Friend troubles?

I am friends with Jen for 10 yrs. She sees me for my birthday and gets me gifts every year.

So naturally when her birthday comes, I want to celebrate with her too. But I notice that most years for her birthday I never really celebrate with her. 

Today I spoke to Jen and asked if she was doing anything for her birthday. She said no but we could do something small. I said ok and we hung up the phone. 

 Later our mutual friend sent me a text to tell me that they are having a birthday brunch for Jen. I asked if this was a surprise or if Jen knew. The friend said she knew.

I called Jen and decided to confront her about it. I asked her if she didn't want me there? She said "Mary is going to be there and I know you don't get along with her so I didn't mention it" 

She also said I don't really plan/celebrate my birthday and she said she didn't even think of the brunch. 

 I continued to feel insecure that she didn't want me there. But eventually she started to cry because she told me that her birth was out of wed lock and in her culture it is frowned upon. I immediately said sorry and how I didn't know.

She said in her culture they don't celebrate birthdays. She also said she hated her birthday. 

My question is this, I believe her when she started crying, but it's confusing with the birthday brunch? Did she not want me there or was it just not a big deal to her? 

I care about her that's why I wanted to celebrate but it's a little confusing. What do you think? 

3 Answers

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  • 2 months ago

    As a friend I'm surprised you confronted Jen and made her cry.  She has explained she doesn't like celebrating her birthday for cultural and personal reasons but was happy to please you with a small celebration.  However, like you, this mutual friend has decided that Jen HAS to celebrate in some way and has invited people to join the brunch party.  This includes Mary.  Presumably she doesn't know you aren't keen on Mary.  Now poor Jen has GOT to celebrate a birthday she doesn't want to celebrate at all.  She is obliged to.  The brunch meant very little to her as a celebration and didn't mention it - or forgot about it.  She knew you wouldn't come (not that it was HER place to invite you as it was the mutual friend's brunch party NOT Jen's) because Mary would be there so didn't bother to say anything when she spoke to you.  You found out and now she's been reduced to tears by her so-called 'friend' who she was going to have a small celebration with (to please you....not herself) but will probably not want to now you've been rotten to her. 

  • 2 months ago

    Were I in your position, I would trust what she told me instead of assuming that it was a personal rejection.

  • 2 months ago

    I think that "confronting" people about them not inviting you to an event that THEY didn't plan is really bad form. You intentionally wanted to make her feel bad because you felt bad upon the discovery that other friends of hers had planned an event. Nothing very "friendly" or "Happy Birthday" about that!  What exactly you are caring about and who you are caring for seems to be what is confusing. Your insecurity demanded that you be the important person. Rethink that. 

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