Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“How Do I Get Out of Being a Bridesmaid?”

middle finger

A friend of mine from college, “Beth,” is getting married this fall. She and I were roommates when we first moved to Chicago, and the arrangement ended badly (she made me leave the apartment a day earlier than planned and all of my stuff had to sit in a moving truck overnight and I had to sleep on my friend’s floor for a night). Our relationship was non-existent during that whole time, and she never apologized, or really acknowledged her part in it (she blamed her new roommate), but my best friend was getting married soon after, and Beth and I mended the damage and have been pretty good friends since then.

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.

***************

Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

55 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Laura Hope March 9, 2015, 8:30 am

    Sounds like you’re friends with Beth (or at least tolerate her behavior) because she had a lousy childhood and you feel sorry for her. Actually, most of the people I know had lousy childhoods but as adults, have chosen to treat others with respect and compassion. At some point you choose what kind of person you want to be.

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  • avatar

    jlyfsh March 9, 2015, 8:42 am

    WWS so much drama and not worth it!

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  • avatar

    Lovelygirl March 9, 2015, 8:44 am

    WWS. I was 26 when I got rid of my drama-filled friends. I’m 32 and haven’t looked back since I shed them from my life. You too can have peace. Enjoy your Florida vacation in the fall!

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  • Portia

    Portia March 9, 2015, 8:53 am

    WWS. Why say yes if you don’t even really like her? I think everyone, whether you’ve been a bridesmaid or not, knows bridesmaiding is expensive.
    .
    But also, what’s with the deciding you no longer care to be friends over some random innocuous stuff at the end (didn’t respond to a picture of a movie and being standoffish at the show for another friend’s birthday)? I have a couple friends who do this and I really don’t get it.

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    • Kate B.

      Kate B. March 9, 2015, 9:17 am

      Actually, it doesn’t have to be. I spent less than $100 and I was the maid of honor. This girl is rude, disrespectful and out of control. The stuff at the end was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

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    • avatar

      cleopatra jones March 9, 2015, 9:29 am

      But also, what’s with the deciding you no longer care to be friends over some random innocuous stuff at the end
      .
      I think this LW has landed squarely in ‘bitch eating crackers territory’. There’s a meme going around that goes something like, ‘once you hate someone, everything they do is offensive. “Look at that bitch over there eating crackers like she owns the place.” ‘ You can Google the meme because I didn’t want to add a link here.
      .
      While the the stuff is rather innocuous, I think it just adds another layer of why she really doesn’t like Beth. I think a lot of times as women, we think we have to have a BIG reason not to like someone because otherwise we are just shallow. In real life though, it’s OK to say you don’t really care for someone just don’t be all rage-y about it and it will be fine.
      .
      So LW should just be OK with not liking Beth, because really she sounds kind of hideous to hang around with.

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      • Portia

        Portia March 9, 2015, 9:34 am

        That makes a heck of a lot more sense. And I like the “bitch eating crackers” thing, that’s pretty funny. But yeah, I had a friend who I was talking to and she was ready to drop a friend because she wanted to send home some extra burgers with her after a bbq (that she was extremely late for for reasons outside her control). After we talked more, I was like, you have plenty of other reasons not to be friends with her, but WTF about these burgers? I just couldn’t comprehend.

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      • Portia

        Portia March 9, 2015, 9:40 am

        These “bitch eating crackers” memes are making my day, thanks cleopatra jones! 🙂

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      • avatar

        cleopatra jones March 9, 2015, 9:52 am

        They are pretty funny.
        .
        I may or may not feel that way about a current co-worker. 😉

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      • Portia

        Portia March 9, 2015, 10:14 am

        You know, I think Bassanio had a bitches-eating-crackers reaction to my sister once and now I understand more what happened! I’m glad I went with, I think you just need a break from her for a little while, because it fixed things up pretty nicely and they get along great now.

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      • coconot

        coconot March 9, 2015, 9:49 am

        Oh! I had seen this “bitch eating crackers” thing months ago and never understood it. This is perfect I love it.

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      • Moneypenny

        Moneypenny March 9, 2015, 12:00 pm

        I just looked up that meme/ecard- makes so much sense!! I can totally relate to feeling that way about, ahem, some people, haha. Anyway.

