Break up with all these people because you're a monster.
I have a very tight circle of friends. In the half-decade since we graduated, the seven of us have gotten together frequently but never all at once. One of us is the first to get married this summer, and it’s our first opportunity to all be in the same room. The idea that we wouldn’t finally be together for this wedding was at one point inconceivable. Unfortunately, our friend Carla, who works as an actor, was very recently offered a role in a show that goes up the day of the wedding. She accepted. Although the official save-the-date came out earlier this year, the bride, Keri, specifically asked the rest of us early last year to help her pick a date where we would all be available. This is going to be a small, unconventional wedding, but we were among the very few people to be invited, and Carla’s absence will be massively felt. My understanding is that Carla and Keri talked and that Keri is disappointed but not as upset as the rest of us anticipated.
By contrast, I find myself furious. I don’t envy Carla for having to have made the decision, but ultimately the one she made was hurtful. The role is a nice opportunity, but the show only runs four times before it closes. Meanwhile the rest of our collective friendship, for the rest of our lives, will always be tinged with the knowledge that Carla made this choice. She will be absent from photos and memories; stories told in her presence will reside in the shadow of “Well, you weren’t there, but … ” I feel betrayed not only on behalf of the bride but for all of us as a unit. There is the distinct sense that if she’s comfortable skipping this wedding, she’s liable to skip any party or trip we ever plan again.
I am afraid to talk to her about how I’m feeling. We live in the same place, and I don’t want to drive a wedge between us. From comments she made when she first was contacted by the show’s director (“I would NEVER begrudge Keri if she missed MY wedding for the sake of her career!”), I expect she would become self-righteous and defensive. I’m afraid if I bite my tongue for too long it might all come to a head later, during pre-wedding festivities. I also think that she just needs to know that I and at least one other of our friends are deeply upset by her decision. I don’t want to escalate the situation, especially since I seem to be angrier than Keri is. Is my anger still justified, knowing the bride’s stance? How can I talk to her earnestly—or should I at all?
—The Angriest Guest