News: IT'S THE 2ND ANNUAL GUATEMALA LIBRARY PROJECT BOOK DRIVE!    LOOKING FOR DONATIONS OF SCIENCE BOOKS THIS YEAR.    Check it out in the "Extending the Hand of Kindness" folder or here: http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=139832.msg3372084#msg3372084   

  • November 24, 2017, 06:33:38 PM

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: Did I miss something?  (Read 7160 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Rapunzel1974

  • Member
  • Posts: 32
Did I miss something?
« on: September 24, 2015, 12:24:26 AM »
Hi everyone... been lurking a while but not posting. I finally have a decent story to contribute.

So, I have a friend I see a few times a year, and interact with mostly on Facebook. We've got some friends in common but I haven't been a regular part of the community since she broke up with her ex a few years ago and pressed charges against him. He, who had in the distant past been a friend of mine, called me as a character witness despite not having hung out with me for over a decade. The drama was so long and drawn-out that it consumed all my available vacation time during a period when I also needed to have major knee surgery. Going to court on crutches a week after knee surgery was not fun, particularly since painkillers don't work on me. I recall that the courthouse steps were absolute agony. What made it worse was that the lawyers were simply playing games: they got everybody downtown only to announce that the case had been continued yet again. The amount of help and support I received from the community in question during my surgery was zero, and I was also persona non grata in our circle of friends because I'd been subpoenaed by the "enemy" side.

Anyway, this woman and I stayed in touch, mostly on Facebook, after the drama wound to a close. We hung out a few times a year for dinners, plays, and such. Last winter, she invited me over to share some special news: she and her boyfriend (whom I also knew) were getting married, on such-and-such a date seven months in the future. Although they were having a small and private ceremony, they wanted me to attend the reception, and told me the weekend they'd tentatively picked out so I could keep the date free. My friend invited me to attend, and promised to let me know the exact time and location once she'd set it up.

What I generally do, for wedding gifts, is provide the wine for the reception. I'm a fairly experienced wine maker, and I find that an $80 kit can produce two and a half cases of wine, which is thirty bottles or 150 5-ounce servings. Two kits, with one of red and one of white, can easily satisfy a moderate-sized reception with 150 people, especially if beer and other beverages are also served or if there's a champagne toast also. I make up custom labels, and the going rate for wine of this quality is at least $15 a bottle before shipping. The average two-kit wedding gift would therefore be worth about $900 if they had to buy it. At times, if there are more guests, I've even done a third kit for bigger weddings. I don't just pick varietals blindly, either: I work closely with the bride and groom to find out what their preferred kind of wine is, and make sure they get a chance to taste "their" wine from a previous kit. Of course, this is only for weddings where they want wine at all; if the couple prefers a cake and punch reception I think up something else. I play the guitar professionally, so at times I've provided the music for the ceremony or for the background at the reception. Failing that, I do something boring and buy a gift off the registry. But that's an absolute last resort.

Making wine takes time and effort. I have to begin three to four months before the event date because I sometimes have to order ingredients. I know people are supposed to wait for the formal written invitation before making plans and assuming they're being invited, but when someone tells me I'm invited, I think it makes no sense to wait until the usual invitation period: if I do, there's not enough time to make a decent wine and age it enough to be drinkable at the reception. During this time, I communicate with the bride about her chosen colors, and the things she wants written on the custom labels. I do the graphic art to harmonize with her color and decorating ideas, or else I choose symbols and colors that are significant to the couple.

When I bottled and delivered the wine about two months before the ceremony (it still needed a full month to age), the bride and groom thanked me graciously for it and spoke about sending out the invitations "soon". But I never actually got an invitation, or information about the exact time, date, or location of the reception. Nor did anyone contact me asking for an address. The wedding date came and went, and I saw the reception pictures on Facebook. The wine appeared to have been very well enjoyed.

I felt as though I'd been slapped in the face.

I'm not sure exactly why I was excluded, unless by chance it's because of some drama that happened shortly after I delivered the wine. I found out about it after the fact.

