To be fairly upset?(61 Posts)
So, I had a significant birthday the other week. I have two best friends. We're all far away from each other, but I have always made the effort to send cards or flowers at significant moments. Even travelling down and imparting wrapped gifts particularly for one of the friends and all her children.
Well, my significant birthday rolled around and I got nothing. No card. No flowers. Nothing from either of them. Although they acknowledged my significant birthday on Social Media publicly and one followed this up with a text message. The other sent me a private FB message to let me know her child was ill, enclosing two photos of said child, documenting said illness accompanied with 'Sorry, I didn't get round to posting your card, because my child is sick'..
I was desperately hurt, thinking 'you mean to say that in the whole three days - or even a week leading up to my birthday, no one came to or left your house? (She has numerous grown up children and a husband who could have either a) obtained a card from a gas station or b) posted it). The other friend is dotty as hell, but knows 'social convention'. She has not mentioned anything about the lack of card so its generally 'tumble weed'.
The problem I have, is that my wedding is rapidly approaching. Its a very very small registry office wedding with a meal at a very nice place afterwards where all the food is alacarte and the champagne and drinks included. My only guests are my two best mates and their partners.
This will require them to travel for between 1.5 and 1.75 hours respectively. A stay in a B&B, attend, get fed and watered very well and go home. I have not asked for any wedding gifts - just the pleasure of their attendance.
So why am I now feeling so utterly let down and depressed about it all? To the point, where I'm desperate to say something? Would you say something? I'm thinking 'if you can't be bloody arsed to prioritise me and acknowledge my birthday, why in the hell am I paying over £150 per head for you each to come down and celebrate my marriage?'
I'll be honest, these friendships have always been a little one sided. One, because one friend is dotty and forgetful, but always calls to see how I am when she remembers and the other, because she's always had her children as an excuse for everything she hasn't done or hasn't prioritised. This has left me hurt and let down on more than one occasion.
This, when all taken into account was made worse when she documented that she still had time to leave the house to get a personalised beauty treatment for three hours, without her kids in tow - just 5 days before my birthday - so consequently, the 'excuse' of child sickness is really really getting to me. And now, that the birthday has passed, the general forgetting it and moving on vibe, accompanied with the 'we've booked the hotel and I've been dress shopping' comments are sticking in my throat. I'm hurt and angry and spent the whole of my birthday on and off in tears. (I am fairly pregnant too which hasn't helped)
Is it possible they think because they're coming down for my wedding it in some way exonerates them from acknowledging my significant birthday? Should I be the 'bigger person' and say nothing? Should I just call it as I see it - which is utterly piss poor behaviour which is frankly not good enough?
I know I'm rambling, but just wondered AIBU to feel so hurt and what would you do in this situation?
If one of the friend's children was ill, then I'm guessing she was probably too distracted to go to the shops to get something for you? She acknowledged your birthday so it's not like she ignored it.
Also 'significant birthdays' aren't a 'thing' with a lot of people. YANBU for being hurt as you can't control how you feel but I think YWBU if you make a big thing of it
You're right to be pissed and we all know pesky hormones can intensify the feelings
You could cancel their wedding invites, but I'm pretty sure that would end the friendships. Do you want to carry on being friends with them?
Rude as it is, a lot of people see social media as a valid method of birthday greetings.
I wouldn't say anything. It will put a real dampener on your wedding. But I wouldn't be acknowledging their birthdays again.
I think this is rather a big fuss to make over a birthday card for a grown woman, tbh. Once you have children you are constantly having to buy presents, cards, attend parties for kids, and the reality is that adult birthdays tend to get neglected for a few years. It's normal.
Livia, these are OP's best friends! I doubt she'd be upset if she and they have a mutual 'no fuss birthday' type agreement. Also, as OP points out, could she not have asked her husband? Or even just apologised and said 'I'm so sorry, I have your card here just with everything going on I totally forgot to send it'?
YANBU ho be upset OP. I was too, when my dad couldn't get off his arse to send me a 21st or a 30th birthday card . Not on time anyway.
I think you have two choices - ignore, and let it fester until you <potentially> make a rash decision and uninvite them (which will upset everyone), or just ask. Text if you need to, maybe ask if you've upset them in some way? I'd probably do it individually, but just say you were hurt at the lack of even a late birthday card and is it you?
Also, I don't like birthdays. Not arsed. I have a friend who 'does' birthdays.
I make a fuss because it's what she likes. Just like I don't buy shit I want for someone else as a gift, I don't try and force my best friends into being not arsed about birthdays because I am.
Also, I have kids and she doesn't. I still manage to organise a card!
Meh - she acknowledged it. And you shouldn't make a fuss of other people with the expectation of the same.
But if you are that upset then perhaps ask them not to come to the wedding - presumably you can get witnesses for the ceremony (people on here usually fall over themselves to do that sort of thing )
To be honest, I didn't expect a 'fuss'. I know their 'form'. But I did expect a card. I have never given to receive - but I have always acknowledged them - and for once, given my current circumstances of which they both know - I thought on this one occasion, there'd be some sort of effort made.
I also see social media greetings as what 'distant' or 'absent' friends do... not my two besties. I found it insulting.
It was the excuse given of child sickness after they'd been out a matter of days before the birthday, which compounded things. Adding to that, we'd also been in regular contact and had discussed my pregnancy, upcoming birthday and the wedding. So it wasn't like she wasn't aware...
I just feel it was a piss poor effort.
It won't make me un-invite them to the wedding. I do love them. They're both my oldest friends. I just do, unreasonably or no, feel quite hurt.
