*sigh. This got long. My apologies. There is quite a bit of backstory.
Players: Core group of friends. We get together frequently in couples and the girls separately for dinners, HH etc. Felicia, Stan and I just went to a cooking class together last night.
Me and DH
Stan and Felicia
Brad and Sally
Sam and Gladys
Jane and Wilbur - new friend of mine, they fit in with above group very well and have been introduced and very welcome. Jane and I clicked and have become very good friends.
MOnica and Felix - Felix works with DH. I met Monica at an annual summer event they have and we have become friends. We were closer at one time and I explain later in the thread why it has cooled off.
I live in the US but always celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving by inviting three couples over for the traditional meal on the Sunday of the Thanksgiving weekend. The same three couples mentioned above have been invited the last three years and they look forward to the invitation and menu. Two of the three couples frequently ask us to dinner and vice versa. I think we have dinner at each others houses a few times a year, so the hosting is pretty equal and reciprocated. Felicia and Stan invite us to their US Thanksgiving, as an example.
This year, I invited another couple, Jane and Wilbur. Jane and I have become close friends over the last year and really click. They are also new to the area and I have introduced them to this circle of friends, in which they fit in very well. Felicia has taken to inviting Jane and Wilbur to events she is hosting, but Brad and Sally have not yet. They are not a full time fixture, but eventually will. They are always invited to anything we host at our house with this core group.
This has always been a sit down formal meal. I bring out the china, crystal and fully host. In order to make room for Jane and Wilbur, I rented chairs from a local rental place so that all 10 chairs would fit around the table. There is no way I can make room for anyone else for a sit down meal. I just don't have the space and it would change my celebration to a more casual 'plate on lap' thing that I don't want. For me, Thanksgiving is formal, always has been, and that is how I host it. I only do two formal sit down dinners a year - Canadian Thanksgiving and Christmas. Call it tradition for me.
DH works with Felix, married to Monica. She and I have become friends over the years. She knows I do Canadian TG as it is a major Canadian holiday, but I never discuss who is invited. Unfortunately, Wilbur accidentally let it slip when leaving an evening at a restaurant the night before. It was a larger group dinner that is sort of a once every other month kind of thing where about 8 to 10 couples participate. I couldn't go that night as I was preparing for the TG dinner the next day and DH had a thing for his master's programme. Wilbur said to them as he was leaving, see you tomorrow at Mr and Mrs. Sparksals, to which Monica replied in a snarky tone they weren't invited. It was a clueless thing Wilbur did without thinking and Jane reminded him he just can't do things like that in case people aren't invited.
Jane told me about the slip when she arrived for the dinner and apologized profusely. I told her it wasn't a big deal, I don't think Monica has any beef since they have never been invited before and we have never been invited to a similar dinner at their house. Moreover, we host probably double or triple what they have in the past. I told her not to worry about it, but I have since discovered that it has caused a problem.
Monica and Felix have never been invited to my TG. Wasn't even on the radar. We have never been invited to their house for any type of holiday meal, celebration or dinner. The only time we have been invited to their house is for an annual event they host in the summer with everyone from Felix' (and Dh) work. We have been invited for the occasional game night or casual wine party, but never a sit down dinner and not to the degree they have been invited to our house in the past for hosted events. In a nutshell, Monica and Felix do not reciprocate the invitations and are not part of the core group invited to my TG dinner.
Monica and Felix know this core group of people, but are on the periphery - far periphery. They were introduced to them through one of my meetups which are separate events from the events we have with this core group. They come to those and sometimes they see these people there or if we have a large party at our house, like our annual Boxing Day celebration. They have never been invited to any of the core group events which are smaller and just the 3 couples and us.
Add to this, it came to my attention that Monica was making plans with people from the meetup group and being quite secretive about it. I introduced her to the group, and while she can be friends with whomever she wishes, I was a bit put off that she was so secretive and didn't invite us to anything. Ever. Since I had introduced her to so many people and invited to to so many events outside the meetup, I thought she would reciprocate the invitations, so to speak. I never said anything, but discovered several events to which she and Felix went/planned to which we weren't invited. No biggie.
Monica has always kept her friend group close to her chest. We have NEVER been invited to or included in their core group get togethers. Nothing. Nada It is a very cliquey group and we really don't have any interest in the group, but it sets the stage for what I consider to be a double standard or hypocrisy. While she has not introduced us to any of her friends, she expects to be included in our core group and takes liberties behind my back and in secret to infiltrate my group of friends.
Monica knows Jane, she tried the same thing with her, to get together behind my back and Jane picked up on it. She thought it was strange that Monica kept contacting her to meet separately from me when I was the one who introduced them. Monica and I were rather close, but after her antics, I pulled back b/c I felt like I could not trust her as a friend and she had motives other than being my friend. Jane was not comfortable with Monica's 'advances' literally right after they were introduced and she doesn't get together with Monica separately. She has no desire to as she thought it was strange what Monica was doing.
I was caught VERY off guard when Monica told me she was hurt she and Felix weren't invited. She didn't stop to think that it is a huge meal, a traditional holiday, that I intentionally keep it small because of limited space and the same people come every year. AFAIK, it wasn't an issue until Jane and Wilbur were invited. She feels b/c Jane and Wilbur were invited, she and Felix should have been too. I was so shocked, so caught off guard, that I said they could come next year. It was one of those moments where I didn't realize I had been manipulated until after it happened and I had time to think. I am so angry!
The problem is, by being put in this position, my formal sit down dinner has to change and I feel like I have been guilted and manipulated into it. Is there any way to disinvite them given these circumstances? My only other alternative is to cancel it next year which upsets me a great deal.
I don't think this revolves around hurt at not being invited. I think she doesn't like that Jane and I have become close. Jane/Wilbur and myself and DH do many things separately without Monica/Felix. We have NEVER gotten together as the three couples. Monica/Jane and myself get together occasionally for happy hour or lunch maybe once a month, but Jane and I try to do it weekly. We have been to Jane and Wilbur's house for dinner several times, and they have been to ours.
I want to have a chat with Monica and ask her if it is really the TG invite or a feeling of discomfort that Jane and I have become close. I don't want to bring up any of Monica's actions b/c I don't want it to be confrontational. Although, maybe it might be prudent to say, "I always thought you kept your friends separate as we have never been invited to anything when you all get together, so I wouldn't think to include you in our core group either". That is what I originally thought when I noticed the lack of introduction of friends, but she was being introduced to many of mine. Then, "I'm sorry, I was so caught off guard, I just don't have room for you and Felix without changing the formality of my event from a sit down dinner to a plate on the lap thing".
I'm sorry this is so long and I hope it is not too confusing. I just don't want them at my TG dinner. I talked to Felicia about it last night and told her I may have to cancel it next year and why. She felt I had every right to sit her down and explain the nature of the event and that I just can't include them. To me, that is rescinding an invitation which I know etiquette says can't be done. Is this an exception?