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Author Topic: Invite or not. Because either way could be AWKWARD.  (Read 5899 times)

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catwhiskers

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Re: Invite or not. Because either way could be AWKWARD.
« Reply #30 on: November 06, 2015, 07:47:36 AM »
I haven't seen Louis (I'm a little ashamed to admit that I purposefully avoided the one situation where I knew he'd be because I just did NOT want to deal with him and the awkwardness.)

This is all the reason you need not to invite him. I'm betting you aren't the only one feeling like this either, so other guests may chose not to attend your party if he is invited. I'm all for inviting the friend who is not part of the social unit, but not Louis (and unfortunately this means you can't invite Spouse, who I am sure will understand).

As a side note, I fully understand the mental health thing. I have a friend who can have panic attacks that turn into terrified screaming meltdowns during which she is not fully in control of herself or what she is doing/saying. I have been present for many of these, and I have never once heard her say anything nasty about anyone, even if it was something that someone else did that triggered the meltdown. Mental health issues are not a license to be a jerk and most certainly do not excuse someone from needing to apologise for being one.

bopper

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Re: Invite or not. Because either way could be AWKWARD.
« Reply #31 on: November 06, 2015, 01:55:37 PM »
I think you should not invite people that make your or other guests uncomfortable.
I would not invite Louis or his partner.
If the mutual BFF is friends of you or the host, invite them.  If only friends with Louis,then drop them.

Even if it is a mental health thing, you are still allowed to feel uncomfortable inviting him to your/friend's home.

You could also not invite Louis this year, and perhaps see him in another capacity over the months and see how it is going and revisit inviting him in the future.

lowspark

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Re: Invite or not. Because either way could be AWKWARD.
« Reply #32 on: November 06, 2015, 02:32:38 PM »
I've agonized over something quite similar to this. Not a mental health issue or anything related, but specifically, to stop inviting someone to an annual party after years of inviting them and them coming.

I have a party every year to which I invite ~30 people and usually somewhere between 16 & 25 come. There were two people whom I'd invited for years and who pretty much always came. But I had my reasons (different reasons for each) to not want to invite them anymore. And I agonized for a long time because I knew it could be hurtful to not invite them anymore.

But hey! It's my party and I should be able to invite whomever I please. The reasons almost don't matter. Or to put it another way, the reasons do matter, but to me only. They shouldn't matter insofar as me having to justify why I don't want to invite them anymore.

So in a way, the incident with the board is a red herring. You don't want to invite Louis anymore, regardless of the reason, so don't. Yes, there is going to be some fallout. There always is. When I stopped inviting those folks, there was some fallout which I won't go into. But the dust settled and we all (presumably) moved on with our lives.

I wouldn't invite the spouse because, well, that really is trying to split the social unit. The other friend, I'd go ahead and invite. If she inquires about Louis, just say that because of personal differences, you've chosen to no longer invite him. That's about all the JADEing you need to do.

And as for Louis's spouse, well, that's a bummer but that's how it is. We've had questions like this come up all the time here, i.e., I want to invite X but not X's spouse. Well, you can't do that unless it's an all one-gender party and spouse is the wrong gender. Otherwise, it's both or neither.

And in this case, I'd go with neither.
Houston 
Texas 
USA 

Lynn2000

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Re: Invite or not. Because either way could be AWKWARD.
« Reply #33 on: November 06, 2015, 03:50:09 PM »
And, I think you should consider what kind of friendship, if any, you want with Louis in the future. That will probably help inform your decision regarding the party, and also with what to say to Spouse or Friend if the topic comes up. If, for example, you were planning to cut ties or let the friendship fade, then you could say, "Oh, I haven't seen him in a while, it seems like we've kind of drifted apart."

If you want to keep the friendship but need him to apologize, then sending that message clearly to Louis seems only fair, preferably before the party. If you want to keep the friendship, but don't want to expose your other friends to him, then you could say, "Yeah, it's a bummer I couldn't invite him, but I thought it would be too awkward for everyone else."
~Lynn2000

lisastitch

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Re: Invite or not. Because either way could be AWKWARD.
« Reply #34 on: November 06, 2015, 05:24:52 PM »
Just to be clear--He WAS going to be re-elected.  No question.  He resigned two months ago--out of the blue, in a nasty way, and two months before the next elections (where he would have been all but automatically put on the slate).  Technically, someone can nominate from the floor to run against the membership committee's slate, but I've never seen that happen.  The sequence of events was:

1.He resigns in Not Nice way. Total slash and burn approach including stating that he no longer wants to be part of the organization AT ALL and doesn't want any of us to contact him anymore. . . .

