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Forget Paris?

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  June 5, 2009 07:28 AM

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Yesterday was fantastic. You were smart. You were funny. You gave great advice. You didn’t get me fired. Well done. You all deserve grilled cheese sandwiches.

Today we have a euphemism-free Love Letter about platonic love and Paris. Help decide whether this reader should break up with her friends.

Q: This is a question about female friendship. My two best friends and I have been close for around 7 years. We have been through thick and thin, through breakups and new relationships with guys, through good and bad, we have always supported one another. When I finally graduated from nursing school, they offered to take me to Paris for a week to celebrate, but money never quite panned out so we did not do that, and had a small party instead. That was around two years ago. Now one of them is going with the other, because a friend has a free place to house two people for one week at no cost.

I am very upset because they did not tell me that they were going to France until this week, a few days before they leave, though they planned it a month ago when the apartment opened up. I am so hurt and feel rejected; I angrily told them both off in very unkind words. Both of my friends think I am overreacting and cannot understand why I am so hurt, since the place only houses two. But I said I gladly would have paid for a ticket and stayed nearby on my own, had they only invited me. I am thinking of calling it quits with both friends, as I feel so deeply rejected. At the same time, these are my two closest friends, and I hate to lose them over this.

What do you think? Am I overreacting?

-- Hurting, Boston

A: Hurting, I understand why you’re having a tough time with this, but it’s important to understand that all friendships change. They grow and shrink depending on the needs of the moment, and sometimes “best friendship” is more about history than frequency of social visits or trips to Paris.

My gut tells me that these women care about you -- but it's clear that they planned this trip as a pair. Perhaps you don’t see them as often as you used to. Perhaps they are in romantic relationships and you’re not, or you are and they’re not, or they have kids and you don’t, or they travel better as a twosome than they do with you. I don’t know the details, but for whatever reason, something has changed. They chose to break up your friend triangle for this vacation.

I think it’s worth telling them (calmly, please) that you’re concerned that you’ve done something to push them away. If you’ve been depressed or difficult to be around, you’d want to be accountable for that, right? The fact that you told them off -- in “unkind words” -- makes me wonder if you’ve changed your demeanor over the years. Listen to what they have to say. If they continue to tell you that you’re overreacting, all you can do is believe them.

It stinks to be left out, but it’s not the end of the world. It certainly doesn’t mean you have to drop these women from your life. Good friends – even the ones who don’t invite you to Paris – are hard to come by. As long as they’re still taking your calls, listening to your problems, and asking for your support and love, they’re still your friends.

Readers? Am I right? Should Hurting forgive and forget Paris? Or should she drop these pals from her life? Share your thoughts here. Read yesterday's lactose-packed letter here. Submit a letter to the right.

-- Meredith

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126 comments so far...
  1. Her friends weren't honest and upfront with her, which means something has changed about the relationship. Since they had once offered to take her to Paris for a week, but never did and now hid this trip from her, I would say that the hurt was intentional. I think it is time to find some additional friends. Not drop them, but understand that they obviously have started to feel like three is a crowd. Because unless you are in your 70's, 3 can always cram into a place for 2, so I think their explanation is bogus. Don't be hurt. Start making new friends.

    Posted by JB June 5, 09 07:54 AM
  1. Not all triangles are equilateral...in fact, when they occur between 3 friends, there are always 2 longer sides and a shorter third...it's human nature! I would not ditch the friends...good friends are not a dime-a-dozen. However, it is important to recognize that perhaps the relationship between the other two has changed, as all relationships do, and now they are closer than they were before. It's doubtful they did this in a calculating way to hurt you, it was just the natural progression of their friendship. However, that doesn't mean this isn't hurtful. Be their friends, but be your own friend, too. Expand your horizons. Cultivate other friendships. Grow and branch out to new people and opportunities. France will be there for you with someone who wants to go with you and that’s more fun anyhow!

    And as for yesterdays posts... brilliant! I laughed so much! :-)

    Posted by vesuvia June 5, 09 07:56 AM
  1. This is one of the big (and bad) differences between men and women. Why would you EVER stop being friends with these two women over something as petty as this? Yes, tell them you are hurt and discuss why. Get angry at them. But calling it quits? Over a simple vacation??? You say these are your BEST friends, well then that should say it right there - you need them. Best friends are a wonderful thing in life, and it gets harder and harder to make new ones as you age so keeping the ones you have should be a great priority. Women in general seem far too casual about eliminating friends for silly things. Sure, if they slept with your husband or murdered a loved one, by all means kick them to the curb. If they take a vacation and don't invite you that's hardly grounds for expulsion. You will lose out just as much as them if you do so. I've had some of the same best friends since high school (male, now 29) and I hope to never lose them. I only hope you smarten up and think the same way.

    Posted by icpshootyz June 5, 09 08:02 AM
  1. You would have just been the third wheel on their romantic trip.

    I don't approve of this "love letter". It got misrouted and belongs in the etiquette blog.

    Posted by X June 5, 09 08:04 AM
  1. Meredith is right. Read her comments again. Apologize for flipping out. Tell them you felt hurt. Forgive and move on.

    Hopefully yesterdays post ‘Headless’ took our advice and had a wonderful grilled cheese sandwich for breakfast. Then only to discover its Friday and ‘free donut’ day at Dunkin Donuts. What a day to be alive! Live the dream my friend.

    Posted by yep June 5, 09 08:18 AM
  1. Ah, I dunno, Meredith. Your comment that friendships "grow and shrink depending on the needs of the moment" sounds like a big rationalization for any behavior. Sure they care about her—when it's convenient for them. It is said if a person finds one true friend in life, he or she is lucky. Point being, true friendships are rare indeed, and not to be confused with acquaintances which are cheap and abundant.

    "Hurting" is right to be cheesed by the behavior of these selfish bitches and their flimsy excuses. Our society has an epidemic of this me-first mentality and disregard for others. Dump them! Off with their heads!

    Posted by 998Suzuki June 5, 09 08:22 AM
  1. Meredith's reply is spot on, except for "If you’ve been depressed or difficult to be around, you’d want to be accountable for that, right?"

    As phrased, this suggests the writer needs to make amends if she suffers from depression, but depression is a disease. Such comments further stigmatize people with mental illness, and make it sound as if they are able to stop being depressed at will, which they cannot. I assume this was just a poor choice of words.

    Certainly friends should be held accountable for being difficult. But no one is at fault for being ill.

    Posted by e.c. June 5, 09 08:26 AM

  1. Sorry hun but you totally overreacted. It sucks to be left out especially out of a vacation, but a vacation is just temporary and friends are forever. You should apologize to them for freaking out and wish them well on their trip. There will be more vacations in life. Maybe you can plan the next trip for all three of you.

    I recently planned a trip and I had to tell some friends they couldn't go because there was not enough room in the house and it was awkward and not an easy thing to do because I couldnt be as nice I would have wished. So just try and see the situation from their perspective and maybe it will give you some clarity.

    Also I would look inward and look at your sensitivity issues. You are perhaps not a good person to travel with for such reasons. Some of my best friends are the worst travel buddies. Maybe you cry too much or are too intense on vacation when others are trying to relax.

    Posted by trueluv4eva June 5, 09 08:31 AM
  1. I'd be really hurt. I don't know if I could get over something like that. I went thru something similar with an old friend of mine. We never had cross words about it, but it was an eye opener for me. There's really no going back from this. And why would you want to?

    My advice is to keep them as "old" friends but you need to find some new friends. Put some space between you and these two. They've already done that to you.

    Sorry! It sucks.

    Posted by Lisa June 5, 09 08:32 AM
  1. Why is this in Love Letters? Isn't this more appropriate for a "Dear Abby" type of column? Anyhow this letter just proves that amongst many women they are all really only "Frenemies", and that they are all either catty or overly dramatic (depending which side of the argument they are on) and are just one heartbeat away from going nuclear; my wife warned me of this years ago, and after two decades I realize this to be true more often than not.

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 June 5, 09 08:34 AM
  1. I think you should consider herself lucky if your friends ever want to speak to her again! Are you 12 yeas old? Were they supposed to turn down the trip because there wasn't a 3rd bed for you? Maybe they hid it from you for a while because you have a history over blowing up over little things.

    Women are insane!!

    Posted by Schlippo June 5, 09 08:35 AM
  1. You're the one who ruined the trip for them two years ago! Get over yourself and stop burning bridges with great friends. Jeez.

    Posted by BB June 5, 09 08:38 AM
  1. I have been in a very similar situation myself. I have 2 best gf's- Brianne and Becky. Briannce I have known since kindergarten (over 25 yrs) and Becky I have known since junior high (roughly 15 yrs). We've gone through many changes and cycles in those years, and I have felt hurt and left out at times like yourself. I went away for college, as did they, but after a few years everyone, but me, had ended back in our hometown. Inevitably, Brianne and Becky got really close and I was a distant second to both. Then Brianne moved across country and was only 2 hours drive from me for a few years as she finished grad school. But I never even saw her when she was so close. I found out after the fact that Becky had flown out to see Brianne so they could have a girl's weekend of fun, but they never even called to tell me about it or invite me. I was so hurt . Not only had neither of them ever flown out (or drove) to visit me when I have flown to see them a few times, but they didn't include me on their weekend fun, especially when I was so close.

