Today Cathy and I were writing thank you notes for our wedding and we talked about our regrets – what we would do differently next time. One thing I would do is invite you. It seems ridiculous now – the rationale behind why you didn’t make the list. The event began small 20-40 people and ended up ballooning to about 90. I know you’re thinking how could you not still have been in the top 90?
Here’s what I was thinking: number one, I didn’t want to invite anyone to the wedding I had not kept in close contact with. You have said yourself that parties are not the place to play catch up as the hostess never has any quality time with anyone. Yes, most of our other girl friends from high school would be there but I know you aren’t crazy about all of them.
Two, I didn’t want it to seem a ploy for a gift. But we both know that is a joke because the expense of a wedding is nowhere near offset by the gifts. As Nam says, “It’s not about the gifts, it’s about celebrating your special day together.” I wish she had piped in sooner. This tidbit of wisdom she gave me at Candice’s wedding. I know, can you believe Nancy’s little girl is married? This Nam drops on me as I run into Sandy, who I also didn’t invite to the wedding for the same reasons. Sandy looked like I had kicked her. She put on that plaster polite face and said, “Oh no, I understand, I’m happy for you both.” Which of course means I have disappointed her to the point she can use that face and tone because there exists now a distance between us. She has detached herself from me.
The third reason, and the biggest one was that I felt responsible to find lodging for everyone. This stressed me out to no end. Because we live in a resort town and the wedding was in June, no hotels were willing to block rooms or work with us. The more expensive hotels required a two-night minimum which came in at around $400-600. Most of our cronies can’t swing that. I looked for houses too. They all required a week commitment and were thousands of dollars. I tried to figure out who would be comfortable bunking with whom. We looked into renting friends’ houses and all. The high school girls stayed at a condo in Lewes that belongs to a friend of Cathy’s mother. I thought you wouldn’t be comfortable with that.
Who else didn’t make the cut? Sandy, Colleen O’Connor, Jeannie, Janice. A couple of acquaintances and work associates. But my regret lies with you and Sandy and Colleen. I was in all of your weddings. Jeannie, being in Alaska, I didn’t want to put her in the position to have to decline. How could she afford the plane fare and the lodging? I haven’t heard from Janice in years and Jeannie says she is living in Florida with a new husband. Each year on her birthday I facebook her and I send her a Christmas card every year but haven’t gotten responses to either in the past few years. I imagine her ex is monitoring her fb page. I don’t even now what her last name is. Something happened two summers ago where she and Jeannie were both going to come and spend a week with me in June and Janice began driving from Texas, she was still with Joe at the time. Anyway something happened and she panicked, her one daughter played a part in it but I don’t have the whole story. In any case Janice freaked out and turned around and drove back to Texas. Jeannie cancelled too.
I am in contact with Jeannie. She calls me a couple of times a year. It’s funny but there are people I feel like you meet and they are a huge part of your life and then your paths change. But I still feel like I am connected to certain people on a soul level. That each of us, in our own way are out there fighting the good fight and making the world a better place. It’s a spiritual connection. You may not believe this but you are one of those people. Even though I haven’t seen you in a couple of years, I think of you every year on your birthday and I send Christmas cards. It’s ok you don’t send back. There are people who could call me in the middle of the night and say, “I need you to get here.” And I would without question. You are one of those people. I know you probably wouldn’t call but I’d come.
I think of our childhood. How inseparable we were. How in girl scouts they were worried about us forming too exclusive a friendship. I laugh at that now. I should write them and tell them to leave those girls alone. Yes, I turned out to be a lesbian but that had nothing to do with it. You turned out straight despite our intense friendship. I remember how in sixth grade we shared a boyfriend, Ronnie Brown, and at the end of 8th grade we had those matching suede hats. Yours was a sand color to contrast your dark hair and mine a chocolate to offset my dirty blonde hair. We looked good. I can see us fishing in the creek in grade school using paper clips for fish hooks and catching crayfish but scaring them backwards into plastic Big Gulp cups we found in the creek. How I loved those Hush Puppy shoes and what was I thinking to wear them into the creek? We were smarter going barefoot. I remember when I realized I might be too old to slosh through the creek. It was during high school or maybe even college and I was in Glenolden Park and I could feel people looking at me and I cared. That’s one of the crippling effects of adulthood. I hear you lose that when you get much older but I’m not quite there yet.
I remember how close we were when I was in college. Bradley was a toddler and I remember telling my mom that if something happened to you I would want to raise him. I remember being on the stairwell in the old junior high and you telling me that if I never found a husband it would be because there was no man good enough. I said the same thing back to you. Or maybe I said it to you first, I don’t know.
There’s a girl in my third period class that resembles you. She has long brown hair parted in the middle and brown eyes and freckles. She’s bright and creative and in fairness, probably more outgoing than you were at that age but she makes me think of you.
My mom sees your mom on election day so I know you got divorced. I remember last time we talked you suggested that was how things would go. I hope you are happy. I so want you to be happy. When I hear the CSN and Y song “Our House,” it makes me think of you. I have two cats, by the way, but they are indoor cats.
Just so you know, I am happy.
Love as always,