Years ago, after serving as a bridesmaid to a friend of mine, I wrote all my other close-enough friends a detailed email urging them to never ask me to be a bridesmaid in their own wedding. I know, it was a little immature but the thought of having to relive the overwhelming experience took over all my senses. But honestly, I don’t regret it. Every friend who was part of that mass email knew they couldn’t take my future “no” personally although some would later try to coax me.
Since then, I’ve backed off and told a couple of my friends that I’d be honored to be in their weddings. And that’s the truth. Like many people, I love and appreciate my true friends. They are rare in number and I cherish their roles in my life immensely. So for those few, I know I can take the plunge once again.
But for the delusional associates, I will have to continue to put my foot down.
Unfortunately, one person who was not on the email was an old friend from junior high. Lisa and I saw each other once a year during our annual holiday visits to our hometown and emailed each other on our birthdays. But that was about it.
I did consider Lisa a “friend,” in the sense that I’d always be game to talk to her if she called or hang out if she visited my town but that was the extent of it. I didn’t feel connected to her on a deeper level and obviously our lack of communication reflected that.
So imagine my surprise when many odd years later, she asked me to be in her wedding…in London.
We had met for dinner while she was in town for business. After relaying the story about her engagement and the months of planning that were ahead of her, Lisa expressed her appreciation of me as a friend and then asked…(you know the rest).
I was shocked. Not only did she ask me to be a bridesmaid in an overseas wedding, but she had posed the question after I had updated her on my lengthy job search. I had been out of work for six months at that point. Now, don’t get me wrong, Lisa doesn’t come off as a selfish itchbay but she is clueless and not as empathetic as I’d expect a close friend to be.
I told her I would see what I can do, and left knowing that I would be preparing another lengthy email to a friend explaining why I couldn’t be in her wedding. I didn’t tell her straight up that I didn’t want to drop thousands of dollars on being part of a wedding I didn’t care much about; I only told her that due to my finances, I wouldn’t be able to participate.
Although she didn’t take it too too bad, it was obvious that we’d have to drift further apart as friends. And that was very fine by me. I find that as the years go by, I want to cut down on the number of associates in my circles and focus on the few who do mean a lot to me, instead of spreading myself thin amongst people who really don’t in the end. It may sound harsh but in order to cultivate quality in one’s experiences, you’ll have to decide on what’s important to you and nurture that.
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