The Consequences of Inviting Oneself Can Be A Learning Experience

by admin on August 18, 2011

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

{ 113 comments… read them below or add one }

kingshearte August 18, 2011 at 6:13 am

I don’t know. I think your mom was a bit harsh. It’s not like you deliberately invited a second friend.

Frankly, I think it was a bit unreasonable of your mom to basically make you choose between your best friends. While I think that obviously, you can’t always just invite all your kid’s friends, when you’re dealing with a trio of ten-year-old girls, excluding one of them is pretty much asking for this sort of situation.

I think the OP handled it as well as can be expected of a kid. She explained the situation, agreed to ask her mom one more time, and made no promises. The fact that the non-invited friend either misinterpreted or twisted the OP’s words enough to make a scene and get her mom involved is not something the OP likely could have avoided. It just seems to me like the OP got punished for something she didn’t actually do.

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Sarah Jane August 18, 2011 at 6:16 am

What was the deal with the “invite” in the first place, if it was a public event and all the OP’s mom was going to do was drop them off? In the end, all she did was provide transportation for two girls and not her daughter? That makes no sense to me.

I don’t like the way either mom handled this. And if I’d been KAYLA’S mom, who wasn’t mentioned in the story, I’d be pretty upset.

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Maryann August 18, 2011 at 6:48 am

I… what? How was any of this the OP’s fault? She reciprocated an invitation, Kayla let it slip, all the OP did was promise to ask her mom again and say Sam could come separately if her family would let her. What Sam’s mom did was uncalled for. Sometimes kids have misunderstandings and disappointments, and adults have to deal with it like adults. What the OP’s mom did wasn’t much better. She was basically punished for trying her best to be a caring friend while still minding her mother. What lesson was there for her to learn? “Don’t be nice to your friends because you can’t trust them”? I’m really disappointed in the adults in this story.

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DGS August 18, 2011 at 7:23 am

Mom did the right thing, although it is a tad unrealistic to expect a ten year old to handle a sticky situation like this with finesse. It sounds like the OP did the best she could but being pretty young, she did not have the social skills to handle the situation as well as she may have in just a few years. Once the mothers got a chance to speak to one another, though, Sam’s Mom should have explained to Sam that she was not being intentionally slighted and offer to do something else with her (does not have to be expensive), rather than continuing to suggest that her daughter attends the event.

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Erin August 18, 2011 at 7:51 am

I might be reading this wrong, but it sounds like you were trying to do what your mom said and Sam’s mom deliberately misinterpreted the situation to pressure you and your mom into an invitation. And I don’t get why you were being punished, in that case.

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LaLa August 18, 2011 at 7:59 am

My dear,
You did nothing wrong, and I’m perplexed as to why you think you did.
The only people at fault here are Sam, her mother and your mother.
I have no idea why she caved to Sam’s mother’s demands, and then punished you for it, but she was wrong.

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Ripple August 18, 2011 at 8:13 am

I don’t think you have anything to be embarrassed about. I assume that there was an entrance fee and that was why your mother limited the number of invites. You tried to keep the outing quiet from Sam, you told Sam that you didn’t think your mother would change her mind, you told Sam immediately when your mom still said no, and you tried to explain the facts to Sam’s mother. The one at fault was Sam’s mother for insisting that her daughter should go rather than accepting that she couldn’t.

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Ali August 18, 2011 at 8:22 am

I don’t really understand how this was OP’s fault and that she had to be left out. Her mother told her she could only invite 1 of her 2 very close friends who were also close with one another. How are 10 year olds supposed to keep a secret like that? How is it OP’s fault that Sam wasn’t taught manners? Knowing their friendship, OP’s mother should have let her invite both or none.

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Elizabeth August 18, 2011 at 8:26 am

Your mum certainly made a point but I’m unsure exactly what it was. If she well knew that you were part of a regular trio, her making a point to specify that you could invite ONE friend seems to pointedly put you on the spot to choose, and of course result in someone feeling left out. As the adult involved, what game is she playing?

Perhaps better that your mom agreed to take both girls, and you, and taken this issue ‘off-line’ with you the following day. It seems she just made everyone uncomfortable with making her point (and I’m struggling to figure out what her point was – that she said one and that meant ONE, I guess).

