- 9 years ago
- Wedding: October 2011
So. At work I told a friend that while she was seated with her boyfriend (not living together, not engaged, and I’ve met him twice) and one of her best friends who won’t know anyone else at the wedding, I wasn’t able to fit the three of them at the same table as other mutual college friends of ours, and that I was sorry I couldn’t have worked it out differently. She flipped out in the middle of the office, was inconsolable despite me explaining why it was all going to be ok (she’d be up and dancing/drinking most of the time anyway, there are other places to sit, she could pull over chairs when other people are dancing, the meal is only a very short part of the wedding, she might actually like being with her bf and her good friend, etc. etc.) and she then stormed off angrily after declaring that her boyfriend didn’t even want to come to the wedding and getting a suit (he’s 30) is a giant inconvenience for him and so the whole wedding is just an annoyance to them both. This is the email exchange that followed:
Me: I’ll see if I can re-arrange things this weekend but may mean leaving S [friend who won’t know anyone else] alone.
“Friend”: I don’t really know what to tell you. I don’t want S to be alone but I also don’t want to be separated from my friends. Unless there’s a way to divide people up more evenly, I’m going to feel bad no matter what happens. Who else is at that other table?
Me: So you see the dilemma I faced! I have to check when I’m back home, it’s on paper not computer.
“Friend”: Yeah, so now I get to feel bad about it too. Thanks.
Me: I’m not sure why you’re mad at me. I’m doing the best I can! Do you think I don’t want to make everyone at my wedding happy?
“Friend”: I understand that, but now you’ve put me in an awkward position where I feel like I’m choosing amongst friends. It’s your wedding – make the tables how you want. I don’t know why you involved me.
Me: I told you to as a courtesy, and I invited your boyfriend as a courtesy to you as well. I understand you’re upset, and I’ve tried to accommodate all guests at the wedding as much as possible, but you can see that this situation has no easy answer. You and Sharon are close friends and I didn’t think you’d consider having her left at a table without you, since you’re the only one she’ll know at my wedding. I thought you would be happy sitting with your boyfriend and another close friend, while still being free to enjoy the party with everyone else there, regardless of seating. I had no idea you would have such a violent reaction to the table arrangements, and can’t expect you to understand the work that goes into planning an event like this. I hope you can manage to have a good time however the tables end up, and if Nick does not want to come, as you claimed, please don’t force him on our account. As we discussed, we planned our guest list very carefully, not inviting just anyone and even leaving out some friends, and we hope that everyone in attendance is there because they truly want to celebrate our wedding with us.
“Friend”: You’re right – I have no idea what goes into planning an event like this and would have liked to have been kept out of it. S is my friend, but so is a whole other table of people at this party. You are obviously uncomfortable with the decision you made and must have anticipated there would have been some reaction on my part, otherwise it would not have been worth noting to me. Where I’m actually sitting is annoying, but what bothers me most is that you’re putting the weight of it on my shoulders now, basically saying, “Well, if you want, you can leave Sharon by herself.” I don’t appreciate this responsibility and it’s unfair of you to shift the fault to me.
Me: Seating charts are not up to the guests. Obviously my attempt to get you to understand a perspective/feeling other than your own failed.
“Friend”: You emailed me right after and said, you’d reconsider the seating but that S might be left alone! How is that not putting it on me?
Me: That is to explain to you what went into the decision, and help you see that there was no clear right choice. I’m doing the best I can to please all 300 guests and don’t appreciate being berated and told that your boyfriend is coming as a favor to me 10 days before my wedding. It’s the most important day of my/FI’s life and four hours of yours.
“Friend”: I was going to say that I actually empathize with your decision, but you’ve already said that there is no way I possibly can understand, so I’ll leave that out. I am upset that you’re making it feel like it’s my fault. I’m assuming that I’m not the only person sitting at an awkward table, but I doubt you’re giving all of those other people the courtesy of knowing it, so I don’t know why you told me. My boyfriend is happy for you, but as you said yourself, you don’t know him well and invited him as a courtesy to me, so he is coming as a courtesy, and it doesn’t make me feel better when you tried to justify the seating as, oh, you won’t be totally alone, you’ll have S and your boyfriend.
WTF, right?! I wish she wasn’t coming at this point. S came over to me after witnessing the episode and said she would be willing to sit alone and I feel like I don’t have any choice but to re-arrange everything now, but why should my “friend” be rewarded for her terrible, self-centered behavior?