Are you bringing your girlfriend, too?

QUESTION: Hi Chuck & Garland,

Last August, I was the maid of honor at my childhood’s friends wedding. As cliché as it seems, I did a drunken wedding hook up with one of the groomsmen. I live on the West Coast, he lives in the South, it was great and I figured I would never see him again. So the next morning, I slip out of his hotel room to do the walk of shame before anyone wakes up. We did not exchange numbers, hell I didn’t know his last name.

The newlyweds return from their honeymoon to incessant emails and messages from this guy asking for my contact info (No – we do not have an STD). According to the bridegroom, the guy is interested in me and is talking about visiting them as means to come see me. I had already written the whole thing off but was excited to have him contact me; he is a quality brother.

The guy calls and I mean he calls, at least weekly and this goes on for about five months. He even agrees to a slightly modified “how we met story” to share with our now mutual friends. Our conversations go from reminiscing about our drunken hook up to our life goals and then we talk about seeing one another again. According to him, he has some financial commitments from buying his new home, a fixer upper and may not be able to come see me for a few months. Now I have frequent flier miles and could have easily come to see him but I had just ended a long distance relationship and really wanted this guy to meet me on my turf. Sort of an old-fashioned the man should come to the woman thing. Yeah, I know a little late to get traditional.

Ok, here comes the question. We finally decide and plan for his week-long visit to my city and then a long drive to visit the newlyweds, I’m not sure if a ticket was purchased and I didn’t ask. Then suddenly, I’m in need of a surgery for a “feminine situation” that overlaps with his impending visit. This guy is in the medical profession, understood the nature of my surgery and knew that I would be “closed for business” for 6-8 weeks. Of course, he “postpones” his trip until I’m 100%. I was hurt but I was not naïve enough to think he would still come. I get about two calls following my surgery then I don’t hear from the guy again. Less than two weeks later, I am informed by mutual friends that BAM, the guy just got engaged!!

Mutual friends from the wedding jokingly assumed I was the fiancé because no one in their circle of friends knew he was dating anyone less alone someone he was about to propose to. Now the issue is, my crew of girlfriends all insist that I call and curse this guy out. The newlyweds are especially embarrassed because they have been bragging that they “introduced” us at their wedding. The bride suggests I call and demand an explanation. Then another friend is scrutinizing my decision to wait until he had the means to come see me, when all along I could have easily went out there. Or that I should call him and act like I don’t know he is engaged.

Now yes, I am pissed that I got played. However, I can’t bring myself to call him because it is bad enough that I am the drunken wedding hook-up bridesmaid, I really don’t want to be the CRAZY drunken bridesmaid – yes there is a difference. And I feel like the guy never promised me anything.

I don’t know why, but my girls and I are obsessed with knowing this guy’s story? Was it a girl who put her foot down, the marriage ultimatum? Was I to be his last fling before marriage? Was I in a run-off election but didn’t know it? Why do guys do this sort of thing, if he is contemplating marriage why is he fooling with me? And I know, I’m better off without him and I don’t want a guy who would do such a thing, blah, blah. But damn I need to know. Oh and if your reply is going to be about the importance of women keeping their legs closed, please go easy on me, I’m already embarrassed about being the drunken wedding hook up girl.

–I promise sobriety at all wedding receptions from here on out!

GARLAND: Whoa, uh... naw I'm not gonna' talk about ladies keepin' their legs closed... you're grown and I say do your thing! I'm just a big proponent of ladies making sure they don't settle for less than they deserve from a man... but hey, HANDLE YOURS!!!!

As far as this guy goes, I'm kinda' like this - don't let your girlfriend's desire to see you make a fool of yourself lead you to make a fool of yourself. Because, if you call this guy up and curse him out or make a big production over the fact that he is now engaged - you WILL look like a crazed ex-booty call.

I think the TRUE CRIME here would have been if this guy kept calling you AFTER he got engaged - talking about how much he wanted to see you, and hook up with you, and plan his life with you. If this was the case, I'd be all for chewing him up and spitting him out. But from what you've said, I can see why you'd be a little bothered, but honestly IT'S JUST NOT THAT SERIOUS.

He MAY HAVE BEEN THINKING, that you were someone special. I have a feeling that he may have had a close female friend where he lives, he may have even had a girlfriend - but, then there was you. He MAY have wanted to spend a little time face-to-face with you to see if you were as spectacular in real life as you were in his thoughts and imagination. Maybe if you were, he might have considered leaving his girlfriend to start something legit with you. He MAY have even discussed this with you during your week together. Then sadly, you two couldn't get together - intimately, and you didn't get together at all. He could have taken this as a sign that the two of you weren't supposed to be together, so he went on and popped the question to his girl.

But don't let the fact that your GIRLS are hyped and angry, and don't let the fact that the bride thinks you are owed an answer - lead you into a big dramatic production with this guy. Don't feel like you were played, as a man, I have to say that there are FAR WORSE things this guy could have done to you to qualify as PLAYING YOU. Just walk away and consider it - his loss.

Take care of yourself, and thank you very much for dropping us a question!

CHUCK: Dear Drunken Wedding Hook-upGirl... Sorry, just kidding...

