Sometimes, however, bailing out is for the best.
I received a letter this week - a card in a pink envelope with handwriting I recognised as that of my oldest friend, L.
I knew what was coming, but still held out hope that she’d just written me a nice letter (we do that for each other, sometimes).
Inside was an explanation of why her depression meant she could not come to the wedding. She had been unsure a while ago, because of costs. Her job is insecure. She’s just bought a house. But then she worked it out and decided to come.
But then the big D struck – worse than it ever has before. When getting out of bed and going to work in the morning seems like an impossible task, then getting in the car, driving three hours to a wedding and standing around, eating and drinking with lots of strangers, is unfeasible. Coupled with the money worries which hadn’t gone away, the idea was terrifying her.
The letter was very teary, asking me if I could ever forgive her. Clearly it had been a huge trial even to pick up the pen.
So when I called her and said that of course this was OK and reassured her that I wasn’t going to shout at her for ruining the wedding or demand she attend (seriously, would anyone do that?) she just said it had been a huge relief to make the decision. I impressed upon her that retiring from life was not a good idea but supported her need to do whatever required to recover. I just want her to be OK.
The invitation is open for another week before we have to give figures, so she’s got a chance to change her mind, though by her own admission, she may just turn up on the day, not eat anything and drive back if she wants to come. She’s impulsive when she wants to be.
But really, all I feel is relieved on her behalf. A tactical bailout that I hope will pay off for her.