Communication Is Like A Tennis Game….

by admin on January 31, 2017

The story, “An ever expanding circle of uninvited guests”, reminded me of a recent scenario that came up for me.

I’m a college student and in December one of my classes had a party. At the end of the party one of the women in the class, “D’jane” put out an announcement. “I’ve talked privately to some of the girls I’ve gotten close to but I wanted to extend the invitation to the rest of the group as well.” The invite was to a women’s circle held on the full moon. Two friends and I were interested and requested information. Out of my friends only I was able to attend.  I showed up on time, and quickly realized this was a recurring event she held. The others showed up late.  In all there were ten of us including the host. All women were between 25 and 30, and I only recognized one from class.  I found it a very rewarding experience despite not really knowing anyone.  The women were great, all of different interesting backgrounds, and I felt very safe and happy with them and the conversation.  I was a bit surprised when the girl I recognized, “Eileen”, said to the host, “Next time let us bring snacks so we can help out”, as it implied we were invited again.  As well as two of the other women mentioned they would be holding an event similar to this.  At the end everyone stood and talked for a bit and after thanking the host for having me I told them that if any similar events were held to please keep me in mind. D’jane hemmed and hawed a bit and seemed to push me towards the door, but she did say she’d see if it happened in January. Well,  January came and no invite to either meetings. I saw Eileen at school and she looked like she was going to approach me but quickly hurried off.
Is it even worth it to contact her and ask if there was a meeting or contact D’jane and ask about a February one? Is that bad form? Is that the same as inviting ones self?  0130-17
Yes, it’s bad form to press for an invitation.  You did all that was appropriate to thank your hostess, express your appreciation for being invited, and hint that future invitations would be gratefully received and yet it appears D’jane doesn’t have a particular interest in extending any future invitations to you.   Communication is often like a tennis game where the “ball” is the dialog back and forth.  In other words, you served a nice “tennis ball” into her side of the court that she could have hit easily hit back to continue the conversational volley but instead she’s not returning it. Game ended.
My suggestion is that if you found that kind of event inspiring and pleasant, use it as a pattern for hosting your own event.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

NostalgicGal January 31, 2017 at 9:58 am

Before I studied and became a reiki master, I had stumbled into a reiki group, that was ‘open’. Though I had no training at the time, I was welcomed, joined in all the activities. (I remembered the ‘speak on was important to you/share time’ with the ceramic kitty cat, whoever had the cat was the one that was allowed to speak, and when they were done someone else could claim it until everyone had spoken). I wasn’t invited back to the group but went on to take training and thus met some members later. They had decided to publish in an indie newspaper ONCE about their meeting to see who would show up, I was the only one that did, and they said I was nice and really did fit other than not being trained AT THAT TIME. They turned out to be really great friends. Though by that time they had discontinued the group…. the big things were they were willing to have outsiders show up, and I tried to fit in and apparently did so, I wasn’t ready for the training and they weren’t ready to accept someone that hadn’t had any training yet (there are three levels, btw).

For the OP, it may have been similar. They were gracious, you enjoyed it, but you didn’t quite fit. You might in the future. But do not be rude and push it. Let it develop if there is a chance.

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JD January 31, 2017 at 10:06 am

OP, I agree with Admin. You might be invited again to a later function, might not, but one doesn’t ask. However, as Admin suggested, one might host, if that is possible. As for Eileen, I’d say always smile and greet her. Hopefully she isn’t worried you’ll ask about why you weren’t invited to another party yet, but if she is, a calm and pleasant attitude should reassure her.

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Queen of the Weezils January 31, 2017 at 10:53 am

From the description “women’s circle held on the full moon”, I’m going to guess that this was some sort of pagan spiritual event. I’ve attended and hosted similar events and also found them rewarding.

As a host, I pick the guest list. Sometimes, I am picky because I want people who I know are in the same spiritual place that I am. Other times, I am expansive because I want anyone with an interest to try it and see how they like it. It depends on what I’m doing and when I’m doing it and what I feel up to. So even if this is a recurring event, the guest list still might change, so please don’t assume. (Eileen should not have either.) Just take it for the rewarding experience that it was and go on.