I didn’t have the happiest homelife in my early years and I remember the generosity of my friends’ parents, involving me in activities or just allowing my to be in there home (a lot). I remember, and appreciate it, 30+ years later. With Sam being 1 of 7 children, an outing with two best friends would surely have been a very special night.

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Lucy August 18, 2011 at 8:31 am

I must be missing something: What did the LW do so wrong? I get that 1) Simply telling Sam where the party was, when Sam was apparently not a member of said church, and 2) Begging Sam’s mom not to talk to her own mom were not good ideas, but LW was ten. Ten-year-olds do that kind of stuff and, yes, it warrants a lecture, but I don’t think it warranted missing the whole party.

She was told “one friend” and she invited one friend. It’s not her fault Sam didn’t handle it well and apparently lied to her own mother about it, or that Sam’s mother flipped out; or that LW’s mother apparently believed Sam’s mother over the LW.

It sounds like Sam was the brat here. If you’re not invited, you don’t get to invite yourself, and if the answer is “no”, it’s “no”.

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Bint August 18, 2011 at 8:41 am

No, I think your mother was wrong. You didn’t invite Sam and Sam lied to her mother. Sam’s mother then steamrollers all over your mother, and your mother takes it out on you.

Your mother should have got off the phone, asked you what had happened, and then rung Sam’s mother back to explain and apologise but no, Sam had never been invited and was not included now.

Instead Kayla is punished, you are punished, and Sam – the one who desperately wanted to come but was never actually asked to – is rewarded and your mother never bothered to get your side of the story. You never invited Sam. You said you’d ask your mother but it was unlikely, and then you told her that. Sam lied and got away with it because your mother took her word for it and never checked yours. Sorry, but that’s not the way to instil respect in your children. I can understand she was flustered by Sam’s mother but she handled it poorly.

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Bint August 18, 2011 at 8:41 am

PS And if your mother felt sorry for Sam, why not take all of you anyway?!

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P Chan August 18, 2011 at 8:42 am

I’m really not sure I could approve of this form of punishment. It just seems really off to me for some reason. OP, do you know what Sam’s mom said to your mom?

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Powers August 18, 2011 at 8:43 am

What in the sam hill was your mother thinking? I am appalled. You never invited Sam; you told her the truth, asked your mom, and then apologized to Sam when she said no. What in the world were you being punished for? You did nothing wrong!

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Jilly August 18, 2011 at 8:52 am

OP – I’m definitely glad you guys are still friends.
However, I’m confused as to how Sam said you’d invited and uninvited… According to your account all you’d said was that you’d talk to your mom. Sam put you in the middle, and either conveniently or actually forgot what you said.
Also – why was it such a deal of having only 2 people come. If your mom knows you’re in a trio, splitting you up is a really weird thing to do. You girls are 10. It’s difficult to invite 1 of your 2 best friends. I’ve been a part of multiple trios, and can completely understand Sam’s, Kayla’s and your perspective. Honestly, OP, you were already put in a rock and hard place from the get go.

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1st-Time Mommy August 18, 2011 at 8:53 am

I feel that Sam’s mom was the one in the wrong. She was the one who didn’t teach her child the manners to not invite herself, and then the mother also committed the cardinal sin of involving herself in childhood drama by making the phone call to the OP’s house.

While people certainly have the right to have as many children as they can provide for, it does sound like, in this case, Sam’s parents’ fecundity was a detriment to the children, if they had neither the resources to allow their children opportunities to go out, nor the time to instill proper manners in their offspring.

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Flora August 18, 2011 at 8:56 am

I’m not sure I understand. Kayla is the one who leaked the information about the event, Sam is the one who begs the OP to beg her mom into letting her invite one more person and twists the story to sound like she was the victim, and the OP is the one who is punished??? That doesn’t make any sense to me. Why didn’t the OP’s mother straighten out the misunderstanding with Sam’s mom?

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Tara August 18, 2011 at 9:09 am

I don’t get why the mom was punishing her daughter? Her daughter did as she was told and invited one person. The other person found out and was upset. So Sam’s mom called to find out what had upset her daughter so much (thinking it was an invite and then an uninvite.)

So instead of calmly explaining to Sam’s mom that only one girl could go, the OPs mom decides it all her daughter’s fault and takes Sam and Kayla instead? What exactly was the OP being punished for?

