Book Excerpt: There Goes the Bride

Can you stay friends with his friends? I couldn't wing it. Truth be told, I wasn't crazy about most of them, and I didn't really miss the ones I liked and lost. The way I see it, friendship is loyalty, and my friends wouldn't have even considered staying friends with my ex, so why should his friends try to stay friends with me? Mark had a good friend with definite designs on him. At our engagement party, she stood very close to him when she wasn't moping around, and she wouldn't speak a word to me. My friend Jill offered to take her outside and rough her up. Mark denied that his friend felt "that way" about him. Much later, we had an incredibly unproductive discussion of my own making about "last flings" and he admitted that if we had them, he'd like his to be with her. I knew I was well on my way to being over Mark when I realized two months after the breakup that they very well might be sleeping together and I didn't care. (And then I went on to date the friend I had said would be my last fling, if we had them. Are you keeping up?) Mark did have one friend I really liked and admired, and as soon as we called it off, she, mensch that she is, e-mailed me, sent her condolences, and expressed her desire to stay friends. And I, klunkhead that I am, totally botched it. Seeing her reminded me of him, and, as this was days and weeks after we broke up, I was still pretty raw. And I didn't hide it very well. She once said to me, "Rachel, you can't speak poorly of him with me — he's my friend, too. Just like he can't speak poorly of you to me." As I was in that world-revolves-around-me haze we all go through after a traumatic event, what I heard was, "Blah, blah, blah, he's talking smack about you." So much for that. (Sorry, Amy.)

WELL, YOU'RE RID OF THEM

The Almost Brides surveyed all came out against staying friends with his friends. Almost Bride Samantha put a positive spin on it: "Staying friends with [your] ex's friends: No. I met these people and saw these people through him, so I never saw them again (yay!)."

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