Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Showdown

Okay, so here's the down-low on what happened with M.....

Just a recap: M is (or was, I suppose) my best friend growing up. I've known her forever, and we were each other's MOH in our weddings, I'm her daughter's godmother, blah blah blah. You can read some backstory here, here, here, here and here. Oh, yeah, I forgot about this one.

So, to summarize, she's a bit of a Bridezilla. It's a second wedding (although her fiance's first), and they're inviting almost 300 people to the wedding, and doing it like it's the first time all over again. Which is okay (and not for me to judge, btw), but it's almost as if she's trying to forget that she already did the same thing ten years ago, albeit it with a shitheel.

Well, as MOH, my responsibility (according to that damn bridal etiquette) was to plan and host the bridal shower (that yes, she was still having, even though they both live together and have what they need). I was planning the shower with M's mother. The only thing that M wanted (or at least, what I was told) was to have the shower close to her home, so that carting gifts and such wouldn't be a pain in the butt, which I thought was fine. So, I picked a restaurant that was close (and I happened to know that she liked, since we'd eaten there numerous times), got a guest list from her mother (since the shower was supposed to be a suprise), who got it from Sexy J, and, with her mother's approval, put down the $200 deposit back in March.

Well, at the beginning of last month, I happened to call M's mother because I had a question about the invitiations (I was trying to do the invites myself to save some $$, plus I like to be a little creative), and I find out from her mother that there were going to be 20 extra people invited. Which the restaurant couldn't hold. Now, at the beginning, her mother and I went through the guest list we received and I was told who was invited and who wasn't (plus, Sexy J told me that anyone with the last names "Blah" and "Blee" should be invited). Her mother told me that it was only for family, and close friends, but NOT work people. Her mother also told me that it was a second shower, so it shouldn't be bit. Needless to say, this threw me for a loop.

So, she asked me if the restaurant would hold that many people, and of course I told her no. So, she said that M mentioned another place (which is MAJORLY expensive), and asked me if I could get my money back from the first place. Of course I was really pissed off, and I felt like I wasn't getting the full story, so I called Sexy J. I then get a SECOND story. He told me that M's mother let it slip where the shower was after M added the extra people to the guest list, and M said that she didn't want it there, she wanted it at the other place. So I told him that, as a SUPRISE SHOWER, she doesn't really get to choose where the shower is. He then said that he doesn't want to get involved, it's none of his business, blah blah blah. Then, getting pissed off, I called M.

She tells me the same story her mother does, but then I told her what her fiance said, and of course she changed her tune. She said that she didn't want the shower at the first place because it doesn't have parking (there are three parking lots within walking distance), and if they HAD VALET SERVICES, then it would be okay. Well, they didn't have valet, and I didn't think that parking was that big of a deal to say that we shouldn't have a shower there. I pointed out that the deposit was already put down (with her mother's okay) and it would've been nice to know that earlier. So, this was going back and forth for about three days-in the meantime, I called the restaurant about the refund AND called the other place-and then on Saturday, her mother called and asked about the deposit. I told her that the restaurant told me it was non-refundable, and she said that we would have it there, then-case closed. So, she calls M and tells her that.

M told her mother that if her bridal shower was to be there, she didn't want one at all. She'd do something on her own. Her mother called me back and told me that, and I lost it.

I told her mother that I had had it, I didn't want anything to do with the shower, or the wedding at that point. Then I called M and left a message on her voicemail, calling her a selfish, spoiled bitch and that she was lucky she was getting a second shower AT ALL, and that people were trying to do something nice for her and she was shitting all over it. I said I was through.

It was two years coming. I was at the end of my rope.

So, she called me back and we argued for about an hour. She told me that I didn't have to be in charge of the whole thing, and that "everyone else thinks you're running the show" and that I wasn't involving anyone (which wasn't true-her mother and I were planning the space, and everyone else was doing other things-how can people who don't live local to her know of any LOCAL PLACES). She kept going on and on about how people had to pay for parking, and that parking is hard to get sometimes, yet she kept asking about valet parking (although I did point out to her that it was a bit hypocritical to bitch about paying for parking in a public lot yet expecting people to pay out for valet). She said that OF COURSE she wanted me to be in her wedding, OF COURSE she wanted me to be her MOH, but OF COURSE she wanted what she wanted-it's her day, after all. So, she gave me the weekend to think it over, since she said that she didn't want me to make a decision based on being upset and angry.

