I Thought We Were Friends?

*Click on underlined slangs for translations*

I am fortunate to not have any friends that have demanded that I empty my pockets and lay down my life just because they are getting married.

You know, the kind of people that will have you fly to Vegas for their bachelorette party and to Dubai for their wedding, contribute $5,000 towards their bridal shower, another $10,000 for being a bridesmaid, and then of course you already know you gotta buy the aso-ebiA uniform fabric worn for weddings or other special occasions for a thousand times the actual cost of the fabric. Oh and don’t forget to buy the most expensive gift off the wedding registry because you know, she’s your girl and it’s the wedding she’s dreamed of all her life 🙄 🙄 🙄 . Like I said, my friend lay down your life already, and if you’re not willing to do so then just at least put your life on total pause because what else is more important than this said wedding?

Here’s what we don’t realize – while we think the world revolves around us because we are getting married, or having a baby, life continues for others. People are busy dealing with real issues – the loss of a job, unexpected medical bills, a chronic disease, or whatever else that life is throwing at them. A grateful person will realize that in a hall full of people at their wedding, these individuals have temporarily left their on-goings to rejoice with them. They don’t have to, they don’t owe you their presence, and you can’t demand anything of them. Why? Because the world does not revolve around you.

Many years ago when I was in college, a friend who had recently graduated was getting married and asked me to be her bridesmaid. We weren’t super close, but we were close enough for her to know that I was more broke than a church rat. I expressed how honored I was, and then politely declined. “I can help with whatever you need on that day,” I said. “Clean up, set up, pack money, serve food…just let me know.” I was expecting a nice “aaaw thank you” said in a surprised and grateful tone, but I instead got the “I thought we were friends” speech from her. Unless I was going to use my rent money, I simply couldn’t afford to be her bridesmaid. Here’s where she failed – she only looked at the situation through her lens. Her side of the story would probably go something like this – “what is a friend if they can’t be there for you when you are getting married?” But there was more context to the story – my “broke-ness” – and it mattered too, because the world did not revolve around her.

Makeup and gele @kujussignature

Last year, my mentor, Ms. D, lost her brother suddenly. One Friday, he was fine, went to work, picked up his kids from daycare, and lived life as usual. The next day, Ms. D got the call everyone dreads – a teenage driver crashed into her brother and he was no more. The following weekend, Ms. D was supposed to attend her friend’s wedding. She’d been eagerly looking forward to it, and had sewn the latest aso-ebiA uniform fabric worn for weddings or other special occasions style with fringes dangling all over and a thigh high slit. She had even booked her makeup and aso-ebiA uniform fabric worn for weddings or other special occasions with the famous Ophir Beauty. As you’d imagine, the wedding was the last thing on Ms. D’s mind after getting the news of her brother. A couple weeks later, after the funeral, Ms. D called her friend whose wedding she’d missed for obvious reasons.

“Nkechi! The latest Mrs. in town! Congratulations dear. It’s chookingI’m pained me that I missed your wedding oh. I’m sure you saw on Facebook that my brother passed away.”

“Sorry my dear. But you could have at least let me know you wouldn’t make it anymore so I give your spot to someone else. You sha know how tight my guest list was, abi?Right?

“My brother died.” Ms. D managed to repeat, as tears rolled down her face. She was still sore, her wounds were still so raw, and lately, almost anything was a trigger for more tears.

“I know. SebiDidn’t I I texted you my condolences? Ndo.Sorry God will comfort you, eh?Okay? All I was saying was that it would have been nice of you to let me know you couldn’t make it anymore.”

There was no point in Ms. D continuing this conversation. The more she listened, the more she cried as silently as she could. Nkechi would never see this situation beyond herself to realize how ridiculous she sounded. Her side of the story would probably go something like this – “people are so disrespectful, they don’t have the decency to cancel their RSVP”. But there was more context to the story – Ms. D’s grief – and it mattered too, because the world did not revolve around Nkechi and her wedding.

The quality of being able to look beyond one’s self is an admirable one. That ability to pause and put one’s self in others’ shoes and ask – what is going on with Mr. X that makes him act in this way? Am I taking Mr. X into consideration with my request or decision? It is selfish and unattractive to live such that it’s always about me, me, me, and me. Other people matter. There is joy derived in caring for others, sharing your time and resources with them, sacrificing for them, understanding and acknowledging their struggles, and putting a smile on their faces. Why? Because the world does not revolve around you.

