DEAR MISS MANNERS: What is the appropriate response when you have been disinvited to a girls’ weekend after being one of the first “yes” responders?
I am part of a group of college friends who try to get together on long weekend getaways. We are dispersed throughout the U.S., so it is difficult to solidify dates and commitments.
One friend offered heading down south for a girls’ weekend at her mother’s place and I stated that I was “in.” I am probably the most flexible one in the group, since I am single and do not have kids.
Two months later, with no word of this invite coming to fruition, I did not think it was going to happen.
Now I get a call from the hostess, telling me that she and two other friends are heading to her mom’s place, but that I am no longer part of this trip. This is due to the fact that the weekend was going to be an “intervention” for one of our friends who is going through a rough patch in life with work, finances, husband, etc. (Nothing related to alcohol or drug addiction.) The hostess thought that adding more friends would intimidate her from “opening up.”
This friend with “issues” has been a frequent communicator with me, so I am totally up to speed with her trials and tribulations. The other friend who was invited to the trip went to high school with the friend with the issues, so she was allowed to take part.
Needless to say, I was hurt and disappointed that I was excluded, which I expressed. Should I be seeking other, more reliable friends, or actually be relieved that since this girls’ weekend would be focused on one person’s woes, it would not be a chance to truly enjoy a weekend getaway?
GENTLE READER: Although Miss Manners objects vehemently to hosts’ rescinding invitations without overwhelming and unavoidable cause, she does not agree that this is what happened.
To invent an extreme example, the list of attendees at the funeral that required cancellation of the wedding need not be the same. (The list is the same in “Romeo and Juliet” productions because the theater already paid for the costumes -- not to mention the actors -- not because of any dictate of etiquette.)
Your weekend getaway and the trip that actually occurred are very different events. As you recognize, “focusing on one person’s woes” is unlikely to be an enjoyable weekend getaway. The proper responses to what occurred are, in descending order of importance: concern for your unhappy friend, tolerance for the friend who was unable to pull off the hoped-for getaway, and relief that you were excused from an unpleasant trip.