The Gimme Pigs Are Invading The Earth!

by admin on May 12, 2010

Background:

My husband was good friends with Jane and Steve for years. This friendship survived through high school, college, and beyond.

Shortly after DH, myself, and Steve graduate college, Steve and Jane move to another city about an hour away. They lived there for about a year before Steve proposed to Jane, which Jane accepted. We only find out because Steve called DH to tell him. I wondered why Jane hadn’t, because when DH had proposed to me I called my entire cell phone contact list (I hope that wasn’t a faux paus).

So about a month goes by, and then we find out that Steve came home from work to find Jane and her parents packing up all of her belongings!! Turns out, she had been going to visit her parents, not to visit them, but to meet with another guy. She was leaving Steve for him. DH had been friends with Jane before he was really friends with Steve, so although we were shocked, we weren’t going to choose sides. After some time, we finally built a friendship back up with Jane.

Now, to the poor etiquette: Jane and the new guy decide to get married. Jane has a very small, very private ceremony. DH and I didn’t get an invite, but we figured she wanted to keep the guest list down. All was good until we get the wedding announcement, complete with registry information. I couldn’t believe the gall. I was actually trying to find her registry to buy her a gift before it came, but the feeling of obligation made my stomach turn sour. Needless to say, we didn’t purchase a gift.

But the sad thing is? Jane stopped all contact with us a month after we received the announcement. I guess she couldn’t bother with us if we couldn’t fork over a gift. *shrug*   0510-10

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Chilly May 12, 2010 at 7:25 am

Stories like this just amaze me. I don’t read malice into Jane and her new husband-to-be’s sending the LW an announcement and gift registry. I suppose Jane thought, despite her ending her relationship with Steve and as she had been friends with the letter-writer’s husband in college, that the couple (LW and her husband) would appreciate being invited to the wedding… tactless. People choose sides when relationships end.

What I’m slightly confused about is: is a wedding announcement the same as an invitation? Why would you send gift registry details to someone you’re not inviting to the wedding? Do you still expect them to buy you a gift? It’s like those people who send invitations to people they don’t want at the wedding but who they expect to be interested anyway, with “for information only” written on them.

That said, the LW was being really nice when she tried to find Jane’s registry details before the announcement arrived. Perhaps if she’d written to Jane explaining why they didn’t end up choosing anything from the registry (i.e. explaining why she and her husband were offended), understanding would have followed and communication restored…

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Skoffin May 12, 2010 at 7:29 am

‘The sad thing is..’? I thought the sad thing was this horrible human being leading a guy on by accepting his proposal to begin with, knowing full well that she is cheating on them and will be leaving them before long, and then gets the parents involved to help pack before even telling the guy they are going. I may have misunderstood, but the post seems to imply that they cut out Steve over Jane. Really, cut out the friend who has been hurt and keep the betrayer? I honestly don’t understand why anyone would want to stay friends with someone who is a selfish jerk.
Is it really that surprising that they ended up betraying another friend over a selfish act?

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PrincessSimmi May 12, 2010 at 8:03 am

Anyone who chooses to cheat on their partner can usually be categorized as immoral and therefore you can disregard small faux pas as stupidity and carelessness.

In most cases, I believe that if you have had a small intimate wedding and choose to have a larger reception at a later date you may, providing you don’t do it to solicit gifts. A reception is a celebration and a party first and foremost, an gifts should not come into the equation. If a person chooses to give you a gift, fine, accept it. If they don’t, don’t berate them. It’s not nice. They may not be able to afford anything or may have posted a cheque which they may or may not choose to cancel. Gifts are not a guarantee.

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phoenix May 12, 2010 at 8:19 am

I’m sure someone will address this before this comment posts, but…Chilly, I think you misunderstood this one. The couple did not receive an invitation, and clearly the OP was trying NOT to choose sides. The tactless part was not inviting someone, then demanding a gift. A wedding announcement is only that, letting someone know that an event has happened. It’s nice to let people know, but to include a registry is akin to calling someone and telling them you got married, then saying “and you’re getting me a gift to celebrate, right?”

I understand when people want to remain friends with both sides of a split couple, but when the split is caused by childish, selfish and cruel behavior…put me in the “don’t know why you rebuilt that friendship” category. Sounds to me like the lack of invitation meant Jane didn’t feel like keeping up the relationship after the split, unless it benefited her.

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NKKingston May 12, 2010 at 10:13 am

I think we may be judging Jane a bit harshly. The registry info was tacky, yes, but how do we know that’s why she cut off contact? She may have felt it was tactless to invite Steve’s friends to her wedding, but thought they’d appreciate the announcement. When they didn’t respond she assumed they had taken a side, and withdrew from the relationship.

