If there's a moral to the story, it's that even the most casual of real estate negotiations require contracts, if possible. Written ones are the best. Short of that, verbal ones are still better than nothing. Good luck with your job search! And remember—next time, get it in writing.
Friend or Foe
Dear Friend or Foe,
Over the years, I've felt alternately protective of and frustrated by my college friend "Eva," who has always been a little off balance. She's had numerous friends dump her and vice-versa—something I never wanted to happen. After I got engaged last winter, I decided that my cousin and sister would be the only bridesmaids, mostly so I could avoid dealing with Eva and her endless drama. When I told her that I was having only my two family members in the wedding party, she was upset and threatened not to come, saying it would be hard to get time off of work if she couldn't give her boss the excuse of being a bridesmaid. She also disagreed with my choice of location (on the West Coast, where I live); wanted to plan a bachelorette party in Las Vegas (I hate Las Vegas!); and declared that she would pick out and buy my wedding dress for me. (What?!)
After a lot of thought, I later decided it was dumb to sacrifice not having some of my other close friends involved in the ceremony just because of Eva. I subsequently invited three other women to take part, one of whom is also a friend from college, and they all accepted. After Eva sent me another e-mail in which she made a wedding dress suggestion, I finally wrote to tell her what I'd done. I used lots of "I think" and "I feel" statements and tried not to blame her for anything. She hasn't written back, and it's been a month now. I think I was right, but I feel like shit about it. I also worry that she doesn't have many people to turn to and that I should have been the bigger person. What do you think?
Never Dumped a Friend Before
You "tried not to blame her for anything"? (Tried not to blame her for what?) Sorry, but while Eva may have been a handful and a drama queen in the past, I see scant evidence of her having acted maliciously or even tediously with regard to your nuptials. The woman offered to organize and throw a bachelorette party for you! (It's not her fault you don't like Vegas.) Plus, a trip to the West Coast (unless you already live there) is indeed no easy feat to pull off when you have no vacation days left at work. Finally, it's hard for me to see how Eva's getting (overly) involved in the selection of your wedding dress constitutes a cardinal sin. It sounds a little clueless, sure, but also kind of sweet.
As for her initial disappointment that she wasn't being asked to play any special role in your wedding, assuming that she considers you her best friend, this isn't all that surprising. But sending the poor woman an e-mail informing her that you've changed your mind and that you are going to have buddies outside your family read Pablo Neruda poems—just not her—is, sorry, downright mean. I'm not surprised she hasn't answered. She's probably incredibly hurt. What I'm confused about is what kind of response you were expecting. Did you want her to write back that it was no big deal—she'd be happy to come to the wedding anyway? Or was this your way of ending the friendship once and for all? If your goal was the latter, you've done your job.
Friend or Foe