It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing today. After the jump, we hear from “Anxious Wedding Guest,” who was nervous about running into her ex-boyfriend at a weekend destination wedding. She wrote: “After not seeing him for two years, to suddenly spend a whole weekend with him is going to be torturous! […] I really don’t want my best friend’s wedding to be tainted because of my feelings towards this a**hole.” After the jump, find out whether she let her ex ruin her experience at her best friend’s recent wedding.
First let me resolve one of the major questions from the readers. The ex was there because he is an old school buddy of the groom. They aren’t close so I don’t have to worry about seeing him on a regular basis; I guess the next time I will have to see him again will be another wedding or maybe a big birthday.
The wedding day came and I was so busy looking after the bride and groom that I forgot the ex was even there. I only noticed him after the ceremony when he was suddenly standing behind me. I could have been the bigger person and turned around, greeted him and made idle chit chat, but I didn’t do that. Why? I realized that I didn’t care anymore if he was there or not. It was such a beautiful day and I didn’t want to focus on him, even if it was for a couple of minutes.
Between running around, eating, giving a speech, drinking and dancing, I didn’t have time to acknowledge him all day and night. There were a few times when I would catch him looking at me, but I know it’s because I looked good and had a lot of male attention that night too! Winning!
Before the wedding I had not one but TWO Oprah “ah-ha moments.” The first, I realized that I wasn’t anxious to see him, I was anxious of the feelings that seeing him would bring up. Two years ago in an effort to get over him quickly, I had pushed aside my feelings of rejection and humiliation, thus not really dealing with them. Secondly, I realized I never missed him! I never longed for him after we broke up, never cried myself to sleep over him, I never got jealous of hearing him with other women, I never reminisced special moments with him, which made me think: was I just with him for convenience? Who knows, but I certainly don’t care anymore.
Thanks for the update! I’m glad the wedding was anxiety-free for you.
If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at [email protected] with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.
haggith August 24, 2011, 12:25 pm
she refused to talk to him and be polite because she still resents the way he may have treated her… still resents the feelings of rejection and humiliation his presence evokes… it is those feelings he inspires she hasn’t gotten over yet
haggith August 24, 2011, 12:31 pm
then, why talk to someone that inspire you those feelings in a wedding?
kerrycontrary August 24, 2011, 12:49 pm
I just don’t understand why anyone cares if she talked to him or not. The wedding went off without a hitch and she’s happy.. That’s the point right!?
Budjer August 24, 2011, 12:59 pm
And you are totally right…I guess the way I perceived the tone of the letter bothered me a little bit…
Budjer August 24, 2011, 12:09 pm
Then why didn’t you just be polite and talk with him? If you REALLY didn’t care you would have.
Amber August 24, 2011, 12:18 pm
ITA. some one who REALLY didn’t care would have said a quick hello, as it is the polite thing to do when you see someone that you know, rather than purposely ignored them. But otherwise it sounds like everything went smoothly.
Miss Lynn August 24, 2011, 12:19 pm
She doesn’t owe him anything. She said it herself that she was busy the whole night, and its not like she was going to go out of her way to make nice with him. If he had said something to her first and she had just flat-out ignored him that would’ve been a completely different story, as she would have been acting kind of childish, but that wasn’t the case. Neither of them was obligated to acknowledge the other.
Bethany August 24, 2011, 12:19 pm
I disagree- She was busy doing other things the whole day. Why would she go out of her way to talk to him? When I’m ambivalent about someone, I certainly don’t go out of my way to talk to them! If they came up and said hi to me, sure I’d be polite and engage in conversation, but if you don’t care about someone one way or another, I think it’s perfectly natural to not speak to them.
It’s not like they were face to face- he was standing behind her- totally acceptable in my book not to turn around and engage him in conversation.
Amber August 24, 2011, 1:11 pm
I’m not getting ambivalence from her response, at all. But I could be wrong. Normally I wouldn’t go on for 5 paragraphs about how much I ‘don’t’ care about someone.
Maracuya August 24, 2011, 12:23 pm
Even if she did have an “Oprah a-ha moment” it’s not like suddenly realizing that will make you feel happy and free when she was set to see him the day after. She was probably still angry on some level and didn’t want to get into a conversation.
Amber August 24, 2011, 12:28 pm
Just because you’re over someone or don’t care about them being present doesn’t mean you want to have a conversation with him. Even if it’s only a hi how are you that would have been possible before a wedding ceremony. At the end of the day not talking to him kept the wedding stress and drama free for her which was what she was hoping for.
