She resents me, although she’s never met me. It has nothing to do with who i am, what i do, what i believe, how i look, how i live my life… The simple fact that i exist… that’s enough.
Weddings and funerals are inherently emotional events. A crash of Venn Diagrams – we assemble to celebrate, or reflect and remember. Memories and pinning points both sweeten, and poison, the atmosphere.
It was a genuine delight to be invited to the wedding of Studley’s son last weekend. It’s been five years or so since the divorce, and while he’s moved on with his life, his ex-wife has wallowed in a bitter stew. Knowing that my attendance at the wedding could create discomfort for the newlyweds, i offered to step back – wanting to do nothing to draw attention away from the celebration of their marriage.
The young couple considered the offer – but came back with a resounding “We love you! If anyone there has a problem with it? It’s theirs, not ours – and certainly not yours. Please celebrate with us!”
A small wedding. Knowing that there would be a moment when we’d be introduced, i considered a greeting. “Nice to meet you” wouldn’t cut it, as it wasn’t nice to meet her. Rather than lie, i needed something else. i settled on “Your children are delightful! You must be quite proud!” – which is what i said when her son introduced me as “Dad’s friend, daisyfae”.
For the wedding, i chose the blandest, dullest, most boring outfit i could conjure* from my wardrobe – long navy dress, white sweater, coral scarf. Didn’t stick around for the formal family photography session – not my gig, didn’t even need to be there to watch. Stayed clear of the dance floor while the mother of the groom was out with her children. When Studley and i eventually hit it for some swing, i found a spot on the dance floor that was out of her direct line of sight.
Arriving back at the hotel after the reception, we met with Studley’s daughter to sort logistics for a breakfast meet up the following morning. The Girl Child had the ex-wife in tow. No way out. The Girl Child hugged her father and me as we moved toward the elevator. i reached out to shake the hand of the ex-wife, and wished her safe travels. Refusing my hand, she waved and said “good night”.
She resents me, after just meeting me. It has nothing to do with who i am, what i do, what i believe, how i look, how i live my life… The simple fact that i exist… that’s all.
And sometimes, that’s how it will be. Onward…
* not a tremendous challenge. i don’t shop. i have underwear older than my children…