    Sound familiar?

    So I know how you feel. Left out. Hurt. Betrayed. All I can say is that I choose to forgive and forget. I told them that they hurt me, they apologized, and although they still haven't made it out to visit me, they are still my best friends. We talk more now than ever, and even though Brianne is planning her wedding to her boyfriend who I've never met, I'll be in her wedding party happy and proud to share that special moment with a long time friend.

    Good friends are so hard to come by, and I think friendships go through ups and downs just like intimate relationships. So tell them how you feel, but if you can, forgive and forget. Then plan a fun vacation for the three of you- you do the planning- and show them what a fun person they missed having around in Paris!

    Posted by Skyler June 5, 09 08:40 AM
  1. i agree with Meredith. While i agree that knowing that this was something of importance to you they should have asked you to gorather than be discreet about it. but maybe they didn't mean to hurt your feelings. i understand how you would feel that way If they plane many things without you, then assess the situation and do what you feel is best for you., give them the benefit of the doubt.

    Posted by jewels June 5, 09 08:46 AM
  1. Oh, Hurting, I feel your pain. Meredith is suggesting the high road here, but that is going to be one hard road to take. I imagine a huge part of the hurt is that you were originally supposed to go to Paris all together, and it was to celebrate your graduation. So you went from being the center of the trip to nothing. Is that what your unkind words pointed out?

    I think it was terribly selfish of the other two not to include you or even clue you in to their plans. I suggest a "cool period," to give yourself a little physical and emotional distance from these friends. When you feel you have gotten past this hurt, you start calling and meeting up with them again.

    Posted by Jasper's pet June 5, 09 08:46 AM
  1. Groups of three are tough. I have been in similar situations with two other best friends wherein they ultimately "paired off" and made me an outcast. I got upset about it, I told them off, I cried and made it a huge ordeal in my life. Years later looking back I have reconnected with one of them as the pair has drifted. We stillhave a bond and connection but times change, friendships change and you have to make sure you're changing and moving on as well. I would give yourself some space and distance so you aren't saying angry words to them. Be mad and upset- that's fine. Just don't throw away years of a good friendship because of this. They still care about you. Just give it time to heal.

    Posted by threes company June 5, 09 08:47 AM
  1. No, unfortunately you are somewhat wrong Meredith. The fact that they had planned the trip over a month ago didn't tell "hurting"about it suggests they carry some guilt over what they did. It doesn't matter how much the friendship amongst the three may have changed, if it even exists at all means that they should have told her or tried to include her. It is like a marriage that breaks up. If there are children involved, then you would still mention to your ex if you are getting remarried. The friendship is like the children, each has a shared responsibility for it (them) and openess about major changes is important. your adv

    Posted by Larry June 5, 09 08:57 AM
  1. "If they continue to tell you that you’re overreacting, all you can do is believe them. "

    Meredith, I was in the L/W's place some 22 years, ago, only the two were going to Tanglewood for the weekend, not Paris. It did turn out that I wasn't overreacting, because those friends had moved on - with their work friends; and they hadn't moved on - because I'd long stopped living at home, and they still were (to this day - one 51, the other 53). We had plans to do this weekend as a threesome, but when another of their friends invited them before I had a chance to, they fled with her. I was hurt, and felt isolated by them. I did say things I didn't mean to say, but an assessment in the months following indicated to me that they had both moved on from me - and were stuck as "mommy's girls" who dare not leave their homes for social life or married life or any life, other than work, without their parents' blessings. It was a crummy thing tha happened to the L/W, because Paris was supposed to be her vacation, with those two friends. How insensitive of them - but the place to stay is just an excuxe on their behalf. Later, after my Dad's passing, they were sweet and loving and supportive, but the friendship never recovered. Then I loved on: married; had a baby; divorced; established a great career, while they stayed in their McJobs and their parents' homes. If she is unhappy, I don't feel it's unreasonable for her to dump them, supportive or not. They betrayed her.

    Posted by reindeergirl June 5, 09 08:57 AM
  1. "I think it’s worth telling them (calmly, please) that you’re concerned that you’ve done something to push them away."

    I agree with this and also you must give thought to your most current circumstances. Have you been less available and they have been hanging together more? I'm guessing that had this opportunity come at a time when perhaps circumstances were such that if you had more face time with the Ms. Paris that it would have be you going.

    Having had similar friendships and knowing how important those bonds are I would first try to get over the feeling of being left out - perhaps it is more circumstantial than anything. Think about being in the position of telling one over another that one of you must find someplace to stay while the other 2 share the 'free' house. Would you feel obliged to offer a 3-way split for the added expense so that the 3 of you would go together? Perhaps money was really the deciding factor and they would not have been able to afford to go but would feel guilty at one of you having to take on the burden.

    It is a sticky situation. Traveling as a single is quite expensive and being the one to offer the trip knowing that one of the three would take that financial hit so all can go may bring on other forms of resentment down the line. After all, why should girlfriend 'A' get a free ride while girlfriend 'B' has to spend a week's pay? It wouldn't seem fair. You now say that you'd have paid, but would you have felt slighted at having it proposed to do so?

    I don't like the idea that they didn't let you in on their gameplan. It was stupid on their part since you would find out eventually - why not get it over with and deal with the fallout since either way the fallout is inevitable.

    Posted by marj June 5, 09 09:04 AM
  1. Is your anger justified? Probably, but it should have been kept private. You could have blown off the steam, vented to someone else, etc. What good did it do to curse out the two friends and tell them off? Will that get you invited on the trip to Europe? No, but it will validate why they didn't even tell you about it in the first place and it will solidify their friendship. Think about it.

    Is your disappointment justified? Certainly, but it should have been conveyed to them calmly and rationally. Perhaps by explaining to them that you are disappointed and that you would have thought that they would have brought the trip to your attention. You could have talked it through with them.

    What’s done is done, so at this point, you should consider acting like an adult. Go apologize to both friends before they leave on the trip. Tell them you overreacted and lashed out at them, but explain your feelings. See if the discussion brings out any other underlying issues that may exist. Frankly, you will hurt yourself more than you will hurt them by “calling it quits” on both friendships.

    A possibility is that they are being honest about the housing opportunity only being for two. They may be closer at this point in your lives and hence made the arrangements. They may have felt awkward about telling you and seeing if you could make your own lodging plans because you already stated that financial reasons prevented the trip from occurring originally. There are many legitimate reasons why this scenario unfolded the way it did that would seem to make the end of any of the friendships a hasty and unwise decision. Take the hit for blowing up on them and then talk things through to see if the three friendships can move past this before the trip takes place.

    - Hoss

    Posted by Hoss June 5, 09 09:10 AM
  1. Oh, how abt all the times you both went out not to paris but to china and vietnam ? I will allow you friend to vent your anger without defending myself -will give you time to blow off the steam and get over it. Once s/he's done that, the two of you can hug, cry, and say goodbye to the rift between you. It's likely that you will admire independent thinking and forgive! hey next time, better be five/sixsome, more the merrier!

    Posted by enemy June 5, 09 09:12 AM
  1. I recently had a "break-up" with a friend and what I learned from it is it's not about the specific incident, it's how it's handled. People make mistakes or bad decisions or become flakey and not necessarily think about other people. But if you genuinely talk to them (and not yell at them) and they feel bad and they are sorry then it doesn't sound like there is reason to end a friendship. You have every right to be mad, but that will go away if there is still a solid foundation for friendship. If this was the final straw in a series of incidents that have made you feel left out then you may have some serious thinking to do, but if this is the only problem it sounds like it's worth discussing with them and just letting it go. I don't know how old you all are but perhaps the dynamic is just naturally changing as you age. If you were always inclined to do everything with both of them then maybe you should try doing more things with just one of them at a time. Don't fight change; adapt and change with it or else you'll be left behind.

    Posted by GirlsAreTough June 5, 09 09:13 AM
  1. Rico hates to say it but here goes...

    Rico thinks Meredith is on the money here...Good friends are tough to come by and you need to find out the reason why they planned the trip without you. All the reasons Meredith mentioned could be possibilities but you'll only know if you ask. If they are such good friends then you'll get a straight truthful answer, if not then time to find new friends.

    Finding new/good friends is a long and hard process so don't take anything lightly here. Who know, maybe you'll come out of this as even better friends and plan the next trip all together? Otherwise join a group, gym, etc... and meet new people and maybe even a new love. There are nice singles trips for young adults, check them out, one is Backroads that gets you outdoors on bike, hiking etc... in all different places across the globe.

    Enjoy and Rico hopes this helps...

    Love always,

    Rico

    Keep your head up and ride safely, Gears not gas.

