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Last Minute Invitation Can Be A Subtle Message

Well this happened early this morning and it’s now 5pm and I’m still annoyed.

I woke up this morning to a notification saying that I’d been invited to a friend’s birthday party. The party is two hours drive away, and would require an overnight stay. I was given four days notice.

My initial thought was, “Wow, they’ve left it last minute”. But then I had a closer look at the event chat. The Book of Faces event was created in March. Posts were made asking for addresses in September. I was being invited four days ahead of the party and oh look, there are some posts from the night before my invite from people pulling out at the last second.

It could not be more obvious that mine was a last minute invite to cover places already paid for because people had dropped out of the party. All of our mutual friends from the same friends group have been invited. It would have hurt to not be invited but somehow it’s more hurtful being the last ditch desperate attempt at filling a missing place. (I know I should never *expect* an invite, but in practice it hurts knowing you’re left out, especially when photos of everyone having fun without you will follow.)

This is a friend that I grew up with and we were close. Over the years we have drifted apart somewhat. She moved to a city four hours away and we just don’t see each other as often as we used to. I still consider her a good friend but this is making me reevaluate the situation.

Luckily I already had plans involving a very early start the next morning so I had an easy way to politely decline, but realistically as it was a milestone birthday had I received an invite at the beginning of the month I still would have been on the B list but would have moved things around and attended. It simply would not be possible to do so now and my plans for the weekend mean that a two hour trip each way is now three hours.

This all leads me to ask – what is the etiquette for last minute invites? Am I being unreasonable in thinking four days doesn’t cut it when others have clearly had six months or more to plan their attendance?

One last thing to add, because I know it will come up in the comments: where I am from it is expected that adults will organise their own birthday celebration. Normally this is picking a bar or restaurant and everyone pays their own way (including the birthday person). 1023-18

It stands to reason that if a person is so self-absorbed to plan their own birthday party for months, then that person is also too self-absorbed to care about the feeling of others when it comes to the execution of those party plans. Guests are just a means to an end. The fact that the birthday woman is also the one issuing the invitations makes this a distressing situation. She determined the guest list and you didn’t make the first, second or third cut.

In cases where someone else hosted the party, one could make the case that the host made a mistake or wasn’t aware of all of the birthday guest of honor’s good friends that should be invited. Something could have been lost in the communication between host and birthday person. However, that is not the case here. Bottom line, your old friend did not consider your friendship to be valuable and therefore you were not at the top of her guest list of must-have guests.

Me? I’d retain some personal dignity and decline the invitation. Nothing is as demeaning as appearing to be thrilled to be slighted.

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Hey friends!

I have a question about STD/ invitation etiquette and was wondering if you could help me.

I received a save the date from a sweet friend who was happy for me to be at her wedding. The wedding is is January and I have yet to receive the formal invitation. Would it be rude of me to ask her if she sent it? I’ve been having problems with mail getting delivered so I want to make sure I didn’t miss it. But I also don’t want to cause an awkward moment if she didn’t send one.

Thank you all! 1021-18

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Hijacked By The Steward

Recent submissions about airplane etiquette brought to mind a situation I encountered recently. While my experience is very tame, laughable really. compared to the horror stories I read in the past couple of weeks, I thought it might be worth sharing.

I had booked the window seat on a short, regional flight. Given that I didn’t really feel like paying more to upgrade to the front of the plane or to a roomier seat, I was pretty satisfied with my choice all in all: a window seat towards the back of the plane. I decided to pre-emptively grab a snack before boarding and so, boarded at the end of my boarding “zone”. I wasn’t late by any means but this meant that most of the passengers around me were already in their seats with the majority of the overhead baggage space taken. Still, it was my choice to board later and my snack was worth it :). I located space as close to my area as I could and proceeded to my seat only to find it taken. As I smiled at the man and told him it was my seat, a flight attendant hurried over, informing me that even though it wasn’t the man’s seat, he was in it so he could sit next to his wife and I wouldn’t mind sitting elsewhere, would I? She directed me to an aisle seat two rows ahead. I don’t remember her exact phrasing but I remember feeling bullied into accepting. Even though it was a question, it wasn’t really a request but more of a fait accompli. I was taken aback and murmured something about it not being a window seat but I didn’t put up a fight. The seat I was directed to actually belonged to someone else (not the man who stole my seat) so they didn’t even get that right.

