Tag Archives: friends

Almost a Runaway Bride

Charlotte and Trey, Sex and The City

Weddings are everywhere now.  Movies, royals, my ex-husband, . . . everywhere.   So I thought I’d write about my own bride story, hopefully not in a “I should have known” way, but just the facts, ma’am.

I was having an evening church wedding.  My bridesmaids were my sister, my best friend, and two  close friends.   The rehearsal dinner was meant to be casual, pizza and soda/wine at my parents’ house.  The rehearsal itself had gone pretty well, I’d done the “get someone to stand in for the bride” thing  . . . so I watched.

Probably not the best idea.

On the five minute ride from the church to my parents’ house, I was driven by my college best friend, discussed in the I Don’t Go To Weddings  and Always a Bridesmaid posts.

I got in the car and said to her, simply.

“I’m not going to do it, you know.”

My Bridesmaid  was very calm, and, after she’d gotten me to clarify and  repeat my confession that I was not going to get married, she replied,

“It’s nerves, it’ll be okay.”

My response,

“Oh, I’m not nervous.  I’m just not doing it.” As if I was talking about getting on a ride at an amusement park.

What could she say?  I think she just said okay. She must have felt horrible.   I was so matter-of-fact about this huge statement.  I went through  our rehearsal dinner, and it was, as I’d wanted it, informal.   My husband-to-be  looked so  veryhappy, I remember.  Still,  I didn’t say or do anything that revealed my discomfort.  I did love him. Something was pissing me off, though.  For a fleeting second  I felt like he’d won, he “gotten” me, clipped my wings.

The next day, I  did the whole wedding day prep thing, got my makeup and hair done, put on the big white dress.   I guess I thought I was over it.  But I wasn’t excited.

Once we were at the church, we realized that someone forgot to bring  the flowers for the flower girls.  Silly to have little girls with nothing in their hands.  Someone had to run back to the house to get the flowers.

This gave me time.  Maybe too much time.

As we all waited in the vestibule at the back of the church,  I walked myself and the big white dress into a corner . . .  way into the corner . . .  facing the corner.

Later, my bridesmaids told me that at first they thought I was praying.   But I wasn’t a praying kind of girl, not in a room full of people, anyway.  Maybe praying is what I should have been doing.  What I was doing was seriously considering making a run for it, big white dress and all.   I pictured myself running out of the church, across the busy street,  and through town, like in a movie.

A Runaway Bride

Awkward.  I heard the bustling around me, wondering if anyone noticed that I had put myself in time-out and that I wasn’t speaking to anyone.   Ironically, the big white dress — with a train–  created a physical barrier from everyone.  I was hard to get to. My body was in the corner, my face was down, the dress fanned out around me.  Still, I think I was waiting for somebody to do . . .  something.

It started to get uncomfortably quiet.

Finally, my best friend slid herself between the wall and my dress to get close enough to me to say,

“Are you all right?’

“Yes,”  I replied, curtly, but  I was not a happy bride.  I think I might have told her  or even  waved her to go away.   I didn’t speak much.

I was thinking, though.  I was thinking that if I did this, got married, I mean,  it was for life.  I didn’t believe in divorce, not a religious thing, just not an option for me (at the time).   I was thinking I didn’t want to hurt or embarrass anyone.  I was thinking that if I ran, well,  that would be bad.

Someone came back with the flowers for the flower girls.

At the last minute me and my big white dress turned around and got married.   And, by the way,  he was so nervous, he did not even  look at me while we took our vows.  I joked later that he really married the minister, not me.

Does anyone remember Charlotte’s first wedding on Sex and the City?   Charlotte  expressed second thoughts to Carrie at the back of the church (because Trey couldn’t perform).  Though Carrie at first responded that it was just nerves,  she eventually told Charlotte that she doesn’t have to get married,

We can go get a cab and everybody will just have to get over it

Sex and The City,   Season Three, Episode 12, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

I have wondered over the years — what if someone had said to me, “You don’t have to do this.”   I’m not sure if it would have changed anything.   Like Charlotte, even the most ambivalent of brides would probably go through with it anyway.

Still . . . it makes a girl think.

This is in no way a criticism to my bridesmaids for not uttering the Carrie words.  We we all so young.  None of us knew what we were doing.   I was the first of our age group to get married.  It takes a very mature person to  actively assist a runaway bride.  So I know why they didn’t say it.

But what if someone had?

The institution of marriage should not, as the preacher says, be entered into lightly.  So for all you bridesmaids out there, who have promised to wear the  coordinating dresses and walk ahead of  the bride down the aisle — don’t forget to look back to make sure she’s there.  Well, actually before that,  let her know that, if need be,  you will run out to the street and hail a cab for her . . . big white dress and all.

