I graduated two years ago. After graduation we all moved to various parts of the country. My girlfriend and I broke up, though we remain friends. A year after graduation I received a call from David telling me that he had just proposed to his girlfriend that day and wanted me to know that he really wanted me to come to the wedding (which was a ways off). I have only talked to either David or Ron a handful of times through either text or messaging since then.
Fast forward to today and David e-mailed me for my address so he can send a wedding invitation. The wedding is at the end of May. For those first three years of college I felt so strongly that he was someone who would be with me for my biggest milestones, and I for his. Now I feel so torn. Maybe it’s just me reading into things too deeply, but getting someone’s address less than three months before the wedding date seems pretty last minute/like an afterthought.
This year hasn’t been the easiest for me. Shortly after the beginning of the year my department was eliminated out of the blue and I lost my job. I decided to use the time that severance afforded me to take control of my future health and get a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy. While there was no cancer in my body, I have the breast cancer gene. I am now three weeks post-surgery. I do not have a new job yet and am not sure when I will find something. If I do not have a job by then, I would definitely need to dip into my savings. I live in the center of the country and the wedding is in the Northeast so it wouldn’t be cheap for me to get there.
I’m feeling incredibly torn about going or not. I wonder if going would make me feel worse and point out how we aren’t close anymore, or if I would regret not going. Even if I do find a job soon, it won’t be easy for me to get there. — Invited But Unsure
Don’t go to the wedding. For all the reasons you list — you are not close to David anymore and haven’t been for years; you have only been in touch through texting and messaging; you are unemployed and can’t really afford a long-distance trip; you are still recovering from a major surgery; also, what if you got a job between now and the wedding — would you ask for time off so soon after being hired? For a wedding of someone you haven’t even really spoken to in years? And don’t go to the wedding for a reason you didn’t list: weddings are a terrible time to reconnect with the bride(s) or groom(s). (You’ll be lucky if David has ten minutes to come say hi to you and thank you for coming, let alone have some “moment” where the friendship you once had is validated or even rekindled).
As for feeling like an “afterthought” because David asked for your address only three months before the wedding, I wouldn’t give that much credence. You obviously weren’t an afterthought if David called you after he proposed and said he wanted to invite you to the wedding. Now it’s possible you were part of a “B Group” and only got invited when members of the A Group sent regrets to a Save the Date, but you don’t know that. And what difference does it really make? If you’re looking for a sign that you aren’t terribly important to David, I’d think the fact that you haven’t actually seen or spoken to him in ages is a bigger sign than getting an invite to his wedding only three months in advance.
And, look, just because you aren’t important people in each other’s lives anymore doesn’t negate or erase or in any way diminish the importance you once had. You were close during very formative years. That will always mean something. You will always hold a special place in one another’s hearts. It’s the reason he thought to include you at all in such a milestone occasion. But just because you were once important to each other doesn’t mean you will always be in present tense. And it doesn’t mean that you need present-tense closeness to keep your past closeness meaningful. Your past friendship is meaningful because it was meaningful. Period. And now it’s over, and you’ve moved on, and that’s the way life goes.
Send a thoughtful card or even a gift from the registry and call it a day. You don’t owe David or your past selves presence at his wedding.
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kerrycontrary March 19, 2014, 9:09 am
WWS–but just so you know, 2-3 months before a wedding is a normal time to send out invitations. And if they didn’t send out save the dates (which not everyone does), he wouldn’t have asked for your address earlier. I simply wouldn’t go because it seems like it would be a financial strain for you. Send a gift if you feel like it, and try to re-connect with David after the wedding if you want to re-kindle that friendship. Maybe he really does want to re-connect with you and the wedding has made him take stock of people in his life, so I wouldn’t consider his actions to be insincere.
bethany March 19, 2014, 9:15 am
Don’t go to the wedding. You can’t afford it right now. You’re out of work and recovering from major surgery. RSVP no, and send them a nice card.