Helen August 24, 2011, 12:31 pm
Because it’s idle chit chat and she had better things to do. I had an amicable break up and while we still talk once and a while, but if I was at a wedding with other people and things to do, I probably wouldn’t talk to him. Not because I’m still hung up, or because I’m being rude, but because I’ve got better things to do.
Sarah August 24, 2011, 12:47 pm
Why do you think that being polite is the same thing as invalidating your own feelings for the sake of looking like the better person? Why should she have talked to him sweetly and pretend like nothing bad happened between them? Why does she owe him that? The way she acted was the most honest to her feelings while still being kind to all parties. She trusted herself to know where her boundaries were and still made sure the wedding was successful on her part, how many of us can say we would have accomplished as much?
haggith August 24, 2011, 12:49 pm
ReginaRey August 24, 2011, 12:28 pm
I totally disagree. I had a relationship end very badly over 2 years ago, and we will certainly be seeing each other at weddings and events in the future. While I might say hello and have idle chit-chat, I really couldn’t give two shits about him, his life and giving him any attention. I would have much better things to be doing at a friend’s wedding than having an awkward, forced conversation with the ex. Why acknowledge them if you don’t care? There’s rule that states, “If you don’t care, you would have talked to them.” There are plenty of people I don’t care about, and don’t communicate with for that very reason. Not because I secretly DO care and want to send some sort of message.
ReginaRey August 24, 2011, 12:29 pm
**NO rule that states…
ele4phant August 24, 2011, 2:13 pm
Agree 100 percent. She was busy that day, so why should she be expected to make an effort to reach out to someone she isn’t interested in talking to just to prove she’s not hung up on tehm? I am sure there were many other people she didn’t get around to talking to that day because she was busy and didn’t know them/wasn’t really interested in making the effort/ Does that mean she’s hung up on or has some beef with them too?
Your life isn’t a show for others to watch and judge if your actions prove you are over your ex or not. If you feel okay, and you don’t feel like talking to them, that’s fine.
mf August 25, 2011, 1:42 pm
Love this: “Your life isn’t a show for others to watch and judge.”
Budjer August 24, 2011, 12:30 pm
Starting a new comment too many to respond to in the other:
She took enough time to notice he was trying to get her attention..she took enough time to flirt with apparently multiple dudes…he was obviously waiting for her to turn around and say something and she blew him off….she was rude and a lot of this letter just reeks of trying to convince herself he’s pining over her and she “won”.
I understand he was allegedly a shit head to the LW, but even with my worst GF (who I will probably run into during alumni weekend this fall) I would never ignore them on purpose…BECAUSE I don’t care and it’s no skin off my back to see how they are doing in life for 5 minutes.
Landygirl August 24, 2011, 12:42 pm
Because apparently, he’s a jerk…
“Our relationship ended HORRIBLY. He accused me of things I didn’t commit and broke it off with me before allowing me to even plead my case. I’m not the kinda girl to go running after a guy when they’ve treated me in such a disgusting manner, so when he called it quits I didn’t argue or plead with him, etc. I MOA’d!!”
Lydia August 24, 2011, 1:04 pm
“he was obviously waiting for her to turn around and say something and she blew him off”
You don’t know that. All we know is that he was standing behind her, she noticed it, and neither of them did anything. If he was that anxious for a conversation, he could have spoken to her himself. If it’s rude of her that she didn’t (which I don’t think, by the way), he was equally rude.
Budjer August 24, 2011, 1:06 pm
I’m not trying to keep the argument going by any means, but I do need to clarify your assumption of my assumption ( I know…too much assuming ). I assumed she was “busy” while he was standing quietly behind her to not interrupt what was going on…if she bolted right after then he obviously couldn’t have said anything…that’s the scenario in my head…but again…all speculative…
ape_escape August 25, 2011, 4:47 am
RIGHT? jeez! she was sooooo rude? He was equally rude, then! Wow. I am really not understanding the negative feedback.
….she decided to avoid an interaction which – through fault of either person – had the potential (potential, mind you) of being what ann landers might call “a scene.” Why is that a shitty thing to do?
Amber August 24, 2011, 1:13 pm
Exactly. For someone who supposedly didn’t care, from the sound of her very long update, it does sound like she was pretty consumed with the whole situation throughout the wedding.
