It’s my party and You’ll pay if I want you to

It’s my party & You’ll pay if I want you to

Friends, it’s so wonderful to have great friends. They are there for you for the good times, the bad times. They might even be by your side forever more, or something.

True friendship can be hard to come by. Apparently, it is damn near impossible to make new friends after 30. In this age of social media. it seems easier than ever to rack up pseudo friendships like points in an online game.

A friend is a gift you give yourself

One of the phenomena of these less than real friendships is something that really chaps Asha’s ass. She likes to call it the “I’m not really friends with you and we don’t really speak but I would like to invite you to this event so you can give me lots of gifts.”

There is nothing wrong with celebrating the events in your life. Hey, if you don’t celebrate you who else will. With a genuine relationship, it is not a problem to ask for presents to celebrate the occasion. However, if we met five years ago, and haven’t seen/spoken to each other since then (outside of Facebook,) I probably shouldn’t be getting an invite to your wedding/bar/bat mitzvah/christening/ birthday party/engagement dinner/baby shower, etc.

Asha had this happen to her quite a few times. In her naiveté, she would attend these events, foolishly thinking that her gifts could help solidify the ephemeral “friendship”, but alas, it was never to be.

Rules of etiquette

“I am worn out with civility.”

– Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

According to Monette’s mom, and possibly Emily Post, you are supposed to give a gift if you are invited to an event whether you attend or not. I would like to argue that Emily Post did not have to deal with the ease of invitations in the Internet age. Paperless Post, Evite, and other services have made it stupidly easy to invite every Tom, Dick and What’s-his-name to your party. Gone are the days of thoughtful invites, fine stationary, calligraphy, and having to pay postage.

So we StaleCake-ians are asking you, yes you, future event thrower: Think carefully about whom you invite to your events. Are you inviting friends that you genuinely care about? Will they feel like mere seat-fillers at your party?

Use your empathy, sympathy, and do the right thing: Just don’t invite them.