Saturday, September 24, 2011

And It's Okay.

Two years ago (give or take), I did something that went against every instinct in my being. I let myself fall for one of my guy friends.

Now, this may seem like a good idea in theory, and I know it happens all the time. However, in the instances such as mine, when said friend does not return said feelings, it's a long, miserable, soul-crushing experience that I would not recommend.

For those of you that are relatively new, I'm not going to dig that far back into the archives (okay, I might, I always say I'm not going to and then I do), but the short of it is this: I decide to admit to myself that I have Feelings for aforementioned Guy Friend. Once feelings have been acknowledged, they sit and torture me for several months until I finally suck it up and 'fess up. My confession of The Feelings (while, to date, being one of the absolute bravest things I have ever done, so there's that) was met with a “thanks, but no thanks” in what was probably the most polite rejection I have ever received, so polite that I couldn't even be mad about it. There was sadness. There was only partial resignation... as in the next few months I spent all collective gatherings getting myself shitfaced and subtly making a fool of myself. (And by subtle, I mean, shit, probably not at all subtle, but if everyone else was drunk too, maybe nobody really noticed).

Generally speaking, when I have Feelings for someone, I will keep them under wraps and keep my cards played very close to my chest until I am Absolutely Certain that yes, yes this is a Thing, and I do a damn good job of this (probably too good, actually... but this comes from years of being prematurely rejected)... after The Rejection, though, apparently I just chucked all of those cards in the air, went “fuck it” and didn't care who knew about it as I tended my wounds.

My endless pining came to a halt when he found Someone Else, this other girl that we mutually knew that I had an impossible time hating because even though she KNEW I had The Feelings for this guy, and went for it anyway... she's just so damn nice.

So as I tried to push away over a year of hurt feelings and misguided affections, I tried to not let it bother me when they moved in together... then got engaged... all within a rather, um, smallish timeframe. A lesser person would have let this bother them, but I was rather proud of myself for how well I was able to, well, just get over it.

On paper, it may seem like a cruel twist of fate for the wedding of said friend to said girl to occur the day after my birthday – what would have otherwise been another excuse to go out and do something fun as part of my celebratory weekend... Irony, perhaps. In reality... I am very surprised at how unbothered I am by this.

I was kind of surprised to be contacted for an address for an invite. Not so surprised, I guess, given the entire set of circumstances, the fact that I knew both the bride and groom, and so on, and so forth. I don't know if it possibly registers on their radar how obnoxiously infatuated I had been. It may have been a polite pity invite, for all I know. But it's not like we had actually dated. I'm not an ex. I'm merely an annoyance, if anything. I vaguely wonder if they'll be surprised if I come.

The thing is this: I don't care. I've stopped caring for quite a while. I mean, I can't pretend that on some level I don't scowl a bit when I think about it sometimes, but it's more of a personal slight than it is having to do with any residual feelings. (I mean, I'm pretty awesome. How could he not want me? Don't answer that.)

I feel like I have to go to this thing.

Because if I don't go, it will look like I still care. That it bothers me somehow. And it doesn't. I mean, I don't particularly want to go, there are other things I can be doing, but I feel obligated to prove my point. It's a statement more than anything. Because there were quite a few people – and I'm not even sure how many – that knew about my unrequited feelings. I'm going more for those people than I am for the sake of the bride and the groom, because, whatever. I care more about my appearance to the collective social group. If that makes any sense? Maybe not. It does to me. Fuck the couple getting married, I want everyone to see how awesome I am about it. And, truly, I bear them no ill will, there are no hard feelings, these people are still my friends. Besides, I like weddings. I also like getting fed. I also like cake, and I haven't gotten any for my birthday yet.

If I happen to show up looking particularly attractive, well, that just can't be helped. I mean, despite my Not Caring, I am still going to treat the situation like I would any situation where I would run into an ex-anything. I have to win. I have to look hot. Because, on some level, I could still be the one that got away. Even if I was never wanted at the time. It doesn't matter. I may not care, but my ego does. 

Plus it's an excuse to wear a dress and some heels. I have far too many dresses that I've bought, worn exactly once or nonce, and that's just sad. And financially irresponsible.

