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Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Afternoon Quickies: “My Friend Went to Our High School Reunion Without Telling Me”

It is 20th-high-school-reunion time. I am one of a very close-knit group of four friends from my high school class. One of us, whom I will refer to as “Bud,” decided to attend the reunion. But Bud decided to go without telling any of the other members of our clique. Bud is not in contact with many, if any, other members of our class other than our group. Our group was stunned that he would go to the reunion in the first place, let alone go without his close friends. He seemingly did not want us there.

We are befuddled and, quite frankly, offended. Does Bud want to “upgrade” his friends? Is he embarrassed by us? Is he trying to distance himself from us? All of us in the group are successful and personable, and there is no reason that we can see as to why he would want to distance himself from us.

Your initial thought may be that he is angling for a girl he had a crush on in high school or something like that, but we attended an all-male school, and Bud, as far as we know, is heterosexual.

Are we making too much of this? My gut is usually right, and my gut tells me that something is wrong. Is Bud a jerk? — One of Four

How are you so close after 20 years of friendship and you can’t say, “Yo, Bud, why didn’t you mention you were going to the reunion?!” That’s a normal thing to say to a friend you’re tight with. And then you could better gauge from his response what the deal was. I did wonder if he might be pursuing a romantic interest that he didn’t want wing men for, and that’s still a possibility even if you all went to an all-male school. Perhaps Bud isn’t totally straight after all. Or maybe he wanted to network for business opportunities and thought having his close friends around would distract him from that agenda. I don’t know! But it seems odd to jump to the conclusion that something is “wrong” and that Bud is a jerk. It sounds like Bud’s going to his/your high school reunion had literally nothing to do with you and your other two friends. And confirming this would be as easy as simply asking.

From the forums:

I met a lady through a very close friend. Some time ago they had a serious falling out, and the lady did not invite my friend to her 40th birthday party although she invited me and wanted me to coordinate the party. I assisted her in the coordination, but told her I couldn’t attend the party out of loyalty to my close friend; she was quite understanding.

Shortly after the party, my close friend and this lady squashed the beef and they now talk a lot, but my my close friend didn’t tell me about it. I heard from a mutual friend. What should I do in this instance? Have the discussion with my close friend? Ignore the gist? Be wary of my close friend? — Should I Be Wary?

 
Why would you be wary of your close friend? Her fall-out with her pal wasn’t about you and neither was their reconciliation. You were loyal to her in not attending the birthday party, but that doesn’t mean she owes you status updates on her friendships. It probably slipped her mind to tell you or she hasn’t had an opportunity or didn’t think it warranted a discussion. Maybe she thought she had already told you. Maybe she was a little embarrassed by the whole situation. Maybe she feels slightly guilty you missed out on the party on her account (even though she didn’t ask you to skip it!).

At any rate, I just don’t think any of this is that big a deal. There’s no big “discussion” that needs to be had. Next time you talk to her, you could say, “Hey, I heard you and the lady are friends again. That’s great! Maybe some time the three of us can hang out.” And then she can make that happen eventually or not. Or she can decide to share some details with you or not. If there are other reasons you might have to be wary of this friend, that’s one thing, but nothing you’ve mentioned suggests she’s someone whose intentions you can’t trust.

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

15 comments… add one
  • FYI September 30, 2021, 2:21 pm

    Sorry, LW1, but your gut is not right. Honestly, when I read this, I thought your reaction was very, very odd. Why are you being territorial over a grown-ass man? Y’all are almost 40, right? Why does he have to tell you if he goes somewhere? (Yes, even to your high school reunion.) If you — as an individual — didn’t want to go, then why does it matter to you if he does?

    Maybe he went without telling y’all because he feels suffocated by having to do everything together in lock-step. I would be totally creeped out and gasping for air if my friends wanted an accounting of my whereabouts and decisions. You’re offended?! And think he wants to upgrade?! For real???

