enough that I have to spend $210 on an ugly-ass dress that I’ll never wear again? No?
You commented on how excited you are to see him walking down the aisle, carrying his little ring-bearing pillow, with that cherubic pageboy haircut of his. I hope you aren’t terribly upset when you see that we’ve given him a mohawk.
This time—because there was a last time, remember? You got married, and I wore pink?—I get to wear cyan. COLOR ME EXCITED. I didn’t know what the f*ck cyan was until I looked at the dress. It’s f*cking blue. Why can’t the bridesmaid dressmakers just say it’s a f*cking blue dress? Naming it something pretentious doesn’t make it any less ugly.
Speaking of ugly, your shoes remind me of the Real Housewives of New Jersey. That is not a compliment.
The whole experience of being a 38-year-old bridesmaid is causing me to re-think my role as a people-pleaser. I’m putting my (non-Jersey-Housewife-shoe-clad) foot down … right after the reception.