Author Topic: Can I Do This?  (Read 5251 times)

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hobish

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Can I Do This?
« on: September 20, 2012, 12:18:35 PM »

There is a girl, Annie, who I met down at my campground two years ago because she was dating my buddy Alex. We hit it off right away. I think she is great, and I even like her kids, who are 3, 6, and 15. Over the last few months Annie and Alex have gone from on-again-off-again to mostly off to done for good. Or so they say. Annie and I have a lot in common and intend to remain friends even though she and Alex are not together anymore. Or so they say. With me so far? Ok…

Next month I’m going on a camping trip with a group of friends. We’re going to a place that I am sure Annie and her kids would love; but our trips are not the time and place for small children, even kids as cool as hers. Would it be terribly rude or awkward to invite Annie and her oldest daughter, Sammie, and only them? I am thinking of wording something like this.

Hi Annie,
I don’t know if Sammie mentioned it, Gish and I were telling her about Assateague Island. A group of us are going camping there on X date. Our trips aren’t really the place for little kids (or for Alex for that matter) but I wanted to invite you and Sammie if you are interested. I am pretty sure I have a tent you can borrow if you want, and we always have a lot of fun cooking over a fire and seeing the wild ponies, and there should be a great meteor shower that weekend. There are about 6 or so people going, including my friend Jake who I think you have met. Let me know if you are interested; we’re nailing down the details soon.


…? Is that ok? The littler kids sometimes spend weekends with their dad, so it’s not like I am asking her to leave them with a sitter for an entire weekend or anything; but is it ok to invite just her and the older one and make it clear that Alex is not? I adore Alex – everyone knows it – but he can be loud and foul mouthed, and when those two fight it gets really nasty. Also Alex and Jake do not get along at all, and Jake is one of my best friends and he does this trip every year. Is this making sense? It is early and my brain isn’t fully functional yet. If I need to clarify something or add detail let me know.

Thanks, y’all.
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Hollanda

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Re: Can I Do This?
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2012, 12:24:46 PM »
Would you do it/have done it if Annie and Alex were together, stable?  I don't see why it would be rude but I may be missing something...
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WillyNilly

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Re: Can I Do This?
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2012, 12:31:04 PM »
I think its fine.  And I think its a really lovely thing - sometimes the hardest part of a break up isn't breaking up with the person, its breaking up with the life: the friends, the hobbies, the person's family, etc.  So I think reaching out to let her know she's still welcome as part of the big picture even if her role has changed is super sweet.

I also think its fine to let her know its not a little kids friendly situation.  She can decide if it works for her or not, but you are leaving the choice up to her.  Surely with kids in that range she's been in a similar situation before.

Tabby Uprising

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Re: Can I Do This?
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2012, 12:33:42 PM »
Awww, I wanna see ponies and a meteor shower!  Seriously, that is an awesome combination.  As to your actual question... I think the only tricky area is inviting Annie and only one of her daughters versus all of the kiddos.  You've known her for awhile, do you think you would both be on the same page about the camping site not being appropriate for little ones?  Is there a chance she'd respond with, "Oh no, the little ones would be totally good! I can bring them too" and cue awkwardness? 

I'll be interested to see what other people say, but I think you're okay to issue the invitation.  Annie can always decline if it doesn't work for her.  And if she does decline because she prefers doing activities with all of her children, then you've simply got better info for future invitations. 

Pony meteor shower awesomeness. 

guihong

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Re: Can I Do This?
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2012, 12:44:10 PM »
Is the camping trip not appropriate for little ones because of natural hazards (I've never been to that beach; have been to Wilmington but that's farther south), or because of adult beverages and carrying on?  I think your place is more where the Wright Bros. flew, am I right?That would probably affect my answer.  Did Annie have her (then) baby and small child with her two years ago, or is that a different campground?

Off the cuff, I don't see anything wrong, but that information might affect my answer.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2012, 12:46:38 PM by guihong »



Judah

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Re: Can I Do This?
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2012, 12:48:48 PM »
The reason for the camping not being child friendly would make a difference to me too. Since my kids have been camping since infancy, I can't think of a reason it wouldn't be family friendly.
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TootsNYC

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Re: Can I Do This?
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2012, 12:50:55 PM »
I wouldn't mention Alex--why bother? You know they're not together. If she's worried that he'd be along, and that would make her not want to come, she could ask you.

If you felt you did want to mention her ex-boyfriend, don't mention him in the same way as saying "you shouldn't bring your small children." Mention him later, in a post-script, or something, saying "(If you were concerned whether Alex will be there, in case that's awkward, he won't be.)"

Also, you almost sound like you're setting her up w/ Jake. Leave him out too?
Or say it differently, "You will know a couple of other people in the group (Jake, for one), and it's a small group, only about 6, so I'm sure you'll feel comfortable right away."

Nornster

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Re: Can I Do This?
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2012, 12:52:08 PM »
Not really related to the etiquette of the situation, but the way you worded your email ("including my friend Jake, whom I think you've met") would almost make me think that you were trying to set Annie up with Jake, now that she's not seeing Alex.

Toots noticed it, too!

bah12

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Re: Can I Do This?
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2012, 01:29:51 PM »
I also get the impression from your note that you want to set her up with Jake.  If that isn't the case, then I wouldn't mention him.

I think it's fine to invite just her and her older daughter and let her know that the campground isn't conducive to small children.  As for mentioning Alex, I'm not sure it's necessary.

