DEAR AMY: I met "Jane" and "Louis" two years ago. Jane and I work together and quickly became good friends — she even called me her "work wife." Jane and Louis introduced me to my boyfriend, "Charlie," who I've been dating now for over a year. They have been friends with Charlie for several years. Jane and Louis got engaged earlier this year. Charlie received an invitation to the wedding. However, the invite didn't include a "plus one." When Charlie asked them about this, they said, "Sorry, no girlfriends are allowed, only married couples." One, I was shocked and hurt that I've been reduced to only being Charlie's girlfriend, when I thought I was also good friends with this couple. Two, I've never heard of this rule. I understand not wanting to pay for random dates at your wedding, but my boyfriend and I are in a serious relationship. We've attended other weddings together. Charlie still plans to attend this wedding, and I would never ask him not to. Should I just assume it's a budget issue and let it go? Or do I have a right to be upset and re-evaluate our friendship?
DEAR SIDELINED: My standard position is to advise people not to take things personally.
However, and unfortunately, this does seem personal, and quite awkward.
You know this couple well. They thought enough of you to introduce you to your guy. You are the bride's work wife, for goodness sake!
True, wedding receptions are very expensive. Many marrying couples follow a guideline to only invite couples to their wedding if the couple is married, engaged, or living together, but this guideline is often stretched to include committed couples, and/or "plus-ones."
You are wise to take the high road. I hope their wedding and marriage goes well. Your marriage to your work wife might be in trouble, however.
DEAR AMY: Our closest friends are always, I repeat, always late. Usually they are 10 minutes late, give or take a couple of minutes. Through the years they have been late as much as 30 or 40 minutes. The wife in this couple is the main reason for the lateness, 95 percent of the time. This past week they were 30 minutes late, and we were leaving when they pulled up. Unfortunately, I'm not much for waiting. So I was upset, and we didn't have such a great time. Now, she is mad at me for getting mad at her for being 30 minutes late! Wow. What do we do now? If she calls fine, but we are not going to call to check on them! Am I so far off base to expect a little respect and being a little more considerate? I have talked to several other friends, no names mentioned, and they all say that she is just plain "rude and inconsiderate," and that her time is more important than ours. What is your take on this?
Very Tired of Waiting
DEAR VERY TIRED: Like you, my personal clock seems permanently set to "Let's go!", and so I well understand the frustration of dealing with people who always run late.
However, at some point it really is your job to find a way to cope with a pattern that is quite predicable and (evidently) unchanging.
Unless you are about to miss the opening curtain at the theater or are hopping on the space shuttle together, you could mitigate the effect on you by adjusting their "start time" by 10 minutes or so, taking separate cars, or by — yes — calling them when you feel anxious to check on their exact ETA.
They are being inconsiderate. They are being rude. It is appropriate for you to express how frustrating this is for you. But if their rudeness is going to cause you to sulk for an extended period, or ruin your own good time, then you shouldn't spend time with them until you can find ways to control your reaction.
And no — she does not have the right to be mad at you for being mad. That's just her way of deflecting her own discomfort over the trouble she caused.
DEAR AMY: "Lonely" was an older married woman seeking romance online. I was glad you warned her about "catfishing" and told her never to send money to these scammers. I wish you had told her to get out and meet actual people through volunteering.
DEAR FAITHFUL: "Lonely" definitely needed to step away from her computer. Great advice. Thank you.