The whole leaving college, growing up, getting married thing really mixes up friendship dynamics, especially when people move all around the country. It is what it is. David isn’t your close friend anymore. It doesn’t mean that he hates you or you did something wrong. Whatever happened, happened. You two are at a point in your relationship where you have a lot of shared history and happy memories, and every now and then you’ll text or FB or whatever, and that’s what your relationship is. And that’s ok. It’s a weird place to try to settle into, but once you get there and you release the hurt or frustration of the past, you’ll enjoy having these peripheral people in your life who shared a moment in time with you.
kerrycontrary March 19, 2014, 9:20 am
I’m so struggling with this dynamic right now with one of my friends. She’s completely unattached, living in NYC, no spouse or pet and having so much fun running around the city (I’m not saying she’s not busy or has no responsibility or anything). And I love my life right now but I have a dog and a fiance and I’m moving and planning a wedding and all this other stuff. So it’s hard for me to travel to visit her, but she hasn’t visited me even when I offer. So it’s hard to keep up a friendship when you don’t see each other, and then we’re also in different stages of our lives. Blah.
ktfran March 19, 2014, 9:42 am
In regard to you and your friend, I think you make time for the people you want to make time for.
I’m single. Living in a big city. Go out regularly. Go to yoga. Go to church. Have a lot of friends. Enjoy my life.
My best friend is married. Lives in a smaller city. Has a child. Is pregnant with her second. She enjoys her life.
We’re worlds apart, really. But the thing is, we’re there for each other and we make time to catch up. I visit her once or twice a year and she visits me at least once a year. Maybe not this year because of the new baby. So that means I’ll want to visit her again. I will because she’s important. In fact, I get to see her and her family tomorrow. I’m so ridiculously excited. Her husband has some fun staff planned for all of us.
I guess what I’m saying is, yes, you can be at completely different points in your life, but friendship is work. Make time for the people you want to stay in touch with. Even if it’s a phone call or e-mail.
SasLinna March 19, 2014, 9:26 am
WWS, especially her point that going to a wedding is not a great opportunity to reconnect. So if you’re hoping to talk to Ron you’ll likely be disappointed.
As for Ron reaching out to you to invite you to the wedding, I think it could be genuine. If you’re interested in reconnecting, why not meet up with him another time?
GatorGirl March 19, 2014, 9:27 am
Invitations are typically mailed 6-10 weeks before the wedding, so your friend is spot on asking for addresses.
If you can’t afford it, don’t go. If you want to rekindle the friendship call him, explain why and catch up. If you want to close the chapter on this friendship, then just decline. No one can really give you advice on that. (What ever you chose, please do RSVP by the deadline!!!!)
LlamaPajamas March 19, 2014, 9:32 am
I sent save-the-date cards almost a year in advance for my wedding, but only because it’s during peak foliage season in New England and we wanted to give people advance notice to book hotel rooms before they filled up. We’re not sending out the actual invites until about 3 months before the wedding, which, like everyone else said, is pretty normal. But even if you’re not an afterthought, I still wouldn’t put the time and money into going to the wedding because (again, like everyone else said) weddings really aren’t the time to reconnect with the bride and groom. A few years after I graduated college I got an email from one of my former roommate’s boyfriends out of the blue – he and the roommate were getting married and he wanted me to come as a surprise for her (she and I had lost touch). I wanted to show my love and support so I made the trip from Kentucky to PA to celebrate with them, but I ended up getting to talk to my friend for about 10 seconds – she was surprised but I really don’t think she cared that I was there. And to top it off, I never got a thank you note for their gift and I never heard from either of them again. So that was money and vacation time wasted and a friendship that was not only not rekindled, but that I’m actually pissed about now. Bottom line – you have health and job issues to worry about so don’t worry about making this wedding or your friend a priority right now. You can always get back in touch in the future. Weddings are just one day in the life of a couple – they shouldn’t make or break anything.
katie March 19, 2014, 9:42 am
really the only things you should weigh when you get a wedding invitation is 1. do i want to go to this person’s wedding? and 2. is it feasible for me to go to this person’s wedding? if either of those are a no, then dont go- its as simple as that. weddings arent some big huge thing that will forever make you black listed if you dont go. but, i think that what is happening here is that you are making this wedding the scapegoat for the real issue, that is that your friendship was very damaged, and then kind of half-assed repaired, and you dont feel good about that. its not really the wedding that is causing you your troubles, its the friendship itself. if you want to try to rekindle that, do so. but dont make it about a wedding, because its really not.