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LiLi August 18, 2011 at 9:12 am

I admit to being very confused by this story…

I need to recap in my own words to see if I’m missing something. There was a public event at a Church, and the OP’s mom said that she was willing to “take” the OP and one friend. Sam is not “invited” by the OP, but gets upset, despite the fact there was nothing preventing Sam from meeting the girls there?

Unless there is more to the story, it seems that the parents are rather badly behaved here. If this is a public event, why the artificial limit?

Yes, it taught Sam a lesson about inviting herself to events that has undoubtably helped her behave better in the future, but it seems the wrong person was punished. As this does not seem as though it was an invitation only event, the drama here seems to be artificially manufactured by all parties.

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AMC August 18, 2011 at 9:17 am

I don’t think this was OP’s fault at all. I don’t know how old you were at the time, but it sounds like you were just a kid. You were put in an awkward position and handled it as best you could. Sam was the one at fault for throwing a fit and demanding an invite, as was her mother. I understand your mom being mad about the situation, but I’m not sure why you were punished. What could you have possibly done differently?

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Angela August 18, 2011 at 9:23 am

I’m confused. Did the church only allow two people or was it your mom’s rule? And how is this the OPs fault if Kayla was told not to talk about the event and spilled the beans?

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SouthernSugar August 18, 2011 at 9:24 am

Interesting. All I see in this situation is a child who was punished needlessly because her mother chose to take out anger on the wrong person. I’m glad the OP is fine with what her mother did, though.

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Ista August 18, 2011 at 9:26 am

I hate to admit it but…I like Mom’s methods. Yes, it was a public event, and yes, it was for Charity, and yes Sam was one person in a large family but…It was definitely an experience that taught something. All parties in the future would take a minute to think about it before deciding to invite themselves to any activities, nipping in the bud the attitude that results in adult wedding/christening party/birthday crashers.

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--E August 18, 2011 at 9:29 am

Obviously your mom is/was free to do whatever she wanted, but I’m deeply curious to know why she was limiting the outing to just two people. Was there a cover charge to get in?

This is a very strange story.

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Erica August 18, 2011 at 9:34 am

The one who needed to learn a lesson here was Sam’s mom.

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SV August 18, 2011 at 9:34 am

I don’t think you did anything wrong….you are allowed to choose who you want to spend time with. The faux pas comes from Sam’s mother. Sam, at ten, can cry and rant and scream in the privacy of her own home if she wants to but her mother should have had enough sense to A) not call and ask or at least B) accept the explaination at face value and tell Sam she couldn’t go. It is hard at that age to please everyone- parental pressures and social pressures often do not go well together. I’m curious about what Sam’s reaction was when she realized she was taking your place- was she embarassed and contrite, or simply oblivious to the drama she caused?

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Meegs August 18, 2011 at 9:38 am

I think what the OP’s mom did was horrible and completely unfair. It was not the OP’s fault that Sam and her mother caused a stink about this. What a cruel thing to do to your own child.

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Clair Seulement August 18, 2011 at 9:47 am

Trying to make sense of this, but I think you’re right that the real victims were your friends, in more ways than one. I’m not sure what your mother was trying to do here–at first I thought she may have felt like she couldn’t look after/pay for three children at the carnival, but then she just dropped Sam and Kayla off by themselves anyway. Why didn’t she just talk to Sam’s mother? These kinds of things happen with kids all the time. More importantly: did these moms, each of whom originally thought that their child was going to an event with an adult chaperone, realize that their kids were actually going to be dropped off alone at a strange church for the night? I’m not sure where you live but I can’t think of a time or place within the last 2 decades where this would be considered a responsible thing to do.

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Mike B. August 18, 2011 at 9:50 am

I’m confused as to what you think you did wrong–you were a child put upon by a close friend and her mother, and forced into an awkward situation by your own mom. You were honest and above-board throughout. I’m glad the story ultimately had a happy ending, but the adults involved made a church carnival into an unnecessarily trying experience.

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Kaye Dacus August 18, 2011 at 9:50 am

Maybe I’m not understanding the point behind this story, but what was wrong with this mother? Was the mother having to pay admission for the girls and that’s why she demanded the OP to invite only one? When she knew her ten-year-old child had two close friends, why would she force her child to have to choose between the two?

The way I read this story, the child didn’t do anything wrong. It was a public event at a public place, to which the second friend would have been welcome, whether she went by herself or attended as a guest of the OP.

