Me and my best friend were going to see the movie Eighth Grade from the moment we knew it existed. We didn’t talk about it super frequently, but we did mention more than a few times that we were really hype for when it came out. I was really, really excited to see it with her; it looked like a great movie, and our plan to see it together made me feel close with her.
I was on vacation out of state this past week, and while I was on vacation the movie finally came out where we live. I just found out that she went and saw it on Tuesday (the last day before I got home) with her other friends, because they invited her to see it.
I know that I have no control over her actions and she can do whatever she wants to do, but it still hurt me that she saw it even though she knew that I was so excited to see it with her. Yesterday we were having a conversation, and when I started texting her about the movie, she didn’t respond.
I confronted her about it (over text) and said that I was disappointed, and she said that she was sorry and didn’t think it was a big deal. It seemed like she didn’t know how much I was looking forward to it, which is why she didn’t think much of seeing it without me. I understand that, but it still hurts.
She’s offered multiple times to just see it again with me, and I mean, I will, but it just doesn’t feel the same.
I don’t know if I’m just making too big a deal out of this, but how can I feel better about the situation? I want to be able to see it with her without feeling weird about it.
Aw, Sparkler. I know you do. And yet you can’t, which is exactly what makes this whole situation so incredibly dumb and unfair. It’s one of life’s great injustices that one person’s minor lack of consideration can be another person’s giant honking disappointment.
Because of course you’re bummed out, and of course it doesn’t feel exactly the same to go see the movie with her now—because it was never just about the movie, right? It was about making a date to see it together, and what that experience would mean to each of you. The fact that she saw it without you means you’re necessarily deprived of what you were looking forward to, including the sense of best-friendly closeness you’d get from making and keeping those plans.
Which sucks, and I’m sorry. Really! It’s totally natural that you feel disappointed. But having said that, let’s also take a step back make sure we’re putting this sucky situation in the appropriate perspective: this is one isolated instance in which you didn’t get what you wanted (and in which your friend apparently didn’t know you wanted it, which makes this a mistake but really not a betrayal). It’s not part of a pattern. It’s not setting a precedent. And not only was it the result of an innocent misunderstanding, but your friend has already done her part to acknowledge your feelings, apologize, and try to make amends.
All of which is to say that unless you’d like to set your own precedent of holding this Eighth Grade grudge until it’s old enough to go to college, this is where you should accept her offer to see the movie with you. Not because it’s going to be exactly the experience you’d originally hoped for, but because it’s the next best thing, and your best way of proving to both yourself and your friend that you’re capable of getting over it.
That is, if you’re not over it already, which is the other thing: it’s normal and natural to be disappointed when a friend shafts you, even unintentionally. But it is also normal and natural to let it go, especially when apologies have been made. And yes: continuing to dwell on it after that is, indeed, making too big a deal out of it. People screw up. You’ll screw up, too! And when you do, you’ll want your friends to be gracious enough not to keep making you feel bad for the mistakes you’ve already owned up to, which is why I can’t urge you enough to be gracious about this one.
Do that. You won’t regret it. And whatever ambivalent feelings you might have when you first sit down to see the movie with your friend, they won’t last unless you cling to them—and if you don’t, they’ll be gone before you’ve made it even halfway through your popcorn.
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