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  • avatar

    ktfran March 9, 2015, 8:58 am

    I thought this letter was being written by a 13 year old. Anyway, cut your losses and make new friends. Wendy has a lot of posts and threads on making new friends post college…. I’ve been quite successful at it. It’s scary at first, but the more you put yourself out there, the easier it is to make new friends.
    .
    This is like those bad relationships that one partner stays in a bit too long because he or she is afraid of the unknown.

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  • juliecatharine

    juliecatharine March 9, 2015, 8:58 am

    Reading this made my head spin. LW, why is this woman such a big part of your life? Nobody is forcing you to hang out with her. This comes with experience–it’s *okay* to do what you want. You don’t owe her anything, you are not a hostage to her demands! MOA!

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  • Raccoon eyes

    Raccoon eyes March 9, 2015, 9:06 am

    Wendy, the picture to go along with this one is stupendous! Ahahahahaaa!!!
    *
    LW, I agree with Wendy and most of the above comments so far. This “friend” is toxic, before all this marriage/bridesmaid junk started up. Cut this girl loose. Like, yesterday.

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    • avatar

      ktfran March 9, 2015, 9:11 am

      I had to go back and look at the photo. I skimmed over it before. Haha, yes! It’s fantastic.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy March 9, 2015, 9:20 am

      Thanks, I had fun looking for an appropriate stock photo for this one. I think I found the right one.

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      • avatar

        ktfran March 9, 2015, 9:27 am

        Did you see that you can download a few Vince Vaughn/Dave Franco stock photos for free from IStock? They’re promoting their new movie… and it’s hilarious. They basically Photoshopped their faces onto stock photos. I downloaded a few and plan to put them in a couple review drafts for fun and see if anybody notices.

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      • Portia

        Portia March 9, 2015, 12:47 pm

        Do it! I saw some of these stock photos the other day and they’re pretty much amazing.

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      • avatar

        ktfran March 9, 2015, 1:12 pm

        Oh, I can’t wait. I mean, why not throw some humor in a proposal that discusses deep rock tunneling methods and shafts? Or should I save it for the proposal where we talk about manhole inspections?
        .
        I heart engineering lingo.

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  • Kate B.

    Kate B. March 9, 2015, 9:14 am

    Take it from someone who put up with stuff like this for more than 30 years from the same person: get out now. You will save yourself soooo much aggravation. Your social life will improve immediately – overnight. I guarantee it.

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  • niki

    niki March 9, 2015, 9:37 am

    LW, I think you need to acknowledge that you haven’t always been a great friend either. Two of the main instances you mention (the bridesmaid brunch, and the birthday) you bailed on. And even if you truly had a migraine it is going to look suspicious when the only part of the birthday you showed up for is the part you originally wanted to do in the first place.
    .
    I’m not trying to say that Beth isn’t difficult. She most certainly is. But you agreed to be a bridesmaid already knowing that. So unless you are completely at peace with losing her, and probably the rest of the group, as friends then you should follow through. You never should have agreed in the first place. You already sound flaky so backing out now really shouldn’t be a surprise, but will likely be the nail in the coffin of the “friendship.”
    .
    In the future, don’t agree to do things you don’t want to do. If you do agree, then be a grown-up and stick to your commitments. And if you don’t want to be friends with someone, then don’t.

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    • coconot

      coconot March 9, 2015, 9:48 am

      Yes I agree. Beth did sound like a pain but so does LW. I would be very upset with my friends if they backed out of things at the last minute all the time. Yes, I understand illnesses come up unexpectedly, but LW, you sound like a repeat offender. I am never upset when someone tells me ahead of time that they are not interested in some outing, and I do the same all the time. Depending on how close you are with the friends, you can either make up some platitude “that sounds nice but I’m too busy that weekend” or be straight and say “I don’t like Jazz concerts and never will, but you feel free to go with our other friends and lets all go ice skating next weekend”. What you DON’T do is say “yes” and then give reasons/excuses the day of — that is rude.

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    • Portia

      Portia March 9, 2015, 9:49 am

      Yeah, I noticed that too, that the LW was sick at both of these encounters, skipping portions or the whole thing. Not to say those aren’t reasonable reasons to not go to something, but yeah just showing up to the parts the LW wanted to go to is not reflecting well, and I’d probably think it was suspicious too.
      .
      Also, if I wanted to make sure that a friend wasn’t going to bail for something specific, I’d have them be involved in planning it. I’ve found that cuts down on them not showing up. Maybe that’s what Beth did about the bachelorette (not that I think a second destination bachelorette isn’t ridiculous, but the more invested, the more likely to show up).

