What if your friend asked you to dress “frumpy” on the night of her boyfriend’s birthday celebration?
What if she told you that she couldn’t tell you why when you asked for the reason behind the unusual request? Should you obey her even though she’s keeping the reason a secret?
Or would you show up at the party, dressed as you please because it is who you are?
The most important question is, Should the two of you still be friends?
It’s a sad, strange story that was posted by a woman who later deleted her username on Reddit after posting about it and even giving everyone an update. But both posts remain on Reddit’s r/AmItheA–hole forum, with really interesting comments when the whole truth was revealed in the update.
Here’s the story of this woman and her long-time friend, along with the man who has put a wedge between them. OP wrote in her first post, “My (29F) friend Kate (28) has a boyfriend, Jamie (29), whom she has been with for nearly 3 years. We met Jamie on a night out, and I would say that although he’s Kate’s bf, I consider him a friend. We share an interest in a particular sport that we text about sometimes, and if I have a spare hospitality ticket to one of the sporting fixtures, I will sometimes invite Jamie to go. Jamie’s 30th is coming up, and Jamie and Kate planned a big party, and I peripherally helped out with logistics when asked. A few days ago, Kate texted me. She asked if I wouldn’t mind ‘toning down’ my look for the party, and if I could send her a picture of what I was planning to wear. I asked her what this meant and, after asking several times if she ‘really had to say it,’ she asked if I could dress (verbatim) ‘basically what [I] would consider frumpy’ because she really didn’t want to be outshone at her own boyfriend’s birthday party.”
This exchange between them surprised, annoyed, and saddened OP. How could her own friend think that she was a distraction to her boyfriend for being who she was? She felt that if she could not dress as herself, it was best for her not to go to the party at all.
But Kate reacted with panic over OP’s response, saying that it was immature of her not to attend the party just because “she couldn’t steal the spotlight.” But OP clarified that it was not due to that reason, but she was uncomfortable with Kate placing the responsibility on her to dress in a way that wouldn’t attract her friend’s boyfriend. But Kate answered that she just wanted to stand out at the party because Jamie’s friends and colleagues would be coming.
However, the conflict remained unresolved, with OP choosing to just stay at home. Later, Jamie texted her to urge her to come to the party. Kate messaged her too since her boyfriend wanted OP to be at his birthday celebration. But she was still insisting on OP coming in a “frumpy” dress. More messages came from mutual friends, and they called Kate simply insecure.
Well, OP’s update on this proved to be a twist that ended with many online commenters sympathizing with Kate. The commenters were also on OP’s side, and it was Jamie who was later judged as the real a-hole.
This was the first part of the update: “As surprised as I was that so many people said to tell Jamie, I did realize it was the right thing to do. So, I texted him and told him that Kate was insisting I dress a certain way. Jamie called and explained. A couple of months ago, Jamie and Kate were out with a few of his friends (these same friends that I mentioned in my comments are not fond of Kate), and everyone had had a lot to drink. They were talking about how they met their SOs, and the story of Jamie and Kate meeting came up. Apparently during the telling of the story, Kate asked Jamie why he had decided to hit on her rather than me, and one of his friends joked that it was because he knew he didn’t have a shot with ‘the hot one’ – me. Kate asked if this was true, and Jamie, having had WAY too much to drink, explained in a way that made it sound kind of true.”
Yes, Jamie admitted that his primary interest was OP, but his own insecurities hindered him from trying his luck. Instead, he settled for Kate, whom Jamie claimed to have learned to love. He told OP that he was even planning to propose to Kate that evening; that was why he wanted OP to be there as her friend. But now he has changed his mind because of this latest incident, on top of the changes in Kate’s behavior ever since she learned the truth.
OP talked with Kate afterward, and her friend admitted everything and made an apology for trying to overcome her insecurities through OP. Kate urged her to come to the party, no longer requiring OP to tone down her looks. At the same time, she confessed to OP that she could not have her in her life the way it was before because it was still difficult for her to deal with her feelings about Jamie’s strong attraction to OP.
OP ended this update with the following details, “I’m really sad that I’ve probably lost a longtime friend over the drunken awkwardness of other people, but I also get that Kate can’t help how she feels, and frankly it’s for the best not to be in a secret competition. So, yeah, I’m hurt, but I’m going to the party. Not a satisfying update, but an honest one.”
Yet, in her latest update, OP wrote this: “Going through these comments has actually brought up a couple of memories that have, in hindsight, made me a bit uncomfortable, and I actually don’t think I will end up going to this party. As much as the mutual friends will have questions, and I don’t know how much of the truth I will end up telling, I feel too weird right now to continue to be involved in this situation.”
What did the AITA members say?
From SyndicalistThot: “Jamie sounds like a real piece of work with bad taste in friends, so you dodged a bullet there. That’s not something you should say in front of your partner. I hope Kate gets out of this relationship before it gets any more serious and you two can mend fences, but either way, be glad he didn’t think he had a shot with you and that you can just walk away from this whole drama-filled mess.”
From fluffypotat096: “LIKE HOW SHADY IS THIS !! So he pulled off the proposal bc his gf felt insecure (for a reason) over their ‘hot’ friend, and he not only tells the ‘hot’ friend but also gaslights her as if her insecurities have no motives??? Instead of, idk, just being reassuring??? Everyone is better off without this relationship triangle drama.”
From FlatWhiteGirl93: “This is heartbreaking for Kate. You did nothing wrong, and she obviously was out of line with what she asked of you, but I can’t imagine hearing your partner say that would be an easy thing to get over, especially if she’s insecure. She shouldn’t have asked (EDIT: I’m referring specifically to the ‘rather than OP’ part of her question), he shouldn’t have said what he did or exposed her to his friends if they have a history of not treating her well. I’m sorry you’re losing a good friend over this! I hope she takes a step back from him and you guys patch things up. Their relationship doesn’t sound all that healthy.”
From TheGildedDildoArises: “Yeah, I don’t see this relationship lasting. The amount of insecurity and resentment that have now been established will eat away at it. I feel horribly for OP but honestly worse for Kate. She needs to drop Jamie and find someone that she doesn’t feel is settling for her. What a bummer all around.”Whizzco