7.  He loses it.  Sends another round of unkind emails to the Nominating/Membership committee.  Then, unfriends everyone on Facebook.

I'd say he has indicated that he does not want to be friends.  I would not invite him or Spouse (since they're a social unit), but would invite MBF. 
You don't give any numbers for how many people are on the board and involved in all this, but it sounds as if there are at least 10 (and probably a lot more).  If you invite those 2 (Louis and Spouse) because you hate to hurt them, you're risking hurting 10+ people.  Louis would have to be someone I have been incredibly close to before I would do that. 
I agree with other posters that if you think there's a chance of salvaging the friendship with Louis, reach out at another time--coffee or lunch or some such.  However, since you commented that you avoided him at another event, I'm wondering if you really want to maintain the friendship, or if you just think you should want to.

pierrotlunaire0

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Re: Invite or not. Because either way could be AWKWARD.
« Reply #35 on: November 09, 2015, 10:28:42 AM »
I also have struggled with depression most of my adult life (maybe not the same problem as Louis?), but still.  You do not go off on everyone, and when you announce that you are now better, you do not go off even worse.

Invite MBF, but Louis and partner, no.
I have enough lithium in my medicine cabinet to power three cars across a sizeable desert.  Which makes me officially...Three Cars Crazy

Sals

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Re: Invite or not. Because either way could be AWKWARD.
« Reply #36 on: November 11, 2015, 03:03:07 PM »
Hey, all!

I just want to say thanks, first off, for the lovely, reasonable and sane advice.  It was really comforting to know that I wasn't a total meanie for not feeling some sort of holiday spirit benevolence that made me want to invite Louis.

Since last week?

I invited Best Friend to the party.  She hasn't answered one way or the other, but we're still a month out, so the same is true of more than half of our invitees. (We've already got a solid 50 guests!)

Claire saw Louis at a party last week and said he was weirdly and aggressively friendly.  "Talked my ear off" was the exact wording she used.  Which is not in line with how they'd usually interact at ALL.  Then another friend, who is a fellow board member, saw him at an event this past weekend and said that he approached her and started chatting away like nothing had happened.  She was one of the people graced with an individual communication when she tried (very gently, I might add) to ask him to please step back from the situation when he decided he wanted to rejoin the group a month ago, so it was especially weird.  She politely disengaged and avoided him for the rest of the evening.  He's also been almost frenetically interacting on Facebook--commenting on everything anyone posts (he unfriended but did not block so I can see it on mutual friend's posts), offering random advice and help, lavishly complimenting people on anything they mention having done (including ME, via something my boyfriend posted).

The board meeting for elections was last night.  Best Friend nominated him from the floor, then when several people protested, she said she'd just step aside and become a non-officer board member and he could have her place.  Because there were several people absent and one person abstained from the vote in protest, he only needed 5 votes to win, which he got--Spouse, Best Friend, a member who is connected to one of them professionally, and the elderly ladies that I call The Sustainers who I don't think even have email so were completely unaware of any conflict since we were all very polite and circumspect about the whole thing.

So, now we're all in a weird place.  We're gonna have to see him ALL THE TIME and I know that he's angling for an invite since he glommed onto Claire at the other party and approached the other friend last weekend.  At this point, I think that he definitely knows about the party via Best Friend and I feel sure that he's going to show up either way.  Oh, well, it is what it is.  I know that everyone else involved knows how to act properly in a social situation so if he show's up, anything that goes badly is on him.

I'll update y'all after the party.

ETA: He claims that all of the bad behavior was because of a poor reaction to a new medication and as such he doesn't remember anything he did and since he deleted the emails he can't go back and check.  Because, I guess for some reason, he can't ask his best friend or spouse who witnessed the whole thing.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2015, 03:05:25 PM by Sals »

Roe

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Re: Invite or not. Because either way could be AWKWARD.
« Reply #37 on: November 11, 2015, 03:26:44 PM »
He unfriended you? I'd take that as "doesn't want to be my friend" = "doesn't want to come to the party I have for my friends". No matter if he meant it that way or not :P And I'd definitely not try to sugarcoat it (by saying to his SO that the unfriending must have been an accident, when you both know it really wasn't). And I agree with the PPs: by inviting him you're saying that it's all ok and bygones.

