T and I finished our shopping and she headed home. A few days later, I called to check in. We had more strained conversation - which seemed to be all we could have anymore. Every time I shared something new in our wedding plans (we are renting a canopy, table, and chairs for the reception) was followed by her one-upping me (check out the website of the swanky-very-expensive-totally -catered reception hall we've booked). It was awful. I knew that Bear and I didn't have much money, but I was trying so hard to be happy with what we were going to have. Talking with T just made me feel bad. Bad about myself (if I was a better person, I'd have more), bad about my choices (maybe I should have bought the more expensive wedding dress), and bad about my wedding (maybe we should wait to get married so we could do more). Every conversation we had, I hung up feeling more miserable than before. I hated that our weddings had become some kind of competition, one which I had no hope of winning. I began to feel as though I was less, somehow, than she was.
Then one day I was telling her how Bear and I were tossing around the idea of going on a cruise for our honeymoon - something we'd both always wanted to do. "Don't worry, though, because I'll be back in time for your wedding," I promised. I knew I probably wouldn't end up a bridesmaid, but at least I could help out at and attend her wedding.
"Well, about that, actually," T said. "C and I have decided that we want to get married on the 4th of July instead of the 7th."
I was shocked. "But T, I'll be out of the country. I won't be able to be there," I stammered. She knew that no matter what we'd planned, Bear and I were taking a week long honeymoon.
"Well, you have to do what you have to do," she replied. She didn't sound upset or angry. She almost sounded... glad. As though this was something she'd wanted, and she'd found a non-confrontational way to accomplish it.
As soon as I heard that, I went from hurt to pissed lightning fast. It was time to stop pussy-footing around for the sake of our friendship and tell her what I thought. There had been things that I had let slide for her sake. For example, she had changed her wedding colors from lavender and yellow to blue and "something else." She never came out and said she didn't want to be my maid of honor or that she didn't want me in her wedding. A thousand tiny things that together had me at my limit.
"You know what, I'm so tired of this. I'm tired of you making me feel bad every time we talk. I know that you want to change your other wedding color to red," I said, talking faster as the words began to flow. "I don't care, really I don't, but I want you to know that there may be shallow people who are at both weddings that think you're copying."
She shrieked at me, interrupting what I was about to say. "NO! You know that I've wanted red and blue and a 4th of July wedding for six years. It's YOU who always copy ME! Tennis, the gym, knitting. You always take my things! Do you know how upset I was when you told me that day what your colors were doing to be? UGH!! You know what? It's hurts me to talk to you, it hurts you to talk to me, so I'm done!" And she hung up on me.
I put the phone down, in a rage. I'd told her several times that the reason I had chosen the colors I had were due to financial reasons. I cast back in my mind to see if I had, indeed, known about her dream wedding, and it was there. Six years ago, when she was dating her last boyfriend, she had this elaborate idea worked out to get married on the 4th of July so she could have fireworks at her wedding. I had just assumed that her plans were individual to the guy she was with; apparently she just switched men out and kept the idea the same. I was very angry still. Deciding I was done, too, I wrote this post (I call her Beatrice in the post at one point - it's her). I was so, so angry. My rage was almost a living creature. It gnawed on me. When I thought I was free of it, it would let out a primal roar and I'd be right back to pissed. For weeks! I resolved never to speak with her again.
And I haven't.
It's been more than two years and we haven't emailed, spoken, seen each other, anything. I can't say that I'm sorry. Without her in my life I am free of the constant sense of inferiority that so often plagued me when we were friends. I am able to say what I mean and don't have to tiptoe around anyone anymore.
But that doesn't mean that I don't still wonder about her. And at times, when I'm on the internet and bored, I look around to see if I can see what she's up to. She had a blog at the same time I did, and I'd expected to see some kind of retaliatory post on her blog. I don't know if I was hurt or relieved when it never appeared. I'd forget her for months at a time, then something would trigger my memory and I'd poke about again.
I was unprepared for what I did find.
(tomorrrow: part four - resolution)