Two years ago I was a bridesmaid. Everyone agreed: I was a terrible bridesmaid.
I forgot to tell the bride I bought a dress.
When the bride asked me about the dress, I told her I had one and couldn’t be bothered to send a picture of it.
I didn’t plan or host the bridal shower. Actually, I didn’t attend it either.
The bride asked for my middle name and wouldn’t tell me why. I told her. Then I threatened to stop speaking to her if she printed it in a wedding program. At the wedding she gave me a beautiful dish, with my initials painted in gold. Oh.
I forgot to bring my present to the wedding.
I walked into sheva brachos, handed my gift to the bride – who was traveling by subway – and walked back out.
Despite my inherently non-bridesmaid behavior, I got a few things right.
I shared my joy with the bride.
I bought a dress in the right color.
I showed up to the wedding bright-eyed and dressed for success, despite working 50 to 60 hours per week in the months prior.
I bought a gift the bride loved.
I marched down the aisle like I meant it. Even though I had never intended, or known I was expected, to walk down in front of 200 people without tripping.
But none of those things would take to me the Bridesmaid Hall of Frame. I deserve a place there thanks to the bride’s sister. She, liked the bridesmaids before her, walked down the aisle with a radiant smile, holding her bouquet steady. At the alter, she pivoted to the left, and lined up in front of me. All the while she smiled beatifically at her family and her sister’s friends. Then, just as the ceremony started, so did her tears. She felt them gathering, and panicked. He mom, standing next to her, had left her purse in the dressing room. The tears were threatening to spill over, which would ruin her makeup and distract from her sister’s ceremony, and she discretely gestured to the rest of the bridesmaids for help. The rest of the wedding party were equally at a loss. I scoped out the room, and saw her salvation. Behind me was a box of tissues. I deftly swiped the box, held it out to her at waist level – hiding it from the audience’s view – and she plucked two out. As the rabbi spoke of the bride and grooms wonderful characters, the sister delicately dabbed at her eyes. I rested easy, having slipped off my heels and knowing that I’d done my duty and saved the day.