I found your website after wondering if other people ever experienced the same thing I had to go through during preparations for my wedding.
My fiance proposed to me just before I was leaving for a year abroad to do a Master’s degree (we happily set the wedding date for the year after my degree’s completion). The ring was beautiful, and his romantic proposal was beyond anything I could ever imagine.
While taking my degree I met a girl named “Kayla” who was six years older than me, and just moved there with her serious boyfriend. She initially fawned at my ring and the story of my engagement and was incredibly friendly with me. About a week into the degree program, she broke up with her boyfriend, sending him packing back to where they came from. From that point on, she made it her ABSOLUTE mission to break my engagement. She would claim that marriage itself was for idiots, she pestered me trying to find negative details about my fiance, and on the one occasion she met him, she pretended he didn’t exist (this included ignoring his extended handshake and repeated ‘hello-how-are-you’s’). At a party with colleagues, she continuously handed me alcohol as a “nice gesture” and then, when I was extremely drunk, asked in front of everyone if I “actually” wanted to get married, if my ring was “real,” and if I ever think that my fiance was back home cheating on me. I gave the most polite answers possible (Yes I want to get married, Yes my ring is real but that isn’t an important factor anyway, and, no there’s not a worry in my head since I trust my fiance and he trusts me). This didn’t settle with her, so she began spreading rumors to our colleagues and would bully other people to stop talking to me, many of them didn’t take her seriously, but some damage had obviously been done. The absolute kicker was at one of our last farewell parties, she tackled me to the ground for whatever reason I will never know! Several colleagues had to pull her off me.
A good friend of mine chalked her behavior up to “extreme engagement jealousy,” but I found that this level of assault isn’t something I could ever understand. 0907-14
Just as a note, no one can make you “extremely drunk” handing you alcoholic beverages. You thank the person and then set the drink aside somewhere. You chose to lift the glass to your lips, drink and swallow…repeatedly apparently.
Note 2: You are under no obligation to explain anything to rude people.
As for people who believe ugly gossip without fact checking the other side of the story, good riddance to them. You will do well in the world avoiding small minded, tiny hearted people who enjoy juicy gossip.
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At some point you have to realize that you need to cut her off entirely. She is NOT your friend. And as for tackling you to the ground, most countries would consider that assault. If you’re never going to see her again, fine. Otherwise, pressing charges and getting a restraining order may be a good idea.
And yes, she is extremely jealous. Her relationship broke up and she doesn’t want to see anyone else happy in one.
I would have had Kayla arrested for assault! She could have seriously injured the OP by tackling her that way!
And Ms. Jeanne – your Note 1 was my first thought when I read the part about the drinks! On top of that, though – considering that Kayla appears to have some serious psychological issues, there’s no way I’d take even a sip of a drink she handed me. I’d be afraid she spiked it!
The last part about tackling you sounds like assault. Might of been a great time to call the police.
I am sure people have reacted badly when they were jealous over numerous things (engagements, promotions, weddings, pregnancies, educational and professional achievements, weight loss, finances, etc), but Kayla sounds mentally imbalanced, and her behavior is criminal, not merely lacking in etiquette.
I will assume by your alcohol comment, you are not blaming her for your consumption of alcohol or being intoxicated, but pointing out that you believed she was hoping that in your lapsed judgment you would say or do something to embarrass yourself, which is not something for which a true friend would wish.
Frankly, I’m having a hard time not blaming the OP for this drama. You knew she was trying to get you to break your engagement, and yet you continued to socialize with her. And, if you didn’t actually figure it out until she met your fiancé and treated him horribly, you definitely knew what she was doing by then. It was on you to defend your fiancé and tell her to grow up. At that point, I wouldn’t have been polite about it. I would have been very vocal about her behavior and I would have made sure my friends knew why. You blame her for getting you drunk. As the Admin pointed out, no one can get you drunk unless she tied you up and stuck a funnel down your throat. If you really had a problem with her behavior, you could have stopped attending parties with her. I’m wondering if you didn’t enjoy her jealousy a little – your engagement worked out while hers tanked.
I don’t think it is productive to speculate as to the OP’s motives at the time.
But isn’t OP speculating about Kayla’s motives?
If they were in the same degree program, it probably would have been difficult to escape her entirely in social situations. Grad school programs tend to be pretty insular and there’s often little time for socializing with people outside the department. Avoiding her in those circumstances may be easier said than done.
My thoughts exactly.
I wondered, too, whether OP was more than a bit annoying about her fiancé, the proposal, the ring, etc, simply because here the OP finds it important to tell us all about it, when it’s not. It has nothing to do with the story or Kayla. So if OP sends out these kinds of vibes it may be just enough for an ill person to spot her vulnerability and use it against her.
As they always say, you can’t change others’ behaviour, only your own. There are several times in this story where OP could have behaved differently, if only to reduce or eliminate Kayla’s involvement in her life. Instead, OP made herself more vulnerable and engaged in trying to reason with an unreasonable person. This has nothing to do with engagement jealousy and everything to do with why OP put herself in these situations, over and over again. Changing that will help to reduce others abusing her in the future; focussing on someone’s perceived jealousy (in reality, the proposal details and ring are rarely interesting to anyone but the bride-to-be) is diverting attention onto a red herring. Kayla probably doesn’t care much one way or the other about OP’s personal life, just the fact that OP was available for stomping on.
The OP includes one extraneous line in her submission about the engagement being romantic and the ring and you think she ‘telling us all about it’ and that its ‘rarely interesting to anyone besides bride’? I personally like having a little background on the story. Had the ring been fake or the engagement story been less than romantic and Kayla was using thay against the OP, that may haved change the story or the resulting actions. And to say its rarely interesting to anyone but the bride is trying to case the OP in a negative light. I think the OP was accurate that while Kayla was in a relationship herself she probably enjoyed hearing details of the wedding planning because she might have been thinking soon she would be planning her own wedding. You seem to project quite a bit of negativety in this post and others when it comes to wedding stories. Since this site has a history of readership due to wedding stories it seems like many people do enjoy hearing about engagement and rings even when its about complete strangers.
I don’t need to know the background of the proposal and ring as it has nothing to do with Kayla and her behaviour. So, to me, OP has thrown that info in gratuitously. I don’t think of this site as a social space so the stories that convey well to me are the ones that are clear and don’t stray off-topic; I don’t seek sentimentality from these stories. If OP also unnecessarily throws the proposal and ring into common conversation then I could foresee people getting tired of it.
If you like hearing background story that is irrelevant to the topic then that’s your preference. I don’t. That doesn’t make me negative, just someone who doesn’t want a lot of unnecessary language that doesn’t pertain to the story. I find it fatiguing, and I can imagine how I (and others) would feel having to hear about it. Possibly more than once.
I wouldn’t categorize reading about wedding blunders as “enjoyable”, anymore than reading about strange medical mysteries, or political issues, or … I would say they are interesting or intriguing topics, and that’s why I might like to read about them. But, no, I don’t care about strangers’ rings or proposals unless they have something to do with the story. I am not very interested in the mundane details of the lives of strangers unless there’s a point to those details, which in this case, there is not.
You’re complaining about a grand total of 15 words. The OP essentially just said she was all around happy about the engagement, which is worth noting in the story about a crazy chick who was desperately trying to break said engagement up/find issues with it.
And you are using those 15 words to make the leap that the OP was being obnoxious about the engagement or sending out some kind of insecure “vibes”. That seems like a bit of a leap in logic. As is the idea that the OP did anything to engage the crazy. It sounds like once the OP realized the woman had a screw loose she kept all interactions brief, and it was Kayla who caught her out. That’s just an awful long way to go to get something to chide the OP about.
I will say from experience, in graduate programs you are expected to do a lot of extra socializing. I’m not that social, and honestly didn’t have too many common interests with the other grad students. And I did have a teacher get onto me about not taking part in enough extra curricular stuff with the rest of them. There is just the expectation (depending on where you are) that you will form a group and homogenize. Which I was less interested in since I approached the degree and it’s later use differently than most of my classmates And I got a lot of shaking of heads that I wasn’t always doing what everyone else was doing, and didn’t have the same plans. So if Kayla was in the same program as the OP she would have been pretty much unavoidable.
Agree with Admin — you are under no obligation to indulge the requests and questions of rude people. A cold stare is sufficient. And some people love gossip because they prefer salacious lies to boring truth.
That said, what she did at the farewell party is assault. Police should have been called, or at the very least an ambulance because she needs intensive medical care. Honestly I wonder if there was any way you could have protected yourself from her, as she seems completely unhinged and out to get you.
ok you had me up until she made you get drunk…
Tackling you to the ground, having to be pulled off? This chick sounds like a psycho. All of that behavior is beyond “engagement jealousy”.
OP doesn’t specify this person’s role, so it’s hard to understand how she had continuous access. Was she a fellow student? A room-mate? A co-worker? A social contact? All of these roles have different levels of possible avoidance. After the first instance of unpleasant contact, it would have been preferable to avoid her. Change room-mates, eliminate her from your social roster to the extent possible, avoid being in close quarters with her in activities related to school or work. The physical piling on is assault. Did you file charges? The prior bad conduct is harassment. Did you go to any relevant authority for help in dealing with her? (If you couldn’t manage to remove her/ limit her influence on your own?) If nothing else- please don’t allow anyone to treat you poorly with impunity again. Do absolutely everything within your power to advocate for yourself.
I would have stopped associating with anyone who was overtly rude to my fiance, or who was rude to me, or asking intrusive questions. If anyone assaulted me, particularly in front of witnesses, I would call the police. Honestly, she sounds mentally ill.
Agree with Admin about the alcoholic beverages. You only get extremely drunk if you drink the beverages. After Kayla’s actions towards you and your fiance, I would be wary of her nice gestures, especially where she was handing you drink after drink. If she was really that vindictive, she could have spiked your drink and had a plan to encourage shenanigans and/or get you in a compromising situation to end your engagement. I’m very suspicious of people who are actively rude to people, including bullying others stop talking to someone, then become nice and helpful all of a sudden.
As far as tackling you to the ground, I, personally, would have called the police and asked to press charges. She was trying to harm you physically and that is not ok. If her behavior towards you is normal for her, she may find those marriage offers hard to come by.
And you continued to hang around and be friends with Kayla why? There is no “why” about Kayla – she’s clearly ill – the “why” is with you.
It’s not clear at all that Kayla is ill. She’s definitely very strange though.
Well, she’s not healthy, so I would call her “ill”.
I completely agree with Administrator. If someone is rude enough to suggest to others, right in front of you, that the ring is fake, you don’t want to get married, and your fiance is cheating, give them a blank look. Do it long enough where there is an awkward silence.
In my experience, when someone behaves this poorly, you don’t have to say anything. Any half-way intelligent person can figure out that this person is a jerk. You don’t need to answer the jerk, and you don’t need to talk about what a jerk he/she is.
A lot of people have inquired about why the OP maintained a friendship with Kayla even after her odd behavior began. I completed a Master’s degree program a few years back, and you can find yourself having to engage with colleagues on a fairly frequent basis, even if you aren’t friends. Aside from classes and important meetings, often times, it is expected for graduate students to attend social functions (not “required,” but one of those expectations where if you do not participate, people will likely look down on you — the world of academia can be tricky). I often found myself having to socialize with people for whom I didn’t care very much, but the key is keeping conversation topics as lowkey as possible: “So how are your classes going? What do you think about this weather we’ve been having?”
That being said, I never had to deal with someone quite as extreme as Kayla, and I don’t think OP would have been out of line going to her advisor or a trusted professor to discuss Kayla’s troubling behavior, especially once the rumors began. This crosses the line from jealous and petty to unhinged and obsessive.
While it’s true that no one can make you drink, people absolutely CAN make you feel like you’re drinking in a safe environment with friends and then drop their true motives on you once your inhibitions and resistance are lowered.
Food for thought.
Thank you for pointing that out, having had a boss who constantly attempts to top up your wine glass, you ‘can’ get quite tipsey before realising you have had more than just one glass. (in his case, he’s not doing it maliciously, though)
I’m not going to get mad at the OP; rather, I’m going to continue my rage toward a society that tells everyone that “girls make nice” like it’s law.
So, OP. You are young and you messed up a teeny bit by continuing to be sane and polite to a person who is undeniably rude and possibly psychotic. It happened, it’s done, let’s move on. To the future, when someone is this rude to you, you can cut them off and it does NOT make you a rude bitch. This is the whole idea of the Polite Spine.
