My best friend Jane and I were also friends with another girl, Lee, in high school. However, we weren’t super close to her because of how bossy and controlling she was. After graduation we all moved away to go to college. Jane and I kept in touch, even after I had moved overseas after college for work. I never heard from Lee, apart from the spam she forwarded to my email account and everyone else’s, seeing her just once by chance on a visit home.
A few years after we’d finished college, I heard from my mom back home that Lee was getting married to her long time BF, who I’d never met. I was happy for her, but didn’t really give it another thought. A few months passed and I got an email from Jane. She had been invited to the wedding and had attended. In this email, she mentioned the first faux pas. Apparently, Lee had sent an invitation to Jane’s mom’s old address (Mom had since divorced and moved). The invitation was forwarded by the current residents to Jane’s mom, who passed it on to Jane. It was addressed to Jane (who had not lived with her mom since high school) and me (!?! who had never lived with Jane, or Jane’s mom, etc.). I was a little miffed that Jane hadn’t bothered to tell me I was invited, though I wouldn’t have gone anyway. But how lazy can you be? Lee had both of our email addresses, since she kept filling our inboxes with spam. She knew my parents’ phone number (which is also in the phone book) and could have asked them for my address. I think she wanted to save money on postage but still lay claim to a present. I basically rolled my eyes at this litte stunt and went on with my life. I didn’t send them a card, as I didn’t really consider myself to have been invited. Also, we’d never been close and I didn’t feel the need to rekindle our not-very-close friendship at that point.
But it goes on: a few months after the wedding, I get an email out of the blue from Lee, of all people. I’m pretty sure it was the first non-spam email she’d sent me since we left high school 7 years previously. It read, and I quote:
Hey X! How are you? I have a new last name now, [Smithson] instead of [Smith], big change, huh? Haha! I didn’t get a wedding present from you yet, is it on the way? We’re trying to finance a house after all! Bye, Lee
OK… I don’t think I need to explain what’s wrong with that email, but let’s just count the ways…
1. She couldn’t be bothered to invite me properly, in fact has no way of knowing whether or not I ever learned of my pseudo-invitation, yet expects a present?
2. We haven’t kept in touch, yet she expects a present?
3. We were never good friends even before we lost touch, yet she expects a present?
4. She expects a present, and then writes me to tell me she does?
5. She wants to use that present, in liquid form, to pay for her mortgage.
I wonder how many other people recieved similar emails (or invitations for that matter).
But it goes on: I got engaged and we planned for a long engagement followed by a wedding my fiance’s native country, where we both live. I guess word got around back home, because I soon received a MySpace message from Lee reading, “So when is this weddingy shin-dig, anyway?” Which I interpreted strongly fishing for an invitation. I could be wrong about that, but given her previous behavior, I wouldn’t put it past her. I responded with a simple, “We haven’t set the date yet,” and left it at that. I haven’t heard anything from her since. I did manage to resist the urge to email her demanding a present for our wedding to which she wasn’t invited. It wasn’t easy, believe me! 10-15-08
I’ve been reading stories like this for over 13 years now and they still make me gasp at how unbridled expectations and greed compel people to audacious begging.