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    • Raccoon eyes

      Raccoon eyes March 9, 2015, 10:28 am

      Im with niki on this. I also noticed that you bowed out of the convo with the co-planner and other bridesmaid, when in my opinion, you should have gone and told her no to the second bachelorette party. I can see how this other woman shifted the blame to you after you didnt show up to have the difficult conversation.

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      • muchachaenlaventana

        muchachaenlaventana March 9, 2015, 11:14 am

        Yeah this seems kind of cowardly. I would have to be incredibly sick to not go to something like a brunch/dinner. I am not saying you weren’t LW and you don’t need to justify it, but it seems you have missed out on a lot of things and people may be a bit tired of your excuses.

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      eelliinnss March 9, 2015, 11:38 am

      Totally agree. I have one friend who ALWAYS has an excuse why she can’t do something. She has a headache or she’s tired or she “doesn’t feel well” whatever that means. I’m like, damn girl, eat some more vegetables or something, nobody is sick that much! It’s gotten to the point where I invite her as a formality. I know she’s going to have something going on, or text me at the last minute that she doesn’t feel well, but I invite her anyway because on the random times she can come, I like to see her.
      .
      I guess my point, LW, is that I put up with my friends’ little annoyances because I’m sure I have them too, and despite them, we all genuinely care about each other and want to spend time together regardless. You don’t even seem to like your friends, so why bother continuing the friendship?

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    • Moneypenny

      Moneypenny March 9, 2015, 12:04 pm

      Exactly this. Sounds like this lw has given a lot of excuses- asking Beth what to do for Dora’s birthday? Why not make suggestions yourself? Deferring to the other bridesmaid to break the news about the LD bachelorette party? Call her up yourself. I dunno. It says to me that you are just avoiding confronting your “friend” and deferring decision making to other people.

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  • mandalee

    mandalee March 9, 2015, 9:38 am

    There is so much drama in this letter that it seems like you should already know the obvious answer: not only is removing yourself from Beth’s bridal party the right decision, but you should probably seriously evaluate your friendship. Having said that, I realize that when people are stuck in these toxic, drama filled friendships for years, it can start to seem “normal”, but it definitely is not. I had a few toxic friends from childhood that I probably hung on to due to nostalgia more than anything else, and our friendships ended in a ball of drama right before my wedding, because everyone involved was unable to just do the right thing and fade from the friendships before they got to that crazy point. I’m very happy for all of us that they didn’t grin and bear it and stay in my wedding party and pull the fade out afterward.
    .
    So, take Wendy’s advice, because it’s spot on as always, and use this opportunity to look for friends that fit the kind of person you are looking to associate with at this point in your life, and let go of the friend (or friends) that you’re merely hanging on to due to familiarity and some shared history.

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  • Addie Pray

    Addie Pray March 9, 2015, 9:46 am

    Really, why do people hold on to friends like this? I’ve never understood it. As if the social circles/groups/clicks people made freshman year must follow them forever no matter what. You’re not friends, you don’t like each other! I really hope you bow out, LW, before the resentment kills you. It may. It’s killing me!

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    • Diablo

      Diablo March 9, 2015, 10:57 am

      I’m not defending maintaining relationships that are not working, but as someone who never had a lot of friends, it is a big decision to “phase out” friends who are connected to your limited social circle. I let go of two key long-term friends in the last few years. I had my reasons. Both were connected to my extended social circle, which meant that we were no longer invited to a lot of events where we would previously have been included. Over the last couple of years, things have settled down and are getting better, but other people will sometimes ghost you when there is tension between people in the group. No one likes awkwardness. And we are not kids or childish, but still. Also, part of “getting better” is my efforts to move off my comfort zone and make some new friends, but that is not easy when you are pushing 50. (Or is 50 pushing me?)

