She is not a nice person. She could never talk to anyone else on earth again and be totally fine (her fiancé included, she has said this herself). Although it doesn’t happen as often anymore, she will get totally wasted and say mean terrible things. She also will refuse to pay for drinks when she gets super drunk, and expects other people to pay for her even though she makes more money than we all do. I’ve made decisions to not be around her when she’s drinking, and after she has three drinks I leave, no matter what.
She had a very tough childhood (abusive mother, parents divorced and her mom took her entire college fund, her dad is a wack job who said Beth’s going to burn in hell because she lives with her fiancé before they are married) so I’ve always felt bad for her. pLUS, she lets other people walk on her, and never really sticks up for herself (so I have stuck up for her often in our past).
Anyway, she met a wonderful person — “Jake” — who wants to spend his life with her and I am very happy for her. She asked me to be a bridesmaid and I said yes. Beth wants to get married in Florida, and wants to have a destination bachelorette party (in Mexico) as well as a Chicago bachelorette party. She designated me and another bridesmaid to plan the destination party, and her MOH is planning the Chicago one. After looking up some places and packages, and reflecting (not to mention looking at my bank account), I realized that I’m spending almost two grand on someone I barely even like or can tolerate. Other bridesmaids can’t go (in fact most can’t) to this destination bachelorette party.
Now the other bridesmaid who is helping me with the destination party is like “How are we going to get out of this? I can’t believe she wants two parties, that’s so much money, what do we do?” We were all supposed to go to brunch, and other bridesmaid and I agreed to talk to Beth and tell her a destination wedding, a destination bachelorette party and then another bachelorette party was too much, but I got sick and did not go to brunch. The other bridesmaid told me that she would talk to Beth about it, and to not worry.
Well, of course, she blamed everything all on me, saying I’m the one who doesn’t want to go to these parties. Beth was very hurt and mad at me, and I quickly realized I should of just talked to Beth myself and not of trusted this other bridesmaid.
Beth then didn’t talk to me for a few days, until we hashed this out over Gchat and I was told that other members of the bridal party also said I didn’t want to help with anything at all. I told her that wasn’t true and she seemed to believe me and all was well(ish) and fine.
Since then, I bought my $300 bridesmaid dress, and booked my flight to the wedding (it was a steal of a deal). However, any plans I have made with Beth since the “incident,” she has canceled, and I have not seen her at all since January.
Last Sunday was our mutual friend Dora’s birthday, so me, Jake, Beth and Dora all made plans. I asked Beth what we should do for Dora, and she suggested a bunch of stuff that just Dora and Beth would want to do. I suggested that we do two of the three things she suggested, and she said I was being selfish and it was Dora’s birthday and we should do what Dora would want. I stuck to it, saying we can do dinner and a show, but if they wanted to do this other activity (a $50 tea service and I hate tea), then maybe that’s something those two could do together by themselves. Truthfully, I just wanted to do drinks and not dinner at all (since I was planning to do dinner with Dora on Tuesday, her actual birthday).
Well, Sunday rolls around and I have a huge migraine, but it’s my friend’s birthday so I rally. I was not hungry at all, and I don’t drink anymore (and whenever I’m with this group, they always give me a hard time about not drinking), so I decided to just meet up with them at the show. We go to the show, and Beth does not talk to me at all, makes no attempt to talk to me, and talks about things that I have no idea of or don’t want to hear about (like “House of Cards” spoilers). Even when I would engage Beth, she would just give me a one-word answer. And when I tried to tell them all a funny story about a comedy show I went to the week before, they cut me off and said that I was rude because I didn’t invite them to the show. When the evening was over, Beth got in her Uber without even saying goodbye.
Yesterday, I sent a picture of a movie to Beth that we both like and suggested a movie night soon and got nothing back. I have not heard from her since Sunday, and to be honest, I don’t really want to.
I know this is probably the longest letter ever [actually, yes, it is. Almost 2000 words before I edited it down. — Wendy], but that’s the whole story up to today, and to be honest, I don’t even really want to try and mend this friendship. But, how do I clear the air? Why am I friends with her and why do I feel compelled to talk to her? How do I get out of being a bridesmaid? She and I have these phases, but she’s like 33, and I am 27, and like enough is enough. I know she cares for me as a friend, and I care for her too, but is it even worth it to try and be friends still? A part of me thinks I should just say
“sorry” and be there for her when she gets married, and then like phase her out, and the other part wants to take this ridiculous $300.00 “art deco” dress back and make some new friends who care about people’s feelings. — Totally Over It Bridesmaid
Good lord, this is a lot of drama. I can’t answer your question about why you’re friends with Beth or why you feel compelled to talk to her. I don’t know why you even agreed to be her bridesmaid in the first place. You clearly don’t like her or enjoy her company. She’s not your friend. If anything, she’s your “frenemy.” Maybe you’ve just known her so long that her presence in your life, as drama-filled and angsty as it is, is comfortable for you and you’re afraid that, if you let go of her for good, you’re letting go of a stage in your life you’ll never get back.
But, girl, you’re 27, and, as you said, enough is enough. Let’s move past the high school antics and be an adult now. And one of the ways you can do that is being proactive in this whole bridesmaid situation you clearly want no part of. And, like, what are you even thinking that you can “be there for her when she gets married” and then phase her out? It’s not like you’d just be showing up for the wedding. There are the two bachelorette parties and the shower and whatever drama is likely to come up with the other bridesmaids whom you say have thrown you under the bus. You think you have resentment now? Just wait til you drop another grand or more on this wedding you don’t want to be in for a “friend” you don’t even like.
Here’s what you do: Email (or call) Beth and say, “Beth, I’m realizing that the cost of being a bridesmaid in your wedding is more than I initially assumed it would be and, unfortunately, I’m not prepared to spend what seems to be required of me. I take full responsibility for saying yes to your bridesmaid invitation before making sure I could afford the role, and I hope you will forgive me for any inconvenience backing out now may cause you. This by no means reflects my enthusiasm for your upcoming marriage or how honored I am that you included me in your bridal party in the first place. I hope you understand.”
Of course, she won’t understand, and you will likely be dis-invited to the wedding completely, the other bridesmaids will gossip about you, and you will no longer be friends with Beth (and maybe the entire friend group). But, in the almost 2000 words you wrote to me, you basically had nothing good to say about these friendships anyway, so it sounds like cutting ties and moving on is exactly what you need to do. As for the ridiculous dress, return it and use the credit to buy drinks on your upcoming vacation to Florida that you bought at a steal of a deal.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.