Love your blog. I was just going through some old posts and it made me think of a story to share.
About a year after my husband (L) and I were married, a friend of L’s from college was getting married. His fiance had also gone to our college but was a few years behind us, so I knew the groom somewhat but not really the bride. She seemed like a nice girl, though! We RSVP’ed as soon as we got the invitation (knowing how frustrating it is when people don’t) and were really excited to go. The wedding was at a nice hotel in our area, and L’s former roommate was a groomsman, so we knew we would have a lovely time.
The day before their wedding my husband got a bad flu! Like, 102 degree fever flu. He hoped he would feel better the next day but he woke up just as sick. I guess this is where I went astray but having just been married myself I used my own experience as a guide: I didn’t contact the bride or groom to say we wouldn’t be coming because I knew at that point the venue wouldn’t “subtract” two people from the cost, and I didn’t want to burden them on their wedding day to have to stop and reply to a text from people that they didn’t even see very much. (Really, in the three years L and I had been married at that point we had seen them maybe twice, including the time at our own wedding.) And, frankly, I didn’t think they would notice we weren’t there since we weren’t close and their wedding was about 125 people.
Well, the groomsman who was the old roommate texted shortly after the reception started to ask where we were and to say the bride and groom were looking for us. I replied that L had a high fever so we hadn’t made it but we would be sending a gift right away.
Tthe next day when we got a nasty text from the bride. She couldn’t believe we didn’t show up since we had just gotten married ourselves and we KNEW how much a wedding costs and how could we not have told them we weren’t coming. My reply was very terse along the lines of, “L came down suddenly with a high fever, thank you for your concern.” I don’t remember now her reply but it just doubled down on what she’d already said, no concern, no “hope you feel better.” (At that point, we decided no gift.)
So maybe six months later we were at a party at the old roommate’s place and this couple was there. They were being very nice and I’d had a few drinks, so I felt magnanimous. I said to the (now) wife, “You know, I’m ready to let bygones be bygones.” I was thinking, “Weddings are stressful, sometimes people freak out. I know L misses his friend. I can totally let this go.” And she looked me dead in my eye and said (sincerely!), “Oh, I’m not mad about that anymore!”
Like I said, I guess I was wrong for not texting them to say we weren’t coming but her tone right off the bat was hostile (if you care enough about us to notice we weren’t there, don’t you care enough to ask if we’re okay?) and even after I explained L was sick she kept on. We didn’t frivolously decide not to go and we didn’t know far enough ahead of time for it to make a difference in their expenses. I can accept my share of “wrongness” but I will not accept that her response was proportionate or appropriate. (Needless to say, that party is the last time we spoke to or saw them.) 0627-18