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray March 9, 2015, 1:00 pm

        I hear you. This is why large groups can be a bit annoying. Sometimes there’s this pressure to all be best friends. It’s OK to not be best friends with each member of the social circle. And just because one or two are not your favorite doesn’t mean you need to abandon the whole group. For groups of large friends, that includes 1 or 2 people you aren’t so fond of, my rule of thumb is to just keep a bit of a distance from those 1 or 2 people. I mean, know the limitations of the relationship and don’t expect much from them. It helps protects your feelings a bit, if that makes sense. With this LW, she and the bride don’t seem to be friends at all. The bride would be a perfect example of the kind of person in this group setting LW should try to distance herself from. And if she’s not able to do that while maintaining peace in the group, then so be it; she may need to do what you did and cut ties and not be surprised when the invites to that group’s social outings dwindle. Maybe this is harder to do for someone who finds it harder to branch out and make friends? They’d rather have the option to hang out with this group and be in the “in crowd” despite the drama that ensues? Maybe. And I say 50 schmifty, you young! Go make new friends. 🙂

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  • FireStar

    FireStar March 9, 2015, 10:04 am

    Yeah…cut your losses. But for the future look at your own conduct and the part you had in facilitating/furthering/continuing the drama. Just at a glace(because truly I just can’t reread) you bailed on a difficult conversation with Beth about her expectations and left it up to someone else (that backfired) and you blew off the dinner you said you would attend for your mutual friend’s birthday – I know… headache – but did they know that? And just showed up to the show later even though you were insistent about only attending two out of the three events. If you already made separate plans with the birthday girl and didn’t want to do anything with Beth then why not just say that instead of creating all this angst? So if your modus operandi is to bail at the last minute and mess up plans or leave others holding the bag then you can see how your behaviour contributes to the petty annoyances that seem to pervade in your relationship. Just sayin’.

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  • Lyra

    Lyra March 9, 2015, 10:11 am

    Ok, WHY did you agree to be her bridesmaid in the first place?? Why would you agree to be someone’s bridesmaid who VERY OBVIOUSLY would take advantage of you and have insane expectations for everrrrything. (I mean, seriously…2 bachelorette parties, including one to MEXICO??? Insane.) But you agreed before you looked at your bank account, and you’re now stuck in a really awkward situation. The sooner you back out the easier it’s going to be. I guarantee she will have more demands on you…like expecting YOU to pay for HER trip to the destination bachelorette party. So back out now with the expectation that you will never speak to her or be her friend again — not a loss, really, when you think about it.
    .
    To give you an idea of how normal brides treat bridesmaids…I’m engaged and my bridesmaids will be spending about $100 on a dress and probably $20 on shoes. And we ARE planning a weekend bachelorette party…to a family cabin up north so it’s going to be insanely cheap. Plus I’m footing the bill for their hair and makeup as well as jewelry. I also told them not to bother with shower gifts or anything because I don’t want them to feel obligated. Them being in my wedding is gift enough for me. So when all is said and done they MAY have spent $200. At the end of the day, your frenemy is crazy and has ridiculously insane expectations for you, her bridesmaids.

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    • Diablo

      Diablo March 9, 2015, 11:03 am

      Your example is fine, Lyra, but i would guess that most weddings cost a lot more than yours to be in. Even mine would have and we wuz young and busted broke. It was a destination wedding (Swift Current, SK) and in those days a room at the Rainbow Motel would have cost over $50! I also wonder about $20 shoes. I’m a guy and i wouldn’t want to chance standing all day in $20 shoes. $20 pumps? I dunno. So somewhere between $200 and several thousand is the problem, when you decide you can’t afford to be in a wedding. Apart from that, i agree with what you are saying.

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      • Lyra

        Lyra March 9, 2015, 11:17 am

        Oh definitely! Just providing an example because the most important thing to me was to stay in their budgets. Regardless of location I think it’s important to not throw a ridiculous amount of “required” bridesmaid costs at them. Thats where I was going with this 🙂

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      • Portia

        Portia March 9, 2015, 11:53 am

        I agree on the $20 shoes! I’ve had a couple of $20 shoes that were great and lasted years, and others that gave me wounds if I wore them for more than like 10 minutes. I’m one of those people who will walk around a shoe store in shoes I’m trying on for like way past the appropriate amount of time, but these are important decisions! I’ve been burned before…

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      • avatar

        RedroverRedrover March 9, 2015, 12:08 pm

        I only buy certain brands now, that I know are always comfortable. And yes, they’re expensive. I don’t think I’ve ever had a $20 pair of shoes that were actually comfortable. I have somewhat high arches though so that might be why.

