When I was in high school, I considered myself part of a fairly large circle of friends. Sure I had a lot of guy friends, but we had a close-knit circles of girls too. Several of us have remained close even in the 34 (gasp!) years since we graduated.
I went through several "best" friends. I think I isolated myself from some girls because of my close-to-the-point-of-exclusivity friendship with Carol, who turned out to be Trouble with a capital "T," but I was loyal to her. She did more than dabble in drugs, she stole money from the student council, she ran away from home, she was sent away to boarding school. By the time she went away, other girls were firmly ensconced in their own "best" friendships. I was still part of the crowd, but I was tainted.
This is the first time (seriously, I didn't even think of it when I started writing this blog post) it has occurred to me that may be why I was never chosen by any of my friends to be a bridesmaid at their weddings. I served refreshments at their receptions and I played the piano and/or organ (sometimes both in the same ceremony), but I never had the "privilege" of wearing a dress picked out by someone else that was totally unsuitable for me. I never got to hang out with the bride in the basement of the church while the pews filled up with guests. I was never in charge of keeping the bride calm while her mother freaked out and her sister fought with her boyfriend, one of the groomsmen.
When it came my turn to get married, I had both a maid of honor and a maiden of honor, in addition to having both my sisters as attendants. (Are all brides so selfish that they require sisters to come from another state AND pay for an ugly dress to appear in a wedding?) I felt obligated to include the woman with whom I worked and had become good friends, but it was probably horribly inappropriate to have her take such the role of matron of honor in my wedding ceremony. She was considerably older than I, but maybe I felt duty-bound because she had introduced me to my first husband. (She also introduced me to my SECOND husband, and I stopped speaking to her altogether after that.)
My maiden of honor disappeared after the ceremony, and it was only during the reception that I found out both her parents had been in a terrible car accident earlier that day. My wedding wasn't until 8:00 PM (WHAT was I thinking?), and they were waiting for my friend to come to the hospital so she could authorize surgery for her father. She came and went through the ceremony first, and I will never think about that without getting teary-eyed.
Would I have been that good a friend? Thankfully we'll never know. But did my friends THINK I wasn't that good a friend? Could that be why none of them asked me to be a bridesmaid?
I'm not sure why this thought even occurred to me. It's not like I sit up at night and gnash my teeth over why I was never picked to be a bridesmaid. I'm certainly not going to ask any of my friends why they didn't choose me as one of their bridesmaids. Awkward!
But surely one ugly dress wasn't too much to ask.