Stuck in the middle - two friends(13 Posts)
Hi everyone. I'm a long time lurker and this is my first post. It's a long story but I'll try and be as concise as possible. I'm friends with two women, let's call them Debbie and Sophie. We all met through work, we work in a freelance industry and although contracts are relatively short it's a 'small world' and you often end up working with people many times over. I've known Sophie for about three years and she is very kind hearted, generous- over this time she has become a very close friend. I have known Debbie for about two years- she is high maintenance and demanding at times but also kind and a loyal friend. Debbie and Sophie are also very good friends so the three of us formed a 'trio' and would socialise together, group chat every day etc.
A few months ago Sophie got engaged to her long term partner, all great. Debbie has been married for a year. Both of us very excited for Sophie. A month ago on our group chat Sophie announced she was having an engagement party and gave us the date. Debbie said something along the lines of: "Oh no I may be having my birthday party then can you change it?" Sophie explained she couldn't change the date, things had been booked and she was accommodating a lot of different people. This is when everything became a bit much. Debbie got very upset and possessive over her birthday (it's her 30th). She started campaigning for me to attend her birthday over Sophie's engagement party in a very heated way. When I met her a couple of times just me and her after that she started having digs about Sophie and saying how "I can't change my birthday she should change the date!" etc etc. Picture that in your head and times it by ten, it was like a six year old excited about a birthday. Debbie eventually booked a local bar to invite people to for her birthday.
Myself and my fiancé are closer with Sophie and already told her we would be at their engagement and I was planning on trying to do to Debbie's drinks first for an hour (not easy it's two hours away from the engagement party) to try and please everyone. However Debbie's pushiness and insistence I go, including her being a bit mean about Sophie (this comment): "Why is she having an engagement when she is having a hen and a wedding? It's all a bit much?" had left me feeling like I may not bother. Then it was my birthday (also 30th) recently and Debbie didn't come even though she was round the corner because she said she thought she was coming down with a cold but dropped off a thoughtful gift the next day. I'm aware this is all so childish.
The final occurrence is Sophie and I with our partners went for dinner whilst Debbie was on holiday. She saw a photo of us on Facebook together and then cut us dead for a week.
The two events are coming up soon. If I don't go to Debbie's the friendship is over. AIBU not to go to Debbie's birthday?
Sounds like Debbie hadn't even made solid plans for her birthday when Sophie booked her engagement stuff.
Can you arrange to meet Debbie for a birthday lunch instead and explain that you accepted Sophies invite first and you think it'd be rude to cancel on her for something else now?
So she hadn't even booked her birthday party when she asked Sophie to change the date of her party?
I wouldn't go to Debbie's!
I wouldn't bother with Debbie at all. She sounds like hard work. Hope you have a fab time at Sophie's party.
Go celebrate with Sophie, she issued the first official invite and you accepted it. The etiquette is clear
and Debbie sounds deeply irritating
Yanbu to not go to Debbies party. I actually think you need to sit down with her one to one, ie not with Sophie there, and tell her it feels like she is making you take sides, which you don't want to do but if your forced into a choice then you will choose the person who isn't being nasty, high maintenance and bitchy and thats not her
Thanks for your replies. I think that is what I will do. Judging by Debbie's reaction to myself and Sophie spending an evening without her unfortunately I have to brace myself for her cutting me off as a friend. I fully accept that if that happens then that's her decision and I wouldn't want a friend like that anyway. I am a bit concerned about her bitching about us both in what is a very small industry where often you get jobs through word of mouth and recommendations but there's not much I can do about that!
I think I'll just send Debbie a message beforehand saying I won't be able to make it there but can we all go out to celebrate afterwards sometime and see what she says.
And yes, she booked her party after Sophie's. It's not the day of her actual birthday just a weekend day before. When asked to consider an alternative her response was: "I can't change my birthday!"
But she could change her party to the weekend after. She sounds spoiled and difficult tbh.
Oh dear. I'm with Sophie. She arranged her party first, and had already been through the accommodating-others dance (presumably for family) before inviting you and Debbie to an ALREADY-ARRANGED-EVENT. It was not on Debbie's birthday, and frankly when your birthday is mid-week, either weekend will do. A normal person would have just said something like "ooh, it's my 30th that week, I'd better have the party <other weekend>". Not "I may be having a party then". Sheesh.
" I am a bit concerned about her bitching about us both in what is a very small industry where often you get jobs through word of mouth and recommendations but there's not much I can do about that!"
As you said it's a small world, one that all three of you have been in for several years. I think the other inhabitants will have the measure of the three of you, and treat any attempt at badmouthing accordingly. If anything, she's likely to find work drying up for her if she pulls that stunt.
Debbie sounds like hard work.
Just go to Sophie's engagement party - you know, the one that was booked first and the one you were invited to first.
for some unknown reason you wanted to keep friendly with Debbie, then you could suggest meeting for lunch or a meal or something later in the week.
I agree with what's been said.
Having a party after your Birthday, is better then before and more usual, because at least you're celebrating what's happened and you could have all been there.
She's cut off her nose to spite her face.
OK thank you all so much at least I no longer feel like I'm going mad!
I will send her a message a few days before the event confirming our non attendance. I already tried to tell her face to face but then she continued trying to persuade me otherwise so I don't think it will come as a huge surprise to her.
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