Tickets, Please | Engagement Enragement


Tickets, Please

Dear Micah,

Having a bit of a squabble with a friend right now. Here’s the situation. My two girlfriends, we’ll call them Kasey and Melissa, had a conversation with me months ago about how we should all go see this certain singer in concert.

We talked about it in depth, even figuring out at which hotel we’d stay. So when the tickets went on sale, I went ahead and bought three tickets for us and three tickets for our boyfriends. Melissa didn’t have a boyfriend at the time we made the plans months back, so we had originally planned on just the three of us friends going, but she now has a boyfriend she’s never separated from, so I just got all of our boyfriends tickets too. God, I hope you’re with me here.

I had the tickets and was going to surprise them all last weekend, but then Kasey told me that Melissa was going to the concert with some of the girlfriends of her new boyfriend’s friends. Kasey was hurt because she knew the three of us had talked about going, and she felt ditched by Melissa for these new girls that she barely knows. I told Kasey about having the tickets, and she in turn called Melissa.

Now this is the really crazy part—Melissa said she’d already promised these other girls (as if she had totally forgotten promising us) and then she asked if I would switch tickets with them!  She said that since I had six tickets, and they had four, if I switched my tickets with them, everyone could go. I found that to be outrageous, and it pissed me off royally. She asked me again at a cookout and said that if I switched the tickets, then everyone could go, and we could all be together.  That’s not true though; she’d be in another section with her new friends, and we’d be off by ourselves.  I told her that at the cookout, and she got huffy with me and said I was being childish. What do you think?

Leanna

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Dear Leanna,

Melissa has some nerve to just ask you for the tickets. I assume she was willing to pay you the difference, or was she expecting you to foot the bill for the two additional tickets for people you barely know? I think she’s the ill-behaved child in this situation. With that said, I have to defend her a little bit too, though. Melissa wants to spend all of her time with her new boyfriend—that’s going to extend to his set of friends, too. In order for her to meld into his world successfully, she has to blend into his circle of friends. However, she should be trying to blend him into her circle of friends also.  Maybe that’s what she was thinking with the concert, that you’d all become this one larger unit together from now on.

Of course, now that you and Melissa have gotten huffy with each other, the prospect of merging these two groups together just got a lot harder. I am sure she’s been talking about you and your selfishness, as she sees it, to her new friends.

What you have to ask yourself is, “How much do I really care for Melissa?” If the two of you go way back and have a lot of good history together, then get over this, and chalk it up to Melissa just being Melissa.  If Melissa has been a constant source of befuddlement and irritation, then just take the opportunity now to write her off.  Clearly she is the type to ditch her friends for what she deems a better opportunity. And believe it or not, I think some of that is okay. Sometimes we have to leave our friends standing alone to go grab what we want, and our friends should understand that.

As for an immediate solution to salvage the moment…If you want to fix this squabble and retain all of the friendships, call Melissa, and tell her that you will give her the tickets and that you’d like for all of you to go to dinner or grab some drinks before the concert.  Tell her that you got your feelings hurt because you haven’t seen a lot of her lately.  Then tell her that after you thought about it, you realized she’s just trying to make new friends and there’s nothing wrong with that—you’d just like to be included sometimes.  Maybe that will awaken something in Melissa that will cause her to be more aware of your feelings.

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Engagement Enragement

Dear Micah

I threw an elaborate affair complete with catering, waiters, bartenders, what-have-you.  The whole purpose of this event was to announce to family and friends my engagement to my long-time and much beloved by everyone boyfriend.  It was a spectacular night until my cousin decided that it was also the right time for she and her boyfriend to announce that they were engaged, too.  It’s not my intention to be petty, but this was my party, and her copycat announcement took some of my thunder away.  They had not been together for as many years as my fiancé and I have, so their announcement was more whirlwind than ours.  Everyone knew we were going to get married eventually after we were finished with school, so we didn’t generate as much excitement.  This thing is gnawing at me.  It’s making me resent my cousin.  Really, it’s making me strongly dislike her.  I’m starting to see who she really is.  I think we need to talk about it before it goes too far.  My mom told me to leave it alone, that it was all over now, and talking about it won’t change it from having happened.  But it makes me wonder, are they going to announce a pregnancy at our wedding?  What next is in store?  What do you think?

April

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Dear April,

The thing that would give you the most immediate satisfaction would be to present your cousin with a bill for her half of the engagement party.  Divide the catering bill in half, the bar bill, the staffing pay, the cost of the venue, and the cost of the invitations and postage.  Tell her that since it actually turned out to be a joint engagement party and she utilized every expensive feature you planned and paid for to make her own announcement, she should be responsible for half the cost.  As a matter of fact, since you even planned it all with no help from her, she owes you a small service fee.  She’ll look at you in shock and dismay and it will cause a rift between you, but I can promise you she will go all the rest of her life without ever making any big announcements at other people’s events again.  You will have successfully drilled that point home.

However, if you like this cousin and she happens to be someone you have been close to throughout your life, blowing up your relationship over an action already committed is probably not worth it.  You’re just angry now—and with very good reason.  She did totally steal your glory.  It was rude and inconsiderate of her, and I understand what your mind is now doing.  It’s twisting reality to fit this new impression of who she is.  You are looking at her now in a way you have never looked at her before:  “Has she always been jealous of me?  Did she make that announcement on purpose?  She’s always been so cheap and that’s why she used my event for her moment so she wouldn’t have to pay for one herself!”  You can drive yourself into hating her if you let this go on too much.  Soon, you’ll start evaluating everything she does or says and looking for her hidden motivations behind it.  I have done this kind of thing too before with people who have disappointed me, and before you know it, you’ve taken a person that you once loved and made them into a sociopath in your mind–and you start to believe it.  It could simply be that your cousin just wasn’t thinking and made a social faux pas.

I view everything in life like a movie or a TV show.  Some people walk through life forgetting that there are other characters in this show, too.  Sometimes those other characters get to have a storyline or a major scene that gets to be all about them.  Your cousin seems to have a problem understanding that.  She rewrote your party scene to revolve around her character.  That wasn’t cool.  However, in her defense, she probably wasn’t aware that it wasn’t cool.  In her mind, she’s living her movie and didn’t quite grasp that your party wasn’t a scene in her film, she was a background character in yours.  I’d bet there wasn’t any devious intent on her part.  She just didn’t stop and think.  So, just take a breath, ask yourself who this cousin really is.  Was it out of character for her to have stolen your moment?  If so, then let this go and forgive her.  Move forward.  If that’s totally her nature, then say something to her if you need to.  Just try and keep it calm, and do your best to hide your anger over it.  You don’t want to cause a huge family split over this.  At least, not until her side of the family gives you your wedding presents.

 

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