DEAR HARRIETTE: I noticed something peculiar about one of my old friends; she invites me to major celebrations such as milestone birthdays, bridal showers, weddings and baby showers, but never for any small get-togethers like a girls’ night out or dinner party. This has been bothering me lately. It’s the time of year when I evaluate my friendships, their significance in my life and whether I want to keep them. Going into the new year, I'm unsure what kind of friendship this is. I appreciate the invitation for special occasions, but I wonder why she doesn't include me in anything casual and low-key. Do I just accept that this is the type of relationship we have, or should I bring it up with her and try to get to the root of the issue? -- Superficial Friendship
DEAR SUPERFICIAL FRIENDSHIP: I want to start by asking what you invite your friend to attend. It sounds like this woman values you in that she includes you in her milestone events. Those are the times that matter most in her life. It seems to me that she has proven that she remembers you and thinks about you. Otherwise, you would receive intermittent invitations at best.
If you want to be included in more intimate gatherings with her, start by inviting her to an intimate gathering of your creation. If she attends, you can tell her that you love coming to her big celebrations and this year you would like to spend more time with her. Don’t ask her to invite you to anything. Keep inviting her, and perhaps she will return the favor.