Saturday, January 01, 2005

Invitations to visit
A few days ago I received a nice invite via e-mail to a New Year's Eve party in my hometown. I had to turn it down because I was not going to be in the city at that time, my parish being simply too far away to warrant all the driving. For some reason, that invite got me thinking about other invitations I have received in the past. In particular, I recalled one odd exchange I had regarding an invite to come to a home for dinner. The invitation came at a time when I was swamped with work and did not have time to be away from the office -- I was trying to put too many things together in a short amount of time, plus do laundry and clean up things around the house. The invite also came from someone to whose home I had been on numerous occasions. When I said I couldn't come over because I was too busy, the person pressed even harder, suggesting that I just pop over and come right back and get to work. I held my ground, knowing myself well-enough to realize that were I to do so, I would either (1) stay too long at the home, or (2) never get back in the flow of work. Either way I wouldn't accomplish everything I needed to accomplish in the short time available. To my surprise the person pressed even harder, saying, "You just don't want to come over to my house."

At this point my inner monologue was saying, "I can't believe this person is doing this. I am swamped with work and I have little time and now this person, whose home I have visited numerous times, is claiming that I simply don't want to come over to the house. I don't need this guilt trip and I am about to end this conversation with an accompanying end to the friendship as well!" A cooler head kept these thoughts in the realm of monologue, thanks be to God.

But a thought came to me later, a response I could use when I encounter such bizarre situations in the future. I think it is pretty good. If I ever encounter this again, I think I will say to the person, "Um, excuse me. Help me out here, because I am a little confused. Is this an invitation or an abduction?"

No comments: