After I got engaged last year, I bought some small trinkets and these boxes at Michael’s and made gifts to ask my bridal party to be in my wedding. They looked like this:
I made 6 total. For my 2 best friends, my 2 sisters, and my 2 future sister-in-laws.
I mailed all but the last two, because I live in the same town as my fiance’s family and I figured I would just give it to them in person.
But I kept leaving them on my kitchen table for months. Finally, we were going Christmas shopping with them yesterday and I remembered to bring them along, when my fiance let me know that they would probably say no.
“Why?” I asked him.
“Because my mom probably told them to say no.”
Well. Let me preface this by saying that it is well within anyone’s rights to say no. I get that a primary concern of being a bridesmaid is cost (though for the sake of his sisters, they won’t be in town soon enough to join our bachelorette party, and all I ask about their dress is that it’s navy blue. They can spend however little or much they want. So I don’t think cost is an issue here) or the responsibility (but my mom and sister and best friend back home are doing just about everything. We’re getting in married in Texas. I live in Virginia right now. There’s only so much we can do from afar).
Regardless of my opinion, though, they can say no.
More than anything, my feelings are hurt because of what my future mother in law said. I’ve never felt like they don’t like me necessarily, but I don’t feel very welcome either. Brad got lucky with my family. I guess someone had to get the short straw.
I’ve never handled rejection well. Usually, if I think I’m going to be told no, I just don’t ask. It’s why I didn’t even try to join my family in Florida this summer. It’s why I didn’t use one extra vacation day to spend with my family for Thanksgiving.
Heck, while we’re reflecting on rejection, maybe it’s why I don’t do anything with my writing anymore. I think I’m afraid to let people read it. Because if it sucks, I would want them to tell me. And I can take criticism. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t sting just a little bit.
I got past it in college (because I mean I had to for creative writing seminars. We had a turn in every week), but it was always short stories. Bigger works that take months to finish, they’re my babies! I don’t want to be told they’re not good enough!
Fear of rejection is one thing I never really grew out of. I’m working on it. I know though that it’s the best way to grow. To face rejection of all sorts, be it not getting spoiled with every toy you ever wanted, or being told that your writing isn’t good enough. I do believe that it shapes you as an adult, or as a writer.
Doesn’t mean I like it though.
I did not ask Brad’s sisters last night. I kept the boxes in the truck. We’re going back over next Sunday (and Christmas) so I will reevaluate my opinion and decide before then if I even want to ask. I just don’t want them to say no just because my future MIL said no. They’re both old enough to make their own decisions (at 16 and 19, I would hope so anyway).
I’m a work in progress myself. I’ll figure it out eventually.