    Posted by Rico June 5, 09 09:13 AM
  1. Hurting-
    Your reaction makes me think that they have already decided to move on from their friendship with you. Who wants to be friend with someone who reacts to news they don't want to hear by telling their best friends off in "unkind words"? They probably knew exactly how you'd react, and didn't tell you they were going until it was too late because they didn't want listen to you be passive-aggressive or otherwise nasty to them for a month. You owe your "best friends" an apology for your behavior, just as much as they should feel bad for planning a trip that was supposed to be a threesome as a twosome.

    Posted by AG June 5, 09 09:16 AM
  1. fights are normal. That's the easy part. Knowing how to deal with them is a little harder.or this may seem too silly to contemplate.how about a plan to aussie all of us;surely.If one party or another is not willing to make concessions for the friendship the conflict may not be able to be resolved in a healthy manner.best to forgive and forget, if not drink to hell!

    Posted by sydney June 5, 09 09:17 AM
  1. My best friends and I bicker a lot over silly things. lol But the arguments end as abruptly as they start and mean nothing. I really do love them. good hearted and loyal person, two things I most treasure in a person. is a good problem to have. The fact that you are even dealing with this particular stress means that you have people in your life who care about you and want to be with you. That sure beats the alternative, doesn’t it?

    Posted by lizzie June 5, 09 09:20 AM
  1. Always use "I" statements as this helps avoid placing blame. For example, "I feel really hurt because you have gone behind my back." As much as you feel like you want to yell, scream, or throw a fit don't.If you have decided to fight then make sure that you tell them exactly how you feel and know exactly how they feel about you. But let them know that you will not tolerate them going back and forth.


    Posted by StormyBonjour June 5, 09 09:26 AM
  1. They might have some guilt about not being able to do the Paris week with you, and didn't know how to address that in light of this new, two-person Paris trip, so weren't up front about what was about to take place. Guilt makes us feel, guilty, and since none of us want to actually feel that ("I am a bad person!") we disguise it in ejaculations of "You're overreacting," etc. How many people can actually say "We have this opportunity for the two of us to go to Paris, and even though we wanted to take you to Paris when you graduated and still feel bad that we didn't have the money then, Beatrice and I are going to take this Paris trip."? Oh, I know, grownups.

    Guilt and hurt, strong emotions on both sides. But sometimes, like Meredith says, friendships end. I hung on to my relationship with my best friend (whom I met on the first day of 7th grade) until I realized that as adults we had nothing in common, had different outlooks, and I didn't enjoy our interactions. You might be there...

    Posted by Carolyn June 5, 09 09:27 AM
  1. It's obvious that you think more of the friendship than they do, don't be a chump. I bet you have to call them all the time and they never call you.

    Posted by selfesteem June 5, 09 09:28 AM
  1. soo true, fighting over time with your friends when they have gf/bf. it is difficult sometimes to overcome the boundaries of prejudice and backwardness, allowing someone to have a place of honor in your heart.If you are currently fighting or have unresolved tension; run, don’t walk, to see to its conclusion! Some fights and quarrels cannot be solved.so pick and choose your battles.let us know how it went!

    Posted by Lloyd-Jones June 5, 09 09:33 AM
  1. On the one hand your friends are going to do things without you no matter who they are. I'm sure there have been times that Hurting went out with just one of the best friends and not the other. You can't expect to always be involved in everything. Maybe they just thought that you wouldn't be able to go anyway

    On the other hand the three of you had previously talked about a trip to Paris together so for them to suddenly have an opportunity and not share it does seem a little odd. I don't know what this apartment is but I don't think my friends and I have ever not invited someone just because there wasn't enough room for one more - even if it means you have to sleep a little cuddly (hey - we're all friends). I agree wiht M that you should just talk to tehm calmly and explain why you're hurt at being left out.

    Posted by pomgreen June 5, 09 09:35 AM
  1. If you have enough inner strength to handle the worst case response from these people – {what they tell you( might) hurt more than just being left out of the situation} ask the tough questions you have lurking inside – take some time to think about what you want to say, look them in the eye and put it out there.
    It seems the majority of planning was done incognito from you for deliberate reasons. You have to accept the current situation as it stands - you weren’t invited but you don't have to accept their behavior, or lack there of, regarding the so called friendship.
    These two are scheming rats…actions speak louder than words or well played gestures

    Posted by TwoCents June 5, 09 09:37 AM
  1. Chicks are so weird. Life is going to be pretty tough on anyone who can't just let something like this just slide.

    Posted by Enzo C. June 5, 09 09:40 AM
  1. It appears she was intentionally excluded and not told immediately about their trip probable because of the way they had predicted she would have reacted. She reacted by using unkind words, and if I had to put money on it, may not have been the first time. Ofcourse it's hurtful to be excluded in any situation but I don't think she's looking at her part in it. Friendships can be difficult when one's expectations are not realistic to the current status in time of where the friendship is. True friendship is accepting people where they are in their lives. One should never accept bad behavior..e.g. violence, disrespect etc.

    Posted by Maggie June 5, 09 09:40 AM
  1. Solid advice from Meredith. We don't have ANY idea of this triangle dynamic.

    It sucks, but talking about it should make it better. You need to find out from their perspective why they didn't tell you.

    Odds are you will be angry for a while, but give it a chance to be right again.

    Also, keep in mind the offer to take you to Paris was 2 years ago. Thats a long time ago. Maybe they tried hard to get you to go but it couldn't work? Maybe they thought you couldn't go so they didn't bother?

    Plus, if you had stayed somewhere else and not their house, you would still be hurt or jealous maybe that you weren't the one of the 2. You have reason to be upset, but I have a feeling you may know more about why they didn't tell you about it. Talk it out....let some time pass...then hug it out.

    Posted by swfoutsida June 5, 09 09:42 AM
  1. Before exploding, did you ask them why they planned the trip that way? I have 3 very close friends who are also friends with eachother. Sometimes a pair in the triad may go on a trip together-for example 2 of them got tickets to the Presidential inauguration a few months ago. They never told me and called me from Washington in the middle of the festivities. I said in a friendly upbeat manner 'hey, you should have told me!' They both said they didn't want to stress me about it, since they thought it would be difficult for me to get off work. And they were right! A few years ago 2 of the friends went to Paris. They were staying in the flat of another an acquaintance. It's perfectly fine. One of them is a bit high maintenance, so it's no harm, no foul, really! I have known all 3 of these women for more than 20 years. We have lived through bad breakups and college graduations together. They were in my wedding and held my hand at my mother's funeral and then again at my father's funeral one year later. They came to the hospital to hold me together when my 2 day old baby went into intensive care or when my freind's brother died uexpectedly. We have been there for eachother when it really counted-those are the times when you see the true value and meaning of friendship. Think about the value of the friendship you have with these women and whether it is worth ending over a vacation.

    Posted by Bambinosmom June 5, 09 09:44 AM
  1. Before exploding, did you ask them why they planned the trip that way? I have 3 very close friends who are also friends with eachother. Sometimes a pair in the triad may go on a trip together-for example 2 of them got tickets to the Presidential inauguration a few months ago. They never told me and called me from Washington in the middle of the festivities. I said in a friendly upbeat manner 'hey, you should have told me!' They both said they didn't want to stress me about it, since they thought it would be difficult for me to get off work. And they were right! A few years ago 2 of the friends went to Paris. They were staying in the flat of another an acquaintance. It's perfectly fine. One of them is a bit high maintenance, so it's no harm, no foul, really! I have known all 3 of these women for more than 20 years. We have lived through bad breakups and college graduations together. They were in my wedding and held my hand at my mother's funeral and then again at my father's funeral one year later. They came to the hospital to hold me together when my 2 day old baby went into intensive care or when my friend's brother died uexpectedly. We have been there for eachother when it really counted-those are the times when you see the true value and meaning of friendship. Think about the value of the friendship you have with these women and whether it is worth ending over a vacation.

    Posted by Bambinosmom June 5, 09 09:44 AM
  1. In my experience it's difficult to live with memories of permanently ending friendships in anger. If you've moved in different directions you can remain acquaintances after some time has passed. At least try to part for now on good terms, even though you may not feel that charitable at the moment.

    Posted by Mike June 5, 09 09:44 AM
  1. 1. It is clear your two friends did not want you to join and there is a reason. They told you right before so you wouldn't have a chance to join them. That is why you feel hurt and rightfully so. But like I said, there is a reason.
    2. Regardless of the reason and there are plenty ... these 2 have become much closer and just wanted to take a trip together. They like you but you are not at a best friend level. You haven't been as fun lateley. Whatever...the reason really doesn't matter. If they had guts, they would have told you a month before and said we are planning a trip, just the two of us...but they didn't b/c they knew the reaction that you would be offended but this way they secured their trip without you verses telling you sooner.
    3. So, this isn't about them as much as it is about you. One, you need to put them into another category. Just friends that aren't necessarily going to have your back. Believe, people aren't perfect and you need to change your expectations of them.
    4 Apologize for your reaction, tell them you felt rejected but very hurt. Be the bigger person for yourself not them. They were being selfish. You now know how they act...make new better friends. Keep them in your life but now they aren't in the "inner circle"
    5. I think it isn't about what is wrong with you even if you have /haven't changed. I think the good friends "check in" with each other and say "you haven't been yourself lately".

