Most women my age probably can’t say that they’ve been a bride more often than a bridesmaid. On the 22nd of June, I’ll break even, as I stand beside two of the most important people in the whole world to me.
Our story is a bit uncommon, however. I knew the groom, Chaz, first. In fact, Chaz and I dated when I lived in London for the summer of 2006.
Carmen was the woman who came after me. I used to tease Chaz that he’d replaced me with the Spanish me, especially since he kept telling me how alike we are. We’re both pale skinned, dark-haired, strong, intelligent, geeky, museum loving women. How could he resist us?
It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I actually got to meet Carmen, though. I was in London for a conference, and they offered me a place to stay. Chaz was right when he said Carmen and I would love each other. We became instant friends, spending many a late night drinking and talking (often about a problem she diagnosed–that I needed a man who would make me tea [and now I have one!]). Poor Chaz would come home to find us up and have to decide which of his girls to give a hello peck to first.
Carmen and I talk more often than Chaz and I do now. She is a great treasure in my life, and I’m so thankful to Chaz for bringing us together.
Part of the reason we’ve been able to bond so well is that Carmen was never threatened by the fact that Chaz had been with me. Early in their relationship, he’d explained that he wouldn’t be able to be with her if he hadn’t been with me. Our relationship was healing for and important to us both. And Carmen thus appreciated me before she even met me.
Some people still find this odd. For example, the day we went bridesmaid dress shopping, we ended up having a discussion about how we wouldn’t want to marry virgins.
“What if the guy is terrible?” Carmen wondered.
“Of course he’ll be terrible,” I said. “A man needs women to say,
Carmen drinks out of a Karma’s Bitch mug!
‘hey, stop doing that!’ How else can he learn?”
Carmen leaned over, kissed me on the cheek, and said thank you.
The other bridesmaid then said, “And that’s why you two and your relationship are weird.”
(For the record, the women before me had Chaz all ready–I never had to tell him to stop it.)
Yes–we are weird. And that’s why we love each other so much & why I’m so honored to be a part of this wedding.
Here’s to the happy couple!