A Reader Writes/Bites Back

One of the interesting things about writing an online advice column is that it gives you the opportunity for instant communication with the letter writer. Although Dear Abby often published follow up letters and lashed herself with wet noodles (and really, I don’t want to know about that fetish), the follow up letters were always from OTHER people, not the original letter writer.

Today in my wedding advice column, I published a letter from a bride worried about the number of bridal events she was having (not enough). Here’s the bride’s letter and my original advice.

Below is the follow up conversation we had.

From her:

Hi,

I never stated in my question to you that I wanted MULTIPLE parties. I just mentioned that nobody had mentioned throwing a bridal or engagement party. Even our parents who adore my fiancé and I. I am extremely grateful for my MOH wanting to throw me a bachelorette party, but I was always under the impression that those parties are separate. My other friends who have gotten married have had ALL of the above mentioned celebrations.

And, if you knew me, you would know that I am ABSOLUTLEY not that type of bride who is a self-centered, drama queen that you so coined me. Also, the bridesmaids’ dresses are NOT ridiculous. They actually came from Victoria’s Secret so obviously it is something they can wear again. Furthermore, I asked all of them if they liked the dress before a final decision was made. Oh, and go figure—they loved it and mentioned how awesome I am for giving them a say.

I do not think that I am a terrible person because I would like for my friends to throw me a party. I know that I have thrown my fair share of parties for them. You ever think that because I do live across the country from my fiancée and that most of my maids live away that I am totally planning a 200 person wedding on my own (therefore the ‘extended’ engagement—glad you can plan a wedding on your own so quickly) and that something that would ease my stress (like a party) would make me feel a lot better? Yes I am lonely, yes it is hard, but seriously who are you to judge me based on one question?

Regards.

From Me:

I’m not judging you, but you asked my opinion and I gave it to you. It seemed to me that you were asking why you weren’t having more parties.

One of the great things about advice columns is that you get the opinion of someone who doesn’t know you. If you wanted to know what your friends thought, you would have asked them, not me. I can only tell you what your question sounds like to an outsider.  Outsiders can give you a perspective that your friends can’t, and my perspective is that you’re stressed out and if you aren’t careful you may cause more drama and more stress because of that.

The things you mentioned in your letter, an 18-month long distance engagement, planning a 200 person wedding by yourself  and multiple bridesmaids living in multiple places are things that add to stress and drama. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with you for any of those things, but all of those things do add stress!

I don’t think you’re a horrible person at all, and I don’t think my answer said that you were. I said very clearly that it’s natural to want people to throw you a party, who wouldn’t want that? But just because you’d like multiple parties doesn’t mean you’re going to have them.

It’s great that your friends had those parties, but that doesn’t mean that you are entitled to have them. Someone has offered to throw you a party, instead of feeling bad and “not feeling the love” that you aren’t having more parties, enjoy the one that you are having.

Instead of focusing on more events, like bridal showers and engagement parties that will only add to the stress, why not look for ways to reduce your stress?

Do you have friends where you’re currently living that you could go blow off some steam with? Can you scale back some of the plans or turn over more planning to your fiance or parents? Instead of trying to get someone to throw you a bridal shower, why not plan a fun girls night out that isn’t centered on your wedding?

I really do wish you the best of luck.

From Her:
I know that I asked your opinion, but I did see that there was judgment when you said that I was becoming a self-centered drama queen. I know that I was quick to retaliate. I really got upset when I saw it on the OneWed blog how the headline was stated. I was asking because I have seen so many of my girlfriends have all of the before mentioned parties and I did feel almost like I was left out. Especially since I am the one who has thrown some of the parties.  I know that I shouldn’t feel entitled to the parties, but yes, it is kind-of a downer  at the same time.


As far as the planning is concerned, I have asked my fiancé and our parents to help. I haven’t asked friends yet. My fiancé tries, but he needs constant motivation, which of course is hard to do with him being so far away. His mother has offered to make our save-the-date cards as well as the jewelry for my maids, but that’s all the planning help I have to date.

I do have friends here with whom I can blow off steam and not talk about the wedding. Really, the only person I talk to about the wedding is my fiancé. I’ve been trying so hard to be cool with this whole wedding thing not letting it be the topic of conversation and not wanting to become a bridezilla. Because of that I just came to this realization that maybe my friends do not know about all the stress the planning has placed on me or that I was hoping for a shower as well as the bachelorette party because I haven’t vocalized it. As far as the parties are concerned, I’m sure that I won’t mention it to them, but I could ask them if there is anything they would be willing to help me do to plan and prepare. I know that I sent the invites out on the One Wed pre-party, and wrote a comment there that if someone wanted to take a task from the checklist I would be grateful, but have not had much response there either.

So I guess that is it. Thank you again!

From me:

So what do you think? Did I get anywhere with her or do I need to develop that weird advice column fetish and buy some wet noodles?

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