Just Me With . . . a bride story.

Funny, when my now ex-husband got re-married, I was just The Nanny.   But I did have dinner with one of my former bridesmaids that day.  Perhaps she didn’t know what to say when I got married, but she knew what to say when my divorce was final.  My relationship with her has stood the test of time, hopefully, until death do us part. See To My Best Friend On Mother’s Day

To My Best Friend on Mother’s Day

Best Friends from “Something Borrowed”

My best friend, my saviour, in many ways.  She’s my girl.  I really only see her a few times a year though we live close by. But she has my back.  We’ve known each other since we were kids.  We went to proms together, we were in each other’s weddings.   She’s still married, happily.  Her husband is a good guy, a physician, so is she.  As an OB/GYN, she assists women bringing babies into the world every day.  Sadly, she could never get pregnant.  Over the years she’s  regretted putting her career first  and wondered whether if she’d started trying sooner maybe something could have been done.  She has  felt intense guilt about  causing her husband to miss out of being a dad (tests showed it was her, and not him, who caused the infertility).  She’s watched her brother marry and have four kids (two by birth, two by adoption), she’s watched her husband’s sisters marry and have children with the assistance of infertility treatments.  She’s watched me pop out kids two at a time.  But despite medical intervention and years of trying, she never  got pregnant, not even once.  They decided not to adopt.   After years of suffering horribly from fibroids, she finally had a hysterectomy.    But damn if this woman isn’t a mother.  I’m not talking about how she’s the cool aunt to her nieces and nephews.  That’s true, but I’m talking about her being a mother — to me.

When my marriage fell apart,

this woman came to my house at 4am to pick me up off the floor,

this woman had me and my five kids over her house so we would not have to watch my husband move out and served us cookies and pizza while we cried,

this woman recruited her brother so they could both drive to pick me up  and  bring me and my car back home when I found myself on a hotel room floor, dangerously alone,

this woman never forgets to give me a gift — like a gift card to Victoria’s Secret or Home Depot — so that I can pamper myself when no one else will,

And, to this day, this woman has picked up the tab for the co-pays for my many therapy sessions, which have kept me out of the morgue.

And this woman, knew exactly what to say when my divorce became final.

This woman, who delivers babies all day long, but has no children of her own  —  is mothering me, someone  who is few months older than her (yeah — I’ll give her that, it’s the least I can do — ha ha!).

So Happy Mother’s Day to my Best Friend, who, by the way, is gorgeous!

Just Me With . . .  The Best Friend Ever!

See also:

How  I Found Out that My Ex-Husband Was Getting Married, a Mother’s Day Thing.

Worst Mother’s Day Card Ever

Grocery Store Support

I forgot to feed the dogs.  Actually,  I forgot I didn’t have food for them.  My kids are now old enough where I can make a food run if one of the older kids is home and at least one of the younger ones is asleep and/or they aren’t fighting.   As I sat in my car  at the grocery store parking lot I spotted a recently reacquainted friend of mine.   Her husband died a few years ago.  She has a son.  She struggles with severe depression and like me, she  weaned herself off anti-depressants and is trying to manage it all without medication.   She looked so alone.  She left before I could say hello.  Truth is, I didn’t think I felt up to talking;  hell,  maybe she didn’t either.  It was strangely comforting to see her from a distance, though.   Once in the store I did talk to a new acquaintance who has  recently separated from her unfaithful husband.  She has three children.    We shared that we weren’t quite getting everything done and felt overwhelmed.    More importantly,  we both admitted that we are so afraid our children, especially our girls, will make the same mistakes we did — that they won’t know how they should be treated  — after all, we didn’t.    There it was, our worst fear laid out right  by the frozen foods.   I think we both teared up a bit (not uncommon for me).   It’s good when women can support each other, whenever, however.   Still,  I can’t remember her name — just one of the many things that slip my mind.   I did remember to buy the dog food, though.

 

Just Me With . . .  dog food.

Facebook Mutual Friend with the Ex’s Girlfriend? – Part One

A Chance Meeting

My ex-husband and I had been separated for a while but the divorce was not yet final. We had married young and been married for a long time. The break up was difficult and not my idea. Drama ensued. Eventually friends told me I needed to get out, go out with someone – anyone — not to find a boyfriend or husband or any real relationship, but as a first step to moving on and feeling single instead of just, well — jilted. See, The Best Advice I Never Took

On an extremely rare holiday downtown shopping trip with my sisters, I had a chance meeting with a guy while looking for a parking spot. We had asked him if we could take his spot as he was about to pull out. He was reasonably attractive and had a law school sticker on his car. So I (also a lawyer) thought, “I’m going to be forward and strike up a conversation.” I found out that he was an associate with the very same law firm I had worked for in a previous life. (This was an amazing coincidence since he is African-American also and there have been very few attorneys of color employed at this firm.) He was friendly, seemed nice and let’s face it – good on paper. I asked for his card. Oh, and did I mention that he appeared to be at least 10 years younger than me?

