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Author Topic: Anticipating an awkward non-bridesmaid conversation, advice? update#19  (Read 10650 times)

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Cali.in.UK

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BG: I'm getting married this upcoming summer. I have an old friend from high school, Shelly, who I used to be close with. We've stayed in touch and she has befriended my friends over the years but we are really not close anymore. Another friend from high school, Mary, and I are still close and chat/get together and she was also close with Shelly in high school. Years ago we would all talk about how we would be each others bridesmaids (this was before I even met my fiance who I've been with for almost five years).

Over the years, I feel like Shelly and I have less in common and I sort of feel like she only reaches out to me when she wants something. I actually cannot remember the last time she called me just to ask how I was doing, it's literally been years. But sometimes when she comes back to our state to visit she will call me and/or Mary. I asked Mary to be my bridesmaid months ago. Shelly has made a few comments about being my bridesmaid over the recent years, probably as recent as two years ago and I just bean dipped.

Shelly is a very pushy person. I have not heard from her in months and then she moved back recently (I didn't even know that she was coming back, I thought her move was permanent) and then the texts started coming in about getting together with Mary and I. Shelly actually has moved two streets away from me so I'm sure I'll be seeing her around now. I just have a feeling that she is going to ask why she is not a bridesmaid. It will be uncomfortable and I think I want to say "Well, we haven't really kept in touch, and I can't remember the last time we even talked on the phone". But the thing is, I don't want her completely out of my life, or not attending my wedding. I'm happy to have her in my life a little bit but we're just not super close anymore. I want a kind way to tell her she won't be in the wedding without it seeming like I have an issue with her or some sort of grudge.

Also, I tend to worry about things before they happen which is why I am asking about this now. Any advice? Is my plan okay/harsh/not harsh enough?
« Last Edit: March 15, 2016, 12:46:36 PM by Cali.in.UK »

Lynn2000

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Re: Anticipating an awkward non-bridesmaid conversation, advice?
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2015, 02:08:59 PM »
If Shelly asks you anything along those lines, it's her that's being rude and creating an uncomfortable situation. Try to keep that in mind. No reasonable person holds someone to the wedding fantasy they cooked up in high school.

That said, if she does ask, I wouldn't answer with what you suggested. It reads as defensive, like you know she ought to be your bridesmaid by default and you have to come up with reasons why she isn't. In fact reality is the opposite, you can choose whoever you want and don't owe anyone an explanation. If you (or Shelly) want to have a talk about why you're no longer as close, that's fine, but it shouldn't be in the context of a specific "marker" like being your bridesmaid.

If she asked straight-out like that, I would probably laugh and bean-dip, or say something like, "I'm only having two, Mary and my sister" (or however it is), something objective and not personal to her.
~Lynn2000

Hmmmmm

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Re: Anticipating an awkward non-bridesmaid conversation, advice?
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2015, 02:11:19 PM »
I'd actually go on the offensive and plan a lunch with Shelly as a "let's catch up".

I'd casually bring up the wedding and planning. If she asks about BM's state "My sister (or who ever) is my MOH and Mary and Tina are BM's. I'm not sure you know Tina, she and I went to college together. She's been just a great friend during the last couple of years. I'm not sure what I would have done without here when I was looking for a job. And Mary and I have stayed in close contact since HS. We've seen each other frequently. Mary really was great support when I was finishing up grad school. She was constantly contacting me with encouragement."  (of course feel in your reason's why they are important to your life today.)

If she does say "but I thought I was going to be a BM", your response will be "That is so sweet that you'd still consider it. I know that we used to joke around about it but that was when we thought we'd all stay joined at the hip through life. I'm keeping my BM's to those who I'm really close to right now. But of course, I want you to attend the wedding and other events. I'd be hurt if you weren't part of the wedding."

auntmeegs

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Re: Anticipating an awkward non-bridesmaid conversation, advice?
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2015, 02:14:50 PM »
How many bridesmaids are you having? It might be easier to deflect her if you're only having a few. 

Kaypeep

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Re: Anticipating an awkward non-bridesmaid conversation, advice?
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2015, 02:21:26 PM »
If she brings it up I wouldn't over explain anything, but keep it short and sweet.  As sincerely as possible, if she questions why she's not a BM or anything along those lines I'd go with "I know when we were kids we pledged we'd all be eachother's BM's and we'd marry Duran Duran and all kind of "Someday" promises.  But now that I'm grown and this is actually happening, my fiance and I decided to go with people who close to us both, now.  So I'm hoping all my old school friends that I pledged bridesmaid allegience to won't hold that against me, I certainly won't hold it against anyone for not having me either, at this point.  But I dovalue your friendship and hope you'll be coming to the wedding to celebrate and have a great time, etc..."
« Last Edit: October 08, 2015, 03:55:16 PM by Kaypeep »

TootsNYC

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Re: Anticipating an awkward non-bridesmaid conversation, advice?
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2015, 02:44:59 PM »
"We're not as close as we used to be; I didn't want to impose. I'm hoping you'll come to the wedding, though!"

or, "I'm not having very many bridesmaids; only my sister, my bestie, and a couple of women I've gotten really close to. You'll come to the wedding, though, right?"

