Always Second Best (AKA Always the Bridesmaid and Never the Bride)

imagesI can remember being second for as long as I can remember; I was born second in my family, for starters.  There was never a chance for me to be “the favorite” anything to anybody; there was nothing special about me, so I spent my life wanting to be “the first” or the favorite of somebody.

Many times in my life, there has been somebody who was number one to me; that special person who was a favorite aunt or uncle, or the one I would think of before anybody else.   Each time I was married, the husband du jour was number one in my life; I tried to make certain he knew he was more important than anybody else was.

Conversely, my husbands have not responded in kind; they have been narcissistic, and more concerned the children knew they were loved than preserving a relationship with me.  I actually had the conversation about my desire to come first in our marriage with my last husband; he found me to be selfish and immature.  So goes my last divorce.


I have been spending the holidays with my uncle; I suppose I always thought of him as my “second favorite” uncle; but I have never said it aloud.  My other favorite uncle is one whom I have not spent much time with since I was very young; I have simply held those memories fondly.

The other night I overheard him on the phone talking to a friend; he was explaining my visit and he described me as being his “second favorite niece”.  He said it without one hint of irony or hesitation; juts flatly stated the truth.  Second.  I was stunned.

I have no idea who number one is; however, I suppose it does not matter.  He is only second to me as well, why should I expect to be any higher on his list of favorites.

The realization that I was once again second left me feeling cold; I would have almost felt better if I had missed the mark by six or seven.  I obsessed over which cousin is better than me enough to be the favorite, and why.  Is she less talkative?  Smarter?  Does she play a better game of Scrabble?  Live closer?  Visit more often?

Finally, I have resigned myself to being second place, the runner-up.  I imagine when the time is right; I will be the favorite to someone…

When I enter the world of the three-dimensional people and Technicolor…

10 thoughts on “Always Second Best (AKA Always the Bridesmaid and Never the Bride)

  1. I have an assignment for you…
    Write about all the good things you have done in your life. Write about the friends who love you and why you think they do. Don’t add one flat or negative thing to one sentence… i bet you will come up with the most amazing reflection of YOU that you ever imagined.
    Of course, this is your blog and you are free to write about anything you want all day long. But I think that sometimes we get stuck. I am just trying to yank that gear back into place 🙂
    Could you try? For me?

  2. Another great and moving article. You know I have learned that being first is not all its cracked up to be… People always want to knock you off the pedal stall and it can attract a lot of negative and harmful energy. I guess in relationships also it’s not about number 1 but equality, though from the sound of your husbands it was not that either. maybe you should find a good woman instead, tho if you read my blog you’ll see why I say that 😉

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