You have problems, I have advice. This advice isn't sugar-coated — in fact, it's sugar-free, and may even be a little bitter. Welcome to Tough Love.
This week we have a newlywed who's upset with the people who RSVPed yes and then didn't show up to their wedding.
Keep in mind, I'm not a therapist or any other kind of health professional — just a guy who's willing to tell it like it is. I simply want to give you the tools you need to enrich your damn lives. If for whatever reason you don't like my advice, feel free to file a formal complaint here. Now then, let's get on with it.
I got married back in February (winter in the US), it was just a small ceremony with our parents. We decided we wanted to just do a large informal reception in the summer with good food, great beer, and a big crowd to keep costs down and the fun factor up. It was basically a picnic in a county park pavilion and we invited about 400 guests to celebrate. We had some decorations, music, big sheet cakes, and some wedding favours, but we skipped all of the traditional wedding reception crap. We did send real, snail-mail invitations and asked for RSVP; we also said that gifts were unnecessary.
My question comes regarding the invitees that didn't follow proper RSVP etiquette. Some people just never responded to the invitation at all; including when we followed up via Facebook message, email and so on a month after the RSVP deadline. Another group of people RSVPed that they were coming and just no-showed to the reception. No message, no excuse regardless of lameness, nothing.
I find that I am having feelings of resentment towards both groups of people, especially the people that said that they were coming and then just skipped it. I know through minor cyber-stalking that some of these people went on camping trips or the like instead of attending. It isn't the money; we spent less than $25/head to feed and drunken our guests, it is the insult to our relationship that bothers me.
Obviously, this isn't healthy. So, should I reach out to these people (nicely) and find out what happened for my own sanity? Should I just ghost them and write them off from my life? Or should I try to let it go and never mention it unless they volunteer something?
Signed, Really Tempted to Take the Nuclear Option
Hey, Really Tempted to Take the Nuclear Option,
That's a long handle, so I'm going to call you Nukey. Both groups, the non-responders and the no-shows, did things that are not cool. The non-responders are a lot more forgivable since not RSVPing is the same as saying they're not planning to attend. Still, it's a rude way to say it even if it's fairly common. It definitely got more impolite when you followed up and they still didn't respond, but hey, you knew for sure they weren't going to be there. Oh well. Let it go.
The real slight here is the people that said they would come and didn't show up. You're expecting to celebrate a huge moment in your life with them and they're off camping instead? That's outrageous, and extremely insulting! Also, how is camping better than a wedding? (It isn't.) Plus, I know you say it isn't about the money, but it sill sucks that you paid for their food and drink.
So Nukey, I think it all comes down to what you want out of all this. If you want closure on the matter, and you want to try and stay friends with the no-shows, I think you should reach out to them and ask them what happened. You have every right to. I'd do it in the nicest way possible, though — don't be too accusatory — so they don't get so defensive that they choose to ignore you, defeating the whole purpose. A simple, "Hey! We missed you at our wedding! Thought you were going to party with us. Everything alright?" will do. You might get an apology and you might not, so be ready for that. If they don't respond at all, ditch 'em. They weren't that good of friends to begin with.
Before you go, though, Nukey, I will say it's possible these people thought it would be OK to blow it off. I mean, you had already gotten married, so this wasn't the "real wedding". And the fact that it was informal and basically a picnic might have given them the assumption that this wasn't that big of a deal. Shit man, they may have even felt a little jilted that you had this "for everyone else" shindig. Like you wanted to have your wedding cake and eat it too. That still doesn't make what they did OK, but it's something to keep in mind before you blow up at them, Nukey.
Because I just don't have time for all of you...
Feeling Trapped says:
I'm a senior in high school and I am definitely going to university. But the question is where because I struggle with hyper-vigilance, anxiety and a social phobia. I have always wanted to go study in Europe but as time comes closer it seems my crippling anxiety stops me and I think I won't survive alone, or my family needs me, and so on. At the same time I'm scared I will waste my life away on the reservation I am stuck on and I will die here. It gives me so much worry to think about this.
If you have the opportunity, get out of there and go see the world. Just do it. You'll survive (or learn to anyway), and your family should find a way to be proud of you. Don't let them keep you from being the person you want to be.
Hangin' On asks:
About a year and a half ago a guy messaged me on FB that I was interested in, I never saw his message until a few days ago. I sent him an apology, he read it and didn't respond. The next day I decided maybe I should apologise again and let him know I'm still interested in meeting him if he wanted. He hasn't opened my message yet, I'm pretty sure he just doesn't want to, he probably thinks I'm a moron. I hate that I screwed things up big time, I know it was so long ago, I wish I would have seen his message a long time ago. Is there anything more I can do, or should I just give up?
You've done all you can. If he's still interested, he'll respond. It's time to move on.
Rick Springfield asks:
I have a really big crush on this girl but one of my best mates is dating her. So what should I do? Should I tell her how I feel?
I know you want to tell her that you love her, but the point is probably moot. Move on.
That's it for this week. I probably didn't make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but sometimes what you need is some tough love. 'Til next time, figure things out for yourself.