Do You Really Have to Keep Inviting a Friend to Parties When the Friend Always Says No?

Spoiler alert: No.

not-invited
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Every day across this land (and presumably across lands across the world), butt-hurt friends and associates get into their feelings about an alleged slight. You’ve been there. I’ve been there. We all scream for ice cream.

You’re doing what we all do during the course of the day, skimming your Facebook timeline or perusing Instagram for the latest seminude IG model pics natural-hair products and protective styles, and you see pictures from some party that include a significant number of people you refer to as friends. You’ve been in their homes, you’ve drunk their wine. But somehow you missed whatever grand gathering occurred where body shots and champagne bubble baths were being had in a house that you’ve been in multiple times.

You proceed to do what any level-headed individual does: You check your spam folder for missed emails and text messages to see if you somehow just missed the invite for said gathering. Then you do the next thing: passive-aggressively text somebody who was at the party smiling like Jesse Williams just got elected president and say, “That party looked crazy!” To which that person will text back: “Yeah, it was nuts. U shld hv bn thr. Prty of the 4ever.” They’re a millennial.

And you’ll shoot back, “I didn’t know about it,” which will be met either by silence or “OK.”

Welcome to heartbreak.

Eventually you’ll talk to the party organizer, who will tell you, “Well, we know you have 17 children and it was last minute, so we knew you weren’t going to be able to make it. It wasn’t an intentional disrespect thing. My bad. I’ll make sure to let you know next time. It really was last minute, though. We didn’t think the little-person stripper—that’s what you call them nowadays, right?—was going to be able to get there in time. But, I mean, I just figured you couldn’t come because, you know, you never can.”

“But I still want to be invited. Maybe I could have come. I mean, no, I haven’t hung out with you all in what amounts to eight years now. And no, the last 14 events I’ve outright just ignored the evites, but I still like being invited as part of the group. Maybe I will be able to come to one of them.”

“Girl, I guess. My bad. It was a crazy night. Did I tell you Idris Elba came through with a jock sock on? And nothing else? I don’t even know what he was thinking. But it won’t happen again.”

“OK.”

(Stays in feelings.)

End of scene.

The question here is this: If you know somebody is just outright not going to be able to make it to something you’re doing for any number of reasons, one of which is because that person never does, are you required to invite him or her anyway?

Spoiler alert: No. You’re not. It’s nice if you do. People gon’ people, and everybody likes to feel included. But it is a lot of work to concern yourself with other people’s feelings for appearance’ sake just so they feel better about themselves. and people who know they weren’t going to be able to attend anyway need to get over themselves.

With that being said, human emotions are a complicated beast. And it really doesn’t take much to send a text to one more person. It’s not like anybody’s paying by text anymore, right? Bueller? And what’s an extra email on the Evite? What with auto-fill, it takes all of, what, half a second? It really doesn’t cost you anything to go the extra Devon Miles to include people who—despite life choices and circumstances, none of which have to be considered negative—are not likely to make it. Ever.

So why are people left out so much?

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