When my sister told me I was going to plan her bridal shower with her best friend, Heather (not her real name), I was honestly caught off guard. There was no bridal party for the wedding and I was initially told I didn’t have to do anything. “Success!” I thought, “No job means no drama.” At the last two weddings I attended as a guest, I witnessed bridesmaids fighting. Little did I know that planning my sister’s bridal shower would put me smack dab in the center of a war of words with her best friend from high school.
My sister & I are total opposites. She is logical to a fault, stews quietly, and doesn’t like attention of any kind. I like to have fun, kind of don’t give a fuck, will go toe-to-toe with people if I have to, and looooooove taking photos.
It’s her ultra-mature attitude that makes people think she’s the eldest daughter. I’d never met this Heather before because my sister rarely, if ever, had friends over as a teenager and we also went to different high schools. I wasn’t asked if I wanted to plan the shower with her, I was directed to do so. For my sister, I wasn’t going to argue and would just do it. But now, months into planning and with a huge chip on my shoulder, my advice is to never plan anything with someone you don’t know.
A Little Annoying
It all started with an email. Heather’s was… long. It had bullet points, highlights, links, and a list of restaurants. I lost interest at the second bullet point. The shower was to be in a different state than the one I live in and Heather had done some university courses in that state. Great, she knows the area and has first-hand experience at these restaurants right? No, I shouldn’t assume things. She decided to choose the most expensive restaurants in the area because she wanted the shower to be “fancy” since the wedding itself had no theme.
I said to keep it simple because the shower can’t “be fancier” than the wedding. Keep it simple. Three words I kept repeating, three words she’d continue to ignore. To be honest, a shower with 20 people is expensive, and there were only two of us paying for it so I wanted to keep costs as low as possible. I suggested Dave & Busters since it’d be fun and my sister likes games. No, that’s not what Heather was envisioning. By this point, the only idea of mine that got through her skull was the invites, which I ended up hand making.
The Car Ride From Hell
The first time I met Heather in person was to look at restaurants for the shower. It landed on a weekend I had to work but she bugged me so much about it I broke and shifted my schedule. She offered to drive and I accepted. I learned that in real life, she is wordier than her emails. In the 6 hours I was with her, she divulged her entire life story, her dating history, her work history, and it was clear I wouldn’t get a word in edgewise. Two hours into our trip, I wanted to run far, far away. She would suggest things my sister would clearly not want (i.e. outdoor shower), I would object, and she would respond, “Oh, I wasn’t suggesting we do that. It was just an idea.” That’s the same thing, dummy. If I didn’t like a venue, she’d spend 10 minutes trying to convince me otherwise. I objected to certain places because I knew family wouldn’t eat the menu, she brushed me off. If places weren’t open for brunch, she’d ask how much it would cost to have the staff be there for us. I strongly objected to this in the nicest way possible because I was not paying $3,000 for a 2-hour brunch.
I had a raging headache by the end of the day. My opinions fell on deaf ears.
Shoot To Kill
My problems with Heather came to a head when we couldn’t agree on shower favors. In an effort to keep costs budget-friendly, I suggested simple, snack-oriented goodies. Why did everything have to be fancy? We aren’t keeping up with the Kardashians and I personally thought it was in bad taste for her to insist on making the shower fancier than the actual wedding was going to be. She wanted to pay extra money for her friend to make hand-made soaps and towels with my sister’s initials. Party Tip: Do not give people initialed items with another person’s initials. We will not use those items. I vetoed it and told her I was going ahead with my idea. She tried to quell my annoyance by going back and revisiting items I had mentioned before. Weeks later, she tells me she went ahead and ordered the soaps/towels. Being civil got me nowhere. To really make my feelings known, I wrote a concise, two-sentence email:
I shouldn’t have expected you to listen to any of my ideas through this whole ordeal so I guess you should just do what you want. Tell me how much everything is so I can write you a check and we can wash our hands of each other.
She heard this message loud and clear, responding with a two-page email complete with bullet points, highlights, and lots of bullshit. She was offended because I hurt her feelings, calling me vile and disgusting, accusing me of not caring for my sister because I didn’t like Heather herself. Her superlatives against me didn’t bother me because I was already done with her. My reply was as direct as the previous email. I reiterated that she didn’t take my opinions to heart, everything was her own preference, and that we will never be friends. Part of me was very proud for not reading her like a book with all the dirt she blabbed to me before. Part of me really just want to slap her so hard she’ll finally shut up.
Towards The Finish Line
There are 9 days to the shower. I plan to play nice and my cousin will be there as referee. My sister foresaw that Heather & I would not get along, she told me to “rein her in” if I had to. I wonder why she wanted to pair us up together in the first place as my feelings would not have been hurt if I was excluded from planning (my wallet would also be happier). Hindsight tells me I wouldn’t hate Heather if I wasn’t involved in planning.
So what have I learned from this? I know I sure as hell don’t want to deal with ANY planning for a wedding. There’s too much focus on one-upping each other. I also know I’m skipping the bachelorette party because Heather is in charge of it. I just cannot with that girl anymore. Plus, I personally think these pre-wedding parties are just a ruse to get more free shit from your friends who are already paying out the ass to attend the actual wedding. For anyone else dealing with weddings, just do not get into with family. Quoting a friend, “[When] You’re family, fuck everybody else.”
I actually predict Heather’s going to get in my face when she gets the chance because she needs to be liked, and if that’s not possible, she’ll have to make someone else the bad guy. Game on, Heather.