Featured, Pop Culture, Theory & Essay

Do You Have To Keep Inviting A Friend to Events Who Always Says No? A Discussion.

Every day across this land (and presumably across lands across the world), butthurt friends and associates get into their feelings about an alleged slight. You’ve been there. I’ve been there. We all scream for ice cream.

You’re doing what we all do during the course of the day, skimming your Facebook timeline or perusing Instagram for the latest semi-nude IG model pics natural hair products and protective style…styles(?) and you see pictures from some party that includes a significant number of people you refer to as friends. You’ve been in their homes, you’ve drank their wine. But somehow you missed whatever grand gathering occurred where body shots and champagne bubble baths were being had in a house that you’ve been in multiple times.

You proceed to do what any level-headed individual does: you check your spam folder for missed emails and text messages to see if you somehow just missed the invite discussion of the gathering. Then you do the next thing: passive-aggressively text somebody who was at the party smiling like Jesse Williams just got elected president and say, “that party looked crazy!” To which they’ll text back: “yeah, it was nuts. U shld hv bn thr. Prty of the 4ever.” They’re a millennial.

And you’ll shoot back, “I didn’t know about it” which will be met either by silence or “ok.”

Welcome to heartbreak.

Eventually you’ll talk to the organizer who will tell you, “well we know you have 17 children and it was last minute so we knew you weren’t going to be able to make it. It wasn’t an intentional disrespect thing. My bad. I’ll make sure to let you know next time. It really was last minute though. We didn’t think the little person stripper, that’s what you call them nowadays right?, was going to be able to get there in time. But, I mean, I just figured you couldn’t come because you know, you never can.”

“But, I still want to be invited. Maybe I could have come. I mean, no, I haven’t hung out with you all in what amounts to 8 years now. And no, the last 14 events I’ve outright just ignored the evites, but I still like being invited as part of the group. Maybe I will be able to come to one of them.”

“Girl, I guess. My bad. It was a crazy night. Did I tell you Bryson Tiller (again, they’re millenials) came through with a jock-sock on? And nothing else? I don’t even know what he was thinking. But it won’t happen again.”

“Okay.”

Stays in feelings.

And sceeeeeeeeene.

The question here is this: if you know somebody is just outright not going to be able to make it to something you’re doing for any number of reasons, one of which is because they never do, are you required to invite them anyway?

Spoiler alert: no. You’re not. It’s nice if you do. People gon’ people and everybody likes to feel included, but it is a lot of work to concern yourselves with somebody else’s feelings for appearances sake just so they feel better about themselves. It is not, however, a requirement by any stretch of the imagination and people who know they weren’t going to be able to attend ANYWAY need to get the fuck over themselves.

With that being said, human emotions are a complicated beast. And it really doesn’t take much to send a text to one more person. It’s not like anybody’s paying by text anymore, right? Bueller? And what’s an extra email on the Evite? What with auto-fill, it takes all of what, half-a-second? It really doesn’t cost you anything to go the extra Devin Mile to include people who, despite life choices and circumstances, none of which have to be considered negative, are not likely to make it. Ever.

So why does it happen so much?

As somebody it happens to and as somebody who has done it to others, here’s why: just as much as you hate not being invited to shit, invitees hate ALWAYS being told you can’t make it for this reason or that reason. After a while it just seems easier to not invite somebody who keeps saying no. It’s psychological. People like to hear yes. It makes them feel better. When you’re extended an invite, especially a personal one, people feel better when you can, you know, attend, to partake in whatever shenaniganery. With each no, I think you (rightly) reduce your likelihood of being invited to additional events, especially after say three or four nos in a row.

On the flip side, the constant “no” person will view it from a different lens. They are going to invite their friends to all of the things that they do. Always. Of course, it’s easier to do when you have two or three things per year and that’s the time when you actually DO see your friends. They feel like they’re always sending invites and the courtesy should be extended. Even if always is every four months.

More of course, all of this is fairly normal. As you get older and progress through the various stages of life, changes occur that either hinder or advance your ability to do whatever it is you want. Some changes are kids. Others are raises that take you from mopping floors to washing lettuce, eventually fries then the grill and in a year or two assistant manager, where the big bucks start to roll in so you can take trips and buy expensive cars and post status messages that say shit like “I’ll never stop grinding”. The folks with kids can’t go everywhere the folks without kids can on a whim. Those last minute deals to Whereeverthefucksville still look as attractive, but they’re less actionable when you bring more people into your personal fold. The single friends? They’re travel noiring and taking those amazingly odd zen-like pictures in deep poses that make you wonder who took the picture.

