In a quaint, ocean-side town, there is a street.
And on that street there is a house.
On that house is a mailbox.
In that mailbox is a wedding invitation.
On that wedding invitation is a name.
The wedding invitation is addressed to one Mr. DH from Obnoxious Girlfriend #1 and her soon-to-be husband.
It is my belief that I was intentionally left off of the invitation. As you'll probably see, Obnoxious Girlfriend #1 is not a person who misses many details. So, I have this to say: Seriously? How dare you send a wedding invitation to OUR house, addressed to only DH.
This one requires some back story, Dear Reader.
About a year ago, Obnoxious Girlfriend #1 (OG1) and her soon-to-be-husband (R) announced their engagement. R is DH’s old friend from school. R asked DH to be in his wedding party. Initially, DH was thrilled to oblige, in part because R was once a good friend of his, but more-so because he was so well trained by his butt-munch mother to have a knee-jerk “yes” reaction whenever anyone makes a request of him. Unfortunately, he said yes before considering the many issues involved in being in this person’s wedding party:
1. The distance – the wedding ceremony would be taking place in Albany, NY, which is well over three hours away from our place of residence. Gas money alone would be over $100 for the trip.
2. The expense - DH and I were going to have two babies by the time the wedding rolled around, and were unsure of where we would be, financially, as a result. Weddings are expensive – the gifts, the traveling, the potential hired babysitters, the cost of attire, hotel rooms, etc. all add up really quickly.
3. The impracticality – It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to be in the wedding party of a person you aren’t very close with anymore and who you, perhaps, see only once a year.
But before DH could revoke his response, the happy couple set out making their anal-retentive and fanatical wedding plans, which included setting up a wedding website for all to see, with more details than most people probably cared about. OG1 felt entitled to include photos and personal information about each member of the newly-minted wedding party without their knowledge or consent. I had an issue with the information she posted about myself and my DH, which included: Our full names, the name of our DD, DH’s alma mater, where he works, and where we live. All she was missing was a photo of me giving birth and our social security numbers, and we’d have been all set. Not only was she providing strangers and potential E-stalkers with lots of personal information about us, without affording us of the knowledge that she was doing so, but this information was posted without ever considering that DH might change his mind about his very tentative plans to be a part of the ceremony. When we found this information on the web, I contacted OG1 via email and requested that she remove the picture and all accompanying information because I didn’t “share her pension for putting personal information on the internet, let alone someone else’s personal information without their knowledge and consent.” There was great snark, and yes, it was intentional.
To me, OG1 responded that she would “Remove the information and photo.”
In the meantime, I had started a blog which I eventually removed when my anonymity was compromised by OG1. On the blog, I had an entry that coincided with our acquisition of one, rather obnoxiously timed, Save The Date Card. Here’s what I had to say about that topic on my blog:
I REFUSE to Save the Date (The Idiocy of Formal Traditions)
You may be excited to announce the date of your wedding a year in advance, but trust me: Your wedding is not nearly as important to me as it is to you. And let’s face it, if you’re trying to guarantee that your guests come, why not just send the damn invitation out a year in advance? Just skip the added cost of making and mailing out your 200 save the date cards and do exactly what you’re trying to do – force everyone to make sure their schedules are clear for YOUR special day.
Don’t all the most important guests who will be attending already know about the wedding? No doubt you’ve told your mother and his mother and your best friend and every single one of your faux friends on Facebook. And the people who are in the wedding party SURELY must already know the date – so, let’s get real here: sending out a Save the Date card was no more necessary or loathsome than entering your toddler in a beauty pageant. It’s so epically annoying to receive a Save the Date card (or magnet, or book mark, or doily) because once you get past the pretty words, all it really says is: “Our wedding day had better be as important to you as it is to us.”
I’m sure I’m one of the few who wouldn’t feel bad marking “Will Not Be Attending” on your invitation when it arrives. The sentiment behind Save the Date cards is that you presume you can tell me what to do. You can try, but I only have to save the date if I feel like it. And chances are probably good that I don’t.
What might be a good phrase to sum up Save the Dates? How about expectation? Because once a Save the Date has arrived, there is certainly the expectation that the recipient is going to attend the wedding. How could she not? She knew about it a whole twelve months, eight months, six months in advance! And an expectation can be as good as a command in that sense, because now the bride and groom are going to be insulted if she doesn’t come.
But the only time I care, personally, about a wedding is if the people marrying are important to me. Which is part of my point: If you’re not important to me, your wedding isn’t either. And if I’m not particularly fond of you, I may just have to make plans for that day anyway.
Was this trial-run blog post, which DH mistakenly shared with R before I knew if I was ready to share it with the online community, directed, in part at OG1? Yes. Was it also directed at the entire Save the Date philosophy? Absolutely. Did I include my thoughts on DH’s sentiments concerning the matter of Save the Date cards? No, because that wasn’t my place to do so. This was a blog entry, written by me, about my thoughts on the tradition of sending out Save the Date cards. My opinions, my thoughts, my feelings. I did not mention names because it was unnecessary. I did not discuss my husband’s views on the matter because I had no right. I did not mention hatred because that was not how I felt.