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      • Diablo

        Diablo March 9, 2015, 12:11 pm

        Right now, I am wearing a $7 dress shirt from a discount chain and $150 shoes. Shoes were one of the first areas in life where I decided I couldn’t cheap out, after walking home in some Payless Shoes that left me in a wheelchair for several months. (Ok, no wheelchair, but they really hurt me.) Now, I try not to buy any shoes i wouldn’t walk a mile in. Mind you, as a guy, I have only a few pairs. M, on the other hand, has various shoes she will not walk a block in, but apparently women are obliged by natural law to own sexy red pumps that hurt like hell.

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      • avatar

        RedroverRedrover March 9, 2015, 1:00 pm

        Every time I buy awesome-looking shoes that are uncomfortable, I regret it. Now I actually have some sexy AND comfortable pairs. I’m like you, I will wear cheap clothes and not care, but shoes are something I will invest in. Shoes, and anything for warmth (winter coats/gloves/boots), are areas it’s not worth cheaping out on.

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph March 9, 2015, 1:53 pm

        With you peeps on the shoes! Honestly, nothing makes me less happy than having sore feet. Not worth it in the slightest. My best friend asked for silver heels for her bridesmaids. I spent months looking for comfortable shoes (ordered and returned no less than 6 pairs from Zappos) because I did not want to spend the day in pain. They weren’t cheap either, but it’s worth it to be able to walk out of there at the end of the night without pain.

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  • avatar

    RedroverRedrover March 9, 2015, 10:51 am

    I will never understand people whose “friends” are just the people who are around. Like, she was your roommate so she automatically became your friend for years afterwards? Your friends should be people that you choose, not just whoever randomly wanders into your life. Men are especially prone to this, I find. Most guys seem to just fall into friendships and keep them forever. But women do it plenty too.

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    • avatar

      Kaluu March 9, 2015, 11:25 am

      I realized I was doing this about 6 years ago and stopped. When people invite me for something for the the first time, I usually accept and then think about how it went. Most of the people I meet now are pretty nice though, moms of other kids who like my kids so I can’t really complain. Also since we are busy with our young families there’s not really any boundary issues. When I was younger I spent too much time with girls and guys who were hanging out for the wrong reason and also those who may not have had bad intentions but I simply didn’t enjoy their company much or even found them insufferable (bragging, complaining, whatever.) it feels really good that I say no now. It’s like a magic power.

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      • avatar

        RedroverRedrover March 9, 2015, 11:34 am

        Yeah, it feels great to only have friends you actually like. It’s easier for me, I think, because I can only really maintain 2-3 friends max anyway. I can see how it would be really hard for people who like a big group of friends, because then you’d have to find like 20 people, and get them all to be friends with each other, too. I don’t have that problem because I like one-on-one hangouts the best.
        .
        My husband has a group like I described, and it’s too highschool for me. They get in fights with each other, and then you have to be around all the stress… it’s just not worth it. I just try to stay on the sidelines and not engage in that kind of stuff, but then the effect is that we don’t get invited to as much stuff (because we’re both introverts, and not as outgoing and involved in the group), and then my husband feels bad when he’s left out. 🙁 I don’t know what else to do though, they’re nice people but I don’t connect with them the way I do with my friends. And it’s hard enough to find time to spend with my friends, let alone maintain strong ties with his whole group of friends.

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  • norabb

    norabb March 9, 2015, 11:55 am

    Maybe someone said this, but I really think you need to go a step further and tell her why you’re cutting her out. It will be hard, and she might not take it well, but you don’t need to talk to her after that, because she is toxic. But I think, as hard add it will be for her to hear, she needs to understand why she is but being a good friend and how her behavior has affected you to the point that you can no longer be her friend. You can say it lovingly but I encourage you to not best around the Bush and be honest with her. Maybe it’s a pattern in your life to take in “strays” and by being honest and leaving the friendship behind, you’ll feel better about yourself and you will better recognize a friend who deserves your tine. She sounds miserable, and you know that you can’t handle it anymore. Be loving, be honest.

