DAME’s Friendkeeper helps a broken-hearted woman deal with her wedding-obsessed bestie, and suggests another write off her former like-a-sister friend.
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One of my closest friends is getting married in a few months, and it’s suddenly become all she talks about. The dress, the vows, the cake, the guest list, the honeymoon, it goes on and on down to the freakin’ nail polish colors she’s choosing between and whether she’ll take her damn up-do down for dancing at the reception. Fine, getting married is an important life event. And hopefully it will only happen once for her. But I just broke off a several-years relationship that I thought would end at the altar and I just can’t deal with her nuptials obsession right now. And attending all of the wedding-related brouhaha—shopping, showers, bachelorette parties, catering tastings—is the last thing I want to do. Can I skip that shit? Luckily she’s not having a wedding party so I’m not officially on the hook as a bridesmaid, but like I said, she’s one of my closest friends. Can I tell her to tone it down when we’re hanging out? Should I just suck it up and let her have her moment, despite my hurt and irritation? Please help, I want to nip this in the bud before I pull a Kristen Wiig–style Bridesmaids tantrum and ruin our friendship forever.
I believe there are two things at work here. One, your friend has entered the world of princess-for-a day-consumership-crazy-ass-I-can-wear-a-goddamn-tiara-if-I-want-to-and-still-be-a-feminist, and two, you’re nursing the wounds of your broken heart. Let’s be honest, you know who wants to hear about wedding plans? No one. No wait, the wedding planner who’s making ten grand on the day. But that isn’t the point, the point is that unless you’re comfortable telling your friend (drunkenly) that 50 percent of marriages end in divorce, you are going to want to support it. That doesn’t mean poring over wedding magazines and driving around to look at halls, it does mean if she sends you a link to a dress you can write back “Thumbs up!” Or whatever. When my BFF got engaged I was going through a rough time with my boyfriend—he didn’t want to get married and I did. When Jancee called me and said she got engaged, and she and her boyfriend had been together half as long as me and mine, I felt really happy for her, but I was jealous. And it just helped a little when I told her (without making it all about me) that I was. She, being the BFF that she is, hugged me and cried and said none of it meant anything to her, she just wanted me to get married. Once I got the ugly-feeling admission out of the way, I was all on board with her (which was easy because she wore her mother’s dress and eloped). If you feel like you can talk to your friend about your mixed feelings about this, it will ease them. And this stuff happens all over our lives forever—someone gets the plum job or pregnant or a beach house and we want to be happy for them but we also want to cry in our Lucy Ricardo voice, “WHY NOT ME???” Be honest, don’t make a big deal about it, and then make sure she buys you dinner if you go on any wedding errands with her.
My best friend—someone I thought of as a sister, who I planned to grow old with—has disappeared from my life. It’s bizarre—we’ve been close for over a decade. I mean, she is the one person outside of my family who was like a constant in my life. And I don’t know what precipitated it. One day we were texting back and forth, just as we had done for years and then poof, she didn’t reply again. Nary a text or phone call returned, for weeks. And then months. I heard from another friend that she was just stressed out and overwhelmed.
I racked my brain. What did I say or do to make her so mad at me? And I then I realized: nothing. I felt guilty for being pissed at her, that if she’s so stressed, as a friend I should just let her be. But then I thought: bullshit. Everyone is stressed and has their shit, not least of all, me. At least have the courtesy to say, “I don’t want to be friends anymore,” or, “I’m just in a place, and I can’t deal with anything or anyone, even you.” Instead, after a decade, my so-called BFF’s silence has told me basically that our friendship has meant so little that it’s hardly worth acknowledging. And that’s the worst of all. It’s as if she died, I mourn the loss that much.
Part of me wants to write her a manifesto of an email telling her that she’s broken my heart. And part of me thinks, I don’t need a friend like this. And still there’s a part of me that feels guilty for being mad at her. If I’m such a great friend, shouldn’t I accept that she obviously has something going on that is so deep she can’t deal? And if she were to resurface, could I ever forgive her? Can this friendship be saved? What should I do? I don’t think our friendship, should she ever reemerge, would ever be the same.
Am I Not Even Worth An Eff Off?
You know, whenever I get a letter about a friend’s issue, I try very hard to see it from the other side. In this case, I can’t even conceive of what is up with this person. And I guess I don’t really care, it is soooo unhealthy for you to be stuck with this shit swirling around your head. I am right now in touch with the spirit animal of righteous indignation—Peggy Hill. And she says, Friend, I’ll tell you whut, you write the email to her and get every bit of what you want to say out of your head and onto the page. She owes you an explanation and if she’s not giving it, you owe yourself a big fat venting of what this has felt like for you. One of the basic rules of friendship is open communication and the passive aggressive nature of her “disappearance” equals a foul on the play. As far as forgiving her, it ain’t anywhere near being on the table. I am sorry you’re going through it but you need to get it out and walk away. It is most definitely her loss, not yours.
Got a platonic problem of your own that could use the Friendkeeper’s advice? Fire away: [email protected]. No situation is too uncomfortable or too small and all details are kept confidential.
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