Please Don't Invite Me

While we love being invited almost everywhere, we'd rather you take us off these guest lists before we have to RSVP "no!"

by Jenny Allen
cartoon illustration of woman reading an invitation image
Photograph: Illustrated by Seymour Chwast

Are you having a Yuletide party? Can I come? I love holiday parties—Hanukkahlatke-making parties, boozy Christmas cocktail parties, New Year’s Eve parties even though they start past my bedtime. I love most parties, even nursery school gradu-ations, even brises. Well, not the bris itself, but the brunch after the bris. I like seeing people, and usually there’s cake, and I love cake. Even that sheet cake with the white icing that has no flavor except sugar. May I have a corner piece? Thank you!

But there are some events I just cannot attend, and I thought I’d list them here, prophylactically, so you can invite someone else.

Thank you for not asking me to a professional basketball game, even if you have the really good seats where the movie stars sit. In fact, please don’t invite me to any sports event. I wish I could see what other people see—the balletic teamwork, the competitive thrill. But after five minutes, my mind starts to wander: Where’s the hot dog guy? Huh—there’s a cloud in the shape of George Washington’s head. I went to Mount Vernon once. No, that was Monticello.

Please don’t invite me to a wine-and-cheese get-together where a banker tells us how to invest our money. I don’t have any money.

Please don’t invite me to go rock climbing, even the fake kind in an athletic facility. Please don’t invite me to an art opening where there is no food whatsoever except for a wee bowl of peanuts. Please don’t invite me to dinner at a macrobiotic restaurant. I wish I liked this sort of food, but it makes me feel as if I’m being punished for something I didn’t do.

Please don’t invite me to a movie that I think will include a car chase but is actually just one long car chase. I love some chasing in a movie, but it has to come between the parts where the characters talk to one another, so I care about why they are being chased or are chasing.

And forgive me for sounding coldhearted, but please don’t invite me to a two-hour memorial service. Two hours is 75 minutes too long, no matter how accomplished and fabulous the dead person was.

Please don’t invite me to any gathering that includes a fortune teller, an astrologer or a tea-leaf reader. Too many things have happened to me already. Unless my fortune is “Congratulations, the rest of your life will be uneventful,” I would rather be in the dark.

I do like magic shows, though, and baby showers, and bingo nights, and bowling parties, so please count me in. I would particularly love to be invited to do that kind of bowling you do in the dark, with Day-Glo bowling balls. It sounds as if everyone could be equally bad at it, which would be right up my alley (alley! ha!), and would involve a lot of potato chips and other tasty, salty snack foods. And nothing says fun like those crazy bowling shoes.

I also hardly ever, that is to say never, get asked to caroling parties or tree-trimming parties, and I would enjoy them, even if I’d be coming mostly for the eggnog. So invite me. I am so there.

Next: Regifting’s Fair, If You Play by the Rules

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First Published Wed, 2012-10-24 11:11

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