It’s A Matter Of Respect

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Photo Credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/xI_-wFJhCiM

Oh, how I hate weddings.

They bring out the worst in people. Everyone has an opinion. And nothing ever goes as planned. Everyone has this romanticized idea of how their wedding should be. I’ve been married twice and, believe me, nothing is ever perfect on that day or any other day that follows the wedding.

I was invited to a recent wedding and I always like to make an appearance even if I don’t plan to stay for the entire day/night. It’s my way of respecting others and showing support while staying within my comfort zone. I’m not a party girl anymore, and I barely drink. It’s useless for me to stay and ruin everyone else’s fun as the only sober person at the celebration, so I usually leave early after all the important stuff has been done.

I had planned to take my son with me as an excuse to leave early (as I always do). But the bride and groom didn’t specify that kids were not allowed at the wedding. Now, on the surface, it may seem that I’m against the idea of not inviting kids to weddings. But it’s not that simple.

First, even after I had RSVP’ed last month, I wasn’t told that kids weren’t invited. In my RSVP, I had explained that my son and I were very excited to share their day, yet nothing was said to me then that kids weren’t allowed to attend. I personally don’t care either way, if kids are invited or not, but don’t expect me to show up with 3 days notice to find a babysitter. No, I didn’t go.

Second, I made the mistake once of going to a wedding without my son only to find that other kids were there. I left my sick son with my parents for a week (because it was an out of province wedding) and I was livid to find other kids at the wedding. I vowed to never make that mistake again and to turn down any invitation that didn’t include my own kid. After all these years, I expect people to know that I come as a packaged deal. If they can’t respect that, they shouldn’t expect me to show up.

Lastly, I respect people. And I respect that some don’t want kids at their weddings. I have no problem with that. I will not bring my kid with me somewhere if he is not welcomed. But I find it hypocritical when the same people who invite me (and not my kid) get angry at me for not showing up. How’s that for respect?!

I didn’t have a kid so I could leave him at home all the time. My son is in my life so that I can share life’s experiences with him. And I will not leave him at home to go party with friends. I gave up that life when I had him and I have no desire to go back to my single party life. I’ve moved on and my life has changed. If others can’t respect that, fuck ’em.
*UPDATE: something good does, indeed, come from every bad situation. I used the money that we were going to give them as a wedding gift to purchase football tickets so my son will get to see his first live football game this summer! 

Friends With Benefits 4

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I went home yesterday, made dinner, then put my son to bed before I allowed myself to relax in the sitting room. As laid back on my chaise, looking out the window at all the stars, I thought about Ryan. My mind ran wild with thoughts of the past, the present, and the future.

The elephant in the room is, who was that blonde girl? And was Ryan even available? 

I assumed the blonde was his girlfriend. If so, our timing was off again and there would be no way that Ryan and I could even consider rekindling that old flame. If she was, indeed, Ryan’s current girlfriend, I wouldn’t allow myself to get in between them and their relationship. Ryan and I would be, at best, life-long friends. 

I was looking forward to Ryan’s call because there were so many things I wanted to catch up on. Where was he living? Did he have any kids? Was he still working on the rigs? I was genuinely interested in his life now.

There was something else tugging at my mind. I couldn’t deny all the questions from our past. There were things I was curious about, that I wanted answers to. Did he regret the things that had happened between us? Or did he look back and smile when he thought of me? Did he have the same affections towards me as I had towards him back then? Or was I just another notch in his bedpost? Did he hate me for the way things had turned out? Not that I needed to know, but I would have liked some closure. 

Yet, I’m an adult now, and I know that sometimes we don’t find the answers we’re looking for in life. Sometimes, we don’t get answers at all. And I was satisfied with that, as well. 

My only hope was that he knew that I felt a pang of regret once in a while when I thought of him. I regret walking away without trying harder. And I regret giving up when I believe I should have tried harder. I wanted him to know that, if given a second chance, I would have given everything I had as an adult – that of which I couldn’t give when I was a teenager. He needed to know that I appreciated our time together in the past and I held no ill will against him for how things ended up. Lastly, I wanted him to know that I was sorry for the awkwardness, the distance between us, and the chances we didn’t take. 

Don’t get me wrong, I fully understand that he may not have felt the same way as I did. But that doesn’t diminish the feelings of regret and appreciation that I have inside from our time spent together. 

Was I now desperate to be reunited? No. Our lives had taken us in separate directions and I understand how life works at our age. But I liked the idea that we could get back on friendly terms again. I hated having enemies of any kind. 

Just as I felt swallowed by all the random thoughts in my head, my phone rang.