Tuesday, November 07, 2006
My Best Friend's WeddingI'm a bad friend.
After reading Greek Tragedy, I saw a situation that reminded me of myself. Stephanie had a friend pull a no-show for her recent wedding. It hurt her. Everyone who commented said the "friend" was worthless, awful and a few more colorful terms...
This summer my best friend from high school got married. The wedding was 2 and a half hours away and I RSVPed whole heartedly YES for two. I was so happy for her. Although we had grown apart, I still have a special place in my heart for her. We had once shared so much and meant to world to the other...
In recent years some slight drama had developed due to her husband's friend. Blah blah blah, in the end it amounted to that I could not really spend time with her anymore because the friend would be there and it was more than awkward and awful. I called her and suggested meeting for coffee, which we did once. When I heard about the engagement I called her immediately. I asked her to dinner and she said she'd call me back.
My phone never rang. It was my fault, too. I should have called. I should have stepped up and sucked it up and dealt with the situation, rather than hiding from it. I let time and distance accumulate because I was selfish and wanted to be comfortable and had "put the ball in her court." Which was really just my excuse to say I was "trying." One phone call does not constitute as trying. Not even a little. Months went by and suddenly it was wedding time. I called her a few months before the wedding, to check in and see how plans were going. I could feel the distance in her voice. We'd let the space go on for too long and now we were not committed to working through it. She got off the phone relatively quickly and we said our "I'll call you soons" like you say to random people from high school you see in your hometown. Exchange numbers you'll never call. When I hung up, I knew that we'd never be close like we were. She was moving to California with her husband and I knew we'd lose each other.
When the wedding came up in conversation, J was not so keen on going. I knew I should go, but when J did not feel well the night before and woke up sick that Saturday morning, we never left the house. I thought about her at 4:30 and knew the service was starting. I felt like crap. I should have gone, even without J. The day was not about me- it was about my friend. And instead I sat at home, nursing a sick husband who could have taken care of himself.
I didn't call. I sent a gift, of course, but I never picked up the phone. I reasoned with myself... she'd be on her honeymoon... moving... maybe she didn't even notice I was not there...
I wonder how she felt looking at my empty chair. I know she was so happy on that day, marrying an amazing man and looking beautiful because she always does. But I feel like I put the final nail in ending our friendship while sitting on a couch watching National Treasure.
I got a thank you for the gift. The card was signed with "Love." But I still feel guilty and I think I always will.
Now the number has probably changed and I don't know what I'd say if it wasn't. So, instead I'll blog about my best friend's wedding that I'll never be able to see.
Monday, November 06, 2006
Painting the Town
I am so bruised today it is ridiculous. When J and I showed up to play paintball yesterday I was psyched. New helmet, new gun (or "marker" whatever) and jersey. New everything as I just acquiring all of my necessities for this sport. It was pretty apparent when we got there that this was team practice time. Gulp! The last time we had shown up at this field I was WAY less intimidated. After all, when you see eight year olds geared up and playing, you know you can take it. But this time was different.
As the lone girl, I already feel like all eyes are on me. And not in the "damn she's hot way." In the "a girl paintball player? I bet she sucks" way. With J messing around with his new gun, I hit the field alone. Everyone was talking strategy, as players on teams tend to do. I stood there ready to run and hole myself up and the most worthless player on the field. The last time I had played I had just started to get brave and begin to play for aggressively. This time, though, I felt myself withdrawing, desperately wishing that J was out there next to me, so I didn't feel quite so much like the loser. As the game began I rushed out, jumping behind a barrel. I felt the familiar rush of adrenaline. I popped my gun out. "Pop pop pop." I heard. I ducked back behind my safety. I knew where the shots came from, and now it was time to fire back. I jumped out again and started shooting as fast as I could.
"click click click." I heard. I looked down. No paintballs were coming out. Back behind the barrel and began messing with my gun. It was the first time I had played with it, and I had no idea why it would not be shooting the hell out of someone. Finally, defeated, hands in the air I yell "Hit." And walk off the field. The ref looks at me funny.
"My gun's messed up." I said. He shrugged and lets me off the field. I take the gun to J. "Its broke." I say, huffing and sitting down. I felt more girlie than ever. Having to take my gun to my husband to get him to fix it. With one quick move he cocks the top of my weapon.
"There you go." he said, handing it back to me.
"Oh." I said. Live and learn, I guess.
After the game ended everyone began to go upstairs. I heard muttering of "speedball." I asked the ref what the real difference was. Speedball was how tournaments are played, but other than that- I didn't know the strategy or any differences.
"It's faster. More paint flying, more shooting and no ten foot rule." Gulp again. No ten foot rule? I like knowing that when I get shot in paintball on the field the ball is coming from a bit away, not 4 feet behind me. I was nervous. J was nervous, too. We'd never played like this. We headed upstairs where everyone was prepping to go on the field. Large inflatable bunkers were all over the field. As we walked onto the field I knew I would either love this game or hate it.
Approximately 2 and a half hours later, J and I were packing up to leave. Our clothes were covered with paint and grime; our bodies covered in welts and just a little bit of blood; faces flushed and sweaty; and an invitation to play again next weekend with a phone number of the guys on the team.
I hurt so bad today- but it was SO worth it.