Nadine August 24, 2011, 6:07 pm
I read it more that she wasn’t at all consumed with the situation, but she is re-hashing it here because, you know, its an update on THAT situation. We don’t want to hear how she really spent her day if it was adhering to wedding duties! Hindsight!
Budjer August 24, 2011, 12:36 pm
If he wasn’t trying to talk to her then she obviously has no obligation to talk to him…but I take issue with the fact that she blew him off.
ele4phant August 25, 2011, 4:17 pm
Uh, didn’t he blow her off too? Glancing at her, or ending up standing next to her isn’t exactly initating a conversation, is it? I don’t think that’s clear enough to be “He was trying to talk to her”. If he wanted to talk to her he could have, oh I don’t know, been the one to actually start talking.
ReginaRey August 24, 2011, 12:40 pm
I fail to see how it’s “rude” to not acknowledge an ex. She had no idea how the conversation would have gone. Whether it would have been chit-chatty and over in 5 minutes, no problem. Or if, perhaps, he would have been an asshole to her and potentially ruined her experience at her friend’s wedding. There was no reason to mess up the mood of the evening for her. You aren’t obligated to speak to an ex, even if they’re in the same room. Just because you have a past history doesn’t mean you’re required to acknowledge it.
El August 24, 2011, 1:42 pm
I never read that this ex even apologized for the way he had treated the LW.
For me, this would have nothing to do with being “over” someone, and everything to do with the fact that an ex treated me like shit, and wasn’t mature enough to hold himself accountable for his actions. I would have given him the coldest cold shoulder imaginable, and I’m happy that the LW did the same. Until he can bring himself to say, “I’m really sorry about the way I treated you when we were in a relationship. I acted like a real ass and I hope you can forgive me”, he doesn’t deserve even the simplest of pleasantries from her.
Blitzen August 24, 2011, 2:37 pm
Totally agree. It’s entirely possible to not care about someone and dislike them enough to not waste two minutes of your time on them at the same time. Those two are not necessarily mutually exclusive. I have an ex that I would have treated the same way. I will never forgive him nor speak to him ever again. Does this mean I care about him? Nope. Quite the opposite.
bittergaymark August 24, 2011, 1:56 pm
I don’t burn all my bridges either. Even when the fire wasn’t started by me…
EB August 24, 2011, 6:03 pm
Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnnie Ray
South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio
Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, television
North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe
Rosenbergs, H-Bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom
Brando, “The King and I”, and “The Catcher in the Rye”
Eisenhower, vaccine, England’s got a new queen
Marciano, Liberace, Santayana goodbye
Bittergaymark didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
Bittergaymark didn’t start the fire
No he didn’t light it
But he tried to fight it
bittergaymark August 25, 2011, 8:28 pm
Wow. Seriously. So at least 16 of you just never want to even say hi to any of your exes ever again. Damn. I’d say it was sad…but the feeling is probably MORE than mutual… As an aside…I’d love to know how many of you are still very much single..
Lydia August 26, 2011, 3:33 am
I have an ex that I ignore whenever I run into him (which isn’t often, thankfully). He ignored me for months after our break-up even after saying we could be friends – when I got over him, I no longer felt the need to be friends or even have him in my life in any way. I felt like he’d had his chance and he blew it. I ran into him a few months ago at a reading from one of my favourite writers. I got to ask a question during the event, and later in the lobby he came up to my table, said “you lucky girl” and pretty much ran off before I could even respond. If he’d said “hi, how are you?” I would have responded cordially, but apparently he couldn’t manage that, so I don’t feel the need to do that either.
I’m engaged now.
Budjer August 24, 2011, 12:56 pm
Do you both HONESTLY think this guy was going to make her fall into the fetal position and ball her eyes out at their mutual friend(s) wedding?
@Landy: I guess I need to know how aggregious the argument was…because her description is fairly ambiguous….it could be she did something he considered a dealbreaker, regardless of her motivations, so he broke it off…or he was an over paranoid ass hole – I don’t know.
To bring it back – I guess if I knew what exactly he broke up with her over then I may change my mind on this issue.
Budjer August 24, 2011, 12:57 pm
egregious* stupid phone.
