I always say that if you want to clean out friends and family from your life, you need to throw a wedding or Bar Mitzvah. When you throw an event like that, people often act weird and it’s a great way to think out the ranks.
That’s not the intent of throwing these level type of events, but it often happens. When I got married 15 years ago, I invited a friend who I was part of their bridal party on the other coast and when I asked him why he didn’t send in an RSVP or just send in a card, he lost his temper with me and he hasn’t talked to me since (that was 15 years ago).
My son isn’t like when I was a kid, he doesn’t want to be the life of the party and we kept the party small to family and friends. While I have so many friendly business contacts around the country, I didn’t invite them because they don’t know Jason all that well and I don’t invite people just because I want a gift and it screams like that when the people are out of state.
So when I invited people to my son’s Bar Mitzvah, I expected some flake-outs. Sure, there were people who couldn’t attend because it was Columbus Day weekend and people do make travel plans. So Jason had a handful of friends who couldn’t attend and most of them were very sad that they couldn’t be there for him. Be honest, when people flake out, it’s not the kids.
I had a couple of couples who said they couldn’t attend because they were celebrating their anniversaries. We’re not talking a 25th or 50th anniversary; we’re talking about the run of the mill anniversaries. When people say they can’t attend your event because it’s their anniversary or birthday, the underline meaning of it is that their annual celebration is more important than your once in a lifetime event. You can celebrate your anniversary a day before or the day after. How many times did I have to work or travel on my birthday? I once had to drive up and down to Albany on my birthday, which was a Saturday for my old law firm,I celebrated my birthday the following day.
I had family members who couldn’t attend but offered no reasons why. Maybe because it was the holiday weekend, maybe they were trying to teach me a lesson, who knows?
The point here is that while people may flake out over your invitation and may have a lame excuse why they couldn’t attend, these are always the fall out when you decide to have such a life-achieving event. It’s the price of admission for hosting such an event and it’s more important to treasure the moment and remember what the event is all about it, instead of focusing on the negativity of the flakes. The people who wanted to come will show up, it’s the coalition of the willing and remembers the majority who wanted to be at your event and celebrate you. All the nonsense with the invitations is just a good plot for a Curb Your Enthusiasm episode.