Was I really in the wrong?

Published 12:03 pm Monday, April 22, 2024

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Dear Aunty Pam,


I think I’ve just lost my best friend and not sure how to patch things up.

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‘Jennifer’ and I are both in our mid-40s and have been besties since junior high. She has been married once, divorced, and got married again a couple of weeks ago. It was a big wedding, and she asked if I would be her matron of honor. Of course, I said I would, and I had bought the dress and the plane ticket and was good to go. 

About a week before the wedding, my 15-year-old cat suddenly became very ill. I immediately took him to the vet, they stabilized him, and for the next several days it was touch and go until it was clear he wasn’t going to make it. I made the very difficult decision to put him down the next day, the day of the wedding.

I called Jennifer as soon as I was sure I was going to have to let Theo go and told her I was terribly sorry, but I couldn’t make the wedding. I felt awful about it and cried my eyes out for my sweet cat, who saw me through my own divorce and was my angel, and I was crying about the wedding. 

What I didn’t expect was for Jennifer to ream me for canceling at the last minute. Besides being told I was irresponsible and selfish, she also said there was no way to find another maid/matron of honor, and I had screwed up everything. When I asked her what I was supposed to do about Theo, she said, ‘For God’s sake, couldn’t you have found a friend that would have taken him to be put down?’ Then she hung up on me.

Aunty Pam, there was no way I wouldn’t have been there with my cat for his final moments. I’m so hurt she said that and am not even sure if I should try to mend our friendship. Was I really in the wrong?


Theo’s Mom


Dear Theo’s mom,


First of all, I’m so sorry about sweet Theo, and rest assured he now keeps your seat warm until you meet again. Secondly, I would also have chosen to stay with my cat over the wedding, but I think I would have managed the timing a bit differently.

Let’s remember how stressful weddings can be and how Jennifer was quite likely on a bit of an adrenaline rush with a chaser of anxiety on the eve of her big day. Suddenly losing a matron of honor or a best man, at best, puts a sizable dent in the wedding plans, with no time for another rehearsal. 

And so I think it would have been helpful had you contacted Jennifer the very day Theo became critically ill. That would have at least bought her some time to make different arrangements. But as she wasn’t given that luxury, Aunty Pam understands her outburst, even though it felt very cruel to you.

Perhaps when you know Jennifer has returned home (assuming there is a honeymoon involved) it might not be a bad idea to send a bouquet of flowers along with a thoughtful note apologizing for your absence. By then, hopefully, enough time and piña colada’s in Aruba, or wherever she went, will have warmed her heart enough to realize such a long friendship is worth saving.


 Cheers, dears!!

Aunty Pam