Clarity is good

On the topic of invitations. Because maybe it’ll help me be less fucking pissed at my OB.

I think that there is a huge difference between a mass email invitation and a personalized invitation. Personalized invitations have degrees of formality. An individual email is less personal than a phone call is less personal than a written invitation sent via snail mail.

I send paper invitations when I’m like “This is truly a limited event. You are invited.”

I think that most people in the modern world are used to being herded along in big groups and the occasional poke and nudge that JUST THIS PERSON is worth a bunch of extra steps for the fun of their company feels really good.

If I send a mass email to the Wonderland list I do not expect all (now only 40-something) people to respond with a yes/no. I expect most people to blow off the email. I sigh deeply occasionally… but that’s my expectation. I think I will only hear from the people who are excited to be asked.

When I send a paper invitation I do not expect someone to go to as much effort as me to respond. I generally indicate that an email or phone call response would be dandy. It’s easier on the person responding and I get the message. Cool, cool.

But when I send you a paper invitation… I am an entitled twat waffle and I expect you to decline if you aren’t going to show up. Because I’m reserving space for you. If you don’t want the space please tell me.

Mass emails… whatever.

If you want to respond to an invitation in the negative “I am unable to attend” is the most non-offensive response in the world. It’s just a statement of fact without any attempt to explain why this event is not good enough for you. That’s a five star response.

Other completely acceptable responses: “I already have plans. I will catch you on the next one.”  “Thank you for the invitation but this is not a good weekend.” Anything of that nature is totes sweet.

“I wish I could but I am unable to get there” invites the response “What if we helped you with transportation” and should only be invoked if you really do wish you could go. Some hosts will feel a little passive aggressively pushed but I won’t. I will hear “Hey transportation is a fucking bitch and it limits my life” and I will deeply identify with this statement and I will think back to all of the awesome people who drove to pick me up in the mountains when I was a trapped teenager and I will probably try to help. Cause I invited you because I want to see you and transportation is a valid thing to need help with.

I don’t expect anyone to always say yes to me. If I have a 0% yes rate from someone… I will stop asking after some period of time because that sucks ass. There are a few people over the years who have never been willing to do anything with me but they frequently tell me they want to and I should invite them to something. So they can tell me no. That starts feeling incredibly shitty. If you have a 5% yes rate because (Reasons) that’s fine. That’s an effort back.

Hell if you always respond no and you send me long chatty emails about how frustrated you are with your life for getting in the way of hanging out with me because that’s what you wish you got to do and instead you have obligation X… I’ll probably still keep you on the list forever and hope for your company.

It’s the “Sorry we were invited to another event and we are WAY closer to them” that makes me want to set bridges on fire.

Cause what the fuck. Do I fucking tell you that you are only a Tier D friend and I only invite you to things when no one better is available? Hell fucking no. That would be messed up.

I don’t actually have Tier D friends. Not really. This shifts over the years. At this point I have my family, I have my very closest friends, and then there’s just everyone else I love. I see them when it works and that varies dramatically and isn’t a reflection of how much I love them or how much they love me. Life is complicated, yo.

I am super blessed with having awesome people in my life. They are hella busy. I accept and appreciate and support this. I’m not the center of everything.

But there’s rude and polite, yo.

3 thoughts on “Clarity is good

  1. Michelle

    I feel like I am so bad at this and have a long history of hurting people’s feelings with invitations.

    It feels passive aggressive any time I mention transportation issues or dog logistics…and yet if I say nothing then sometimes people think I’m avoiding them? Trying to invite people myself is an even more confusing etiquette hell for me. Reading your perspective on this stuff is so fascinating.

    Reply
    1. Krissy Gibbs Post author

      Keep in mind that my perceptions are usually not the “common wisdom”. I’m sharing what I do and don’t like for comparison’s sake.
      People are hard to communicate with.

      Reply
      1. Michelle

        I know that not everyone has your perceptions BUT you are uncommonly good at explaining them in ways that make sense to me and help me understand other people.

        Reply

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