DEAR MISS MANNERS: A close friend of about eight years asked me to help her plan her daughter’s wedding. I went to many venues and florist appointments with her. I was so excited about this wedding and her sharing the planning with me. I thought I was so special.
The other day, she told me about how she had worked for over seven hours to do the seating chart and how I was going to be so mad at her.
I am acquainted with many of her friends, all of whom will be at the wedding. She explained that she is so sorry, but she just didn’t know what else to do with me, “so I put you at the table with my household staff.”
I feel at this point if I go, it will not be with a joyful heart but as a duty. I emailed her expressing my apology that we would not be attending (the wedding is still three weeks away).
She left me a message stating that she would never force me to do anything I did not want to do, and how she was hurt and found it disrespectful of me not to call her and talk about it. She said she and her husband worked all night to find another appropriate table for me and my husband.
She also raised her voice in another message and asked what was wrong with me to upset her at this time. Goodness, why would I want to go to a wedding where I do not feel welcome?
GENTLE READER: Miss Manners’ advice depends greatly on what reason – if any – you gave as to why you would not attend. If you gave none (generally the best option, as it doesn’t tangle you up in excuses and half-truths), then keep telling her that you are so sorry, but that you simply cannot attend.
If you told her the truth – that you felt that you were being treated poorly – then tell her that you didn’t realize that having you there was so important to her and that now you’ve made other plans (which may actually mean plans to make plans).
In any case, a friend who raises her voice and doesn’t mind treating you like an employee – no matter how important she deems the occasion – is probably not one that you are sorry to lose.
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