MJ August 24, 2011, 1:14 pm
Haha, and “ball her eyes out” has quite a different connotation than “bawl her eyes out”…especially when talking about exes…
budjer August 24, 2011, 1:33 pm
Budjer August 24, 2011, 1:00 pm
lol – thumbs downed that one too 🙁
ReginaRey August 24, 2011, 1:00 pm
Budjer, I think this may be a girl thing. Maybe it’s a bit sexist of me, but often I wonder how much break-ups effect dudes years down the road. For me, and other female friends, even if you don’t give a shit AT ALL about them anymore, part of you will always be angry at the way you were treated during a bad breakup…even if you’re totally grateful it happened to you in hindsight. Just because she doesn’t care about him at all anymore doesn’t mean that she’s not going to have a reaction when he’s in the room. And the best way to deal with that is not to say anything at all, which she did. And as for dudes…I feel like most of them fail to understand why us females might always harbor some sort of ill-will or grudge, because they usually get over grudges and bad feelings MUCH quicker. Sorry to generalize a bit.
Budjer August 24, 2011, 1:01 pm
No – it’s fine. That does add some perspective for me. Thanks.
bittergaymark August 24, 2011, 1:49 pm
Really? This make you all sound beyond petty and immature. If you can’t go out of your way to be civil to some one than you are acting like a bratty, spoiled child. I’m sorry, but that’s NOT “the best way to deal with that…” No, instead, that’s just acting like a petulant little brat.
Sarah August 24, 2011, 2:07 pm
Are you really blasting people for not being as polite as they should have been at the exact same time you’re being as rude and impolite as possible in telling them so?
bittergaymark August 24, 2011, 2:29 pm
Hey, if I see the behavior as bratty and immature — I am going to call it out. Clearly, I struck a nerve…
Sarah August 24, 2011, 2:40 pm
Uggg, please don’t excuse rudeness for “calling her out” just because you think you have justification. What if the LW had insulted her ex at the wedding? Under your definition, she would just be “calling him out”.
ape_escape August 25, 2011, 4:44 am
you know, sometimes, the only way to BE something even close to “civil” with someone who treated you like shit is to not talk to them at all. If that’s petty, bratty, and immature, then I guess I’m screwed for life.
ele4phant August 25, 2011, 4:21 pm
I fail how to see how politely existing, but not engaging in small talk, is uncivil or immature. She didn’t throw a scene, she didn’t stand in the corner of room and sulk, she did her thing and let him do his. Everybody had a nice time. So they didn’t chit-chat, they still acted like grown-ups.
katie August 24, 2011, 9:54 pm
yea, this is it, i think.
speaking with an ex has always brought back some kind of feelings- whether they were lovey-dovey (not over him), or anger (bitter), or that weird feeling where you are supressing every urge to have any types of feelings at that moment (i dont what this one means… lol)
i think women just might be more in touch with their feelings in the way that the physical act of talking with an ex can bring about all the emotions you have already processed, good or bad.
also, ps- no matter how over him she might have been, he was an “asshole” to her, and so she may have been walking into a bad situation by talking to him.. people are very unpredictable! maybe it would have started something bad, you never know.
parrt August 24, 2011, 11:58 pm
1 politeness is not mandatory.
2 the LW doesn’t give a shit about what you think she oughta had done. the tale is over.
end of story.
bittergaymark August 24, 2011, 1:42 pm
The fact that SO many of you think it’s just GREAT that she couldn’t even be bothered to say “Hello” to a guy she once spent a couple of years with her life with really makes me kinda sad. I’m sorry. But seriously… Just how immature are so many of you? (LW writer included.) Oprah moments aside, (both of which sound like pure BS to me anyway) it seems that you didn’t learn very much at all. I mean, if being petty is what one considers a victory, well then, gee, perhaps losing would have been the way to go as it might have actually inspired some personal growth.
Sarah August 24, 2011, 2:02 pm
I don’t know where you learned that going out of your way to be sweet and talk to people who have treated you badly is that same thing as having good self-esteem, but I doubt it will do good things for you in the future.
bittergaymark August 24, 2011, 2:12 pm
Right… Being petty is so good for your relationship karma. Plus it truly shows that you are the bigger person, too.
Sarah August 24, 2011, 2:30 pm
Petty involves having a meanness of spirit. Did she have that? Did she give him dark stares all night or talk badly about him to everyone at the wedding? No. All she did was chose not to go out of her way to start a conversation with an ex, who, by the way, did not chose to start one either (I notice you didn’t give him any blame….).
