An Open Letter
Dear People In My Life Whose Feelings Were Hurt Recently By A Trip To Outback,
Recently it came to my attention that some feelings were hurt because a dinner “event” was held, ostensibly in my honor, and not everyone I pal around with was invited. How it came to my attention, or through whom, is immaterial, and should not be pursued to exact any sort of retribution. The point is, it came to my attention, and I couldn't let it go unanswered.
The dinner event in question came about as a result of my mentioning to someone that I had received a gift card for my birthday and wanted to buy myself a nice steak dinner with it, and did this person want to join me? From there it became a “Hey, so-and-so might like to go too,” sort of thing. At no point did I say to anyone that this was a “birthday party/celebration” for myself; at no point was an invite list put together; at no point were names mentioned for invitation and rejected. It became an unofficial birthday dinner in due course; it certainly didn’t start that way.
I very much believe the idea that you build up a reputation over time through actions and behavior. Treat people like crap over and over and over? That’s probably what people should expect from you. I certainly have the reputation at my job that I’m a bit impatient and CAN be hard to work with, and I know without a doubt I’ve earned that reputation. But with my friends, in my personal life, I know without a doubt that I’m a good friend: loyal, caring, willing to do whatever I can to aid or make someone happy. I believe I’ve earned a little leeway, a little “benefit of the doubt” as it were, because I’ve rarely given any of you a reason to doubt me. Which leads to my frustration and confusion.
Why, when you weren’t invited (and I’m so weary of that word; this was NOT an event to which invitation needed to be issued!), did you automatically assume that it was a personal slight against you? Regardless of who you think put together the list of “invitees”, I can assure you it wasn’t a personal matter. At no point did any name, any name AT ALL, come up and get rejected outright. It was a mostly impromptu dinner, and that’s all it was. It was in no way an indictment of you or a marker of how much I value our friendship.
Why did I take the time to write this? Because I am, quite frankly, tired of all the damn drama. I get enough of it at work; I really don’t have the patience for it in my personal life anymore. At a certain point, you have to discover for yourself what’s more important to you, the person or their actions. I long ago decided people were more important to me. I don’t always live that, I know, and I don’t for one second think I’m better than you or anyone else. But all I hear about anymore is how this person’s feelings were hurt, or this person isn’t talking to this person. Sometimes there are legitimate reasons, and I recognize that. But to get your feelings hurt because you weren’t invited to Outback, when you KNOW FOR A FACT that I don’t act maliciously toward people? We’re adults people; we’re too old for things like that to hurt us unless we let them.
I love each and every one of my friends, and I hope you’re all my friends for a long, long time. This is not meant to alienate or anger anyone, and I’m heartily sorry if that’s the case. But we’re allowing our bonds to be pulled apart by silly little meaningless things, and I can’t just sit around and watch it happen anymore. I care about myself, and all of you, too much.