Dear Problem Solver,
I have an annual party each year for friends of mine and my wife. Each year the invite list gets larger because my wife is very social, in fact they call her “the mayor” wherever she resides. Anyway, my problem is I feel compelled to continue to invite people who I don’t like or are people that are parents of my children’s friends. I even made a-t shirt that says “Just because our kids are friends doesn’t mean we are.” Is that too rude? How do I cut down the list to make sure those who I want to come are the only ones who attend? I can’t have lame people or people I don’t want to talk to at MY party. Jeez. Do I hire a bouncer? Lock my wife in a closet? Confront people who don’t beer bong? Do tell oh wise one.
Less talk and more do, you know what I’m saying?
Adults and friendships…tricky tricky. I’m going to share with you some advice my husband once gave me when I was having a social conundrum . He said, “FP, is it the worst thing in the world if someone gets the right impression?” Now this guy doesn’t always say the most poignant stuff so you can imagine how blown away I was after that truth bomb. Needless to say it made an impact on me and I’ve used those words as a social compass ever since.
Back to your problem. My suggestion is that you ask yourself, “Is it the worst thing in the world if the people that I don’t invite come to realize that I do not consider them a good friend?”
If they have a party and do not invite you, will that bother you?
Will you feel guilty about not inviting them after the fact?
If you answered, “No,” to these questions then I say it’s your party and you can hire a bouncer if you want to. You can’t invite everyone you know to everything you do and that’s just life. If your intention is to have a party with just those people that you feel close to, then I think that’s more than fair. Now, this response is geared towards a party that is YOURS alone, not your wife’s. If that is truly the case then you need to make this clear to all of the guests.
If “the mayor” is associated with this party then in my opinion she should have some input on the guest list.
Play a few rounds of FRIEND JEOPARDY with her. Do a little homework and compile a list of questions about the lives of all of the invitees who you think she may not be as close to as she is letting on. Without warning, ask your wife to answer said questions about these people, things a friend should know. If she doesn’t know the answer…then there is your answer. If she can “prove” they’re such good friends, then I guess there will be a few extra squares at your rager.
That’s called compromise son. And for the record, I beer bong.