Being "invited" to a wedding reception

I have a friend (Gertrude) who used to be my co-worker until she left claiming she had medical problems after Memorial Day. Then, she never came back…she claimed that the cost of daycare for her kids suddenly went up $200 per month and that she lost her driver’s license (wouldn’t mention how.) A few weeks ago, my supervisor told me that she no longer worked for our company and asked me to clean out her desk. I don’t know if she actually quit or if she was fired, but I suspect the latter.

Anyway, Gertrude was planning to get married August 16. While she was employed at our company, she mentioned that she was going to invite our gang of coworkers to the wedding reception and her bachelorette party. After she left, I would sometimes text her or send her Myspace messages to see how she was doing. In one of the Myspace messages, she mentioned that she still wanted to invite her former co-workers if I thought they would come. I told her that I thought most people would come, and that I personally could not make the bachelorette party (she planned for Aug 2) because of a prior commitment, but I would really like to come to the reception if I was invited. She said that she would meet up with a certain co-worker (Shelly) and give her the invitations.

Well, Shelly says she tried to meet up with Gertrude, but Gertrude didn’t show up. Now, she’s tried to text Gertrude and gotten no response at all. I sent Gertrude a Myspace message and said, in as lighthearted a tone as I could, that if I was actually invited to the reception, I would need an invitation so that I would know where to go, etc. I offered to send her my snail-mail address or suggested that she could mail it to work. No response at all. She also has not picked up her box of stuff from the front desk. I don’t know exactly where she lives. Our supervisor asked Shelly to take it to her and Shelly said no–she’s mad because she’s feeling jerked around and thinks Gertrude has plenty of opportunity to pick up the box herself.

Now before I get a bunch of replies that say, “Well, something bad might have happened!”–I doubt it. Her Myspace page now says, “Thanks for the great bachelorette party, girls!” Well, this must be to her other friends, since no one from work went–they weren’t invited!

I wouldn’t be so hurt if she hadn’t mentioned that she still wanted to invite us in that message. I was really looking forward to it, and now I feel like I’ve been left hanging. Even if she replied and said, “Well, we didn’t have enough room” or something like that…kind of rude, but at least I would know.


Your expectations of Gertrude are totally out of line with her previous actions.

When people show you who they really are, your job is to see!

Gertrude has shown you who she really is several times over, according to your story.

Shelley gets it, take a hint from her.

Yeah, she’s a flake. Write her off.

Tamex, I feel ya. When socializing-at-work threads come up, there’s always a strong contingency who chime in and say that they’re at work to earn a paycheck and nothing more, and have no desire to become friends with their coworkers. I always kind of shake my head, as I have found the office to be a great place to make friends.

That said, though, these early responses are spot on. Through no fault of your own, your friendship with Gert was not as strong as you thought and didn’t survive without the structure of the workplace to hold it up. It’s cool that you tried to keep it going after she left, but she didn’t hold up her end. You’re better off without her. Two-way street and all that. Your energies going forward will be better invested in your other friendships.

Giving her the benefit of the doubt for a minute, while she may have had good intentions, each invitation to the reception quite likely costs her a “per plate” fee for the meal. So if she invited an additional 20 guests, it could be anywhere from $200-$400, depending on the reception. I would guess that she’s not able/willing to spend that amount on former co-workers, especially since she’d likely feel obligated to invite not just a few, but the whole “gang” in order to avoid hurt feelings.

Another thought, which is frankly more likely, is that she’s told several different stories as to why she left the job and doesn’t want the chance for anyone to be comparing notes and doesn’t want to face the potential questions of the former co-workers, especially in front of her non-work friends.

Either way, quite often, work friends are just that. Friends at work because you’re in the same place every day and you end up sharing things about your life. Once that daily interaction stops, then the friendships quickly fade.

Er, where on earth can you get catering for $10-$20/head? In any major metro, $50/head is on the bargain side for sit-down dinner. In NYC, which is one of the most expensive locations for weddins, so I’d say it’s the highwater mark, it is hard to impossible to find traditional full service catering under $100/head for dinner. (there are of course ways to spend far less, but they don’t involve traditional caterers and a sit-down dinner). So 20 additional friends would likely be in the $1,000 - $2,000 range in that scenario. Ok, maybe Minnesota is way cheaper, but I would still expect dinner serice to be $30-40/head (the price of a nice dinner, no?) and that’s snuggling up to a grand to see some friends you’re only kinda friends with.

Another possibility, she may have thought there would be room, and then all of a sudden some horde of cousins from Fiji she was just sure would decline called and said they were coming. Weddings are strange, and bring out the strange in people.

Jazz Hands

(aw come on, I said I was going to try to get it to catch on…)

Anyway - yes, don’t be surprised by Gertrude’s actions. She’s a flake and either doesn’t care enough to get you guys an invitation or really doesn’t want you guys there because she is embarrassed about how she acted at work or doesn’t like you and whichever way, don’t bother with a wedding gift or putting yourself out for a reception.

She sounds like a scatter brain who doesn’t have her act together and just makes up stuff along the way with excuses and invites and everything not carring who has to deal with the crap in her wake.
Look at how she left her job. I had medical problems, no wait my daycare expenses just went up, no wait I lost my license. Probably just abandoned her job leaving them no option but to terminate her.
It’s probably better you not even make plans to go since it may lead to disappointment when the wedding is last minute canceled for some new excuse.

I’m not getting this at all. You say she’s a friend, yet you don’t know where she lives, don’t know why she left her job, and after she left you kept in touch with her, not with phone calls, but with texting and MySpace. See, this doesn’t come anywhere close to my definition of friend.

She’s not a friend, she’s an acquaintance who you used to hang out with at work. And, as others have said, apparently a flake too. Not worth bothering over. No offense, but you’ll be a lot happier if you are much more picky about who you consider a “friend”.

The ball’s in Gertrude’s court (emphasis on the RUDE at this point), and she doesn’t seem to be very interested in continuing these friendships. I wouldn’t worry too much about it; nobody needs flakes as friends, do they?

Yeah, I’m not sure what I expected, to tell you the truth. I actually didn’t really expect to be invited once she was no longer my coworker, but then she was the one who brought it up, only to totally flake out. Oh, well, I’m done. Life goes on and all that.