I Was In My Ex-Girlfriend's Wedding

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I Was In My Ex-Girlfriend's Wedding
The story of not only attending, but being part of an ex's wedding party.

I didn't really know what to expect. Would the groom keep a tight grip around Anna's waist and eye me suspiciously all night?

Whether you're a bride, part of the wedding party, or merely a guest who's excited to dress up and get wasted on someone else's tab, the wedding experience is something we're all familiar with. But when I was a bridesmaid in my ex-girlfriend's wedding, I didn't really know what to expect.

On a hot summer day, not too long ago, I packed my red chiffon bridesmaid dress and boarded a plane heading north. Landing in Portland, I was greeted by my ex, Anna, the bride, and her nervous-looking, soon-to-be husband, Dean. Dean and I had only met once before when the two of them were on their way to Costa Rica and had a twelve-hour layover in L.A. They crashed at my place, where Dean kept a tight grip around Anna's waist and eyed me suspiciously all night. 3 Reasons It's Great To Be A Bridesmaid

At the airport, Anna gave me the world's biggest hug. Even though we had dated and broken up years before, we'd remained close friends. It's not a stereotype—that's really how things work in girl world. I could tell Dean had been coached for this moment as he approached and gave me a timid hug and a kind smile that said, "I'm trying really hard to understand this but am having a tough time."

Back at their house, guests began to arrive for an informal rehearsal BBQ. Dean was a few drinks in, and after sharing a few laughs, he realized I was not the threat he once perceived me to be. Meanwhile, I found his groomsmen huddled in a corner engaged in some sort of game where they tried to figure out which one I was. They had heard about me, knew I once dated the bride, and were morbidly curious to meet me in person. I stepped up to the plate, and one by one, they pitched their benign questions my way. How was my flight? What did I think of Portland? Would I like another jalapeño popper? Was my current girlfriend there too? (She wasn't.) They kept their curiosity to an inoffensive minimum, and my sapphic exoticness quickly faded into just another drunk girl at the BBQ.

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