Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

Inviting Someone you know can't come because of a disability? - UPDATE last pos

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platys:
One a year, a friend of mine visits, and I usually throw a party for her in my apartment.  Last year, it was a Soup Partay, this year is Salad Partay (too hot for soup!).   

We have a hobby that leads to overlapping friend groups.   In one of the groups, one of the women has a physical disability that makes it impossible to climb stairs.  I happen to live on the 3rd floor in a non-elevator buiding.

I really like this person, but we aren't close by any means - we maybe run into each other a couple of times a year.  Last year I did invite her when I wasn't sure if she'd be able to do the stairs or not - it turned out she couldn't.   

This year, I know for sure she can't, but I feel bad not inviting her.   I mean, I'd love to have her there, but I know she can't.   This year, the group she was apart of was just invited in general, so I didn't have to deal with it in the specific.

But, I'm wonder, in the future, what should I do in that situation?   I've thought about trying to find another place to do the party that's accessable, but there isn't really a lot of options, given that we potluck it (believe me, I've tried unpotlucking it, but everyone loves finding something yummy to bring and trading recipes) and drink wine, and sit for hours.

Sabbyfrog2:
It is very sweet that you are trying to be considerate.

 If you find another venue to host the party then great!... but I wouldn't go out of my way. I am not trying to be mean but if you are only acquaintances through a particular group and do not hang out socially outside of it, then I don't think that you are obligated to invite her anyway.  However, if you still wish to extend the invite go ahead. If she cannot make it, she will tell you. I am sure she will understand that you are not deliberately isolating her.

Either way, be considerate and do not talk about the party in front of her (unless she asks). She may have wanted to come, but because of her disability, could not.

twinkletoes:
Is it possible that the group would be willing to give up the potlucking aspect so you could all go to a restaurant instead?  I certainly get that it's a relaxed and casual atmosphere, but if I were the woman, I'd probably wonder why everyone couldn't just meet up at a restaurant or somewhere else that can accomodate a wheelchair.  

I'm sure this isn't the case, but it might come across as "sorry, we can't be bothered to change our plans for you."    

Are there any other members who could host the parties and accomodate the friend?

platys:
I just realized I probably didn't quite describe the situation correctly. :)

The various groups do get together weekly, usually in a panera or starbucks, and knit for 3+ hours.   My friend was part of my knitting group before she moved to California.   She worked with another woman, who was part of another knitting group that also meets weekly.  The woman with a disability is part of that knitting group.

Every once in awhile, we do combine the two knitting groups and go to a yarn shop and knit - so this isn't the only social outlet.   She's able to come to those events.  We also have done bus tours together.

The party I do actually started as an excuse for folks to get together and learn how to block lace shawls with blocking wires.   Then we added food, and then folks who didn't care about blocking, and suddenly, I had a party on my hands. :)  This year, we're learning how to do toe up socks.

Given that we always meet in public spaces, its nice to meet in a private home and bring in your favorite dish.  I did think of just saing "Hey, meet at the Panera", but honestly, we do that every week, so it didn't seem very special.

twinkletoes:
Then I'd still try to find a place that can accomodate the group and keep the potluck aspect.  Are there other members who could host as well?  It sounds like a lot of fun, and with a bit of effort, she can join your parties, too.  I guess I keep thinking of how much I hate when I hear about parties after the fact, and what a great time it was, and so forth.  It really, really stinks to be excluded from something - and I've been excluded because "I didn't think you'd like such-and-such."  So, not quite the same as "no accomodations for a wheelchair," but it still hurts.

I had another thought - I'm assuming the woman in question is a lovely individual, big part of the group, etc.  Who wants to bend over backwards for someone no one can stand, you know?

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