Friends, Acquaintances, and In-Between

A friend sent me an email a few weeks ago asking if she could have a baby shower for me once the new baby is home. I thought it was a lovely thought, but my initial response was no thank you. I mean, do people do showers for 2nd (and onward) kids? Asking her about that, she said absolutely and that every baby deserves to be celebrated. I get that - but I still feel like I'm gift grubbing. Regardless, she talked me into it (she's a very persistent person.)

Next up was a request for who to invite. After a ton of thought, I was able to come up with about six names. Some people I would love to invite live too far away. But the reality of it is that I just don't have a ton of what I consider friends (of those six, I would say there are 2 that I'm inviting because I'm inviting the other ladies from our Sunday school class and I don't want them to feel excluded, even if I really don't care one way or the other if they come. They're definitely acquaintances - and not great ones at that.)

I kicked around the idea of inviting several people I'm "friends" with on Facebook, but at the end of the day, I couldn't decide if they would think they really knew me well enough to be invited to such a thing. Plus, it seems to me that there's some hint of obligation attached to a shower invite (as with a birthday party) to bring a gift...and I just don't think there's any possibility that these ladies would want to do that. Plus they don't know any of the others who would be there, unless I invited more people from MOPS, and, well, I really don't want to start digging into that whole MOPS group dynamic.

At the end of the day, I realized that I probably have a very skewed and unusual definition of friend. It's probably overly exclusive. On the other hand, I feel like many people use the word friend entirely too casually, putting it in where acquaintance (which I can not seem to spell right the first time to save my life) is really much more accurate. Though really, it's probably more accurate to say that I use friend where family member or best friend should be used, relegating other people who would, likely, be hurt by the knowledge, to acquaintance even though traditional labeling would call them friend.

Which puts me back to wondering if I'm doing a disservice to these ladies by not even thinking that they'd want an invite. I mean, they can always say no and not come, I just hate to put them in the awkward situation of having to figure out why I think they're good enough friends to invite them to something like that when, in reality, I don't...I just didn't have anyone else to ask.


Eric Siegmund said...

Yet another difference between men and women. You suffer extreme angst, going back and forth, wrestling with all of these issues (all of which are legitimate, of course).

If a shower was suggested to a guy, here's our thought process: Cake? Yessss!

beth said...

If only we could all think that simply!