And so I wouldn't reach out to her, because that sends a message that you want to be close.

« Last Edit: October 08, 2015, 02:46:37 PM by TootsNYC »

gramma dishes

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Re: Anticipating an awkward non-bridesmaid conversation, advice?
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2015, 04:25:02 PM »
If she brings it up I wouldn't over explain anything, but keep it short and sweet.  As sincerely as possible, if she questions why she's not a BM or anything along those lines I'd go with "I know when we were kids we pledged we'd all be eachother's BM's and we'd marry Duran Duran and all kind of "Someday" promises.  But now that I'm grown and this is actually happening, my fiance and I decided to go with people who close to us both, now.  So I'm hoping all my old school friends that I pledged bridesmaid allegience to won't hold that against me, I certainly won't hold it against anyone for not having me either, at this point.  But I dovalue your friendship and hope you'll be coming to the wedding to celebrate and have a great time, etc..."

This.  It acknowledges that youthful "promises" were made (and probably quite sincerely at the time), but now that all of you are grown up life has changed and all of you have become more realistic and have adapted to the changes appropriately. 

I would put huge emphasis on the fact that you want (and expect) her to come to the wedding to share your special day.  Who knows?  She might even actually be relieved to know she doesn't have to buy a dress and shoes and plan showers and all that stuff! 
« Last Edit: October 08, 2015, 04:26:33 PM by gramma dishes »

greencat

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Re: Anticipating an awkward non-bridesmaid conversation, advice?
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2015, 04:51:09 PM »
OP, you said that it seemed like she only contacted you when she wanted something, but you also said that she contacted you to get together when she visited town and also that she's now contacting you to get together now that she's moved back.  That was a little jarring to me - it sounds like maybe she wasn't able to maintain a proper friendship with you without face-to-face time, and now that she's trying to rekindle the friendship, and the way you worded it makes me think you're irritated by it.

Cali.in.UK

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Re: Anticipating an awkward non-bridesmaid conversation, advice?
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2015, 05:25:41 PM »
OP, you said that it seemed like she only contacted you when she wanted something, but you also said that she contacted you to get together when she visited town and also that she's now contacting you to get together now that she's moved back.  That was a little jarring to me - it sounds like maybe she wasn't able to maintain a proper friendship with you without face-to-face time, and now that she's trying to rekindle the friendship, and the way you worded it makes me think you're irritated by it.

Greencat, that's fair. I guess I sort of am. I guess since we used to be pretty close, I sort of feel like she plays the "we're such good friends" card when it's convenient for her. When she comes to visit, I get the feeling that she only wants to hangout with Mary and I when she has nothing else to do. She has come into the area multiple times without contacting us (which is fine!) but then another time she was back around the holidays and stated, not asked, that we would be hanging out for halloween because she didn't have anything to do. And when my dad passed away she was the only one of a small group of people that I told, who didn't even call me to check in on me. This does not make her a bad person but it was just eye-opening for me about what I expect from a person that I would consider a close friend.

And I know that she's reaching out because she's back now, and that makes sense. I'm fine with being friendly and seeing her, but I feel like she's going to be really full-on about the wedding. Sorry that was so long, it's hard to explain my feelings around it. I definitely do not want to hurt her feelings, I just am happy with my current bridal party. And I feel a bit guilty because we had talked about it, even though it was a long time ago.

greencat

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Re: Anticipating an awkward non-bridesmaid conversation, advice?
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2015, 06:01:03 PM »
OP, you said that it seemed like she only contacted you when she wanted something, but you also said that she contacted you to get together when she visited town and also that she's now contacting you to get together now that she's moved back.  That was a little jarring to me - it sounds like maybe she wasn't able to maintain a proper friendship with you without face-to-face time, and now that she's trying to rekindle the friendship, and the way you worded it makes me think you're irritated by it.

Greencat, that's fair. I guess I sort of am. I guess since we used to be pretty close, I sort of feel like she plays the "we're such good friends" card when it's convenient for her. When she comes to visit, I get the feeling that she only wants to hangout with Mary and I when she has nothing else to do. She has come into the area multiple times without contacting us (which is fine!) but then another time she was back around the holidays and stated, not asked, that we would be hanging out for halloween because she didn't have anything to do. And when my dad passed away she was the only one of a small group of people that I told, who didn't even call me to check in on me. This does not make her a bad person but it was just eye-opening for me about what I expect from a person that I would consider a close friend.

