Sunday, February 20, 2011

wedding invitation

The wedding is so close, just a couple of months away. One of my best friends from high school - I'll call her Simone - is getting married. :)

I've known for a year that she'll be getting married in April; still, I have no idea whether or not I'll attend. More than likely, I won't know until that afternoon. Maybe even 'til I walk through the door.

We met when we were freshmen in high school. That was back in Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill days, and Simone so closely resembled her. I remember telling her to pose, to put her hand in her pocket and give me the peace sign. We recognized each other as kindreds (from lifetimes back) the first night a group of us hung out together.We bonded immediately and have always been on the same wavelength - appreciations and neuroses alike.

Over the years, she's kept in touch with me the most consistently - especially in these last few reclusive ones, though not so much anymore. We've hardly talked since she called me last year to tell me that her boyfriend - I'll call him Oliver  - had proposed. By then I'd already begun shying away from social calls, so that we spoke that time was a big thing itself. However, we were still talking when she first met Oliver, so I got to hear about their first meetings and listened as she spoke of their burgeoning romance. He sounds like a super nice guy and is cute to boot.

When she called to tell me about his proposal, she told me how afterward, Oliver had invited all of her family and friends to a pub for a surprise celebration. Hearing that stung a little bit. I felt like I should have been there. But really, how could I expect an invitation? I'd never met the guy or even been around Simone herself for years. My absence there was my doing, I know that. But still it sounds like something that would have been nice to be a part of.

So, it's been about two weeks since my invitation came in the mail. I've taken it out a couple of times and looked at it, admiring the little pink shaded birds, clueless as to how I'll reply. Considering my reaction to the pub party, I can imagine how I'll feel if I don't go to the wedding - but more importantly, how Simone will feel. I've told her how unsure I am and she's told me how much it would mean to her to have me there.

It's been pointed out to me that I could just go to the ceremony and skip out on the reception. And that is a thought...

Really, this is Simone's and Oliver's day, not mine. So it's not like I'd be that noticed. Why is this such a thing with me? What's with the hesitation? Part of me obviously wants to go, otherwise I wouldn't be having this conversation with myself; I wouldn't feel this torn or trepidacious. I would clearly know that staying home is the right thing for me to do - but I don't have that knowing; I do not have that certainty.

I want to be a good friend. And a wise, courageous soul. I want to be with Simone on her special day, and meet the man that she loves so much. I'd like to rise to the occasion and be the kind of person I know I am...or could be.

It's real...and it's freakin' me out.
(The perfect spiritual practice!)

Bright side: there is over a month to reply.


  1. I think you're right, you'll know the day it happens whether you're acting from fear or love, including love of your healing self, but one thought I had when reading this is a thought I often have when faced with something that's just so so much easier not to do. I ask myself, will I be glad I did after I did?
    If the answer is yes, I know it's a path a smarter part of me knows I need to take.

  2. oooh, I get this! happens with bar mitzvah and graduation invitations, too.

    my personal strategy is usually to reply that i won't attend the reception, since that's the part that costs them money and they need to know in advance for planning purposes.

    then I often show up for the ceremony, making sure to connect with them in the receiving line or at the very least make deliberate eye contact and nod/smile, and then slip away. I may follow up with a note or email complimenting them on some small detail of the ceremony - the flowers or the music or whatever.

    whether you decide to go or not, it seems noteworthy that you didn't feel an immediate big NO, don't you think? that there's even room for an internal debate shows that things must have shifted in some significant ways ...

  3. @Tracy: I really like that question. It's a wise way to approach it. "Will I be glad I did after I did?" I am definitely going to be pondering that in these coming days.

    @Karen: Yes, I do think the not-NO is noteworthy. To me, it's kinda huge, I gotta say. =) And if I do go, I think your strategy is perfect. Being present and sending out my love can be a very simple, inconspicuous thing. It's that connection with Simone that counts and I really think that that could be accomplished with a smile like you said.

    Thank you both - your comments have helped!

  4. After my period of isolation I went through the same thing - it seemed I was more anxious with people from my past than new people I met. New people had no context for me other than the present, so if they liked me it was because they liked who I was now. But I didn't know who people from my past would expect to show up. Would they expect to see the person they knew before, the person from whom I'd changed so much? Would I have to squeeze into some outmoded version of myself to make the friendship work? I couldn't do that - that would be like a mini death. Or, if I showed up as the emerging me and they couldn't relate that would feel like rejection of who I'd become.

    Whatever brought you together back then sounds like a core resonance thing and not some surface friendship. I imagine she has done some growing and changing too so you would probably recognize one another still.

  5. This reminds me of a wedding I didn't go to some years ago and have regretted ever since. My issue then was money, and I learned my lesson that it's never about the money. I know yours is your seclusion. I like Karen's idea about showing up authentically but within your comfort zone. "The kind of person I know I am or could be"--what are the layers of meaning in that statement? Everyone who reads you here knows what an incredible person you are. Do you know that?

  6. @Suzanne: Yes! All of those concerns that you had, have been floating around in my head too. And while I hadn't exactly noticed it in that way, it really is the people from the past that I'm feeling the most resistance towards. While I'm not too stoked about hanging out with new people either, it's the ones from the past - no matter how much I treasure them - that bring me that uncertainty. I know I'm making too big of a deal of it, but the worry is there, so I've got to look at it. About still being able to recognize each other, I suspect you are right. That "core resonance" has always been there. So maybe I should just focus on that and let that help guide me...

    @Deb: Thank you. :) What I meant by that: I may know inside what my best self looks like, and all the things of which I'm capable, but knowing it and actually demonstrating it are two different things. Without the living of it, I suppose it's just another story.