To Be a Bridesmaid
It is hard work. It is lots of planning, and fittings, and discussions of necklines and colors. It is more estrogen in the atmosphere than is probably safe to take in. But you manage, because this is your best friend’s wedding.
It is very girly, and there are tears. And pink drinks. Lots of hairstyling. Lots of strappy sandals, and pedicures.
There are lots of events, each requiring a different dress.
And there are tipsy, girly shenanigans. Don’t forget the shenanigans.
There are groomsmen. They are almost all active in the armed services. There is beer pong in a garage, but you will sneak away from this to read a book and get to bed early. Get up, go for a run. Antisocial, sure, but what else is new?
Being a bridesmaid means lots of waiting, lots of trying to be helpful. Almost like a competition WHO CAN BE THE MOST HELPFUL BRIDESMAID? Agressive accomodation. I think I lost that one.
Being a bridesmaid means trying your best to hurry up and get to know (and like) your friend’s chosen life partner. Because this is it. This is where she’s going, and you want to approve, and you want to be happy, but you just don’t know.
Did I mention the waiting?
It means savoring every moment, because it occurs to you, suddenly, that all you have is this weekend. This is your last chance to be girls together. Together in the unmarried world. Your last chance to sleep in the same bed, stay up all night talking. So you jump at the chance to help her transcribe a speech (though you make terrible jokes the entire time). Because it is one more chance to just sit with her. To be together, and close.
It means beautification. And more tears. High levels of emotion, all around, I suppose.
It is the realization that the little girl you grew up with is a woman. A beautiful, graceful, strong and funny woman. Maybe more woman than you are. Because she is taking the next step, and you? You watch in awe.
It is a fancy party, pretty decorations, and lovely meals.
It is spending time with new and wonderful people–laughing, drinking, joking, snacking–though what you really, really want is to spend just a little more time with your friend. It is listening to everyone saying over and over how happy they are, and you don’t feel happy. You feel sad. Like you are losing somebody you love.
It is being the first to leave the party, and crying all the long walk home. Inconsolable.
Because you miss your friend.
It is looking back at the pictures, a few days later, and seeing how incredibly, effervescently happy your friend is. Realizing that she knows exactly what she’s doing.
And truly, absolutely, wishing the very best for her. For the two of them.
It means many things, to be a bridesmaid.
And I would do it all again, in a heart beat. For Whismey.