I'm in complete agreement with Garland about you letting this guy go without that irate phone call. That would NOT go well, for you, and probably shouldn't.

I'm going to make the radical suggestion that he MAY not have played you. You both had a mutually enjoyable drunken hook-up. When he pursued you afterward, it was not for more booty calls. He was apparently looking for some sort of relationship. But the fact of the matter is long-distance relationships are extremely difficult to maintain. You don't know where this fiancee could have come from. She may have been someone he was seeing before, after, or during your courtship. You never know. Does this guy have a MySpace page?

As for him flaking off on your visit due to your "female issues," it's kind of bad, but I don't know if I'd judge him too harshly for that. At that point, your relationship was predicated on the physical. So if you too found you didn't mesh well in person, at least you could get drunk and sleep together again. He shouldn't have been quite so obvious when he found out that sex was off the table, but some guys just aren't that smooth. Or that tactful.

I think we should call this a near-miss and move on. At least, he's not still trying to romance you with a fiancee. That'd be trying to play you. All in all, depending on whether or not you used protection, you probably had the healthiest attitude about your wedding crash. He's the one who apparently started catching feelings over what happened.

Anyway, next wedding, repeat after me: "No, thanks, I'll just have the fruit punch."


Awfully Wedded Husband

QUESTION: I need to know what to do or to figure out if I need my head examined.

There's a lot to my story but I'm going to squeeze it all together for you. I have a girlfriend, I'll call her Jill. Last year Jill introduced me to this guy named Deke. The first night I met him he sat in the club with us with his hat and sunglasses on, drunk. He was very unimpressive. I knew that Jill had a couple of guys on the side, so I didn't think much of him.

But she seemed to keep him around for awhile. He stayed drunk and treated her shitty for the most part, but she would not leave him. He actually punched her in the mouth one time busting her lip and drawing blood. She thought about leaving him, but days later he was right back in her home and in her arms and she was acting like nothing happened. On a few ocassions, I tried to encourage her to really ask herself if she wanted a man who stayed drunk, hardly worked and didn't mind hitting her. She stuck with him. A few weeks ago she showed up at a gathering of our friends wearing an engagment ring! Deke popped the question and dumb-dumb, I mean, Jill said yes. Our girlfriends have been falling all over her and the ring and Deke since he popped the question. I tried to ask a few of our friends if they thought Deke was good for Jill. But they seem to be just as giddy and stupid as she is is. A few of them have even hinted that I might be jealous because Jill has a man (???) and I don't. That's not my issue at all. I'd rather be alone than with a man that hits me and treats me bad.

But it gets worse. Now, my girlfriends and I have been invited to Jill and Deke's wedding which is taking place in the Bahamas. They have some kind of deal where if they can sell out 10 rooms for 3 days, then their wedding and reception are free. So basically, I'd be covering 10% of their wedding expense. I don't want to go! Am I crazy? Is Jill crazy? Am I a bad friend? Tell me what you guys are thinking!!!!!

GARLAND: Uh, you-crazy-NO, Jill-crazy-PROBABLY, bad friend-NO.

Are you crazy for NOT wanting to go to a wedding that you don't believe in? Not at all. Personally, I think this is a type of integrity that many people are reluctant to show. I think that going to a wedding where you honestly don't feel like the two people should be married is wrong. I'd like to call it criminal, but that might not be the right word for this moment. When two people are making promises of love and enternal devotion to each other, they are doing it in front of God, their families and their friends. And in turn, everyone there is given a chance to stop the show if they know of any reason these two should not be wed... I am yet to attend a wedding where someone actually did this, but I've been to some where time has proven that someone should have spoken up.

You may find yourself, in a bad spot when this point comes up. I mean, we all want our friends to be happy, and we all want what is BEST for our friends [at least we should] and you know or have strong feelings that this Deke guy, is NOT the best for your friend. I say don't go! Because if you go, and you still don't trust this guy with Jill's heart - then your attendance will be "signing off" on something that you believe is bad or wrong. And I'm not even taking into account the whole "paying for 10%" of this event. That's a whole other issue...

Thanks for your question, and good luck on you decision.

CHUCK: I agree with Garland completely that if you do not agree with this union, you should not support it, let alone subsidize it. But you also need to realize that you may be costing yourself a friend. Because if you tell her you will not be attending, she's going to ask you why. If you tell her, she'll get mad at you. If you don't tell her, she'll get mad at you. In no way I'm suggesting that you should participate in what you obviously view as a farce, but just be prepared for the reaction.

Unfortunately, that is all you can do. Nobody wants to see their friend married to a drunken, abusive bum. But she may feel that she can (sigh) change him. He probably told her that he'll be different after they're married. But seriously, if anyone out there ever knows of a situation where a guy like this has changed for the better (without a jail sentence being involved), let me know. Drop us a comment. Call me cynical, but I don't see this happening too often. Or ever.

One last bit of advice: On some day in the future, a couple of years after they get married, when they've had a kid and Deke's true colors REALLY show themselves, and she's moaning to you how she never should have married him, etc., etc., resist the urge to say "I told you so." It's always better to take the high road.