related: i am now pretty good friends with my cousin, who is awesome. his wife is awesome. i first met him when i was 17, and then again maybe once more. i was not close with them really until i moved to chicago, where they live also. so when i lived in colorado he was getting married. my mom was going and she invited me as her plus one. duh i didnt get an invite- i hardly knew him, or my aunt and uncle at that point. the answers to my two questions were no and yes- no, i didnt really want to go that badly. i didnt know the people! i had met them like twice! but, yes, it was feasible. i ended up putting off buying plane tickets and then never did and my mom went and had this amazing time. now that i know my cousin, i still kind of kick myself that i never pulled the trigger on going, but- oh well! it made sense at the time. and its not a big deal.
not really but sort of related: i think this kind of scene is going to play out at the wedding im in. its my college roommate who is getting married, and she is (i think) inviting people from our friend group, but of course everyone is all fractured off and not friends anymore, and its going to be weird. and i think that she felt she *had* to invite them, especially because one of them invited her to their wedding. hopefully it wont be awkward. and i even told her she didnt have to invite anyone she didnt want to! we will see. ill have to ask her if she invited them this weekend.
bethany March 19, 2014, 9:59 am
I think a lot of people do that (inviting people they think they should), and then like never see or hear from them again! That’s part of why I wanted a small wedding. We only invited people we were actually close with. I’m fairly sure that aside from my dad’s one random friend and his wife, we’ve seen everyone who was at the wedding since then, and it’s only been about 2 years. I know people who were in the bridal party for someone and then never heard from that person again! craziness.
katie March 19, 2014, 10:07 am
yea i really hope she didnt invite them because she felt that she had to. i mean its her life, but that has to suck!
and also, weirdly like this letter too, the other friend from our group in college called her like right after he got engaged too- he said something like “i wanted to tell you myself, i didnt want you to find out from facebook, im getting married”, and she was so confused and told me “we hadnt talked in months -months!- why do i care?” haha… oh the joys of graduating college!
ChemE March 19, 2014, 9:51 am
Is 3 months really short notice? I mean if it was like the day or week before, yeah sure, I can see being upset. But 90 whole days before an event? That seems reasonable to me.
I think you’re trying to find reasons to decline the invitation and this is an easy one to use and try point fingers that it’s their fault. Seems like there are plenty of reasons not to go but this isn’t one of them.
eljay March 19, 2014, 9:58 am
This one point stood out to me like a glaring red thumb and I just couldn’t get past it. Complaining that 3 months before an event is “short notice” is absurd. You’re absolutely right in that this is grasping for reasons to not go, especially when all the other reasons are perfectly valid. If you don’t want to go, don’t go. Just don’t hide behind excuses, especially ridiculous ones.
kerrycontrary March 19, 2014, 10:01 am
For one wedding I went to, my fiance and I, along with 2 of our friends, were completely b-list for the wedding. We got invited like 3 weeks beforehand. We still went cause we wanted to go to their wedding and it was at the beach. No need to be offended over the b-list.
katie March 19, 2014, 10:04 am
my guess from the “milestones” part of the letter is that the LW thought there would be more to the process of her and/or her friend’s wedding. “just” getting emailed for an address for getting an invitation 3 months out like “just” any guest isnt good enough for the years of friendship behind them…
i dont think she thinks its so much last minute, but that there is no more thought into it then there is. she is just another guest, and that hurts because she thought that “he would be with me for my biggest milestones, and i for his”.
this is like a personification of them not being special in each others lives anymore.
GatorGirl March 19, 2014, 10:08 am
How else do you get addresses? We e-mailed or texted tons of people to get addresses for our wedding, it just seems like the logical way to get the info.
katie March 19, 2014, 10:22 am
oh no, i dont think there is anything wrong with it, but its just one more thing added on to the list of “things that remind me we arent very close anymore”- he didnt even have her address.
