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Stupid Drama: what the hell?
June 13, 2012 8:57 PM   Subscribe

Conflict with friend's partner: do I pull out of this commitment, or am I overreacting? (petty and annoying) details inside.

A friend of long standing is being called to the Bar, and she and her girlfriend have asked me to come to her Call ceremony: I've said yes. My friend's mother (who doesn't like her girlfriend) is visiting for the week to attend the Call, and my friend's girlfriend has asked me to spend the morning with them, partly to buffer any conflict. We've arranged to go to the Picasso exhibit at the Art gallery, to lunch, and then to the ceremony; I got the tickets, as I have a membership and can get guest passes. All is fine, at this point.

Then I mentioned that I would be biking to the gallery to meet them -- the easiest way to do this, as my house is a 15 minute bike ride from the gallery but about 45 minutes on unreliable transit. The girlfriend is insisting that I not bike, but that I take transit or a cab instead, for a series of reasons -- the event is dressy; she wants the three of us to take a cab to the ceremony together rather than meeting there; she wants me to carry all the stuff she's got to bring for both her and her partner, because her shoulder is painful and the mother has a bad knee; I'll have to help the mother, who will need to lean on someone who can't be the girlfriend (bad shoulder); there's no place to park the bike; I'll have no place to put my bike helmet, etc, etc. Some of these make sense (sticking together) others much less (helmets fit under theatre seats, and I bike in heels and fancy clothes all the time) and others are just annoying -- like the argument that I need to be around to be the packmule/unpaid help.

It wasn't until I said that I would leave the bike at the gallery, take a cab with them to the ceremony and go back to get it afterwards, when I go home -- that it became apparent that they also want me to come to dinner after the ceremony, which extends the day well into the evening. They've not decided where dinner will be -- it could be downtown, where the Call is, which would be fine, or it could be in their neighborhood, which is badly serviced by transit at night and would stick me with a 50.00 cab ride home. I mostly want to bike because it's the fastest way to get there, but it also gives me a courteous out if they want to drag me someplace inaccessible.

This idiot detail is causing a complete meltdown, and I'm not even sure if they want me to come at this point. The last email I got involved a flouncy insistence that they'd buy tickets for the exhibition themselves.

I'm bristling over this because this is the third time in a year that I've had unreasonable drama with these women -- mostly because the girlfriend has a history of being stupidly controlling, usually over details. While I'm more than happy to help the girlfriend with her mother-in-law and to attend my friend's Big Event, it seems utterly unreasonable to allow them to tell me how I'm supposed to get there. I'm royally pissed at this point.

Am I being unreasonable? Do I suck it up and take cabs?
posted by jrochest to Human Relations (42 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
No, you aren't being unreasonable. You agreed to go to the exhibition, to lunch, and then to the ceremony. Things you didn't agree on doing: being a packmule, going to a dinner whose details have not been decided yet, traveling to this engagement via a particular means of transportation.

Tell them that you intend on doing what you agreed to (exhibition, lunch, ceremony) and your means of transportation is not open for further discussion.
posted by grouse at 9:07 PM on June 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Not unreasonable, as far as I can tell. I would reply to the last email, re-stating your plan in simple terms.

Dear folks,

As discussed before, I plan to meet you at the gallery using my bicycle as transportation. If you intend to make other plans that don't include our meeting there, please let me know as soon as possible.

This is one of those situations where you need to make sure that the problem is owned by the creator of that problem. You are not the creator of the problem.
posted by raisingsand at 9:08 PM on June 13, 2012 [18 favorites]


I don't think you're being unreasonable, but I think I would suck it up, or maybe ask them to pick up the cab fare, and try to have dinner afterwards be at some place that you can get home from (or else beg off from the dinner).
posted by leahwrenn at 9:08 PM on June 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think differently. Do what she wants this one time and never again.
posted by discopolo at 9:11 PM on June 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd consider sucking it up if it were a one-shot. But this is just the third event in what I imagine will be a series of uncomfortable, drama-filled incidents. I don't see the point of accommodating unreasonable demands one more time. You know that doing that isn't going to change things the next time.
posted by grouse at 9:13 PM on June 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


You don't sound unreasonable. Why is the girlfriend determining all this if it's your friend's ceremony? Is there any chance you could ask your friend to mediate?

