No, I won’t be a bridesmaid

I’m at that age where everyone I know is getting married in a barn in Vermont or on a beach somewhere and while I personally don’t have any desire to get married, I’m happy for my friends. I will give you hearty congratulations, I will even send you a card (maybe) and go through all the motions of being happy for you.

Just don’t ask me to be a bridesmaid.

This came up in a conversation with a colleague who loves going to weddings and she was shocked to hear that I actually refuse to be a bridesmaid (except for my sister because my mother threatened to kill me). It had nothing to do with whether or not I’m happy for them or value their friendship (because I am and I do) it’s just a general policy. Being a bridesmaid is expensive, it’s time consuming, and since so few people I know live in DC it’s basically a financial/time suck and to be quite honest I think I’ve done enough.

I have what I once called “Kimmy Gibbler Syndrome.” I’m the quirky, strange friend who is not smart, good looking, or popular but who provides comic relief and serves as the foil to make DJ Tanner/Blossom/etc. look better. My role as gatekeeper/matchmaker came with being friends with really gorgeous, brilliant, talented women. In high school, I was the prom information exchange about who had dates and who didn’t and I facilitated the setting up of dates (I personally was never asked to prom and I didn’t attend). In college, I learned to be really skeptical of men who suddenly befriended me because they always wanted an in with some girl I was friends with, and I accepted that. It’s all good.

I kept my mouth shut about how they flirted with the guys at that academic conference and the guys all wanted their number when their boyfriend picked us up at the airport asking how the conference went. And I didn’t judge them harshly when they said they had no idea that guy liked them even though he was driving 30 minutes to their apartment each night to pick up their mail while they were out of town for 2 weeks (because you know how it is, guys just always do that kind of crap for them). And I sold my ticket to a concert to the guy who was supposed to be going with me but who said he wanted to take my friend instead even though I was the one who bought the tickets in the first place…

Frumptastic me derived genuine joy from setting them up with their long term boyfriends/husbands, listening to their relationship pitfalls and upswings, and I was happy to do all these things for them and never once complained about any of it to them. Not even when they patronizingly tell me not to worry, I’ll find someone eventually. I cried alone in the bathroom like a normal person then when out and then smiled and moved on the first time I realized a guy was friendly with me only because he wanted to meet my gorgeous friend. This has helped make me the team player I am today–always willing to take one for the team and put myself last because let’s be honest, that’s where I belong, and I’m okay with that, really.

But where I draw the line is being a bridesmaid because in my eyes, I’ve done enough for these people and I’d rather spend my time going for a run and my money on a trip to Disney World than on a dress I’m never going to wear and if drawing the line there makes me selfish, then so be it. It’s about fucking time I was selfish about something.

17 thoughts on “No, I won’t be a bridesmaid

  1. And have participant medals as giveways at the wedding! :) Fortunately…and somewhat unfortunately, I am the only one of my friends who isn’t married/attached. Now I’m going through all of the baby showers.

  2. I feel the same way. I was invited to 8 weddings this year! Thankfully I am not a bridesmaid in any of them. I hate going to weddings. They are always boring and self involved. And if I have to fly to get there, sorry but you are not getting a present. I just finished putting myself through 6 years of grad school making peanuts. A 50 dollar present isn’t going to mean anything to these people. Needless to say my mother is now buying the wedding presents (at least for the family ones that she knows about) because she thinks it is shameful behavior.

  3. Ugh. I hate the “you’ll find someone eventually” as much as “Do you want to be alone all your life?” WTF do you think?
    I agree about being a bridesmaid. I don’t want to play a part in someone’s self directed show about themselves. I just don’t.

  4. Hahaha, this cracks me up! I totally feel the same way. And DON’T get me started on engagement parties, showers and bachelorette parties! I mean how many times do we have to celebrate the fact that you’re getting married?!? And destination weddings?? Are you kidding? Do you think I’m made of money? Oh and you want a present too?!?

    As a general rule I try to attend only 1 wedding event per couple because I honestly feel like celebrating once is enough. And as far as being a bridesmaid…I guess I made myself clear on my feelings about that since none of my friends have asked me! I made an exception for my cousin and I will for my sister, but that’s it!

    (And P.S. – just so you know I’m not being totally hypocritical, I didn’t even have a wedding…or any parties. Just me and my husband on the beach. It was perfect!)

    • RIGHT?! I have to get you an engagement gift, a shower gift (WHEN YOU’RE ALREADY LIVING TOGETHER) and then a bachelorette party?! NO.

      That sounds like the best kind of wedding. More people should do that–it’s not about the party anyway, right?

      • Oh my gosh, speaking of “not about the party” you have NO IDEA how many people’s response to me about not having a wedding was “but don’t you want all the presents??”

        Yes. Presents is why I’m getting married. Not to mention with all the money I’m saving NOT having a wedding I can buy twice as many presents!

  5. I was a bridesmaid once in an extremely low-key wedding in the middle of nowhere in Minnesota but it still cost me a small fortune because paying for a dress, shoes, a hotel and plane tickets from Los Angeles weren’t cheap. I’m glad I did it once but no one has asked me since and I am more than happy with that.

    I was just discussing with Marcus that this is the first year in all the years we’ve been together that we aren’t going to a wedding. Finally. Also our parents are still on us to get married but even low-key weddings end up being the cost of a nice vacation and we can’t justify that. Especially because we honestly don’t really like a lot of people and who would we even invite? Because seriously. We don’t like most people.

      • Hahahaha actually we were kinda talking about that this weekend … having a “destination wedding” that people probably wouldn’t want to pay to come to, and we could hang out with the few people who like us enough to come, but then we’d have an excuse to bow out of things and ignore people BECAUSE HEY WE JUST GOT MARRIED. So. A beach/vacation wedding does sound kind of perfect!

  6. MY BOSS IS TOTALLY GETTING MARRIED IN A BARN. Is that the thing now?

    Y’know, I’ve been to a grand total of three friends’ weddings. Most of my friends are of the cautious sort when it comes to commitment, I guess; we’ve all been busy getting degrees. Wait. Crud. Does that mean the floodgates are about to open?

    On the off chance I ever marry, would you make an exception for me if I did it at WDW?

  7. Hmmm, I never thought of myself as Kimmy Gibbler, I always went more with the “I’m Donald O’Connor” because I am apparently 80 years old and like movies with Donald O’Connor…either way, I was always the comic relief with the best/close friends who are all beautiful and perfect bodies and yadda yadda yadda (I too was never asked to the prom).

    But I’m with you on the whole bridesmaid thing! I was never asked to be a bridesmaid until a couple of years ago, and then I was to be one…twice…and their wedding were within a week of each other! I really wish they had set their wedding dates prior to asking me. Ironically, both of these ladies backed out of being bridesmaids in my wedding (after all the money, time, energy, etc. I did for them! Did I mention the money?!?!)

    Point of this long rant? Kimmy Gibbler is freaking kick ass and awesome and screw anyone who doesn’t see that! Also, If you need company on any of these Disney trips, let me know, because, well, it’s Disney!

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