Monday, June 6, 2011

The Wedding Saga Part 6

This is the last installment of "The Wedding Saga" since we're now on Saturday morning, the day of the wedding. After reading this, you will likely see why I had to consider my estranged friend an ex-friend. I'll also share an epilogue of this whole thing.

Hopefully, it will effectively purge all this from my system since it's been creeping into my head this week and that's not cool. I also tend to handle things better after I write about them and boy, will this be a doozie.

Saturday morning, we have a hair appointment at a local hair place to get our hair done. Somehow, my sister talked my mother into going and getting an updo for her hair. One fact about my mother: she HATES being fussed with. Going to get her hair trimmed is an ordeal for her.

I'm the exact opposite. I've got no objection to having my hair done. As long as the person doing it is licensed, competent and doing what I want done, I'm all set. My sister is similar as she was the first to get her hair done. After all, she was the bride so she had to go first.

While she was getting her hair done, the co-matron of honor arrives with her daughter. I spend most of my time watching my sister get her hair done or talking to my mom. At some point before my sister is done, my mother changes her mind about getting her hair done and says she'll do it at home on her own. My sister and I tried to talk her into staying but she couldn't be moved. I told her she should live a little and one of these days, I vow to have my mom get a nice hairstyle only a pro could do.

The co-matron of honor had no clue how she wanted her hair done while I brought pictures of 3 styles, 2 being a back up in case the one I really wanted could not be done. My mom had reservations about the abilities of the hairstylist. I said if they told me they couldn't do what I wanted, I'd ask why they're licensed to do hair since I certainly can't do it myself.

Luckily, that wasn't an issue. Since I was ready to go and perhaps because I also looked more like the bride and was specifically told not to wear my hair down since her hair was partly down and a similar length to mine, I was next for styling.

While I was waiting to get my hair done, my sister confronts the co-matron of honor about using condiments. She confesses to using the church's hot sauce, as mentioned previously. My sister points out the disrespect to the church. What is this woman's reaction?

She ignores my sister and puts a magazine over her face. My sister pointed out that there was no point in talking to her because of her moving the magazine over her face.

Now I may not be a follower of organized religion but even the biggest heathens I know wouldn't steal someone else's condiments from their fridge. They have a little thing called "respect for other people's property." They'd also not teach their kids that it's okay to steal from others if it's convenient for you, which I felt she was telling her daughter with her behavior to my sister.

That's the first thing this co-matron of honor did that day. There was more.

When I was finished, my hair looked like this:

Considering I have long hair and most people are used to my hair coming down past my neck, this is a radical departure. A lot of work was put in to make sure the hair would not sag on me; it stayed up nicely and I would definitely see about getting it again for future formal events.

My family had nice things to say about it. My only request in picking my updo was that nobody copy it. I'm a big individualist freak anyway but since we were not told to look identical, I didn't want people copying me. I hate looking like everyone else and deliberately avoid wearing things that look exactly the same on 10 other people.

The co-matron of honor joked around when I said this like she'd try copying me just to piss me off. She picks out a style from a book and asks me and my sister whether it looks too much like mine. I thought it did and spoke up, as is my nature. Then a different hairstyle was suggested that my sister had wanted her to get to start with. My sister even told her as much.

The co-matron of honor, in case you don't recognize it, pulled a typical bitch girl move, which I consider a Southern hallmark. If you've seen how Sandy interacts with the Fashion Club on Daria, you know what I'm talking about. Pretending to be sensitive to your feelings while trying to pick something she knows will render objection from you.

Problem is, you can't do this with someone who doesn't care about group harmony and not making waves. It doesn't work with assertive people since assertive types will speak up and protect their interests. When I saw her do this, I thought "Bitch." Intention or not, that's how I saw it & soon, you won't feel too much sympathy for her.

