I’ve been friends with this girl since I was in junior high. I took her to the prom in high school. We remained friends after she went off to college, while I went to work in a garage. She graduated and moved back home to work at a local bank. Meanwhile, I saved enough money to get a mortgage on a little house. I haven’t had a steady girlfriend, because none of them have seemed right. It hasn’t really bothered me. Every so often, me and this old girlfriend would do stuff together. Bowling. The movies. Things we used to do in high school.
Around Christmas time, we went to a Bandits game. As I was giving her a ride home, she told me that she was going to marry this guy she’d been seeing. He’s like a lawyer or something. I can’t explain how I felt. Like I was going to get sick. I knew it would mean our friendship would change.
Sure enough, this guy she’s marrying is being a jerk about me. They had this sort of happy hour where some people came out, and I went. You know how it is when a person rubs you the wrong way? He was pretty drunk, and I heard him making fun of me because I didn’t go to college. That I was just a mechanic. He didn’t know I heard, and I let it slide.
Now she tells me that this guy has a problem with me even coming to the wedding. Says he’s uncomfortable with her prom date being there. She’s in a tough place, I guess, but I care about her so much. As the wedding date approaches, I feel like telling her she’s making a horrible mistake. Maybe I should’ve spoken up sooner, but isn’t there something in a wedding ceremony about speaking now or forever holding your peace? What do I do?
The Straight Skinny says: So the choices you’re contemplating are these: You can suffer in silence, and hope the regret and self-recrimination, enflamed by a visceral dislike of this new guy, lose some of their edge so that you can think on this quarter of your life without cringing. Or you can declare yourself to your friend, in hopes of disrupting the course she’s charted for her life and winning her love.
The thing is, who knows if you really want her love? You’ve had years to think about it; either you’ve never bothered to do so or you concluded that friendship was enough for you. Whichever—you’re not really in love with her. At best, you’re in love with a friendship that ties you to something sweet that will soon be irretrievable except in memory, which pales in comparison to this living, breathing ambassador from your past. That’s something worth mourning, and that may be what’s happening here. At worst, you’re being stone selfish—you just don’t want to give up this easy, undemanding friendship.
So maybe the guy gave you a crappy time at a bar. He could probably sense your hostility and possessiveness and knew you could be trouble. You don’t know the first thing about him, apart from the fact that your friend—whose judgment you would not impugn over her choice to hang with you, right?—has fallen for him. Maybe you should trust her, learn to love the sweet sorrow of regret, and let her go. Get on with your life, wherever it’s going. If your friendship is strong, and if her new husband is wrong about you, maybe she’ll come back around again.
There’s third choice, of course: Go read Love in the Time of Cholera and see if waiting out the new guy appeals to you.
the price of summer
Here’s my problem. Every summer I try to pack so much fun into the season that I wind up maxing out my credit cards. Then, as fall and winter arrive, and things start breaking—like my car—I’m too far in the hole to dig out. What can I do to get the most fun out of the summer without over-extending myself?
The Shutterbug says: I’ve got three little words that go a long way: volunteer, volunteer, volunteer! Buffalo is chock-full of arts and cultural organizations that thrive with the help of volunteers. Putting a little work in at an event goes a long way. You can avoid the admission price, munch on leftover food and drinks, gain some behind-the-scenes knowledge, and receive the satisfaction of doing a good deed in your community. Just make sure you bring a few friends so that you can work in shifts and take breaks to frolic around.’
Ask Anyone is local advice for locals with problems. Send your questions for our panel of experts to email@example.com comments powered by Disqus
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