But oh my, it is interesting how a self-righteous busy-body would read into such a blog post. In an intentionally private conversation with my DH, OG1 weighed in. (I have taken the liberty of cleaning up the grammar, as it was a chat-based conversation and difficult to read as is. Bolding and enlarged font-size for emphasis is mine, but content is original.)
OG1: DH, I just want you to know I really care about you. And I’m sorry this happened, but I find Jonsi’s blog intentionally offensive and I was willing to put all this behind [us] and honestly move forward and I’m sad this happened because I’m sad your relationship with R will be affected negatively.
[Some minutes passed]
OG1: Also, that blog entry is libelous and mostly completely false information that does not describe me or my life.
DH: R and I have already discussed and are discussing the impacts of everything and have come to a conclusion that we cannot be friends and will not marry in the state of MA.
OG1: Don’t pretend to be funny and witty, it’s not going to get you anywhere. The situation is sad and I’m sorry and it’s nothing to joke about.
DH: Also, you really should be going to Jonsi as I am not the one whose thoughts those are. But I will say that I appreciate your concern for R and I, and I'm fairly confident R and I can work through whatever happens…I joke about everything all the time. And it really does get me nowhere, and yet I still do it.
OG1: I’m not going to speak with her, it’s going to give her more ammunition to skewer me in an anonymous, cowardly blog. I’ve tried to be nothing but nice and cared about both of you and your relationship and tried to reach out and be friends.
DH: Well, I am not going to speak for Jonsi, but I'll say that if you choose not to speak with her, fine, I have no problems with that. And if you choose not to care about us now, I can't persuade you [to do] otherwise. I will say that R and I will continue to be friends to the best of our ability and we've discussed that already. But look, I shouldn't be the middle man here, I don't like that.
OG1: And that’s a lot of hatred to be directed towards someone over something so insignificant, and what was originally a kind intention…a lot, lot, of hatred and meanness…And I don’t particularly like any of this, but people have chosen actions, including you, that have brought it to this. I take responsibility for my actions, do you and her?
DH: I'm not following.
OG1: This hasn’t just blown up like this by itself. Everyone has chosen their actions…and it has made it much, much worse, and I don’t know if you take responsibility for your part in it…or if she does. All I was trying to do was post something nice about your family. I removed it respectfully upon being asked and said nothing negative to either of you and there is all of a sudden a lot of vitrol and hatred being sent my way…that is affecting relationships because I seemed to have stood up for myself.
DH: Again, I can't adequately convey Jonsi’s feelings about a great many things, so if you want some explanation of why things are, then I'd say go to her.
OG1: I’m not an easy person to scare or intimidate, and I hope this isn’t because I just happened to refuse to bow down to someone…I’m asking you and talking to you…you owe me that respect…instead of channeling Jonsi…I would like to hear DH.
DH: Um…well, okay. What am I responding to again?
OG1: Why a kind gesture has become innundated with hatred, why you have decided your relationship with R has to be g-chat based, and why you are refusing to respect me and my soon-to-be husband with this nonsense…and why you have lost yourself…and why you can’t take responsibility for your actions in this.
DH: 1. Never have I had myself, therefore wouldn't be able to lose myself. That's also assuming that what I was in college was "me" and it really wasn't. 2. Taking responsibility for my actions...no idea what you're referring to, so can't really respond to that. 3. R and g-chat: We have both agreed that our friendship has been that way for a while and I believe have decided that while it may not be the best of ways to talk, it's how we communicate the most often. I'm not a phone person, I don't know if R is. 4. I respect you and Rich a great deal.
OG1: And now please tell me why is there so much hatred being directed towards me? From both of you? When I’ve done absolutely nothing disrespectful or mean-hearted throughout your relationship with her, and I’m sorry but I don’t see the respect right now…I see a man afraid of a woman who is allowing all his relationships to change and sometimes end, even [when] those people love him a great deal.
DH: Now you're getting into things that I don't know why or how you know about...and really...if you should even know about.
OG1: Rich has told me nothing…absolutely nothing, to be honest with you. This is [all] very easily observed. But you still haven’t answered my question: Why am I being treated this way?
DH: I wasn't implying that R was doing anything, and actually, I expected him to share with you. However, I haven't really told him much either, that's why I was surprised [that you have brought up these additional issues.]
OG1: It’s very clear…but DH I’m still waiting: Why am I being treated this way?
[several minutes pass]
OG1: The lack of answer is quite telling.
DH: ...sigh.... I'm really not sure what you're looking for here. You feel slighted I see, but...I have no idea what else to say.
