Wedding Woes

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Dear Prudence,

I have two close friends who are wonderful, and we’ve regularly hung out together over the years. During the pandemic (starting in March 2020), we settled into a routine on Friday nights where we’d call each other on Zoom, catch up over the week and socialize, and then settle into watching a TV show or movie together.

Their friendship and support has been a lifeline to me during the pandemic, because I live alone. But recently I’ve started chafing a bit at the Zoom meetings. Lately I’ve let them know that because I work from home in an IT job, the idea of being on Zoom in front of a camera at the end of a week of non-stop video meetings all day sounds like a draining proposition. It’s a LOT of on-camera time, but even if I beg off on Friday, the assumption is that next Friday I’m up for more TV time.

My solution to this has been to hint to them to get together in person for a Friday night dinner instead of screen time. But here is where I run into two more issues: The first is their long-standing assumption that I’m available Fridays for Zoom nights (I know, I know, this is a pattern I’ve encouraged over the past 1.5 years). I now sort of just want to veg out on a Friday or two by myself.

And the second issue is that if I suggest we go out to a (responsibly masked) dinner, my friends will show up high. They look forward to the end of a week because Friday nights for them is “party time” where they get to cut loose with wine and pot. But they’re so high that their attention spans shrink, and we’re not really having proper conversations anymore … I’m not jealous that they’re high while I’m sober! I’ve just realized I’m not having a great time either in person or on camera.

I guess I just want to get released from the standing Friday night watch party or being a sober third wheel, but I don’t have the words to say how. Help!

— Stuck with Friday Zooms

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  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Can’t you just do it once every month? Why every weekend? 

  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Use your words! There's nothing wrong with being honest about wanting a Friday night to veg out by yourself! 
  • “Sorry I’m out this Friday. I’ll see you in two weeks.”
  • “Hey I’m not up for weekly zooms anymore, just all zoomed out. Happy to do once a month! I also love getting together in person but it’s not fun for me when you’re so high you can’t carry on a conversation.”
  • ei34ei34 member
    Ninth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I had this exact conversation with a friend group (in late April 2020...props to LW for having more zoom stamina than me).  I began popping in once a month instead of once a week, if any of them had a problem with that they never told me, because we're all still friends.  I also have some experience being the "sober friend", I rarely drink and I have some friends who drink often...that's also a conversation.  Use your words LW.
  • VarunaTTVarunaTT member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited January 13
    I'm always a little weirded out by things like this.  These are presumably close friends, so you should be able to have a discussion with them.  "Hey this was an amazing thing we started, however, I'd like to change it up because of my situation.  Can we shift to once a month on Zoom?"  Then, if you do want to invite them out for dinner, just freaking invite them out for dinner, stop hinting.  There's nothing wrong with saying, "Please don't be high, I don't enjoy the conversation when you're high".  I enjoy my weed usage, but I'm intelligent about it.  If they're doing enough to be not be good company while out in public, they deserve the callout.

    ETA:  I might also mention that I don't mind if they keep up a weekly Zoom, but it's just too much for me.
  • I also don't see anything wrong with just being honest.  That the weekly Friday Zooms, while enjoyable, have become too much for them.  But they will definitely still be stopping by every few weeks.

    Aaannnddd, I hate to say it, but maybe these aren't the right friends for the LW anymore if they no longer enjoy these peoples' company.  Not necessarily ending the friendships, but backing off on in-person get togethers and cultivating new friendships.
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  • I have a little bit of a situation like that right now and I know most of it is my own fault, lol.  My neighbor who lives two doors down is also a good friend.  Our friendship especially blossomed during the pandemic because she works out of town a lot, but was home more.  We were both vaccinated early last year, but still felt a little sketch about being out on the town.  So our regular get together was me going over to her house and drinking wine.  A lot of it.

    She's been traveling again, but was back in town for about two weeks over the holidays.  I've curtailed the drinking, at least on my end, but I still end up staying up with her way too late.  I did that on Christmas.  I had totally planned on contacting her over NYE weekend for another hangout.  But, even though I enjoy seeing her, I knew it would be another night like that and just didn't feel like it on any of those 4 days.  And felt like a jerk I didn't initiate anything, because she's the one who usually initiates and that's not really fair for her.

    She's a great conversationalist and our evenings start out awesome.  But, as she gets progressively drunk, she starts making less sense and will also start to get fixated and repetitive on 1-2 topics.

    She comes back at the end of January and is planning to take about a 4-month hiatus from work.  I'm going to nudge we go out on a weeknight here and there because, on the few occasions we have gone out somewhere, neither of us drink as much because one of us is the sober driver and it's a shorter night.
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