My blog is usually reserved for pregnancy / parenting related posts but recently something has happened that I’m struggling to make sense of and I’m hoping that putting my thoughts down in writing will help me move on.
For the last 10 years I’ve been good friends with a girl who I met shortly after moving to a new area. We’ve both changed a lot since then. We’re both building successful careers, I’ve got married, given birth to a wonderful daughter (after suffering four miscarriages and a molar pregnancy) and I have another baby on the way in the new year. She’s moved to a new city (about 200 miles away) got engaged and is due to be married next year. Our relationship has obviously changed over the years and we don’t see each other as often as we used to when we were single girls in the same town (we now usually see each other every few months) but we’re in text contact regularly. I was delighted when she got engaged – Her fiancé even asked my opinion on what ring to get for her – And I was thrilled when she asked me to be a bridesmaid (as she had been for me a few years earlier). In my mind (you’ll discover that this is a bit of a theme. My thoughts on the situation were apparently not aligned with hers) all was going well and I was very excited to be visiting her last weekend for wedding and bridesmaid dress shopping with her mum and other bridesmaids. It was only the third time I’ve had a night away from my baby and I was looking forward to a weekend of adult conversation, good food and shopping.
After a long train journey I arrived at her’s and the other girls arrived soon after. We all spent the evening chatting and the time flew by. Before I knew it, it was midnight and I was pretty shattered. Having been up early with an energetic toddler, spent the morning at an NCT play date and the afternoon on various trains. Not to mention being 6 months pregnant. I was ready for bed. I apologised for being a bit of a lightweight and headed off to bed soon after 12am. By this point the five other girls had downed about 6 bottles of wine (being pregnant I was obviously not drinking) and they were showing no sign of calling it a night anytime soon. I was a bit jealous that they were able to have a proper drink but also felt secretly glad to have an excuse to avoid a killer Saturday morning hangover.
Saturday morning came round and we were up pretty early as we had a day of bridal shop appointments. The dress shopping was fun. My friend looked gorgeous in all the dresses she tried and there were lots of ooos and ahhs. One of the shop assistants commented that it sounded like we were at a firework display. We had a lovely long lunch and despite the hangovers the girls managed another three bottles of wine so by the afternoon everyone was pretty merry. After the last wedding dress appointment we went late night shopping for bridesmaid dresses but it became apparent that as the alcohol wore off everyone was getting pretty tired so we headed home for an evening of picnic food, strictly come dancing and more bottles of wine.
The other girls were struggling with alcohol consumption, hangovers and tiredness and went to bed at about 9.30pm on Saturday night and I stayed up with my friend and her mum watching a Christmas film. It was a nice but uneventful evening.
Sunday brought a home cooked breakfast and then more bridesmaid dress shopping although it did turn into a opportunity for some of the other girls to do their Christmas shopping. I’m not gonna lie, there was points during this shopping spree where I was really bored and quite uncomfortable. The shops were hot and very busy and i was carrying a huge weekend bag but I didn’t complain at all. I walked around the stores pointing out various pretty items and commenting on the other girls’ purchases. I was also certainly not the only one who was bored. Another of the bridesmaids spent almost 2 hours looking at social media and at one point the bride herself said she was bored and said trying to get the others out the shop was like herding cats.
Anyway, lunchtime came and I had to get my train home. There were hugs all round and comments about it being a great weekend and how we must repeat it soon. I got the train home feeling happy and excited to hear what wedding dress my friend ended up choosing. And then within a few mins of being home, it arrived. The text I’ll probably never forget. I won’t post the whole thing but here’s the main points:
* we need to have a difficult conversation
* this weekend you seemed very distant and perhaps a bit cross
* you were disinterested and disengaged
* I feel we have grown a long way apart in the last two years
* it would be better if you took a step back and considered coming as a guest rather than as a bridesmaid
There were also some points about childcare as she was annoyed that I’d said my husband wouldn’t be able to come to the wedding as she’s having a 3 day wedding at the other end of the country and we won’t have childcare for our toddler or newborn. But this isn’t a new issue. She’s known this is the case since she first decided to have a weekend long child free wedding miles from our home.
To say I was shocked by her message is a complete understatement. I was totally blindsided! The entire weekend I spent laughing and chatting to all of the girls. I kept my phone switched off for most of it and I didn’t phone my husband at all despite being away from my baby. I obviously wasn’t as merry as the other girls but they did drink more than ten bottles of wine in under 48 hours and I am 6 months pregnant so my stamina isn’t what it usually is but I have replayed the weekend in my mind again and again and I can’t think what I could have done that upset her so much. I’m obviously lacking in self awareness which has now got me worrying about the other relationships in my life. Maybe they’re feeling the same and I’m just oblivious and soon to be friendless.
This post is getting really rambling but I want to get my thoughts out so they’ll stop flying around in my head. What I’m really struggling with is:
(i) If she thought that things had been getting so terrible. Why ask me to be a bridesmaid? Earlier in the year she was lamenting to me about how she wasn’t sure whether to ask one of the other bridesmaids (and did in the end) and yet now I’ve been ditched.
(ii) If we’d grown so far apart why did she text me every day in the last few weeks say how she’s excited to see me?
(iii) Why did she text my husband on the first day of the weekend saying she’d take good care of me and the bump?
(iv) Why did she send me a Christmas card only a week ago saying how she couldn’t wait to share next year’s adventures (my baby / her wedding) with me?
(v) Why did she bother inviting me to visit and spend two days asking me to try on bridesmaid dresses if she thought at the end of the weekend she was going to tell me she didn’t want me to be a bridesmaid?
(vi) Why has she been saying in recent months she how she’s excited to be moving back closer to me?
(vii) And most confusingly. Why with all the things I’ve listed above did she think I wouldn’t be surprised, hurt or humiliated by her saying she didn’t think we were close anymore and didn’t want me in her bridal party?
I honestly don’t know how to feel. I’m shocked, sad, angry, embarrassed and at times quite resigned to the fact that we won’t be friends anymore. She has said she still wants me to come to the wedding but I really can’t see that happening. How could I happily attend the wedding and watch the bridesmaids knowing that I should have been one of them. How can I face her friends when they’ll all know I was basically dumped? And how will I ever be able to spend time with her again without wondering all the time whether I’m not being smiley enough or engaged enough and just waiting for the next “I don’t want to be friends” message. I feel like I need and deserve better than that. As sad as it makes me. I think our friendship is over. I just need to work out how to move on and what to say to my family and other friends when they ask after her.