An advise columnist had a clear cut answer for a woman who wanted to know if she was wrong for wanting her daughter’s best friend and maid of honor to ‘sit out’ during the ceremony because she walks with a limp.
Mallory Ortberg, the writer behind Slate’s Dear Prudence column, admittedly couldn’t understand how the woman would be willing to ask her 27-year-old daughter’s childhood friend Katie to refrain from walking down the aisle with the other bridesmaids so ‘she doesn’t ruin the aesthetic aspect of the wedding’.
‘I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around this letter,’ Mallory wrote. ‘I encourage you to reread it and to ask yourself that time-honored question, “Do I sound like a villain in a Reese Witherspoon movie?”‘
Cruel: An advice columnist compared a woman to ‘villain in a Reese Witherspoon movie’ after she tried to remove her daughter’s best friend from her wedding because she walks with a limp
In her letter, the anonymous woman explains that her daughter has been best friends with Katie since they were four years old, noting that the girl ‘practically grew up’ in their house and is ‘like a daughter’ to her.
Katie’s boyfriend is even good friends with the woman’s future son-in-law, but the mother explained that the ‘problem’ is that she ‘walks with a pretty severe limp due to a birth defect’.
It will look unsightly if she’s in the wedding procession limping
The woman noted that Katie doesn’t have an issues with wearing high heels and has already been fitted for a dress, but she thinks ‘it will look unsightly if she’s in the wedding procession limping’.
The mother even mentioned her concerns to her daughter, suggesting that Katie can take a video or hand out programs while sitting so she doesn’t ruin the look of the wedding.
She admitted her daughter is no longer speaking to her, but she casually brushed it off, saying: ‘We were never that close.’
Instead, the mom remained focused on the fact that it is her daughter’s ‘big wedding’ — and she wants it to be ‘perfect’.
‘All of the other bridesmaids will look gorgeous walking down the aisle with my daughter. Is it wrong to have her friend sit out?’ she asked.
In her response, Mallory pointed out that the woman took great care to make sure she comes ‘across as reasonable and as caring as possible’ when crafting her letter, but its impossible to ignore the cruelty of her request.
‘I encourage you to profoundly reconsider the orientation of your heart
‘This girl is “like a daughter” to you, and yet you want to shove her to the side of your other daughter’s wedding just because she walks with a limp,’ Mallory said.
‘Your daughter’s wedding will be perfect with Katie as a full and honored member of the bridal party.
‘A limp is not a fly in the ointment; it’s a part of Katie’s life,’ she added.
In case the woman still wasn’t getting it, Mallory said her actions were not only wrong, they were ‘ableist, and cruel, and it speaks to a massive failure of empathy, compassion, and grace’.
Unsurprisingly, Mallory insisted that she must apologize to her daughter immediately, adding: ‘I encourage you to profoundly reconsider the orientation of your heart.’