Speaking of financially irresponsible, it's probably making me a total asshole that I didn't even think about a gift until another friend mentioned it (hey, I've been busy, what with the Death Strep and, you know, world affairs and vomiting cats and MY BIRTHDAY) and now I'm too poor to get one and there is no way I'm forking over any of my birthday moneys to buy these people a gift, because: MINE. So... either I'll go in with someone or I'll send one later and be like, “Sorry you got married when I was broke! Here's a gift card! xoxo!” Either way. I'll be a good citizen and get them something

That's the one thing I don't like about weddings. The obligation to buy a gift. I mean, if it's a really close friend, I'm more than happy to. I love to buy people presents. But my general go-to gift for a wedding nowadays is just a Target gift card, because I assume everyone loves Target as much as I do, and also: by time I shop, all the good shit on the registry is gone.

Also, I've said this before so I know I sound like a broken record, but: this is getting to be a pretty hefty financial investment if I never get married or buy a house or do anything that's a gift-receiving event that any of these people would be obligated to reciprocate on. (See also: reference to Sex & The City episode where Carrie's expensive shoes get swiped at a baby shower and the parents are assholes about it and are like “it's your own fault for being single and buying expensive shoes” and she's like “fuck you, I'm going to declare myself as getting married to myself and here's my registry for one (1) pair of expensive shoes exactly like the pair that one of your thieving asshole mommyfriends ripped off from me, kthnkx.” That would be me, if (a) I bought expensive shoes and (b) had the balls to actually do something like that. Heh.)

And since I've totally digressed from the original topic of this post, I suspect we are done here for today. Have a great weekend. I'll see you tomorrow. Because I totally made a commitment to post every day in September and dammit that is what I am going to do. Because I am an ACHIEVER. And now I am going to go achieve the shit out of attending this wedding.

EDIT: Okay, I guess this post makes me sound like a huge bitch. Which: valid. I wrote it with a really bitchy mindset. I didn't mean to throw such a hyperbolic tantrum over it. Just some residual bitterness, I guess. I mean, I did go largely to prove a point, but I also went to be supportive. They're still my friends. They're a good pair. It was just an odd situation for me. Please don't think less of me.


Ashley, the Accidental Olympian said...

I started reading your blog right after he said, "thanks but no thanks."

You're a bigger person than I am going today. Bravo!

Oh, and on the gifts, they can be sent up to a year after the wedding. So you're cake. CAKE!!!

Megs said...

Dude. $20 gift card in the mail up to a year after the wedding. Also speaking as someone who lived in sin before marriage, gift cards were the best wedding gifts because we mostly had all the housey stuff we needed and I couldn't in good conscience register for a bunch of cute shirts at Target.

Also also I think you are super brave and awesome for the fessing up of the feelings. And of course you still have to look hot at the wedding. I have been known to do that with exes even after I was married. It's just...a thing.

terra said...

I would sort of want to go too, if only to just look hot and prove I'm not still pining. And you've got a year to send a gift, so whatever.

Steph A said...

I have to say, "Fuck the couple getting married" is the most telling phrase in this blog post. I most certainly hope that nobody who attended my wedding had that attitude about it. It was weird to me that people came to our wedding just to party or whatever. I genuinely expected everyone in attendance to be there in order to witness and give reverence to the vows we made, and then wish us well so hard that they had to dance a little bit to show it.

Tori said...

We had people at our wedding who didn't buy us gifts. I don't consider it an issue. They came, they celebrated with us, and that was what mattered to me more than the $20 Target gift card (though those were appreciated).

I'm sorry that you feel like you have to support this marriage. I've certainly been in situations like this before (some are even on my blog), and I'd like to tell you it gets easier, but I don't think it does. Being single is hard. Being unmarried (even if you're not single) is hard. All the money Dan and I got for the wedding? We wouldn't have gotten that if we hadn't been getting married. No one celebrates you being single, or living in sin. And they don't care if it ends in divorce four years later; they just want to see the dress and eat some cake.

'Tis a shallow society we live in, my friend.