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    • Miss MJ September 30, 2021, 6:57 pm

      This:

      “…he feels suffocated by having to do everything together in lock-step…”

      I mean…I don’t know what kind of blood oath you think you all took in high school or whatever, but 20 years later, it’s super weird to expect that your friend owes you an explanation for how he chooses to spend his free time socializing.

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  • Hazel September 30, 2021, 2:48 pm

    Bud probably thought he wasn’t going to go, then on a spur of a moment, did. Or wanted to connect with some friend in particular. Or anything, really, It’s healthy for people do do some things outside of their immediate group, and you all got the invite, right? And none of the rest of you wanted to go? Why on earth shouldn’t he go if he wants to? (there is probably some social dynamic I am totally missing here if so I apologise but I just can’t see what he has done wrong unless there is a whole other past scenario you have not disclosed)

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  • ron September 30, 2021, 2:54 pm

    LW #2 –Why would you agree to coordinate the party and then feel obliged to refuse to attend out of loyalty to your friend?

    LW#1 — If you and the other members of your friend group wanted to go to the reunion, why didn’t you go? Did you need other guy to go with you for some reason? Lack of confidence? Why are you so surprised that Bud would want to go to the reunion. A 20th reunion is often looked at a bit differently than any since the 10th and being further removed from school than the 10th, Bud might have been feeling more nostalgic. If he previously strongly voiced his opposition to attending class reunions, perhaps his nostalgic feelings embarrassed him.

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  • LisforLeslie September 30, 2021, 3:29 pm

    Is today’s Quickie theme “You might the the NPC” ? I mean, everyone is the star in their own show, but I’m thinking perhaps these people think they are the star of someone else’s show?

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  • Bittergaymark September 30, 2021, 4:02 pm

    LW1) I remain shocked that a man penned this letter — about a group of men no less. Anyway, where to start? So much is odd in this letter. Maybe Bud simply knew none of you wanted to go so he just went stag. I mean none of you went, right?

    LW2). Is it paranoid friend day here or what? I have nothing.

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  • Prognosti-gator September 30, 2021, 4:03 pm

    LW1: It’s obvious that your group looks down on the reunion: “Our group was stunned that he would go to the reunion in the first place”

    So, why is it hard to believe that if he wanted to go, he didn’t want to subject himself to the judgement of the rest of you?

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    • allathian October 1, 2021, 1:28 am

      Yeah, this sounds like the most likely and reasonable explanation to me.

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  • ktfran September 30, 2021, 5:33 pm

    This is all grade school drama. From both letters. Wow.

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  • Rick September 30, 2021, 9:22 pm

    Gee, it sure sounds like “Bud” wants somebody to tickle his pickle.

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    • anonymousse October 1, 2021, 8:48 am

      I think you’re projecting, “Rick.”

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      • Bittergaymark October 1, 2021, 9:47 am

        Yeah, while that’d be Hot — I see no real evidence of that here.

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    • Kate October 1, 2021, 5:01 pm

      This has to be the OP

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  • Fyodor October 1, 2021, 9:21 am

    Maybe Bud wanted to go to the reunion and didn’t want to argue with the rest of you about it. Maybe he thought (correctly) that you’d look down on him for it.

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  • CanadaGoose October 1, 2021, 1:38 pm

    LW 1 – If your group is so close, why wasn’t there some kind of group conversation or text about the reunion? “You guys get the invitation to the class reunion on X date? Who’s going to go?/Want to go?/We’re not going, right?” This is the weirdest letter. Unless your group’s thing was to drag on the school or classmates, why wouldn’t you talk about going? And if that was your thing, then you have your answer as to why he said nothing.

    LW2 – This sounds pretty immature. If you’re helping organize a party, not attending doesn’t negate your support. Stay out of others’ relationships with each other and be friends with who you like (exception in the case of gross wrongdoing like abuse, then you need to pick).

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