You never actually say yes to being someone's best friend. It just sort of happens. Maybe it's after you've gotten your eighth margarita this month with them or you find yourself burning more calories gabbing than peddling your bike during spin class. Either way, there's always a moment when you realize you've found someone you can truly be all levels of weird and crazy with and it all just clicks. They're at the top of your recent call list, your plus one to see the newest Nicolas Spark's film, and your immediate "don't tell anyone" go-to person.
When you're someone's friend, you find yourself doing things and going out of your way for them, without even thinking twice. Of course you'll spot them $10 so they can check their coat at the club or bring them a galloon of chicken noodle soup when they are having an affair with the flu or sit across from them while they play devil's advocate with themselves over whether or not they should quit their job and start a brand new career at the age of 31.
You give them your time, your advice, and your heart.
Do you want to know the truth? Nothing changes when you say "I do" to being someone's bridesmaid. Sure, you'll be asked to donate more of your time and even dip into your savings account. You may even finding yourself doing things you don't necessarily want to do: like helping the bride go to the bathroom in her poofy dress or occupy the dance floor and get low with the bride's 74-year-old uncle as blisters start to high-five your toes. Maybe you'll find yourself wearing an eggplant colored dress or stuffing your bra with tissues and Advil so you'll always be prepared.
You'll have to listen in that selfless way a friend does. Listen when she calls at 2 a.m. because her aunt Angela just said she will only come if she can bring her boyfriend and his three kids, or because her venue is now going to charge her an extra $40 a person for kale instead of romaine lettuce or because she's not sure if red velvet will still be a thing in a year from now.
Not only that. The key to being a good bridesmaid is listening to what she's not saying, is knowing when to show up at the bride's apartment with a glue stick or a bag of donuts or My Best Friend's Wedding or a massage therapist — when she says, "I'm fine, everything is okay."
So it's that simple. If you're going to be a bridesmaid, it doesn't matter how far away you live or how much money you have to spend on this new role of yours. You're simply saying yes to being someone's best friend all over again.
Jen Glantz is a "Professional Bridesmaid" and the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. She's the author of All My Friends Are Engaged and frequently wears old bridesmaid dresses to the grocery store and on first dates.