Applying for a job. Auditioning for a role. Pitching an article. Some situations are entered into with trepidation, when you’re putting yourself out there, waiting to be judged, and possibly rejected. It keeps you awake at night, whispering to yourself, “Please, oh, please, let them say yes!”
I am in one such situation right now. I have just sent out an Evite for my son’s birthday party.
And you know what? I can handle the straight-up rejection. “Sally has soccer that afternoon.” Cool , I wouldn’t want to infringe on her opportunity to be the next Mia Hamm, or that lady who whipped her shirt off at the World Cup that time. “Sorry; it’s at the same time as our Mee-Maw’s 95th, and we’re not sure how much longer we’ll have her around!” Right on, Mee-Maw. You were here first. I get that.
But the Maybes!
I understand that sometimes you are legitimately unsure whether or not you can attend. Like if you’re a doctor, and the on-call schedule hasn’t been finalized yet. Or you’re pregnant, and the party coincides with your due date. Fine. But can you give me a hint? “I’m waiting to hear back about my test results. The nurse said she’ll call by the 15th” is an excellent way to convey a maybe. “We’ll let you know,” not so much.
And then there are the dreaded no-response people. What is with you people?? Sorry, it’s just… I can’t even deal with the no-responses anymore. This past summer, we were throwing a barbecue every few weeks, and it got to the point where my husband offered to take over my guest list management duties because I was about to crack up. He spent a few days tracking them down via email, Facebook and text message before he lost it. “I am writing down these people’s names, and we’re never inviting them to anything, ever again!”
I need to know how much food to cook, how many goody bags to buy. Have you ever had too many goody bags? It’s a nightmare! You can’t throw them away, because it’s wasteful, but what the hell are you supposed to do with that junk? I think I’m going to surreptitiously dump them all in the “treasure chest” at my next dentist appointment.
And why haven’t they replied? Did they forget? I could remind them, but then maybe they’ll think I’m a nag. Do they not want to come, but feel badly about telling me? Honestly, I’d rather lose a friend who doesn’t really like me than have to throw away 10 pounds of potato salad. Are they waiting until the last moment, to see if something better comes along? Screw you; we don’t want you in our bouncy castle, anyway!
So here I am again, naked and vulnerable, waiting for those reassuring emails to come rolling in. I’ll be tearing my hair out for the next two weeks. Please respond promptly, everyone. Or if you won’t, at least send Valium.
This post originally appeared on In the Powder Room