Maybe I’m reading way too much into this because as a child I was in Sam’s position more often than the OP’s or Kayla’s. And while I’m happy for Sam that she got to attend, I think the OP’s mother acted more immature than her ten-year-old child by throwing a hissy fit and not allowing the OP to attend the event because the OP was trying to keep from hurting/alienating her friend.

And no, I’m sorry, but “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” is not true. When you’re ten years old, being purposely left out of an invitation to an event when you only have one or two close friends—especially when those two friends already have/get more than you do—isn’t a matter of “manners” and “acting up,” it’s a matter of being a child and not understanding why your friend is ostracizing you and leaving you out and making you feel like you’re not wanted. (Again, maybe I’m taking this too personally.)

I admire the OP for the fact she doesn’t feel like her mother was unjustified in punishing her for acting like a normal ten-year-old, but I think the mother has some serious apologizing to do to the OP as well as to Sam and Kayla for acting less mature than they were at the time.

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cherishables August 18, 2011 at 9:54 am

I kind of wish the OP’s Mom had explained to Sam’s Mom that Sam misunderstood the invitation, but I’m really super proud of the OP’s Mom for holding fast to her decision. Two people & that’s it. Kudos to OP’s Mom for sticking to her guns & to the OP and her friends for being able to learn from this & remain friends.

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Hemi Halliwell August 18, 2011 at 9:55 am

OP- I’m a little perplexed by why you were punished. You did not do anything wrong. Sam is the one who begged for an invite even though you told her your mom said one person only. Then she lied to her mom about being invited and uninvited !! She sounds like a selfish, spoiled brat who lied to get her way.
Then her Mom calling your Mom to complain that her daughter wasn’t included in the plans? Once your Mom explained the situation (which she should not have had to do anway), Sam’s Mom should have backed off, apologized for the mix-up and then had a little chat with her daughter about inviting herself along AND lying.
Even if Sam’s family was large and had no money to do extras, it still does not excuse her lying to get her way. Was your Mom expected to pay Sam’s way?
I wonder what her Mom said to your Mom? Did you ever find out?

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Pixie August 18, 2011 at 9:58 am

I don’t see how you did anything wrong. You weren’t the one who let it leak. And if you are honest in how you handled the situation, then I don’t agree with your mom’s punishment. One moment your mom says Sam is old enough to learn manners and the next she gets her way? I guess I get the point was to make her feel guilty for throwing a fit? Hell no. And I would have probably given Sam’s mom a piece of my mind. I mean, 10 years old and still throwing fits because she isn’t getting her way? And then expects me to caveand is making my child feel like crap because her daughter can’t grow up. No.

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Chariset August 18, 2011 at 10:01 am

Add me to the list of people saying “How was it OP’s fault?” and “The one-friend limit seems arbitrary”. It must have been an event with a cover charge and OP’s mother could only afford two tickets.

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AS August 18, 2011 at 10:01 am

I am a bit confused about this story. First of all, I don’t think 10 year olds can cope too well if they are left out by their best friends. So, I can’t totally blame Sam about it. I don’t think everyone would beg an invitation, but for a 10 year old Sam, it seemed that she is going to miss out on one of the few fun events that she’d get to attend with her friends.

Secondly, was the one-guest-only rule set by the Church? If not, I don’t see why OP’s mother was insistent on OP inviting only one guest when she probably knew perfectly well that OP had two best friends. It is one thing to be left out of a friend’s party, but it is more hurting to be left out of best friend’s parties. These girls were only 10 year olds and IMO, it might have been nice to allow two guests than hurting one of the friends (who didn’t get to go to too many such events anyways). If money was a scarcity for, maybe mom could have divided the amount she planned on spending 3 ways instead of 2-ways, and told the children not to go beyond it. I think children enjoy hanging around with friends at a carnival better than spending on things.

I am not saying that it is a good thing to beg to be invited, and this was probably a good learning experience for all of you. But you all were only 10 years old!

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mygwyn1997 August 18, 2011 at 10:11 am

I have been dealing with similar situations throughout my daughter’s school years. On her first day of pre-kindergarten she meet one friend. During T-Ball a year later she met the other. They have been the 3 Musketeers ever since.

There have been times, however, when one or the other of them have had to be left out, my daughter included. There have been tears, and worries about friendships not being as strong as she thought. At 10 they think everything they are left out of is the end of their world as they know it. Drama, drama, drama – not looking forward to her sweet 16.

