Thursday, July 10, 2008

What to do?

My plan today was to post this really cute video of Little A, but alas, I had technical difficulties. Where "technical difficulties" means that she was completely uncooperative and acted like a possessed demon for most of the afternoon. So, I'm having to go with Plan B.

My BFF, being who she is, identified that I have not been myself as of late. I do have a couple of major things on my mind on that moment, that I'm not ready to share here yet, but there is one that I am. And I need your help. I'm begging to my readers reader out there to please give me some advice on this situation.

Hubby & I used to have these 2 friends who were like family to us. We'll call them Bob & Jane. They lived a couple of hours away, but Bob's parents live here, so we used to see each other with reasonable frequency. (We also used to be REALLY close to Bob's parents too) Holidays were spent together and they came down after the birth of Big A and spent some time. They are a bit younger that us and they had no children, so after Big A was born, we started seeing each other even more frequently. The relationship became so tight at one point that we asked this couple if they would assume guardianship of Big A, if anything ever happened to hubby & I. We were like peas and carrots.

Well, Little A was born and things got even more hectic around my house. It came time to plan Big A's 2nd birthday party and I really wanted to do something easy. I ended up booking an indoor playground area at 11am on a Monday morning. My thoughts were to have a really small get together of immediate family (who didn't have to work) and some kids from my playgroup. About 15-20 people total. I invited Bob's parents because Bob's mom used to have Monday's off and the venue was really close to her house. I did not, however, invite Bob & Jane. Since they lived almost 2 hours away and it was a Monday, I didn't think they would be able to come anyway and I didn't want to give the impression that I was fishing for a gift. I didn't give it a second thought. The party came & went and I was informed by Bob's mom that apparently my lack of invitation was a big deal.

So, that weekend, I called Bob to apologize for my oversight and attempted to explain my reasoning on not inviting them. I was cut off before I could say anything and told to call Jane and talk with her. Uh oh, apparently this was bigger than I thought. Miffed that I had been rudely cut off by Bob, I called Jane ready to argue my court case. Jane was pissed. Really pissed. I explained my reasoning on the matter and apologized twice and was basically told that I "should be sorry". And then she said she was busy and had to go and she hung up on me. This was October of 2006.

Two months later, we arrived to celebrate Christmas at Bob's parents house and ran into Bob & Jane. It was the worst, most uncomfortable situation that I've ever been in. They didn't want to talk to us and I was pissed that the whole birthday invitation thing had been blown into this gigantic proportion. (So, I'm sure I wasn't a joy to be around either. I tend to hold onto stuff and it manifests in ugly glances.)

And here we are, coming up on 2 years later and nothing has changed. Jane & I haven't spoken. I don't think Bob & I have spoken. We've basically stopped communicating with Bob's parents. We see Bob's parents on a very rare occasion, but everything has changed drastically. And Bob & Jane had their first child a few months ago.

Last week, hubby called Bob and laid down an ultimatum. He told him that he was basically tired of all this nonsense and that if things didn't get resolved between all of us soon that there would be no more relationship at all. (Or at least this is kind of what he relayed to me. I wasn't present for the conversation, so I'm going off a very vague translation.) And, not surprisingly, nothing has happened.

So, I ask you my readers reader, what would you do?

Would you just suck it up and email or call these 2 and say let's leave this in the past and start fresh?

Would you demand an apology for what you might construe as really childish behaviour and making a mountain out of a mole hill?

Would you just ignore it and move on because you don't need friends like that anyway?

I'm at a loss. And you guys are way cheaper than a psychiatrist. Help!


Lisa said...

