just-married...musings of a new bride...
just-married...musings of a new bride...
just-married...musings of a new bride...
just-married...musings of a new bride...

Returning from Big Bear to drama

2004-02-02 | 12:14 p.m.
We had a wonderful time up in Big Bear. The place we stayed was SO cute and very cozy. We spent a lot of the time cuddled up watching videos, because we’re slugs like that. We also went for some walks in the snow. (Yay snow, I love it now that I don’t have to live with it). We also went for a really nice early Valentine’s dinner. I had duck, yum.

So much fun. Sunday we came home and cleaned and half watched the Superbowl.

The recent drama in my life comes to us courtesy of a girl named Elizabeth. She and I were best friends throughout elementary school, and then drifted apart through high school and college. We email very occasionally, and I have probably seen her a handful of time in the past few years. Still, she’s a family friend, so she was invited to two bridal showers, my bachlorette party, and the wedding. More background info: Her parents separated in October, but when I contacted her about it she replied with a brief “It’s no big deal, it’s been years in coming and I am kind of glad.”

Anyway. She never even RSVP-ed for anything I invited her to. I finally tracked her down and she says she and her mother are coming. The day of the wedding, she and her boyfriend (no mother) show up. Then, without saying anything to anyone, they just leave before the meal.

I was definitely upset. I felt like she could of at least said hello, sat through the meal, and then made a graceful exit. Or, if that was impossible, they should have just told us they weren’t coming.

I then don’t hear a word from her in a month, and then I get a five line email saying “Sorry I left, but I was upset. Hope you had a nice wedding.”

And now, I present the rest of our correspondence for your reading pleasure.

My reply:

Liz –

I appreciated your email, but I need to tell you my feelings on it. I was incredibly upset by both your family's and your behavior in regards to my wedding.

First of all, while I know your mom is going through a difficult time, I was upset that she was not at my wedding. She has known me since I was six and it hurt that she didn't care enough to be there. Second, if she were not going to come I would have appreciated it if she had let us know ahead of time.

However, I am far more hurt by the way you behaved. I know this is a difficult time for you, but this was a very important day for me, and if you had any respect for me I think you could have stayed for the dinner. Your behavior cost my parents $400, but more than that it showed me that you really don't care about me. Not only did you leave in the middle of my wedding without saying anything to anyone, but you didn’t bother to RSVP to the wedding, my bachlorette party, or either of the two bridal showers you were invited to.

Your actions showed no respect for me and it is clear now that whatever friendship we once had is now completely over.

Austin

I know it’s kind of mean, but I wasn’t trying to be vindictive. I just wanted to tell her how I felt and really didn’t want to be friends with her any more. She is, hands down, the most self involved person I know and doesn’t know me at all anymore.

Her response:

Austin,

I just wanted to say a few more things (I'd call you but I know I won't be able to get your number-- I actually hate doing all of this over email), and I do not expect a response or your forgiveness. I just cannot let someone I have known for twenty years walk away for good without being totally frank. Okay, already I'm bullshitting. I cannot let YOU -- Austi-- walk away without communicating how I feel.

In many, many ways you are absolutely right. I should have RSVPd b/c I could not make those dates, and it was wrong and inconsiderate of me not to. I need to be honest in telling you that I was pretty hurt that I was not included in the wedding, because it was something that we had dreamed about together as little girls. I was really sad and a bit shocked when you didn't ask me to be a part of it. I knew we weren't close enough anymore that I would make a speech or be your maid of honor or anything like that, but I really wanted to be a part of it. It is humiliating to admit how disappointed I felt by that, but it's the truth. Perhaps my inconsideration was, in part, because I felt so left out and so distant from you. I had always planned to have you in my wedding party, and I felt completely snubbed. That's no excuse, I know, I just want to be honest. I took it to mean you really didn't care about my participation or involvement at all. So I'll tell you again: These feelings are not an excuse-- just an explanation-- and I am sorry for not RSVPing when I should have.

And you are absolutely right that I should not have left early, but I was being honest with you that I OF COURSE would have stayed if I had not been breaking down. I did not plan to leave early or do it out of disrespect, and I thought it would be less of a distraction for you and your friends if I left quietly. I cannot make up for the loss of $400 right now, but can offer to pay it back to your family once I graduate and have more of an income. I am not trying to be catty-- I honestly did not think of money at the time, and for that again, I apologize to you and your parents. For these things, as I stated in my previous email, I am genuinely sorry. I honestly did not realize you would be so hurt.

