Thanks Jenny and Zanna for you comments, I admire both of you so much, and see you as such strong positive women - you are both my role models (except I don't think I will ever own as many shoes as you Z lol).
There has been lots of talking, lots of thinking and a little angst over the past few days. I decided to go to the christening, and I told DH* that was what I was going to do. He argued a bit, but I didn't back down.
Then I received more emails from my friend, and the content didn't make me happy. They were specifically guilt inducing, which she knows works so well on me, and made me feel manipulated.
So I sat down and really thought about it. I thought about why I should or shouldn't go, I thought about if I had ever treated one of my closest friends the way she has this week. Her email repeatedly said she was cancelling coming to my 40th this weekend because of resentments that she has had for five years, but it is only now four days before my birthday that she even mentions them to me. This is the first time she has ever said anything to me about it, so her timing sucks. She keeps saying she doesn't want to ruin my birthday, that is why she isn't coming, and that she hopes I have a great birthday anyway. Sorry but its a bit late, if this couldn't have waited for four more days when she has apparently had this problem for five years...
So I am angry about it. She could have cancelled coming if it really bothered her that much, without dumping all of this stuff on me during my birthday week. She could have spoken to me next week and explained her problems and given me a chance to respond. But so far she has refused to take my calls all week, so my only response can be via email, which as you know is limited when really trying to express heartfelt emotion.
The other thing is, the christening is not being held in the city I live in, to go I would either have to pack up my family, and take an extra night in a motel somewhere before attending the christening, or spend six hours on the day of the christening driving. Neither options works very well for my family. I could do it on my own, which is what I told my DH that I would do, which still means three hours driving before the christening, leaving early and three hours driving back again, by myself. Can I do it? Yes of course I can, but do I want to?
So I changed my mind. Given the email manipulation, and the distance circumstances, I have decided to not go. All it would have taken from her was one honest, in person conversation, no blackmail (I am not coming to yours because you are not coming to mine), I cant fix what I don't know, and I don't know how she expected me to fix anything given the way she has approached me and the timing of when she approached me. I could be cynical and say she is cancelling my birthday to teach me a lesson, knowing that if it works there is still time for me to say Oh OK I will do what you want and come to the christening after all, (that's what my sister said anyway) and the thought has crossed my mind, but I don't want to believe it.
So in honour of being true to me, and what I want to do, I am not going to the christening because it isn't right for me to do right now. I will still post the present I have for her daughter, and I will continue to hope that we can communicate with each other and work things out, but I will not be guilted into making a decision.
I also haven't told DH* that I am not going yet, I think I will let him get used to the idea that I have decided on something regardless of his opinion, and next week I will tell him my revised decision, and my reasons for revising (none of which had anything to do with him!).
* DH can also refer to dick head sometimes ;-)