Yesterday there was an awkward moment at work during our staff lunch when one teacher (let’s call her A) mentioned to another teacher (we’ll call her S) that she had found a dress for S’s wedding, at which point the other three teachers we were sitting with all got very quiet while glancing shiftily back and forth, making it painfully obvious that I was the only one of the six of us that wasn’t invited.
This is the fourth wedding of a colleague that I haven’t been invited to when a significant number of other staff members were.
I get it. I’m not very good friends with many people on my staff. I’m never surprised that I’m not invited, I guess it’s just hard to realize that everyone else is.
And no, obviously EVERYONE else is not invited. The majority of the staff is not. But the people who get married, and those they invite, are always in the group of people I would consider friends at work–the people I sit with at staff meetings, chat with at lunch and in the halls, hang out with at the holiday party. I’m just never a good enough friend to make the cut, and everyone else in the group is.
I’ve not made the cut quite a few times with college friends as well. Again, I never question that I’m not invited, it’s just the sting of realizing that everyone else is.
I think one of the reasons this hurts so much when it happens at work is it’s a reminder of a very painful event that took place early in my career when I found out, via FB, that quite literally the entire staff had been invited to a rafting trip, and most of them had actually gone on it, and I had not been invited. I remember at the time thinking, well maybe they just forgot about me, which isn’t a particularly comforting thought because clearly you are no one’s good friend if not one person remembered to mention it to you. Later I found out I was purposefully not included because the two organizers didn’t particularly like me. I never really understood what I did to make them dislike me so much that they’d not invite me on a trip they had to know I’d find out about later.
That happened eight or nine years ago. It still hurts to think about it.
And every time there is a wedding that I’m not invited to, that I hear everyone talking about before and after, I’m reminded of that rafting trip when I was purposefully excluded.
It’s like middle school all over again. I guess I’ll never really fit in.