It worked out in the end because my new seatmate had a wife in the same row across the aisle. More trades happened but this time, they were actual trades between affected parties, not in absentia. I moved into the window and I got yet another new seatmate who turned out to be entertaining but that’s a story for another day! Overall, it wouldn’t have been a big deal as it was a short flight but it’s the principle of it. I’ve seen this happen to others for longer flights in much the same manner. What happened to asking for a favour rather than demanding it? Is it commonplace now to assume that passengers will happily inconvenience themselves to accommodate people who want to sit together but who, for whatever reason,couldn’t be bothered to make arrangements? When did flight attendants become bullies?

Before someone points out that I could have exercised my polite spine, I’d like to point out that on a longer flight or poorer seat exchange (middle seat), I would have :). But the point of this story is that I shouldn’t have to! 1009-18

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Wedding Wednesday – A Wedding Haka

This is awesome. Family of groom (and the groom eventually joins in) perform a dramatic Haka at New Zealand Maori wedding, moving the bride to tears before she eventually joined in the performance.

One commenter translated the Haka:
Leader: (What is right is always right!) Everyone: (In – deed! ) Leader: (What is right is always right!) Everyone: (Ah… yes! ) (Be true to yourself, my son!) (My concerns have been raised about you, so pay attention!….) (What is this problem you are carrying?) (How long have you been carrying it for?) (Have you got that? Right, let’s go on.) (So son, although it may be difficult for you ) (and son, although it seems to be unyielding ) (no matter how long you reflect on it ) (the answer to the problem ) (is here inside you.) (Indeed! Indeed! Indeed! Yes, indeed!)?

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I Lost Weight…..Now Gimme!

A friend of mine, Jenny (not her real name), lost 186lbs / 84.36 Kg over 19 months after weight loss surgery. Then she had two surgeries that included a bunch of loose skin removal, a breast lift, a butt lift, and a tummy tuck.

She has gone from being a very overweight woman to a size 6 and is overjoyed.  She is training to run a half marathons and doing Crossfit. She says she feels better than she ever has and she’s thinner than she was in high school.   We are all so happy for her. It is great to see her having so much energy and drive.

The only damper on my happiness for her is I’m starting to feel like her friends and family have become her spare piggy bank.

First was the GoFundMe to raise money for her surgeries. That didn’t seem so outrageous. She talked about how the skin pulled and moved when she was working out. How she was getting heat rash under the skin folds when she wore compression gear to keep it from moving around. How the weight of the loose skin on her belly was so heavy it made her lower back ache after standing for 20 minutes.

She also explained how it’s almost impossible to get insurance to cover skin removal surgery. They classify it as cosmetic despite the skin infections and problems often associated with it. All together the surgeries cost something like $12,000 and she just couldn’t afford that.  So her friends and family banded together. We donated just over $10,000.  She had the surgeries.

Next came a call for gift cards to Macy’s. None of her work clothes fit her any more. And since the GoFundMe didn’t raise all $12,000 for the surgery, she’d wiped out her savings to cover the remaining $2,000.  Now she simply didn’t have the money to buy a whole new wardrobe.

She works in a professional environment (not business casual) and she only had three outfits to wear. Two of them items from before the weight loss that she’d taken to a local dry cleaner for alterations to fit her new figure.  Basically she stated she needed new foundation garments and new work outfits.
She really likes how one of the lines carried by Macy’s fits her new body.
So she asked if people could please send her Macy’s gift cards.

Her friends and family sent her the gift cards. I don’t know how much she received in total. But she did post a picture of her bed covered in new blouses, skirts, pants, a couple blazers, plus several matching bra and panty sets. It was enough for her to buy a new work wardrobe.

About a month after the request for Macy’s gift cards came a new request. She stated that she is 36 and determined to get married before she is 40. So it’s time to start dating!  BUT, she doesn’t have any sexy dating / night on the town outfits.  She decided to host a wine tasting & game board party as a fundraiser.  She provided 12 different wines to taste, plus some healthy nibbles.  The fundraiser portion she called “fill the jug”.  She had one of those big water jugs that go into office water coolers. She encouraged people to bring all their loose change to the party, plus any folding money they were willing to add to the pot, to “fill the jug”.  She drew lines on the jug and as each new line was reached, she’d bring out a new wine for everyone to try.  The jug got a little over half filled. 7 of the 12 wines made an appearance at the party.  And she used that money to go out and buy a bunch of “husband catching” outfits and lingerie

I know that medical bills are very expensive and so are new clothes. But she’s a working adult with a professional job. It’s not like her house was wiped out by a fire or she’s a struggling single mom trying to make ends meet. She an upper middle class woman in her mid 30’s who has lost a lot of weight.

Is it really the obligation of her friends and family to fill her closet with “new clothes for” her “new me”?  Am I being unreasonable feeling like she’s now taking advantage of her friend’s and family’s generosity? 1015-18

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