    They are no longer best friend level and that is what is depressing. Change your expectations of them and again, look at your friends now..at the ones that have really been there for you and have your back. and life changes...make new friends as well.

    Posted by Lisa June 5, 09 09:47 AM
  1. It was a little crappy that they didn't include you in the plans to go to the one place where you had all planned to visit 2 years ago. I'm not sure why they chose to "pair" up, but maybe they did it with no reasons except they were talking and the plans just started to unfold. Although free housing in Europe is hard to pass up, I don't think I would do it if it meant hurting a friend. Are we sure that one more person can't squeeze into the small quarters that only claims to house two? I just think that if it were me, I would have found a way to be inclusive of everyone.

    Posted by the7thstranger June 5, 09 09:51 AM
  1. I think she has every right to be angry. It's not that they just decided to go on vacation without her, that's not the problem. The problem is they were supposed to take her to Paris two years ago and couldn't...and when they finally could, they didn't. They could have told her they were going and given her the option to go with them. not cool.

    However, I do not think that she should destroy her friendships over it. She needs to tell them how she feels and move on...but it definatly wasn't something her friends should have done to her.

    Posted by Yay it's Friday! June 5, 09 09:52 AM
  1. I don' t think you should drop your friends. I agree with the advice given. Friendships are very valuable as you grow older. Do not let this one bump in the road ruin what could be a life long friendship. YOu need to talk about this though and continue to talk about it with a family member or someone you trust. You need to work it out in your head. Then once you are more clam and the opportunity arises you should try and discuss it with them from the standpoint of how you feel. Good luck.

    Posted by Phyllis June 5, 09 09:58 AM
  1. They're just not that into you.

    Posted by Mrs. Garrett June 5, 09 10:04 AM
  1. How old are you?

    Posted by evs June 5, 09 10:10 AM
  1. This reminds me of Dane Cook's routine about how each group of friends has that one person in it that they always talk about and make fun of. If you're saying to yourself, "No, that's not true about me and my friends!", that only means that YOU'RE the one they're talking about!

    But seriously.....I think taking a light approach to this is necessary. Assume the best: maybe they are more flexible in their schedules and didn't want to frustrate you. Maybe they think it would have been a financial hardship for you. It could be anything. Be honest with them...tell them that you are hurt and disappointed and would have loved to go, that it is a bummer. Ask them if there was a reason they didn't want you to go, and be willing to listen to it if that's the case. But tell them they can make it up to you by having a great time and getting you a fabulous souvenir.

    The important thing is that these are friends you want to keep. Hopefully your outburst hasn't made the situation unredeemable. I agree with the previous poster: ending a friendship in anger is something you will regret for a long time. Be the bigger person.

    Posted by yikes June 5, 09 10:11 AM
  1. Start by growing up. Do you freak out when these two meet for coffee without you as well? God forbid friends have any 1 on 1 time without having to involve everyone else in their rolodex for fear of overreaction and misplaced temper tantrums.

    My 3 year old is better behaved than you are.

    Posted by fu1eye June 5, 09 10:12 AM
  1. Actually, why don't you look online for airfare and lodging? The three friend trip is still doable. You held up the trip two years ago with indecision and wavering. There are some great last minute travel deals available. I know this because I created my own business. Make the effort today to make arrangements to join them. Their petty, selfish feelings will fade during the good times on the trip that you are bound to have and they will have the chance to make it up to you. Best of luck!

    Posted by Carolyn June 5, 09 10:14 AM
  1. I don't think you have to end your friendship with them over this. Did you ask them why they didn't tell you in the first place? Maybe they thought you wouldn't have wanted to pay to go? Maybe they thought you might be hurt they never were able to take you to Paris before and they still can't take you - at least not without you paying for yourself? They might have made some incorrect assumptions about your feelings regarding this, but you've already blown up at them before having a calm discussion about it - maybe they assumed this is how you would have reacted all along. Unfortunately sometimes things happen between friends that aren't always nice and if you're all mature adults, you can get through it and remain friends.

    Posted by bumbly-bee June 5, 09 10:16 AM
  1. Seriously, Stop overreacting!!! The france trip was planned two years ago, but as you say things didnt work out and they had a party instead. Your friends "Can" do stuff without you. Stop acting all butt hurt and appreciate that you have friends who care about you. Im sure they didnt mean to exclude you (thats why they didnt bring it up) or they knew you would act this way and didnt want to deal with a prude who would ruin their vacation. GET OVER YOURSELF! The world doesnt revolve around you. The friendship doesnt revolve around you.

    Posted by LilShorty98 June 5, 09 10:17 AM
  1. Don't be so quick to terminate the friendship. Invite them over. Apologize. Tell them that you now undertand the dynamic of the respective friendships. Then mix up some frozen drinks, pop in a k d lang cd and then make each of them a grilled cheese sandwich. Everyone's happy. If you are a good cook, you'll guarantee yourself a spot on their next vacation. Done and done.

    It's Friday. We've already confirmed this week that Rico's a woman. Next letter? Let's play two!

    Posted by Bob Dwyer June 5, 09 10:22 AM
  1. Has anyone mentioned that you might want to open your discussion with them with an apology for anything especially unkind that you said? No matter what they've done that hurts your feelings, it's so much better to face the people you love with calm, honest discussions and not tirades. They've been through a lot with you, and you don't want to lose that by saying things you don't mean.

    Maybe that's not the reason they're taking the trip without you - maybe they just happen to get along a little better with each other now than they do with you. But I think this is a strange enough situation that you deserve to know why they excluded you. Just be prepared for something you might not like to hear - for whatever reason, you're just not as close to them anymore. As Meredith said, friendships change, but I think it's better to accept friendship where you find it rather than dwell on who likes who the best.

    Posted by Liz June 5, 09 10:26 AM
  1. I'd be interested to know how to end a toxic relationship with a non-romantic, same sex friend. So little is written on it its amazing. My wifes ex boss had been a friend in the process and is a good person, but there is nothing in common there. A son who is similar in age with ours but thats it - still she forces the friendship and uses us for babysitting. To make matters harder, her husband is hated by most folks and as a couple they are NOT insertable into any other friendships. She does not take no for an answer and is just as likely lt to stand on our porch and look in windows as she is to call over and over and over and not leave a message. my wife asked for space and our friends and relatives were contacted by this same person, to in quire as to why we stopped returning her calls. over the line. She has driven us crazy and finally my wife had to tell her the relationship had ended. what could we have done differently or did we do the right thing...This has been goig on for 6 months...on and off.

    Posted by bill June 5, 09 10:33 AM
  1. Oh no, this is really heart-wrenching. I have felt something similar (finding out my friends were going to Europe to visit our mutual friend over Christmas/New Year's... through Facebook... in December). So while I was extremely hurt that they failed to mention it to me, I looked at my own situation: I was heading HOME from Europe for 3 weeks of holidays with my family before coming back for work... so I realized that a) I couldn't have gone with them anyway, b) they went to cheer up my friend, who couldn't go home for the holidays, and c) they would have wanted me there if I could have gone ...or maybe not! We were roommates and are close friends, but we all went through changes and maybe I wasn't that great a roomie at times. I decided, however, not to bring it up, since I realized it wasn't about ME and, through later conversation, realized that we truly do miss and care about each other. (I'll be more wary if something hurtful happens again though!)

    I apologize for getting off the subject: Your unfortunate situation. I really think that's low of them - maybe my friends thought one of the others had "kept me in the loop" on their plans, but for two friends to do this without you and present it at last minute "now don't get upset!" - what were they expecting?!?!?!?!!?!? I mean, even if you HAD reacted "Oh that's great, I'm so happy for you," you undoubtedly would be feeling "WTF I want to go to Paris!!!!!!" Maybe, though, there were other reasons like Meredith and other posters have mentioned.

    I do think you could apologize for your unkind words, just because it's the right thing to do as an adult - even if your feelings remain the same. You could also be (gently) honest about how it made you feel, because your feelings are valid in a friendship! They will share their views/feelings (hope they still care about you!) or make some sorry excuses.

    While they're on their trip, maybe you can take some time for a quick vacation, whether it's a day/weekend at the beach or in the mountains, just for a change of scenery and pace. I know it's not Paris, but it might help a little. (And it's certainly less expensive than airfare, hotels, and Parisian restaurants.) You'll get your chance someday! Bonne chance.

    Posted by beth June 5, 09 10:36 AM
  1. It would be a shame to see a friendship rent asunder by what could be as simple as poor logistics. Let them know politely how you feel, give them a chance to explain, and then (hopefully) continue the friendship.

    Posted by Terminater5 June 5, 09 10:44 AM
  1. I would've been mad too...but friendships change over time...you have to accept that...they've moved on already...you need to as well...