There's a bit of background. The bride's ex-boyfriend is now dating a woman I've been friends with for about twelve years, with whom I had a four-month lesbian fling with back in 2008 (seven years ago). My ex and I remained friends, but we don't spend a lot of time together. It's our custom to take each other out for a birthday dinner, and we sometimes take in a live play or a movie. All told, I see her perhaps half a dozen times a year, generally without her man. The bride has never been comfortable with this level of contact between me and my own ex, because she's used to controlling who her friends can and cannot talk to, and I don't play that kind of game. Frankly, I seldom see the bride's ex except in passing, and the bride has never come up as a subject of conversation.

Anyway, a few weeks after I dropped off the wine, apparently some male acquaintance of the bride's ex (whom I have never met) came sniffing around the bride's circle of friends, looking for goodness knows what. She found out he was acquainted with her ex, and freaked. The only explanation I can think of is that I was excluded from the wedding because of the actions of an acquaintance of the current boyfriend of a woman I dated seven years ago.

Did I miss some subtle point of etiquette here? I know that a "save the date" isn't an actual invitation, for a variety of reasons, but was I that badly out of line for starting the wine? I know it's bad to pressure a bride for an invitation, so I generally don't call and hassle people about dates and times. Where did I goof up, and how can I keep this from happening again? (None of the other brides or grooms to whom I've given wine or music-- or *anything* for that matter-- have treated me this way.)
« Last Edit: September 24, 2015, 04:37:14 PM by Rapunzel1974 »

MinAvi

  • The impossible I do every day -- miracles merely take a few more phone-calls.
  • Member
  • Posts: 370
  • I'm not short, I'm concentrated Awesome!
Re: Did I miss something?
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2015, 01:22:45 AM »
What a wonderful gift.

There are others here who are much more 'Etiquette Educated' than I am, but I think your 'friends' were out of line. To me it sounds like they played you for your gift.

You gave them a large, complex wedding gift. You say you had communication with them about the type of wine and custom labels you made for the, you didn't just drop one day and unload a few dozen bottles of wine.

They knew it was a wedding gift. They knew they had verbally invited you and accepting the gift and not issuing a written invite is just plain rude. They could have refused the gift, or at the very least - acted like adults and had a conversation with you about the friend-of-the-ex, or what ever it was that caused an issue for them.

Someone once told me that is somebody shows you who they really are, believe them. Block, ignore and don't waste another second thinking about them.



Runningstar

  • Member
  • Posts: 807
Re: Did I miss something?
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2015, 05:49:35 AM »

I felt as though I'd been slapped in the face.

I'm not sure exactly why I was excluded, unless by chance it's because of some drama that happened shortly after I delivered the wine. I found out about it after the fact.

 she's used to controlling who her friends can and cannot talk to, and I don't play that kind of game.

Did I miss some subtle point of etiquette here?

The bride was wrong to accept a gift given knowing that she was not going to invite you.  Any wedding gift given where someone was told they would be invited and then wasn't should be returned. 

But, Rapunzel, the bride did give you a "gift" in a way.  The gift of knowing to walk away from her.  The few lines I quoted from you paint a terrible picture of this woman, and she has now "saved" you from any more drama. 

Meletiquette

  • Member
  • Posts: 156
Re: Did I miss something?
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2015, 06:57:37 AM »
What an absolutely wonderful gift to share with the HC - maybe not this particular HC, but in general!

Unfortunately, the whole thing sounded fishy from the start: it sounds like they never intended to invite you, and only wanted to use you for your gift. First, they give you vague details about the wedding 7 months in advance - a date (i.e., a target date for you to have the wine ready) but no time or venue - and also mention that it will be small but that they definitely want to include you, a friend that they only see/speak to a few times per year. Then you spend all the time making the wine, drop it off 2 months before the wedding, and again you get a vague explanation that you will be invited "soon". Then an invitation never materializes. You have every right to feel like you got slapped in the face, because you did. For them to 1) not invite you to the reception and/or 2) not pay you for the wine (because you essentially became a vendor once you were not invited) is tacky and classless.

Please do not spend another moment worrying about these people, they sound like awful "friends". To be honest, the bride did not sound like a great friend to begin with, based on your description of her wanting to control who you are friends with. If she really decided to not invite you to the wedding because of a chance encounter with a mutual friend of her ex, then she's not really a friend worth having. But, as I said, I don't think that's the issue - I don't think they ever intended to invite you.