If you do decide to go along with this and give all the help they are asking for, I think it's well within reason for you to ask that dinner be downtown so you don't have to take a prohibitively expensive cab.
posted by mlle valentine at 9:13 PM on June 13, 2012


I think differently. Do what she wants this one time and never again.

But it's not just the one time - it's the 3rd time this year that something along these lines has happened.

What 'stuff' does the girlfriend need to carry for your friend/the mother? Could the mother use a wheelchair rather than lean on someone?

You don't sound like you like the girlfriend that much. I would deal directly with your friend rather than her girlfriend.
posted by Cattaby at 9:15 PM on June 13, 2012


My friend is also asking me to do what her girlfriend wants -- for all the same reasons (dressy! time! that damned helmet!). This is a mutual drama society.

I have no idea what the stuff is that I'll be carrying, only that it is a fair amount, apparently: I assume it's bags, coats and something to keep the robes in when the ceremony is over. And yes, I really don't like the girlfriend, but am trying to stay in touch with my friend -- most of her friends have dropped the couple, and they're pretty isolated.

I needed to know if it seems as bonkers to other people as it does to me.
posted by jrochest at 9:18 PM on June 13, 2012


I'm thinking that I'll bike, leave the bike at the gallery and take a cab with them to the ceremony, and then have the bike to fall back on if they decide that they want to eat dinner a thousand miles away. It's a 20 minute walk between the gallery and Roy Thompson Hall, so going back to get the bike after the ceremony isn't a problem at all.
posted by jrochest at 9:21 PM on June 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


No, it doesn't sound bonkers to me. She wants you to just be there, flexible and no special conditions. And you want to be there inflexibly and with conditions. There's no easy answer to the who is right question, but there probably is an easy answer to the politeness question.
posted by Forktine at 9:23 PM on June 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'll offer this perspective; when I agree to meet up with a friend to do them a favour, my friends don't try and exercise veto rights over my mode of transport. That's pretty rude and, frankly, unreasonable.

Do they want to vet your outfit too? Have they asked you not to wear mascara? What on earth is this micromanaging nonsense?

I needed to know if it seems as bonkers to other people as it does to me.

Well, it seems bonkers to me, and I'm starting to see why their other friends have dropped them.

But, you're setting out to do your friend a solid. So, if that's what you want to do, then these are the terms of the favour. If all of these additional conditions are untenable for you, then you should opt out. if that's what you're going to do, I think you should make it clear to your friend that her behaviour (and her GF's) was unreasonable and discourteous.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:24 PM on June 13, 2012


and others are just annoying -- like the argument that I need to be around to be the packmule/unpaid help.

There are friendships in which this totally is an OK thing to ask. Apparently you don't feel like this is one of them, but just so you know: the request is not unreasonable on it's face.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:28 PM on June 13, 2012 [10 favorites]


I wouldn't bike there because of the reasons listed - but I wouldn't go to dinner.
posted by KogeLiz at 9:29 PM on June 13, 2012


Forktine -- you're saying that I'm being impolite if I don't travel the way they want me to?
posted by jrochest at 9:30 PM on June 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


this is a toughie. it sounds a little like a wedding-party situation, where it's somebody else's day and where your role is to participate a little, help out a little, and also be taken care of a little. so if you were of a mind to be of service to your friend in that way, yeah the bike thing would add a whole extra layer of complexity and would give your friend & others extra things to worry about and take into account. but on the other hand, simple courtesy would dictate that the girlfriend kiss your ass and say pretty please, because she's obviously asking you for your help. i don't think it's unreasonable on its face for them to ask that you not bike, but it's also not unreasonable for you to insist and/or draw your boundaries wherever you want them.
posted by facetious at 9:35 PM on June 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Another vote for "yes, this is bonkers" (or at least pretty darned unreasonable) on the part of the gf and your friend. Agreeing to serve as the buffer between the gf and the mother is already a pretty big favor - that kind of work can be draining in and of itself, depending on what their relationship is like. If your initial agreement didn't involve all of the packmule/leaning post/expensive dinner cab ride elements, and your friendship isn't one where this type of request is typical on both sides, you are under no obligation to humor them here. Moreover, as I know I've seen people say on here before: people are going to treat you the way you teach them to treat you. Keep acquiescing to tacked-on "extra" demands from these two women and they'll have no reason to stop making such demands and expecting you to acquiesce.

