Last week our department hit our 90%-before-the-end-of-March fundraising goal. Obviously, we were all pretty excited! But the department VP asked that we keep low-key about it for the moment. Today, I received an email invitation to a celebration party. Our VP’s husband is a chef, so she’s inviting us all over to her house for a few hours on a Sunday afternoon. Sounds great, right? Good food and a reason to celebrate! But I’m not sure if I’m going…
Well, why the hell not?! The invitation was short and sweet. It said:
Now it is time to celebrate!!!
[Date, Time, Location]
Please bring your significant other and join us for a few hours to celebrate hitting 90%!!!
See the problem? It’d be one thing if she said, “Feel free to bring your significant other,” but this “please” business has me confused as to whether or not I am actually invited to attend should I NOT have a significant other to bring. Seems far-fetched, right? It is a work event… but even if we dismiss that notion, there’s still the fact that every other person there will have a significant other with them, and I am straight up not sure if I will even have anyone to talk to! The last thing I want to do is be mopey in front of my co-workers, but if I go and I’m the only single person there, that’s a very real possibility.
To clarify, here’s a quick breakdown of everyone in my department at work by relationship status: 8 of them are married, 3 others are in committed relationships, and one is single. You already know which one is me. To be fair, I’m also the youngest person in my department, but not by a heck of a lot! The two co-workers closest in age to me (they’re a year or two older than me) are both married.
It’s not like this is a new problem, it’s just one that’s complicated by work. I’ve routinely not been invited to events or suddenly was not able to spend as much time with a friend because I don’t have a significant other to bring to said events or double dates or whatever it is couples do with other couples. I’ve never really understood couples-only events, to be honest. Are your single friends less interesting? Do you have less in common with them? I just don’t see what there is to be gained by excluding people on the basis of their relationship status.
So here we have an event I might not even be invited to if it weren’t for work, again, on the basis that I do not have an S.O. to bring to the party. So what do I do? Go alone? Skip it? Bring a friend? Bring my cat just so we can all be super clear about who the spinster is?
This seems like an unnecessary amount of heartache for what would otherwise sound like a fun Sunday to me. Excluded before the party has even started.