It’s hard for a mother to see her child disappointed. But, a mother makes the hard choices and Sam’s mom should have made one here.

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Clair Seulement August 18, 2011 at 10:11 am

Rereading: ok maybe the original plan was *always* for your mom not to stay at the carnival; whether 10-year-olds should be at carnivals alone may be a matter of opinion but even still, I don’t see why your mom, who didn’t even plan to be there, was so adamant that only two people attend this carnival together. Carnivals don’t have limited invitations (at least where I’m from). I could see if it was an invitation-only party, but it was actually a more-the-merrier type of event. I just don’t get the need to be so punitive when it so directly affected the other two girls.

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TheVapors August 18, 2011 at 10:12 am

If I’m reading the story correctly, the only people who should’ve been truly embarrassed are Sam and Sam’s mother.

Sam was a child at the time, and probably could’ve used a lesson in never inviting yourself. I can see how Sam might’ve twisted the story when telling it to her mother, but that should’ve been straightened out when Sam’s mother called. Why it wasn’t, I suppose we’ll never know.

In the end, I don’t really blame the OP’s mother for doing what she did. In fact, were I Sam in that situation I would’ve felt VERY guilty and embarrassed about my behavior. Unfortunately, for Sam to learn that lesson both the OP and the friend Kayla were put into a very awkward situation. Collateral damage. They were all punished for Sam’s behavior. Perhaps that helped the lesson stick.

Glad the incident didn’t hamper your friendship from continuing, though!

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Shannon August 18, 2011 at 10:14 am

Wow, OP’s mom is a piece of work. I’m all for being strict, but ten-year-olds aren’t going to understand this sort of thing. And the OP did nothing wrong – she was repeatedly being put on the spot, first by her own mother, then by Sam, and then by Sam’s mother. I think she handled it honorably, my ten-year-old self would have been a nervous wreck from all the drama.

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James August 18, 2011 at 10:37 am

I don’t think the OP did anything seriously wrong in this situation – it sounds to me as though the OP’s mom believed Sam’s mom over her own daughter and punished her daughter for what Sam’s mom said she had done. So Sam is rewarded for lying while the OP is punished for caring about her friend’s feelings…

But mothers aren’t mind-readers, everyone gets things wrong sometimes and I’m very impressed with the OP’s mother for apologising afterwards, and the lesson she was trying to teach her child was a very good one. If only more mothers were like that!

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Allie August 18, 2011 at 10:37 am

I think both moms were in the wrong here. I’m all for teaching kids lessons about life and about etiquette, but they have to make sense. You really can’t blame the 10 year olds for being confused, hurt and upset about the way this was handled by their moms. I’m glad you got past it and stayed friends.

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Margaret August 18, 2011 at 10:45 am

My knee jerk reaction is that this is not fair to the OP. However, I suspect that the problem is that although the OP did not invite Sam, she did give Sam the event details. So maybe the mom thought it was sort of a covert invitation. And I can imagine Sam thinking that she was actually being invited when the OP gave her the event details. Still kind of harsh, but I can see how this situation could arise through misunderstandings as opposed to outright lies.

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Yvaine August 18, 2011 at 10:49 am

I’m not sure why the OP needed a lesson about inviting oneself–it wasn’t the OP who invited herself. Sam was rude to invite herself (though understandably so, as she was a kid and may not have known better), and Sam’s mother was rude and IMO bullied the OP and her mother. OP’s mom gave in to the bullying and punished the OP. Sam was rewarded for her rudeness. I don’t see how there was any lesson for Sam in what happened.

But I’m glad the OP’s mom apologized to the OP.

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Yvaine August 18, 2011 at 10:52 am

(Oh, and Kayla was also rude to talk about it in front of Sam. Again, not a horrendous offense for her age. But still, she got rewarded too. The only one who was taught a “lesson” was the one who didn’t do anything wrong.)

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Coral August 18, 2011 at 10:57 am

This is what I get out of this : Only two kids could go (for whatever reason). OP invited Kayla. Kayla talked too much, but being 1o years old, I can’t really put the blame on her, she’s still learning. Sam fished for an invite, was told no at least twice and got her mom involved. Sam’s mom then decided to strong arm OP’s mom into inviting Sam, even if she was told Sam was not invited.

