I had two best friends growing up. One of them we’ll call Sam and the other Kayla. I’d known Sam since I was born and Kayla for about a year but we’d become a trio.
Anyway, when we were about 10 years old the church was having a carnival and my Mom said I could invite ONE friend. So I invited Kayla, because she had just invited me to a soccer game the last week, and I wanted to say thank you. I knew from previous experience it was better if Sam never knew about the fact that Kayla and I were hanging out, because she would feel left out. I expressed my worry to my Mom who was very firm and told me, “Tough. One invite. Sam is old enough to know manners. When you’re not invited, you’re not invited and there’s no need to act up about it.”
Well the news leaked out by Kayla accidentally saying something at lunch one day. Sam was, of course, very sad and wanted desperately to go with us. I told her I was only allowed one person. She begged me to re-ask my mom, so I said I would try, but I told her I didn’t think it would happen. I did, however, tell her the name of the church. It was a public event geared towards charity, so I didn’t seem the harm of her coming separately. I thought perhaps her parents could drive her.
That night I ask my mom if Sam can come too and she says no. I call Sam and tell her so, and apologize and hang up. About 15 minutes later the phone rings and it’s Sam’s mom demanding to know what is going on. I ask what she means and she says that Sam is crying and angry and has told her that I invited her to a party and then uninvited her. She demands to talk with my mom.
Okay, I admit it, I do something I’m really embarrassed about to this day. I explain the story again (the truth mind you) and I BEG her not to talk to my mom. However she tells me that she wants to talk to her and I reluctantly hand over the phone.
I don’t know what they said, because I was so embarrassed that I didn’t want to stay in the room. But at 5:15, my mom told me to get in the car and we would pick up my friends. I could tell she was angry, so I got in the car. On the way she explained that only TWO people were going to this party, as originally planned. We would take Sam and Kayla there, we would come home. At 7 we would pick them up and take them home. We. Now I was the odd one out. I protested a little, but I felt like it was my fault, because I’d known what Sam was like, and I’d still said I would ask my mom one more time.
It was fairly miserable. We dropped them off (Mom allowed me to walk them to the door and explain). We picked them up and took them home. As we pulled into our own driveway, I very quietly apologized. To my surprise, my Mom apologized too.
“The event was all for charity- it’s not as though it was a private party,” she said. “And I know that Sam doesn’t often get to do fun things like this.”
It was perfectly true as well. Sam’s family had 7 kids and no money most of the time.
In case anyone is wondering, I’m still friends with both girls today. Sam’s actually a social butterfly, and goes to more events during the week that I get invited to in a month.
I don’t think my Mom was wrong in punishing me this way, I think the real victim of the whole story is Kayla, who had expected a fun night with me and ended up walking about with someone different, and from what I hear now it wasn’t that much fun. Both of them felt guilty that I was at home. But lesson learned! There was no more ‘inviting oneself’ from there on out! 0211-11