I knew it the moment I saw her – this woman was trouble.
We were at my beautiful sister’s wedding reception.
She had just married a man I didn’t particularly like because he didn’t treat her as she deserved.
So, I guess you could say I wasn’t in the most celebratory of moods.
Of course, I hid my attitude in front of my sister.
I gave an award-worthy speech as the maid of honor.
I played my role well – because that’s what you do.
But then – this woman – a total stranger – tipped me over the edge.
I walked back into the reception hall after being in the garden with guests, then stopped in my tracks.
A woman was sitting in my sister’s seat at the bridal table.
She was not family, nor a friend of my sister.
She was animatedly – and very familiarly – talking to my new brother-in-law.
No one should sit in the bridal seat apart from the bride.
Especially as she was making the rounds, speaking to guests, while her husband should be doing the same with her.
Not entertaining some woman my sister didn’t know (as a friend of his from work, apparently), in her seat at her wedding.
As I began to stride towards the table, I noticed something worse.
She was wearing a shoestring strapped, slinky satin white number.
That was it: her extremely poor form didn’t deserve any respect from me.
“That’s my sister’s seat,” I said, looking at her directly. (I added “b*tch” in my head.)
She didn’t flinch. My brother-in-law also didn’t say anything.
“I don’t know who you are, but you shouldn’t attend a wedding wearing white and then sit in the bride’s seat when it’s not your wedding,” I continued.
By now, the rest of the bridal group and some other guests were looking at us.
The woman, without acknowledging me, got up and said to my brother-in-law, “I’ll speak to you later.”
It took all my restraint not to retort, “Oh no you bloody won’t.”
As she left, my sister was walking back to her seat.
“What happened?” she asked.
“I just reminded her that was your seat,” I said with a wave of my hand, as though it was no big deal, even though it really, really was.”
“I knew something wasn’t right”
Later, my parents told me to “control myself” and “not be so emotional.”
“Just leave it,” my dad advised.
“Don’t be aggressive,” my mom said.
But I knew in my heart something was not right. It wasn’t just blatant rudeness and lack of social grace.
The woman’s familiarity with my brother-in-law at his wedding in my sister’s seat was not right.
Even I wouldn’t have done that as a maid of honor.
It felt like a deliberate move to publicly disrespect my sister.
My sister and I never spoke about the incident until years later.
I hadn’t wanted to raise it to upset her.
I was fairly sure she’d dismiss my concerns, as she was so in love with her husband.
But sadly, I’d been right to be concerned
We discovered two years later the woman and my brother-in-law had been having an affair.
In some ways, I was furious with myself for not speaking up and making my family listen.
All my sister had now was a marriage of two years that had been a lie.
My beautiful sister was heartbroken but determined to make it work.
I wish she hadn’t, because her husband never changed his ways.
But I finally could do what I didn’t do at the wedding – tell this homewrecker what I thought of her behavior.
I called her at her workplace.
I told her my sister knew about the affair, and that she was a terrible person for destroying my baby nephew’s family.
She didn’t care, of course.
I wish I’d warned my sister about trusting her husband from the very moment they got married.
This is why wise people advise, ‘Trust your instincts.’