Seriously, there are a lot of staged ass pictures happening. Like, how are you taking a picture of yourself sleeping? Talking about “don’t sleep on me.” Stop it.

The pictures doing zen like pictures on rocks amaze me most.

But I digress.

Point is, I know most of us like to get invites to things we’ll never go to in order to make ourselves feel like we’re part of some life that’s long past. But the truth is, there’s another person on the end of that “no” you keep tossing around and any human is going to stop asking at some point because life happens and while we don’t love how it happens at times, we all understand. It’s the most personal, non-personal thing ever.

But nobody owes you an invite. UNLESS you owe them a yes a certain percentage of the asks.

Anything less, is uncivilized.

Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly (and gorgeous) for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. He refuses to eat cocaine chicken. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future. You can hit him on his hitter at panamadjackson@gmail.com.

  • Simple solution: Only respond with ‘yes’ if you can make it. If you don’t think you can attend, don’t respond at all. If mayhaps you find away to attend the day of the event after not responding, just show up. People like surprises. I’m usually a surprise, therefore people like me. #Logic

    • panamajackson

      #deep

    • Deeds

      No, depending on the event, people plan the party based off of the amount of people that RSVP’d, like reservations. So, surprise show ups can throw everything off.

      • I was being sarcastic…. sort of….

      • J2daT

        I agree…especially if you roll up with your boo and all your kids…and that cousin and his/her spouse from out of town….BYE!!!

      • Nik White

        Yes the chicken quantity must be maintained people!

    • miss t-lee

      Either way, You need to respond.
      Surprises are an absolute not, especially for planning purposes.

      • (makes note to work on sarcasm via text)

        • miss t-lee

          LOL

  • Proverbs31WIFE!

    I’m not wasting my time texting neither inviting you if you always say no.
    About the ‘never stop grinding’ folks and sleep positions on Ig, please keep posting! I get my life through all your phakkery.

  • cakes_and_pies

    You have to know your audience. My job consists of me working my butt off 60-80 hours per week for 6 months. I do nothing at all for the other 6 months. Can you tell which half I’m in?
    No one can get mad and I can’t get mad when I have to decline some gatherings because I need sleep and silence. Game night? Yes! Large parties? Naw.
    Hit me up now, and I’m showing up to everything. Lunch on the coast and a random getaway 3 hours away from home? I’m down. Water balloon fight Thursday evening? Sure.

    • camille1128

      Exactly. I have kids and work strange days and hours. I’m at the point where the kids don’t need a sitter, so that’s no longer an issue. If your party is ending an hour before I have to show up at work, I can’t do it. However, if you’re having a 4th of July party that starts at 2, I may get there late because I’m coming straight from work. I always appreciate and will respond to an invite. I do explain that while I’d love to come, the way my need to keep my house is set up, I gotta go to work.

  • AnswerMe

    Agree with everything written. If you’ve said no a million times, sorry not going for a million and one. And YES to the vacay pics. I smile when I go on vacation, but I guess all anyone else does is reflect, look solemn, pose as if there’s no one taking a pic of them.

  • Brandon Allen

    It’s clearly all jokes but this millenial slander is unfounded and uncalled for.

    • Buster Cannon

      lol, am I the only millennial unbothered by millennial slander? I’d be lying if I said that there weren’t trends in my generation that make me shake my head on a regular basis. (Of course, the older generations have their own issues, but that’s neither here nor there)

      • Brandon Allen

        I’m not bothered either really. I just want better jokes. Nobody texts like that, come on P!

        • Mika

          No, they do. I hate it. LOL Just write the entire word out.

      • I mean, we brought the world 2LiveCrew and acid wash jeans. We all have our shames.

        • J2daT

          touché….don’t stop, get it get it. LOL

        • Kas

          Biker shorts and tank tops . . . on men

        • Kas

          Biker shorts and tank tops . . . on men!

        • Blueberry01

          Cross Colors and Jordache

      • HouseOfBonnets

        I mean for the most part I’m unphased but I’m starting to feel like everyone thinks we all act this way and in my personal defense:

      • IlikeHotCheetos

        I just shrug my shoulders and let the millennial shade roll off my back most times. But when older folks are like “this generation yadda yadda yadda…”, I’m like y’all raised us man!

    • You wippersnappers will look back on these times one day.

      • Kas

        Redacted

        • Spellcheck doesn’t work on old people words.

        • NonyaB

          WhipperShnapper

          • Kas

            Why you got that random “h” along for the ride?

            • NonyaB

              Because that’s what the word party in my mind sounds like today. -Member of committee for advancing unions of random “h”s in new spaces.

    • panamajackson

      No.