She was kind and respectful to everyone in the wedding party, why do you feel the need to take that away from her by insisting she should have forced some sort of polite conversation with a man who she has a negative past with? Just because you would act sweet to people who have treated you badly does not mean she should have acted as complying.
bittergaymark August 24, 2011, 2:35 pm
Oh, for Madonna’s sake. I never said she had to do a one act play with him entitled “Some Enchanted Evening We Meet Again And I Pretend To Kiss Your Ass For Hours On End..” . All I was suggesting was a polite and civil “Hello..” Clearly though, that was expecting far, FAR too much…
Sarah August 24, 2011, 2:48 pm
If its such a small act of politeness, then why is she such an immature petty brat for not doing it? She didn’t say hello because she didn’t feel like it, and neither did he. If this is how they were both comfortable with the arrangement, why are you so offended by it?
MissDre August 24, 2011, 2:56 pm
I just want to say that Sarah is awesome. That is all.
bagge72 August 24, 2011, 3:09 pm
Well 1st you sound kind of ridiculous right now, and the fact that you’re sad, because people understand that you don’t have to go out of your way to be nice to somebody to show that you’ve moved on with your life is just weird. Just becuase they were your EX does not mean in anyway that you have to talk to them no matter how much time you spent with them previously. 2nd As far as I know the Ex didn’t say hi to her either. So why the double standard? Why was it her obligation to go talk to the person who broke up with her without giving an explanation, and treated her badly?
The fact is that the LW has the right to treat this guy however she wants (with consequences of course), and if that means minding her own business, and having fun at a wedding then that sounds pretty good to me. This isn’t a situation were she is writing in for advice, she is letting us know how it all worked out, and it’s in the past so I don’t see the need to come down on her for something that already happened.
Lydia August 24, 2011, 4:23 pm
“2nd As far as I know the Ex didn’t say hi to her either. So why the double standard?”
THIS THIS THIS. If he talked to her and she blatantly ignored him, THAT would have been rude and petty. But you can’t blame her for not saying anything if he didn’t either.
bittergaymark August 24, 2011, 7:23 pm
Really? Come on. You can always tell when somebody is going OUT OF THEIR way to ignore you. And really? Why would you bother to say hi to anybody who was so insecure that they wanted to play that game. Seriously.
ele4phant August 25, 2011, 4:34 pm
We don’t know if it was soooo obvious she was going out of her way to ignore him. Nor do we know that he was really putting out all those signals we wanted to talk. We weren’t there, we didn’t see it.
However, as it was her best friend’s wedding, I’d wager there was a good chance she was legitimately busy running around doing stuff.
Fabelle August 24, 2011, 2:31 pm
I totally get why she didn’t say ‘hi’– I think some people are picturing it like, the ex is waving frantically and she pretends to not see him or something. Sure, she was aware of his presence, but weddings are bustling occassions– it’s difficult enough for the bride to even say hi to everybody! I don’t think it’s petty. He’s her ex and it’s probably better to avoid any communication. At least her update wasn’t like “I just wanted to say hi but he drew me into a conversation about our past! I wound up crying on the floor!” (There was an article over at The Frisky about a wedding guest making a HUGE scene because she talked to her ex. Sometimes it’s better to pretend he’s invisable)
silver_dragon_girl August 24, 2011, 2:53 pm
First of all, LW, I’m glad you made it through the evening with your dignity intact. It sounds like you even enjoyed yourself quite a bit, which is awesome!
I do think that Budjer and bittergaymark have a point, though– I think if you were *really* 100% over the guy you would have at least made eye contact and waved a greeting or something to acknowledge his existence. The fact that you didn’t, and then went into such detail about your “a-ha” moments, makes me think there’s still some lingering resentment/regret/sadness/love there. Why do I think this? Because as long as you’re thinking about him enough to even HAVE “a-ha” moments, you’re not over him. Those moments are your way of continuing to process the breakup, and they will continue to happen until they don’t. You’re not really “over him” until someone mentions him, or he calls you, or you are reminded of something to do with him and you realize, with a jolt, that you haven’t thought about him in months.
And all of that is okay. It’s normal. It doesn’t matter in the context of your update, only in the massive green-shaded discussion going on above! I think that not talking to your ex was probably the best way to handle the situation.
haggith August 24, 2011, 2:58 pm
true… i think it’s completely normal to accept those lingering feelings. i think it’s a process. i don’t understand what the fuss it is to deny we have them… you know, step 1
Budjer August 24, 2011, 2:59 pm
I think you hit the nail on the head with your assessment. Based on her letter it’s probably for the best they didn’t talk, but instead at least acknowledged his existence in some way.
