Rivers & Roads

“A year from now we’ll all be gone
All our friends will move away
And they’re goin’ to better places
But our friends will be gone away

Nothin’ is as it has been
And I miss your face like hell
And I guess it’s just as well
But I miss your face like hell

Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh
Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh

Been talkin’ ’bout the way things change
And my family lives in a different state
If you don’t know what to make of this
Then we will not relate
So if you don’t know what to make of this
Then we will not relate”

This past weekend, I was in a wedding in my home state of Kentucky. I was actually the Maid of Honor which really WAS an honor! I never expected to be asked to do that. Truthfully I had no idea what a Maid of Honor does and I didn’t even find out that’s what the plan was until 3 months til the wedding but I tried my best! Anyways though, it truly was a beautiful time. The whole shebang. The couple (but the bride! My friend Kaylee *heart eyes, chef’s kiss*), the venue, the cake, the food, the bridal party! Every detail was just beautiful. It made my heart happy & I’ve been weirdly emotional anyways (could be because Mercury has been in gaterade or maybe I’m menstrual, I don’t even know) but I just felt like I need to get on the blog and talk about my feelings as if this blog is my proverbial therapist’s couch.

Why so emotional? Well. I’m old. Just kidding. But I do think that time has something to do with this. Back in March, I had a 28 hour layover in Charlotte, which is a city I used to live in. I have not been back to Charlotte for a visit since 2011. I went to where I had worked when I lived there – Southpark mall. I knew very well that everyone I was friends with had moved into to bigger things but I walked all around anyways revisiting the stores I had worked in almost hoping to see a familiar face. So many things had changed there! I used to think that place was so glam because it had luxury stores and a Cheesecake Factory (please remember I’m from the middle of nowhere) and now seeing it from my 33 year old set of eyes…well, time is playing tricks on my mind. I went back to my hotel room that day feeling a little blue. It was definitely a case of “I should have lowered my expectations” and it truly was a fine day, like nothing bad happened or anything but it was just a weird reminder that I didn’t really need about how much time had passed. Maybe I felt a bit old. I’m not great at recognizing the exact emotions I’m feeling so I’ll just go back to “blue”. That rainy day shade of gray-blue.

So back to the wedding. Actually let’s take it back again, sorry. I won’t derail too bad, especially to talk about an asshole, but in 2010 I got married. It was not a success. We basically ran off and got married and a couple months later we had our wedding reception back “home”. I invited everyone I knew. All of my family and the few friends I had made while living in Kentucky for the couple years I did. I truly thought they’d show up. One was supposed to be my photographer & he even volunteered to make a grooms cake. He didn’t come. I received no explanation from anyone why they didn’t come. One of my ex’s relatives approached me at one point as I was straightening items on the little table that had our guest book ready to sign and asked me “are you here for the bride or the groom?” – I was so shocked. My photos were literally scattered all about the room. There was a whole BOOK of our wedding photos on a display table to look through! I looked at her and responded a bit dry and said “I AM the bride” and simply walked off. I should have just asked for a divorce right then. But wait, I can promise you there’s more. In the crowded room of the UMWA hall where it was held, I had 10 people there for me. Yes, quality over quantity, I get it. But let me elaborate…

My mom and Gary were late. I have no photos with them from this day. I had hurt my mom’s feelings because I was a little bitch who let my ex dictate everything. She wanted a memorial table with a photo of my grandma and cousin – he told me a wedding reception is not the place to have something “so depressing” on display. She had mentioned having disposable cameras available so people could take candids…he said his family wasn’t the candid photo type. Although, his uncle snagged my digital camera and took loads of candids. Every idea she had, I shot down even though they were great ideas. I don’t blame her for being late. My MawMaw Rose was late which didn’t bother me as she was older and whatnot. My mom’s friend Linda came, whom we love. One of my aunts came…to ask me for a favor. She brought my younger cousin who I distinctly remember insulting the dress I was wearing, grabbing a cupcake, & sitting at a table rubbing her tummy and alluding to the fact she thought she was pregnant because that’s all she did, literally, anytime I seen her. Oh, and she brought a friend, who is just whatever. They stayed about 30 minutes and left. And then there was Tonya, Kelly, and Kaylee.

I’ve already jabbered enough so quickly – I met Kelly in ‘06 after moving to Kentucky. We met at Bath & Body Works. 2 years later, Tonya was my boss lady. Kelly joined us at the shoe and clothing store we worked at about 6 months ish later (that’s a guesstimate, I have no clue). Kaylee is her daughter & we became natural friends over time. This day. This wedding reception from hell to an actual demon, made them my family. I always make sure to state that when we have pictures together or I write about them. Those 3 are my family. They showed up for me. They did not like my ex, they had no reason to (he actually tried to have Kelly fired at one point but I didn’t learn about this until we got divorced) but they loved me. They brought no drama. They asked no favors. They simply showed up & gave me the support I needed at that time. One shouldn’t need the amount of support I needed that day.

So after talking about all this depressing shit from my life (I swear I’m quite happy in reality) I was more than happy to show up for Kaylee. I was the world’s most useless MOH. I was working for all the important shit like the bridal shower and dress shopping. I had no idea I was supposed to fluff the dress when she did, well, stuff. Kelly kept miming to me from the front row to fix the dress and I had no idea what the hell she was doing so I just stood there hoping she’d stop until one of the other bridesmaids came up and smoothed it out and I was just thinking to myself “Ooooh okay THAT!!!”. We sat together at the reception, I didn’t know anyone but those 3. I didn’t sit with the bridal party, I sat with Tonya & Kelly (& Clinton). I watched both of them happily dance with Clinton. Here comes the tears again, but how sweet it is to see the ones you love, loving the ones you love. He even had “The Only Exception” by Paramore played for his dance with Kelly, a song she loves. Well, actually Tonya requested it. Time has not been cruel to me really. It’s crazy that so much has passed since the days of working at the shoe store with them but it’s been very, very good to me.

My reception was 11 years ago & as I wrote this, tears still trickled down my face. Next year, I plan to marry the love of my life, but I won’t lie – I’m terrified of having a repeat of that day. Not seeing my friends or family show up for me. Things are different now though but I truly do believe one thing for sure, I believe those 3 will be there for me once again.

– Autumn

One thought on “Rivers & Roads

  1. Absolutely beautifully written you reall have an amazing talent I actually urn to read your writing and all who know me knows I don’t read ❤️🥰🥰


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