Being Brave Is Worth It

A very dear friend of mine is getting married this winter, and she had asked me to be a bridesmaid. Through a series of unfortunate events, her wedding had been pushed from it’s original date of this past February, and we are all still kind of scrambling to get all of the dates and parties and events planned and scheduled.

A couple of weeks ago, the bride had sent out a mass text, asking how everyone felt about a destination bachelorette party to either Chicago or Charlotesville in October. Only one person responded, and I hadn’t heard anything else about it. But I was starting to feel the strain. I’m already planning on going out to Santa Barbara in October, and I might be going back to Mexico in September, so my travel money is already spoken for. I kept going back and forth on whether I should say something. For one thing, she’s the bride, it’s her special day, etc. Also, no one else had said anything so I didn’t want to be a debbie downer. But I could tell that I was starting to get resentful and defensive and something needed to be done.

As y’all know, I have no problem breaking up with people over text, or ghosting people, but those are obviously people that I don’t care about that much. I couldn’t text this to the bride. So I asked if we could talk, I called her, and I laid it out.

Do you know what happened? Every concern I had about the bachelorette party was shared by the bride. She agreed with and/or understood everything I was saying, she said that she was already thinking that we might need to scale back some of the ideas, and that a couple of other bridesmaids had already voiced similar concerns.

And that was that! We had a lovely conversation, each of us felt good as we got off of the phone, and each of us was happy with the path going forward. The most uncomfortable aspect of the whole thing was working up the courage to ask if we could talk. And I think that’s a pretty common thing. We get worked up about situations or conversations before they even happen, we fear the worst outcome, and then we get too scared to take any action. Yes, the worst that could have happened was that my friend would be totally upset, would have told me I couldn’t be in her wedding anymore, and we could’ve lost that friendship. That was what I was working with going into it. But anyone on the outside would have (and did) quickly say that the bride is not that kind of woman, and that we’ve been friends for 15 years, and this wasn’t going to end it.

My one resolution this year was to fear less. Not to be completely fearless, because I don’t know if that’s truly possible, but just to fear less. Be less fearful of the consequences, and more open to the possibility that everything will work out. As my aunt says, “It’ll all be alright in the end. If it’s not alright, then it’s not the end.”

– Finch

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If I was a guy, we wouldn’t be having this conversation

I spent this past weekend in Chicago with my awesome pseudo-cousin, J-Mac (I have a lot of “J”s in my life, deal with it). I hadn’t been back to Chicago since Ex’s and my honeymoon, so it’s been more than a few years, and I needed some new memories of my favorite city. I spent the first day and a half walking around to my favorite spots, shopping, eating, and then J-Mac got there, and we got down to business.

J-Mac was one of my bridesmaids, and that was the last time I saw her, although we have spoken quite a bit since then. But still – we had tons to catch up on. She filled me in on her dating stats, I gave her the lowdown on Jay’s annoyingness, it was great. But at one point, I started feeling kind of guilty. I told J-Mac that I felt almost like I had been using Jay for sex. From the beginning, I hadn’t really been that into him, I wasn’t over-the-moon attracted to him, and we didn’t talk that much. But the sex was amazing and I hadn’t had any for so long that I was like a fiend getting my fix. I kept this dialogue up for long enough that J-Mac turned to me at one point and said, “So what if you were using him for sex?” She left it just like that, and I started pondering this. Was it really such a bad thing? I mean, I hadn’t led him on to thinking that I was more into him than I was, and aren’t a lot of relationships based on sex? That’s when I said it.

“If I was a guy, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. I would’ve just said, ‘Yeah, that was hot, sex was good, but I’m moving on.’ And while I don’t want to be the equivalent of a misogynistic pig, I don’t think there’s anything wrong or unhealthy about saying that I like sex, and that while this guy was great for sex, he wasn’t really good for anything else.”

And it’s true – sex is a totally normal, valid form of physical contact, and as long as all parties are consenting adults, than why would it be weird to see someone just for the sex? Again, you’re not leading this person on, you’re not promising things that you have no intention of following through on – you’re just having some laughs and lots of mind-blowing sex. I don’t see anything immoral or unethical about that.

J-Mac just looked at me and smiled and gave me a hug. “I knew you’d get there eventually.” I love that girl. She knows her stuff.

– Finch