After my hair was done, it was 11 and we had to leave. I could not stay since I had to wash my face to put on makeup, my makeup & outfit was at home and I did want to see my husband. It made sense for me to leave with my sister, who was my ride & had to leave herself. The co-matron of honor, despite being told on Tuesday about having to be alone if only 1 person was doing our hair, gets all upset about this. My sister does not give in to this and we leave.

Getting that updo made me a VERY happy woman. Dressing up always does but that updo really made my day. Good thing because I hadn't faced the ultimate test of emotional fortitude yet.

My husband and I went to Chick-Fil-A so I could redeem a free grilled chicken salad coupon. We also picked up the nugget trays for the wedding, which we had no problem doing.

After arriving at the church, the ladies changing area wasn't open yet so I decided to do something constructive: take out ingredients from my salad I wouldn't eat. I don't know what it is with cheese on salad in the South but it's not something I like on mine so I took it out. Thankfully, the ingredients were separated on each side of the salad so I could remove what I don't eat pretty easily. After doing this, adding dressing and croutons and blending it all together, the changing area was opened.

We got a very nice parlor to change in that was bigger than some Manhattan studio apartments. It had a kitchen, bathroom, couch, table, windows and 2 doors to get in and out from. I moved my clothes and joined my sister and the bridesmaid who should have been matron of honor instead (who happened to arrive with my sister).

The next thing I know, I'm alone in the parlor with the co-matron of honor who has asked to go into the bathroom while I'm putting the final touches on my makeup. Despite my behavior through out the week, she gives me a hug and says she hopes she can visit with me and Tom alone the next time I visit.

Not wanting to buy into this lie but not wanting to bring personal matters into my sister's wedding, I say "I have things to say about that but today is not the day to discuss it."

Simple enough, right? Polite, to the point and honest. One has the right in life to disagree with things and remain silent when the occasion to discuss something is not right. I also felt such a conversation was not appropriate to have in front of her 4 year old daughter.

I go back to eat my lunch. She, unlike most rational people, doesn't leave it alone.

Instead, she walks up and says "You've hurt me all this week with your behavior. I've been here making an effort and you don't seem to care. I made one mistake and you're holding it against me." She proceeds to go off on me and try goading me into a fight, thinking that I'm upset because of her personality 180 when we're long past that.

While she says this, I concentrate on eating my salad so I don't collapse before the wedding at 2 p.m. I also remember what I told my sister about being civil to this woman until after the wedding so it would not be ruined by not having a flower girl or other chaos. My thought was "I will not ruin my sister's wedding by talking about this." I know that if I say a word, I would be accused of trying to ruin my sister's wedding. I'm far classier than that.

She gets hysterical to the point that she starts tearing up and her daughter says "Mommy, what's wrong?" I wonder how she's going to respond to her. She says that life is the problem.

After this, I finish my salad and decide that instead of being a pig by leaving food garbage in the parlor, I'll go to the kitchen and throw my trash out there. I also went to my car to call my husband, who was in a different area of the church, to tell him what happened. I didn't want to tell my sister about it since she had enough to deal with but planned to do so later, like the next day. Since my mother wasn't around, I chose to talk to my husband since he tends to be a calming force for me and I knew he'd not go blabbing about it to others.

While I was doing this, the other matron of honor tells the bridesmaid who should have been doing it instead about how she's upset by her conflict with me and her trying to pick a fight with me. She tells the other matron of honor that it is my sister's day NOT hers and to pull herself together. I didn't learn about this until after I personally thanked her for stepping up in the face of laziness by the co-matron of honor. I wish I had since I'd have thanked her for that as well.

For the rest of the time, I focus on wedding prep and going through the motions. I even helped the other matron of honor zip her dress up and you could not tell she had just done this. She at least kept her mouth shut through this part.

When we got to the service, she proceeds to make a big show of moving my sister's train. Groomsmen were apparently rolling their eyes. I spent most of my time looking over at my husband and the happy couple. The kids did what they were supposed to and the service itself went well. My infant nephew got fussy because a 1 year old doesn't want to wear a suit or sit in a church. The baby holder had to take him out of there during the service.

