Well, something I never thought would happen in my friend
group just happened – I got invited to participate in a “house party.” For
those who aren’t familiar with the practice, the house party is southern “tradition”
that is essentially an extension of the bridal party – except the house party
is expected to do what I consider bitch work – handing out programs, setting up
the reception, greeting guests. Things, you know, hired help or a basket should
So my friend just sent me a card in the mail asking to participate in this
so-called house party and I have to say I’m incredibly hurt and offended by
this invite. I DO NOT feel like any sort of “honored guest” and I definitely
don’t want to shell out money for a dress of a specific length and color (she
requested we wear something long and light blue). Purchasing a long dress will
also require me to pay for any tailoring since I’m short and there is no such
thing as a long dress that will fit me in length without at least a hem job. Yay for spending more money on an outfit I don't want. She
framed it as an honor and that by participating in the house party I’ll be
invited to the fun pre-wedding stuff like showers and bachelorette parties, but
IMO, you should not need some made up title grouping thing in order to
invite non-bridesmaids to such events.
I get that she’s trying to be inclusive, but I’m a grown-ass
adult. I’m fully aware that not everyone will be in a bridesmaid and quite
frankly, I didn’t expect to be one in the first place. We’re close, but we’re
not “top three best friends” kind of close.
Had she waited, I would have gladly OFFERED to help out on
her big day in any way she needed it. I would have gladly helped set up her
reception or arrived early to make sure the florist and the baker knew where to
put the flowers and cake or helped haul her presents into a designated vehicle –
but the fact that she asked me to be in this ambiguous “house party” really
rubs me the wrong way. I’ll admit that I had two friends offer to help me out
and I took them up on it, asking them to spend about 20 minutes to set up
candles if they had time, but if not, I can find someone else to hire to do it.
I know the adult thing to do would be to respectfully decline
this “honor”, but I know that doing so will shift our relationship in an
unfavorable way – in a way that I do not want our generally great relationship
to shift. So I am, unfortunately, feeling very, very, very stuck in this role.
I’m judging her for quite a bit for even asking this of her friends.
And the thing is, I’m pretty sure she won’t ever realize how
this house party “honor” is making me feel – of course I won’t tell her and I'm sure the other house party invitees won't either because we don't want to hurt her feelings or risk damaging our relationships.
So PSA: if you’re thinking about a house
party throw one of these:
Don’t make your friends do bitch work for you. It’s not an
honor and they will think less of you for it. If you've already invited friends to participate in a house party - call them up an apologize. Let them know they are honored guests, and nothing is expected of them!