weddings

'I overheard my bridesmaid bitching about me at my hens. So I cut her out of the wedding.'

Turns out, my bridesmaid didn’t really like me all that much.

I’ve known Gertrude* for 13 years. I remember sitting next to her in class in my first year at university and thinking she was such a chic ‘city girl’. Being a small town beach girl, I was super impressed with her 2000 postcode and the confidence she exuded.

Although we weren’t best friends to begin with, group projects, crazy nights out, and cosy nights in formed the solid foundation of a friendship that far surpassed graduation.

We’ve been through career changes, breakups, many house moves and sick parents together. I stood by her side on her wedding day two years ago and it wasn’t even a question that she would stand by me on mine.

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Gertrude isn’t exactly well-liked by my other friends and family. She’s not a warm person who makes people feel comfortable, and it did on occasion get frustrating to have to apologise for her behaviour after social situations. But it never made me question our friendship because I honestly DGAF what other people think, I just wished they saw the true person she was on the inside without the bravado; she was loyal, smart, generous and funny.

I’m one of those girls who has been looking forward to her hens forever. You might even say I was more excited for the hens than the wedding! My girlfriends mean the absolute world to me and when I looked around at them all while I did a (champagne soaked) speech, I have never been happier.

Gertrude was (of course) there, and as per usual, she insulted a few friends which meant I had a few fires to put out while she sulked outside mocking everyone audibly. We all just ignored her, everyone was drunk and having a great time.

Later that night, another bridesmaid drunkenly admitted she’d heard Gertrude bitching about me and I sort of just rolled my eyes and didn’t think much of it. It didn’t surprise me that much which in retrospect, should speak volumes about her and our friendship.

On the Monday (after recovering on Sunday, my bloody hip had been put out by the stripper), I messaged everyone and thanked them for the fab day, and asked everyone to send me any pics and videos as I’d decided to leave my phone in my suitcase for the night and just enjoy everything.

 

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I work with one of my friends who was there so as he was next to me, I just got him to airdrop me everything from the night and died of happiness and laughter when I saw he had the full eight-minute strip show on video. I started watching it and had the biggest grin on my face as the awkwardness unfolded.

Then I heard what was being said in the background.

I watched the rest of the video with my mouth dropped open. All I could pay attention to was Gertrude’s voice (she must have been behind the friend who was filming), bitching about me. It was the sort of revolting and malicious bitching that I’d feel uncomfortable to hear about a stranger. But it was about me. From my bridesmaid. At my hens party. I have no idea who she was talking to because they were completely silent. Probably just sitting there trying to think of a way to escape the awkward tirade of abuse being hurled towards their mutual friend.

Firstly, I don’t think you should bitch about a friend in that way. I’m not a saint, I obviously have said bitchy things before or had a vent over something frustrating. But if I ever have a problem with someone I care about, I tell them. And funnily enough, I’d done exactly that a few years earlier to Gertrude. And I thought we’d come out of that fight stronger, because I loved her and just like a romantic relationship, I’m not willing to walk away over something that annoys me – I want to fight for it.

Secondly, it was my HENS PARTY and we were around MY PEOPLE. Babes… choose your audience.

I sent the below message and then blocked her number. Which may seem petty but given I had so much going on, I did not want to deal with her excuses. I think I was also scared to be hurt more if she didn’t try to contact me.

fire a bridesmaid
'I sent this message and then blocked her number.' Image: Supplied.
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At first, I told people that it didn’t bother me. I laughed and revelled in their abject horror when I told them the story.

But time passed, and it slowly dawned on me that the friendship was over.

I kept going to send her things or ask her thoughts, and was on autopilot until her name didn’t come up in my phonebook. Countless times when on Instagram, I clicked the share button and went to send something to her, the first person I thought of. A few times I went to email her and ask her if she fancied a wine after work, when I just needed her humour and support after a long day. On 14 October , it was the first time in 10 years a bouquet of flowers didn’t arrive with a note for my birthday. At my surprise bridal shower, I looked around the table at the amazing women in my life and felt her missing.

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And on my wedding day, she wasn’t there. She’d been there through every breakup and through the tumultuous first year of my relationship with my now husband. But when I looked around the room, she wasn’t there. She wasn’t there to calm me down during the day when I was stressing TF out and she wasn’t there to discuss trivial things like how great my skin was looking. She wasn’t there to help when disasters hit and she wasn't there to hug me and tell me how much she loved me.

So although I tell this story with my usual humour and laugh at the audacity of her, I’m so hurt and I’m so sad that our friendship is over. I really wish she’d fought harder for us. She’s helped fix many issues in my life over the last decade and I hate that she couldn’t fix us. But I guess she didn’t even want to try, she’d broken us.

*Gertrude not her real name.

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