When we start walking out, I think it looks like the other matron of honor was wanted while I was just there out of obligation. I don't feel particularly special or important as a matron of honor with being given nothing to do in the service while the other one got to do everything while doing next to nothing + trying to ruin the wedding.

At the reception, she horns in on our table because her daughter wants to sit next to me. My husband said that was fine. After all, it's not that little girl's fault that her mother is selfish and has no respect for my family. So I have to sit and go through the motions a little more.

Then, the time to give a toast comes up. My sister wanted both matrons of honor to give a toast but my husband, father and general social pressure lead to me doing it instead of the other one. She also agrees to it, maybe because I actually am good with the public speaking aspect as a performer.

So I got up and spoke from my heart about the bride & groom from my perspective. I made it a point to talk about my brother in law's standing up to be a role model and father to my older nephew since many men wouldn't embrace a kid from an earlier marriage as much as he has. He also didn't have the responsibilities of fatherhood before dating my sister so it's admirable and worth public praise to acknowledge him for that. I meant everything I said and spoke with sincerity.

Afterwards, people complimented me on it. Even the best man said he couldn't do as good a toast as me when he started his! My sister said she was scared since she apparently thought I'd just embarrass her but it was a wedding toast, not her roast at the Friar's Club or elsewhere. If anyone gives her one, you'd better believe I'd want to speak about her.

Once the wedding was over, we had agreed to help clean up. After changing out of my dress (right when we got into the reception area, I changed out of my high heels) and gathering my things into one area in the parlor, I went to see what I could do as well as be near my husband. My husband did a lot in the cleanup effort. I did smaller things like move items that were spread out into closer locations and the like.

Once my husband had done a lot of things, including helping set up the chairs for the choir in the sanctuary, he said he was done and we tried to see if the bride or groom wanted us to do more.

I happened to go outside to see the groom and one of the groomsmen. I mentioned that the other matron of honor and I weren't on the best terms.

Now, you'd think that if someone had confronted the bride's sister on personal matters and had been told by a different bridal attendant to shut the hell up on the bride's wedding day that person would keep their damn mouth shut throughout the day. This co-matron of honor did not have that kind of class.

She instead decides to tell both the bride and the groom about her little confrontation with me. While we are still at the church. While we still have updos in our hair. Maybe even while still wearing dressy attire. I don't even think they had left the church at that time. The groom tells her he wants no part of it. Isn't that an awesome brother in law? If only more family members behaved that way.

He wasn't even around us all that much and he apparently knew something was up before I said a word about not being on good terms with this co-matron of honor.

As my husband and I were leaving, the other matron of honor slipped outside while we were talking to the groom. We simply said our good-byes to the groom and went on our way. After we left, she apparently commented on how I would not acknowledge her.

Let's see:

1. You steal from my aunt's church after my aunt has stuck her neck out & gone through great effort to get the space for the wedding.

2. You force yourself into every possible space and event you can that I must attend as a matron of honor. Then, you mistake that for "making an effort."

3. You stand up in the church and perform nearly every single matron of honor duty while making me look like an obligatory pick for matron of honor that isn't all that well liked. Wouldn't you agree if you were observing this and saw one girl doing everything while the other one was just standing there?

4. You realize that the bride's sister doesn't want to talk to you but try to delude yourself into thinking things are peachy keen with her and get upset when she doesn't follow the rules of your fantasy world.

5. You put yourself before everyone else and try your best to ruin the wedding.

6. You go to my family members and the bride's friends like I'm some bully on the playground that you're tattling on. Guess what? I didn't like that shit when my ex-boyfriend did it & I certainly don't like you doing it either.

That's not even going into what kind of example her daughter is being shown. Besides her trying to ruin the wedding by dragging personal events into it, she chooses to confront me in front of her child. Even I have more respect for kids than to instigate fights with grown ups in front of them.

