September 24, 2010 in Features

Carolyn Hax: Bride sees e-mail mocking her ways

Washington Post

Dear Carolyn: I’m getting married in a few months and am thrilled to have my four closest friends in the wedding. I thought I just had the greatest friends in the world, but then I got a misdirected e-mail from one bridesmaid to another. The e-mail excerpted one of my mass e-mails to the girls and mocked me relentlessly for being too detail-oriented, too demanding and too self-centered about my wedding.

I doubt the writer has realized her mistake. Do you think I should confront them? – Bridezilla

At least to start, the only person you need to confront is you – about your unrealistic expectations:

• Of yourself, since this may be the biggest thing in your life, ever, but that doesn’t mean it will top that list for long;

• Of your cosmic importance as a bride. You got that right yourself, on those “details that only I would care about.” That was probably hindsight, since you apparently sent several of these detail-heavy mass e-mails and expected your bridesmaids to care.

• And, of relationships in general. Your friends aren’t monsters, they’re human beings, who have it in their nature to gather, to laugh, to commiserate – and sometimes veer into scapegoating. Groups do get carried away.

You may decide to confront your friends, or not. You may admit what you saw, apologize for your excesses, thank them for the wake-up face-slap they never intended to give – and promise a new, relaxed, perspective-based approach to your wedding. (If you, ahem, want them to feel awful, take this tack.)

Maybe the pain’s too raw for that. Understandable. But if nothing else, please take this most unwelcome, but most constructive humility into your marriage. It won’t show up on any registries, but it’s truly a beautiful gift.

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