|| Print ||
|Written by Miss Smartypants|
|Monday, 21 September 2009 00:00|
Dear Miss Smartypants,
This fall I'll be the maid of honour at my best friend's wedding. It's the usual frustrations: expensive dress, professional hair and make up, driving all over the countryside for various showers and functions, throwing the hen do. Nothing I didn't expect or can't handle. We live in different cities now (we were roommates in university several years back), but we talk on the phone about every week so I know how the plans are going and what she needs from me. As part of a story about dinner with her future in-laws, she tells me that they said they hate piercings and none more so than neck piercings. I have a neck piercing. (I've had it for longer than I've known my friend). So she insisted I remove it for the wedding. Like, "So you'll have to take it out." Not asked, told. The conversation ended pretty soon after that, so I didn't give her an answer, not that she was looking for one. The piercing's small and at the back of my neck, and it's usually covered by my hair. I'll have my hair up for the wedding, and it might not sit low enough to cover the piercing. I've always thought of it as discreet, and now she's telling me that it'll have to go. I was really surprised that she asked me to remove it at all since that's not like her. But she's been doing a lot of not-like-her things lately. I've made other compromises, some of them pretty expensive (getting my hair and make up professional done wasn't my idea, but I am footing the bill). But she was just so . . . adamant. To be honest, I'm a little hurt that she would take their side so quickly over mine. Should I remove it for the day or should I put my foot down?
What's Next? Will I Have to Get My Tattoos Removed?
Dear Or Cover Them Up?,
The conciliatory part of me says that it's not like it's going to grow over in a couple hours (surely you would have mentioned this if it were a factor), so just take it out. But you know what? Screw that. When she asked you to be her maid of honour, she didn't ask you under that condition that you take out all your piercings, cover your tattoos, and dye your hair to match your dress. She asked you because after years of friendship and your close bond, you are the one she wants to have stand up for her. You exactly as you are. There's an epidemic in this country and the one to the south to turn weddings into three-ring circuses and to take giving the bride a little leeway on "her special day" and turn it into "let her run roughshod over you because you made the mistake of agreeing to help her out." That's what you are doing. You are shouldering some of the burden of planning and executing a wedding because you value her friendship. She, in turn, should value yours by not trying to conform you to whatever her future in-laws think is appropriate. Politely explain that you understand where she's coming from, that there are a lot of competing ideas and demands, and that you know she's just trying to ensure smooth sailing for the maximum number of people, but you won't be removing your piercing. You'd be happy to wear something small and plain (assuming you don't already), but that's as far as you'll go. She will probably remember this as hey, at least she asked (not that she did, but she'll see it that way), and you were too difficult to acquiesce to this one tiny thing. If she freaks out and turns it into a referendum on your friendship, then, yeah, you should probably give in. Until such time, hang tough. And when you get married, ask her to get her neck pierced as part of your bridal shower look.
I know this seems like an unnecessarily hard line to take on something so small, but this whole bridezilla thing has got to stop. In this instance, you've been asked to change something that's been a part of your look for years now. Something that you chose to get and that, at most, will be a minor distraction (because who is going to be staring at the back of your neck? It won't even show in photos). The in-laws probably won't even notice, and, if they do, I doubt they'll get the vapours and need to be rolled out of the reception on stretchers. She's taken something that should be no big deal and turned it into a big deal either because she's passive-aggressive (in that this is what she really wants) or because the stress and demands of the wedding have turned her into a sycophant. As offended as I am on your behalf, don't treat this as an offence. Lightly but firmly turn her down the next time you talk, and move on to other topics.
Maybe You Should Get a Congratulations Tattoo,