So a vote for inviting BFF and no one else from here, too. (You can also invite me, that party sounds great!  ;D )

Yep, another one for not inviting Louis. The fact that he I friended you says it all. It's obv he doesn't consider you a friend so why would you feel guilty not inviting him? I'd honor his wishes and consider him a former friend.

Lynn2000

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Re: Invite or not. Because either way could be AWKWARD.
« Reply #38 on: November 11, 2015, 04:33:38 PM »
Wow. So Louis is in complete denial that he did anything worth apologizing for, and he managed to keep his seat on the board after some shenanigans by his best friend, his spouse, someone connected to him financially, and a couple of people who had no idea what was going on.

You've already issued the invitation to Best Friend so I guess it would be tacky to take it back, but after this party, I would not want to socialize with the three of them at all. It was one thing when it was just Louis, but Best Friend and Spouse have shown that they are completely aiding and abetting him instead of helping him to take care of himself and take responsibility for his actions.
~Lynn2000

sammycat

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Re: Invite or not. Because either way could be AWKWARD.
« Reply #39 on: November 11, 2015, 04:44:22 PM »
The board meeting for elections was last night.  Best Friend nominated him from the floor, then when several people protested, she said she'd just step aside and become a non-officer board member and he could have her place.  Because there were several people absent and one person abstained from the vote in protest, he only needed 5 votes to win, which he got--Spouse, Best Friend, a member who is connected to one of them professionally, and the elderly ladies that I call The Sustainers who I don't think even have email so were completely unaware of any conflict since we were all very polite and circumspect about the whole thing.

Am I understanding correctly that Mutual Female Friend basically said Louis is going to be on the board one way or another, even if it meant relinquishing her own spot to facilitate that, regardless of what other people wanted? Wow. I'm 99% certain this was all planned beforehand.  I wouldn't trust MFF ever again and would probably revoke her party invitation. If Louis gatecrashes your party I'd tell him to leave and be prepared to enforce it.

If I was another guest at your party who been affected by Louis' previous behaviour, and you seemed okay with him being there, I'd leave and be seriously reevaluating our relationship/friendship and downgrading you to acquaintance at best.

Cali.in.UK

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Re: Invite or not. Because either way could be AWKWARD.
« Reply #40 on: November 11, 2015, 06:23:07 PM »
The board meeting for elections was last night.  Best Friend nominated him from the floor, then when several people protested, she said she'd just step aside and become a non-officer board member and he could have her place.  Because there were several people absent and one person abstained from the vote in protest, he only needed 5 votes to win, which he got--Spouse, Best Friend, a member who is connected to one of them professionally, and the elderly ladies that I call The Sustainers who I don't think even have email so were completely unaware of any conflict since we were all very polite and circumspect about the whole thing.

Am I understanding correctly that Mutual Female Friend basically said Louis is going to be on the board one way or another, even if it meant relinquishing her own spot to facilitate that, regardless of what other people wanted? Wow. I'm 99% certain this was all planned beforehand.  I wouldn't trust MFF ever again and would probably revoke her party invitation. If Louis gatecrashes your party I'd tell him to leave and be prepared to enforce it.

If I was another guest at your party who been affected by Louis' previous behaviour, and you seemed okay with him being there, I'd leave and be seriously reevaluating our relationship/friendship and downgrading you to acquaintance at best.

Yeah, that update was so ridiculous on Louis and his BFF's part. It's too bad you already invited her because based on that behaviour, it seems pretty likely that she will bring him with her. If you really do not want him to attend and have Claire's backing on that, I think you should speak with BFF on behalf of both of you and let her know she can bring a plus one as long as it is not Louis. But if you don't mind, then just let it be and have his attendance be under "party crasher" status.

OR

Would you feel comfortable writing an email to Louis directly? Something along the lines of "After we spoke the other night, I don't think you realized how upset about (incident) myself or some others were. I have spoken with Claire and we're not completely over it and we need some time, we will let you know when we're ready to start socializing again." This would be clear to me that he should not show up at the party, but it he might create drama around it.

