i’m a lousy friend
I am a lousy friend.
I met Jennifer in the fall of last year. She was an intern at my job, and she quickly became one of my favorite people to hang out with on breaks and stuff. She’d sometimes sit in my office at one computer while I worked on the other, just so we could talk.
She got engaged and quickly moved to Washington DC about a month later.
Then I found out that she was having her wedding in Austin this summer. August. She wanted me to be a bridesmaid.
Now, as flattered as I was about being asked, I felt that perhaps there were other people more qualified. I had only known her for a couple of months, and she was twenty and I thought maybe she would have had closer friends to be in her wedding party. I said that I would do it, of course, but I wondered why I was asked.
Come spring, I thought I was going to be living in LA by July. I told her I was pretty sure I couldn’t do the wedding. She said she understood, and had found out another bridesmaid was having the same problem. In May she asked for my dress size.
I didn’t hear from her after that.
We were driving home last weekend when Eric read off the hotel billboard on the highway: “Congratulations Jennifer and Luke.”
I was quiet for a second. Why did that seem familiar?
“OH MY GOD! That’s Jennifer’s wedding! I was supposed to BE in that wedding! I’m supposed to be a fucking bridesmaid in that wedding!”
“Are you kidding?”
“NO! I’m an asshole! I’m a huge asshole who didn’t go to her friend’s wedding and be a bridesmaid. I’m horrible! Don’t look at me! I’m hideous!”
“How do you know it’s hers?”
“I’m pretty sure she had said it would be this weekend. Oh, I’m a shithead.”
“Did you ever get an invitation?”
“Did she talk to you about dresses?”
“Not after she asked for my size.”
“Did you send her your size?”
“I don’t remember. It was a while ago.”
“Well, clearly the wedding went on without you. The world goes on, you know.”
“Do you want to go to the reception?”
“First off, I don’t know exactly where it is. That might just be where they are sleeping. I’m not going to crash the damn honeymoon suite. And also, I can’t just walk into a reception where I wasn’t invited. Oh, I’m awful!”
“How would you remember this when you haven’t talked about it in months?”
“I don’t know. I hope she had a great wedding. I hope she was happy.”
“I’m sure she was.”
I have dreams all the time that I end up sleeping through my own wedding and when I wake up I’m married and I can’t remember any of the ceremony. This was the first time I actually just missed a friend’s wedding because it slipped my mind. How can that happen? Alright, she never sent an invite or anything. She stopped emailing. But, still. She’s the bride. She’s got a ton of things on her plate. I’m supposed to pick up the ball. I’m supposed to be the friend.
I’m not supposed to be the shithead.
The other night I was at the Bad Dog talking to Rose when I noticed two other tables of girls behind us. I love how girls talk to each other. They can get so feverish and excited that other people just instinctively leave them alone. They touch each other. Sometimes they get so overwhelmed that they have to put their heads on each other’s shoulders. They grab arms and hold hands and jump and lean and blush and hide their faces. I love it.
The closeness that you see between two girls when they just start sharing things and asking, “You still think I’m a good person, right?”
I can’t imagine one of my guy friends saying to another guy friend, “I think maybe if I ever met Shirly Manson I’d ask her to sleep with me. Does that make me a bad person?” And the other guy friend just jumps up and down and holds him and shrieks, “Oh, God! I was just going to ask you that! Isn’t that amazing?”
You guys really should try it, though. It’s liberating.