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    • norabb

      norabb March 9, 2015, 11:56 am

      Omg sorry for the typos, I hate phones

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    • avatar

      absurdfiction March 9, 2015, 12:23 pm

      Eh, I don’t really think that’s necessary. I don’t see what either the LW or Beth has to gain from having a ‘break up’ conversation. Especially if there are mutual friends that LW does not want to alienate. The kind thing would be to be friendly but distant – stop maintaining the friendship, but don’t make things awkward if they’re ever invited to the same event in the future. I’m sure there are times when laying it all out like that would be beneficial, like if someone won’t back off and you’ve been trying to fade them out for a while, but otherwise it’s just asking for more drama in my opinion.

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    • FireStar

      FireStar March 9, 2015, 1:32 pm

      I disagree – what good could come of that? Beth chooses to be the way she is. The LW doesn’t feel loving towards Beth so nothing she says is going to come across that way. If she loved Beth and wanted to address an issue with her in their ongoing relationship I could see why you might have that type of conversation but an exit interview telling her about herself? Beth isn’t going to take that well and the LW has no business telling her either. If it were me my take would be if you don’t like what I’m selling then take your business elsewhere. Her best bet is a quiet exit stage left.

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  • avatar

    TheRascal March 9, 2015, 12:35 pm

    I agree with absurdfiction. It will only lead to unnecessary drama.
    *
    Plus, what would the point be? It would only be a hurtful conversation. Just let the friendship fizzle out naturally.

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  • mylaray

    mylaray March 9, 2015, 1:16 pm

    LW, you don’t sound like a peach to be around either. I think you need to realize your part in this, and just move on from these friendships already. I know it can be easier said than done. I’ve been having trouble letting go of my longest friend from when I was a kid, but it’s so drama-filled, I find myself getting caught up in it, and I don’t like that.

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  • bittergaymark

    Bittergaymark March 9, 2015, 1:28 pm

    Eh. These two sound like a match made in heaven. Beth is a deranged drama queen while the LW lives to play the martyr with EVERYBODY out to get her… Yawn.

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  • Cassie

    Cassie March 9, 2015, 2:05 pm

    “I realized that I’m spending almost two grand on someone I barely even like or can tolerate.”

    Why are you even friends then? You should be friends with people whom you like, and who like you back. This sounds like a ton of drama on both your sides. If I were you, I would still go through with the wedding commitment (sans ridiculous 2nd destination bachelorette party) but then spend some ample time re-considering my life and who I am choosing as friends, why, and how I myself can be a better friend to others. You’re 27 years old. Enough with the drama already.

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    • Cassie

      Cassie March 9, 2015, 2:18 pm

      I just re-read the letter and realized the wedding is in the fall, not this summer. Yeah, that’s plenty of time to back out of being a bridesmaid which is probably what you should do. WWS.

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  • avatar

    Sue Jones March 9, 2015, 4:24 pm

    I had an old friend who was always full of drama. Same one that was upset that she wasn’t showered with expensive gifts at her baby shower even though she made a point of inviting people with money. During the time that I have lived in the same house and had 2 cars, she bought and sold 6 cars, moved 5 times and got married, divorced and has had several boyfriends. Things got easier between us when she moved 2000 miles away from me (because she was restless and had to move 4 hours from the nearest airport) and we kept our friendship to a few phone calls per year. Now she is angry that I haven’t visited her… maybe it is time to really cut the string since I have no intention of making an expensive trip to see her while I am in the midst of raising my family (only to have her probably ditch me for some guy she will have just met – this has happened in the past!.) And we are in our 50’s. We had fun in our 20’s and 30’s and I used to find her antics entertaining, but anymore I just can’t. LW cut your losses and back out of the bridesmade thing. Attend the wedding if you must (and make it a real vacation and the wedding just a small part of it, unless of course she uninvites you, then it is just a vacation!).

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  • avatar

    wobster109 March 10, 2015, 11:08 am

    LW, something about your letter is very puzzling to me. If it were just Beth that would be one thing, but Beth, the other party planner, and all the other bridesmaids are all against you? What’s going on here?

    Do you often have migraines? Is your physical health something that your friends are all aware of? If they’re not, it looks mighty odd to them, that you’re sick for the brunch and sick again for Dora’s party. And the way you talk about House of Cards is weird also. Why do you think Beth shouldn’t talk about it just because you aren’t interested?

    I get suspicious about “all the world’s against me” stories. Because one Beth is a bad apple, but a whole bridal party of Beths is a pattern with YOU at the center. So what’s going on here?

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