    Posted by Chris June 5, 09 10:51 AM
  1. @998Suzuki #6
    Excellent allusions to yesterday's romp!

    "Hurting" is right to be cheesed...
    Off with their heads!

    Posted by Jasper's pet June 5, 09 10:55 AM
  1. This is not a trip to another state, it's a trip to PARIS! I would have been hurt if any of my closest friends did that to me. Don't think I would freak out on them, but I certainly would have called them on it. How could they be so sneaky and not know that you were going to be hurt by not being invited? I would keep them as friends, but I would back off and go down other avenues.

    Posted by dev June 5, 09 10:56 AM
  1. You must be the youngest nurse ever because it sounds like you are 4 years old. After reading your letter I am willing to bet that your two "friends" would be happy to never hear from you again.

    Buy a cat and grow old and bitter...wait, you already have the bitter part down. Just grow old.

    Posted by Kay-Man June 5, 09 10:57 AM
  1. Maybe they are lesbians?

    Posted by Kay-Man June 5, 09 11:00 AM
  1. Okay, I can't help but laugh at this one. This would NEVER be an issue between three guys.

    Posted by Bill Goode June 5, 09 11:00 AM
  1. this isn't a love letter question... unless the two friends have something deeper - and then it's understandable why they just want to go by themselves...

    or have you traveled with them recently? sorry to point this out, but maybe you aren't a perfect travel companion and your travel-partner etiquette needs to be examined? you learn a lot about people when traveling, and some people are just too high maintenance to travel with, especially abroad.

    Posted by bgpp June 5, 09 11:22 AM
  1. Perfect advice from Meredith.

    Posted by mae June 5, 09 11:23 AM
  1. To get back at them, you should have affairs with their boyfriends.

    Posted by Stevebo June 5, 09 11:24 AM
  1. I think my fellow L-Letter followers have done a good job of hypothesizing why we opted to make plans without you. FOr the sake of further disclosure, if it were up to me, you wouldn't have even found out about the trip this week. I knew what your reaction would be and didn't want to deal with it until after we returned. While we're finishing preparing for the trip, please carry through with your threat from the other day and "dump" us as friends. Life's too short for me to continue coming up with excuses why I'm busy or why I didn't text you enough. Au rev mon (ex-) ami.

    Posted by Packed and Ready to Go June 5, 09 11:26 AM
  1. The LW owes those "friends," I mean fiends, nothing. THEY should apologize to HER - for going behind her back. Who wants to be friends with backstabbers? THEY owe HER an explanation.

    Too many appeasers here today - confrontation in this case would end the "friendship" (a good thing here, since there is no true friendship), and let them know how wrong they were (if they ever see it).

    And what makes some think she's depressed, and not just justifiably hurt?

    Posted by reindeergirl June 5, 09 11:28 AM
  1. If I were you, I'd begin to plan my own trip to Paris, solo. If you have to work a second job just to be able to save up for it, do it. Make reservations at a posh hotel, even if you can only afford to stay one or two nights there and you have to change to a moderately priced hotel, so be it. Brush up on your French, make sure your passport is good to go.
    Don't tell your friends about your plans, and then send them postcards from Hotel Swanky. Traveling solo is a blast because you interact with more people that way instead of only with your friends. Celebrate yourself and your accomplishment of having graduated from Nursing School, you deserve it.

    Posted by exvermonter June 5, 09 11:34 AM
  1. A real friendship does not depend on the "needs of the moment". She should apologize for her reaction, but the actions of her friends do not show them as considerate, mature people. Yes, maybe this one incident regarding her friends taking this trip could be overlooked for the sake of maintaining the friendship; however, it is often the case that once people feel it's ok to handle things this way, this type of behavior will continue in the future.

    Posted by MR June 5, 09 11:35 AM
  1. Stop being a crybaby.

    Wahhhhh.

    Posted by Rotten June 5, 09 11:42 AM
  1. to Bill Goode: you're right, it would never be an issue between three guys because guys are uncomplicated morons.

    Posted by Anonymous June 5, 09 11:49 AM
  1. My daughter is part of a friend-triangle. A few years ago, we decided to take one of her friends with us on vacation. The choice was easy: We took her friend Beth over her friend Ruth….and I’ll tell you why: Although Ruth is a great friend, she’s very self-centered and demanding of attention. Its worse when Beth, my daughter, and Ruth are together Ruth becomes very demanding of attention, and brings up things she perceives are slights that happened two years ago – even if the argument was resolved at the time. My daughter loves spending time with Beth, and loves spending time with Ruth, but hates having Ruth over when Beth is there. And after an ill-fated trip to an Anime Convention that I took all three girls to, both Beth and my daughter vowed they would never ask Ruth to go with them again. Ruth complained all the way to the convention that my daughter and Beth were talking too much and she couldn’t nap in the car. So when the two girls quit talking, Ruth accused them of leaving her out of the conversation.

    That being said, my daughter still likes Ruth and still remains good friends with her. They still hang out with each other, talk for hours on the phone, do girl things. But Ruth will never go with us on vacation simply because she is too much of a headache to deal with in long doses.

    I know that’s not what this Letter Writer wants to hear: Maybe the Problem is You. Maybe you’re the Ruth. Your friends still love you and want to be close with you, but can only take you in small doses. You probably aren’t even aware of it (I know Ruth isn’t). Ask for their honest, truthful, reasons for excluding you from the trip but here’s the catch: You aren’t allowed to get mad at them if you hear something you don’t like. It may not be pretty, but if you become aware of how you’re acting, you can change it. Then everyone can go to Paris.
    Yoshim

    Posted by Yoshimi June 5, 09 11:55 AM
  1. As a guy, my initial thought would have been that all of the comments would have been to the effect of "chill out, those things happen, it's not that big of a deal." However, it seems that the comments are split down the middle between males and females; I think life is too short to dump friends over a vacation. Good luck to you, hopefully you'll see the big picture.

    Posted by SomeDude June 5, 09 11:55 AM
  1. Oh my goodness -- the people yelling at the friends for doing the unforgivable are *unreal.* They planned a vacation together. Since when do my close friends owe me a vacation? Since when are my friends obligated to travel with me? Since when does having friends, even close ones, mean these friends can never do things in smaller groups and must always take all of us along? You have got to be kidding me. I am floored by some of the comments here.

    I have close girlfriends. Sometimes, I do things with some of them and not all of them. *Gasp*!

    Further, I have to point out what should be obvious: it may be just an ordinary trip, with no Big Connotations about their friendship, as I alluded to above. It might be, too, that there are issues in the friendship. Not issues as in "bad girls, how dare you plan a vacation without consulting me? I am entitled to an invitation!" but issues as in, she is a difficult woman and a difficult friend, and maybe is needy, or just not a good travel companion. Who knows. Stop yelling at the friends.

    LW, apologize for freaking out. Ask if there is a reason, other than that they just happened not to include you (i.e., some issue you don't know about). If not let it go. Sheesh.

    Posted by jjlen June 5, 09 12:01 PM
  1. If #64 "Packed and Ready to Go" is for real, then now we know the answer. Meredith was right that LW pushed them away. We need to hear more from LW.

    Posted by Jasper's pet June 5, 09 12:03 PM
  1. The only way to rectify this situation among friends is by making some grilled cheese sandwiches for each other. *grin*

    Posted by The Dude June 5, 09 12:08 PM
  1. Your friends didn't tell you because they probably didn't want you to flip out on them for an entire month, so they chose to tell you a few days before they go. Sounds like they knew you well enough to save themselves some drama. Forgive and move forward. Look inside yourself and stop blaming your friends.

    Posted by Linda June 5, 09 12:08 PM
  1. I have three possible reasons for you:

    1. they are both flakes, airheads, etc
    2. they are too busy with family and/or work to focus on all of their other friends (this happens when people are married, have kids, and work cause life is too busy for them. don't take it personally)
    or
    3. you are too high maintenance

    Posted by indiglodoe June 5, 09 12:31 PM
  1. 1. LW, your quote: "When I finally graduated from nursing school, they offered to take me to Paris for a week to celebrate, but money never quite panned out so we did not do that" Please re-read that. You clearly state the THEY offered to take you. It did not happen. Now they have a chance to go to Paris with accomodations for only TWO. That means that this time, you didn't get asked. Get it?

    2. Readers/commentors: Just stop. The stories about "friend triangles", daughters, former college roommates, and all the other nonsense about women relating to this is absolutely absurd. Wake the bleep up. Being a "friend" does not entitle you to a VIP pass and admission to EVERY single thing the person does. Are you that insecure? You have that little self-esteem that you get jealous and flip your wig when friends make plans that do not include you? Get a grip.

    3. LW: Ever see the movie Cocktail? "Everything ends badly otherwise it wouldn't end". This is no different as your hissy fit can definitely be considered tossing a grenade that took out two of the people you deem your best friends. Thanks for writing in though.

    4. I hereby nominate Bob Dwyer's post (#50) for instant induction into the LL Hall of Fame. The 5 week waiting period has been waived.