I'm sorry that you were treated this way, because you sound lovely. They all sound dysfunctional, so maybe you are much better off without them. If it's really bothering you though, is there a mutual friend (maybe someone who did attend the wedding) that you could ask to see if you can find out what happened? Have you received a thank you card from the couple? You said that they thanked you when the wine was dropped off, but I think it would be appropriate in this case for them to send a written thank you as well - of course, they probably don't want to draw attention to the fact that you weren't invited. It even crossed my mind for you to send them a bill for the wine, but that would open a whole can of worms that I'm sure you'd rather leave alone. Best to just walk away in the end.

Wintergreen

  • Member
  • Posts: 396
Re: Did I miss something?
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2015, 07:01:04 AM »
I agree with PPs. I did wonder like Seraphim, if they played you to get the gift :( I just don't know what kind of person is capable of lookin all the personalized work at their wedding and having not invited the one who did it. I don't think they are worth of friendship.

VorFemme

  • Member
  • Posts: 13805
  • It's too darned hot! (song from Kiss Me, Kate)
Re: Did I miss something?
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2015, 07:20:15 AM »
You have four main choices that I can see:

Ignore what happened around the wine & continue the friendship;

Ignore what happened & drop any idea of friendship with the HC;

Send the HC a bill for the "custom wine" & watch any possibility of friendship get dropped by them;

Send the HC a bill for the "custom wine" with a note that you thought they'd like to know the value of what you'd given but since they placed no value on their given word (to invite you to the wedding), you've decided that you're not going to make them pay for it (write "paid" across it) but that you're also not going to start a batch of wine for their first anniversary and that you've seen what your "friendship" is worth to them (in all their actions - no help after knee surgery, being blamed for being subpoenaed by her ex- in a court case, being "invited" to the wedding to get the gift of the wine but the invitation never shows up, and not getting even an invitation to the reception) - I'd say "four strikes and they're out" in this case. 

Did you get any hint of a thank you note or did you get the feeling that you were being used as a wine supplier who would be "nice enough" to donate the wine to them because they're such perfect people?  (Not the way to treat a friend.)

On the whole - I'd say that they've burned the friendship bridges.  It's up to you if you want to let them know what they've lost....or just put them on "Ignore" for the rest of your life.

A fifth choice would be to start a lot of Facebook & other drama (in that social circle) about being "played" by so called friends to get hundreds of dollars of "free" wine as a wedding gift only for the giver to be dropped from the invitation list over things that the giver had no control over (actions of your exes who know the bride's ex- are not something that you have any control over, realistically).  But that has the potential of you being dropped by the rest of the group, not just the wine guzzling HC.

++++  edited to add ++++

Tthe comment about if someone shows you their true colors, believe them?  Yeah - their true colors are that they have bright blue backsides.  So they must be baboons.  As they  have now conclusively shown you.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2015, 07:26:32 AM by VorFemme »
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I explain?

rigs32

  • Member
  • Posts: 721
Re: Did I miss something?
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2015, 08:05:48 AM »
A side note about criminal cases being adjourned..... that's typically the judge and/or the defense attorney making that call.  I am a prosecutor and I hate when that stuff happens.  I don't enjoy inconveniencing people.

EllenS

  • Member
  • Posts: 4654
  • I write whimsical vintage mysteries.
    • My Author Page:
Re: Did I miss something?
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2015, 08:13:55 AM »
I think the acquaintance is a red herring, as is your former partner. The bride just appears to be a user. The gall of consulting with you over the label colors and not even extending an invitation!

I would drop all contact, immediately and completely. If she comes around wondering why, I'd have a very straightforward conversation. Not blasting, but very much along the lines of "I can't believe you did that. This is how it made me feel. Why would you think that is okay?"

But something tells me she's not going to come asking.

Redneck Gravy

  • Member
  • Posts: 3812
Re: Did I miss something?
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2015, 08:29:49 AM »
Wow!  I'll bet you did feel slapped in the face; I would have felt the same way.

