DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am in my late 20s, and find myself the only single person in a small mixed-gender group of friends. Generally this isn't an issue. However, one man in the group started dating a young lady about a year ago and they recently became engaged. Since then, he and his intended have begun having get-togethers to which all of our friends are invited except for me.
Generally, these are informal events to which, in the past, I would have been welcomed. His excuse is that the events are "couples only" and that he isn't excluding me; rather, my single status is excluding me.
I have never heard of such a thing, especially for an informal barbecue or game night, and am quite hurt that they are choosing to host events designed to exclude me and only me. After all, it's not like I've chosen to be unattached.
Are couples events really an acceptable way to host a casual evening in with friends? What is the right way to respond to this to let them know how hurtful they are being?
GENTLE READER: While Miss Manners has some sympathy for hosts who are trying to ensure an even number of guests for certain games or table place settings, this can obviously be accomplished by adding a new person, rather than subtracting an existing one.
Presumably, your male friend brought his fiancee along at some point before they were engaged. You might point this out. "Do you know any good prospects?" would, however, be infinitely preferable to, "Well, I certainly hope that you and Kitty make it, so that you don't get excluded from the group, too."