Author Topic: Guest from Hell: Do You Tell the Bride?  (Read 6026 times)

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Rosey

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Guest from Hell: Do You Tell the Bride?
« on: May 22, 2010, 03:02:51 PM »
My boyfriend (let's call him Sam) and I were at the wedding reception of my oldest friend. He had met the bride a few weeks before but had never met the bride's family.

During the reception Sam was dancing on the dance floor and the bride's brother-in-law (her sister's husband of four months, let's call him Bill) slapped Sam on the butt and ducked behind another guest. Sam thought this was strange, but Bill had been drinking heavily, so Sam told him to stop and left it at that.

Ten minutes later, Sam was again dancing and was again slapped on the butt by Bill. Now keep in mind that Bill was a high school teacher in his mid-30s - theoretically mature enough to know better than to slap people he didn't know. Sam told Bill that he didn't like it and to please stop. Sam walked off the dance floor and over to me to tell me what was happening.

Later, Sam walked across the room to say hello to another guest, and on his way back to our table was accosted by Bill who pinched Sam's nipple. This was the last straw for Sam and he began to get upset. A few of the bride's cousins saw this and stepped in to avoid a physical confrontation. I saw the bride's cousin take Sam outside and I followed to see what was happening. Sam explained the whole situation to the cousin who replied that this was what Bill was like and to forget it.

As we were standing outside, Bill walked up to Sam and asked if he wanted to fight. Sam asked for an apology instead. Bill reluctantly and insincerely apologized with a mumbled "sorry".

Sam and I returned to the reception, a little offended. I felt that as I had known the bride's sister for 20 years, I could speak with her about her husband's behavior or at least inform her about it. I told her the scenario and she blamed Sam for starting a fight and said we were ruining her good time. She then told me that this is how Bill is. I said that his behavior was inappropriate and hostile and that she should know about it. She said she would take care of it, and angrily walked away.

A few minutes later, the groom took me aside and said that the bride's sister had informed him that Sam and I had said "derogatory things" about the military (the bride, groom and most of their friends were currently serving in the armed forces) to her. The groom said she didn't tell him what our exact words were. I pointed out to the groom that Sam and I had been talking to their friends all night and had been unfailingly respectful and polite. Sam and I also informed the groom that the only time we had spoken with the sister was to bring Bill's behavior to her attention. We told the groom the whole story. The groom said he didn't know whom to believe, and asked us not to tell the bride about this. He told us to avoid Bill, which we had been doing anyway.

Sam and I felt very uncomfortable and unwelcome, and left the reception. I was determined to make sure the bride knew what had happened. Sam did not deserve to be treated this way. If this was just an ordinary friend I would never have spoken to her again. However, she had been a good friend for most of our lives, so I wanted to give her a chance to react to this situation. After she got back from her honeymoon and was settled into her new home, I told her the story. She was very apologetic and said that if she had known at the time, she would have done something.
 

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 I'm torn on this one. Obviously Bill is a childish boor, but I don't really agree with telling the bride everything that happened, particularly after the groom asked them not to let the bride find out. I realize he was probably referring to not telling her _at the reception_, but what did she hope to gain by giving the bride a play-by-play afterwards? Excusing the fact that they left early? Creating problems between the bride and her BIL? I see all of these stories from brides about how fabulous their wedding was, how much fun everyone had, etc., and it seems mean to me to tell the bride afterwards, "You know how you thought everyone had a great time? We didn't. In fact, a big group of us got involved in an altercation with your BIL. Let me tell you what happened so that you can realize what a big part of your reception this was . . .

Wendy Moira Angela Pan

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Re: Guest from Hell: Do You Tell the Bride?
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2010, 04:00:14 PM »
I wouldn't  bother telling the bride. It's got nothing to do with her, and will only make her feel bad (or annoy her). The writer probably won't see much of Bill, so it seems pointless to hang onto this.


Quote
If this was just an ordinary friend I would never have spoken to her again./quote]

Edited because I can't get my comments out of the quote box, so I put them in green. I find that very confusing. Does the writer blame the bride for her sister's husband being a weirdo? Bill's behavior has nothing to do with the bride or the wedding at all. I feel bad for the bride that she has a friend who holds her responsible for the behavior of all her friends and family.

Hanna

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Re: Guest from Hell: Do You Tell the Bride?
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2010, 04:14:12 PM »
Wendy, I also thought that part was strange.

I don't see a problem with explaining to the bride later.  I would expect a good friend to tell me if my BIL treated them so terribly, would want to know why my oldest friend left my wedding early.

Clara Bow

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Re: Guest from Hell: Do You Tell the Bride?
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2010, 05:27:02 PM »
I think that I would leave the bride out of the loop, but I'd have reservations about being around the groom any further, and Bill would be way out of my life.

I think that the groom was wrong to expect his guests to put up with being sexually harrassed and lied about.
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Amava

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Re: Guest from Hell: Do You Tell the Bride?
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2010, 05:33:56 PM »
If I was that bride, I would have wanted to know then and there, so that I could take action against Bill if nobody else wanted to step up.  Bill should have been the one who had to leave.

The Glen

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Re: Guest from Hell: Do You Tell the Bride?
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2010, 05:43:01 PM »
If I was that bride, I would have wanted to know then and there, so that I could take action against Bill if nobody else wanted to step up.  Bill should have been the one who had to leave.

