I am not someone who trusts very easily, and I tend to react badly (whether I show it openly or not) when I feel disrespected. Most people who know me at all should be aware of that already, but as this blog will go out into the ether to many who do not know me so well, I thought it necessary to warn you at the outset because today I am going to talk about a major pet peeve of mine: people who are supposed to be close to me not telling me when they are getting married.
You would think this would be a rare occurrence, but it is remarkably common, in fact. I’m not a hard person to get in touch with if you really want to do so. I answer my e-mail regularly. I camp out on the computer for hours a day. I answer blog comments, e-mails, Facebook messages, and Linked In messages fairly rapidly. If you want to talk with me, I am not hard to reach. This should not be necessary to say, but it is, because apparently a lot of people I know pretty well don’t think of me rapidly when it comes to informing others of useful and important matters, like getting married. And that makes me upset.
I was forcibly reminded of this particular hot button of mine while playing one of my favorite games this morning and hearing someone I know very well there had gotten married in game from strangers in one of the chatrooms after I had already asked her what she had been up to that day. According to her, it had slipped her mind and she had already posted it on some RP forums and so she had simply forgotten to say it. As reasonable as an explanation as that is, it is also reasonable that someone as prickly as I am would take offense to such an oversight as well. I mean, this sort of failure to inform led to the cessation of any communication in noble families in the early 19th century (read Jane Austen’s Persuasion about the case of the Vicountess Dalrymple for a specific example).
Of course, there are some very specific reasons why I tend to be so prickly about this. For most of my life people haven’t invited me to their weddings unless they expected me to do something in them. I’m a fairly service-minded person, but it really bothers me when people only think of me because they want me to do something for them, and not in the ordinary “we’re having a party, and we thought you’d be a fun person to have around to share our joy with” way. Thankfully, that has not exclusively been the case, but it has been the case the vast majority of the time.
Part of the reason why I seem not to be informed often is that eloping seems to be remarkably common among my friends and family, as well as extreme secrecy bordering on paranoia. After all, I have to get my mistrust from somewhere. My former best friend, whom I was close friends with for more than fifteen years, didn’t even tell me about his wedding plans (or his then-wife’s pregnancy) until the day that his son was born. Nothing says close friendship like that sort of gesture. Even my mother remarried without telling me. I was 14 and was flying to spend the last part of my summer vacation at my father’s family farm in Pennsylvania the day my mother re-married, and yet I didn’t know until a few days later. That’s real family trust and communication for you right there.
At least with Facebook I get to congratulate my friends and acquaintances on their relationships and engagements and weddings, even if I can’t go to their weddings. Truth be told, I like congratulating other people on success. I may not be a particularly festive person myself, but I am not a roving killjoy who is bothered by the happiness of others. Far from it. I love seeing the happiness of first love, enjoying the company of fellow well-wishers, and enjoying good food and excellent dancing music afterward. These things should be fairly obvious, and the fact that people who are my friends and family don’t know or recognize or remember these parts of my personality, or think me that fun to be around, is very personally insulting, and I take great offense to it.
I am aware that no direct insult may be meant by such a snub, but when it ceases to be one or two people but a regular default pattern of behavior by almost everyone everywhere I go, there is a deeper problem involved. Some of that reflects on me and the fact that I apparently don’t do a good enough job at showing myself to be fun . I don’t know what to do about that. The sort of fun I have is the pleasures of nerdy conversations spent over good food with good friends, slow dancing with attractive young ladies, a love of roller coasters, concerts, sporting events, movies, fine literature, plays, and exotic travel, cuddly and gentle affection. I’m not someone who drinks so I’m good as a designated driver. I don’t see what’s not fun about those things, which are easy to know about me. So why don’t people fill me in on the fun they’re having and would like to share with me? What’s so hard about that? It’s not that complicated, people.