Today I am attending a friend’s wedding. I am sad to say that it’s only the fourth wedding I have been invited to as an adult outside of family weddings. However, that’s a whole other subject. Today, I am thinking about the time I was invited to two weddings on the same day. How does that happen? 4 wedding invites in my lifetime and I actually managed to have a scheduling conflict…oy!
On the day I had two wedding invites on the same day, it was two childhood friends who were getting married. One was a friend I had since grade school and the other was a friend I made in high school. My grade school friend was also a family friend. My mother strongly encouraged my friendship with her. My high school friend was a friend I made when I was in grade nine. My mother was very against my friendship with her for some reason. To this date, I am not really sure why. By the time I was invited to the weddings, I was much better friends with my friend from high school. In fact, I had all but fallen out with my grade school friend during university. Despite this, I decided to attend my grade school friend’s wedding since I got her invitation first. Did I mention this was a particularly low period of my life? Furthermore, this friend didn’t even greet me at the reception. Needless-to-say, that was a bit of a nail-in-the-coffin of that friendship. Luckily, my high school friend’s wedding was in the same town and I was able to attend her reception. That said, I can’t help but wonder if this impacted my friendship with her.
Now when I am thinking back on it, I realized that my grade school friend had been handpicked by my mother. Maybe my mother thought if I was friends with her, I would start to be like her. In my eyes, she represented everything I thought my mother wanted me to be. A sore spot I assure you. In hindsight, my high school friend was a friendship that I picked and gravitated to. Perhaps it was a friendship where I could be myself. Anyhow, it was a friendship my mother deeply discouraged. I think I knew deep-down if I had chosen to go to my high school friend’s wedding that wouldn’t have been okay with my mom. After leaving to go to university, I started living a dichotomous life. At school, I could live the life I wanted. When my mother was around, I tried to live a mother-approved life. I think my high school friendship was part of the life I wanted to live and it was uncomfortable for me to show that life to my mother.
I continued with my dichotomous life into my young adulthood. It created a bit of an identity crisis for me. At some point, I started incorporating my mother’s ideas and blending them in with my own. At this point, I don’t know where my mother ends and my own self identity begins. With friends, I don’t know how much my mother’s influence has impacted my choice of friendships. It appears to me now that my mother’s influence has had a huge impact on my choice of friendships and is possibly the reason I have struggled to find and maintain quality friendships in my life.