Sals

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Re: Invite or not. Because either way could be AWKWARD.
« Reply #41 on: November 11, 2015, 08:49:58 PM »
To say the rest of us were blindsided is putting it mildly.  I guess none of us thought anyone would have the gall to nominate him from the floor and shoehorn him back into the board (especially since so many of us really don't like him right now) and they definitely planned ahead and kept it quiet.  He was THERE, for one thing, which made it hard for anyone to protest too vociferously without starting WWIII in front of our two new members.  We have two meetings a year that are open to the entire membership, rather than just the board--kind of like a stockholder's meeting of a corporation--and this was one of them so he had a right to be there, but honestly, there are usually very few, if any, non-board members at those meetings, because they're usually, the chit chat aside, like watching paint dry boring.  "We spent this much on this part of this project and this much on that and we raised X dollars blah blah blah..." "We received a thank you letter from Mary who was awarded the X Scholarship." No one wants to sit through an hour and a half of that for fun!  So backroom shenanigans all the way.  (The person with the professional connection to one of them isn't a money relationship exactly.  Best Friend is a teacher. The person that went along with them has a kid who is in her class.)

Since it's already extremely awkward amongst the board members, I don't want to uninvite Best Friend, not because I particularly want her at the party, but because I think that would just add a whole layer of YikesOhNoStop!! to what we already have, especially since I'm going to be dealing with her regularly until (theoretically) this time next year.  Honestly, I considered just resigning from the board completely last night after the meeting (A one hour term of office would have probably set some new record.), even though it's an organization which I really support and whose mission is very dear to me.  That said, I'm co-chairing the next large undertaking and I don't want to leave my friend who's my co-chair hanging.  She and I both said to each other today that we may just grit our teeth through it--Louis, Spouse and Best Friend shouldn't need to be anywhere NEAR what we're doing--and resign after it's done, which will be in early Spring. 

I'm going to think about how to proceed for a few days.  I should see Best Friend and Spouse this weekend and I can test out the waters on them in a social situation.  Claire and I are going to something with a small group of friends and they'll definitely be there.  It's possible Louis will, too.  I just acted like he didn't exist last night (I didn't give him the cut direct exactly. I just had no reason to talk to him and headed out quick when it was over in case he decided to try to corner me, which he did to a couple of people.)  I want to see how she and her husband feel most comfortable handling Louis, especially since we're having the party at their place.

Lynn2000

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Re: Invite or not. Because either way could be AWKWARD.
« Reply #42 on: November 12, 2015, 01:28:22 PM »
Yes, definitely coordinate with Claire, since she's the co-host. I understand how you don't want to make things even more awkward with a big scene at the party, especially as you have to work with Louis, Spouse, and Friend through the organization.

However, it sounds like what they collectively did was big enough to transcend mere social discomfort. Especially if Louis is going to corner people and get in their faces, I can imagine some people leaving your party the moment they realize he's arrived--once he's let in it really doesn't matter if you invited him or not. I can see some serious damage control in your future as you assure people that you didn't intend for him to be there.

Sorry to be so negative, but what bothers me is, it's not just Louis being unpredictable, with more reasonable people keeping him contained. Spouse and Friend are actively colluding to put Louis back in a position of power and avoid responsibility for his behavior. I don't think you can count on them to keep Louis from making a scene or otherwise bothering your other guests.
~Lynn2000

Sals

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Re: Invite or not. Because either way could be AWKWARD.
« Reply #43 on: February 09, 2016, 09:11:21 PM »
I realized tonight, while sitting at a board meeting for this organization that I never gave a final update!  So here goes...

Christmas Party went off without a hitch and was loads of fun.  Friend RSVP'd that she'd be attending just a few days before the party, but didn't actually appear.  She messaged us the next morning apologizing and said that her work party ended up running much later than she'd expected so she hadn't been able to make it.

I've run into them all at various things (including meetings), and have been very polite.  I haven't sought out their company, but have interacted with them, especially in terms of things where business needs to get done. 

One (pretty weird) sidebar story: Ever since I've known them, Louis and Spouse have hosted a party to celebrate the New Year (but not a New Years' Eve party).  I had always assumed it was something THEY did, but I think it was always generally associated with the organization we're a part of--at the least that's how they know most, if not all, of the guests--and that it was originally, before I came along definitely an organization event that kind of grew into a more general party.  I hadn't really paid attention to the fact that it hadn't been mentioned this year, because I just thought it was a "given" event and I knew that because of out-of-town guests and work things I wouldn't be able to go this year.  Well, a week before the weekend the party always is, we all get an email from Spouse that says, "Hi, Louis and I won't be able to host The Party this year so someone else will need to volunteer to do that."  I took one for the team and said, "Hey all, As most of you know, I'm preparing for X event so I can't offer to host a party right now.  I vote that as it's such short notice that Organization just forgoes the party this year."  I immediately got seconded by three people and it's all been calm waters since then!