As a BFF, do weddings make you feel rejected?
That’s the question posed in yesterday’s Boston Globe magazine, in one of those articles that made me think, “Whoa there, how did this writer get insidemy brain?” It’s the kind of piece that made me want to send the author a note just to say “Yes! I think so too!” (In fact, I think I’ll do just that as soon as I’m done writing this blog.)
In the column, entitled “A Bridesmaid’s Lament,” author Carrie English writes: “Surely I can’t be the only person who feels like weddings are a bit of a rejection – two people announcing in public that they love each other more than they love you.”
Truth be told, I haven’t actually had that thought. (And you know I’d tell you if I had.) Perhaps that’s because when my BFF got married, we already lived states away from one another. Distance was a harder strain on our bestfriendship than her marriage would ever be. And, unlike English, I am a big believer that it’s having kids–not marriage–that alters your BFFship for eternity.
That said, I enjoyed this bit so much I want to share it: “There’s no denying that weddings change friendships forever. Priorities have been declared in public. She’ll be there for him in sickness and in health, till death do they part. She’ll be there for you on your birthday or when he has to work late.”
Maybe it’s because every woman I know lives with her husband before she gets married, but I haven’t found that nuptials have changed any of my friendships. Coupling off certainly has, but these days marriage itself doesn’t seem to alter much in the way of behavior. My friends who were independent before are still independent now, and my friends who clung to their boyfriends and refused to go out solo, well, they’re still being ridiculous.
But the part that made me scream “yes! exactly!” (if only internally) was this: “However much our society might pay lip service to friendship, the fact remains that the only love it considers important – important enough to merit a huge public celebration – is romantic love. This despite the fact that platonic love is the only love that’s truly unconditional.” English goes on to explain just how that unconditional friendship love is expressed. (It’s funny in its accuracy. Trust me. Read it.)
I know that I just wrote an entire post about why I think National Best Friends Day is bunk, and perhaps this whole “we should celebrate friendship” sentiment sounds like a contradiction to that. It’s not. I too feel that the only unconditional relationship that’s truly celebrated is romantic love. I support the argument that friendship deserves its due. It’s just that I think our way of celebrating friendship, of acknowledging its importance, should be to take it seriously and respect it as a social science, not just create a silly Hallmark holiday.
In the end of her piece, English encourages readers to go out and have an anniversary party with their friends. A friend-wedding, if you will.
It sounds so sentimental. And yet, every summer my mind wanders back to the first time I met my BFF Sara. We are coming up on our 19th anniversary and I can thinkoif nothing I’d rather do than drink champagne and bake a cake (well, Sara can bake the cake, that’s her domain. I’ll eat it) and celebrate each other for surviving what many marriages don’t–almost two decades together.
Do you agree with English’s contention that platonic love is the only true unconditional love? Does it deserve some fanfare? And have you ever felt that sense of rejection when a BFF got married?