(and even then thats dumb- i never write down my friends addresses, which i should, but i always forget, so ive asked them like 500 times for their address…)
GatorGirl March 19, 2014, 10:27 am
Gah if LW is getting “upset” about that, get a life. I don’t have a reason to have most of my friends addresses…it’s not like it’s common to mail letters anymore! Wedding invitations are one of the few reasons we’ve ever addresses. Those and Christmas cards.
This whole letter is such fabricated drama.
Lindsay March 19, 2014, 11:15 am
Agreed! All of my friends who have gotten married have had to email me for my address. Even my best friends. Even people who have literally come to my house for parties or dropped me off before. Having an address book or memorizing friends’ addresses is not a thing a lot of people do these days.
ktfran March 19, 2014, 12:03 pm
Oh my gosh, I was totally thinking this is too much drama and it was giving me a headache.
Lindsay March 19, 2014, 10:12 am
Like others said, don’t go because it seems that you can’t afford it. But don’t turn it into something where you’re offended that he asked. As has been said before, it’s a normal period of time for invitations.
I had a friend in college who lost most of her friends because of her boyfriend, and though she and I are still friends, she comes across as a really bitter person when she talks about it. If you want to catch up, catch up, but a nice thing would be to take this as a reminder that weird things that happen to friendships don’t mean you have to harbor resentment toward someone.
peachy March 19, 2014, 11:37 am
Kudos on your courageous decision to get prophylactic mastectomies. It’s a tough surgery and the recovery can be arduous, so please don’t forget to factor in lingering low energy and possibly some low spirits when considering your response to this situation. I hope you are receiving good support from friends and family!
With regards to David and Ron (the package set), it should be noted that David got his info from Ron that there had been a raprochement, but if he thought someone else’s conversation and air clearing with you made him all right and tight too, that just goes to show he’s still quite bone-headed. Unless you deeply feel that having this backward duo in your life again would be of great benefit, just let them go.. and of course, don’t go to a wedding you can’t afford and feel conflicted about.. Best wishes!
cdobbs March 19, 2014, 11:49 am
agree with wendy until the last sentence….i wouldn’t bother with a card or gift…..the person thought nothing of shutting you out of his life….the wedding invite sounds more like a gift grab than wanting to reconnect with you….if he was interested in rekindling the friendship he would have reached out for a coffee or in some other way….i hate getting invites to baby showers and weddings when you never have any sort of contact with people….it just seems like they are more interested in the gifts rather than sharing a special event with their loved ones
bittergaymark March 19, 2014, 12:28 pm
Eh, I dunno. Maybe your girlfriend WAS a real bitch. (The fact that you make no real effort to say that she wasn’t sure speaks volumes here..) God knows this happened to me often enough in college where I couldn’t believe some of the assholes my friends (male and female) saddled us all with in the name of mediocre pussy or average sized cock. Did I ever cut off contact with anybody in our group? No. But than nobody was EVER quite that bad. That said, I certainly avoided certain people much more often than I would have liked. STRONG personality is code for INCREDIBLY ANNOYING at best and god knows what else at worst.
I’d go to the wedding. It’s a great way to network for work, just for starters.
Look, I think you are looking for reasons to be offended. (Which is so typically female by the way. Can any of you even imagine a dude penning a letter such as this? I can’t. Yes, it boggles my mind how some women apparently just sit around dreaming up imaginary ways that they themselves have been slighted or disrespected. Mired so by their own insecurities that the only way they can feel better about themselves is to project how much they dislike themselves onto everybody else.) NEWSFLASH: It’s fucking NORMAL to get invited three months out…
ktfran March 19, 2014, 12:52 pm
I didn’t way to betray my gender or anything, but I, too, wanted to say “stop acting like a girl.”
landygirl March 19, 2014, 1:02 pm
Men automatically assume that their way is the right way. It just goes to show you how much more work needs to be done with regards to female equality.
