Letting people borrow an emotional item can be stressful. Especially when you customized said item and made it your own.
So, understandably you don’t want them to completely destroy that item without your permission.
A Redditor encountered this very issue with her friend. So she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“AITA for taking a wedding dress back?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“I had a designer dress that I got at a ridiculous discount.”
“I paid slightly less than 10% of the original cost for the dress because the last bride never made it to the altar. She was rich and didn’t care about money, and I was discount shopping on Craigslist: It was a perfect match.”
“I made the dress my own, took out the zipper and put in a corset back, added a bustle, etc. I got married in it, hurray, so all was well.”
OP’s friend asked for a favor.
“Fast forward a bit and a friend asks to borrow the dress.”
“The friend is financially struggling and dealing with health problems. They’re pushing up their wedding to get on their future husband’s federal employee insurance. They want to look pretty for their wedding so they ask me to borrow the dress.”
“I tell them of course they can borrow the dress, and I’ll take care of cleaning costs afterwards. I only ask that they keep it from being irreparably stained or damaged.”
OP didn’t think it’d be too bad.
“In my head I’m thinking ‘don’t eat a 50 gallon drum of spaghetti with nothing but your face and we’ll be fine.'”
“Two weeks later I start getting a bunch of messages with color swatches. I think ‘oh wedding theme colors, nice.'”
“She was actually shopping around to get fabric dye to dye my dress some version of a sage/pea/puke green color.”
OP was not having it.
“There was much concerned back-and-forth that ensued as I realized her intention to drop my very-expensive-got-at-a-bargain-handsewn-to-be-perfect-for-me dress into a vat of sadness in a shade of green nope.”
“At one point in the conversation I politely, but firmly, informed her that I agreed to the dress being borrowed, but would not consent to the dress being dyed.”
“She messaged me back ‘too late’.”
“More exchanges happened and I ended up getting the dress back from her a week before her wedding, happy to find out she lied about it being ‘too late.’ She admitted she was hoping that I would just give up and let her do what she wanted with the dress if I thought it was too late to do anything about it.”
OP’s friend was upset.
“She ended up throwing a fit when I told her she couldn’t dye it, and refused to use it unless she could dye it to be her dream wedding dress color.”
“I was cast as the bad guy for taking my dress back from a sick friend and denying her a ‘day to feel beautiful.'”
“I think I’m maybe…not the bad guy here? But I did get the dress at a steal. It was an expensive dress though, so not one I could replace easily (this being the only reason I mentioned the original cost).”
“However, it was for a sick friend and I did get it cheap (minus the sentimental factor of having done all the work on it and having worn it myself.)”
“I don’t know, so you tell me: Was I the asshole to take my dress back a week before her wedding?”
Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Most Redditors agreed OP was not the a**hole.
“BORROW not GIVE.”
“She doesn’t own the dress. You still do! And if you don’t want it dyed, you don’t want it dyed!” ~ babybella92
“Literally, Savers, Salvation Army, Goodwill, and Fb market place are full of wedding dresses, she can go get one there to dye vomit green for her wedding. When I worked at a thrift shop, we used to get wedding dresses in constantly. Most of the time in their professional preservation boxes.” ~ CinnamonPumpkin13
“Also, as someone who has dyed fabric before, the very idea of home-dying a complex dress makes me shudder.”
“Getting a good-looking even dye on a single swatch of fabric can be difficult. Doing it to a dress?”
“Yeah, there’s very little chance of that coming out well on your first time doing a dye project. It would be a waste of a dress even if it were her dress to dye in the first place.” ~ Stormdanc3
OP added some edits, including a photo from her wedding to show the dress.
“I know it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it was special to me. It also has a lot of layers and so many different materials that it would not hold up to an at-home dye job unless you took it apart to dye each layer individually, had a swimming pool to dye it in, or had it dyed professionally.. none of which were her intentions.”
“People are asking what I wanted to do with it otherwise: I wanted to save it for my daughter (if she wanted to use it, no pressure of course!), or turn it into a keep sake or repurpose it to make a veil for my daughter, etc. All things I couldn’t do if she ruined it with a poor dye job and/or refused to give it back after dyeing it.”
“Because I can’t reply to 1000 messages individually. I’ll just say that I’ve gotten messages that I’m the AH because I didn’t just give it to her, that I need therapy and that I have boundary issues.”
“Thank you for the people genuinely interested in offering reasonable advice, but some of the messages are just yikes.”
“I accept the judgements, however: I no longer try to help others in the same way (see my comments for more), I am no longer friends with her for those worried about it, and I’m going to have to disagree that I’m a ‘useless doormat’ for trying to do something to help a (ex)friend in need – I took it back and didn’t just blindly roll over and let her have her way like a doormat might.”
OP’s ex-friend may need to read the definition of “borrow.”