I regret that this is the topic I choose to learn how to make a comment on. Perhaps dear Abby is in order--oh yeah she's dead—well here’s my story…
My parents had a similar set of friends and there was some disagreement over money and snowmobiles. At a party someone asked me how these mutual “friends” were doing, and my reply (at the ripe old age of 5) was they were all dead. Mom, Dad and 2 kids DEAD! Well that caused a bit of shock and panic in whoever asked me that question. Now I don’t think my parents ever said that they died, just my assumption in no longer seeing them after spending so much time with them. Well, after that somehow all things were forgiven and everything was back to normal and they are the best of friends today.
Forgiveness is difficult. Did you forgive yourself? This was an honest well explained mistake; welcome to the human race.
Did you forgive them? They have feelings even if it was an overreaction to a simple mistake surrounding the stress of trying to plan and birthday party and thinking of their best interests anyway? What the heck did they think you like their parents better and intentionally wanted to snub them? Ridiculous! The Buttinski Mom could have told them and they could have just come if they wanted to… (clearly not knowing what they were um “missing”). Before kids (and after) birthday parties are awful awfully overwhelming.
It obviously still bugs you so you should make a peace offering, like making sure they are still alive and wish them well, and wish you could make it better for them; but in the end only they can do that. It is their choice on how they behave and treat you. If it works out, make sure they know that you are still human and would appreciate a little slack for future mistakes or consider WWJD. Otherwise, you’ll just be paranoid about offending them about everything.
My guess is that they will gain great life experiences with their new baby and realize that kids kill brain cells make you do silly things. Perhaps they’ll realize how much the birthday parties are great for the kids but not so much for the adults. If not, be sure to send a happy birthday card, for their little one wishing them well. Perhaps everything really does revolve around kids?

Kat said...

Tricky situation. is what I would do...and this is not necessarily the answer...but here goes. I'd send a gift for the new baby. And leave it at that. IF they make an overature, great...if not...move on.

I have had a similar situation...twice. And I am curious to know how they are doing. But I think I have done all I can. And sometimes there is *nothing* you can do to make it right.

Angie said...

Lisa: This is why I like having attorneys as good friends. You guys have such a good voice of reason! Thanks for the great advice!

Kat: Again, more great advice! I had considered doing just that and might still. I'll let you guys know what I end up doing. Thanks!

Elizabeth said...

Remember back in [your] 8th grade when you were mad at me for doing your sign language routine in the GPS talent show and we stopped talking to me for ages?

Remember how I tried and tried to talk to you and you'd have none of it....and then many months later, out of the blue, you spoke to me while sitting behind me on the church van that was heading for six flags (or someplace similar)?

Well, I realize that that was a much smaller scale event, but the fact remains that time can heal just takes someone who is willing to extend the olive branch.

Maybe your friend was embarassed after haivng behaved so badly and didn't have the balls to make the first move.

I'm not sure calling and issuing the ultimatum wkthout first testing the waters was the wisest move, but at least the contact let them know you're still interested in mending the relationship.

I agree with pp who said to send a baby gift. Maybe the gift card could be something a little more heartfelt that "congrats on the new baby" and that will be a signal to her that you value the friendship and want it back.

Maybe a reconciliation haiku:
It has been five years.
Aren't you over it yet?
Get a grip weirdo.

Elizabeth said...

Ah dang, it's only bene 2 years, not 5. At least the haiku still stands since it's the same number of syllables :)

Angie said...

Elizabeth: Wow, I had forgotten about that. What can I say, I was a butthead in jr high. And as I've pointed out multiple times, I have trouble letting stuff go and it started at a very young age. Thanks for the reminder?!

Hubby made that call despite my asking him not to because I knew nothing good would come of it. And look, I was right!

Thanks for your advice though! I'm still pondering everyone's suggestions. The Haiku though...that was just pure brilliant fun. :-)

Connordog said...

I think that I would just leave it alone. I have realized in my hectic life, that I don't have time for adults that want to behave like children. You are all adults, you apologized and explained the situation. They obviously don't want to get over it. If your friendship doesn't mean enough to them to let it go, then you don't need them as friends. Period.
That's just my .02

Angie said...

Hi Steph! I've definitely done that so far. I guess I just needed someone outside the situation to tell me that I wasn't crazy for feeling this way. I'm still munching on everyone's thoughts so far, so thanks for your $.02!

