(Letter entirely rewritten for the sake of prudence.)
Dear Auntie Seraphic,
A girl I have always considered my best friend has gotten engaged. Sadly, I found out only because she sent a mass text to all her friends, including me, and then put the news on Facebook.
It is true we haven't been as close for a year or so, but we have always been like sisters. I am so hurt that she told me her news in such an impersonal way. I'm devastated.
This is not at all about jealousy over her being engaged. I'm reconciled, if not happy, about the fact that there is no man in my life. And I haven't even met her fiance.
How can I tell her, in a Christ-like fashion, how much she has hurt me? Of course I don't want to jeopardize the friendship, but I really am so disappointed and feel so rejected.
Wedding Bell Hell
Dear Wedding Bell Hell,
I write this hoping that you have not done anything yet. St. Ignatius of Loyola wrote that we should never make an important decision when we are in a state of desolation, and you sound rather desolate to me!
It sounds like your friend was so excited about being engaged that she wants to tell the whole wide world at once. I hope she remembered that she and her fiance were supposed to tell their own parents first, before they texted, tweeted and facebooked the universe. I am sure her electronic methods were not a slight on you but merely a symptom of her being engaged going straight to her head.
She has now entered one of the most stressful and emotional periods of a woman's life: planning a wedding is absolutely fraught with hurt feelings, parental tantrums, pushy salesladies, sulky friends, helpless grooms and hysterical brides.
People will second-guess what she wants over and over again. The last thing she needs is a showdown with good friends over how she chose to share her happy news. If you send her any kind of reproach right now, yes, you will definitely jeopardize the friendship.
Her text does not trouble me as much as the fact that you have not met her fiance. It seems odd that such a close friend would not have met him before things got really serious. (Perhaps you two live far apart now?) I suggest that you send her a text or email back saying "I am so happy for you! I'm dying to meet the lucky man! When can we all meet up?"
As for jealousy, there is nothing like a friend getting engaged to make the other Single girls go into a short tizzy.
First of all, when a friend gets engaged, things are now different and always shall be. Her fiance is now her best friend, and that's the way it has to be. Second, as happy as we are for our friends, if we are Single, the thought lurks in the back of our minds, "What about ME?!" This thought makes us feel guilty and selfish, but as long as we don't say it to the bride, it shouldn't. It is perfectly normal, but unless we* acknowledge it to ourselves, we don't understand why we feel so crazy.
My advice is to sort out for yourself (in private) everything you feel hurt about, let go your unhappy feelings about how she chose to tell her news, and to signal that you want to continue the friendship by sending her best wishes and your hopes to meet her husband-to-be.
I don't think Christ ever did tell people how much they hurt Him, so I can't imagine how anyone would do that in a Christ-like way. I am very sure that He would like His fellow Singles to be protective of and kind to brides, though, as the first miracle He ever performed was at a wedding, and He did it so that that the wedding party would not be embarrassed before their guests.
I hope this is helpful.
Grace and peace,
*I say "we" because I experience something similar when I hear the news that a friend is expecting a baby.
It is such a fun conversation, the revelation that a friend is getting married, that I cherish very much the memory of one girl telling me in person. I have only one such memory, and I simply don't remember how I went about telling my own friends I was getting married. It couldn't have been by text because I didn't own a mobile phone at the time. I bet it was mostly over the phone--and Facebook.
Update: I stopped playing these meme games long ago, but here's a link to a Single's blog.