Pretty recently a group of women, whom I consider “my group,” went out for dinner and drinks without me.
I awoke one morning to see dozens of photos posted on social media, captioned “Girls’ Night!” They sat together in a restaurant around a large, welcoming table, holding up drinks and baring gleeful smiles.
I did a head count and a mental checklist of who was there and who was not. As I sifted through more photos with captions like “Much needed!” and “Drinks with the girls!”, it quickly became clear that whatever “Let’s go out” message had been sent, it had missed only me. I simply was not invited.
My initial reaction was sadness. I felt left out in an “I wasn’t invited to the cool kids party” type of way. In a matter of seconds, I was transported back to high school, feeling a sense of self-loathing brought on by a Queen Bee whose mission in life was to make me feel uncool.
I started to type a passive-aggressive comment on one of the photos. A simple, “Thanks for the invite,” would do it. They’d all see it, know I was upset, and feel bad for snubbing me.
As quickly as I typed it, I hit backspace. We are not in high school — I’m 33.
I told my husband about the girls getting together without me. He offered plenty of excuses to make me feel better.
You can’t possibly be the only one who wasn’t invited.
I’m sure they didn’t mean anything by it.
Would you have gone anyway?
Damn, that last one made sense. I’m nearly 30 weeks pregnant, sooo there’s a pretty good chance I would’ve said no to an invite.
But that’s not the point! I protested.
So what if I’m in the “Too pregnant to feel like getting dressed up” stage? They still could’ve asked! They could’ve shown they wanted me there!
Unless… they didn’t want me there.
This is where the self-loathing turned to anger.
Pfft! Screw those bitches. Next time I do something fun, I know who I’m NOT inviting.
My hubs, still trying to be the voice of reason, suggested I come right out and ask one of them, what gives? He assured me that if I asked, I’d get a completely sensible explanation that would make me feel totally better and no longer left-out.
Instead, I decided to let it go for a while.
I’ve learned in my 33 years on this planet that it’s usually not a good idea to make hasty assumptions and go wagging a finger at people I think are harming me. Those may be my very first go-to feelings, but it just seems better to hit backspace and take a breather.
So, I sat on these feelings for a couple weeks.
I wondered if I had done something wrong to one of them.
I watched their behavior toward me after the girls night.
I silently speculated what was going on in their lives.
I thought about the things going on in my own life…
So, now that the moment has passed, I can safely say I have thought this through as a rational human being and not some pissed off, hormonal bitch looking for a fight.
Yeah — I want to be invited out by my friends. But do I want an invite out of shame? Hell no.
Yeah — I want to feel like I fit in. But am I always going to? Probably not.
This isn’t the first time something like this has happened in my life, and it’s probably not the last.
And, come on, if I’m being honest, I’m sure I’ve been on the other end of this scenario before.
So, do my gal pals owe me an explanation for the snub?
I don’t think they do.
And the reason why is way less complicated than you would think:
I’m not always going to be everyone’s cup of tea.
I can be sweary and sarcastic, speak wildly inappropriately, and sometimes give way too much information on my preggo body.
If you’re not in the mood for all that some days, it’s OK!
To tell the truth, I’m not in the mood for everyone else’s quirks all the time either.
Does that really make me or you a bitch?
Nope. Just human.
And anyway, the days you guys aren’t in a Jenny-mood, my hubs totally is.
So, really, regardless of who is doing what with whom — I’m good.
My only hope is that you guys feel this way too… because, ya know, we’re adults and I do love you too.