So, I thought about it, and I felt upset, sure. I felt shit on, and I felt like I was being played (which I told her) and manipulated. But, I was wondering to myself if I overreacted, and lost control when I should have kept my head. Of course, she's my friend, and when friends argue, we say things in anger we don't always totally mean. So I was prepared to concede-NOT to the shower, but to say that you're my friend, it's your day........and I want to be a part of it.

Well, on Monday I went to her house, and we talked. She told me that she made some decisions:

1. She put Sexy J's sister in the wedding. She originally was in the wedding, but then pulled out after we went to look at the dresses, on the excuse that I "was running the show" (she didn't know that M and I had gone a few months ago to dress shop and found the one she wanted, so I was pulling out the dress and showing it to everyone, and I guess she didn't like it), but in actuality, it was because she was having issues with her brother. So, they apparently made up and she's now a bridesmaid.

2. I'm no longer MOH, but simply a bridesmaid. Her reasoning was twofold: one, because I hurt her feelings by telling her off, and two, because she felt that she put too much pressure on me, given everything I've been through this year (IVF letdown, my grandfather's passing, being elected to get grandma from Boston), and she felt that it was partially her fault.
She told me that she feels as if I've changed and that I'm so stressed out all of the time, and that the "old me" wouldn't have normally reacted the way that I did. She also said that it was more important for me to be her daughter's godmother that it was to be her MOH, ultimately.

She said that it would take "a long time" for her to get over what happened, and that her fiance doesn't feel as if I like him (which isn't true) and he's not overly fond of me right now (her exact words were: "Well, he really likes Sean, and stuff, but it's not like the four of us are going to hang out together right now, but if he saw you out in public he [J] isn't going to be nasty to you, but he isn't going to go out of his way either"-nice, right?).

So, there's the story. I'm pretty much out of a 30 year friendship and a deposit I can't get back. Great, huh?

Like I said, this has been brewing for a few years. Yes, I was wrong to lose control-I could've handled it better. But, ultimately this pretty much opened my eyes about her and our friendship. Since her seperation and divorce she's become more and more self absorbed, and has less and less to give to others. Maybe she's always been that way and I didn't realize it, or maybe it's a result of the divorce, I'm not sure. But, the fact is, our friendship changed about three years ago, and it's sad.

People think that I'm insane for even agreeing to still being a bridesmaid, but I have two reasons. Firstly, I already bought the damn dress, and it was expensive. Secondly, I refuse to take the blame for this whole thing (which I told M-I told her that I felt that I was being punished for losing control when this whole thing wasn't my fault, since I was doing it with her mother's approval. She told me that she wasn't punishing me-in fact, if she was punishing me she would've cut me out altogether), and by being in the wedding shows that I'm the bigger person. I was told that if I came back that it would be as if it were forgotten, nobody would mention it, and if someone did, then she'd "take care of it". However, if one person does, then I'm out of there.......and I don't care if it is the night before the wedding. My father seems to think that she's going to skip out of the friendship once the wedding's over, which is probably true. But, at least I know that I did my best, you know?

I feel as if she really didn't expect me to agree to being in the wedding, since she asked her fiance's sister to be in the wedding again....four months before wedding, mind you), so now she has to deal with it. Actually, she called me last night and left a message that the dresses were in (quickly said), and it was the first time in three weeks that she's called me, and of course, all she talked about was the same things: herself, the wedding, her kid, and her ex. She didn't ask me about my vacation, she didn't really ask me about anything (I offered of course-I told her about the church job, and she sort of reacted). Nothing has really changed, I guess. She's probably still pissed off, and that's fine. But, I'm not 8 years old anymore, and I refuse to beg and plead with her to still be my friend. Perhaps if she bothered to really ask how I'm doing, and actually listen, then maybe I'd be more upset about it. Yes, I've changed-I can see that, Sean can see that; but, given what I've been through, how could I be the same person? And, since she's not gone through IF (although she tried to compare herself to me, I shot that down right away and very firmly told her that we most certainly did not have that in common), how can she understand? Really, I don't expect her to understand, but I did expect her to be there as support, and not just to give me my shots. Hell, anyone could do that. Quite frankly, she was not there for me emotionally when I needed her. However, she's not the same person either. Of course, she wouldn't want to hear that, but it's true. Our experiences shape our frame of mind and our personalities, and she's not immune to that. I guess the difference is that she's allowed to be selfish and I'm not.