    Posted by Hadie Nuff June 5, 09 12:35 PM
  1. Stuff like this happens between friends, but do you have to accept their actions? No.

    Telling them off nicely would have been better, and to be the bigger person you could apologize and tell them you are sorry for the harsh words. In fact that is all I would apologize for, the harsh words.

    Try to find out why they did not mention this trip to Paris earlier. Was it because they really did not want to go with you? (2 bedroom excuse my foot.) If they cannot come up with any valid reason(s) then I would wait and see how they treat you from now on. You might find out that this is NOT the first time you have been included from event(s).

    Maybe they are really fair weather friends?!

    Posted by Mean Friends you got there June 5, 09 12:49 PM
  1. One of two things going on here. Either you have some issues that they don't want to deal with or they are a couple of jerks (or both). Sounds like this three-some is evolving into a two-some. Be friendly with them going forward, but I wouldn't make any big plans for any trips with them again. You should try to expand your own personal circle of friends - make some new ones. Better yet, get a hot boyfriend and learn how to make grilled cheese sandwiches.

    Posted by DrK June 5, 09 12:50 PM
  1. I'm sure glad guys don't have to go through stuff like this. Not that something similar couldn't happen among three guys, but probably the "odd man out" would just continue life as if nothing unusual had happened, and take it from there. In fact, any other kind of behavior ("I feel SO hurt that you guys didn't include me!") might not go over very well. So it's a choice, express yourself or [wo]man-up about it.

    Posted by Bony Melon June 5, 09 12:57 PM
  1. I broke up with two "friends" – the first one in 2006, and the second one in 2007. One friendship was for fifteen years, the other was for ten. It followed a romantic breakup that I experienced, where these "friends" felt that they were entitled to be judgmental and involve themselves in my decision, for multiple reasons which I won't get into here. To this day, it still hurts - it has left scars that have never quite healed. But I've also discovered that I was carrying these people emotionally, spiritually, intellectually (and sometimes even financially). It really wasn't a "friendship" but more of a convenient support system for them. At the time, I was devastated, and even now, at times, I miss elements of the having them in my life. But truth be told: they were both a lot of work, requiring a lot of time, effort, and energy, without much reciprocation in return. A healthy friendship involves mutual trust, mutual respect, loyalty and honesty.

    It was a hard lesson to learn, but learn it I did. And, it has proven to be “addition by subtraction” where I’ve been able to rediscover other people in my life that I didn’t have as much time for before. I’ve cultivated healthy, functional friendships once I decided to terminate these other “friends” from my life. When I called them out on their behavior – they disappeared from my life. Gone – evaporated. When it happened, I saw it as a huge loss, but now, with time, distance, and perspective – it has proven to be a healthy gain.

    You should be able to express your feelings to your friends (in a calm, mature manner), without having to end the friendship – and if they object to your opinion (which it sounds like they do) then maybe the friendship isn’t as solid as you thought it was. It might be time to re-evaluate. People change – people outgrown one another. I had met these two people at a time in my life where I was in a different place (and much younger). I basically out grew them – moving in a direction where they didn’t want to go with me – and I challenged their loyalty by calling them out on their behavior. The “friendships” weren’t strong enough (and they weren’t stable enough) to sustain the challenge. And they were takers, not givers. Healthy friendships involve giving and taking.

    It hasn’t been easy, to say the least. I still think about them, frequently. But trust me, in the long run – it was the right decision and I don’t regret it.
    Scot

    Posted by Scotty Boston June 5, 09 12:58 PM
  1. Men and women tend to handle these situations much differently. Threesomes are much more difficult for women: Someone can feel left out, lots of 2 on 1. It makes for a great porno, but lousy relationships. These friendships are fluid…ever changing. Men tend to let this stuff go more readily. No question, they consciously omitted you from the planning process until it was too late. They had to know what they were doing would hurt…and accept the consequences (your anger). Their trip will be laced with an air of deception and the Parisian waiters will spit in their Perrier. Who knows…they might be venturing to Paris to fix each other a Croque Monsieur while experiencing the Tour Eiffel.

    Vitesses, non Gaz

    Posted by valentino June 5, 09 01:02 PM
  1. I think you should apologize to both of your friends by making them grilled cheese sandwiches.

    Posted by bohica June 5, 09 01:22 PM
  1. Your friends behavior was rude and hurtful. My advice is to apologize to them and that would start a dialogue. But let it serve as a possible warning to you that their feelings towards you have changed. Be alert and if they are pulling away, take the high road and smile and be friendly every time you see them. you dont' want to be ducking down in the food aisles at Market Basket when you see them for the rest of your life. Be the better person. Shame on them!

    Posted by Kate June 5, 09 01:22 PM
  1. Call the friendship quits? I don't think it's necessary. Though, it certainly calls for "Hurting" to re-evaluate the strength of the friendship. I can understand why she is so hurt and upset. If it were her that had the opportunity in Paris come up, she probably would have thought first to call her two friends to plan the trip they were not able to take years ago. So she's hurt that her friends didn't think the same. I used to have a very close friend in college. When we graduated we went our separate ways in our busy lives, but I still considered her a very close friend. I tried to plan get-togethers with her and did my best to keep in touch. Then after a year or so i found out that she had been back to MA a couple of times to visit family and never even bothered to call or tell me she was in town. I didn't freak out at her, but it made me realize that she was more of a friend to me than I was to her. So I just went with the flow and never looked back. I have lots of other friends that appreciate my friendship and didn't need to stress over it.

    So I think "Hurting" should apologize for yelling at them. Tell them why she's hurt and ask them how they would feel if they were in her shoes. Then get on with her life.

    Posted by rebs June 5, 09 01:29 PM
  1. I do get why this destination is meaningful to you. They asked you to share a bonding and celebratory event when you completed a huge accomplishment, and then it wasn't followed through on for whatever reason. So yes, they were perhaps thoughtless when planning this vacation without you. Sure, I'd be hurt too and want to ask why.

    What I don't get is why you thought you were entitled to respond with 'very unkind words'. Being friends is voluntary, not mandatory. No one wants or needs that from friends. You can't be nasty and expect to then be included. That's not how healthy friendships work. Hopefully the damage isn't irreparable. What's really going on and really bugging you?

    Posted by yupokay June 5, 09 01:36 PM
  1. Mere, you've ruined my love for grilled cheese sandwiches, but, I digress. It's the same old story..true in pre-school, true in adulthood. Two is company, three is a crowd. It never changes. The dynamics of the situation almost always leave someone either left-out or with hurt feelings.

    Posted by Nada June 5, 09 01:49 PM
  1. To build on Stevebo's #63 advice ("To get back at them, you should have affairs with their boyfriends"), you should also make it a threesome.

    Posted by Alvin June 5, 09 02:12 PM
  1. Anyone who expects friendship parameters (frequency of calls, get togethers, emails, activities together, trips, etc.) to remain the same as they were during their 18 to 24 year old timeframe, is in for a world of disappointment. Life changes, people get pulled in different directions, people scale back their interest / devotion to certain friendships out of necessity or priorities. If you fiip out and threaten to "dump" your friends after such a situation, then you will inevitably do nothing more than shorten the lifecycle of all of your relationships. No offense to anyone, but I can certainly see someone like this five years from now, flipping out on their spouse because he / she stopped at the bookstore for coffee and to read a magazine or two on the way home from work. "What!?! You went to B & N and got a grande mocha without me?!? You know I like those! You %$%*& turd."

    Note: Unlike others, I don't think this is exclusive to women. Maybe more women get into these situations because they tend to put more emotional stakes in their friendships than guys (we tend to take a 'whatever, call me when you get back and we'll have a beer together) do. However, I've known plenty of guys who are insecure, jealous, and otherwise irrational about what "friendship" does or does not entitle them to as we move on into our late 20's, 30's, get married, have kids, etc., etc. Some stay stuck in the past. No doubt.

    Posted by Tom Davis June 5, 09 02:16 PM
  1. A lot of women suck at friendship, which is why I can count my best friends on one hand. Cut your losses and find new friends. It was calculating and innappropriate of them to plan this trip with out you. If they were going for a spa weekend it would be different, but they are going to Europe with out you on a trip you had all talked about going on together. Your friendship with them is one sided and they will continue to disapoint you. Friendship is not based on how much time you all spend together, it's based on respecting one another in the time you do spend together.

    Posted by Amanda June 5, 09 02:18 PM
  1. I completely agree with everything you are all saying. I agree with it all completely.

    Posted by snicket June 5, 09 02:25 PM
  1. It sounds like the place they're staying at belongs to Hurting's friend's friend, and doesn't directly belong to either of her two friends. So in this case, they may just be respecting the wishes of this third person, and that makes her SOL. Her letter unfortunately is all me, me, me -ish, so I don't get the feeling that she's tapped into the nature of the logistics as hastily as she embraced her own emotional reaction to it. I TOTALLY agree with Meredith though, the list of people you can travel with is rarely as inclusive as the list of people you're friends with, and sometimes totals no greater than you can count on one hand, and that's life.

