Someone writes in to Prudie about learning that the One That Got Away considers her The One That Got Away:

Aside from a fun weeklong fling over a decade ago, we’ve always kept it platonic, mostly because one of us was always dating someone in the couple of times a year we’d see each other. Flash forward to this year when I told him my boyfriend and I were getting married. He seemed shocked, but happy for me, came out to help me prepare for the big day and was an all-around champ. After the wedding I talked to my new mother-in-law and was shocked to find out that he referred to me as “the one who got away” in his own life

Prudie responds:

I don’t find it a charming plot twist that your friend confesses to your new mother-in-law (!) that you’re the one who got away. Instead it is rude and passive-aggressive. Yes, it’s possible he blurted this out to your mother-in-law after too much to drink, and by way of praising your charms. But it doesn’t have that feel, does it? Presumably, he thought she would pass on this tidbit, thus putting a pall over your honeymoon. That’s not something a friend does. There’s a reason your dreams of this guy never became reality. As he’s demonstrated, in reality he sounds kind of manipulative

I was initially set to agree with her, when I read the title and before I got to the specifics of his little confession. There was a scene in Friends where Rachel is flying across the Atlantic to tell Ross that she loves him before he gets married. She’s telling the story to a random guy (played by the guy who plays House) who, at the end, tells her that she is an utterly terrible person. She manipulated him and then, when he finally found happiness with someone else, wanted to re-insert herself into his happy life.

Those of you who have reading me for a while know that this actually sort of happened to me. I hold no ill-will, though my wife is not a big fan of her.

But here’s the thing… this guy didn’t actually make a play. He didn’t say “I object!” at the wedding. He made a comment to the mother of the groom. A comment which actually strikes me as being something along the lines of “Your son got a real winner here” rather than an actual profession of love. Or it may have been a “Jesucristo I screwed up” and failing to keep it inside. It may have been a passive-aggressive way of making a declaration, but it would have been a particularly incompetent way of doing so. The odds of the mother-in-law relaying the message are somewhere below 100%.

My advice would have been along the lines of “Lady, he may or may not have really meant what he said. If he did mean it, there is a good chance it was a passing thought. You don’t want to step on that ice.”


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7 Responses to Prudie Fail: Maybe He Was Just Being Polite?

  1. Dr X says:

    “The odds of the mother-in-law relaying the message are somewhere below 100%.”

    Although at some point the mother-in-law relayed the info to someone because it reached the bride. Still, I share your reluctance to condemn the guy. It really could have been delivered in a way that was fully intended to convey that the groom got himself a great catch. That said, I wouldn’t recommend this approach to congratulations. It’s as bit too fraught.

    • trumwill says:

      Although at some point the mother-in-law relayed the info to someone because it reached the bride.

      Yeah, but he didn’t know it would. If he wanted to jab it with her, which is kind of Prudie’s interpretation, that would not be a good way to do it.

      That said, I wouldn’t recommend this approach to congratulations.

      Agreed.

  2. Mike Hunt Ray Rice says:

    TrumWill Fail

    1) Rachel was telling her story to the man sitting across the aisle from her. House was sitting to her left, overheard the story, and made his comments. (BTW I have never seen House without stubble before)

    2) The Dear Prudence is from December 2013. For all we know the bride ended up marrying her guy friend since then.

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