I think raisingsand put it best, and it's well worth repeating: "This is one of those situations where you need to make sure that the problem is owned by the creator of that problem. You are not the creator of the problem."
posted by DingoMutt at 9:35 PM on June 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


These are two adult women right? One is your friend's girlfriend and one is her mother who has already managed to make it there from out of town? And they need your help to get to the damn ceremony?

"I'm sorry, but that plan doesn't work for me logistically. Looking forward to seeing you at the gallery and the Call. Would love to do dinner as well, if I can, but that will depend on the final plans."
posted by trip and a half at 9:39 PM on June 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


This kind of stuff happens in my family and it's not deliberate rudeness, it's just plans getting increasingly complicated so that people lose track of what is really being asked of, for instance, an individual who lives some distance away. So you are invited to an event and then watch it snowballing into something really onerous for you.

In your shoes I would do everything except any dinner involving a $50 cab ride, and I'd explain the reason for that. The next time, I'd be much more wary of saying yes to the peripheral activities.
posted by BibiRose at 9:40 PM on June 13, 2012 [11 favorites]


The role that your friend and her GF have envisioned for you is to be the Helper For the Day. In GF's mind, that includes coming to ALL the events, including the dinner, to babysit the MIL; not leaving her alone with the MIL at all, even for the duration of rides; carrying a bunch of their crap; and not making conditions about where the dinner will be.

You did not envision this role when you agreed to come, sounds like. There's your conflict. It's not that their requests are unreasonable for a Helper. It's that you don't particularly want to go this far out of your way to Help your friend and her GF. (Which I completely sympathize with, since GF sounds like a pain in the ass.)

So if you still want to go and Help, bear in mind that this is what the Helping consists of. Once you reframe your understanding of your role, it becomes easier to envision saying either "hey GF, I understand that this day is getting stressful and complicated for you, so you do that dinner wherever you need to, but I'm going to need cabfare from you in advance so I know I can get home even if you're busy or out of cash at that moment" or "hey Friend, I love you and I'm proud of you, but I just remembered that I have an unchangeable oral surgery appointment for that afternoon and I can't cancel it and I'm so sorry and I'll celebrate with you another time."
posted by fingersandtoes at 9:51 PM on June 13, 2012 [18 favorites]


Forktine -- you're saying that I'm being impolite if I don't travel the way they want me to?

More that I think this its an all or nothing thing. Either you stay home and make an excuse, or go for broke and take a cab etc. they have made it clear how a partial participation isn't good for them. Personally I think either is ok, just not that a middle possibility will work.
posted by Forktine at 10:03 PM on June 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


It sounds like you've thought long and hard about this and the best option is for you to take your bike. So do that. Make biking in a non-negotiable for you. Lay out your boundaries. In as friendly of a way as possible of course. Likewise with the dinner - if eating outside of the centre is a problem, then make it clear you can't come to dinner if it isn't in the centre. I would suggest telling your friend in the nicest way you can think of, 'Hey, I'll meet you at the gallery (yes, bringing my bike - if she asks). I'm looking forward to your Call, but, thinking about it, I can only fit in dinner afterwards if we eat in the centre.' don't engage with them on debates about the logistics of how you'll get there and what you'll do after the call. Stick to the script: I'm biking in, I'm only coming to dinner if it's in the centre. There will probably be drama no matter what you do, but at least this way you can relax a bit in the knowledge that you're taking care of yourself and not letting yourself be pushed into something that clearly irritates you (and would irritate me too).
posted by brambory at 10:05 PM on June 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I can NOT understand why you won't get her to pay all of your cabs and be done with it! This was the easiest solution, and instead of hitting on it right away, you went to dramasville with them.

Because this obvious solution exists, and you ignored that in favor of drama over her big day... yeah, I think you are being rude and escalating unnecessarily.

She's already worried about the crazy mom + the event. You're forcing her to worry about your bike, too.

No bueno.
posted by jbenben at 10:09 PM on June 13, 2012 [11 favorites]


First, let me say that I thoroughly support your right to do whatever you want.

Then let me say that they might not be coming from a completely honest place about the bike.

I have one friend and one family member who insist on biking everywhere, no matter what the occasion. I find it terribly embarrassing. Sometimes, I find myself wishing they hadn't come. When they show up, they show up bathed in sweat, with helmethead. Then we need to worry about where to lock up their bikes. Then we have a lot of tough choices afterwards, because: is it somewhere they can get to on their bike? Have they been drinking? Are they going to be even more sweaty and messy?