And I know that she's reaching out because she's back now, and that makes sense. I'm fine with being friendly and seeing her, but I feel like she's going to be really full-on about the wedding. Sorry that was so long, it's hard to explain my feelings around it. I definitely do not want to hurt her feelings, I just am happy with my current bridal party. And I feel a bit guilty because we had talked about it, even though it was a long time ago.


You can always say, only if she asks directly about being a bridesmaid,
"Sorry Shelly, but we really haven't stayed as close as we were back then.  I didn't even know you were moving back until you'd already done it!  Of course you're invited to the wedding, but I've already chosen my bridesmaids." 

green.and.blue

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Re: Anticipating an awkward non-bridesmaid conversation, advice?
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2015, 06:21:55 PM »
You can always say, only if she asks directly about being a bridesmaid,
"Sorry Shelly, but we really haven't stayed as close as we were back then.  I didn't even know you were moving back until you'd already done it!  Of course you're invited to the wedding, but I've already chosen my bridesmaids."

POD

I recently ran into an old friend I'd been thinking about since the "borrowing" thread. I have a book of hers, but we'd fallen out of touch. Turns out she's moved to my town from another town an hour away - last year! I had no idea. She lives six blocks away. She looked soooo guilty when she told me (she knows where I live) but really it was fine; we're not close any more. If she had fussed about not being invited to my back to school BBQ, that would have been OTT. Bridesmaid? When you didin't know where she even lived? Nonsense.

TootsNYC

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Re: Anticipating an awkward non-bridesmaid conversation, advice?
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2015, 07:08:51 PM »
w/ a wedding guest, the "proper" answer is, "it was a small wedding."

I think "It's a small bridal party" is your best bet.

And the more details you include, the more like a lecture it becomes. It's probably wisest to keep it really short.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Anticipating an awkward non-bridesmaid conversation, advice?
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2015, 08:55:11 PM »
OP, you said that it seemed like she only contacted you when she wanted something, but you also said that she contacted you to get together when she visited town and also that she's now contacting you to get together now that she's moved back.  That was a little jarring to me - it sounds like maybe she wasn't able to maintain a proper friendship with you without face-to-face time, and now that she's trying to rekindle the friendship, and the way you worded it makes me think you're irritated by it.

Greencat, that's fair. I guess I sort of am. I guess since we used to be pretty close, I sort of feel like she plays the "we're such good friends" card when it's convenient for her. When she comes to visit, I get the feeling that she only wants to hangout with Mary and I when she has nothing else to do. She has come into the area multiple times without contacting us (which is fine!) but then another time she was back around the holidays and stated, not asked, that we would be hanging out for halloween because she didn't have anything to do. And when my dad passed away she was the only one of a small group of people that I told, who didn't even call me to check in on me. This does not make her a bad person but it was just eye-opening for me about what I expect from a person that I would consider a close friend.

And I know that she's reaching out because she's back now, and that makes sense. I'm fine with being friendly and seeing her, but I feel like she's going to be really full-on about the wedding. Sorry that was so long, it's hard to explain my feelings around it. I definitely do not want to hurt her feelings, I just am happy with my current bridal party. And I feel a bit guilty because we had talked about it, even though it was a long time ago.


You can always say, only if she asks directly about being a bridesmaid,
"Sorry Shelly, but we really haven't stayed as close as we were back then.  I didn't even know you were moving back until you'd already done it!  Of course you're invited to the wedding, but I've already chosen my bridesmaids."

I like greencat's wording too.



I think "It's a small bridal party" is your best bet.



I like this also, but only if the bridal party really is small! If the OP is having 10 bridesmaids, it's going to be exposed as a lie.

Rapunzel1974

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Re: Anticipating an awkward non-bridesmaid conversation, advice?
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2015, 10:12:12 PM »
w/ a wedding guest, the "proper" answer is, "it was a small wedding."

I think "It's a small bridal party" is your best bet.

And the more details you include, the more like a lecture it becomes. It's probably wisest to keep it really short.

Indeed. This is a situation where a bride could get nervous and JADE by accident.

kudeebee

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Re: Anticipating an awkward non-bridesmaid conversation, advice?
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2015, 10:51:10 PM »
I wouldn't give a long reasoning for why she  isn't your bridesmaid.  Keep it short and simple.

I like something like this:


 "I'm only having two, Mary and my sister" (or however it is), something objective and not personal to her.

You could add "i'll need to get your new address to mail you the invitation."  Then bean dip and talk about something else.

Definitely don't get together with her for the purpose of discussing it or bring it up on your own.