    Posted by Sue June 5, 09 02:27 PM
  1. "Make new friends, but keep the old.
    One is silver and the other, gold."
    (And of course you should really attempt to talk to your friends about your feelings and theirs, as well. It's the best way to 'keep old friends'.)

    Posted by cropsey June 5, 09 02:29 PM
  1. I have a friend who says that no three women can be friends, that there will always be a time when two will split off and exclude the third one. I hate to believe it but I do see it happen a lot. I would probably keep them as friends but I would also be hurt and would never feel quite the same about them again.

    Posted by techdood June 5, 09 02:30 PM
  1. Sounds like she could use a grilled cheese sandwich

    Posted by Baio June 5, 09 02:32 PM
  1. They didn't just leave her out. They purposely hid their plans from her for a full month. They were not acting like friends - so why should she be obliged to hang onto them as friends?
    And I am sorry but it is true that women tend to do this - begin as a threesome and then eventually drop one. As if the point is to pick the one friend who's most like you, and concentrate only on her, which is eventually what happens. Guys just seem to be more open to friendships with a wide variety of types.
    Anyway, its true that new friendships are harder as you get older, but so is faking a friendship. If they're excluding her, they are also discussing her and as she becomes more and more resentful, they will have more and more to discuss. In other words, the friendship will dissolve eventually.

    Posted by davita1111 June 5, 09 02:45 PM
  1. It sounds like the place they're staying at belongs to Hurting's friend's friend, and doesn't directly belong to either of her two friends. So in this case, they may just be respecting the wishes of this third person, and that makes her SOL. Her letter unfortunately is all me, me, me -ish, so I don't get the feeling that she's tapped into the nature of the logistics as hastily as she embraced her own emotional reaction to it. I TOTALLY agree with Meredith though, the list of people you can travel with is rarely as inclusive as the list of people you're friends with, and sometimes totals no greater than you can count on one hand, and that's life.

    Posted by Sue June 5, 09 02:45 PM
  1. I live in Paris and it's not that great. Let your friend's travel together...they'll be sick of each other after the week. Make new friends while they are gone and be too busy to see them when they get back.

    Posted by alex June 5, 09 02:58 PM
  1. wow, the post by "Packed and ready to go" was not the post of a real friend. i think both parties are wrong in this case. both were immature and bratty about the situation. seems like the expression 2 is company, but 3 is a crowd is true in this case. no one was sensitive to each others feelings here and thats too bad, especially since they have all been friends for many years. but people do grow apart and sometimes we just have to accept the end of a relationship. Good luck to all!
    To original letter writer: you probably would have been the third wheel the whole time anyway, so be glad you arent going. find some new friends who enjoy your company and wont be shady.

    Posted by time to say goodbye June 5, 09 03:04 PM
  1. The writer overreacted and owes her friends an apology. Your inviting yourself along on the trip would have completely changed the dynamic of the trip. Who was going to drop you off/pick you up each morning? Would they be planning their entertainment selections based on your location? Would you have been sulking because they retired back to their place for the night and then ended up chatting the night away? You mention that money didn't pan out on the last planned trip. Is it possible that you three have differing idea of how to spend money or entertain on trips? Friendships ebb and flow - trying to change that ebb and flow is like holding back the tide.

    Posted by PatriciaFD June 5, 09 03:09 PM
  1. Whatever happened to "never let them see you cry"? Having some pride? Obviously if they wanted you there, they would have asked. Obviously if they thought you'd find out about it, you'd be hurt. You yelling at them telling them they hurt you is really a mute point, isn't it? They already knew that. They chose to take the risk. It's like asking somene to kiss you. Doesn't it go against every reason WHY you like being kissed if you have to ask for it? They can't help how they feel. And in their heart of hearts, you're not their favorite, and while it hurts to know that, yelling at them is not going ot change it, in fact, it may cement it. It may mean you need to make an effort to find some new friends. I wouldn't drop them altogether. Goodness knows there are many chances to see many people, leave some time for them, but make an effort to get to know some new people and make some new relationships. You can't force someone to like you. Period. This goes for romantic relationships and friendships. find folks you naturally click with.

    Posted by just sayn June 5, 09 03:12 PM
  1. You shouldn't be laying a guilt trip on them. They told you why (the place only housed two people). So grow up and stop acting like the spoiled little sister/brother that has to go everywhere big sister/brother does. ARe you like this when your parents want to go on a trip without you? Do people not tell you where they go because YOU'LL AWAYS WANT TO GO? Just be happy that they told you - and be a big enought person to hope they have a good time. Also, maybe they know they'll enjoy themselves more without you - because with 3 friends it's always tough cause someone always feels life out - even myself sometimes I'll pass because I know the gals will have a better time just the 2 of em instead me being extras all the time - once in a while I'll go out with 3 of us and all is well - but sometimes I think 2 can be easier with conersation, etc....

    Posted by Been around June 5, 09 03:13 PM
  1. Hadie Nuff, you beat me to the punch with 1,2,3 and 4. Well done.

    This is all I can glean from what was actually written in her letter: They were reluctant to tell her about the vaca because they were worried about how she would react. When she found out, she reacted like an insolent child, validating their worries. The first act leads me to believe that this is repeat behavior, and that she actually ended both friendships with her actions a while ago. And if "Packed and Ready to go" is one of your girls, then you're definitely cooked. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, will ever hang onto to a needy/whiny/clingy friend for life. It just doesn't happen. Grow up.

    Posted by Freddy June 5, 09 03:28 PM
  1. They didn't invite you because they don't want you to go and they waited to tell you because they are afraid of how you would react. My guess is that you are not as great a friend as you think you are and these two are on their way to breaking up with YOU. They will probably spend some of that six hour flight to Paris talking over what a raging b*tch you can be and debating whether to stay friends with you when they get back. If you want to salvage this friendship, you need to go to them and apologize and ask to talk to things over, and if they agree, be open minded and non judgmental about what you hear.

    Posted by suz June 5, 09 03:50 PM
  1. I'm being cheeky. In all serious, I think you're probably a consummate over-reactor, probably a little -- oh, probably a lot -- jealous of their friendship and you may need to adjust your attitude. You're an adult now -- act like it. Rise above this little snafu -- tell them you hope they have a lovely time, wish you could go with them, and really look forward to hearing all about their trip when they return. Say this earnestly, don't talk smack behind their backs when they are gone, and remember, France sucks.

    Posted by Sally June 5, 09 03:53 PM
  1. #7 e.c. - I think Merediths comment is fine, and you're being defensive. Meredith said "depressed", not "suffering from depression". It is possible to just be depressed without it being a full blown illness, let's not forget. Everyone has blue days or sad days, this is true. But not every sad day deserves a diagnosis and treatment. Meredith was simply exploring the reasons why this 'split' might have ocurred.

    As for the issue - I agree that Hurting should apologize for her behavior, but not being hurt. She's got a right to be hurt.

    Ceej

    Posted by Ceej June 5, 09 04:18 PM
  1. I have several girl friends that I have known and grown with for 20+ years. I love them all and value them equally and they all know each other as well. I can't imagine spending a week's vacation with the high maintenance ones, and yet I don't enjoy their company any less in limited doses then the easy-going ones. But the limited dose is key - in an atmosphere in which I know they will enjoy themselves they're wonderful company--wrong venue and it can be a disaster for everyone else's good time. You don't bring a "pampered princess type" on a camping trip or your "likes to hang with bikers" type girlfriend to the ballet. Your quick meltdown with these two friends suggests that maybe you're just too difficult to risk ruining such a wonderful trip with.

    Posted by Anonymous June 5, 09 04:22 PM
  1. Grow up!

    Posted by foolish1 June 5, 09 04:30 PM
  1. Move on. They are liars and sneaks. It's happened to me and I regret not cutting the ties sooner. You're not overreacting.

    Posted by ramona126 June 5, 09 09:02 PM
  1. Their behavior seems more like the actions of "friends" not "best friends" as you consider them. Maybe you're just a friend to them. I don't think best friends would do that. I would treat them as friends from this point forward and not be disappointed when they don't act as a best friend as you want them to be but they obviously aren't.

    Posted by Rick June 5, 09 10:51 PM
  1. I once became famous in a foreign country for about a week. It was funny, but as my fame grew I lost every friend I had (about 5) in the course of that week in different dramatic events. The dynamics just really changed as I was getting validated by bazillions of people. In the process I realized that friendship exists rarely because we simply like each other; in most cases we use each other for various reasons. I don't think there is anything wrong in examining your friendships and dumping the ones that are not based on true affection. Really, very few of them are.

    Posted by west coast girl June 6, 09 02:25 AM
  1. I know it's hurtful... but talk it out with them... tell them your feelings. It will take a while but you will learn to trust again. The relationship may never be 100% the same but you don't want to lose your BFFs. I went through something like this with mine (I understood later that it was because her marriage was falling apart while I was getting very happily married) and I vented, got out what I wanted to say (which was quite the shock to her) and all is well.

