TLDR: cousin dropped out of wedding party; my grandmother gave her a really hard time; and now FMIL is encouraging me to pick another BM. BLARF.
A couple of weeks ago at a family Christmas gathering, my 14-year-old cousin very shyly told me that she is really nervous about being a BM and if it's okay with me, she would rather not be in the wedding party. She's nervous about standing up in front of people, she doesn't know the other BMs, and they are all older than her. I told her of course, I just want her to have fun at the wedding and if that means she's not a BM, that is totally fine. Poor girl was so nervous to tell me and I just tried to make her feel better about it. It's really fine with me.
Then my aunt asked me if it was really okay and I said, of course! She asked if it would mess up my numbers and I told her the numbers don't matter, the sides were never even in the first place anyway. Turns out Cousin was so shy because at Thanksgiving (yes, weeks earlier) she mentioned being nervous and my grandmother cornered this 14-year-old girl and told her she was ruining the wedding! And once she said yes to being a BM, she has responsibilities and blah blah blah. We are still about 4 months out from the wedding, her dress hasn't been bought yet... she is ruining nothing by backing out at this point. I could strangle my grandmother for making Cousin feel so bad about this.
In the meantime, Fi decided he wants FSIL to be his "best person." She was so excited and I think this is adorable. So now technically she isn't a BM either; we aren't sure yet what she'll wear or what flowers she'll carry, but she's on the groom's side now.
And just the other day at New Year's family dinner, FMIL asked about the wedding. I mentioned the BM shuffle and she asked what the numbers were on each side and then immediately suggested I need to ask a new BM. No! No no no! "Won't it look funny if the sides are uneven?" Headdesk headdesk headdesk.
I understand why so many newbs come on TK thinking they need to decide on [even] numbers of BMs and GMs before slotting in their people. Every single older person in my life insists that sides must be even and gender-specific. Both sides of my family, Fi's family, multiple generations. Seriously... in what other life events do we try to arrange people in symmetrical groups? Why would you want that or care? Oh sorry, Family, only 4 women and 4 men can attend my graduation and take pictures with me, because otherwise our family will look totally unbalanced. Sorry, Friends, happy hour tonight only has 3 female and 3 male slots, first come, first served.
I'm mostly pissed at my grandma for making my child cousin feel like shit. Who does that?
"I'm not a rude bitch. I'm ten rude bitches in a large coat."