I think probably some of these are running through either your friend or the girlfriend's head. With the amount of excuses being raised (some of them improbable), I'm betting it's just that: they don't want to be embarrassed. I've never tried such a variety of excuses for it, but I've definitely offered to pay for people's cab rides, just so that they didn't have to bring along That Damned Bike.

Another thing to consider is that they probably do really want you there, but may be worried about your impact on others, at this really formal ceremony - that is going to be important for their professional development and may involve networking. I love my friends with bikes - but I would never want them to show up sweaty and disheveled for a professional event where I was going to be meeting anyone.
posted by corb at 10:24 PM on June 13, 2012 [19 favorites]


Thanks, guys -- this has been helpful, although I'd not have posted it if I'd known that it would rank that high on a google search. This isn't good!

It's useful hearing from people who think I should suck it up and be a helper, rather than a guest. Provides some useful feedback to my own indignation.

One thing I must say, though: the bike is a woman's Dutch-style upright (complete with basket and bell) which I ride wearing dresses and skirts all the time, very sedately and most un-sweatily. It's less exertion than walking, and much less sweaty than transit. I'd not take it if I didn't know that I'd be presentable at the other end.
posted by jrochest at 10:28 PM on June 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you take the bike then how are they going to get their stuff where they need it to be? It sounds like they really need your help with this. I say take the cab if and only if they're going to be paying for it. And if you don't want to go to the dinner then that's fine, you're not obligated to go so tell them this, but do take the cab and help them carry the stuff.
posted by hazyjane at 10:43 PM on June 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


This is your friend's special day. Save the fight about who is being more unreasonable for a day that has less meaning to your friend, her partner, and her mom.
posted by MoonOrb at 10:53 PM on June 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


[slight edit to the post per OP request.]
posted by taz at 10:58 PM on June 13, 2012


Another question for you OP: did your friend and her girlfriend spring the carrying of things/helping with the mother on you before or after you agreed to go to the ceremony? I know you agreed to go and help mitigate tensions between girlfriend and mother, but was the carrying part of the plan then?
posted by Cattaby at 11:15 PM on June 13, 2012


I'm another for-- to me you sound a bit unreasonable. I can see how you don't want to be put out. But if it was me I would see this as an occasion in which I would be willing to be put out for the sake of my friend's special day.

You're under no obligation to do what they want, of course. And the stuff about carrying their stuff and kind of carrying the MIL... yeah, that's annoying. But the bit about the bike... and the bit where you want to use the bike as an excuse for not going out with them later. That seems like you are being unreasonable, or passive-agressive at least. That kind of justification is probably why they don't want you to bring the bike... so for you to act as though the bike is purely practical and logical and that you don't want to catch a cab for those reasons is a bit rich.

Just don't go out with them later if you really don't want to. Or tell them, when it comes to selecting a venue: this place will cost me an expensive cab ride home. And thus I cannot go.

In summary: don't go if you don't want to. But I don't think this is as much about controlling the details so much as it is about you not wanting to do a bunch of things that they want you to. So rather than classifying it all as another characteristic demonstration of all that is flawed in them/the partner, just say no to the bits you don't want to do, or not. And then own it. If you choose not to compromise for them-- recognise that this is what you are doing. I would be more flexible I think. You might not. But don't psychoanalyse it too much as a way of justifying your decision, cause you'll end up all resentful and won't get anywhere.
posted by jojobobo at 11:19 PM on June 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


It seems to me that because this is part of a pattern of drama with the girlfriend for you, the requests they have for you put you into defensive-mode much faster and more strongly than you would have otherwise.

So when they asked you not to ride your bike, it sounds like it made you want to ride your bike there even MORE, just on the principle of the thing because I want to ride my bike and there's nothing wrong with that, goshdarnit!

It all spiraled from there and got much more complicated than it needed to be. So step back, take a few breaths, and try not to approach the event from the defensive crouch you have gotten rigidly into.