Interestingly, my friend with the sick child is also having a significant birthday on my due date. My OH is saying be the bigger person and acknowledge it - even if you're in active labour! He added with a cheeky grin that he would even be capable of walking the 100ft to the shop on my behalf to purchase said card, put a stamp on it and post it too! I did love him for that!
I do understand that you feel hurt . The thing is though, OP, you asked if it unreasonable for you to feel as hurt as you do. I would say yes. I might be mildly miffed. You appear to be heartbroken.
Should I just call it as I see it - which is utterly piss poor behaviour which is frankly not good enough?
If you wanted to put the friendship at risk, yes.
Sorry OP, I think you're over thinking. Also, the way you talk about your friends, despite you protesting that you don't give to receive, there's a awful lot of what you've given and what you expect to receive in return. Which is why you're feeling pissed off, I get that.
You more than once describe your 'besties' in less-than-glowing terms. One's a massive flake, the other is always 'making excuses' around her children. Are you all usually tolerant of each other's foibles? Maybe you have some as well?!
I dunno. I get that you're hurt, but not everyone shares the 'significant Birthday' thing.
Instead of letting your resentment fester, let them know you were a bit upset not to receive many cards on your birthday..You found it hurtful that some of your friends forgot to send a card..?
R.E wedding, make sure you have confirmation that your friends are coming! If one is "scatty" and the other tends to drop out of things at the last minute, I'd be slightly concerned
Have your placenta made into a charm and send it for her birthday gift.
Yes, your two best friends should have made more of an effort for your birthday, but then again, this 'significant' birthday thing seems to have exploded over recent years, probably because any celebration is a money spinner for many industries.
If you're 18 or 21, then yes, that has always been a special thing and they should have made more of an effort; 30 and 40 didn't really used to be worthy of much comment or extra fuss. Perhaps from your OH/ immediate family you'd expect a little extra fuss, but not so much from friends.
They may not be perfect, but no one is. Forget it and forgive them. I hope your wedding goes well
Receiving cards is lovely, but I never expect them. It's nice to be remembered, but I've never made a big deal of birthdays myself.
It's very thoughtful when someone sends me something out of the blue though.
Hurt, yes - Heartbroken? No.
As for what I've 'given'. Yes there are the material things which I enjoyed doing, but this is more about my consideration of their feelings more than anything else. Its rarely reciprocated and I guess that's what's hurting the most.
You're right, some people don't care about birthdays and that's fine. However, THEY do. So if they received tumbleweed in response to their significant birthdays, they would be seriously pissed. Of that I am sure.
Consequently, I do feel I have a right to be hurt by it.. Because not only was this a significant birthday at a significant time - there have been wider issues of which they're aware that I thought my so-called Besties would have responded to because they know I'd probably be very low on this day. Maybe this lack of reciprocity is what the real issue is?
I wouldn't have used those terms to describe my dotty friend. She is just that - dotty. And no, I'm not perfect. However, in this instance, given the wider considerations, I do feel hurt by the excuse given by the one with the sick child. It was and is, poor.
I also see social media greetings as what 'distant' or 'absent' friends do... not my two besties. I found it insulting.
The last couple of years DHs sister has only acknowledged his birthday on FB ... we're not even on it and she knows as much. How's that for impersonal!? We see her pretty regularly too, not as if we're all estranged or anything.
I've told him he should do a shout out to her on her next birthday on The Brickwork and Blockwork forum - which she does not frequent - and then tell her he's done so (in wide eyed innocence) when she asks where her card is
<no help, sorry>
Laiste - that just made me roar. Genius! So yes, a great help! x
Birthday cards are going the way of Christmas cards - people view them as a waste of £3 or £4 when they can leave a FB message for free giving the same effect - the friend knows she has been remembered and greeted on her special day so is there any need for a hard copy?
I too had a birthday last week but none of my husband, my adult children, nor my siblings gave me hard copy cards. DD1 baked me a cake, DD2 came back from uni to see me, DH sent me an electronic card and siblings did the FB thing. That seemed quite reasonable to me. My closest 6 friends hosted a dinner party for me on the day and all gave me presents with cards attached but I think that is because presents need a card IYSWIM.
Times are changing.
Happy Birthday, by the way.
PS Don't disinvite your best friends to your Wedding!
YNBU, I would chide them for their lack of a card and let them know that
birthday cards mean a lot to you.
Then move on and treat it as a bump in the road in a, hopefully, long,
Happy belated birthday
If you are wanting things reciprocated then you are going to be disappointed in life unfortunately
I get it, OP, you've always gone to a lot of effort for their birthdays and they can't be arsed to even go online and order flowers from Next or a sodding card from Moonpig!
It's a sorry state when birthdays of close friends are only acknowledged because their social media account reminds said 'friends' that it's their friends birthday. Perhaps they didn't realise it was a big one
because Facebook didn't tell them ?
I don't think they'd realise you were spending a fortune for them to attend your wedding (it does sound rather a lot you're being charged, but must be a swanky place) and you can't use that in any of your "weighing" of the situation because
a) you chose to have swanky venue with champagne etc.
b) they'll be spending a significant cost in travel/accommodation to be there.
Perhaps they've grown out of big birthdays and thought that you made the fuss because you like doing so? I enjoy fussing over other people's big events and will happily make the effort to go out to celebrate each year for my besties birthday, but hate a fuss being made of mine. But I wouldn't dream of inflicting my CBA attitude on other people's birthdays
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.