Before you completely abandon the friendship (which I wouldn't blame you if you did) I would at least wait until a month has passed from the ceremony date to see if you receive a thank you note.  When you receive the ty (or if you don't) give her a call and ask if they enjoyed the wine and was it sweet/dry/fragrant/full bodied enough - act as if you are questioning the quality of your product . 

I know you know they enjoyed the wine but it gives the bride an opportunity to offer something in the way of explanation.  What if she says "we missed you at the wedding" then what?  Might that imply that you were invited and they are at a loss as to why you did not attend?  Or she may say something along the lines of so sorry we were unable to include you or she might say shove off and don't call me again...I think the bride should be offered the opportunity to explain (if she can and/or will).

While I agree with most posters, I like to give someone an opportunity to explain what went amiss before I cut them out of my life. I genuinely never received the invitation to my cousin's wedding and there was some concern from her family when I didn't show up - well I was never invited was my position.  They thought I should have called to ask the details, I didn't feel like that was appropriate.     

Mergatroyd

  • Member
  • Posts: 1670
Re: Did I miss something?
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2015, 08:56:58 AM »
Count me as another person who thinks that they never did intend to invite you to the wedding, but fully intended on having you supply the wine for free. If you are well known for gifting wine, you may start to run into this more and more. Perhaps you should turn it into a side business, and get people to pay for it- then when you get an actual invitation, you can tear up the bill or send them a note saying you will cover the costs as your gift.

It's a lovely idea and very generous-far too generous-for this level of friendship. Save it for the friends who have shown you they care about you.

EllenS

  • Member
  • Posts: 4654
  • I write whimsical vintage mysteries.
    • My Author Page:
Re: Did I miss something?
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2015, 09:05:13 AM »
Wow!  I'll bet you did feel slapped in the face; I would have felt the same way.

Before you completely abandon the friendship (which I wouldn't blame you if you did) I would at least wait until a month has passed from the ceremony date to see if you receive a thank you note.  When you receive the ty (or if you don't) give her a call and ask if they enjoyed the wine and was it sweet/dry/fragrant/full bodied enough - act as if you are questioning the quality of your product . 

I know you know they enjoyed the wine but it gives the bride an opportunity to offer something in the way of explanation.  What if she says "we missed you at the wedding" then what?  Might that imply that you were invited and they are at a loss as to why you did not attend?  Or she may say something along the lines of so sorry we were unable to include you or she might say shove off and don't call me again...I think the bride should be offered the opportunity to explain (if she can and/or will).

While I agree with most posters, I like to give someone an opportunity to explain what went amiss before I cut them out of my life. I genuinely never received the invitation to my cousin's wedding and there was some concern from her family when I didn't show up - well I was never invited was my position.  They thought I should have called to ask the details, I didn't feel like that was appropriate.   

I would like to think it was just an oversight or mailing error, but the OP mentioned that they don't have her mailing address and never asked for it. That's a pretty strong indication to me that this was a setup.

JenJay

  • I'm a nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity.
  • Member
  • Posts: 7021
Re: Did I miss something?
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2015, 09:31:15 AM »
I think the acquaintance is a red herring, as is your former partner. The bride just appears to be a user. The gall of consulting with you over the label colors and not even extending an invitation!

I would drop all contact, immediately and completely. If she comes around wondering why, I'd have a very straightforward conversation. Not blasting, but very much along the lines of "I can't believe you did that. This is how it made me feel. Why would you think that is okay?"

But something tells me she's not going to come asking.

I agree completely. I don't think she ever intended to invite you, she knew what your standard wedding gift was and wanted it. How despicable! In her mind she probably justified it by deciding that you "owed" her for testifying "against" her in that whole mess.

I'm sure those saying to immediately cease contact with her are correct, but honestly I think I'd have to write her once and say "I've seen the photos of your wedding and reception and I'm pleased that everyone enjoyed my gift. It's clear to me now that you never intended to invite me to the wedding, you just strung me along for the wine. I'm out X hours and $$$ dollars but in the end I suppose it was worth it to find out exactly how little you value me as a person and as a friend."

