Not one to get confrontational, I joked off the first few comments. But she kept at it, and eventually I had had enough. I said, “what the hell?!” and asked why she was giving me all this shit. I think I took her by surprise. She looked shocked and said, “Shhh, not at the wedding.” That made me mad, and I told her she was being rude. She then became defensive and threw out more insults and then stormed off and I did not hear from her until the next day.
I had never had any bad blood with this girl before, but the truth is I never thought that much of her in the first place; she has a phony vibe about her and in small ways over the years has revealed hints of her judgmental self. For that reason I had already purposefully kept a little distance from Lacy, but we always got on just fine. What really made me sad was that Lacy cited things that only our mutual friend Sara knows, so it was clear that they must have been talking about me, and I felt betrayed. I stepped outside, started crying, and went home early.
The next day my sadness turned to anger. Lacy reached out by email with one of those, “Hey, I am sorry you are hurt, but I said nothing wrong” apologies. She insisted that she was just being a concerned friend and that I simply had a strong reaction to her “honesty.” That is when I lost it, and I ripped her a new one. I wrote her a long, colorful email explaining the difference between honesty and being an asshole and how she was a judgmental, rude, meddling idiot, and that even if all the things she had said were true, it was none of her damn business in the first place. I didn’t say “go fuck off” but that was the tone of the letter. What the hell, right?
Of course, as time passes (it’s been a few more days), Lacy’s comments seem less severe, and I’m embarrassed I let them get to me. I at least wish that I had ignored her email and given myself the time to just get over it quietly, on my own. I could have filed this away as a mental note to not trust Lacy. Instead, I dropped a bomb on Lacy, who is sad and feels ganged up on because Sara is not speaking to her now.
So what do I do now? Do I just go about life and pretend this shitty friend is dead to me, what’s done is done? Or do I apologize? Let me step back first and tell you what I want: I want no tension. This negative energy out there is bringing me down. But I also don’t want to rebuild a friendship with this idiot.
I have considered sucking it up and saying something along the lines of: “You were just being a good friend, sorry I couldn’t handle the criticism, I suck.” (I don’t believe that, but it’s just words, and if it will make her less sad and ease the tension, then why not? Nothing will change the fact that moving forward I will keep my distance). The truthful apology I want to make goes something like: “Sorry, I did not need to pull out the big guns on you; you will never get it anyway, and it’s not worth my time.” But of course that is not going to get us anywhere. What should I do? — Wedding Gate
Weddings should be — and usually are — wonderful celebrations, but as we have been witness to on DW many, many times, weddings can also bring out the very worst in people. They create stress and tension and draw out a host of insecurities ten thousand miles long (well, three at least). People worry that they can’t afford their dream weddings or can’t afford to give expensive gifts or can’t afford to be in the wedding party or can’t afford to travel to their friend’s wedding; they worry about running into exes; they feel insecure that they’re [blank] years old and nowhere near getting married themselves; they feel fat in their new dresses or angry that their hair doesn’t look as good as so-and-so; they wonder if people think they’re lame because they showed up without a date; they feel insecure that they don’t know anyone at the wedding besides the bride and/or groom; they feel awkward about dancing in front of people or sticking out by not dancing. Maybe Lacy was feeling one or more of these things. Maybe you were, too. Maybe it was a perfect storm of pent-up tension, insecurity, and sheer exhaustion from two weeks of slutting it up (kidding!) that resulted in overreaction on both your parts.
The truth is, Lacy was a bitch for tearing into you. Even if you two were close friends and it was her place to express concern over perceived crazy behavior, a wedding is certainly NOT the place for such a thing. That was strike #1 and #2 against her (butting her nose in where it didn’t belong, and doing it at such an inappropriate time). The non-apologetic apology was strike #3, and frankly, I don’t think you were wrong in responding to her the way you did. But it doesn’t matter what I think. What matters is that YOU feel bad.
But do you feel bad because you are genuinely sorry you hurt Lacy’s feelings? Or do you feel bad that you’ve pulled Sara into this? Or do you feel bad that now there’s going to be this weird tension with Lacy and any time you are in her company, like when you’re hanging out with mutual friends, you’re going to have to deal with it? Or do you feel bad because you feel betrayed by Sara? Or do you feel bad because there was a grain of truth in Lacy’s comments? Nail down what it is exactly you feel bad about and then proceed from there.
If you aren’t genuinely sorry you hurt Lacy’s feelings and you only regret that you let her get to you and now you have to deal with awkwardness between you, send her an email along the lines of: “It’s been a busy summer for me, packed with life experiences I don’t regret at all. But I do regret letting my fatigue and your comments get the best of me and behaving in a way that didn’t represent my best self or the regard I have for our friendship. I hope in hindsight you can appreciate why I may have felt defensive as I can appreciate that your comments, however misguided I think they were, came from a place of genuine concern. I also hope we can put this behind us and move on cordially.” Turn the non-apology back on her, you know? And stand your ground that you think she’s full of horse shit, but say it in a way that’s a little nicer this time while taking responsibility for your own regrettable behavior.
And then move on. Because, truly, these kinds of dramas just aren’t worth the headache. Lacy was never a real friend anyway. And Sara? She sounds suspect, too. You know now not to trust Lacy anymore, but I’d keep a watchful eye on Sara as well.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.