Why I didn't ask my oldest friend to be a bridesmaid

It was 1988 when I met the world's skinniest, baddest eight-year-old - Leroy Brown if he were a brainy, white, second grade girl wearing Keds. We were like soda and fries the second we met. Chrissy had a puff of bangs on top of her head like a bird's nest fashioned into a hat; I was a freckled, fuzz-headed kid born with boobs. We sat in the back of the bus, anchored the back of every line and were up to undercover hijinks wherever we went. Chrissy was that kid who knew all the more obscure cuss words and who thought up stuff like mixing ketchup with milk just to see how gross it tasted. She could burp. Me, I was the egger-onner, ever the straight man to her endless antics.

Once, we snuck out during a sleepover to smear the neighbor's car with butter. We slathered it from hood to tires and ran back to my house with greased hands peppered with dirt. As we relished our deed, we remembered butter is a great medium for fingerprints and figured the FBI would be on to us. We'd spend our lives in jail! What about high school!? So we snuck out again and washed the car. That's pretty much the story of our friendship. Shenanigans, reparations, legends.

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You'll just have to trust me we kicked ass and took names. Well. We took names.

High school was no different. We figured out how to steal beer and get boys to drive us around. There was the devastating summer when Chrissy was in California for two months when the gang just sat around, making out and talking about when Chrissy would be back. There was her blonde phase when every guy we knew lined up to trade one-liners with her, which she trumped. Always. My mother was always skeptical of Chrissy, as hers was of me. But what can you do?

By college, Chrissy got engaged to a mutual friend and I was secured for bridesmaid duties three years in advance of the event. When the wedding finally came, she snuck a few dirty jokes in as we waited to proceed into the chapel. Nothing changes. We'll always be eight years old when it comes to her flawless delivery of an over-the-top joke and my endless amusement, miles of white silk and tulle be damned. She's the Laurel, I'm the Hardy. Chrissy gets me like no one else. When I'm convinced this world hates me, and sometimes it does, that is still the girl who I can count on to tell me, "Everyone has their issues and no one's life is perfect, but all people see is the perfect and decide to be jealous and hate." Then she adds, "fuck that bitch". She says what I can't.

Chrissy was married years before me. I managed to fit another life stage between college and marriage, loosely called Functioning Alcoholism and Urban Debauchery. Eventually I met a decent guy (Hi, Niko!) and started wedding planning myself.

So why didn't I ask Chrissy to stand up in my wedding?

I've thought about this and regretted it since my wedding day. I don't know why. At the time when I was planning, I didn't want to ask anyone out of state because I didn't want them to feel obligated. I didn't want Chrissy to be burdened by me. I didn't want to put her out or cost her money. It was a little like a bro code my brother-in-law has with his four best friends: no birthday gifts and they always hire movers. I didn't want to be needy. I didn't want to be heavy. Not that Chrissy would disappoint me, but what if she did have other obligations? How would I recover from that? I just didn't want to set it up like I expected some big thing. I was chill. No prob. No worries.

Yet every time I walk past my wedding picture in the hallway, I wish that bony bitch was in there.

I love you, Chrissy.

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UPDATE - This just in from Chrissy on my Facebook page:

"We were some kind of awesome, still are. This post made me smile until my face hurt. Let the public record show that I was never in the least bit offended you didn't ask me to be in your wedding. You found an amazing husband and I was more than happy to be a guest. Great, now "Be Our Guest" is stuck in my head. I love all the different directions our friendship has taken us and I wouldn't change a thing!"
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Filed under: Memory Lane

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