GatorGirl March 19, 2014, 12:58 pm
I totally read it as a dude writing in.
bittergaymark March 19, 2014, 1:03 pm
That was just the pronouns… I knew it was a lesbian the moment she tossed in “guy friends” on lines three and four…
GatorGirl March 19, 2014, 1:04 pm
Why? I refer to my male friends as “guy friends” and I’m straight.
rachel March 19, 2014, 1:08 pm
Right, but you’re a girl. I can’t imagine Ross referring to his friends as “guy friends.”
bittergaymark March 19, 2014, 1:13 pm
Addie Pray March 19, 2014, 1:14 pm
Yes, WRS, hahaha
GatorGirl March 19, 2014, 1:29 pm
Fair point, I guess. But BGM’s never ending trash talk of women is seriously old.
katie March 19, 2014, 1:27 pm
come on, having a girlfriend and a mastectomy wasnt every else’s first clues???
rachel March 19, 2014, 1:28 pm
Haha, yeah, if the way she spoke early on didn’t do it, the mastectomy definitely gave it away.
GatorGirl March 19, 2014, 1:30 pm
Well, men can get breast cancer so I didn’t want to just jump to that conclusion (that LW was female). Frankly the gender is completely irrelevant in the whole conversation.
LadyinPurpleNotRed March 19, 2014, 1:32 pm
Yes they can, but how often are they going to preventatively have surgery?
GatorGirl March 19, 2014, 1:35 pm
Um I have no idea? I imagine if there was a family history it would be explored. I’m really no expert in breast cancer, or cancer in general so…
ktfran March 19, 2014, 1:23 pm
Crap. Me too. I thought it was a dude. Damn.
landygirl March 19, 2014, 1:01 pm
You had me until you insulted my gender. Get over it, Mark. Quit being a misogynist.
Addie Pray March 19, 2014, 1:07 pm
Just wondering if it bothers you when people say “that’s so typically gay by the way” when talking about a gay guy doing something that is [insert something that’s “so gay”]? You know, just in terms of the whole stereotyping-and-perpetuating-stereotypes-and-accusing-an-entire-group-of-people-of-some-character-flaw-based-on-their-sexual-orientation sort of thing.
bittergaymark March 19, 2014, 1:20 pm
If it did, I’d be offended all the time. Many people to this day still constantly use the phrase “gay” to just mean lame. Especially in pop culture. Which frankly is not at all the same thing as me saying that a behavior is typically female.
Lord knows people here frequently say thing such as “men never listen” all the time and nobody accuses them as being anti-male. For starters, it’s true. Many men never do listen. Many men do always think they are right. Meanwhile, the phrase disrespected is something I’ve never even heard pass between two male lips. Women are simply much better at creating drama than their male counterparts. If you don’t believe this, than I sure as hell wish I had gone to middle school with you.
landygirl March 19, 2014, 1:41 pm
Blah blah blah. I know men who are the biggest drama queens I’ve ever met. Once again, you use your own bias against women as the basis of your argument.
In fact, you are one of the biggest drama queens on DW.
bittergaymark March 19, 2014, 1:45 pm
Yeah, and yet you’re the one instantly resorting to petty personal insults…
landygirl March 19, 2014, 2:29 pm
Get over yourself, you insult my gender just about every time you post here. You lump us all together and make sweeping generalizations based on your own beliefs and expect us not to take it personally.
You base your belief on the idea that a man’s way is the correct way. That isn’t true for anyone except men who are biased toward their own gender.
If men were as smart as your gender thinks they are, then the world wouldn’t be so screwed up.
Portia March 19, 2014, 12:39 pm
The LW is making this way more about past drama than it needs to be. If David didn’t think they were important, why would he call on the day he got engaged? And he probably had to get a list of addresses for invitations at the last minute, or realized he didn’t have the address at the last minute, hence the email.
I agree that this is not a great opportunity to reconnect with the one friend, but what about others in this friend group? Ron? I’d say if you don’t go because of all the other reasons you listed, which are certainly valid reasons, and you want to reconnect with these other friends, then find ways to reach out to them. If you want to go to the wedding to reconnect with whoever else is going, do that. If you don’t care about reconnecting (and don’t feel like you’re a bad person for not), send your regrets and a short excuse. But this invite stuff is a red herring.
