Most women love their wedding ring, and I, as a whipper-snapper bride of 25, was no different. I couldn’t wait to wear it on my big day – not just because I was excited about getting married (that was only a small part of it) but because: DIAMONDS.
Of course I was excited about getting married. Of course the ring meant something to me beyond being the most expensive piece of jewellery I had ever, and will ever, own. It meant honour and love and all the reasons why I was marrying my man.
As usually happens on the day before weddings, the bride and groom’s rings are handed over to the best man so that he can produce them at the right moment in the ceremony. The best man in our case was a dude who had been my fiancé’s closest mate for 20 years. He was a good man – the best man, really. His only liability? He was married to a judgemental and opinionated woman.
She never approved of me, and her reasons are irrelevant, because she was obviously wrong, because I am awesome. But over the five years we’d known each other, she regarded me with a lot of suspicion and always held me at arm’s length.
That’s the polite way of saying she was an insufferable pain in the arse. Her favourite mode of attack was a snide comment.
“You’d like to eat a lot, don’t you?” she’d observe.
“You should have used breast instead of leg for this recipe,” she’d suggest.
“You’re very brave to wear that pattern with your curves,” she’d note.
Ah, yes. Boundaries were not her forte.
But really, it was partly my fault, because you know how I would respond? With silence. Despite being a lawyer at the time, despite defending and arguing literally being my job, in my personal life, I didn’t want to rock the boat. I wanted this woman’s approval. I was a people pleaser and I cared very much what she thought of me.
I’m telling you all of this so you will understand why, on my wedding day, when she said the worst thing of all, I kept quiet.
It was about 5pm on the big day, and we were moving from our beautiful lunch time reception to a party venue. As we waited for cars, a group of my friends were admiring my ring. This woman came over and announced: