- 8 years ago
- Wedding: July 2011
Bees, I need some advice. And part of which I expect to be: there’s not much you can do about it. But I would still like to hear some words of wisdom or at least a mantra I can use to console myself.
It is worth mentioning (as it will become important to the story in a bit) that FH is white and I am a mutt – mostly AA, but white, native american and who knows what else. FH and I come from pretty solid middle class backgrounds, and we’ve both worked very hard in life to get where we are – we’ve had had jobs since we were in high school, and worked our butts off academically in college. We both have jobs we love, we actively do lots of cultural activities, we both speak another langauge separately, and together we are starting to learn Spanish. All this is to say that we have very similar work ethics and ambitions in life, and appreciate all that the world has to offer.
FH has a friend that he is very close to – they’ve been friends since they met in high school (he went to boarding school so they’re very tight). FH pretty much spends his free time doing three things: hanging out w/me; playing video/computer games (by himself or online); and hanging out w/his buddy who from now on I will refer to as Bob. Bob is not like my FH and I, in the sense that he comes from family money, went to the same college as his dad, doesn’t work (and for the 5 years I’ve known my FH, Bob has only been employed for about a year and half of that time, after doing two internships) and probably hasn’t needed to work hard for anything in his life at all, and pretty much spends his days playing video games and smoking pot. And occasionally takes vacations all over the world whenever he feels like it. At the age of 31, almost 32. And on several occasions, he has said he can’t understand why people stay at jobs where they work crazy hours because he doesn’t see the point and wouldn’t ever want a job like that. (For the record, I work 10-12 hr days sometimes, and at one point was going to grad school AND working full time, but I LOOOOVE my job and it’s totally worth it to me). He seems not to want to do much with his life these days, and though he claims he ultimately wants his own publishing business, he really has done nothing to put himself on the path to getting there. So I basically have had less and less in common with him as time has passed – I’ve been growing in my job, education, and in life, and since he quit his job almost 2 yrs ago, other than buying an apartment (w/family money) and getting married, he’s pretty much stayed the same. Every time we hang out w/Bob lately, I can have about a 10 min conversation w/him and then I get bored because we have nothing left to talk about. Don’t get me wrong: I have nothing against rich people or people who come from family money. I have friends in similar situations but they don’t take their situations for granted, they still work hard and have made something of themselves, and they don’t throw their status in other people’s faces or think they are better than everyone else because of it. I just have little respect and patience for people who look down on others because they work hard and constantly remind you either in words or actions that they don’t have to. I also think he’s a bit of a bad influence on FH. FH is always telling me about how he tries to encourage Bob to go back to school or do something useful w/his life, and to make good decisions and ultimately do the right thing. Bob, as far as I know, has yet to be a positive force in FH’s life in that same way. FH and I almost broke up about 3 yrs ago and Bob was in a position to encourage FH to have made a better decision than he did to avoid what happened, but did nothing instead. FH had apparently been of picking up on this all along, and picked up on the fact that I’ve been consciously avoiding hanging out w/Bob for some time, and one day I finally came out and said it. I told FH my feelings about Bob, how I felt I had nothing in common w/him anymore because he seems to have no ambition in life, and how I didn’t undertand what he contributed to their friendship other than giving FH free pot. However, I told FH that at the end of the day, I don’t think Bob is a bad person – I just don’t think he is a good friend. FH actually said that understood my perspective and while he didn’t outright agree w/me, he surprisingly didn’t get defensive, as he would normally.
Bob got married this summer, and FH was Bob’s best man; now Bob is going to be a groomman in our wedding, which I’m less than thrilled about but I’ve accepted was going to happen long before we were engaged. We’re not having a Maid/Matron of Honor and Bridesmaid or Best Man, primarily because I don’t want to have to choose a Maid/Matron of Honor (I have too many ladies to choose from and don’t want to pick just one). To add insult to injury, we’ve yet to receive a thank you note from either Bob or his wife for the gifts that were from BOTH of us that we sent them BEFORE the wedding (wedding was end of August, they received the gifts end of July at the latest). I’m esp annoyed because I actually went out of my way to two different stores to try to get something from their registry that wasn’t available online anymore. The whole way their wedding was handled imho was a mess to begin with, but that’s another story.
The saga continues. Earlier this month, FH hosted a bar crawl in our neighborhood in Brooklyn for his birthday. It was a small group and Bob and his wife stayed for the duration of the evening. We ended up going to four spots that night, the third of which is a South African restaurant that also has a bar area. (A side note: our neighborhood is very diverse, which we love, though predominantly split between caucasian and AA, and everyone is friendly and hangs out together). FH and I have been there several times, but only to eat in the dining room; even so, the food is great and I’m always impressed at how quick and good the service is because it’s a popular place. While several AA people work there and a good proportion of the clientele is AA, lots of caucasian, asian, etc, people hang out there ALL the time because it’s a great place. So we go to the bar area, and after some juggling of people already there, the waitress makes space for us a big, low bar table. The bar was kind of crowded but it was mostly people waiting to be seated in the dining room; however bar service got worse and worse the longer we there. Long story short, the waitress was preoccupied with a gentleman caller sitting at the bar, she took 10 mins each time to come back and tell us they were out of something (this happened 3 times), and basically didn’t bring anyone’s drinks for at least 40 mins. At one point after we had ordered our drinks and it had been almost half an hour and we hadn’t gotten anything yet, a friend sitting next to Bob started grumbling about why it was taking so long (as others had started to do). Bob says, barely audibly but loud enough that I heard him, “Maybe it’s beacause we’re white”. W. T. F. Inside, I was totally livid and couldn’t even believe that a) he would immediately jump to that conclusion, given that there were several other white people sitting in the bar area who had clearly been served; and b) he had the audacity to say that out loud! As if it was because suddenly someone wasn’t waiting on him hand and foot, suddenly it’s a race issue??? Because it was FH’s bday, I didn’t say anything at all because I didn’t want to ruin his night. I had alluded to my anger about it on my gchat status message, and basically explained the situation to FH a day or two after. FH shook his head but didn’t really react to it, and who knows if he said anything to Bob about it after that or not. If it weren’t FH’s bday, I would have TOTALLY dealt with it right then and there. I mean, I don’t go around shouting “racist” whenever I go to a crowded bar in Manhattan and it takes 1/2 an hour to get my drinks. And even if I thought it, I wouldn’t say it out loud unless it was really really obvious that’s what was going on. Either you deal w/it or leave the establishment – welcome to being out on a Fri night and self-centered NYC service staff. And for what it’s worth, Bob has no AA friends. Or even a diverse group of friends. He has one good friend who’s Guatamalan and gay (so it seems the gay part overshadows the Guatamalan part). Otherwise, all people in Bob’s circle are white. He spends all his time in Manhattan, and besides me and maybe a few friends of friends, he doesn’t really know many POC.
Needless to say, I have officially vowed to myself never to hang out with this guy ever again unless absolutely positively necessary. I’ve stopped communicating w/him awhile ago (we would talk on gchat and exchange emails occasionally), and have no intention of starting again. But given that he’s going to be in our wedding, I don’t really know how to proceed. He’s probably going to help plan FH’s bach party, the thought of which makes me want to vommit, but again, another story. But a good portion of my AA family is going to be at the wedding so I fear what comments he might make then and there are certain people who will not take kindly to that, whether they’re at a wedding or not. It just kills me that FH considers this guy his best friend. It also kills me that I’ve known Bob for almost 5 years and only in the last year have I really been able to see him for what he really is.
Bees, I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to be that girl who rags on FH’s friends. FH obviously gets something out of the relationship, and I don’t expect FH to drop his friend at all (nor would I really want him to given their friendship preceeds me). BUT I really want nothing to do with this guy anymore, and yet I have to deal w/him somehow for at least the next 8 months. Any thoughts you have would be hugely appreciated! As I said, I don’t know if there is a whole lot I can do, but would love to hear from anyone in the same/a similar situation.