      • Brandon Allen

        I need better more accurate slander P lol Texting and Bryson Tiller? This is teenage slander

        • panamajackson

          All I know is Bryson Tiller plays at the club and the over 21 crowd goes wild.

          • Brandon Allen

            That’s cuz it’s the same generic sound that’s been hot for like 6 years now.

            • panamajackson

              That doesn’t disprove my point. Bryson is winning right now cuz of his same Drake-style for hte past 6 years. And the millenials love it. It’s not even shade. lol its a fact.

              • Brandon Allen

                It’s not that the Millenials love it’s just that it’s boilerplate “popular music” that yall Gen Xers catch too.
                Especially, if you’re not quite at the get off my lawn stage yet. They play the same music at these events….but then again I’m inching toward 30 I’d what these college kids are doing…are they Millenials?

    • HouseOfBonnets

      As a 25 year old that has noticed the constant slander I agree. At this point i feel like y’all putting us in a box lol

      • Brandon Allen

        I just want it to be a little more substantive. Like clowning people flying to Dubai or idk…doing Teach for America.

      • panamajackson

        It’s how it happens. Box it up.

        • miss t-lee

          *cackling*

  • YeaSoh

    Ummm actually you’re wrong. And you don’t even have hair so why are looking up protective styles… duhfuk.

    The only reason you’re not inviting them is because they haven’t said yes before, BUT if we stop being polite and start getting real, the truth is that makes YOU the one in YOUR feelings. When you send an invite out you send it to people you would like to come, yes? Regardless of if they can make it or not, correct? So just leave it at that. If you honestly would like for them to come then you should extend the invite, whether or not they can actually make it or ever have is irrelevant.

    Keep it won-hunid… your guitar weeps a little when they don’t click “Yes, I’ll be there”.

    • AnswerMe

      Mentioned before there are those that just like invites. Invites to things they have no intention of attending but also love knowing what’s going on just for the sake of knowing. Friend I have like that, we do one on one things but when I host something, I no longer extend an invite.

      • YeaSoh

        I mean I guess… guess they better not ever change their mind.

        • AnswerMe

          In a large group of friends I have there are 2-3 that rarely make it to an event, and I always make sure to include them bc they would actually come if they could or weren’t too tired or just ain’t feeling what we’re doing. People have lives, I get it, that’s life. This friend I mentioned previously basically thinks they’re above my parties I host or whatever. And that’s cool, I accept that and we hit up the mall or a restaurant every once in a while.

          • YeaSoh
            • AnswerMe

              Sounds crazy right. We’ve discussed it and everything. There’s no resentment when I don’t invite, just that I know better.

              • Kas

                I was going to ask how you could have a friend that thinks they are above your parties, but then I remembered I have a few friends that I feel the same way about.

                • AnswerMe

                  It’s usually whatever I decide to do for my birthday. Nothing crazy.

                • NonyaB

                  So, you snub them socially? Then why are y’all friends?

                  • Kas

                    Friend since elementary. I enjoy his company I just don’t enjoy the company of a lot the people that we grew up with/went to high school with (large component of his attendees).

          • NonyaB

            See, nawl. If she above my partays (which are the sh~t, BTW), then you above my friendship. It’s one thing if you’re just introverted/less-social or different type of acquaintance. But if you’re actually social and snobbing my invites? You gets snubbed by my contacts list.

            • AnswerMe

              It used to bother me then woke up and realized I won’t be annoyed if I don’t allow it happen, ie no invite. Also flaky and cancels last moment or with some lame excuse on other stuff we do so it’s like they’re penciled in, nothing is ever cemented. Pretty much we’re close bc we’ve known each other forever but I have other friends that I can actually count on.

  • HoobaStankyLeg

    Listen, my circle is tight. I have 2 girlfriends I have had for 20 years. They know unless it’s just us, I’m not coming. Bring me plate and we will celebrate after. We can talk about your adventures in great detail, we will clown and cackle….I guess that just goes with your team knowing you. I was like this since we were kids though. So everybody gets it.

    • NonyaB

      But what about the Tshirt-pannies-boat partay you just finished planning on the other thread? So, you were just playing us, Hooba? ?

      • HoobaStankyLeg

        See that was my fault. Being that I didn’t know about the guys pickle print pics, I thought we were doing it pajama jammy jam style. In home draws and likka. Then when it dawned on me what a gray sweats party was I was like oooooohhhhhhh! Count me out. Or set up a live stream.

        • HouseOfBonnets

          What chu mean count you out? You were holding the torch lol

          • HoobaStankyLeg

            I’m not going on no kayak, shrimping boat, yacht or anything not on land with strange men who wear tight sweatpants with no draws on. Y’all can have that. But for real, set up a live stream though.

