‘You could vomit in my hand on your hen do and I’ll still say you’re the most beautiful bride’
Before lockdown turned us all into the sort of people who get giddy at the sight of flour, the majority of my summer was put aside for friends' (and not-so-friends') big days. I had six in total, dotted across the world.
I’ll be honest, when lockdown banned weddings for the foreseeable, I breathed a sigh of relief. I sent a stream of sympathetic Whatsapp messages and flowers to the not-so-soon-to-be brides and grooms. ‘So sorry! It’ll be even better next year!” I messaged them while seeing my entire summer open up before me. My smuggery however was short lived.
Within weeks, my inbox filled with new Save The Dates from those whose weddings had been postponed… as well as all the fresh new batch of nuptials that were planned for 2021. The result: a diary that looked like it’s been dotted by an overzealous Bingo player.
Don’t get me wrong. I like a wedding - all those hopeful feelings of love and promise in the air. But when the number of weddings you have to go to in a single summer approaches the double digits, it feels a bit like tucking into an entire bowl of cookie dough – delicious for the first couple of mouthfuls, but much more than that and it leaves you feeling queasy.
Of course, there’s no one to blame except the ardent people pleaser that lives deep inside of me. I’m that person who responds to a ‘long time no speak’ Facebook message from someone I successfully ghosted ten years earlier. I’m the person who goes for coffee with their yoga instructor even though the only thing we have in common is that we can both do a tree pose. I’m the person who would let you vomit in my hand on your hen do (this actually happened) and I’d still say you look beautiful with spittle around your mouth.
Unfortunately, people have interpreted my inability to say ‘no’ as a sign of friendship and loyalty, meaning I’m often seen as more worthy of a wedding invite than their second cousin.
On the one hand, being likeable has helped me find some stalwart, lifelong friends – the types that will dissuade you from buying a pair of camouflage pedal pushers because, apparently, you don’t look like Bella Hadid. But it also means I have a dozens of friendships whose foundations are built on little more than the fact we still send one another ‘happy birthday’ Whatsapps every year. Which seemingly warrant inviting me to their wedding…
As it stands, I have eight nuptials and counting to attend next year, including two abroad, and two for which I don’t even know the names of the fiancés. And don’t get me started on the hen dos. On a journalist’s salary, this means I’ll be paying off weddings until at least 2022, which is probably around the same time I’ll be able to book a holiday I actually want to go on. (If you’re reading this Ryanair, I swear to Zeus, if you try to offer me a voucher instead of a refund one more time…)
Of course, I could say ‘no’ to the invitations. But really what I need to learn is to stop being so damn reliable.
I had hoped to reclaim my social life post lockdown. Now, it looks like it's going to be one big blur of satin, overpriced taxis and Premier Inns. At least there'll be cake.
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