Dear Bintel Brief,
Nobody knows that I was once in a same-sex relationship. My former lover, now just a friend, has been invited to my bridal shower. I know that the hostesses are going to ask all the guests to introduce themselves and say how they know me. I am mortified. What if the truth comes out?
Dear Red-Faced Bride, If not for reality television, I might not have the requisite imagination to spin out the disaster scenario for My Bridesmaid Was Once My Lover: Gail sits in the corner of the living room, alone, giving off a sulky, awkward vibe. The other guests at the bridal shower are drinking martinis and comparing notes about senior year, but Gail does not participate in the merriment. Soon the hostess gathers all the guests in a circle, and asks them to say how they know the bride. When they get to Gail there is a loaded pause. Gail tries to catch the future bride’s eye but she looks away. Then Gail starts to talk, and talk, and pretty soon the bride is hiding in the bathroom and he mother has fainted dead. Wait. The scenario doesn’t ring true. Only the most vengeful or socially obtuse person would bring up the relationship at a bridal shower, especially if she knows the relationship was a secret. If you suspect that your friend fits either of these categories, then I would act now, quickly. I would take her out for a coffee and a chat. If you get a sense that she has any stake in the old relationship or that she’d feel offended at the idea of remaining discreet, then I would voice your fears. You don’t have to convey shame and regret about the old flame. Don’t get defensive either. Just say that a bridal shower is a stuffy old affair. Tell her that your aunt Mitzie will be there, and she would die if she knew. So could she please keep it a secret?
Hanna Rosin is a writer for the Atlantic and Double X, and the author of “God’s Harvard: A Christian College on a Mission to Save America” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2007). The Israeli-born, Queens-reared Rosin lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and their three children.
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