            • Kas

              All I was thinking was what man wears sweats in public with no underwear.

              • All the young men do that. It’s odd

                • Kas

                  Very

                • HoobaStankyLeg

                  Didn’t they used to do that in the ’70’s though? I saw a lot of Camtoe Newtons watching old Soul Train episodes. I don’t think this is new…..

                  • They were just so tight you’d see them regardless. It’s why I stopped.

                    • HoobaStankyLeg

                      Look at them boyyyssss they got them oochie cuttas, oochie cuttas!!!!

              • HoobaStankyLeg

                I didn’t know what was happening all I saw was this young mans print with no discernible draws to be had and I was like uh un! Take me out coach.

              • HouseOfBonnets

                Oh it happens….a lot.

                • Kas

                  Call me an old stooge, but back in my day . . .

              • NonyaB

                Seems these days, with esteem at an all time low and social preshah at an all time high, even dudes with some distinctive skills or accomplishment feel they gotta lead with assets. Gotta keep the bat signal on to get chose, even though they want “real” relationships, etc.

                • HoobaStankyLeg

                  You and these H’s! Bwahahaha! This should be a thing.

                  • NonyaB

                    *Nods gravely* Glad you see the value in shenanigans big and small.

            • HouseOfBonnets

              I mean I suggested condom fishbowls and respect of space lol

              But I got you on the live stream lol

              • HoobaStankyLeg

                Wait, what’s a condom fishbowl. Is it another form of ‘gray sweatpants’? Are you punkin me?! Do the kids still say punk’d?!

                • HouseOfBonnets

                  No I was literally suggesting a empty fishbowl with condoms in it, also to my knowledge we no longer say punk’d

                  • HoobaStankyLeg

                    Oh okay. Because last time I got caught up in gray sweat pants thinking that it was something that it was not. Now I’m at a yacht party full of empty fishbowls with condoms in them, with men who don’t wear underwears. Life is hard.

                    • Kas

                      “life is hard” heh, heh heh

                    • HoobaStankyLeg

                      ? I’m so….You so…..WE are so immature.

                    • Kas

                      I didn’t want you to think your wit was going unappreciated.

                    • HoobaStankyLeg

                      The wit was within you the whole time. Cause I didn’t catch that til you said it.

      • HoobaStankyLeg

        I had no clue we were talking bout his Camtoe Newton. I was still singing Circle of Life!!!!!!! ?

        • NonyaB

          Chile, I learnt about the kyrie existence and banana drapings all on that post!

          • HoobaStankyLeg

            I keep trying to told y’all I’m out of the loop. I clocked out on most pop culture stuff. I’m not big on basketball so y’all gon hatta forgive me. I didn’t even know about him, or the sweat pants til last article! The youth. Ah, y’all are getting me back in the loop. Circle of Life and whatnot…

  • MsCee

    Is the word that we’re looking for here supposed to be *slighted?…I could be wrong…these things bother me. I have word OCD.

    • panamajackson

      Yes. Yes it is. It is corrected and I’m not sure how in the world I misspelled that to begin with.

      • MsCee

        It’s all good. The only reason I really noticed is because I literally have an ongoing list of “Words I’ve learned on VSB.”

        • Nik White

          As in “portmanteus”? Seibert was the first writer to use it (and made me look it up).

          • NonyaB

            Portmanteau and plural portmanteaux

  • Aly

    If you’re really friends, yes, you should keep extending the invite and try not to take a “no” personally because it’s probably not about you. Acquaintances can kick rocks, though. I won’t keep inviting you.

  • Cindy Eberts

    The Charlie Brown phenomena–can you come out and play? Lucy always yelled NOOOO and Charlie Brown did backward somersaults. It took me 55+ years to figure out that when white people say they are busy but give no details, they REALLY MEAN–get out of my sight you moron; I wouldn’t hang with you if you were the last person on earth. So, everybody in my life who says they are busy but never gave any details, is GONE from my life. Boy, am I stupid. Took me 55+ years to figure that one out, so I’m passing it on to you. When a white person in America always says they are busy but doesn’t say why, delete them. They aren’t as honest as Lucy was to Charlie Brown.

    • RhetoricalReverie
      • HouseOfBonnets

        Thank you for conveying our collective thoughts lol

        • miss t-lee

          Amen.

      • Asiyah

        I know the site is called Very Smart Brothas but I had no idea this post would turn into a racial thing lol #whoops

        • RewindingtonMaximus

          First time for everything

    • NonyaB

      Better late than never, I guess!

    • Jennifer

      Or…maybe they’re busy and their plans are none of your business. There are times when I keep my goings on to myself — even from my friends.

    • RewindingtonMaximus

      Thank you and bless your heart

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