“I don’t understand why she has to be here,” a bridesmaid whispered to the bride. The bride and six bridesmaids, of which I was the sixth, were getting fitted for our dresses. The “she” the other bridesmaid was talking about was me.
This was in 1988, when I was in the Navy and serving in D.C. It was a lot easier to get out into the local economy in D.C. than in Sicily. Many people lived and played off base and I was no exception. I was living in a 3-bedroom apartment with a couple of Army women in Arlington Virginia.
Now, for many parts of the U.S. the local bar is the center of social life. You go there, all your friends go there, odds are you’ll meet your future spouse there. Everyone knows each other and there are no secrets. Not unlike a Navy club.
Coming in as a new person can be hazardous.
The Bar and the Cowboy
I’d found this bar where there were either bands or a DJ. They played rock and country, which I like very much. And the people were so much fun! I’d found a new bar! And not far away from my apartment! Whoo hoo!
I immediately found this cute cowboy and started dating him. And that’s where the trouble began.
Side Note: I just want to say that I don’t remember any of these people’s names anymore, or even the name of the bar. My noodle doesn’t work that way. Anyhoo…
Come to find out, at the time I started going to this bar, this cute cowboy was on the outs with his fiancé. Everyone in the bar thought they were the most adorable couple and that their wedding was the event of the year.
Did I know this? No.
I was just an innocent player in a game that he was playing with his fiancé. Everyone hated me! And while I liked him, I knew he wasn’t “forever” material. So, the game ended almost as soon as it started. But the damage was done.
This was his fault, he should have known better, or told me. And I also know that I can be a force of nature when I want something. Part of the blame is mine.
What were they supposed to do with this? Trust was broken. Yet, it was clear that they loved each other and wanted to get married. The problem was this woman named “Karin”. What to do about that?
Here I am, going to a bar where everyone hates me, yet wanting to help him fix the mistake. In the end, it was the bride who came up with a solution.
The bride asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding.
This caused a commotion among the other bridesmaids. They couldn’t understand why she’d even want me at the wedding let alone in the wedding party.
It was a brilliantly simple solution to the problem. Did I really want to be in the wedding party? Hell no! But I also knew it wasn’t about being in the wedding party. It was about power. Having me as the sixth bridesmaid in her wedding was a symbol of her domination over the situation.
The action told everyone that not only did she win by getting the cowboy back and going on with the wedding, she also dominated the “culprit.” Me.
I let it happen to make up for my part in the trouble. As I stood there in line, surrounded by people who hated me, watching the man I dated for a while get married, I realized what I was seeing.
It was The Day the Bride Took Back Her Power.