The expectations of bridesmaids can be demanding. And the expectations of one’s maid of honour are particularly demanding. It’s such a big responsibility these days that one woman went from bridesmaid-for-hire business.to running a lucrative
I didn’t need a stranger though. I had real friends. But, it turned out, some of them just weren’t who I thought they’d be when it came to supporting me before and on my wedding day.
The day before my wedding, my friend from college, Henry*, travelled eight hours on a bus to surprise me. My cousin was with me in spirit all summer, listening to my every wedding-related complaint. My only bridesmaid besides my maid of honour, Cassie, came all the way from Atlanta, even though it meant leaving her sick mother in a hospice. Even my mum, with whom I have a rocky relationship, was there for me on my big day.
In retrospect, I wish I had appreciated these people more, instead of focusing all my attention on my maid of honour, Kaitlin*.
Kaitlin and I had met three years earlier, when she’d been a student in a writing class I taught. She was charismatic and intelligent. I liked her writing and appreciated the comments she made in class discussion. Our friendship solidified during our walks together to the train after class. We bonded over stories about the losers we’d dated in the past, men we blamed for wasting our time. Kaitlin and I were a lot alike.
When I look back now, it’s easy to see that she was never that great a friend. Sure, when we’d both been single, we’d related. But after I got together with my now-husband, Andrew, our conversations—when they happened—became dominated by Kaitlin’s latest drama. Kaitlin had a warped point of view when it came to relationships. I began to notice the way she always blamed the men involved in her stories when, really, she was clearly at fault. Kaitlin also had a habit of making plans and not showing up. There was always an excuse: She was stuck at work, her car broke down, she wasn’t feeling well, something came up…She’d text three hours after she was supposed to have been there, “Babe, are you upset at me? LOL, don’t be mad!!”