As a guest, I’ve enjoyed events and noticed that there is a great variance in style and publicity. Some are more intimate than others. Some are public, literally published somewhere and anyone who registers (sometimes entrance fees are charged) is welcome. Some are formal, some are informal. Some are just the event, with a hard beginning and ending time, others are free-flowing parties with a ritual attached almost like an afterthought. Some are quite and meditative, some are loud and proud. Some are almost conducted like classes. It seems like this event was private, informal, and a little more on the intimate side than others. The host might have felt you didn’t quite fit in with this group and didn’t want to change the “vibe”, and the easiest solution to that is simply not to invite you back. Or it might be that the group was too large for the kind of event, so the broad invite was not repeated.

If this is the kind of event that I’m thinking of, you might consider looking for local pagan stores or internet groups to find another group that might fit you better.

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Marie January 31, 2017 at 12:55 pm

I actually thought the same – that this was a Pagan event.

A lot of Pagan groups are quite closed. Trust is a very important thing amongst Pagan or Wiccan groups, and their events are usually not open to new people.
If you wish to join the group again and you’re not into the Pagan life with your heart, let it go. You will end up being weirded out. If you want, join the open celebrations that some groups have.
I personally do not fit into the Pagan lifestyle, so I do not attent any gettogethers specifically for the like-minded, but I do share in the joy with my friends on soms occassions where they open up their circle to “outsiders”.
If you are interested in Paganism, ask your friend about it. Don’t ask to join the event, but you can invite her over and ask questions and let her know you’re interested.

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NostalgicGal January 31, 2017 at 5:12 pm

Sounds like it to me too on a re-read. I am not but ‘friendly’ and ‘respectful’ and have a number of friends who are pagan. I have been to a few of their events but that was for ‘work’. (I made stuff for several groups EXACTLY how they wanted it-and I will stress, nothing was ever harmed [other than me dropping solder in my own lap] in the making of same)

Sounds like if OP wants to continue she should approach a friend in the know and find out more about them and what they do-and be polite, respectful, and friendly. THAT might lead to more invites.

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Queen of the Weezils February 1, 2017 at 8:45 am

Good idea. Approaching the person who first gave you the invite and expressing interest, without expectation of an invite, might just be the ticket.

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Dee January 31, 2017 at 12:36 pm

OP, D’Jane knows very clearly that you are interested in attending another party. There is nothing more you can do without being rude. As for Eileen, you can ask her if she’s uncomfortable with you for some reason, if there’s something you did that was hurtful or was wrong. But do this ONLY if you really want to know the answer – and then listen. Openly. It’s possible you did or said something at the party and that’s the reason you were not invited again. Otherwise, chalk it up to personality clashes or what-have-you. Many people will not like you as you go through life. That’s okay and quite reasonable, as long as you are a likable person to others and not someone who makes everybody uncomfortable.

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Jazzgirl205 January 31, 2017 at 1:36 pm

I belonged to an organization that threw a formal ball every year. As a member I received an extra set of invitations. This was a very sought after event and if I wanted to purchase more sets for friends, I had to pay a lot of money and be put on a waiting list. Selling the invitations or having guests reimburse members were grounds for dismissal from the organization. My plan was to take my extra set and invite a different couple every year so all my friends would get a turn. I invited a friend and her husband one year. They had a wonderful time and were very effusive in telling me so. The next year, a month before the ball, the friend showed me the expensive, gorgeous ballgown she bought for the upcoming ball. She assumed I was inviting her again and I had not planned on it. Luckily, I had not invited anyone else yet so I invited her again.

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rindlrad January 31, 2017 at 2:31 pm

I’m curious. Did you continue to allow your friend to invite herself to this exclusive event or did you have a talk with her and let her know that an invitation one year did not necessarily mean an invitation every year?

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Jazzgirl205 February 1, 2017 at 10:56 am

Around 3 months before the ball the next year, I mentioned to her that X heard about what a good time we had and wished she and her dh could go. “I think I’ll give her the ticket this year. She does so much for the community.” I was a member of that organization for 17 years until I moved away. There were years that I invited couples who had invited me to their organization’s balls. It was a ticket trade which is quite common for the Mardi Gras societies.

