Welcome to our latest Bad Advice column! Stay tuned every Tuesday for more terrible guidance based on actual letters.
“I married my husband seven years ago.
A close girlfriend of mine was one of my bridesmaids. She got ridiculously drunk at my wedding. She ran around the dance floor like an idiot. She hit on one of my husband’s married friends in front of his wife. She threw up in the bathroom, and one of my aunts had to take her car keys away.
It makes me sick to watch my wedding video because she is everywhere, acting like an idiot. Now she is engaged and planning her wedding, and I feel like I should get stupid-wasted (or act stupid-wasted) at her wedding so she can feel all the hell she put me through.
My husband is not interested in going to her wedding because of her actions at our wedding. He wants to RSVP that we will not be attending and send a card with money, but if I am going to give her a card with money, then I should go to the reception and act like an a — .
What are your thoughts?”
-From “Disturbed” via Ask Amy, Washington Post, 24 November 2016
It seems a real waste to hold on to a seven-year grudge about someone else’s decision to make themselves look like a complete tool for nothing. Here you have saved up all of this non-refundable ire toward someone you call a “friend,” building anniversary after anniversary of anger, and for what? Simply to let go the chicanery of yore in favor of freeing yourself from a lifetime of resentment based on a few hours’ worth of bad dancing and failed passes to which you have tied the very ruination of your marital memories? Phooey!
We are all the exact same people we were seven years ago; no one has changed or matured in that time, and the memory of your friend’s performance at your wedding is as fresh in everyone else’s mind as it is in yours, which is why your plan to act like a publicly drunken clod as retribution for one evening of poor decision-making is positively foolproof. Everyone at your friend’s wedding will completely understand that the topless woman throwing champagne glasses at the DJ is simply out for bald revenge, as any reasonable person would be, and not really throwing champagne glasses at the DJ, a thing only unreasonable people would really do, and not just ironically do, as you shall.
Your brilliant plan will be appreciated by all the guests. They will greatly enjoy the patient explanations you will give to all of them for your behavior, lest they think you’re an actual drunk asshole instead of a sober asshole pretending to be a drunken asshole. Everyone will think you charming and cool and see this decision as a very positive reflection on your excellent character, which they will understand to be superior to the bride’s based on your elaborate act of retaliatory subterfuge, a totally chill and normal thing to do.
“We rarely get a response from grandchildren to whom we send carefully selected gifts. I have concluded that it is mostly due to a pathetic lack of manners.
Children need to be trained to express appreciation for what is given to them, and the irony is that emailing is so quick and easy. The pervasive disappearance of even the most basic manners and consideration for others is cheapening our quality of life and sadly breeding some low-class citizens. Good manners are nothing more than the oil that lubricates human interaction.”
-From “Disgusted in Florida” via “Annie’s Mailbox,” 10 December 2016
Your awful shitbag grandchildren are the fucking worst. They’re ungrateful assholes who actively choose, day after day, not to teach themselves the basic blasted manners their grandparents want them to have. If they weren’t such low-life scumbags, they’d go right the fuck out and buy a goddamned copy of some Emily Post shit and read the fuck up about how to thank the hell out of their gracious and thoughtful grandparents, who have the nicest manners of any people who ever lived, and definitely nicer manners than the assball progeny of your own children, for whose manner-teaching abilities you bear no responsibility whatsoever.
“My live-in boyfriend has not exactly proposed, but he has been dropping hints about ‘looking at rings,’ etc. So I was surprised when I came home with a few things from a bridal expo and he shouted that I was ‘rushing’ him into marriage. Now I’m considering ending it. Thoughts?”
-From “Wannabe Bride” via “Ask E. Jean,” Elle, 9 December 2016
Dear Wannabe Bride,
Thoughts, indeed, are all one can have in this situation, wherein two people may or may not be willing to marry each other and may or may not be on the same romantic timeline and may or may not be ready to obtain wedding-related purchases in the service of the marriage-slash-wedding they are thinking (maybe) about.
The last thing one wants to do when one is considering hitching up one’s legal, financial, and emotional well-being to another human for the rest of one’s life is to have a frank and honest conversation about what the future holds. Instead, potential spouses must engage (before they are engaged) in the delicate art of hint-dropping, mind-reading, and yelling about coupons for buy one, get-one-free wedding DJ services. Only this way can romance — the classical experience of hoping and assuming your intended feels anything like the way you do, or the way you think they do — truly flourish.
No one wants to feed friends and family the unsavory story that mutual agreement and loving consent preceded their nuptials. Imagine, years down the road, the embarrassment of telling one’s children that Mummy and Duds were once young, in love, and capable of discussing their feelings with one another. No, the best you can do, Wannabe Bride, is simply continue to want — or, of course, end the relationship, which is the universe’s only other alternative to desiring to grow old and die with the dude.