Confused about a friendship gone wrong. – Family & People

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[F] Today is Christmas… and all I can do is sit in wonder—feeling sorry for myself because I have unanswered questions. A couple of weeks back my husband and I invited a lot of our friends to Christmas Eve dinner at our house. Two of these friends are neighbors (Jenny and Ammie) Ammie is a very close friend and her husband and my husband have been best of friends for about 20 years now. I met another set of [now] very close family friends through Ammie. They moved here from Florida about two years ago and our families really hit it off.

Four days ago I get a call from Jenny whom had this bright idea that all of us (the friends from Florida, Ammie, Jenny) and all the rest of the circle not even mentioned to contribute to a very last minute $300 gift to Ammie for ALL that Ammie has done for Jenny and her family and supposedly all of us too. Originally I was like, “sure but I really dont have the money because we are already very tight this Christmas.” and so I helped Jenny by mailing out emails to all the rest of Ammie’s family and friends. Well I received two replies that they would contribute, and then I received a call from our friend from Florida whom has known Ammie since they were in high school. She analyzed the situation and came up with points I didn’t consider to think about before agreeing to Jenny’s idea. Our Florida friend is very big hearted, but also very quick whited and sometimes abrasive. She said that Jenny was absolutely insane to think that people are going to be able to contribute to something so last minute at such a huge price and single out one person for Christmas—especially after we had already agreed not to purchase presents for the adults in our circle but only for our broad of children. Although slightly abrasive in the way she went about it—she had a LOT of good points and it made sense to me. I had responded to Jenny without giving it any though—just going with the flow. Well Florida came over on the same night that Jenny asked me to do that and Florida was here that same night that Jenny called me again to tell me what she had in mind and I felt really cornered and I don’t do well under pressure. Im the physically strong but socially weak person in our group of friends because I am not able to stand up for myself or think about important points during a conversation. I was on the phone with Jenny and as she put it I clammed up. Which I admittedly did because I felt really bad that I was going to back out of Jenny’s idea and Brook was right there and I didn’t want to feel like I was going to get pulled into a talking session because I hate that!

Anyhow Jenny asked me who the “rat” was because Florida had called Ammie’s husband and he told her not to do it because he agreed with Florida that it’s last minute, we already had allocated our money for the holiday. And when Jenny asked Ammie’s husband who told him about it—he said it was both me and Florida. Well that isn’t true! Because I didn’t tell him about it or talk to him about it until I was already aware that he had been spoken to by Florida. So me… being a coward when it comes to confrontational situations (feeling very torn and in the middle) ignored one of Jenny’s phone calls to confront me about what had gone down. I ended up talking to Ammie’s husband after he spoke with Jenny—specifically telling her NOT to do it.

I sent her an email that apologized for my shortcomings and for not taking her call or being 100% upfront with her when Brook(Florida) was sitting right next to me. I told her I felt pressure from both sides and really stuck in the middle.

This is my response from Jenny:

It’s unfortunately that trying to do something nice for someone that does a lot for all of us. It’s very unfortunate something truly from the heart was done so wrong, I understand your situation but for Brook getting in the mix is very unfortunate. So now I have a very hard choice to make! Do I do what’s in my heart regardless of if anyone else wants to contribute or do I let Brook and you decide what path I should take. It seems that I’m getting the bad end of this, when it truly was from the heart. The only reason I asked you is because I totally trust you and your opinion, but unfortunately you could not be honest enough to tell me what you though. We though that we weren’t going to tell Don, but of course we know how that turned out. I truly though we had a nice friendship. But if you couldn’t tell me the truth then maybe we don’t have a friendship that I though we had. I am very sadden by the whole thing. Besides you couldn’t pick up the phone and speak to me about it. That hurts! And if you didn’t agreed with it why did you help me with the spelling and then forward it to everyone (I assume at that point, you were OK with it! )
Boy was I wrong, and last night on the phone you clammed up, was it because it was me or was because Brook was there?? It was probably me, now that I think of it.

