Tuesday, June 7, 2011

There's a First Time for Everything

Many of you know that I was asked to be a bridesmaid in my college roommates wedding this Fall. You know the phrase "Always a bridesmaid, never a bride"? Well, I fall into the smaller category of having been a bride, but I've never been a bridesmaid. I don't really count being a junior bridesmaid in my aunt's wedding when I was 11. Being a bridesmaid as an adult is a job and also an honor.

On Saturday, the bride, one of her sisters, and her mother drove to my my house to look for bridesmaid dresses near where I live. They live in Grand Rapids, about two hours away. We looked at three area boutiques, and were joined by the bride's future mother-in-law, future sister-in-law (married to the groom's older brother) and the groom's cousin who is also a bridesmaid. We saw some very beautiful options. Another well used phrase began to apply to the situation by the third appointment....."Too many cooks in the kitchen". I think the bride got very overwhelmed.

I started thinking back to when I was planning my own wedding. I looked at bridesmaid dresses with one friend. Narrowed it down to two options, then went back with my sister (maid of honor), and we agreed on one style. Simple. I like simple.

Another contributing factor to the bride's stress is the in-laws, particularly the future sister-in-law. We've known her along time, and their personalities just don't really mesh. Recently, I've been doing some self searching, and I've come to the conclusion that 99% of any problems I have or have had in my life have either been solved or perpetuated by how I've handled the situation and interacted with those involved. Seems simple, right? Well, sometimes when others are "difficult", humans have a tendency to blame their response to the bad behavior on the offender. I figure, if someone is going to treat me poorly, I have an opportunity to either ignore it, or make sure it never happens again. When the offender is a person I know is going to be in my life, I make sure it never happens again. Imagine someone pokes you and pokes you and pokes you.....I respond with a karate chop! Once. Not unlady like, I don't make a scene, I don't scream and yell, I just say something in response to the poking that will ensure it ends. If it doesn't, I punch back harder and harder until the offender realizes that they better lay off. Sometimes you just have to stand up for yourself. My friend needs to do this, because the stress she's feeling is making the experience a bit negative. Also, she needs to stop complaining, because, while I've been doing all this self-searching, I still haven't found a way to tolerate endless complaining without any attempt by the complainer to remedy the situation. I get that people need to vent, but at a certain point, my overwhelming need for "result orientated action" takes over and I can't ignore it.

So the bride has narrowed the options down to a few dresses, all of which are pretty pricey. I can't complain though, because while she wasn't in my wedding, the dresses I chose were Amsale and not inexpensive. Like I said, being in a wedding is a job and it requires a uniform. Luckily, all the options she likes are dresses I also like and would be happy to cut down and wear again. I'm scrappy like that.

So....do I encourage her to get this SIL business straightened out? Should I "punch" back for her??? Probably not....though that's the "big sister" mentality I have because I am a big sister and I guess that carries over to all the people I love. How can I help my friend find a nice balance and enter into married life with a better relationship with her new family? And how much input can I voice on the dress??? Haha! Just kidding, I know she'll make a great choice!


LPC said...

You know, Princess, I'm coming to the conclusion that you're brighter than most:). It takes a good brain to be able to step back and get perspective. A lot of people just don't have the capability.

Suburban Princess said...

When I was having inlaw issues all I wanted was for one person to just say something. Everyone sat there in silence every single time I was attacked and I just wish one person had every just said 'That's enough' or to say anything in my defence. Silence is like saying we agree with the attacker :O( I'm not saying come out swinging but I am sure the bridesmaid would appreciate something, anything. For example if SIL is saying nasty things about her choice of dress...just say 'Well, I like the dress and think it's very flattering'.