Today, I’m in Tennessee with my friend Rachel. If I had known when I met Rachel that we’d be bridesmaids at each other’s weddings I would have been gushing even more than I normally am.
I talk a lot. Now that Constance is gone, when I feel up to talking, my chatter has the unpleasant inclusion of my mentioning my dead kid. Of course, because I am always prattling, I don’t stop talking after I mention it so there isn’t the typical awkward silence. Of course, that leads the other person to wonder if they heard me correctly and presume they didn’t. My close friends have auditory resilience. They can hear the same dull story that they were there for five hours before while letting their minds wander to something that interests them more like random things they’ll google later.
Rachel and my greatest adventure was her bridesmaids’ trip to Italy. I don’t ever mention the trip because people have one of two reactions: they either wonder what kind of shenanigans a person gets up that requires them to do it in Rome or they think that I’m the kind of posh person they should feel a sense of moral superiority to for reasons that will later become clear.
At the time, I was working for a charity that paid, as most nonprofits do, in karma and the promise of a slight elevation above the poverty line of your clients, which is immediately negated by your student loan payments. The most expensive thing about going to Europe was the flight. I talked a customer service person at United into letting me use my then fiancé’s frequent flyer miles to book the flight, a sin for which he has never forgiven me. He never asked what I did in Rome.
All I can say about the trip to Rome was it was so fun that years afterward I asked Rachel if we could go on an anniversary trip to Europe. The longer you are married, the more your mental health would benefit from a Rumspringa. Rachel has yet to agree but we’re still young.