OG1: Not slighted, DH…that’s not even the word…and it’s extremely condescending of you to relegate it to that. I’m confused and I’m hurt, because all I’ve done is try to be nice. That’s it. All along, and suddenly, I’m a hated bitch who sends out save the dates (the horror!) for seemingly no reason except for standing up for myself and refusing to give in to unreasonable and controlling demands. I won’t be controlled…So I’m therefore a bad person. [That] is how I feel I’m being treated…by both of you…I’m sure you are sending all of this to Jonsi and now I'm just going to be shunned even more and have another ridiculously hateful blog entry directed at me, even though all I wanted was for you both to share our joy with us.
[DH had to answer a phone call, as this discussion took place during work hours. He informed OG1 of this]
OG1: I have a presentation. I’ll be back in 15 [minutes], and I deserve some answers.
DH: I think the answers you are looking for I cannot provide. I'm really at a loss for what to say. Maybe this: try not to take it so personally.
OG1: It was a personal attack against me. So I shouldn’t take it personally? That’s pretty weak.
[Presumably, several minutes passed]
OG1: It’s hard to defend something with no merit, isn’t it?
DH: [The blog was] inspired by true events. That's all I'll say.
OG1: Sorry? Explain that. Because it sounds like another weakly veiled attack.
DH: I'm not attacking anyone.
OG1: Then explain "inspired by true events." Also, I’m not fuming, by the way. I’m not some hysterical woman.
DH: Not hysterical. Just angry.
OG1: I’m not angry.
DH: I exaggerate to prove a point.
OG1: I’m incredibly disappointed in you. And not surprised by Jonsi, but hurt by the violence of the attack.
DH: [It was] not an attack.
OG1: It was an attack. And it was hateful.
DH: Ok, well I see this is heading in the nowhere direction. I am leaving work anyway, but I suggest you reconsider your "it was a personal attack" stance. I know you won't, but I feel that I need to say it anyway so I bid you farewell. I do hope you find the answers you seek.
Shall we count the number of times OG1 used the word "hate," Dear Reader? Seven. That number really begs the question: who is really hating here?
Do I really need to take the rest of it apart? I know you can see the manipulation, the under-handed attacks, the vicious threats, the self-righteous bull-shit. And that's just for starters. This is a person who opens up her diatribe claiming that she "really cares about DH." The only caring I see going on, is for her Self.
She claims that she was the recipient of so much hatred, and that it was coming from both DH and I. I could go out on a limb and say I understand why she'd feel negative karma coming from my direction. But DH? My DH, who is all, "I respect you and R" and "Please, don't make me be the middle man." Hatred? Please, there isn't a hating bone in his loving body. On most days, all he wants, is for everyone to get along and be happy.
She says I was unreasonable with my "controlling demands." That's right, Dear Reader. Apparently, it is unreasonable to ask a person to remove personal information and photographs about me and my family from the internet when that person has posted it without first gaining the approval of the subjects. Apparently it's also controlling to request that she never do it again.
I see a lot of this in her chat with DH: I deserve, I want, you owe me. Me, me, me. I, I, I. And she seems to get her own messages all mixed up: Is this conversation about DH's treatment of her? Or is it about what I did? Did she want to talk to him about the blog his wife created? Or about how she thought he suddenly decided to have a g-chat relationship with her husband-to-be and felt that it was my fault? Was she trying to convey the message that she was hurt by someone's actions? Or spew her own hatred at a woman that SHE was too cowardly to face? Was the nut of this conversation really me? Her? My DH? Who was really hating? Who was really blaming? Who was really finger-pointing, scape-goating, and shaming?
What I don't see is a whole lot of genuine, heartfelt, mature or loving discussion. What I've known all along about this woman is that she is self-serving and gossip-mongering. The extent of her being "nice" to me was an email or two the entire time she knew of my presence in DH's life. I am not, nor was I ever unappreciative of her kindness in the moments she took to inquire about my life in those emails. I simply didn't think she was asking out of a genuine desire to be my friend. I always had a feeling that it was more out of an unhealthy desire for drama. To both emails I responded with polite disinterest because I didn't want to be her friend. I've never felt the need to explain those reasons, especially not to her.
And her talk of "losing himself" and being "afraid of some woman" and "channeling Jonsi?" Her "you should dance with your mother" imposition? Behind OG1's ridiculous antics and busy-body, attention-seeking behaviors, there is something else going on and it smells like s.h.i.t.
There is a wedding invitation addressed to one person, in a mailbox, on a house, on a street, in a quaint ocean-side town. And on that wedding invitation, written between the lines, is the scrawling hand-writing of one Evil person: NMIL. Perhaps OG1 didn't actually speak with NMIL. Perhaps she did. Perhaps she heard about the "goings-on" through the Flying Monkey Grapevine. But regardless, she's still spewing their garbage. We've seen it all before. Can you See it, Dear Reader? I think you can.