Hey, Bonita!

Butting In The Friend Trip

Hey Bonita,

OK, so right before summer a few of my friends and I planned a fun beach trip for one of our breaks this fall. I just got settled back in Athens and had a night out with everyone, and our trip came up. Over the summer one of the friends started dating someone new that they’re honestly obsessed with, and the person seems nice and like a good fit, but they live kind of far away. They’re supposed to come hang out soon and meet everyone. Well, our friend wants them to come on the beach trip and is pressuring everyone to say OK like really soon. Some of us feel kind of uncomfortable with not knowing this person at all. We’ll get to meet them soon, but we won’t really get to know them before the trip. I feel like we made this plan as a friend group and no one else is bringing partners, but it is a mixed gender friend group, not like a girls-only trip. Am I being dramatic? How do we tell our friend no we don’t want this person to come?

Anonymous Fun In The Sun

Hey there Anon,

Oh hun, you are speaking my language! I went on a big group trip this summer myself with old friends that I’ve known since elementary school, and believe me, it was some “bucket list” type stuff. We went to a very chic beach town riddled with “the coastal elite” and rude grocery store cashiers who literally turned into jerks as soon as they discerned our Southern accents. We laughed at yachts and ate lobster rolls and made our servers very uncomfortable with our very country-assed questions about their menus. I actually went to a goop store—yes, Gwyneth’s lifestyle “brand” actually has physical storefronts—and I have to say, the shop girls were overly attentive but still very helpful and friendly.  

OK, now I’m just reminiscing about my amazing vacation—and I want you to have an amazing vacation, too! I want you and your friends to spend too much on dinner and to twerk by the pool and pour Casamigos down each other’s gullets. I want you to feel baffled by a man walking his dog on the beach in penny loafers and khakis (seriously, my guy?), and I want you to tell him that his dog is beautiful, too. Your trip should be as worry-free as possible, and your friend is really throwing a monkey wrench into things by pushing y’all to invite their new boo on a bucket list group trip. One of my lifelong friends did bring his husband along, but we’ve known him since they got together in college, and he is absolutely not a stranger to any of us. He’s as much of a friend to the crew now as anyone else. They also brought along a good friend that they made when they moved out west, but several of us had met her before already, so it was much the same case with her.  

Your friend is asking for an amount of charity and goodwill that can only be extended after a solid foundation of trust and familiarity has been laid. I wouldn’t want someone I barely knew joining my crew on our next trip—what if this person turns out to be controlling and attempts to make decisions for your friend? I can see a declaration of “you can’t wear that” or “you’re not going there” turning into a shouty free-for-all when the crew decides to defend their friend against that type of behavior. That’s just one hypothetical example of chud behavior that could cause issues, but a vacation is not where you want to find out someone has stupid political views or prejudices that you’re not prepared to confront or deal with. The simple fact is that y’all don’t know this person well enough to assume that they’ll mesh perfectly with your large group on vacation. If anything, it’s your friend that’s being inappropriate by pushing this person’s inclusion where it’s not truly appropriate. If they want to go on a trip with their new boo, then they need to plan a couple’s trip, not try to shoehorn a stranger into your already agreed-upon plans.

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