POD. There were some serious things going on at that reception. I would want to know.

Hawkwatcher

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Re: Guest from Hell: Do You Tell the Bride?
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2010, 06:34:17 PM »
Wendy, I also thought that part was strange.

I don't see a problem with explaining to the bride later.  I would expect a good friend to tell me if my BIL treated them so terribly, would want to know why my oldest friend left my wedding early.

I agree.  If the poster waited 10 years to tell the bride, it would serve no purpose.  However, telling the bride soon after the wedding allows her to protect herself.  If Bill normally behaves this badly after drinking heavily, the bride might not want to invite him to functions serving a lot of alcohol.  She also needs to know that her sister is willing to lie to cover for Bill.

Edited to change a word.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2010, 02:03:30 PM by Hawkwatcher »

MariaE

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Re: Guest from Hell: Do You Tell the Bride?
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2010, 01:32:28 AM »
Wendy, I also thought that part was strange.

I don't see a problem with explaining to the bride later.  I would expect a good friend to tell me if my BIL treated them so terribly, would want to know why my oldest friend left my wedding early.

I agree.  If the posted waited 10 years to tell the bride, it would serve no purpose.  However, telling the bride soon after the wedding allows her to protect herself.  If Bill normally behaves this badly after drinking heavily, the bride might not want to invite him to functions serving a lot of alcohol.  She also needs to know that her sister is willing to lie to cover for Bill.

I agree. If it were my BIL I'd want to know.
 
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The Legend of Daisy

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Re: Guest from Hell: Do You Tell the Bride?
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2010, 03:07:05 AM »
Of course the bride needs to know!
Her BIL insults random people when he's drunk and her sister makes up lies to cover for him. She needs to be aware of what kind of people they are.

iridaceae

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Re: Guest from Hell: Do You Tell the Bride?
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2010, 04:21:10 AM »
I wouldn't  bother telling the bride. It's got nothing to do with her, and will only make her feel bad (or annoy her). The writer probably won't see much of Bill, so it seems pointless to hang onto this.


Quote
If this was just an ordinary friend I would never have spoken to her again.


Edited because I can't get my comments out of the quote box, so I put them in green. I find that very confusing. Does the writer blame the bride for her sister's husband being a weirdo? Bill's behavior has nothing to do with the bride or the wedding at all. I feel bad for the bride that she has a friend who holds her responsible for the behavior of all her friends and family.

He's not just annoying, he's sexually harassing someone. That the person he's sexually harassing is also male does not detract from the fact that he finds enjoyment in sexually harassing people.  I'd want to know.  

« Last Edit: May 23, 2010, 07:17:16 AM by iridaceae »

Mopsy428

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Re: Guest from Hell: Do You Tell the Bride?
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2010, 11:16:28 AM »
Bride should know, and Bill is lucky Sam didn't report this to the police. I know that's what I would have done if some guy was slapping my behind and pinching my nipple.

PeterM

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Re: Guest from Hell: Do You Tell the Bride?
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2010, 01:40:49 PM »
I agree that she was right to tell the bride, but I think part of the reason it was a good idea is just to protect herself. If the bride's sister is willing to tell the groom despicable lies about the OP's behavior, I would assume she'd say the same things or worse to the bride herself. I think the OP making sure the bride got her side of events just makes sense in an attempt to keep the bride's sister from torpedoing their friendship.

Wendy Moira Angela Pan

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Re: Guest from Hell: Do You Tell the Bride?
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2010, 07:54:41 PM »
Those are some really good points. I hadn't thought about it from a sexual harassment perspective before. I was thinking of it more as the writer/guest was partially tattling and partially telling the bride about something bad that happened at her reception just to hurt her feelings. But I guess that was uncharitable of me. It does make sense that the writer would want the bride to be on the lookout for that kind of behavior in the future. I was just thrown by the idea that the writer was considering dropping the bride as a friend because of the situation.

Rosey

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Re: Guest from Hell: Do You Tell the Bride?
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2010, 08:41:13 PM »
OP (of the re-post - not the letter!) here

I kept reading and noticed that the LW submitted this story twice in a twelve-month period. I still don't like the idea of spoiling such a momentous occasion for the bride if it isn't necessary. The LW says that the sister, wife of the BIL, states quite clearly that this is how her husband acts and that this behavior is normal for him, so I sincerely doubt the bride didn't know that he is a mess when he drinks, behaves innappropriately, etc. I think LW could have very easily said that she had a problem with BIL's behavior and felt it best to leave - and then left it at that.

KenveeB

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Re: Guest from Hell: Do You Tell the Bride?
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2010, 09:12:46 PM »
I agree that she was right to tell the bride, but I think part of the reason it was a good idea is just to protect herself. If the bride's sister is willing to tell the groom despicable lies about the OP's behavior, I would assume she'd say the same things or worse to the bride herself. I think the OP making sure the bride got her side of events just makes sense in an attempt to keep the bride's sister from torpedoing their friendship.

This is why I would've told the bride.  Sis and BIL had already stooped to telling outright lies about them to the groom in order to make them look bad.  I would want the bride to know my side of the story before she gets an earful from Sis about it and it damages our friendship.  I agree with not spoiling her big day, but I don't see anything wrong with telling her afterwards.