You've agreed on a compromise where you bike to the gallery, take a cab with them to the ceremony. Because you are friends, I think if they have asked you to do something that is relatively easy for you to do (like help bring a few coats or bags), and if you say no, it will seem impolite. And because you are friends, I think you should be able to request that if they would like you to join them for dinner, the dinner should be in the downtown area, where it will be convenient for you to be able to get home.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 11:40 PM on June 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, there doesn't seem to be a clear right answer. If it were me, I might write something like this:

Dear Pal,

I'm so honored that you want me to be a part of this special day. It seems like managing the logistics are causing you a lot of stress, and I certainly don't want to add to that. I would love to help you and Girlfriend and her mom out as much as I can, but also need to be mindful of my own logistical challenges, such as how I'll get home in the evening from your neighborhood - which is why I'd suggested biking. Is there a way we can have dinner in a more central location, and then I wouldn't have to worry about that and could focus on you?

Best,
posted by judith at 11:44 PM on June 13, 2012


I would try to steer clear of any more emails in this situation. There is something about email that really facilitates the dramatics of drama lovers. I would also try to cut out the middleman, the GF, and just deal with your friend.

Just set your totally reasonable boundaries and put the reality to her in a matter-of-fact way, without anger, irritation, hostility, etc.

Just call her up and say, "Hey. I am looking forward to our event, but I am going to need to bike there. It's not possible for me to come to the gallery by public transit or cab unless you guys can split the cost of a cab with me, I can't afford it."

Do not give any reasons for why you can't come on public transit because that gives her the opening to argue with you. Just keep repeating, "it's just not possible for me." If she agrees to split the cost of a cab arrange to get the money that day.

Then bring up the restaurant thing. Tell her, "I'm happy to come to dinner with you, but because of the transportation situation I'll only be able to come if we go to a place that's downtown. I need to know the location by Saturday (or whenever) so that I can plan accordingly."

Just set your boundaries with a totally calm and relaxed manner, but in a firm way that's not open to debate. You don't at all need to explain yourself to them and argue over who is reasonable and who isn't. You get to decide what is reasonable. And if they don't agree then you won't be friends but it sounds like it's going in that direction anyway, right? I think your friend must be aware that her other friends are falling away one by one. Because of that I would be kind of surprised if she went all the way to "our friendship is over." I think if someone kind of stands up to how they're acting rather than just saying nothing and fading out, she might think twice.
posted by cairdeas at 11:59 PM on June 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think you are being reasonable, but also, why is your method of transportation coming up at all? Would you feel comfortable saying "yes, I'll take a cab, alone, to meet you at the gallery", then ride your bike (if so, I recommend chaining it midway between Roy Thompson and the AGO to minimise your own walk after the Call/dinner and avoid having them see you on the bike. I think the AGO still has a coat check so you won't have to carry things through the gallery. Of course take a cab together to the Call. (congrats to your friend BTW)

As to dinner, what about making it "your treat" and making reservations downtown at your choice of restaurant. If they decline and choose somewhere else (a fifty dollar cab ride away) decline as it is not convienient for you but please keep in mind they may decline downtown dining because THEY don't want a fifty dollar/30 min cab ride after they eat on their special day either.

I would also love to know where you live that is 15 mins away from the AGO on a bike but 45 mins on the TTC, I just can't figure where that would be.
posted by saucysault at 12:18 AM on June 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Not on preview - can you just call your friend, rather than emailing or texting, and have a conversation about your issues and come to a solution? Maybe one on one you can come to an agreement you both feel good about.
posted by latch24 at 12:41 AM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like raisingsand's script way up near the top of these responses, with one exception: I'd drop the part about "using my bicycle as transportation" --- merely leave it as "As discussed before, I plan to meet you at the gallery." Full stop, no mention of how you'll be getting there, because yeah, it IS a little bonkers to be demanding HOW you travel to meet up with them. Plus as you say, they may/may not be planning to have dinner somewhere: the bike's parking location may give you a graceful excuse to decline to join, and it sounds like you might be needing that after several hours of this pair!

As for the treating-you-like-a-packmule aspect: what the heck are they planning to haul?!? You mentioned 'coats and bags' --- excuse me, but the only way I'd carry somebody else's coats and bags is if that person is 1) under age 3, or 2) elderly and/or physically impaired. Merely 'inconvienent to carry my own stuff' doesn't compute, and if that's what's going on, they can leave their stuff at home.

All in all, I'd suggest going, but on your terms with the bike; if they try to dump all their stuff on you, refuse.
posted by easily confused at 3:31 AM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


this is a toughie. it sounds a little like a wedding-party situation, where it's somebody else's day and where your role is to participate a little, help out a little, and also be taken care of a little.