That's the thing about myself that I don't like-I always expect too much out of people. I expect them to treat me like I've treated them, and it usually doesn't work out that way. Maybe I'm too giving of a person, maybe I let people get away with too much, I'm not sure. I'm the type of person who will always go the extra mile for my friends, and will go out of my way to do something that they'll enjoy. I'm that dorky person who'd rather give gifts at Christmas rather than receive them-I like to watch people open gifts and see their enjoyment. Many times, it's not reciprocated. And, I don't do things because I expect it in return, but I do expect at least SOME thoughtfulness. Some respect, really. Perhaps I need a thicker skin, or perhaps I've learned my lesson finally-it's not worth it to be kind or to go out of your way. Not when you get shit on for it.

Oh, and the funniest thing about this whole thing? I got the shower invitation in the mail while I was away. It's a "surprise" (yeah, right) shower and it's going to be held at a restaurant that's about 50 minutes away from her house. So, how is that doing what the bride wants? It's so not my problem, because I decided I didn't want anything to do with the shower. Since I'm not getting my deposit back-why should I put out more money that I obviously don't have? Especially since I'm not working this summer at all now? I feel even more stupid that I turned down a summer job partly because of planning the shower and needing the time to do last minute things-stupid me, huh? I wonder if she would've done that for me.....probably not.

This morning's conversation really brought it home to me-it's not worth it. It seems that God is cutting the toxic parts out of my life, and, although I didn't really need the drama surrounding it, it's got to be for a reason, right?

There HAS to be a reason that everything is falling down around me. At least, I need to hope so.

8 comments:

Journeywoman said...

Go you! Taking the higher ground. It's hard, it's lonely. But it is good.

I'm sorry all this crap is happening to you from your friend.

Katrina said...

Had a friendship end much the same way. It's sad, but you gotta cut stuff off when it's not good for you. It still hurts and it still sucks though. hang in there.

Shelli said...

oy. just oy.

love you.

Thalia said...

ach it sounds ugly. I am sorry.

That thing about expecting to be treated well - it's not a weakness, it's a strength. Hang onto it

Re being generous and giving, that you might want to think about - why you do it in the first place and what you want back from it. I also enjoy being generous, but I stopped doing it for people who never reciprocated, partly because it was clearly embarrassing them, that for whatever reason they didn't want to spend time thinking about presents or organising get-togethers etc. Some of my relationships got a lot better after that. I certainly felt less put-upon. In this situation, the blow up probably wasn't great, but the overall message to M - that you've had enough of being under appreciated - is fine and appropriate.

I hope this starts to ease soon.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I think it's awful that your friend wanted to direct where her "surprise" shower was and didnt' appreciate you being willing to spend the time and money to give a shower. I think it's good you spoke your mind, too, it may give you a chance to have a friendship on terms that are better. If your friend "cuts you out" for that, then it may be the best thing for you in the long run because you deserve friends that will appreciate you! hang in there...

Ms. J said...

She IS a selfish spoiled b*tch, or at least has morphed into one.

I think your Dad called it right.

I'm sorry this sucks so much for you, but honey, it' ain't you, it's her.

If it's any consolation, my best friend of 20 years left me when she announced to me that was going back to her abusive (physically, mentally, sexually) husband whom she had left . . . when I told her that I thought she was making a big mistake (they have 2 little girls), she said "I wasn't supportive her choices."

Different situation, same bad taste.

Jessica said...

WOW my jaw dropped further and further down with reading every line of that story. How freakin awful!!!!

Melzie said...

Wow.. I am sad to hear about the friendship, but I really don't see how you're wrong for anything you said/did. I'd have doen teh same thing.

But you know what? If after everything hjas calmed down some, and it doesn't bounce back, the friendship, then... maybe it's better?

Good luck...