Sweetie Pieties said...

Yikes. Sticky situation. I am also one to hold a grudge which is difficult to remove once someone has "crossed me". Here's my 2 cents: Since you think of them so much and miss their friendship I would include this note in your gift for their new babe (if you choose to send). That would be my last peace offering. Sorry they're being such turds to you guys. They obviously don't see your view on not sending an invite. You may take it as flattery for planning awesome birthday parties and wanting an invitation!! :)

Michelle said...

I think I'm just following the crowd on this one -- but I swear this is what I was going to say before reading the other comments.

This obviously bothers you. Therefore, you need to do what you feel you can to mend it -- or accept that it isn't mendable after doing what you can -- and only then really move on.

Sooo, I agree that if you haven't sent a baby gift, send one now. A nice one but not over the top. Something that reflects that you know who they are. And include a note saying that you miss having them as friends, you appreciate how much they've always meant to you and to your kids and that you hope you can have the same relationship with their children. Wish them luck as parents and end by saying that you hope you can get togther to introduce your kids to her new baby soon. I wouldn't bring up the prior incident at all. Just give them a true olive branch with no yuckiness attached to it at all. If they don't respond to that, then you've done what you can and need to let them go.

Good luck!

Shannon said...

I'm with the majority. Send a gift with a little heartfelt note of congrats/best wishes. If you get a response back and fences are mended, great. If not, then you can say you tried one last time and try to go on. Good luck!

Jacki McHale said...

Hello, and first off, thanks for visiting me on my blog. I have to say I do agree to with the others.

If you are bothered by this, send a gift with a card and maybe a note saying your sorry the situation got out of hand, and you would like to start over.

I sometimes try to fix situations with friends by apologizing but at the same time, you can word it so both parties are at fault, whatever, move on type of letter.

I have had to do this with a few friends. One of them was in H.S. and we JUST in the last few months made up and started over.

Some I tried with two different situations, and she still would talk about me behind my back, bad. When she would hear a rumor that I was talking about her. Instead of coming to me she just made it worse. We are no longer friends, and I keep distant contact on MySpace.

You gatta do what makes you happy. Try and mend it since it is bothering you. And if it dosen't work out, move on.

You only live this life once, it's too short, and we don't get out alive anyway. Cut out the negative in your life.

Good luck with it. And keep us posted on whats going on!


Angela said...

I was all set to write my own comments here, then saw that Steph had said it much more gracefully than I could. Make that $.04! They need to grow up, get over themselves and behave like adults. And if they can't, they're no kind of friends and you don't need this kind of stress in your life. It'll be their loss!!
(Sorry, I really am totally grumpy over this one. GRRRRR!!!)

Angie said...

Eleanor: Thanks for the input! I'm so glad I'm not the only one who suffers with grudge holding. :-) And I appreciate you spinning the great party angle. You're too sweet! :-)

Michelle: I really appreciate the input! I'm still weighing my options, but you make some great points. :-)

Shannon: Good point! Thanks!

Jacki: Thanks so much! I totally agree that life is too short to let the negative crap get in the way. I'll keep you guys posted on this saga. :-)

Angela: As always, I appreciate you! It's nice to know that someone thinks it's "their loss" and not mine. I think I'm pretty darn cool, and gosh, people like me. :-)

LaskiGal said...

Jumped over from BlogHer . . . you really can find interesting things on ads . . .

Anyway, if you don't mind a stranger commenting, I'd say don't let it rent space in your brain (my mom's famous saying). Do what you can (within reason) to reach out. Let bygones be bygones and move on. I mean, were the two years lost really worth it.

The trick here is that you BOTH have to let it go . . .

Best of luck. I'd love to know how it goes.

American in Norway said...

send a baby gift... i was going to say that first...but kat beat me to it. i would tell her that i missed her friendship... & was still there for her... then the ball is in her court--- you know your have done your part... let it be on her if she doesn't meet you half way.

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

Um - Ditto to everyone else...


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