EllenS

  • Member
  • Posts: 4654
  • I write whimsical vintage mysteries.
    • My Author Page:
Re: Did I miss something?
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2015, 10:50:02 AM »
I think the acquaintance is a red herring, as is your former partner. The bride just appears to be a user. The gall of consulting with you over the label colors and not even extending an invitation!

I would drop all contact, immediately and completely. If she comes around wondering why, I'd have a very straightforward conversation. Not blasting, but very much along the lines of "I can't believe you did that. This is how it made me feel. Why would you think that is okay?"

But something tells me she's not going to come asking.

I agree completely. I don't think she ever intended to invite you, she knew what your standard wedding gift was and wanted it. How despicable! In her mind she probably justified it by deciding that you "owed" her for testifying "against" her in that whole mess.

I'm sure those saying to immediately cease contact with her are correct, but honestly I think I'd have to write her once and say "I've seen the photos of your wedding and reception and I'm pleased that everyone enjoyed my gift. It's clear to me now that you never intended to invite me to the wedding, you just strung me along for the wine. I'm out X hours and $$$ dollars but in the end I suppose it was worth it to find out exactly how little you value me as a person and as a friend."

The problem I see with that approach, etiquette wise, is that a present is not a ticket to the wedding.  It is perfectly normal for people to give wedding presents to friends that they are happy for, even if they never were invited to the wedding. It's certainly odd and disproportionate for such a friend to give such a big present, but this kind of response (though very satisfying) just prolongs the opportunity for manipulative responses like "What do you mean? I thought you were just happy for us."

OP, I'm just sorry you got treated like that.

Another Sarah

  • Member
  • Posts: 971
Re: Did I miss something?
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2015, 11:17:35 AM »
I would like to think it was just an oversight or mailing error, but the OP mentioned that they don't have her mailing address and never asked for it. That's a pretty strong indication to me that this was a setup.
Yeah, I hate to be cynical, but I think this was deliberate. I'd be strongly tempted to bill for the wine, and when they acted surprised say "I offer this free as a gift to weddings for my friends that invite me. You didn't invite me so I assume you intended to procure my services instead."
I wouldn't actually do it but thinking about it would soothe the sting a little.
I think OP, that you are better to chalk this one up to bad people doing bad things and walk away. At least you know exactly what this friendship is worth to her - 2 cases of wine.

JenJay

  • I'm a nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity.
  • Member
  • Posts: 7021
Re: Did I miss something?
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2015, 03:02:15 PM »
I think the acquaintance is a red herring, as is your former partner. The bride just appears to be a user. The gall of consulting with you over the label colors and not even extending an invitation!

I would drop all contact, immediately and completely. If she comes around wondering why, I'd have a very straightforward conversation. Not blasting, but very much along the lines of "I can't believe you did that. This is how it made me feel. Why would you think that is okay?"

But something tells me she's not going to come asking.

I agree completely. I don't think she ever intended to invite you, she knew what your standard wedding gift was and wanted it. How despicable! In her mind she probably justified it by deciding that you "owed" her for testifying "against" her in that whole mess.

I'm sure those saying to immediately cease contact with her are correct, but honestly I think I'd have to write her once and say "I've seen the photos of your wedding and reception and I'm pleased that everyone enjoyed my gift. It's clear to me now that you never intended to invite me to the wedding, you just strung me along for the wine. I'm out X hours and $$$ dollars but in the end I suppose it was worth it to find out exactly how little you value me as a person and as a friend."

The problem I see with that approach, etiquette wise, is that a present is not a ticket to the wedding.  It is perfectly normal for people to give wedding presents to friends that they are happy for, even if they never were invited to the wedding. It's certainly odd and disproportionate for such a friend to give such a big present, but this kind of response (though very satisfying) just prolongs the opportunity for manipulative responses like "What do you mean? I thought you were just happy for us."

OP, I'm just sorry you got treated like that.

Maybe I misread? I thought the Bride verbally invited OP and spoke about the wedding as if she fully expected OP to be there. If not, then I agree.

Either way, after further thought, I probably wouldn't say anything just in case I was meant to be invited and it was an oversight. High road and all that.  ;)