Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Dear Carolyn: I was a bridesmaid in three weddings over three years, maid of honor in two. I spent thousands of dollars and units of energy throwing showers, traveling to far-flung locations, and generally feting my friends. I was able to pull off some actual surprises, which is pretty rare. Most of the brides I know have planned their own showers and just had other people “throw” them, which I find tacky. These friends all live locally.
I am getting married next weekend, and not a peep has been uttered among any of my friends about a shower. My family follows etiquette pretty closely and did not throw me a shower either. My mother asked me at one point if I wanted her to drop some sort of hint like, “I can help if you’re throwing a shower for my daughter,” but I asked her not to because that would feel so rude.
Did I do the wrong thing by not actually requesting a shower? I’m not entitled to one (no one is), but my feelings are hurt that no one took the initiative.
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Finally a Bride (Without Bridesmaids)
Am I gathering correctly that you chose not to have bridesmaids?
Your friends should have asked you anyway whether you wanted a shower — you clearly rallied for them — but they could have concluded from your opting against a wedding party that you rejected all the trimmings.
Plus, the brides who planned their own showers and enlisted friends to “throw” them could easily expect you to pull a shower together for them to throw you, if you really wanted one.
Again, I agree with you that it stinks you weren’t asked, but if you’re looking for rationales to let this go, there are two.
I also think that, were it your style, it would have been fine for you or Mom to speak up.
Dear Carolyn: My relationship with one of my closest friends blew up a few months ago, and now we’re effectively not speaking to each other, even though we’re polite around our mutual friends.
But here’s the thing. I was a great friend — we had a lot of fun together, I dropped everything to help him — but now I’m a pretty awful ex-friend. I keep making snarky comments about him to our mutual friends behind his back. I wish I just had the courage to tell them some version of what happened, without going into any detail; that would take a lot of the pressure off me. (“I’m not really talking to Ex-Friend any more. I’m sure his grievances with me are valid, but at the same time, I was blindsided by how he chose to just end things with me, and that still really hurts.”) I feel kind of cruddy about what this says about me as a person.
You have every reason to feel cruddy, but also the means to fix it at your disposal: Pick out the closest of your mutual friends, then say what you said here. It’s perfect phrasing. Get out there and admit you feel vulnerable.
Not only is it not as scary as it seems, it’s a mark of toughness. Only the truly fragile need to project absolute strength.
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