This is both a submission and a request for advice, because I’ve not had much experience with situations like this, and I want to avoid making this any worse (also sorry for the long entry).
I recently went on a camping trip with my boyfriend, G. We were invited by our mutual good friends, married couple B and M (M and I describe ourselves as best friends). M has a friend, whom she reconnected with after a few years of little contact, named P, and he was also invited. I’ve hung out with M, B, and P before, and P has always been obnoxious. Arrogant, hostile, refuses to be wrong, and is still young enough to think that getting black-out drunk is a form of entertainment rather than embarrassment. We’re all about the same age (22-23, G is 25), but P and I have no similarities. Although I wasn’t fond of him, I didn’t want to monopolize M’s guest list, so I said I was ok with him being invited (M asked me because, I quote, “Some people don’t like him coming along”).
On Friday night, the first night of the camping trip, we’re sitting around the fire, and I was questioning P about his dog. I have never had dogs and although I volunteered with the Humane Society for almost 6 months, I really don’t know much about them. My question of why P’s dog is so small even though she is over three years old is met with the eloquent response, “She’s a small breed dog. What kind of f*cking question is that?” Now this is not the etiquette dilemma. This is just an example I am trying to provide to give you and other readers an idea of P’s general attitude. He was not like that because he was tired, or cold, or he didn’t get the amount of s’mores he wanted. That is the way he is. All the time. He was rude, unnecessarily sarcastic (I’m sarcastic quite often, but not downright mean), and insulting the whole night, and the next day.
P was also rude and insulting to B and M the whole weekend, who, due to P being unemployed, were allowing him to sleep on their couch while he was trying to find another job. I don’t blame P for needing assistance, especially in this economy, but he would make comments like “shut up”, or “no sh*t”, to the people who were helping him out, when they had no obligation.
But the actual incident was on Saturday evening. P and B had both purchased axes to chop wood, and decided that when they weren’t using them for their intended purpose, they would practice throwing them at this tree stump in our campsite (are you swooning from their impressive masculinity?! Me neither). M was preparing dessert and I was talking with her, so I didn’t see exactly what happened. But out of my peripheral I see G talking to B and P, and P advancing towards G. Suddenly G is holding his hand and screaming at P that he cut him. G was cut towards the outside of his hand, nothing serious damaged, but he did bleed quite a bit. Like running down his hand. The cut was about and inch and a half long, and a quarter inch deep at it’s deepest part. After M put a clean bandage on G, he tells me that P was “spinning” the axes, and cut his hand with one of them. P did offer to bandage G up, but G was so mad at the time that he refused, which I didn’t think was unreasonable. P’s apology was him looking at his own hand (because he had cut himself as well), and saying meekly, “Sorry, I didn’t mean for that to happen.”
G and I went for a walk because he was very upset, and he didn’t want to see P because he was afraid he might lose his temper. When we returned B, M, and P were sitting around the campfire talking about P and M’s time together in middle school. We were both upset that B and M had not said anything admonishing P at the time he cut G about how stupid and careless he had been, and that apparently that conversation had not occurred when we were gone. So G and I left. M helped me pack, and she and B assured us P was very sorry. But other than his feeble mumbling when M was bandaging G, he made no attempt to apologize further as he saw us packing up.
He then sent G a long apology text the next day. However, he said “sh*t happens”, in regards to hitting G with the axe, and then he went on to claim G overreacted by wanting to leave the trip and not wanting to see P again. I for one do not think it is “sh*t happens” when people play with weapons. P is ignorant if he doesn’t realize that rules such as “don’t play with guns” and “don’t run with scissors” were invented for a reason. “Sh*t happens” does not describe completely preventable accidents. He’s also ignorant of the fact that if his aim had been a little bit different, or if G had moved ever so slightly to the left or right, P could have caused serious, life-threatening damage to G. And guess who would have to pay those expensive hospital bills. He is also ignorant of the fact that the main reason G and I decided to leave was P cutting G with the axe was the last straw. P had been horrible the entire time we were there, making everyone uncomfortable, creating tension, and making jokes at everyone’s expense but his own. I, nor G, could take any more of him.
G and I are angry and disgusted with P, but we are upset with B and M. I am especially close with M, however neither of us feel like we are being treated like friends by either one of them. So my question is this; do I discontinue my friendship with B and M? Would that be overly dramatic and cause more problems? I really love M, I’ve been friends with her for so long, but I am beginning to think this is not a reciprocal relationship, and it might never be.
Also, P clearly did not learn his lesson about waving sharp objects around unsuspecting people. Should G press assault charges (we are from Southern California), or would that make this situation any worse? Also, have I done anything wrong? And if so, how can I make it better? I appreciate any advice, thank you! 0722-14
Your intention were honorable and selfless when you lied to M about P coming to the camping trip. But in this case, the hostess gave you a wide open door to comment on the inclusion of P on the camping trip making it clear that she knew some people would (and obviously have) preferred to not spend a precious weekend in P’s company. So, you have confused your best friend who trusts that you are a person of your word and on that alone you need to have a heart to heart talk with her.
It’s hard to tell whether P is one of those people who acts hard, nasty and ugly because they are themselves miserable people with miserable lives (people who routinely get rip snorting drunk are not intrinsically happy people, imo) or he’s just a diabolically evil person. Since he is not a close friend of yours, I suggest avoiding him because he is not your responsibility to fix. M and B may feel that obligation but they can deal with the consequences of having that association with P. It appears that M is aware that other friends besides you are not particularly enamored of P so it’s not as if you are the oddball.