DEAR MISS MANNERS: I’ve drifted apart from a longtime friend. She is recently divorced and has a new boyfriend, and unfortunately, we have very little in common at the moment.
Although we share a “friend group,” my husband and I have been left off of recent group invitations for events such as concerts and dinners. I’m actually OK with this, which says a lot about where the friendship is going.
Now we have received an invitation to a graduation party for her child. This feels selective in terms of the expectation of gifts, versus just having fun. Is it rude not to attend?
GENTLE READER: You are free to accept or decline as your inclination and your schedule permit, without fear of being rude. But if you now assume that an invitation from her can only be motivated by greed, the friendship is indeed over.
In your position, Miss Manners would have taken the invitation to mean that while the friendship is more distant, your friend still wished to include you in important life events.