Stress and ethically questionable romantic situations don’t just happen to teens or 20-somethings, it even carries over to people in their third decades too.
For instance, let’s take a lovely wedding with all sorts of well mannered expectations. The entirety of the story doesn’t start here – but it is a partial jumping point.
Would you like to read on?
“Maryanne” – people watcher and commentator, critical. She started out in her teens as being insecure and uncomfortably aware of her changing figure. She had her share of unhealthy romantic relationships and family life.
“Gail” – young woman dealing with emotional pain of a recent breakup. Although her parents were divorced, they had come to be civil with one another and Gail learned to get on with both of them as well as her step families.
“Todd” – Gail’s ex boyfriend. They were still under the same roof but living separate lives. There is tension in the air between, even though they make attempts to be civil.
Girl J – supportive friend to both Maryanne and Gail. Her family history was no bed of strewn flower petals either , and of course it reflects onto romantic relationships as well. She had taken steps towards healing since she was sick (and sick of getting sick over stressful situations) of that roadblock.
The three ladies, Maryanne, Gail and girl J kept an eye on one of the bridesmaids, who was still recovering from the dissolution of decade-long relationship. She had broken up with her ex at least two times before and returned to him. Her ex was attending the celebration with his current girlfriend.
It was a disastrous breakup. Mind games – or as was understood from the bridesmaid’s point of view. It had been roughly a year ago when it all happened.
Both the bride and the groom had been friends with the bridesmaid’s ex as well, liked the ex, and were ok with the new girlfriend. The wedded pair had a few brief quibbles about either having the bridesmaid be part of the wedding or even inviting the bridesmaid’s ex. It would have been extremely irritating and unfair to choose to have one or not the other, since they wanted to include both.
In the end, it was a question of personal maturity and decorum on all parties involved.
Maryanne had chosen a side. So had Gail. They both chose to back up the bridesmaid to make sure she stayed relatively emotionally, stable. Gail was civil to the bridesmaid’s ex.
Maryanne was spiteful from a distance when she saw the bridesmaid’s ex and his date. She didn’t hesitate to be fake nice face to face though – she admitted to actually taking a certain amount of pride with that ability.
Although girl J could empathize with the bridesmaid, she also kept an open mind when it came to bridesmaid’s ex partly because she wanted to hear his view. It takes two to dance a relationship dance, she had learned.
Gail and Todd.
It started out with so much potential but distrust led them to the current road. There were communication problems (and silence), old trust issues carried forward. Neither had a healthy family life. The two still awkwardly cohabited at the time. Gail sat with the bride’s table while Todd sat with girl J and Maryanne’s table.
There was a popular drink being spread by word of mouth – the pretty, bright green cocktail flavored with Midori. It was so tasty. Todd had at least two, but it was Maryanne who was the first to try it on the bartender’s recommendation. She brought it to her table and that started the trend.
As the night drew to a close, Gail dropped off girl J at her car; girl J had carpooled with Gail earlier from near the bride’s home. Even during the short drive, girl J could see how Gail was trying to keep herself together. Her wounds were only months ago.
Gail had turned down the invitation to join some people at a nearby lounge/bar. Maryanne and Todd would be there, along with one of Todd’s guy friends. The bridesmaid would join them later at the lounge also.
“Are you sure you don’t want to go with them?” girl J asked.
“I’m not ready. And there’s just…so much..”
Girl J eyed Gail empathetically. “Would you rather have stayed with Todd?”
“No. It just wasn’t working out.” Gail also mentioned an off hand remark about how Todd and Maryanne were interacting at the wedding reception.
Girl J answered, saying she hadn’t noticed. She was also a bit concerned about the suspicion. Maryanne usually had potential boyfriends circling her like satellites from a distance. She currently had at least two vying for her attention.
The next day…
Girl J met up in the afternoon for lunch with Maryanne. At the table while waiting for their orders, Maryanne brought up what happened at the bar/lounge. She admitted to flirting with the Todd a bit at the wedding (although memory is unclear as to who initiated) and much more so at the lounge/bar they went to later.
“Did you want to tell Gail what happened” Girl J asked hesitantly, under the impression that Maryanne and Gail had a certain level of mutual understanding with one another.
“Are you stupid?” Maryanne rebutted, then made a “Duh” noise with an extra snide tone to her voice. Then looked dismissively away.
Girl J stared at Maryanne, momentarily shocked into silence at the treatment.
“Was that mean-ness all necessary?” Girl J asked firmly back as she let her temper calm a bit to be reasonable and rational.
Silence from Maryanne. Then, “let’s have lunch”, Maryanne said, changing the topic.
Girl J wondered if the bridesmaid saw anything, since she was also at the bar/lounge.
She also made a distinctive mental note to not be in Maryanne’s company so much after that.