Some things happened this weekend. The Chargers won; the Padres lost; I understood enough about these two games to talk sports with a few customers, and Doug and his friends. (I liked how that felt, too: portraying this image of a girl who doesn’t really understand the details of sports, but who is curious and cares about her local teams; it makes me feel endearing.) A woman freaked out at me because I hadn’t told her that the reusable bags hanging on my register weren’t free like she thought they were, and then, after she’d handed me three of them, had charged her three-times-99-cents-plus-tax against her will. I found out that a position (ok, more like a responsibility) at work that I’ve wanted for years may be opening up soon. I finished reading Middlesex.
And, perhaps more importantly, someone got married and someone had a baby.
My friend Erin’s brother got married yesterday. I wasn’t invited, but I didn’t really expect to be, especially given that Erin’s boyfriend was already filling the role of her date. Erin’s brother is about a decade older than I am, so it’s not like he and I grew up together (like Erin did with my brothers). He’s lived in other cities during chunks of the time that his sister and I have been friends, and the only time I ever really spent getting to know him and his now-wife was at a monthly pub quiz we all used to go to four or five years ago.
We all: Erin, her boyfriend, Erin’s brother, his then-girlfriend-now-wife, me, my then-fiancé-now-ex-husband.
So the problem with Erin’s brother getting married wasn’t that it happened without me; it was that it happened without me but with my ex-husband.
The story goes that, sometime in the last few years since our breakup, my ex and this bride participated in a charity event together and bonded over it. Which is great for them and the people they were charity-ing for, and if she then wanted to invite him to her wedding as her new best friend, that’s absolutely her prerogative. I never told Erin to ask her brother to invite me; that would have been weird and uncomfortable even without the presence of my ex and his new fiancée.
But it’s equally, if not more, weird and uncomfortable to think of my ex-husband and his new fiancée, dressed to the nines and drinking key lime margaritas that my friend had prepared, at a backyard wedding at a house where I spent about 40% of my teen years. I feel like I should have some claim over that house, and that family.
But I don’t, and I haven’t. Although when it really counts, she’s alluded to the fact that she’s on my side, Erin herself has stubbornly remained friends with my ex for the past three years. She likes him; she says he’s “rad.” I know I liked him once too, and I hope that my judgment wasn’t so skewed that there really was nothing worth liking, so I can’t fault her for it. It just stings sometimes, knowing that she and several of my other friends (including my brothers) are still friends with my ex, since everyone on his side of the church immediately vilified and washed their hands of me when he and I split.
Then, today, Julienne, a girl I was in children’s choir with, gave birth to a healthy little girl – her first. She’s not someone I know all that well either; she’s a few years younger than me, and although the choir was small enough that we were all “friends,” she and I weren’t necessarily friends.
But back in May, when the alumni got together to sing for the choir’s 20th anniversary concert, which happened to take place on Mother’s Day, there she was, five months pregnant and placed next to me on the risers. And later that day, she had a post up on facebook about how amazing Mother’s Day is when you can feel your baby moving around inside you. The only grand realization I had that day was how hard it is to sing when you are on the verge of tears.
So Julienne had her baby this morning, and I’m happy for her, and I’m also happy for me: I’m glad every time I hear that a woman I know has given birth, for the simple reason that it means there’s one fewer pregnant woman in my life. But pregnant women are like grey hairs, and for each one that gives birth, three more pop up to take her place. So I’ve braced myself for that, and see, there’s really no relief, no escape for me.
Do these two events have anything to do with each other? Probably not, except that they are contributing to my overall feelings of anxiety and my inability to fall asleep the last few nights. (Though I’d wager that Doug’s snoring has a lot to do with the latter as well.) All in all, it has not been a very good weekend for me.
Which isn’t to say that it wasn’t a good weekend in general: Erin’s brother is happily married now; Julienne’s baby is healthy; the Chargers positively smashed the Cardinals; the wonderful and talented photographer who did my “Bakery Closed” photo shoot got engaged; today was my own parents’ 29th anniversary; and Middlesex was one of the best books I’d read in a long time.