Except that it's not a wedding. I'd never drag my friends to my grad school graduation ceremonies like this, for example.

If someone invited me to something like this, I'd likely see it as more of something I'd attend, offer my congratulations for, then regard the dinner as strictly optional.

If it weren't for the "please be my valet for the event" and the pattern of drama that always exists with this person, I'd say suck it up, take a cab to the ceremony, get dinner downtown, and then cab home.

But it strikes me that the low-drama way out of this is to bike to the ceremony, buy your friend a bouquet of flowers or some other gift, then head home yourself afterwards.
posted by deanc at 5:16 AM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


the bit where you want to use the bike as an excuse for not going out with them later. That seems like you are being unreasonable, or passive-agressive at least. That kind of justification is probably why they don't want you to bring the bike...

Actually, if that's the case, that seems like a reason why everyone should be happy about the bike-- this way, the friend doesn't have to get openly "rejected" about the dinner afterwards, and the OP doesn't have to go out of her way to do something she doesn't want to do. If the bike really is being used as such an excuse, it's the friend who's failing to pick up the "signal" of what the bike represents.

I think the friend is viewing this event as My Special Day™, and the OP views it as more of one a special-occasion get-together.
posted by deanc at 5:27 AM on June 14, 2012


It seems to me that your friend is probably going to be hoping you are there to provide her with some relief from the stress of having to deal with the drama between her partner and her mother. You're being asked to be a valet and crutch certainly adds credence to this notion. But of course, the most important aspect of your attending, would be as a friend sharing in an important transition in her professional life. So, that's all understandable.

The thing is, everybody knows it's going to be a sucky, stressful, irritating day with tactical difficulties and personality clashes. Apparently, they've put you through similar things before. And also apparently, the friendship has stood these tests. This is clearly a strong friendship.

Ultimately, this mostly seems like it will be less of a fun get-together/celebration, and much more of a favor being asked of you. And because it is a favor, I do believe the asker has the obligation of meeting any unusual expenses of the person being asked. So, if she doesn't want you to ride your bike, she is obliged to pay for your transit by other means. I would even suggest that as you are being tasked as a mule, that you even be treated to dinner.

The thing is, all the stuff that is not fun about this upcoming event is stuff that in an ordinary friendship would involve a sense of obligation, of a debt being incurred. If you are not getting the sense that your friend is operating under the same belief, there may be a "impedance mismatch" in your understanding of this friendship. And this may be the root cause of discomfort.

You'll have to use your judgment, of course. It sounds like a tricky situation, and the simplest way of dealing with it would be to simply kowtow to their requests, then consider the friendship closed until your friend voluntarily repays the obligation by some appropriate means.

I wish it could be fun and simple and a happy time for you both!
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:17 AM on June 14, 2012


I'd imagine they realize you're so keen on biking because you want to use it as an excuse to avoid dinner with them, and that's why you're getting pushback from them. If you have concerns about the logistics of dinner, discuss those with them. Excuses often cause more drama and problems than honesty.
posted by J. Wilson at 6:28 AM on June 14, 2012


I don't think you're being unreasonable, exactly. How and when and where you travel (and take part in other people's events) are your business and nobody else's. These issues could turn on any number of Very Important Factors, including safety and personal finance! (Neither of which you should feel guilty about.)

But you ARE allowing this to get your goat, and that makes you just as much of a dramamonger in this situation. Sorry. If you want to de-escalate a dramatic situation, there's only one way to do that: state your boundaries with finality.

posted by jph at 8:36 AM on June 14, 2012


I don't think you're unreasonable. You said yes to being a guest and they later changed it to you being more of a helper. They should have made that clear at the outset. And I think Forktine has it right - this is an all or nothing situation. If you decide to go, your friend should pay all the cab fare or at a minimum the fare from dinner back home or to your bicycle.
posted by deborah at 6:53 PM on June 14, 2012


There is a big difference between "Would you like to go to Event with us?" and "Could you please help me make it through Event?"

Honestly, if you were invited as only a guest, then you are perfectly justified. Though, without knowing how they framed the invitation, it is a tough call to make. Did they ask you to help or did they just ask you if you wanted to join them?
posted by Shouraku at 10:25 PM on June 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


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