One of my good friends is getting married next summer. For the first time in my life, I will be in a wedding, which I’m excited about. However, it has brought fresh to my mind the story of the last time I was to be a wedding. I remember that a few weeks ago I told you that I would tell you all about my friend who went crazy when she got married. This seems a good time to tell you this story.
Once upon a time…I had this friend. We met on the first day of high school and had been best friends through terrible boyfriends, ACT study dates, honors classes, and all the other things that high school means. We remained friends when college started. She went to the nearby Christian college and met a new boy who would (six years later) become her fiancée. I went to the community college and avoided boys planning on going far away to college in the near future. But because of the changes in our lives, she thought I was jealous of her.
Before her boyfriend proposed, she had a wedding notebook, assuming he would propose soon. In it she showed me where she listed her bridesmaids, myself included. He proposed, she never used her words, but she asked me along to find wedding venues, bridal gowns, had me try on bridesmaid dresses, etc. Until one day when my friend, another bridesmaid, and myself were all shopping together. Other bridesmaid had friend’s camera. Bridesmaid set down the camera, friend changed into street clothes and we left the store. Halfway home friend asked about camera and we realized it was not with us. We went back, but the store had given it to someone else who claimed it. Friend drove us home and said as if in passing “[Fiancée] will not be happy with you about this Tina.” Later I explained that I had never had the camera. Drama ensued about why I wouldn’t take responsibility for “my actions” and my friend told me that she didn’t want me in her wedding. That she had never wanted me in her wedding. I had made assumptions and she didn’t have the heart to tell me no. Weeks passed during which we rarely talked. Eventually, she told me that she didn’t want to talk about the camera anymore, but that she had been wrong to say she didn’t want me in her wedding. Of course she wanted me in her wedding, she said. For some reason, I agreed to a return to bridesmaid status. Rules were made about this sort of thing coming up again, and life returned to happy “normalacy”.
But then…I had to spend some money at the doctor and I couldn’t afford the deposit for my dress. To help make amends clear, my friend offered to loan me the $45 I was short. I accepted promising to pay her back by Christmas. A few weeks later, I gave her a Christmas cards in which I had written “This is the money I owed you!” which I also said when I handed her the card. A week later she called me and asked when I thought I would be able to pay her back. I explained, but she said that the card was empty. We talked, which turned into fought, which turned into my being kicked out of the wedding. Again.
I planned to not go to the wedding after that. We hadn’t spoken in months by the time the wedding rolled around. She cornered me in church and made it clear that she wanted me to come to the wedding. She still wanted to be friends, and if I didn’t come to the wedding, it would be as if all our years of friendship had meant nothing to ME. I reluctantly agreed to go to the wedding, but declined to go to her reception. At the wedding her mom pulled me aside and practically begged me to come to the reception, which I declined again.
Since then, we’ve only spoken twice. Once when she called me for a special recipe of mine, which I gave her. Once when I went to church for a special occasion. Did I mention that this friend is the sister of my sister in law? Or that her family (excepting my SIL) can only say terrible things about me now? This former friend has told my SIL in that she wouldn’t be comfortable talking to me, or allowing me to watch her children.
I can only hope that this wedding doesn’t go the same way. Fortunately, this friend is completely different. Looking back, the other friend tended to treat me as a scapegoat when things went wrong. I was never a friend, I was a toy. The friend who is currently getting married, always treats people with respect. She’s easygoing, and practical. I assume that this will go well, and so I’m excited about it, yet I can only react with a bit of trepidation after my last experience. I don’t make friends easily, I can’t afford to lose one.