You are issuing an invite to two specific people.  There is no need to tell her who isn't invited if those people aren't under her direct control (like her children).  It would be rude of her to invite Alex without first asking you, so I would hope that she wouldn't decide to do so without speaking to you about it first. 

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is I don't think that you can preemptively tell someone not to invite an ex (or anyone else, with the exception of kids/husband).  You need to give them the benefit of the doubt that they wouldn't be rude enough to expand your guest list without first asking you if it's ok.

hobish

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Re: Can I Do This?
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2012, 02:07:54 PM »

Oh, my goodness. I am so glad I asked. There is a lot I hadn’t thought about.

If Annie and Alex were still together … well, I just wouldn’t invite either of them. Jake and Alex already don’t get on well, and Alex is not the easiest person in the land to like. Even if he and Jake were ok I would not want to introduce him to everyone else on a weekend trip miles and miles from home. That could be disastrous. I also would not want me or anyone else subjected to their fighting, which they do a lot. I really only thought of mentioning him because they’ve gone weeks without talking before, been sort of broken up, and then back together again, and I was friends with him before her so she might just assume it is ok.

I really didn’t think about what if Annie’s says the little ones would be fine. Truth be told they probably would. The place we’re going is family friendly and the kids would probably have a great time. Our little group … not so much. Some drinking, lots of shennaniganery in the way of staying up late and really bad humor. It’s a good point that it’s nothing the kids haven’t been around; but even so I just wouldn’t want to do that. It isn’t just my trip, and I wouldn’t ask my friends to be around 2 strange kids all weekend, no matter how good they are.

I am definitely not trying to set up Annie and Jake. Oh, goodness. I did not even see it coming off that way. That is funny. I will not mention him unless she asks who is gong or something. That could definitely be awkward; i didn't even see that. Thank you.

Hmmm. Thanks. Some things to think about.

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Hmmmmm

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Re: Can I Do This?
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2012, 02:10:06 PM »
I think it is perfectly fine to invite her and the oldest, even if the only reason is because the other participants don't enjoy hanging around little kids. 

But do agree you need to rephrase the comment about Jake as it does sound like a set up.  Maybe a "we are joing a camping outing being organized by our friend Alex.  I thought you and Sammy would like to join us." and then go on with the rest of the details. 

hobish

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Re: Can I Do This?
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2012, 01:14:54 AM »
I also get the impression from your note that you want to set her up with Jake.  If that isn't the case, then I wouldn't mention him.

I think it's fine to invite just her and her older daughter and let her know that the campground isn't conducive to small children.  As for mentioning Alex, I'm not sure it's necessary.

You are issuing an invite to two specific people.  There is no need to tell her who isn't invited if those people aren't under her direct control (like her children).  It would be rude of her to invite Alex without first asking you, so I would hope that she wouldn't decide to do so without speaking to you about it first. 

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is I don't think that you can preemptively tell someone not to invite an ex (or anyone else, with the exception of kids/husband).  You need to give them the benefit of the doubt that they wouldn't be rude enough to expand your guest list without first asking you if it's ok.

So just keep it simple. That makes sense. It would be technically rude for her to invite Alex without asking, but she could just as easily assume he was invited. I think i'm going to call her and ask. That should be way easier.

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Ceallach

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Re: Can I Do This?
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2012, 01:30:45 AM »
I also get the impression from your note that you want to set her up with Jake.  If that isn't the case, then I wouldn't mention him.

I think it's fine to invite just her and her older daughter and let her know that the campground isn't conducive to small children.  As for mentioning Alex, I'm not sure it's necessary.

You are issuing an invite to two specific people.  There is no need to tell her who isn't invited if those people aren't under her direct control (like her children).  It would be rude of her to invite Alex without first asking you, so I would hope that she wouldn't decide to do so without speaking to you about it first. 

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is I don't think that you can preemptively tell someone not to invite an ex (or anyone else, with the exception of kids/husband).  You need to give them the benefit of the doubt that they wouldn't be rude enough to expand your guest list without first asking you if it's ok.

So just keep it simple. That makes sense. It would be technically rude for her to invite Alex without asking, but she could just as easily assume he was invited. I think i'm going to call her and ask. That should be way easier.

I was honestly confused as to how the relationship situation was relevant, but now I realise you're thinking of the "social unit" aspect of things, right?   

To be honest, in this situation I don't think that applies.   It's not really a formal occasion, it's just a casual getaway, and they were only in a casual relationship anyway.   I think even if you do have reason to believe that they might be getting back together you still wouldn't be rude to just invite her and the daughter.    I also agree with PPs re the wording, keep it simple.   :)   
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Marbles

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Re: Can I Do This?
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2012, 03:38:13 AM »
Has she camped with you without the little ones before? If not, I probably wouldn't issue an invitation without them. If so, then I'd say there's a good precedent for it.

I'd change your wording a bit to say something more like "Our trips aren’t really the place for little kids (or for Alex for that matter) but if [kid and kid] are going to be with their dad over the weekend of [dates] I would love to have you and Sammie join us if you are interested..."

Also, I'd either mention the names of everyone going, or skip mentioning Jake, for the reasons mentioned above.  ;)

helixa

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Re: Can I Do This?
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2012, 03:55:38 AM »
Over the last few months Annie and Alex have gone from on-again-off-again to mostly off to done for good. Or so they say.

This is the only thing that bothers me, if you don't mention Alex not going and they are actually together again would she assume Alex was going to be invited even though not mentioned explicitly on the invite. She might not think that was an issue if they had got back together without realising that Jake doesn't like him and she would only be invited without Alex.