Buffalo Bill

Friday, March 14, 2008

I'm going to go out on a limb here and tell a story about someone in real life. It might come back to bite me in the ass because some of my friends from college who occasionally stumble over here will probably immediately know who I'm talking about, but I'm kind of over that.

So on the first day of college orientation all the Freshmen met with some panel of officials and the students got to ask all those questions we had been wondering but hadn't had any place to ask. A lot of weird questions were offered up and answered and it was actually a pretty helpful session.

Some guy up in the balcony asked, "What if we're from somewhere like Buffalo and we can't or don't want to go home for Thanksgiving?" The panel explained that the dining hall would be open and that there would be some activities for those who stayed behind.

Maybe a minute later the same guy raised his hand and said, "What happens if you're from somewhere like Buffalo and you don't want to go home for Christmas vacation?" Of course everyone laughed, and I'm pretty sure the administrator just said that there really wouldn't be any you know, heat or water or anything like that.

My memory is a little fuzzy, but I'm pretty sure he asked another question about how he never wanted to go home again and from that point on, he became known to us as Buffalo Bill*. BB became friends with some of my friends, simply by proximity. They lived in the same dorm and to put it mildly, BB has some space issues. You know, he wants to be in yours ALL THE TIME. He would go into peoples' rooms and stay for incredibly large sums of time for no real reason. Never anything interesting, just needing to be in someone else's metaphorical grill. BB is and always has been mostly harmless, but frankly, he's obnoxious.

All conversations with BB go something like this:

BB: "Ugh. How are you? Don't even ask about me."
Me: "Good, thanks."
BB: "I've had the worst day/week/month/year"
Me: ....(finally biting the bullet)..."why?"

And then there's a 45 minute conversation about why his life is more difficult than everyone else's.

And I listen, because truthfully, he's had some bad things happen. However, at the same time, he's SO freaking annoying. Everytime he signs onto instant messenger he starts the same conversation and eventually I find an excuse to leave the conversation, but not before he gives me a big fat guilt trip about being a good friend, and how it seems like I don't want to talk to him and he's just had so much of that recently he's really frustrated. Hi, it's because you're ANNOYING.

Lately it's been about teaching (he's kind of a teacher) and he wants lesson plans from me for his classes. Or to complain about how busy it is. Or to tell me how little he's being paid (more than me, for the record). Or to talk about how he thinks he got a warning from the administration because he's homosexual (no, actually it's because you were being stupid).

The pertinent part of this story is to tell you that I'm not inviting Buffalo Bill to my wedding, but I am inviting several other friends from college who know BB. How exactly does one go about this? I'm obviously not going to tell him that I'm not inviting him, but how do I not make this super awkward for people who know him and not be mean about it? I'm not a mean person and generally speaking I am a very loyal friend, but BB and I were never really friends, it was a host-cell/amoeba situation and I cannot get him to un-amoeba himself from me.

I really don't want him at my wedding, but I also don't want to be an ass. You know? Where's the middle ground? Why can't Hallmark make a card that says, "I hope you have a nice life, just not really near mine." Or like, "You're not invited to the wedding, but if it makes you feel better, I feel bad about not inviting you."

Come on, you know you've had a Buffalo Bill you would've liked a card to send to. Admit it. Make me feel like less of a douche. No really, I'm going to need you to make me feel better about this. Or at least help me figure out what the hell to do.

*Not his real name, but I'm sure if you know him you'll be able to figure out my super-secret code.


Anonymous said...

Alrighty, weddings are damn expensive. You can only invite X number of people. Some people just have to be cut. Simple as that. Are you getting married and having your reception in different places? That would make it easier because you can then throw in, "I wish I could invite everyone I want to my reception but we are just too poor but I would love it if you would attend the ceremony."

I wouldn't be able to pull that off because the person would know, just by looking at me, that I would NOT love them to be anywhere within 12,304 feet of me.

And yes, we have all had BBs in our lives.

Overflowing Brain said...

Ceremony and reception are about 15 feet apart. But very creative. I like it.

Flea said...

I don't think you need to say anything to anyone either way. At all. It's your wedding. You invite who you want. You're probably already inviting way too many people because you "have to", what with work and family connections, right? I'd say not to lose any sleep over BB and an invitation. Or anyone else who thinks he should go. Your friends who know him will understand - if they even ask. I'm betting that if they ask there's probably a bit of apprehension in THEIR voices. Don't do it. Don't even mention it.

As to the IM? Set your status to busy, making it easier to ignore him. People you want to talk with will see you're online, so won't be surprised when you contact them. BB will still blip through, but won't be AS surprised when you don't respond. Don't respond. Sounds like he's a train wreck in your life. You just can't turn away, no matter how morbid it is. LOL!

Overflowing Brain said...

I actually blocked him today. I just couldn't stand living in constant fear and having to always have an away message up (I know, the drama of my life). A train wreck indeed.

Anonymous said...

Send him an announcement after the wedding, and see if he at least ponies up a gift. You deserve that, at least.

Anonymous said...

Don't sweat it in the least. You need to draw the line somewhere. If BB were invited, there'd be someone even less close you'd not invite. Not everyone will expect an invitation nor be disappointed if they don't get one. He's a dude--he may not even have thought about being invited. And if he did, he may have manners enough not to ask you about it. And if he doesn't, you say in as few words as possible that your budget required you to draw lines you hated to draw. Then you ask how things have been for him (the ole look at the wookie defense).

Anonymous said...

Just tell him you didn't want to put all that pressure on him, what with the way he's been feeling lately, and having to afford gifts on his paltry salary, and after that whole fiasco with his car, etc., etc., etc.

Laughingly tell him you didn't realize he knew you were getting married, what with how busy and horrible his life is....

two birds, one stone!

Sherri said...

Hi Katie,

I don't know what I/M service you're using, but be careful with the blocking, because he could start using another name and see that you have him blocked. Which might provoke an awkward conversation you don't want to have. With AIM or AOL, you set your preferences to "only allow those on your buddy list", and then take him off of yours. He'll never be able to see that you're online no matter how many screen names he may use. If there's a time you wouldn't mind talking to him, then you can always add him back for limited amounts of time, at your choosing. (Unfortunately, I've had a long experience with a stalker and I guess it shows in this comment.... two restraining orders is what it finally took to get rid of him, but I digress)
But really, about the wedding invitation, that's an easy one and every else's advice is correct. You DO have a limited budget and can't invite everyone. And hey, what's a wedding without somebody getting their feelings hurt because they weren't invited? I thought that was pretty much a given! Don't give it another thought, it will work out fine, I'm sure

Anonymous said...

I invited a couple of people to my wedding that kind of annoy me, but it wasn't worth the hassle of hearing about it later or hurting feelings of basically nice people. And yes, wedding's are expensive, but that day was all about US and I didn't want to worry about anything. Not one little thing. I really felt like these annoying people truly enjoyed themselves and were happy to be there for us, even though we find them annoying. You're already thinking and feeling guilty about it.

Although another way of looking at it is you will NEVER be able to please everyone when it comes to your wedding, so don't even try. My mother was appalled that we wanted to toast with crystal beer steins (I hate champagne) but it was our day. I was marrying the best guy in the world. A lot of this side stuff is just that...stuff. I know I'm sending you a mixed message, but bottom line is do what YOU want. And then let it go. And enjoy the hell out of your day!!