Bridesmaids is without a doubt a great movie, though after three watchings, I’ve noticed a distinct lack of wedding/bridesmaid-ing related content. It seems like the movie could be alternately titled “Woman’s life falls apart; also, she is in a wedding.”
Coincidentally, this also feels like it could be the title for my life movie. 2011 was not exactly a banner year for me, but it was for my best friend, S. I’d just broken up with my boyfriend of a year and a half, a man I’d thought was The One, while S was getting serious with her own boyfriend, a man who really was. I sensed her engagement approaching with the sense of doom one usually reserves for natural disasters or shark attacks. “Her birthday is coming up,” I said to my officemate a few days before it happened. “I know he’s going to ask.” Ask he did, and I mustered up as much best-friendly enthusiasm as possible, though I couldn’t help but feel like this was all just some cruel joke that fate was playing on me.
All of this happened right around the time that Bridesmaids came out, and I desperately hoped that the movie would be a handy how-to guide for dealing with the fact that your BFF has a new best friend, her fiancé. Unfortunately, it was more of a how-not-to guide for dealing with your BFF having a new best friend, an overgrown Mean Girl, which was the one problem I didn’t have. The rest of Annie’s (Kristen Wiig) problems were also my problems. Want proof? Here’s a list:
Roommate drama: check.
Failure of a baking business: There was that time I tried to sell cookies as a charity fundraiser and no one donated. That counts, right?
Vehicular troubles: My driving record was pristine til my friend got engaged. Since then, my car might as well have a target painted on it.
Jon Hamm: Okay, I also did not have this problem, but I’m not sure anyone that cute actually counts as a problem.
As they say in the movie, the best thing about hitting rock bottom is that you have no place to go but up. What they don’t tell you is that it’s really, really hard to feel like you’re hitting rock bottom while the best friend who’s always in the same life place as you suddenly goes speeding off in a direction you know you don’t have the slightest chance of heading in for a couple of years. The movie doesn’t explain that it’s really hard to care about dresses and photographers when you’ve suddenly found yourself unwillingly dropped back into the “going to bars and trying to meet guys” phase of life. I’m grateful I didn’t have Helen (Rose Byrne) to compete with over bridesmaid duties, because I surely would have lost.
My problem, ultimately, is the same as Annie’s, and it’s my attitude. I have, in my head, made the fact that S is getting married about the fact that I feel like I’m failing at life, and not about, you know, that this awesome thing is happening for my best friend. If I spent half as much energy feeling happy for her as I do feeling sorry for myself, I’d probably be in a much better place. Unfortunately, this realization is a lot harder both to come to and to stick to when you have to figure it out on your own. It would have saved me a lot of time had Megan (Melissa McCarthy) shown up at my house and slapped some sense into me. Also, I would have appreciated some puppies in berets.
To conclude this column in the same way as the movie, I’ll quote Wilson Phillips: “You got yourself into your own mess.” It turns out that being a bridesmaid, like life, is an adventure that’s only as harrowing as you make it, and they’re both a lot easier if you’ve got good friends to help you through them.
Image via Houston Press