Friday, June 17, 2011

chilly reception

Dear ESB:

I got married in April and loved every minute of it -- from walking down the aisle to Tears for Fears to bucking tradition and having whoopie pies instead of cake. Sure, things went wrong (it not just rained, it POURED! I had SHINGLES! My wedding photos are of me with a paralyzed right side of my face [thanks shingles]) but I had a blast regardless and was glad to put the stress of planning behind me and become a normal person again.

When I got engaged, I had just started a new job, so I decided to invite my boss and my office mate only since we were trying to keep our numbers down since my family is huge and we were stretching our budget. My husband invited no one from work b/c there simply wasn't room. I have many friends at work who were incredibly supportive and receptive to my message that i love them and I wish I could have invited everyone but financially wasn't able to.

My one friend in particular was incredibly supportive throughout the planning process and checked up on me daily during my be-shingled, painful week before the wedding. Once i return to work post-honeymoon -- POOF! He REFUSES to speak to me. I came back and he ignores me. Like, if i walk into a room, he walks out. It is making things awkward because he's on my immediate team and even my boss has been like "um, what did YOU do?"

I've tried talking to him and he shuts the conversation down immediately and continues to ignore me. I think he's basically waiting for me to come graveling and apologize. On one hand, i feel badly i hurt his feelings and value our friendship so I'd like to apologize for his feelings being hurt. On the other, i am not apologizing for my decision and am disappointed in his attitude. i just want to put this behind me-- much like the shingles!



Ha. That's such a MALE apology, right? "I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings."

But that's exactly what you should say. You don't owe this friend an apology for not inviting him, but you do need things between the two of you to be civil.

Who knows? Maybe something else is going on. Maybe his boyfriend dumped him while you were on your honeymoon but you never found out because you didn't bother to ask "How are you?"

How to Become a Millionaire in 100 Days by Jen Stark via cevd


  1. this is why i didn't invite anyone from my office. if you can't invite them ALL, you're automatically saying "he made the cut and you didn't" and no matter how understanding people seem about this to your face, it's going to smart their feelings to some extent.

    i have a feeling your boss and office mate came back to work on monday after your wedding and told everyone what a great time it was, and it dawned on your friend that he really *does* feel bad that he was not invited.

    what so many single people don't understand is that we (people getting married) are not pro's at planning weddings. you have a million things on your plate during the planning process, a million decisions to make, and not all of them turn out to be great decisions. inviting *some* people from the office was a not-so-awesome decision, but you couldn't have known how it would effect your relationships- you were just moving along with your planning and hoping for the best. he will understand better some day if/when he is planning his own huge party. there's really no way to make everyone happy and keep your sanity and stay within your budget 100%. we all try, but there's always something that goes wrong.

    but since he's not in the mood to see it from your perspective, just apologize and tell him you really miss his friendship.

  2. did he not realize he wasn't invited until after you returned from your honeymoon? it seems weird that he was super helpful in the week leading up to the wedding and then decided to be butt-hurt about not getting an invite.

    ESB is right, it's probably something else. write an "I'm sorry if I hurt you" letter about how much you value his friendship and whatnot; maybe then he'll at least tell you what's going on

  3. What nikki said. He can't have been surprised that he wasn't invited... so it makes no sense that he's upset about that after being lovely to you the week leading up to your wedding. I vote for some kind of grand gesture funny apology (sing him a song, bring him balloons) to snap him out of his funk, and if that doesn't work, pull in a co-worker, boss, etc. and set up a mediation. Bottom line, more than a friend, he's a colleague, and he's being unprofessional by simply shutting you down. At some point it's going to switch from being about losing a friend to being about screwing up office communication.

  4. I agree with Tonia, maybe it didn't hit him until your boss and office mate came back and talked it up and it made him jealous.. or maybe he didn't know they were invited and assumed from your 'sorry to work friends - you aren't invited' notice that no one from work was going, so when he found out a couple people got to go he went from supportive to feeling left out.

    Maybe he was so nice in the lead up because he thought he might fetch a last minute invite and was upset when you came back because he didn't!

    No matter what, you've got to clear the air. You can apologise in a manner that makes room for discussion, ask to meet and grab a coffee and find out WHY he is acting like this.

  5. Buy him a big red helium balloon (I like the balloons idea someone suggested) as a thank-you for his awesomeage in the run-up, say how much it sucks he wasn't there and you have missed him and invite him to lunch. If he's still sulking, over the top begging may be in order. If he's *still* sulking after that then I don't know what to suggest...

  6. UGH. I hate crap like this. If he's upset, that's totally legitiamte, but how can you FIX it if he won't even talk to you or even tell you why he's being such a giant baby. When you are no longer 13, this stops being appropriate.

    If I were you, I would write an email, saying that you are sorry he's upset, that you would really like to talk with him, and can you buy him lunch. If he ignores this email, I would follow up and be very direct: We work together, and you might be upset together, but this is unprofessional, and we need to come to an agreement in which we can be civil towards one another. If he still ignores the email and does not change his behavior, I would talk with HR about the sitution because, really people? Grow up.

    Sorry WWESBD, this situation clearly blows.

  7. Skip the balloon, don't sing, don't write mash notes to the guy - this is sort of on him to grow up and get over.

    Get a card and write a little note saying something like, "Hey, your chilly vibe has been noted and I'm not okay with it. I value your friendship and I want us back on the same page, so can we talk about it? I understand if, for whatever reason you can't do it right now, but it would mean a lot to me if we could work this out." And then leave it alone. Let him come to you.

    Don't assume it's the wedding invite: you might have muffed your part of a joint project, or he might have found out you gossiped about him a few months ago. Or he might be mad about the wedding invite. Be a grown up, and tell him you expect him to be a grown up too.