As for all the comments on cheating – I think the fact Jane kept the proposal quiet is quite telling. As a complete stragner, to me it looks like the relationship was already flagging. Steve tried to save it by proposing, and though Jane accepted her instincts still had her looking for someone else. Maybe she felt pressured to accept it, though she didn’t want to, and panicked later. When someone else came along she had to make a decision, and though she didn’t make it well I think the fact that she did go through with the wedding to the second guy suggests it was the better choice for her.

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Xtina May 12, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Regardless of who ended up being friends with whom, and Jane’s reasons for cheating being water under the bridge, Jane did commit a faux pas by sending registry information, period. Especially sending registry information in a wedding announcement, which by its very nature, is meant to do just that—merely announce the good news. So the OP is correct in finding that off-putting

However, as to the OP’s assumption that Jane cut off contact with them simply because she did not receive a gift from them–while that COULD be part of the reason, it is probably more that perhaps Jane felt that by getting no response of any kind from the OP (not even a congratulatory card), that THEY did not want any contact with her. The knowledge that they, as friends, held about her history with another mutual friend, Steve, might have made Jane feel a little awkward in the first place in announcing her wedding to the new guy—that they might have looked down on that, and she felt that she was ‘going out on a limb’ to even announce it anyway. So when she got no response from the OP, perhaps she took that as a sign that they were disgusted and did not want any further contact with her.

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Enna May 12, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Cheating is wrong but like NKKingston has said the relationship might have been flagging all ready. Also I think it i possible to love two ppl at the same time. At least Jane didn’t keep Steve tagging along, marry him then divorce him after – a broken engagement is a lot better then a divorce, kinder to everyone and easier. Steve might have proposed to try “keeping” Jane, thinking foolishly that women only care about getting married not who they get married to.

I can see why the OP wouldn’t want to opnely take sides but it is human nature to do that someone has done something “wrong” but doesn’t believe the person deserves to be cut offcompetely. Jane’s rudest thing she did though was to post the gift list as well as the annoucement – that is rather greedy, cheeky and rude – she cut off all contact because she didn’t get a gift now that is silly. However she might have just been uncomfy about it all and wante da clean break.

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Simone May 12, 2010 at 4:22 pm

@NKKingston I don’t think anyone would have a problem with someone breaking off an engagement and then marrying someone else. The cheating part comes in on the overlapping time. It is important ethically to be “off with the old before you begin with the new”. Anyway, enough about that.

I inferred that since it said “Jane stopped all contact with us a month after we received the announcement” that there had been some contact in the interim time, which would probably preclude the ‘they are taking his side’ confusion. Either way, I wouldn’t worry.

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Me May 12, 2010 at 5:28 pm

I agree with Chilly about writing to Jane and explaining why you were offended – in my experience, a lot of people commit faux pas’s not knowing that they’re faux pas’s, and a gentle explanation usually (but, of course, not always) tends to smooth things over.

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Fanboy Wife May 12, 2010 at 7:59 pm

I would be irritated too if I was expected to buy someone a gift but wasn’t welcomed at the wedding.

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Laura May 15, 2010 at 11:29 pm

Am I the only one who sees that Steve not only lost a fiance, but two “friends”? What a blow.

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Emm May 20, 2010 at 9:22 pm

I’m the LW, and I just want to clear something up: We did not abandon Steve, and we did not choose sides. In fact, Jane was invited to our wedding, even after she stopped contact with us (she and my husband had been friends for years; it didn’t feel right to cut her out). My husband had talked to Steve before we sent the invitation, seeing as he was one of our groomsmen. Steve said he was fine, and understood. Jane didn’t show up (which WE understood).

We attempted to continue a friendship with Jane, but each conversation was short and clipped on her end. The only reason I knew she didn’t want to contact us anymore was when she let several emails go unanswered (our primary method of communication with her) about a month after the announcement arrived, and severed our connection on all social network sites. It’s hard to continue a friendship, when it’s one-sided.

And back to Steve, when he got married a few years later, my husband was a groomsman. They’re still very good friends.

Goodness…re-reading what I wrote, I must have been wearing my rose-colored glasses at the time, or channeling Pollyanna.

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Kat June 2, 2010 at 10:39 pm

I need a ruling on this one: I’m getting married in October, and I personally have no plans to send out “announcements” to anyone not invited to the wedding itself. However, my mother plans to send announcements (not invites) to several of her cousins who’ve done the same for their own children’s weddings. This doesn’t seem right to me (seems like a gift grab, and I’ve told my mother so), but apparently it’s something my family does. Am I condemned to etiquette hell for allowing it to happen?

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crella June 7, 2010 at 5:38 pm

‘We didn’t want to choose sides’ and appear judgmental I suppose? I don’t mean to single out the letter writer, but she brings up a point that pops into my mind every time I read/see something like this happen. If not for the betrayal of one of your friends, for what do you choose sides? Are there any circumstances lately when ‘enough is enough’ and people walk away? If someone does something against what you believe in, walking away is not, in my opinion, judgmental. In fact, after someone has shown his/her true colors it’s perhaps well to consider oneself warned. If she’d do something like that to someone she loved…

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