BSH: Loyalty Matters



haven’t watched last week’s episode of the TV show I’m currently on, Blood Sweat and Heels. I had a digital copy of the episode before I boarded a plane at JFK Airport on an international flight last week. I haven’t seen the episode because I don’t want to.

Let me explain: This season has been ... challenging. A month before our wedding, my now-husband, Greg, had a falling-out with my good friend and cast mate, Geneva S. Thomas. I spent several months trying to play the middle between my then-fiance and my good friend, respecting my soon-to-be spouse and attempting to hold on to a friendship with someone I hold dear. It was not a fun position.

Geneva and I are not best friends. That distinction belongs to a woman I met when I was 12, whom I went to junior high school with and who sat next to me at my wedding reception (I didn’t have bridesmaids or a matron of honor). But Geneva is the type of friend who answers when I call at any hour and who will sit on the phone with me and commiserate when I’m hurt or scared or angry. That matters.

In case you missed it, the drama unfolded this way: I had a book signing to launch my latest book, Don’t Waste Your Pretty  Geneva invited a friend, a recent addition to the cast. The friend was disruptive while I was taking questions from a rapt audience. She had been asked to quiet down multiple times and refused.

When she became increasingly loud—more likely from a desire to get additional camera time than from being overserved at the open bar—Greg intervened. Geneva had said nothing about her friend’s behavior until my fiance stepped up and asked a security guard to have the disruptive woman escorted out. It was then that Geneva spoke out, much to Greg’s chagrin. I was on a stage promoting my book and only learned the details secondhand. What I heard were similar stories with vastly differing perspectives from my fiance and my friend.

Greg said that Geneva was disrespectful for interfering when he was addressing the situation. Geneva thought my fiance was “doing too much,” and said she would stand up for anyone she had invited to an event who was being kicked out. She didn’t feel that she was in the wrong, but she apologized the next morning in case I had any hard feelings. I accepted her apology. Given who my cast mates are, things could have been much worse.

Based on the versions I heard, I thought my fiance and my friend were both right. But having to choose between the two? I read where one of my cast mates said, “I would laugh in my man’s face if he tried to disinvite my best friend from my wedding.” That comment explains a lot about why she is perpetually single and can’t maintain a healthy relationship.

I watched my parents, who have been married “forever,” and I watched The Godfather: You never speak publicly against the family. When I said yes to my husband’s proposal, I was agreeing to be his partner in this thing called life. If I wasn’t willing to stand by him—right or wrong, at least in public—then I wouldn’t be acting like the wife I was hoping to be.

Let me be clear: My ultimate loyalty is to my husband over any friend. Like Rodney King, I want everyone to “just get along,” but when there is a conflict, my husband’s feelings take precedence. That’s just how this wife thing works.

Behind closed doors, Greg and I had many conversations about his desire not to have Geneva at ourwedding. Note the “our.” I wasn’t standing at the altar by myself.

Eventually I was able to get him to see enough of my perspective that he changed his mind. Unfortunately, this came after Geneva had vented her frustration about this situation to her actual best friend, in front of other people and on camera.

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