Ahoy there Captain!
So, there’s this super awkward couple that my gentleman and I are both acquainted with through a Meetup group I used to run. We used to be closer, but we’ve started distancing ourselves, because the closer we got, the more we saw that we didn’t really care to be around. For example, the she-half of the couple (Greta?) is extraordinarily passive aggressive… Greta’s catchphrase when addressing the he-half (Irving?) is, “IRVING!!! CAN YOU WASH THE DISHES *PLEEEEASE*????” Of course, in the snottiest tone she can muster. Irving, of course, is no prize himself… he’s a secret asshole, presenting as super-chill and totally laid back but having a sneaky side to him that is hella lazy and dismissive of anyone who may hold a different opinion.
So we moved them from Always Friends to Sometimes Friends, and made our excuses so that my gentleman could stop running a tabletop game that included them as participants (Greta had a bit of a habit of actively pouting (at age 30!) whenever things in the game didn’t go the way she wanted for her character, and Irving would always make excuses about ending the game early whenever she’d get in a funk, which started happening with exponential frequency). Following the end of the game, Greta blew up at me directly when I announced my exit from the Meetup group, demanding ownership and making a huge production about why we didn’t talk anymore. I snapped back at her that I didn’t appreciate her making something that was painful for me (the possible dissolution of my Meetup group) into a referendum on our friendship, and if she wanted to talk to me about the fact that we weren’t very close anymore, she could have chosen literally any other time.
We haven’t spoken much since then, and Greta hasn’t brought up our last real conversation at all. We’ve seen one another at other events and while everyone’s been polite, we haven’t had much contact. They recently sent us a Save The Date for their wedding, but when it came time for the bridal shower invites, I was snubbed (I had another event that day anyway, and I actively dislike bridal showers in general, so that was no hair off my backside). Now our mutual friends have received their wedding invites, and my gentleman and I have not.
On the one hand, my gentleman and I are not that into weddings. On the other hand, I think it’s rude as hell to send out a Save The Date and not follow up with an invitation. Part of me wants to contact Greta and Irving and let them know that they’re continuing to behave unacceptably, and if they miss us as much as they’ve made reference to towards our mutual friends, this is not the way to mend fences. Part of me is glad I don’t have to buy them a Himalayan Pink Salt Block and Shaver for their wedding. Part of me, though, knows that the mail is not the most reliable vehicle for sending messages and maybe it got lost, and I don’t want to be half of that Awful Couple that didn’t even RSVP to a wedding invite (and thus lose the Moral High Ground).
My question is thus… we’ve been plopped into an Awkward Spot by having to pick a discreet follow-up versus a discreet Total Fadeout. How to best mitigate it? Which to pick?
Your humble servant,
I have a recommendation for you. Instead of contacting “Greta” & “Irving” to find out where your wedding invitation went (or worse, berate them about not inviting you), howabout you mentally unsave their wedding date? They can get married surrounded by people who love and like them, and you can be somewhere that is else, doing something that you actually want to be doing with your time, with people you actually like.
If there was a postal error, and if they are nailing down the guest list and they mention that they haven’t heard an RSVP from you, you can say “Sorry, we never actually got an invitation in the mail so we figured you made other plans. We won’t be able to attend. Congratulations, though!” No expensive gift, no recriminations, no etiquette lessons, just, “No, can’t make it! But we hope it goes swell” and get out of the conversation as quickly and as gracefully as you can. Look at it this way: If you were pulling back from close ties with them and they didn’t invite you to their wedding, that’s actually what success!!! looks like since the relationship, such as it is, has readjusted to being mutually “meh.” I realize that there are some weird feelings swirling on both sides about belonging and inclusion. The awkwardness will fade with some more time and distance. In the meantime, you can’t “slow fade” on someone and then drag them for fading right back.