Amber August 24, 2011, 4:56 pm
Exactly. It’s great that she made it through the event. But I think the thing that really started all of the debates was the whole “here’s my in depth analysis and play by play of how I ignored him and 200 reasons why I don’t care about him” update.
The lady doth protest too much, methinks, is what the update screams of.
Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com August 24, 2011, 2:04 pm
WINNING indeed! I love this update. Way to spin straw into gold girl.
bittergaymark August 24, 2011, 2:15 pm
Or delude yourself into thinking that others there were impressed with your behavior. And that they didn’t notice it, too.
“Wow, I thought Sheila would be over the whole Tom mess by now, but she STILL couldn’t even say, “Hi” to him! Can you imagine being so wrapped up in the past? Talk about embarrassing…”
“I know! Poor Sheila!”
amber August 24, 2011, 2:26 pm
Or it could have gone…’I was worried that she wasn’t going to deal well with seeing him considering how upset she was when they broke up. But, luckily no drama.’
Maybe not everyone deals as well as you do with break ups. Maybe she felt that being in the same room with him was all she could handle this time around. Should she have been happy that she was able to be at the same wedding as him and not react and not get upset, why not. That’s why she wrote in the first place.
Budjer August 24, 2011, 2:34 pm
She should have said that was all she felt she could handle if that were true… The fact that she felt obligated to point out she thought the male attention she got bothered the ex AND the fact she still needed to put him down by proclaiming to be with him out of convenience make me think she is spinning straw into a fitted t-shirt of over-compensation.
bittergaymark August 24, 2011, 2:36 pm
Your right about every thing you say. Only it’s not a T-shirt, but a layered evening gown with sequins…
amber August 24, 2011, 2:45 pm
I still think she wasn’t completely comfortable with the idea of talking to him and maybe over compensated by saying damn I look good I’m getting attention, he’s still looking I bet he’s bothered by that. Good! See I can do this. I guess maybe that’s what I imagine going through my head in that situation.
And haven’t you ever questioned why you were with someone for longer than ou should have and thought about why after?
The question I still have is why is it all on her to initiate a conversation. Catching glances of someone and standing behind them don’t count as starting a conversation. If he wanted to say hi he could have too. I think it says something about the way their relationship ended and how they both felt about each other that neither of them intiated a conversation.
I think it’s funny because some people’s advice before was just because he’s there doesn’t mean you have to talk to him and now she’s getting berated for doing just that. I guess because of the tone of the letter? Either way she did what she did to keep the wedding stress free for her. Perhaps he also didn’t say hi for the same reason.
ape_escape August 25, 2011, 4:55 am
“I still think she wasn’t completely comfortable with the idea of talking to him and maybe over compensated by saying damn I look good I’m getting attention, he’s still looking I bet he’s bothered by that. Good! See I can do this.”
Agreed. Except, obviously this makes her a petty, insufferable and immature bitch, and not even close to…I dunno…a Human With Feelings That Are Sometimes Irrational.
bittergaymark never has irrational feelings. or feelings.
El August 24, 2011, 2:38 pm
Sorry, I must have missed the part where the responsibility of being cordial fell entirely on LW’s shoulders.
“Wow. Tom dumped Sheila years ago and made up some terrible lies about her and he STILL hasn’t even apologized. Sounds like he’s still the same immature dick he was two years ago. Talk about embarrassing…”
EB August 24, 2011, 4:24 pm
Or maybe nobody else gave a fuck about Tom and Shelia’s “interactions” since they were more interested in celebrating the couple that just got married instead of analyzing the one who broke up two years ago?
Jiggs August 24, 2011, 4:59 pm
I think the LW had no obligation to talk to this guy. They went out, it ended badly, who the hell cares? She obviously has no desire to talk to him, so why give him the opening? Maybe he’d just say ‘hi’ too and leave it at that but maybe he won’t and it’ll get awkward. Why even open that door? He could have said hello himself if he was so desperate. And the LW probably DOES have a little residual anger, so why invite those feelings to her friend’s wedding by conversing with this dude? I don’t know why she has to prove she’s over him by chatting with him.