How Stella Got Her Groove Back

It took me two whole months to get the nerve to email him. When I did, he remembered me right away. It was just the ego boost I needed. We went out. Long story short, I knew him in the Biblical sense (in hindsight, probably too quickly). I wasn’t emotionally equipped to build a relationship and didn’t know how to date. Plus, I had no time what with all those people I had made over the years (the kids). And, I was still a wreck. It was a struggle to maintain the face of normalcy for extended periods of time. I couldn’t or wouldn’t do the fun activities he suggested we do –so it kind of became a very short-lived — arrangement.

But I had met my secret goal: I had been with a man, not my husband, who had not ever known me as someone’s wife. It didn’t hurt my self-esteem either, that after five kids and a nervous breakdown, I was able to snag, albeit briefly, a younger man who would have been “a catch” for any woman. It was just what I needed at the time. So when it fizzled with him, it was okay. He’d been my — my Transitional Man.

Fast forward a couple of years. The Ex announces he has a girlfriend now (he’d had them before but this time he was bringing one around the kids). So I did what every woman with a computer and Internet access would do – I electronically stalked — I mean — researched her. First stop? – Facebook. Success. I now knew what she looked like, what her hobbies and interests were, and that she was 10 years younger than me. Seeing her picture didn’t bother me. But as I scrolled down I saw something that did bother me. We had one mutual friend. ONE MUTUAL FRIEND. Not my Ex, of course not. I’m not his friend on Facebook or anywhere else. No, our mutual friend was my Transitional Man!!! Aha! That’s why her page yielded so much information. You see, most of the Girlfriend’s entries were accessible to me because I was a “Friend of a Friend.” Hmm. But then I realized that the”Friend of the Friend” stuff works both ways. Most of my settings were already “Friends Only” (I had a stalking issue I’ll blog about later) but just to be safe I took down pictures and personal information. It wasn’t long before the Girlfriend changed her settings to “Friends Only ” — meaning she’d probably looked at my page and discovered our Mutual Friend as well.

The real issue, however, remained — One Mutual Friend. I told myself that since The Girlfriend and my Transitional Man graduated college the same year maybe they knew each other from some professional group, even though she’s not a lawyer. The voice in my head was screaming WHAT IF THE GIRLFRIEND WENT OUT WITH MY TRANSITIONAL MAN TOO? I mean, that would just be wrong on so many levels.

I tried to dismiss the thought from my consciousness. How unfair and sick would that be? My chance, movie-like meet cute with my good on paper Transitional Man—and maybe he’d been with The Girlfriend, too?– Ew. That would be way too much exchange of DNA in a small world with not nearly enough degrees of separation. In short, it was just freaking me the hell out. And this is not a small town, mind you. We live in a large metropolitan area. What the hell? Yet I could find no common ground – school, work, etc. between the Girlfriend and my Transitional Man that would administratively explain their Facebook friendship. I resigned myself to leave the question unanswered. Transitional Man and I sometimes exchanged Facebook pleasantries (I “liked” his new “in a relationship” status) but I did not think it appropriate to approach him and ask.

A few months later (and after Transitional Man’s relationship status was back to being single), I got a text out of the blue from him about some law stuff. We chatted and had the “let’s catch up” conversation. I agreed to have coffee with him. (I hadn’t seen him since our last “date”). Since Transitional Man initiated the meeting, however, I thought it now appropriate to ask him ever so casually, while sipping over-priced coffee at Starbucks, about how he knows his Facebook friend — the Girlfriend.

Just Me With a Question: So, how do you know [the Girlfriend’s name]?

Transitional Man’s Answer: Oh. Yeah, I’m not that good friends with her but I’m really good friends with her cousin.

(Wait for it . . . wait for it . . .)

And [Ex-Husband’s New Girlfriend] and I went out a couple of years ago.

In case it is in any way unclear: My Transitional Man had dated my Ex–Husband’s New Girlfriend.

Just Me With . . . A Heart Attack — (Oops there it is.)

I thought Transitional Man was going to have a heart attack too . . . See Facebook Mutual Friend Part Two

Postscript: By the way, The Ex and the New Girlfriend are married now.

Postscript: The Transitional Man is married now.

Postscript: I am single. I am quite contentedly single.

See also: Happy Birthday to My Ex-Husband’s Ex-Girlfriend