There are different classifications of friendship and acquaintences. In planning any type of event (party, wedding, game night, tailgate, pub crawl), you invite certain types of people. You may choose by personality types, interests, how long you’ve known a person, how you know a person, or even gender.
My 30th birthday just passed a few weekends ago and my two closest friends threw me a very nice party at one of their houses. My pretty much only job in this was to invite people. Choosing people to invite to a birthday can be tricky because you don’t want to leave anyone out. The fact that the party was at someone’s house made me limit the list because I wanted to be not only cognizant but respectful of their personal space and property. I did what any normal person would do and invited over the amount I thought would fit/be appropriate, because you know that not everyone will be able to attend. It turned out just about as I expected and worked out fine. We weren’t tripping over each other and there was plenty of room for everyone to sit and hang out and be comfortable.
How did I choose who was invited?
I invited my brothers and some close cousins and then the friends that I talk to and hang out with the most. I wanted the people closest to me there. So I examined who I am in most frequent contact with and who I am closest to- no matter how long I have known them. There of course were a few people I was on the fence about and I had even asked my friends who were throwing the party about inviting certain people. They both told me that it was my party and entirely up to me who came and not their decision to make. So basically they stayed neutral and out of it.
So if anyone wasn’t invited, it wasn’t because I don’t like them. There were very deliberate reasons that I invited the people that I did and I was working with only so much space.
Well, apparently entering my thirties wasn’t going to happen without childish jealousy and antics. My best girlfriend of 14 or so years asked a friend if she could look for a photo of me from high school when we all met. She had wanted to hang it up at the party. Well the girl didn’t look for it because she wasn’t invited. But she was mad that the girl throwing the party for me didn’t invite her. Ummm…I did the guest list so if you should be upset and hurt by anyone it is me. If it is that big of a deal, act like a grown up and call me and tell me.
I did think long and hard about inviting this person. In the end I did not. Why? Because I don’t feel close with that person anymore. We don’t hang out. AT ALL. We don’t text just to say “what’s up” or anything every few weeks. We don’t even “like” each other’s statuses on Facebook for sobbing out loud. We see one another at events that we are mutually invited to and we talk and we get along and then we go about our lives until the next event. I am fine with that. We were close years ago, but people change and you grow apart and there is nothing wrong with that.
At this point in my life I considered us “friendly” but not “friends.”
But to not look for the picture and then lie about looking for it because you were offended you weren’t invited? How old are you? Oh right. You’re 30. I’d respect you a lot more if you were straight up and just had told our mutual friend, “If I’m not invited then I’m not going to do something for the party.” Boom. It’s a little extreme in my opinion, but okay. I just ask you to think back long and hard about the last 1o-15 times we saw eachother because I promise you none of those times were because we called one another and made plans. (Okay, there was one, but it was because we were bridesmaids in the same wedding so we had wedding stuff to do, not because we were like “Let’s go grab drinks after work!”)
If someone I considered my best friend (as she does to our mutual friend) had asked me for such a simple favor, I would have done it. We have other people that we know mutually and that I get along with just fantastically and like very much and I wasn’t invited to their birthday parties and it’s not a big deal. Why? Because we are friendly. We aren’t close though. We don’t hang out. I get it.
I wrote a few months back about a friend I eventually ditched because she was so overbearing and clingy. She would get mad if I didn’t invite her to every single thing I did-even when it was to do activities she didn’t like! (Hey, I know you hate Rob Zombie, but do you wanna come to the concert?- Really??)
You have to draw the line somewhere. Unfortunately in life people are going to be left out. You won’t be invited to every party. You won’t be the the center of everyone’s world. And sometimes you need to examine your relationships and think about the real reason you are mad or offended, because it might not be worth the effort of being upset.