On the other hand, I don't quite understand your reaction. For one, you say you know we're going through a difficult time, but that does not even begin to touch what it has been like for us. If we were actually friends at this point, you would know what a struggle it was. You act like I could have simply stayed for dinner, and that my feelings were illegitimate. I was wrecked. And I was also embarrassed for breaking down-- and I was also disappointed not to see the rest of the wedding! The only reason I didn't call you the very next day, was b/c I didn't want to interrupt your days of bliss and your glow.

It just feels like you so flippantly acknowledged it as a "difficult time," without considering what that really means. And scolding me like a child for what you label as my "behavior," and adding up precisely how much money I cost your parents really feels unbelievably offensive, condescending, and invalidating of my whole situation. I got an email from you acknowledging the divorce, yes, but that was the extent of your compassion...beginning and end. No phone call -- nothing.

I was home for Christmas, but didn't have a Christmas for the first time in my life. That may seem silly to you at 24, but it was devastating. That devastation, unfortunately, trickled over to Dec 27th... a lot had happened that day. And attending a wedding that same night brought me over the edge. I was there because I wanted to be and I wanted to show my support, with or without my family, and I left when I could no longer be supportive.

So, Austin, let's be frank: We had already become no more than acquaintances. We have a cordial relationship, which has felt stilted and cold for ages. It has been flooded with tension ever since we stopped being best friends. I have always felt judged by you and your family behind forced smiles and clenched jaws. I have appreciated your holiday cards, but would have liked us to share more than that. And you have not called me once in more than 5 years...literally. And then not including me in the wedding sort of felt like a final shove. After showing pretty much a lack of interest in me and my family, I am surprised that you describe yourself as "hurt," or "upset," rather than simply "offended" or "annoyed."

So I want you to know that I am also hurt and offended -- mostly by your response. I will always love you, Austin, and I should have communicated that more over the years. I guess I just haven't felt that you've loved me or cared for me in anyway at all for a L-O-N-G time. It seems you don't feel I respect or care about you, and I don't feel that you care about or respect me. I know you do not believe me and probably no longer care, but my love for you has always been unconditional and steadfast. Maybe we're both prideful and stuck in an old relationship pattern full of miscommunication -- I honestly don't know.

But your email was clear, and I totally respect your decision to sever with me. Sadly, that severance will look little different from our daily lives. I regret that things have ended with such poor communication (both of our faults), over email (!), and on such a sour note. I deeply regret hurting you. I am sorry you walk away thinking of me with such disdain, and I apologize again for causing you pain and offense.

-Lizzy

So, here are my thoughts:

1. She’s insane. I can’t believe she thought she would be a bridesmaid. We are virtual strangers. She does not know anything about my college expierence, what I have done since then, or my life now and relationship with K. I feel like she’s so self-involved that she has no concept of what it means to be friends.

2. I like how in the beginning it seems like she’s going to apologize and then she totally doesn’t. Not only does she use the excuse of “I was upset that I wasn’t a bridesmaid” but she just gets nastier and nastier.

3. She gives a reason for not calling me the next day, but doesn’t mention why she didn’t email for a month.

4. When I contacted her about the divorce, she said it was no big deal. And yet she’s mad at me for taking her at her word.

5. She doesn’t even know me well enough to know if I judge her, which I certainly do not. I work really hard not to judge anybody and if you live you life and try not to hurt other people you’re okay in my book.

6. She seems to blame me for our friendship ending, which is complete bull. Of the two of us I tried for a longer time to stay friends. She wasn’t interested, so I made my piece with it. If she wanted to be friends with me, why has she made exactly zero effort?

So, grrr…

I am not going to respond because it seems pointless to continue to fight about this. If I really felt like she was upset and wanted to be friends, I would make an effort, but I think she just doesn’t want to admit that she’s done anything wrong.

I don’t know, I welcome feedback on any of this. Her email made me so mad that I felt like I needed to have my say, even if it was just here.

Reading: The Patron Sait of Liars, which ROCKS

Craving: A longer time in Big Bear

Thinking: Still arguing with her in my head

Student teaching begins - 2005-02-20
Three more days!! - 2005-02-07
Weekend recap - 2005-01-31
Oh the hate - 2005-01-26
Yay for staying home! - 2005-01-24

i carry | your heart

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