My last boyfriend and I broke up five years ago. I have since met and married a lovely man whom I adore, and I definitely don’t have any lingering feelings for or about him. But if I saw him tomorrow at a coffee shop I would totally blank him. I just don’t like him, I don’t care about his life and I don’t want any type of contact. If he came up to me I would go through the smallest possible conversation politeness dictates and then get out of there. But I don’t see why I should have to run up to him and say “Hi, how are you?” when I don’t care about the answer or want to share anything of my life in return. I’m not comfortable with it, and there’s no reason I should have to become comfortable with it to prove I am a nice, compliant woman who worships at the altar of politeness.
Is it rude to do this? Yeah maybe, but I still don’t see where it’s some sort of litmus test for “overness”. I also don’t email, phone, text or smoke signal my ex, so I don’t see why just because I can see him I now have to have contact regardless of my comfort with that.
bittergaymark August 24, 2011, 7:09 pm
Who knew that expecting people here to act like adults would prove so controversial… Fine. I give up. But I honestly don’t see how anybody can read through letters like the directly above this post and tell me it’s not all very, very petty.
SpyGlassez August 24, 2011, 10:24 pm
FWIW, I agree and think it is somewhat petty. There is a particular incident involving one ex where I know I would behave in an equally petty way. We dated for six weeks, I broke up with him because he “fell in love” with me and was talking marriage and we were 17. He stalked me for roughly the next 10 years – showing up randomly at my work, at my college, calling my parents’ house and begging for my phone number, driving past our place, etc. I finally moved far enough away that he can’t show up at random or drive past my apartment. When he would catch me at work I would be civil (I worked retail; I had to be civil) but I never initiated conversation. Honestly, I spent a long time afraid of the shadows because he might be there. If he were to show up at a mutual friend’s event, I would not start a conversation with him. I don’t care about him, and I honestly wish him well with the woman he’s with now, but I want nothing to do with him. If he came over and talked to me, I wouldn’t ignore him because THAT would be outright rude, but I wouldn’t initiate anything. It might be petty, but I spent a long time in a state of agitation because of him, and I don’t want to revive any of that.
Nick August 26, 2011, 12:35 pm
You pointed out, I think fairly, that the update showed a lack of self-awareness cloaked in a (predictable) bit of you-go-girl group delusion. The protectors among us rush to her defense. Most likely they are proud of her for not selfishly causing a scene. Don’t gift up bgm. Being popular and being helpful are almost totally unrelated to each other.
I just wanted her to say: “I balanced the upside of being the bigger person and saying hello against the risk of my getting unproductively emotional at my friend’s wedding from the conversation, and I decided not to risk it.” That would have been the same physical ‘video’ of the wedding but would have been an honest self-aware thing to say. As it is this LW achieved the highest good (not disrupting the wedding) and that’s a solid A performance, even if it required this delusion she has to do it. Maybe she even knows herself better than we think and showed wise restraint in avoiding the jerk. Of course maybe he also wanted to apologize and her avoidance of him deprived him of the chance. Oh well then.
katie August 24, 2011, 10:02 pm
i think the main problem with people getting all up in arms about what she did or didn’t do or why she did or whatever is that they were at a wedding- a party to celebrate the union of two OTHER people… i just dont know if that would be the best place to see an ex of 2 years -hence why she wrote the letter- and also not the best place to try to talk to him for the first time in 2 years… i mean to me that sounds like a huge potential for disaster, and that would have not just effected this LW, but the entire wedding… from what i get she was the maid of honor, yes? so now everyone at the wedding has a story about the crazy maid of honor acting out at an old ex, or the story about a crazy ex of the maid of honor acting out —all at the wedding of two other people.
there is a time and a place, people. I truly beleive she took the high road in this situation.
Heather August 24, 2011, 10:05 pm
I guess I don’t see anything wrong with not talking to him, like she said, she was busy. Obviously she’s going to notice him, it just happens. I think it’s kinda stupid that some people are saying that she SHOULD have talked to him…she definitely doesn’t owe him that on any level. Oh well.
Good for you LW.
mf August 25, 2011, 1:40 pm
Yeah, I agree. I don’t think she was purposefully rude to him — she just didn’t want to talk to the guy, which is fine because she doesn’t owe him anything. Besides, this day was about her friends, the bride and groom, so I think it was great that she focused on them instead of worrying about her ex.
SpyGlassez August 24, 2011, 10:25 pm
I’m happy for the bride and groom, that there was no drama – inadvertent or otherwise – on their wedding day.