I recently found myself asking this question, and it didn’t take me long to find the answer.
I am a homebody. And an introvert (are they one in the same?), and socially awkward as hell. It’s a vicious cycle, too. The more time I spend alone (which is, like, my fav), the less practice I have dealing with people. But every time I’m around people I make a fool of myself, which makes me never want to show my face in public again.
Not only that, but I am terrible about remembering things. Me: “I’ll find out and text you back.” My brain: “Hahaha, she thinks she’s going to remember!” Then, a month goes by and I’m like “aw crap, I totally forgot.” Then I am so embarrassed and anxious about how the person hates me that I just don’t do it at all.
This has happened frequently with a couple that Tate and I know and love very much. Tate and the husband have known each other since elementary school, and I get along very well with the wife. They’re that perfect couple that you can go on double dates with and no one has any complaints at the end of the night. You know what I’m talking about; when the dudes love each other but the girls hate each other, and vice versa, so when you leave to go home, the grievances fly.
Anyway, about a year and a half ago, they had their first child. He was a miracle baby, because she was told a few months before she got pregnant that she may never have children. While she was pregnant, I helped her here and there and she asked me to host the baby shower. I was thrilled! I was so excited for them, and then to be given such an important task in their lives was an honor.
Fast forward about a year or so later. The first baby is nine months old when she finds out she is pregnant for the second time. Again, I was so happy for her. This time, though, things were different.
Tate had been in school during and after Baby 1’s birth and I was caught up in being a lazy homebody. This meant that we didn’t see them at all until Baby 1 was already six months old. When she had him, there was some mixed communication, and that just led to us being terrible friends. See, she told me to come to the hospital whenever, but I was thinking how I would feel if I were to have a child.
If we ever do have kids, I will want only three people involved; Tate, my mom and my sister. I don’t want hordes of people crowding my hospital room right after I’ve pushed a watermelon-sized being out. Of course, Tate’s parents and my dad and his wife will be invited, but other than that I really don’t want anyone there. Maybe it’s just because I’m an introvert. She, however, is not like me.
So, we see Baby 1 when he’s six months old and then a couple of times after. When Baby 2 came, we thought we would be better; I would be there for her during her pregnancy and after, and we would visit them whenever we could. Oh, how life changes your plans. She had Baby 2 in July, and we hadn’t communicated with her since April. But we did go to the hospital, and Baby 2 is just as adorable as Baby 1.
Then, one night, I am sitting in my house and suddenly realize that I never went to a baby shower for Baby 2, and I’m sure she had one. That’s when you get all the good stuff, so I don’t know of a mom who would skip it.
At first, I admit, I was pretty upset. “Wait, why wasn’t I invited?” I thought indignantly. Then, a few moments later, it dawned on me: “Why would you have been invited? What have you done to make her think you want to be involved? That’s right, nothing.”
Sometimes, admitting we’re in the wrong can be the hardest thing, but it’s important and healthy to do. I can’t be angry at her for not putting effort into our friendship if I’m not willing to do the same. And she has children, for goodness sake! She’s busy 24/7 and she can’t worry about every single friend she’s ever had. It was my responsibility to take that burden off of her and offer my friendship to her, without her having to ask for it.
So, the next time you don’t get invited somewhere, ask yourself that question and try to answer it honestly. Sure, sometimes it will be because the person/people who didn’t invite you is/are rude and unthinking, but sometimes it has more to do with you than anyone else.