You’re Not Invited

downloadI love Facebook. Most of the time.

Really! I think it’s an incredible way to keep in touch with friends and family, far and wide. I have found long lost friends from elementary school. I’ve gotten to see my friend’s children grow up. I’ve been able to share in the ups and downs, send love, prayers, notes of congratulations, and wishes for strength and comfort. Through Facebook, I found my tribe of Warrior Moms. Facebook is also a very large part of my J-O-B, and it helps me get my thoughts out to the world, and share the thoughts of others. So, I love it.

I also hate it.

Along side all the amazing messages, Facebook can be a dark and sinister place. Bullying. Negativity. Hurt Feelings. General nastiess. Politics.

OK, that last one can be both good and bad. I have learned a lot through reading political posts, but most of the time…eh….

Facebook lets you know everything that is happening, all the time. You know where your friends are, and you can even get notified when a friend is “nearby” Great for those who have a little stalker in them.  But that’s can lead to some pretty crappy emotions, it can leave you feeling left out. Rejected.

I mean, imagine you’re sitting at home on a Friday night, watching reruns of Teen Mom, bored, lonely…and–bzzzzz–you get a notification that a friend is nearby!  “Cool!” you think, “Maye they’ll want to grab a drink!” but then you see they are at a restaurant, with 15 of your other friends and your thoughts turn to “Huh? What the heck??  Why wasn’t I invited? Do they not like me?  I thought we were friends? Seriously?”

It happens, right?

Or you see photos from a birthday party that your child wasn’t invited to. Photos from a girls night that you weren’t invited to. A trip to the zoo that, you guessed it, you weren’t invited to.  It hurts.

It used to be, if you weren’t invited to something, you’d probably never even know about it! I remember my mom saying “Don’t talk about the party at school, you don’t want to hurt the feelings of those who weren’t invited.”  You’d get a paper invitation, and RSVP with a phone call, without asking others “Did you get an invite?”  just in case they didn’t. And that was that.

It’s not like that anymore. Everything is live. Real time. It shows in your feed “So and so is attending an event!”

The thing is, it’s not REALLY a big deal, If you didn’t know about it. it wouldn’t even matter.  But when you see it, when it is in your face, in big, bright photos, with 30 comments about how much fun the party was…it hurts. Even an adult can feel left out.

I know I’ve been hurt when I’ve asked a friend “What are you guys doing for the 4th of July?”  and they respond, “Oh, not much, maybe going to my moms…I don’t know.”  Only to see photos that day showing the huge party they had at their home, with a bounce house and and a bartender.  It’s hard to convince yourself that it wasn’t about you, and maybe they threw it together last minute and thought you had other plans.

And then there is the flip side of this. When you invite someone to an event. Maybe a Bridal Shower or Birthday Party, or BBQ and they decline “Sorry, we can’t make it, we all have the flu.” and then post photos at the beach or hanging out with someone else who RSVP’d “Nope!” Can we at least try to wait until the following day to post that stuff? I mean, I CAN SEE YOU!!

Maybe I’m being immature. Maybe this stuff shouldn’t bother me. Maybe, but it does. And I’m an adult! I can only imagine how hard this is for kids and teens. It’s difficult enough to navigate the world as an adolescent THIS?  This makes it painful.

“Toughen up!” “Get a thicker skin!” “Who cares?” “Ignore it!”

So much easier said than done.

Of course, I am an adult, and I understand that not everyone can be invited to every event. Sometimes there is a limit, and sometimes it’s a matter of space or money. And it is “Just a party” I’ve been there, done that, I understand. But even understanding doesn’t mean I don’t feel a little bit bummed.

That said, I don’t think people should stop posting photos of all the fun they are having at parties, events, group vacations, dinner parties, etc. There is so much UGLY on the internet, it’s nice to see people having fun. Even if we aren’t invited. I definitely don’t want to be the girl people invite just because they feel obligated “Ugh, if we don’t invite Sarah, she’ll hold a mega grudge….you know how she is” which is why I try not to whine about it, other than to my husband, who “Really doesn’t understand what the big deal is.” Oh and here, right now, in this post. WAHHHHH!

Rejection hurts at any age. Not being invited to something feels like rejection. It gets you thinking, “What is wrong with me?” and wondering “Was it something I said or did?” or “Why don’t thy like me?”  Feeling rejected sucks. It sucked in middle school, and it sucks 20 something years later.

But as an adult you have to move on. It’s ok to vent to your spouse or close friends. Hash out what it is that you may have done to offend the host, or figure out that they are just total jerks. And then, move on. Don’t sit home and obsessively refresh your facebook feed, waiting for ANOTHER photo to be posted. Go find some other friends, and do something fun (preferably something much MORE fun than whatever it was you weren’t invited to!) And as Elsa says, LET IT GO!!!

 

But seriously guys, I’m a lot of fun at parties, and I make some damn good cupcakes!!

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