Admin is also right on her other point — people that will judge you for this? Are not worth your time. There is no self-respecting reason to spend any time with jerks. Spend time with people who love and support you and release yourself from caring what the jerks think. Their thoughts are worthless. You are not.
I would like to take issue with the ‘why did you keep being friends with this person for so long’?
This was not a person acting irrationally over a week or a month, this was over a longer period of time. We have a tendency to forget or forgive bad behaviour for quite some time until we realize that the behaviour has been going on for a very long time and has been escalating. Then we do something about the behaviour.
For example; I wanted a porch on the north side of my house. I called a contractor, who came highly recommended. He would come out to give me an estimate on Tuesday, no show, called him, he would arrive on Friday, he did. Said he would have an estimate on Wednesday, no show, called him, he arrived with estimate on Tuesday. He agreed to start work on Monday. I am sure you can see where this is going. I played the phone tag game for another 3 weeks ( I can’t believe I let this go on for so long! Hind sight is 20/20). My last call was to unhire him, he had no idea why I would , said he could be there in a few days.
My next contractor arrived the afternoon that I called him, gave me an estimate that day, came the following Monday and was finished the porch by Thursday. Floor, railings, roof, fancy lattice work, painting, and he cleaned up all the debris from the work.
I think that I waited as long as I did because other things were going on in my life; work, kids, husband, cooking, cleaning, eating, sleeping … you get the idea. Some tines it takes a while to clue in on something not right.
I don’t know which country “abroad” was for this OP, but at least in the US, you can’t help but avoid socializing with the folks in your masters program.
I mistyped. I mean that you can’t avoid them.
I’ve seen what a girl getting engaged can do to another girl who doesn’t have her head screwed on straight.
A hundred years ago in a summer retail job I had while I was in college, one of my co-workers was a lively party girl type.
Until her younger sister got engaged.
It was like something tipped a switch in her head.
She almost instantly became a shell of who she had been. Suddenly she was morose and irrational. Talking to her was the equivalent of walking a mine field. She would either snap at you, or answer in a way that could suggest slight mental illness.
Other girls knew her better than I did, and I never heard from any of them that there was anything else going on in her life that could account for this.
It’s funny the conversation about the OP getting drunk. My parents came over today to watch my baby for a few hours, and were telling me about a party they’d been to last night. My dad complained that he’d had too much to drink last night, because the host kept refilling his glass.
Yes, it can happen! It is easy to drink too much because you aren’t paying attention to how much you’re drinking, or your usual methods of moderation are broken down by friendly outside encouragement. Yes, we are all responsible in a legal and moral way for our own drinking. But I think many of us know from experience how outside encouragement can easily lead to increased consumption, especially if you’re not on guard from it.
A zillion times this. It’s really hard to count drinks (if you drink,) if people keep topping you off. It’s easier with non alcoholic because the sugar ratio to tea/sugar, coffee/sugar gets screwed up if you add more to the top, but if you’re trying to count glasses, or ounces, or drinks, and someone keeps taking it away and topping it off, it’s really hard to particularly if they switch boozes on you. If one is a beer, then the next mixed, or liquor it gets really messy in your head as to how much. Did I drink two whiskys? Did I drink a beer and a shot? Was that two fingers or a double pour? Oh heck I am amongst friends, so I got drunk, not good, I hate getting drunk but nobody here will hurt me, someone’ll drive me home or let me stay. It happens, it shouldn’t be an excuse for getting verbally pounced on.
The OP is young, they now understand that you can’t drink like that AND count how much. You say “no thanks,” to a top off. You make sure you eat as well, and take the advice of bartenders everywhere, one water/non alcoholic (without caffeine, caffeine drys you out some,) drink after every loaded drink and food, never drink booze without eating something.
On the other hand from a social perspective a person like the OP is describing would get nasty too. They’re the sort that would be all in your face “Can’t hold your booze? I’m only trying to be niiiiiice to you.” Be prepared to deal with it.
The fact she tackled you, I would have had her arrested for assault. The drinking, you could have stopped it yourself, but. The last bit was more than enough-I would have cut her out of my circle long before most of that that is mentioned went down.