Can I Uninvite Someone For Not Being Excited Enough?

Q: I know it’s in poor taste to uninvite someone to a party, but hear me out before you answer.

I invited the girlfriend of my fiancé’s brother, let’s call her Terry, to my bachelorette party. Now, Terry and I aren’t particularly close, we hang out occasionally sans our partners, but I extended the invite because I knew it was the right thing to do including her as family (because I also invited my fiancé’s sister). Plus Terry is friends with another one of my good friends who is coming to the party.

I’d like to preface that Terry really wants to marry her partner and has openly expressed that she is jealous that I got engaged before her, because I haven’t been dating my partner as long. When my MOH reached out to invite guests to the bachelorette, Terry was the only person to not respond in any capacity. I figured she didn’t want to go, and that a lack of response was her way to decline without actually having to decline—which is a little disheartening but overall fine. I mentioned this to my fiancé, who then told his brother without asking me, and then his brother talked to Terry who all of a sudden responded that she could attend. Not ideal, because it was pretty apparent that she didn’t want to go, but fine I can deal.

Now the bachelorette party is approaching and our mutual friend told me that she and Terry have been texting about outfits and getting their nails done in prep for the party. Obviously this wouldn’t ever bother me, but I literally have not heard one word from Terry in months, and she definitely has not reached out to me to say thank you for the invite, I’m so excited for your party, or even hello. She also has not paid my MOH for her portion of the bachelorette party either (and it’s only $20, so it’s not a huge sum. My MOH is graciously paying for the whole Airbnb cost).

I feel like all this slaps of her not being happy for me because she is upset that she is not engaged. I’m not trying to invalidate her feelings about her relationship, but you can still be happy for someone else—come on, sisterhood! It also seems like she is just taking advantage of a free trip. I know since the invite was extended, and she accepted that the polite thing to do is just let her come, but I really don’t want someone there is isn’t happy for me and really seems to have no interest in communicating with me either. Is there anything I can do, or do I just have to grin and bear it for bachelorette weekend?

—Anonymous

A: Dear Anonymous,

I’m not sure what it is you’d be bearing. You invited her, not because you want her to be there, but because of shared family. And she’s coming, not because she wants to come, but because of… shared family. This is all normal. This sort of diplomacy is the stuff that keeps the world turning. I’m not against uninviting someone if there’s particularly bad behavior (see: a MOH who keeps calling the bride-to-be fat), but there is literally nothing here except some lack of communication over the party, which is so common I didn’t even bat an eyelash. You expressed that you were disappointed she’s not coming, so now she’s coming, and she’s finding something in this obligatory trip to be excited about. What’s the problem?

What I’m saying is that you’re setting the bar higher for her than for yourself. You don’t really care if she’s there or not. It’s not fair to demand some kind of emotional commitment from her that wouldn’t even be mutual.

You guess she’s being petty and holding it against you that you’re getting married first. That totally may be the case, though I don’t see it from what you described here. (I get that it’s hard to convey the dynamic of a whole relationship in one email though, so who knows.) But even if that’s true, it doesn’t have anything to do with you. Her feelings aren’t about you or your relationship; you say that yourself. But you can understand how it might make her a little less interested in talking about your wedding, right? It doesn’t even mean she resents you specifically, or is mad about your particular wedding. Maybe it just stings a bit to hear about it all and it’s easier to avoid it. Don’t take it personally, because it’s not personal.

Conversely, I would take it personally that your partner passed on what you said without asking you. I’m sure it was well intentioned, but you might want to let him know that he shouldn’t whisper-down-the-lane without asking you first. You know, next time.

—Liz Moorhead

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