    Good luck to you. I would have been hurt as well. That was really p*ss poor planning and friendship on their part.

    Posted by KimberlyM June 6, 09 09:56 AM
  1. forget about those two and go make your boyfriend a grilled cheese sandwhich.

    Posted by iamjohngalt June 6, 09 02:39 PM
  1. It may be that the two friends remembered the issue of funding from the previous attempt at a trip and were uncomfortable bringing up the idea of the current trip on a hunch it might make the one left out feel badly.

    If these women are indeed true and valued friends, have a talk with them. Apologize for flying off the handle and using "unkind words". Then take the helm and plan a trip for the three of you.

    If it's possible these two friends might have erred on the side of caution, give them the benefit of the doubt and move forward.

    And if your attempts at reconciliation are not met with enthusiasm, then take that at face value and leave them behind knowing at the very least that you made an effort to make amends.

    Posted by snuckles June 6, 09 07:47 PM
  1. I have to say that the comment about "taking her to Paris" for her Nursing School graduation weighs heavily on my mind. I don't see how the 2 "friends" could have not mentioned the upcoming vaction to her. They are "friends," right? It was done intentionally, no question in my mind. There may have been a reason for the slight, but not talking about it is not OK. Supposedly everyone is an adult here, but none of the people involved acted in an adult manner, to my way of thinking. The people that got yelled at got what they deserved for hiding their plans, and the Hurt one who threw the tantrum was wrong as well. Both side need to own up to their faults, and maybe they could work through to a more equitable solution. Maybe there was only 2 beds available in that space, but there's got to be at least one other bed in all of France. Seems to me that the 2 "vacationers" have fallen under the spell of the "only one possible answer" myth. If you beiieve that then you never look for alternatives. Had the "hurt one" been able to voice her displeasure with a semblance of civility, maybe she could have offered up the 3 of the split the cost for them go. Ah, yes the miracle of hindsight!

    As to continueing the friendship, it may not be a your choice. That is why I think that a real conversation is what is needed. The fact that they professed to not understanded what the big deal was, is a big deal. It may not be a conversation that they aren't willing to be part of. That will be your answer.

    Posted by Bobbe Anderson June 6, 09 08:04 PM
  1. Listen folks. This is a hard lesson to learn, but most friends would trade you in for a new car. Very few people really care. Most humans are just selfish.. It's a fact.

    Posted by Ryan June 6, 09 09:27 PM
  1. I think you've already lost them as true friends. The fact that they hid their plans from you is just the symptom of something else. It's true that friendships evolve and can run their course, but if there had been no previous indication, I'd probably play it a little cool with them for the time being. I don't think I'd confront them. Maybe they just need to be slowly shamed and let THEM realize the hurtfulness of their actions. Or you can just vent. I don't think it will matter.

    Posted by Aviatrix June 6, 09 10:56 PM
  1. Forgive and forget ? No way. Grin and bear it, set or reset your limits, and consider their rudeness a message that you probably need to stay way from the Paris girls.
    Today it’s Paris. But tomorrow it could be your boyfriend, future husband, new best friends… …whatever it is it’ll be way more important than a trip to Paris.

    Remove yourself from this duo, and I guarantee that within 6-mos to 2 years you’ll hear about them stabbing each other in the back in the worst ways (or maybe even during their trip to Paris). Right now, you’re the willing victim and they’re feeding off of you. Let them feed off of each other instead and go find some new friends.

    Removing yourself from a “circle of friends” can be really tough. But if they’re dumping on you behind your back and then pretending that nothing is wrong, then this is obviously as sign that they no longer respect you. And deep down they might not even respect each other. But if you stick around long enough they'll consider the Paris plans a license to stab you in the back at a later time.

    If you find yourself being repeatedly victimized by manipulator friends, take a good look at your childhood and family relationships. You may have been victimized by your own family members as a child much like you’re being victimized by your friends today.

    Posted by James June 7, 09 03:07 AM
  1. Sorry you didn't use my post from a few days ago, moderator. Was just trying to make the point that we really often have friends out of fear, or insecurity and I think it is much rarer that friendship is out of love and respect. This is likely one of the former cases. True friends are not that easy to come by, but should be sought out. It's ok to let false friends go.

    Posted by west coast girl June 7, 09 09:25 AM
  1. I can feel for the author because even at nearly 40, I am a sensitive person. However there are 7 of us who have been friends for 25 years. Over that time the friendships have ebbed and flowed but I love them all as sisters still. I have to say there have been hurts inflicted on all sides but it happens. It has never been worth it to lose friends over. I think the author has reason to feel hurt but you need to weigh that against the rest of the friendship and it sounds like they do care about you. Be honest about how you feel and talk to them and let it go. If a pattern emerges and they continue to do things like this than I think you would have a case for re-evaluating the friendships.
    What has always helped me when feeling slighted is to think about it in the grander scheme of things and life - it hurts but is it life or death? Also I made an effort in my 20s to cultivate my own friends out of my close circle from high school. I am now lucky to be at a great job where I have a whole new circle of friends again at almost 40.
    So talk to them calmly, let it go, and take care of yourself and cultivate your friendships outside of these two. Do things for you to enjoy with people and remember to always put perceived slights in perspective.

    Posted by Trixie June 7, 09 04:18 PM
  1. I would rather go to Paris with a laid back friend than a high maintenance friend. Guess which one you are? Tell them to go and have a great time. That is what a good friend would want for their friends. Show some grace. Being a b**ch is not going to win you any brownie points. Goodness, if this is your greatest issue right now, look how great your life is. Your friendship does not entitle you to go. They were sparing your feelings by not telling you.

    Posted by Debbie June 7, 09 04:35 PM
  1. Sometimes it's time to move on even though it hurts when friendships end. It sounds like your friends definitely excluded you. Better to develop some new friendships and move on. As far as Paris goes, be glad you're not going. I am a very seasoned traveller and always love places I visit and people I meet. Paris is the only exception. It's truly a beautiful city, but the people I met there were the rudest ,most arrogant people I've ever met. I went there for work, but will never go back again. Plan a trip with another friend to a friendlier country (Costa Rica is beautiful and so are its people!) and have a better time than those selfish friends.

    Posted by Linda Lu June 7, 09 04:55 PM
  1. Friendships always change as people do. Keep things simple, adapt.

    It's much better to lose a fight then to give up a friend... (Not my quote)
    Go with the flow, so they are going on a trip together and didn't tell you. Probably because they KNEW it would bother YOU.
    Are you giving out signals that make them uneasy to tell you the truth? See what happened when they did tell you, you reacted exactly the way they thought you would is my unprofessional opinion so they expected you to flip out.
    What is really happening here?

    Posted by MC June 7, 09 06:50 PM
  1. Perhaps since you dropped the ball on Paris before they didn't want to give you the chance this time around?

    Posted by Scooter McGillicuddy June 8, 09 01:38 PM
  1. Oh no! I'm so sorry about the whole thing.
    My two cents:
    1- they should not have planned this trip behind your back, knowing that you've been dying to go there. (I'm sure this is has not been the first thing planned behind your back). so they're obviously closer to each other than they are to you.

    2- you should not have yelled at them because that's going to bring them even closer, and they'll exclude you even more from their lives(not that I would want to be friends with them anyway after the Paris incident). You should've kept your dignity, you know what I mean. They both knew that you' would be mad, so the fact that you had given them something to talk about on their way to Paris is making me really sad for you, hun.

    3- when they get back from their trip, if they call you( if not, call them) I suggest you apologize and move on, but don't ever FORGET this incident. Don't look so needy because they will talk about it every time they're together without you.

    So.. just forget about the whole thing( I know you hurt. I would be, too). But appearing needy and defensive will only make it worse, trust me.
    I don't think they wanted you there. I know if I'm going somewhere, like Paris I would want all my friends there so they can expereince all the fun with me. I dont think they want to be best friends with you and that's why you should find you own friends.
    Soon their little tight friendship will be over, then, both or one them will call you to hang, and you should say yes. so they can feel bad inside.

    Luv ida

    Posted by ida June 8, 09 04:37 PM
  1. You are perfectly justified for feeling hurt by the way your friends seemingly kept their trip a secret from you until the last minute. Their doing so indicates to me that they knew full well that you would be upset and didn't tell you until the last minute to prevent any chance of you finding a way to go with them. Like Meredith said, we do not know the entire dynamic of your friendship, but the fact of them keeping the trip a secret for that long is pretty cut and dry and is not something someone does to one of their best friends. Still, they obviously have a right to be upset with you for using "unkind words" against them if you have been friends for that long, but it is also understandable that when extremely upset we all have moments where we run our mouths and say things we regret later on. Wish them well on their trip to Paris and save the big talk until they get back. If the result of the discussion leaves you believing that your friendships with these girls are not as strong as you initially thought they were, then you'll have some thinking to do, but at least you will have tried to save the relationships. Best of luck to you and your friends.

    Posted by moxiehart June 12, 09 05:16 PM
 
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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