Do you remember the first time you found out YOU weren’t invited to a party but all your friends were? (And I’m not talking about that revival thing that was being sent around on Facebook by an old (and very saved) friend. I wouldn’t go to that anyway—you see, God and I have an understanding… He doesn’t nag or guilt trip me about church stuff and I don’t attend such things and snicker the whole time. It works for us.)
Anyway, speaking of religious stuff—the party invite thing… I remember. It was in elementary school and I wasn’t invited because I wasn’t Jewish and it was the first of many Jews-only shindigs to which I was not invited. Yeah, sure…I wasn’t Jewish but I almost could have been—I ate matzo at my Jewish friends’ houses and I knew all words to Hava Nagila and my last name? It’s a PREDOMINANTLY JEWISH name, folks.
Why people felt it was okay to exclude someone who was an otherwise close friend I still don’t understand because I was never like “Oh, you can’t come to my party because you’re Jewish. Sorry. I’ll see you at school on Monday. Oh, and can I borrow your disco bag for my skating party to which you’re not invited even though we’re totally good friends?”
For what it’s worth, I got used to not being invited to all these parties and whatever Mitzvahs—mainly because I moved away. My new friends were all pretty much heathens anyway. Well, except for that girl across the street that asked me to see Flashdance with her and then tried to witness to me through the whole movie. It was a little awkward telling her I would NEVER go to her church because she was freaking me the hell out.
So fast forward like twenty something years, right? I have kids now and my daughter comes home and tells me a girl in her Girl Scout troop is having a birthday slumber party and her BFF and fellow Girls Scout got an invitation and she didn’t. This girl just attended my own daughter’s party last month so of course I wanted to be all “That little @#$%&! WHATEVER! Her mom is probably mean anyway. You don’t want to sleep over there. She’ll yell at you a lot and serve gross stuff like pickled eggs and raw onions and make you go to bed at 9:00.” But I had to play it cool, not let on that I was as upset for her (possibly more so) as she was.
Instead I calmly said mom-ish things like “There will always be things in life that you’re not invited to and it’s no big deal. And? Think of the people you haven’t invited to your parties. It wasn’t because you didn’t like them. It was because you were limited and so you had to pick only your closest friends. Maybe that’s how it is with so-and-so. I know she likes you and I know she’s a nice girl so please try not to take it personally” My pep talk appeared to be effective and she seemed to be over the whole thing, even confessing to me that she hates sleepovers because there’s always someone who snores really loud. So true, so true.
When I checked the mailbox, I hoped an invite to said party would waiting there for her but nothing. And it started to piss me off. Why would you dis-include ONE girl from your Girl Scout troop and invite everyone else? That’s just rude. Truthfully, I was merely assuming everyone else was invited; I had no evidence of this. I actually considered calling some of the other moms but what if their girls weren’t invited? Then it would just cause more trouble and thus, I forced myself to just lay low. I tried to dispel the little revenge fantasies I was enjoying where we’re throwing an envy-worthy party and handing out invitations to everyone but this one girl and sneering at her as we skip over her. Because I am ten and SO MATURE.
I knew if left to my own devices I would probably do or say something stupid and possibly embarrassing so I put the whole thing out of my mind and filed it away as a “character building experience” because nothing builds character better than being being treated like a miniature 48 lb. leper, right?
Then my daughter casually mentions to me yesterday that she IS invited to this party, that they printed their own invites and ran out of ink. I find this slightly questionable but she says this girl told her she’s totally invited to the slumber party. Except we don’t know when and where.
Me: When is it?
Her: Um..I don’t know.
Me: We kinda need to know that. Ask her to have her mom call or email me since they ran out of ink. Ahem.
I secretly breathe a sigh of relief that we dodged this particular bullet for now. Sadly, I know this will come up again someday and it probably won’t end as happily. Lucky for her, my daughter has me to do all her hand-wringing and revenge-fantasizing FOR HER.
Edited to Add: The day after I wrote this, my daughter did receive a computer-printed invitation along with an apology for the short notice. Apparently, they had to buy more ink.