Monday, January 22, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Best friend, wife still bothered by couple's wedding date

Q: Last spring we attended the wedding of my husband's best friend. When we visited the couple the year before, they threw out a couple of dates they were considering. When the fiancee mentioned the birthday date, my husband, the groom-to-be and I all said, "Oh, that's Jason's 40th." My husband and I don't know the bride very well.

So, months later I was surprised to receive a wedding invitation for ... the birthday date. I feel they should've tried to secure a different date knowing the groom's best friend of 25 years was turning 40 that day. My husband has a congenital illness, so the fact that he even reached 40 was a huge deal.

I knew my husband was hurt, but I tried to soften the situation by saying, "Look at it this way: All of your friends will be in one place on your birthday" and "Maybe that's the only time they could get. Let's make a fun trip out of it."

Days before the wedding the groom asked my husband to give a toast. Jason gave a heartfelt, lovely toast but there was no acknowledgment, or a thank-you, or even something like, "By the way it's his 40th! Happy birthday!" Actually, the groom did thank him, but the bride never said thank you or happy birthday.

So, on top of being (peeved) about the situation, Jason had to stress out all day on his 40th about giving a speech later that night. I think a "Thank you" from the bride would've been nice.

I'm still bitter about this whole thing, but my husband really can't let it go. I just need an outside voice to tell me, "Yes, that was rude. And she was rude."

Stacey

A: What if the outside voice tells you the bride may have been preoccupied, understandably and forgivably so, on her wedding day? Or that not everyone considers an adult birthday to be as big a deal as you and your husband do?

I can speak only for myself, but it wouldn't occur to me to avoid marrying on a friend's birthday, and any friend who wants to get married on my birthday is welcome to (though if it's my 50th, I request an open bar).

I get that his illness gives his birthdays tremendous significance for you both. That, too, is understandable. It's also possible the bride is rude, possessive, self-absorbed.

In cases when you have reasonably strong feelings, though — or even unreasonably strong ones — it's best to say that outright: "Jason's 40th is a huge deal to us, so I hope you'll be able to choose a different date." Then you'd have had grounds to be all kinds of perturbed — not if the couple chose that date, but only if they didn't explain or apologize for it. Wedding dates, after all, are too often hostage to the availability of venue, vendors, parents, siblings, Grandpa, vacation times, favorable honeymoon fares and weather, and any number of priorities that aren't for us to deem legitimate.

And if you had seen this (theoretical) lack of apology or explanation as a grudge-worthy offense, then you and your husband would have owed it to his friendship to say something to the friend, before the event, to give him a chance to make it up to your husband somehow — or just know where the raw spots were.

The way it actually played out, it appears you're both upset about this couple's failure to show respect for feelings you never told them you had.

And that's too bad, because this grudge appears already to have stomped on any budding affection you felt for the bride, which no doubt will weaken this quarter-century best-friendship, if it hasn't already.

It's time for your husband (and you, his echo chamber) to decide: Was the couple's lapse really worth the price he's asking this friendship to pay?

Or is there more to this? It's hard to imagine bringing a best friendship to an abrupt and silent end over the failure to say, "Happy birthday." Air it or drop it — whatever the true grievance is.

Comments

Tell Me About It: Opening up on the residual effects of abuse

Q: I’m in my mid-thirties and in a relatively new, but so far amazing, relationship. I really can see myself with this person long-term.I’ve been in a couple of abusive relationships before that have taken their emotional toll (occasional nightmares ...
Published: 01/21/18
2018 Children’s Gasparilla Parade: Guide and insider tips

2018 Children’s Gasparilla Parade: Guide and insider tips

On Saturday, the kids get first crack at the booty from the pirates at the Children’s Gasparilla Extravaganza, the annual alcohol-free party on Bayshore Boulevard. To kick off the season of Jose Gaspar, the fictitious marauder whose legend has...
Published: 01/18/18
You can buy the balls from Amalie’s Beach Tampa exhibit at auction

You can buy the balls from Amalie’s Beach Tampa exhibit at auction

More than 100,000 people showed up at Amalie Arena in 2016 to frolic in a huge ball pit. It was a sea of 1.2 million white orbs so vast that grown men could belly flop and remain afloat. Almost two years after the Beach Tampa packed up, some 15,000 l...
Published: 01/18/18

Tell Me About It: FaceTime offense lands sister on the outs

FaceTime offense lands sister on the outsQ: When does FaceTime become an intrusion?My sister-in-law recently relocated to our area. We invited her to join us for our traditionally quiet New Year’s Eve celebration. About two hours before midnight, she...
Published: 01/18/18

Tell Me About It: Cousin’s husband pursues young sisters

Cousin’s husband pursues young sisters Q: I just found out that my niece’s husband has made inappropriate comments/propositions to both of my daughters, one still a minor (17). I have to tell my niece, right? I don’t want to hurt her.Broken HeartA: Y...
Published: 01/18/18
Plan your weekend Jan. 19-21: Gasparilla Children’s Parade, Jake Owen, Riverdance, Florida Orchestra’s Dvorak

Plan your weekend Jan. 19-21: Gasparilla Children’s Parade, Jake Owen, Riverdance, Florida Orchestra’s Dvorak

Plan your weekend   Gasparilla Children’s Parade: A week before the more raucous pirate invasion, the G-rated version hits the streets. The Children’s Gasparilla Extravaganza and Parade kicks off Gasparilla season with a bicycle safety...
Published: 01/17/18
Top things to do this week: Steve Martin and Martin Short, Gasparilla Children’s Parade

Top things to do this week: Steve Martin and Martin Short, Gasparilla Children’s Parade

PICKING AND GRINNING: Steve Martin and Martin ShortThere wasn’t a lot of bluegrass being played around Hamilton, Ontario, when Martin Short was a kid. But his decades-long friendship with Steve Martin has made him a fan, which brings An Evening With ...
Published: 01/17/18

Tell Me About It: Mom needs reassurance of their gratitude

Mom needs reassurance of their gratitudeQ: Whenever my mother gives me or my family member a gift, she ends up asking about it several times afterward. Does not matter if it was $5 or expensive.We always thank her for gifts, and these comments feel l...
Published: 01/16/18

Tell Me About It: Sister-in-law’s gall is of epic proportions

Sister-in-law’s gall is of epic proportionsQ: I’m a two-time, currently-Stage IV breast cancer survivor. When I was told I needed a double mastectomy, I did the research and decided to "go flat."For dressy occasions, I wear prostheses, but they’re no...
Published: 01/16/18

Tell Me About It: Pregnancy makes move harder to bear

Pregnancy makes move harder to bearI’m 27 weeks pregnant and just moved to a new city for a great job, but I think I made a big mistake. I loved my old life and feel so homesick for it. But my husband and I bought a house, so moving is not a feasible...
Published: 01/15/18