There is one word that summarizes this. It is called LOVE. Love is not self-seeking. 1 Corinthians 13:5.

I’d like to know your thoughts on this, and any stories you have. Weddings are a big deal; do you expect that people should go all out for you, irrespective of what’s going on with them?

22 thoughts on “I Thought We Were Friends?

  1. “Because the world does not revolve around you”…The world would be so much better, our lives simpler and we would feel less disappointment if we would just remember that statrment.
    Asides just weddings, sometimes my friends/family act a certain way and my first thought is “How could they do that to ME” I forget to consider what they may be going through…Thank you for this reminder!

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  2. Great read and so relatable to anyone who at the very least has been close to this predicament. There comes a point in our lives where we finally learn we can’t please everyone and you come before them. I personally don’t care for people to go out of their way if it’s at a loss to them. I wouldn’t do that to them and expect the same. Oh, wait, I started to not “expect” things from people to avoid disappointments 😂. Thanks for a great write up!!

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  3. “Nkechi madam, it would have been nice for you to also know I wouldn’t be able to make it”. Just saying. “Get over yourself because, it would have been nice for you to come over also and be a good friend at my time of loss (regardless of your wedding) to me instead of texting me your condolences. If I can understand that, so should you, madam Nkechi.
    I’m sorry but personally I wouldn’t attend a wedding or any event I’m asked to pay this and that other than aso ebi (which I can decide to buy or not). It should be an event where you are inviting people to come and celebrate and have a good time with you. Not one where people have to struggle just to attend. If I have to struggle to attend your event, don’t even bother inviting me (even if I have the money), I’m not coming o.
    We are most times caught up in our own world forgetting everyone else exist. However, as humans when we are going through things, we are quick to judge people’s reaction towards us and sometimes when we seat and think about it, we’ll realize that someone somewhere is going through so much more than we are sometimes. It’s just a matter of thinking before reacting and also being selfless and not selfish because “the world does not revolve around you”.
    Great post ma’am

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  4. In her book Becoming, my good friend Michelle Obama wrote: “Everyone on Earth, they’d tell us, was carrying around an unseen history, and that alone deserved some tolerance”. Indeed everyone has an unseen history and it’s accompanying context and we need to be sensitive at all times.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Beautiful writeup…The world does not revolve around us and no one owes us anything. Sometimes, we expect people to be there for us, empty their pockets for our weddings (now this is a BIG NO for me) maybe just because I am not a fan of spending unnecessarily or be a shoulder to cry on in difficult times…just because we were there for them.

    It is not an “I do for you, you do for me” kind of life. I will be honest though I was once in the category of ” be there for me” 🙂 but THANK GOD I have been saved 🙂

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  6. This the God-honest truth. I had this experience when I got into a car accident last year. A close friend was more concerned that I didn’t stop by to visit in some weeks, rather than to check in and see how I was doing.

    It definitely opened my eyes. I want to be more aware that I don’t do this to other people, as it is sooo easy to get caught up in your own world.

    Love is not self-seeking. Amen.

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  7. Another great post! I also thank God I have friends who are very considerate and low maintenance. I am extremely big on not stressing myself unnesarily so we simply can’t continue being friends if someone is that inconsiderate. Unfortunately, human beings are inherently selfish, it takes the Holy Spirit to make us otherwise. Once again, thought invoking post that prompts me to check myself.

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  8. I absolutely love love your blog😭❤ and this is her key, very true. I feel like it’s in our nature to be selfish but we need to intentionally learn to think beyond ourselves. The world definitely doesn’t revolve around us, great post!

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  9. Something similar happened to me.
    This Lady had been informing me about her wedding for more than 6 months, she wanted me to be a part of the bridal train.
    I told her, “I’m not sure but I’ll try to make it”
    6 months after, Alas! I was writing my professional exams.
    Bico, will I leave my exams and destroy my career because of a wedding? Maka why?
    I can make sacrifices, but this one has passed my muscle.
    Darling, do you know as at now, this lady has refused to talk to me? She even told her friend who was also planning a wedding and wanted me to be one of the asoebi ladies, that I was very unreliable and in quote “beefing her”.😎
    What will I do?
    I sha cannot goan coman kill myself.
    Be there for me when you can and I’ll be there for you when I can.
    Simple!

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