Kayla’s invite could not be revoked (she was invited first). My reaction would have been to cancel the outing. You can’t get along with the rules, too bad, so sad, no one gets to go. OP’s mom reaction was a bit passive-agressive : see, I took your kid (Sam) and the initial invitee (Kayla), so my DD didn’t get to go. It’s YOUR fault!

It did end up with OP being punished for something out of her control (the snowflakery of Sam and her mom). OP’s mom did not handle it well. “I’m sorry, that won’t be possible.” was the only answer Sam and her mom should have heard. Although I too find it strange that only two of the trio could go.

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Alex S. August 18, 2011 at 11:01 am

i don’t get it.

the OP didn’t invite the second friend, at least as she tells it here… but then the bit about ‘the truth’ when speaking to the friend’s mother is unclear.

I don’t see what the issue is here, other than Sam invited herself along and the OP didn’t have the heart to say no flat out, but offered to again speak to her mother. I also don’t see why the mother acted the way she did. Or why only 1 friend was allowed to ride with them to the event. Or why it was a big deal to ‘let it slip about the event location. ??

So many confusing and strange things here.

None of it makes any sense.

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kjr August 18, 2011 at 11:03 am

I think I left the story just…confused. The kids were being kids, what 10 year old wouldn’t let it slip? The OP did everything right. I agree with other people here, I see the most fault in both mothers. Mostly Sam’s mom for “demanding” her daughter be invited, and then the OP’s mom for giving mixed reactions (the OP was punished and the mom felt badly for Sam, so surely knew the real situation?) I dunno, either there is more to the story or it is just…strange.

Does anyone else find it odd the mother made such a big deal about the number of kids going, and turns out she didn’t even need to supervise them? I’d think the mom should’ve at least stayed at the Carnival if she is responsible for these friends and making such a big deal of this. Again, odd.

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Michelle P August 18, 2011 at 11:23 am

I’m torn on this one, except I firmly believe the OP did nothing wrong, neither did Sam. They were young children. The OP’s mom sounds like my mom; blame the kids for everything. The adults were to blame in this, not you. I do agree with teaching kids not to invite themselves, however that was not the case in that situation. OP, hope your mom was better in other situations.

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Yvaine August 18, 2011 at 11:32 am

The more I think about the story, the more I come back to this:
“The event was all for charity- it’s not as though it was a private party,” she said.

This was when she had picked up Sam and Kayla and returned home, and also was at the same time as her apology. I wonder whether maybe Mom thought, mistakenly, that it was a private party and that the OP bringing more than one “plus one” would be rude (though technically it would be rude to bring a plus one to a private party without permission, but that’s another story) — and then once she got there and saw the event, realized that it was a much more public event and it would have been OK for all three girls to go.

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Abby August 18, 2011 at 11:40 am

Yeah, I agree, we are missing something here. If everything the OP says is correct, then either Sam or Sam’s mother flat out lied in order to shame OP’s mom into bringing Sam- there was no ‘misunderstanding’.

I don’t know why OP’s mom insisted that OP could only bring one person, but I guess it doesn’t really matter. OP tells her mom that Kayla is coming with them, and then a few days later asks if Sam can come along, even though she has been told no already. OP’s mom says it’s still a no, and then sometime later she gets an irate call from Sam’s mother saying OP invited Sam and then retracted the invitation. I suppose it is possible OP’s mom thought that OP had gone ahead and invited Sam anyways, figuring that once the invitation was extended OP’s mom would agree to bring her along, being put on the spot and not wanting to be rude. If that were the case, then I think the punishment was genius, because that would have been a very manipulative thing for OP to do. The problem was, that wasn’t the case, and it sounds like OP’s mom didn’t bother to find that out before meting out a punishment.

It’s all 10 year old drama, but I would be pretty leery of Sam if I were the OP. I mean, 10 is old enough to know that begging for an invitation is rude and tacky, getting your mom involved is childish, and she also lied in order to get her way. I just don’t see how “OP could only invite one person and she didn’t pick me and when she asked if she could invite another person her mom said no” could possibly get lost in translation to “OP invited me and then said I couldn’t come”- unless you are purposely looking to mislead someone, which I think Sam did. And what a bully her mom sounds like. Sam and her mother got rewarded and they were the real breachers of etiquette here.

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