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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