Approximately two months ago, one of my girlfriends called me with some pretty big news. Her long-time boyfriend proposed to her and she accepted. She shared that they were planning to have a wedding in the coming months and that they planned on relocating to South Carolina before the year ended. I was ecstatic. I love to hear stories of couples getting engaged, especially black ones. While I knew that I would miss her once she and her hubby-to-be left New York, I was extremely excited for her and the new phase of life that she was preparing to embark upon. What came next was even more shocking than her fresh proposal and plans to relocate. She asked if I would be her maid of honor. “Awww,” I thought to myself. So caught up in the moment with all the good news that she shared and the fact that she asked me to hold such a coveted position in her bridal party, I quickly accepted.
It wasn’t until the initial excitement of it all wore off and I stopped gloating over another reason to get all dolled up that reality smacked me in the face. Although I was extremely happy for my girlfriend, I agreed to be her maid of honor for extremely vain and selfish reasons. I realized that I had accepted the role without having the slightest idea of what would be expected of me because of it. As I searched the Internet for information as to what the role of maid of honor actually entailed, I began kicking myself for accepting without really thinking things over. I stumbled across an article featured on The Knot, which lists the MOH responsibilities in detail. It’s not that I’m a selfish person who refuses to make sacrifices for others, it’s just that at this point in my life, between graduate school and writing, I wondered how I could fit in such a huge responsibility. With each obligation I read, I moaned and groaned in my head.
“Lead the bridesmaid troupe. It’s the maid/matron of honor’s (MOH) job to direct the other maids through their duties. Make sure everyone gets their bridesmaid dresses, go to dress fittings, and find the right jewelry. Also provide them with the 411 on all prewedding parties.”
Ugh, I barely know what I’m doing from week to week. If it weren’t for my monthly planner I’d be lost.
“Offer to help the bride with prewedding tasks, from addressing invites to choosing the wedding colors”
God, who has time for this? My life is already one huge deadline. How am I supposed to add anything else to this mix?
“Dance with the best man during the formal first-dance sequence.”
Crap. I can’t dance.
“Troubleshoot emotional crises. In most cases, this will require lots of tissues, hugging, and hair-smoothing. The MOH continues to be a trusted friend, a good listener, and a smart advisor.”
As the list continued, I of course had an excuse as to why I couldn’t fulfill that particular responsibility. And then, just as it always does, my extremely overactive imagination got the best of me as episodes of WeTV’s Bridezilla began to play on the movie screen of my mind. “Aw, hell. What have I gotten myself into?” I thought. And eventually, my conscience kicked in and I realized how truly selfish I was being. Everything was “I” or “me,” meanwhile, one of my good friends was preparing to make one of the most important commitments of her life. The least I could do was be there for her. Okay, so I may be inconvenienced for a few months, but when my time comes, I would hope that someone would be willing to do the same for me. Being a maid of honor isn’t about having a long to do list, but about being supportive and self-sacrificing to ensure that you’ve done all humanly possible to help your pal’s big day to go as smoothly as possible. I’ve decided to grin and bear it, because all my friend needs from me now is support, not the boo boo face.