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SianMcClay January 31, 2017 at 2:27 pm

It sounds like a Wiccan thing, although most Wiccan groups will let you know what’s expected and let you know if you’ve in inadvertently done something they don’t do, and most certainly wouldn’t expect your first time in the ceremony to be perfect.
Look on line for a few other groups and try them out.

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Devin January 31, 2017 at 2:51 pm

It sounds like D’Jane was testing out inviting more people to a private event, given the way she announced it to the group. Either the experiment didn’t go the way she hoped, or she rotates invitations each month. It doesnt sound like you are particularly close to either D’Jane or Eileen since you mention seeing Eileen once since the December event. I’d be friendly if you happen to run into either of them again, but it’s up to the host to invite you back. For all you know Eileen wasn’t invited again either.

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Ashley January 31, 2017 at 3:16 pm

Why do fake names get put in quotes?

No one here is going to know these people and having things in quotes just gives me a reason to pause and make sure I’m reading the sentence correctly…but I’m glad at least the story uses names rather than “Friend 1” and “Friend 2”, that’s way harder to keep track of.

In any case, I’m with Admin on this one.

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Devil's Advocate February 1, 2017 at 5:59 am

I think that irrespective of the kind of the event you should NOT assume that you will be invited next time. Nor should you ASK for it.

I think it was perfectly OK that you thanked the hosts for a wonderful evening, yet by indicating that you would like to be invited next time you already put them in a slightly awkward position (I think it is clear that if you express your gratitude for the wonderful time you had, you would not mind being invited next time).

But it is always up to the HOST to decide who is going to be invited, and even being a perfect guest does not establish any right to be invited next time. This does not necessarily mean that you did not “fit” into the group, there might be a zillion other reasons (place/money restrictions, theme restrictions – the group seems to practice a cult together you are not probably a part of).

In short, I would be grateful for the pleasant experience but have no other expectations. And if I really wanted to see those people again, I would probably think along the lines of hosting an event myself and invite them.

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at work February 1, 2017 at 10:02 am

I “agree.” “Fake” names don’t need quotation “marks.” Sorry, I don’t feel “well” today.

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Lady Catford February 1, 2017 at 9:17 pm

You have to do something to show that they are fake names. If you don’t someone will think it is the name of a real person. Havoc will reign.

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Lerah99 February 1, 2017 at 10:14 am

I agree that the women’s full moon gathering sounds like a new age, pagan, goddess worship, and/or wiccan group.

It’s possible that there is a small core group that meets every full moon, but they open the circle a couple times a year for bigger events.

I was part of a circle where our full moons were closed but we held public Sabbats 8 times a year. The quarters and cross quarters: Samhain (Halloween), Yule (Winter Solstice), Imbolc (Candlemas), Ostara (Spring Equinox), Beltane (Balefire/May Day), Litha/Midsummer (Summer Solstice), Lughnasadh/Lammas, and Mabon (Fall Equinox).

So simply because someone was invited to one of the Sabbats didn’t mean they would get invited to the more private full moon Esbats. Because the full moon circles were meant for workings and it was for people who’d completed a year and a day training and become dedicated members of the circle.

So this might be something similar. They open up the circle for more public workings twice a year or 4 times a year, but the rest of the circles are closed for “members” or “initiates” or “dedicants”.

If you really enjoyed the full moon circle, I encourage you to look for more public events in your area. Most areas have open circles or festivals. Check out your local new age stores they can usually point you in the right direction. Also, many UU churches have CUUPs (Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans) groups that will hold open circles. Feminist and LGBTQ bookstores may also have a community calendar that will list local circles, sabbats, and rituals.

Finally, if you really loved this particular group, don’t push for another invites.
But instead, maybe you could organize a fun tea or lunch and invite a handful of women from the circle and other female friends. Or even start a book club and make sure to invite the woman who hosted the full moon circle and your other friend who was there. Cultivating those friendships may help them feel more comfortable with you and that may lead to a future invite back.

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crebj February 3, 2017 at 9:01 am

Admin, you’re spot-on here.

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