For now my Family and I will not be attending any more functions with your or Brooks family. I am very sorry. I will miss you dearly!!
I guess the moral of the story is don’t try to anything nice for someone that truly deserves it and don’t assume that you have a strong friendship when that’s not the case…

Jenny and Lou

p.s. I always though you were Ammie best friend, maybe I was wrong on that as well.

AFTER this email I sent her another one which is this one:

You got me all wrong Jenny. As far as Ammie goes…she most certainly does do a lot for me— but I have also done just as much for her in return. And I never take advantage of her or her friendship. I am one of Ammie’s close friends—but Kim and Brook are her best friends. And yes I did clam up on the phone with you last night because Brook was here—sitting right next to me.

I lost friends over my birthday and now I guess I loose a friend for Christmas. Thanks a lot for that… I didn’t think you needed to take it that far. I told you I don’t do well with confrontation and pressure and I thought you would be more understanding of that—but I guess you aren’t who I thought either. Ammie does do a whole lot for you and if you feel you want to go out and purchase a $200 gift then that is up to you.

When you first submitted the idea I did go along with it, but then Brook talked to me and I felt stuck in the middle because I understood both sides. This is absolutely ridiculous. I can’t believe you would end a friendship over something so petty. I’m not as strong of a person as you may have thought I was. I’m sorry I admittedly am a coward when it comes to things like this. I guess my friendship really wasn’t that valued and I guess you don’t care about the consequences of your decision about ending this friendship will have on our kids and Don and Ammie. I really wish you would reconsider. I really care for you and Lou and your family and I just wish you would be more understanding of my position.

I’m sorry for hurting you—but you got be back ten fold.

T

OKAY so then I get this one:

I’m sorry!! I don’t know how to fix this and if you want to call me and talk about that’s fine and if not that’s OK too. I understand!!
Jen

SO after this I called Jenny and we discussed things and she said she was very sorry and I thought everything was Aokay and the next morning she called and said she and her parents and her husband and kids would still be attending our Christmas Eve dinner despite her feelings toward Florida. But she did say that she and her husband were still going to buy that gift for Ammie regardless. So she calls me later on and says do you want me to put your name on the card and I said I need to discuss it with my husband and she said okay. So later on that night she calls and asks me if I am going to contribute to the gift and if I want my name on the card and I said no. My husband and I decided to stick to our already allocated amount of money for the holidays and decided not to contribute. Still—I though everything was okay since she said she would accept my answer regardless of what it was.

Well last night was Christmas Eve dinner and dinner time was set for 4pm. At 6:30pm my husband was holding dinner for them and I finally called to see if they were going to make it. She was very short with me and said that she and her husband decided to “Distance themselves from the situation” and hung up. Ammie had already receive the gift and Jenny will not speak to me or answer my emails. She didn’t even have enough respect for my husband at the very least to call and tell us they weren’t going to come.

Her 17 year old son called me to wish me a Merry Christmas this morning.

Am I in the wrong? I apologized for my wrongdoings and take complete accountability for not being completely upfront with Jenny about what Brook had said and why. I thought everything was okay because Jenny said it was. But it isn’t and I’m being completely ignored. What should I say because it will kill me not to speak my mind. I just don’t want to say something I may end up regretting.

Thank you SO much for taking the time to read this! I really appreciate it!

Answer

I say let her cool down and make the first move to make up with you. If she ends up going to the same functions as you don’t treat her rudely or ignorant. She is not thinking rationally right now. All she sees is her plans fell apart and wants somebody to blame.
Talk to Ammie and be friends with her, if that hasn’t fallen apart too. But don’t talk about her or the situation to Ammie or say anything in a negative way. IF Ammie asks tell her your side as simply as possible. That SHE asked you and you agreed. Then Brook and Florida brought up what they saw as problems and you relayed the message to her and she took it wrong and you ended up in the middle.
The more you try and smooth things over the more your words will get twisted and held against you.

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