My Best Friend’s Wedding…And Other Things I’ve Said "No" To
As I am writing this post, I am intermittently watching my 16-month-old daughter sleep on the video monitor that a very generous friend recently gave to me. And I am drinking a beer. Okay, the beer has nothing to do with anything, but I felt the need to set an accurate scene for you. To say I am obsessed with my child would be a gross understatement. She is my everything. The sun rises and sets with her. Even when she is obsessively playing with my iPhone, I love her more than I thought I could love anything. In the 16 months since I gave birth to Ellie, my heart has tripled in size.
And in the same 16 months something else has happened that has a little something to do with love. Six of my close friends and coworkers have tied the knot in out of town weddings, and I have had to RSVP “no” to all but one of them, most recently having to politely decline an invitation to be a bridesmaid in a dear friend’s wedding. I have known this friend since early on in college, when we both anchored the college newscast (Dear Lord, I really hope that material NEVER makes it on to YouTube), both obsessed with news and everything that came with it, and both completely and totally insecure about what our futures held.
Over coffee, shots of tequila and pitchers of very cheap beer, we formed a bond that has survived a number of ups and downs, many boyfriends (even the ones that she hated) and a number of different jobs. She was there, along another friend that completes our trio, just weeks after I had my daughter…both friends happy to simply sit and watch me breast-feed, or listen to me talk about breast-feeding, or let me cry on her shoulder while I told her how sleep deprived I was. I clearly remember both of my friends crawling into bed with me late at night, to watch TV and share our top-secret girl talk – just like we had over a decade earlier.
So when I received her email months later asking me to stand by her side at her upcoming wedding – I feared I would not be able to afford it. And unfortunately my fears came to fruition. When I realized that there was absolutely no way I could afford to attend her wedding, I tried calling her a couple of times, and then just ripped the bandage off and sent her an email. In true friend fashion, she understood completely, that a trip to Texas would break the bank. But the only thing worse than always being bridesmaid and never the bride – is being the bridesmaid that can’t attend the wedding.
She has not been alone in her understanding…every single one of my friends that has received my regrets has been more understanding that I ever could have expected, but I am going to stomp my mom-foot here for a moment and say, “Sh*t, it really sucks missing out.” It’s like the FOMAs (fear of missing something) on crack.
Okay, I feel better a bit better now that I have gotten that off my chest. But I have to ask – what have you had to pass on since becoming a parent, because of finances, or any other reason?