Lucy March 19, 2014, 12:44 pm
“getting someone’s address less than three months before the wedding date seems pretty last minute/like an afterthought”
This is the point where I realized that LW was a drama factory. As others have said, this timeline is totally normal. If you’re using this as a reason to feel slighted, then all your other reasons to feel slighted become suspect. Maybe your girlfriend really was intolerable, for instance. It happens. Also, I know falling out of touch with someone for two years feels like an eternity at your age, but it’s not. It’s a drop in the bucket. Especially during a time when so much changes so fast, two years can fly by.
All that being said, you just had major life-altering surgery, and you’re jobless. If your recovery won’t be complete before the wedding, or if you can’t afford to go, then that’s all there is to think about. None of the other stuff you mention is even relevant.
sobriquet March 19, 2014, 1:17 pm
There’s no shame in declining a wedding invite. Just send a nice card and gift.
I would cut Ron and David some slack about their sophomoric behavior. It wasn’t about YOU, it was about your girlfriend and for whatever reason (personality, dynamic change) your friends had a hard time with her and reacted very immaturely. It was college. My friend circle hated one of my friend’s girlfriend’s in my college-aged years, too. They didn’t cut him off for it, but they certainly talked badly about her behind her back. Sometimes all it takes is one member of a group disliking a person for peer pressure to take a domino effect.
I have a question for all of you DWers. Say there is a member of your social group (best friend’s SO, SIL, friend’s roommate, etc.) who gets on your last nerve due to changeable behaviors. What would you do? Would you just secretly hate that person behind their back? Would you talk to them about your issues? Would you just try to avoid them?
sobriquet March 19, 2014, 1:18 pm
Personally, I would want someone to talk to me. If I was being annoying or dominating conversations or completely lacking self awareness in some kind of social setting to the point where I was actively disliked, I’d want to know!
bethany March 19, 2014, 1:58 pm
I’ve mentioned it before that my husband has a friend whose wife I cannot stand. We were invited to their wedding and I didn’t go (husband was working, had it been any other friend I woudl have gone alone). I was invited to her bridal shower and baby shower and I didn’t go to either of those.
She’s not a horrible person or anything, but her personality and nearly every single thing about her makes me want to scratch my own eyeballs out. Dave knows I hate her. I only see her when it is 100% necessary. And when I do have to see her, I try to avoid talking to her as much as possible, and when I’m forced to talk to her I try to view it as a personal challenge to not punch her in the face. To my knowledge she has no idea I hate her.
It’s a shame, because we really like her husband…But we don’t see them that often because she really just sucks hardcore.
redessa March 19, 2014, 5:11 pm
Well, if you hate “nearly every single thing about her” then I’m not sure what talking to her would do. If it were one annoying tic then maybe you could bring it up, but asking her to overhaul her whole personality is not going to make the two if you better friends. It will also likely cost you her husband’s friendship.
Lucy March 19, 2014, 2:53 pm
Depends on how indirect the relationship is. If this person were an actual friend of mine, I would say something as nicely as possible. But if their relationship isn’t really with me, I would avoid them without explanation unless asked a direct question about why. I have an SIL like this. She is a drunk and a racist, and I spend as little time with her as humanly possible, but saying anything (to her or anyone else) would be counterproductive.
Fabelle March 19, 2014, 2:19 pm
So I can’t really write a lengthy, prettily written comment, so I’ll just toss this out real quick—I… don’t really see this LW as pointlessly creating drama? I think she’s just really sad about her friendships ending, & still trying to understand what happened. I also think she’s (correctly) confused over why David would reach out (when it wasn’t even him with whom things were made “right” with, after the mom dinner thing) & she’s probably trying to understand his actions by attributing it to some b-list wedding guest list thing (i.e. “does he really care/have regrets over the end of the friendship, or am I an afterthought?”) She’s overthinking for sure, but I don’t think it’s out of a DESIRE to create “drama”. Either way, it sounds like attending will put her out way too much, so she shouldn’t go—but just wanted to defend her a little!