Rudeness: Return to Sender?

A good friend and I were talking about a situation that occurred some time ago, but it still stood out in our minds as some egregious f*ck$hit. Let me share some of the details.

Picture this: You receive an invitation to someone’s wedding. You RSVP right away (because that’s what you’re supposed to do) and let them know that you and your spouse are coming. Great. It’s on your calendar and you begin searching for outfits to wear and begin considering gifts from their registry and arranging travel. And then, several weeks later, you are notified by the couple that everyone must pay $X for the reception meal.

You panic! This isn’t cheap and you already committed to going. So now, in addition to a gift, you have to pay for your meal. “Shouldn’t they have said that from the start?” Absolutely. “Who the hell makes someone else pay for their wedding?” These people *eye roll*. “What do I do? Do I just tell them to kiss my ass? Do I gracefully grit my teeth and go along with this?”

My first inclination was to tell them I’m not coming and maybe send something from the registry. I mean, clearly, what the couple did was wrong. There’s no debating that. They cast a wide net and asked people to join their celebration. They got responses and then sprung additional costs on those that already committed to coming. Tacky, tacky, TACKY. So now, what’s the move? What do you do? Look, I get it. Returning rudeness with petty always feels good. You might want to be like, “I know you’ve lost your damn mind!” But you clearly give a damn about these people.

I’m never going to tell you to turn the other cheek. But let’s talk about what you need to think about before you unleash the full fury of your pettiness. When is it ok to meet rudeness with rudeness of your own?

1. Do you ever want to talk to this person again?
If you don’t care about the relationship, let it rip. If this is your friend, you need to watch what you say. No one is saying you can’t let them know that they were wrong and rude, but you just need to be tactful.

2. Is it that big of a deal?
Is this a momentary bout of rudeness or is this a lifestyle for this person? We all have our moments of rudeness, unintentionally. Learn how to give grace when it’s due. But if it’s not, then it’s time to have a gentle conversation with your friend.

3. Will you feel better addressing it? Whether you get into a neck-rolling spat, or read them for filth in the most eloquent way, consider whether you will feel better and complete when you’re done.

4. Will it make a difference? If you’re going to get hype and address it, make sure it’ll actually move the needle. Otherwise, you’ve wasted your breath and time.

As long as the earth spins, you will be met with rudeness. It’s a given. Now you’ll know whether to let it fly, address it calmly, or volley back that rudeness with the intensity of a thousand African suns.