I wonder how many events she's not gotten to stay for because of that scumbag being more important. I noticed through this trip that she mentioned her dad all the time but never said a word about her mom. I hope her dad gets fairness in family court & that he learns about his ex-wife's actions at this wedding. This, to me, proves that she is far too selfish and egoistic to be taking care of a young child at this point in life. You have to be able to put a child first and doing this stuff shows a course of conduct that doesn't say "My child comes first."

When I get home that evening, I tell my mother about this and how this means I really can't call her a friend anymore. She says it's up to me but that we did need a break from one another anyway. Before that, she'd been talking about not throwing away a friendship I'd had for so long. My husband said that was probably the closest my mom would ever come to saying "drop that friendship like a bad habit." The irony is my mom doesn't even like her all that much. She can tolerate her but she's never been best buddies with her or anything. Her actions at this wedding with the simple confrontation are enough for me to say the friendship is dead.

Her other actions clench that decision, which I had a lot of time to think about on that long ride back to NYC.

Epilogue: After reaching the comfort and peace of NYC (yes, I find NYC comforting and peaceful since it's my home), I decide that since the wedding is over and she's issued some heavy charges against me, it's time to respond. I chose a Facebook message to state my piece and share why I have no incentive to be her friend. Closer to my sister, trying to upstage me, sticking yourself into sister drama & not bothering to have the class to step down or divide up duties more equitably since you didn't do your part, forcing me to deal with you when I don't want to and tattling to my relatives when you don't get what you want.

Would YOU want to deal with someone like this? I did not. I said that until she stopped being a selfish bitch, she shouldn't bother trying to communicate with me. I also said that if she talked to my family members about our personal conflicts, she could consider herself dead to me. For good measure, I deleted numbers and blocked since I had no interest in getting a response.

Thus far, no one has said a word to me about the whole thing.

My sister even said she was limiting her contact with my ex-friend and wasn't planning to invite her to anything in the near future. I told her she could handle her own relationship w/this person as she wanted but I'd chosen to cut ties.

Of all the people in the world I'd expect things like this from, she was the very last one. She was originally picked for this wedding because she was the sort who'd have told others not to ruin the bride's day; she wasn't the sort to ruin weddings & start problems.

Getting rid of this friendship felt like a ton of bricks was lifted off me. I don't care how long you've known someone: when a friendship feels exhausting and like you're carrying a 16 ton safe on your back, it's time to move on. Being in my life is a privilege; it's not a God given right (or a Satan given right for that matter). If my presence in your life is not a privilege, then you have no right to call me a friend.

Since my oldest friend in the world of over 20 years basically 180ed into a selfish bitch, I really can't expect anyone else to be a true friend to me. My expectations about people in general have shifted once again and I know I'll never have a close friendship again. No bother: I think that BFF bond was missing for a very long time.

I'll never have my own Sex & the City gang of female friends. I think it's a combination of not meeting females I can connect with on that level and me not being a person who wants to beg for acceptance like a puppy dog nipping at your ankles. I'm just not the type to force myself into someone's events or life. That's why I plan my own and show up alone.

At least I have my husband. Still not sure how or why we connected so easily since we're both wary of others & have viewed human interaction as exhausting at times. For some mysterious reason, neither of us has never been an intrusion to each other. Even in my worst "I hate everyone; I want to be alone" mood, his presence is a comfort to me just like my cat's.

These days, I just lack any type of expectation of people. So many have let me down or disappointed me in some way that I'm just not affected anymore when the inevitable rejection happens. This is why I can have contacts but I don't feel like I have true friends who'd really make that effort to help me if something bad happened. Having a career that keeps you busy also helps. If you're always busy, you have very little time to be lonely or mourn what you haven't got. When you get down to it, we're all alone anyway.

Am I emotionally damaged? Probably. I'm just not sure you can expect a person who lost their only childhood friend to believe that she could have future friendships as close or as deep. I don't believe I will so I'll just keep my more shallow interactions and avoid getting too attached. Heck, it's probably a miracle I'm not more screwed up and manage to function pretty well considering.

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