The best of FRIENDS
WOMAN - UK|August 03, 2020
The best of FRIENDS
She had spent years excusing Mel’s behaviour but now their friendship seemed to have reached breaking point
Gabrielle Mullarkey

We’ve finally had our invite,’ I told Hugh, flicking over the cream vellum to read its embossed lettering.

‘Thank goodness,’ he grunted. ‘Wouldn’t want to be left out of the wedding of the century.’

I glanced at him sharply. Mother-of-the-bride Mel had been my best friend since my first day at primary school, when she’d pushed Tommy Griffin off a swing because he wouldn’t let me have my turn.

Hugh was on good terms with her husband Andy, but reckoned Mel was ‘overbearing’, and I let her get away with it because… A) It suited me to have a strong sidekick who sent back food in restaurants, etc… and B) I didn’t like confrontation. Now, it was their son Dean’s wedding extravaganza, and I was thinking of (drum roll) wearing a hat.

I’d always wanted a hat, and an occasion to wear it. But Hugh’s mother had been horrid about the one I’d suggested wearing to our daughter Jade’s graduation. So, in the end, I hadn’t bothered. This time, I was bringing Jade along to help me choose suitable headgear, which – as Hugh pointed out – was a bit like asking Mel.

But Jade was going to be down for the weekend, so why not? Hugh just snorted and went back to reading the newspaper, though he did peer over eventually to add, in a kindly way, ‘Don’t say I didn’t warn you, love. You know what our Jade’s like. Don’t let her railroad you into anything.’

They were quite similar, I supposed, my daughter and my best friend – which meant they rubbed each other up the wrong way. It all went back to the summer when Jade and Dean were both 10, and playing in a ‘tent’ in our back garden they’d built out of deckchairs and bedsheets.

I HAD TWO CHOICES – I COULD RISK ANOTHER ROW OR TRY TO SMOOTH RUFFLED FEATHERS

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August 03, 2020