Remember when I was mourning the loss of my best friend a while ago? Well, as it turns out, we're still friends. Our friendship has changed drastically, and frankly, we don't really talk that much anymore, but we are still friends. Just for some history, allow me to give you some background information.
As you know, we had a very stressful engagement. Somewhere in that time, it got really hard to do my job, mourn with A.P. over the loss of his mother, plan a wedding, and keep in touch with all of my friends. Most of my friends were extraordinarily understanding of this. She was not. She thought it was personal. It wasn't. At Thanksgiving 2009, I sent out a short email to friends and family mentioning something about A.P.'s mother and how she was in our thoughts. She wrote me back and asked who that was. I wrote her a quick email from saying that was A.P.'s mother. There were a few more short emails exchanged and then I didn't hear from her for a long time.
When it came time to make our final guest list, and send out invitations, A.P. and I sent her an email asking for her address, as well as that of her parents and brother (that's right...we were planning on inviting her WHOLE family). She didn't respond. We sent another email. Still no response. Then, almost a month later, she sent this whole, long, ridiculous email about how she didn't want to be invited unless we really wanted her there. She also told me I did a ton of stuff on purpose instead of just asking me why, or even trying to understand (like letting her know via email that I was engaged, which is how ALL of my friends found out simply because she read into something I said incorrectly). It was terrible. At the height of wedding planning, about one and a half months before the big day, I had to deal with this. It was incredibly frustrating and felt incredibly selfish on her part. Instead of a knockdown, drag out fight, I took the high road and explained that nothing was going to come from revisiting the past. I told her that I thought it was better that we try to be friends again, and that most importantly, of course I wanted her there (that's a lesson to all you brides to be, btw, when guests attack, it always pays to take the high road).
I asked her to participate in my wedding. I asked her to either give a reading OR a toast. She chose a toast. Then I invited her to my "bachelorette" party, which was only my super, super close friends (like people I've known since I was a kid only since it was the only way I could keep it small and intimate). She told me that she was busy with work and didn't think she'd be able to take time away from work. Ummm, I'm not trying to be a dick here, but she works for herself. She freelances. Her work, in essence, goes where she goes. And I know two trips to Chicago within a week of each other is a lot, but she's got money galore (more on that later). So, she did not come for my "bachelorette" party, which I thought was pretty lame (and furthered my opinion about how, really, I am not a priority in her life anymore), but whatever.
The point is, we became sort of friends again. So, she came to our wedding, spent some time with us. That is another story for another day, because getting her to spend any time with us felt like pulling nails in a way. Then about two weeks after we got back from our honeymoon, she called me to tell me that she had gotten engaged. So, something I didn't really talk about in my past post about my relationship with this girl is that there are two things that drive me crazy about her:
- The fact that every time I do something, I feel like she does it five minutes later. The things that I wanted to do in my life, I feel like she took that stuff and did it herself. It's very, very frustrating. And I used to think it was just me that noticed this until a friend and my brother both mentioned it to me on separate occasions.
- I hate her boyfriend, now fiance. I thought they weren't good for each other when I first met him, and then he wouldn't call her his girlfriend for the first year that they dated, and I hated him more. He's never won my respect, and I think she could do much, much better. Even their engagement story was super lame, and he put very little thought into it. He didn't buy her a ring, or ask her father's permission, which certainly isn't necessary, but it's a nice gesture. And my friend and I have the same cultural background, and in that culture, it's kind of a big deal. Plus what made me more mad was that he didn't even tell her parents despite the fact that he spent time alone with them at our wedding just a few weeks before.
But again, I took the high road, and again, I expressed nothing but happiness for her, figuring that while I don't agree with her decision, it just isn't my place to talk to her about this stuff anymore. I've asked her about wedding planning, and given her advice, even though she was the WORST FRIEND EVER during our engagement. In other words, I've been kind. We are not the friends we used to be, but I'm trying to accept what our friendship has become, though honestly I just don't give a rat's ass about what is happening in her life (mostly because I feel like she doesn't give a rat's ass about my life or A.P.).
But I'm reaching a breaking point. And this is why: I'm sick of being copied! In November, I got an email from her saying that she is planning on having a photo booth at her wedding like me. Now, A.P. argued that lots of people have photo booths at her wedding, and I don't disagree. The thing is, she only got this idea because we had one at our wedding. She admitted it to me in the freaking email! I know I have no right to say a word to her, but it makes my blood boil. And while it was more tolerable when we were closer, now it just seems even more frustrating and annoying. I'm also sort of terrified that we'll go to her wedding, and it will be strikingly similar to ours in a lot of ways. Actually, more than the photo booth, that worries me.
Then, this past week, something happened that felt personal. I got her save the date (she's getting married in approximately three months, so I have no idea why I'm just now getting a save the date, but...). On it was her website, which I decided to go to. I actually felt pretty calm about the whole thing. After all, I knew it was coming, and I figured she'd have a pretty cool website/invitations since that's what she does for a living. So let's call that the calm before the storm, because this next thing felt shitty. On her website is her wedding planning blog. I can't help it. I was irrationally angry when I saw it.
The thing is, she knows I do this. And when I first started blogging about wedding planning, etc., she made fun of me a little. Not meanly or anything, but you know, teasing me. She also knows how important it is to me, or at least I believe she knows that. It feels like the ultimate competition. It feels personal. It feels like she's doing something that I love to do only to compete with me. And I don't want to compete with her. I don't know. I think A.P. is probably right, that she doesn't even know she does it. In my opinion, though, that makes it worse. That it's so subconscious makes it even more sickening. That she would do such hurtful things constantly and unknowingly suggests she's pretty thoughtless, and that's not exactly comforting either.
Plus she isn't really blogging so much as she's bragging. Her parents are well off, and so she's just blowing cash left and right. She keeps blogging about how she's hired the best photographer, and they have picked the best caterer. She might have a somewhat famous designer custom-make her dress. She's registered at SEVEN places. And each registry has a ton of stuff on it. It feels out of my league, as it always does when she competes. She outdoes me because she can, and it just feels like a turn of the knife. And then it makes me feel like crap, because it makes me doubt my own beautiful wedding, which I loved. And that behavior, even though I know it's not, feels intentional somehow. It's so messed up, guys.
So here's what I've decided. I have been invited to her shower and her bachelorette party. I am politely declining both. Both require travel/hotel, and time off of work, so I figure those are good excuses. I have not been asked, as of today, to participate in her wedding in any way. As of today, I am planning on attending her wedding. I'm not looking forward to it. I don't want to hurt her the same way she hurt me while she's engaged/getting ready to be married. It was additional stress I didn't need, plus it felt selfish and hurtful. So I don't want to not go. I feel like it's what I should do, so I think I am going to go to the wedding, then quietly end the friendship. I kind of don't know what else to do. It's become too hurtful, and I really don't get anything else out of the relationship except pain and sadness.
Do any of you have a copycat friend? How did you deal with it?
PS. I keep thinking of Friends, and how Monica got mad at Rachel for stealing her thunder, and told her, "That's fine, because on the day you get engaged, I will announce my pregnancy." I should announce that I'm pregnant at her wedding! Lol...just kidding!