Bianca Knows Best ... and Helps a Betrayed Friend 

Dear Bianca,

A friend of mine is planning a cocktail party for next weekend, and though I thought we were pretty close, she didn't invite me. I only found out through a mutual friend who asked if I was planning on attending.

The party-throwing friend and I go way back -- to our college days! I can't believe she'd leave me off the list, whether it was unintentional or not. I'd like to believe she made a mistake, but I don't want to call her on it and possibly embarrass myself.

How should I handle this? Should I call her to ask about the party? Or should I suck it up and get over it?

The Uninvited

Dear Uninvited,

Damn, that sucks. I'd feel pretty hurt too. But you should start by assuming that she didn't mean to forget you. Give her a call and make small talk for a while, but don't mention the party. If she accidentally left you off the guest list, a phone conversation with you might spark her memory. If five to 10 minutes go by with no mention of the party, you might want to start dropping hints.

Ask her about her weekend plans. Does she want to catch a movie or go out for brunch? If she answers either of these questions and still doesn't mention her cocktail plans, then you've got a problem.

Politely say goodbye and hang up, then call your friend who was invited and ask for more party details. Is there a limit to how many people could be invited? Is there a party theme that perhaps your friend didn't think you'd be comfortable with (for example, some of my weirdo friends once hosted a fetish party and I was deliberately not invited because I'd already expressed my disapproval of the idea)?

If things still don't add up, you should confront the friend and tell her how it makes you feel. When you confront her, she'll either give you a reasonable explanation or she won't ... in which case, she's not that great of a friend after all.

Then go ahead and throw your own party that weekend and forget that snob for leaving you out in the cold.

Got a problem? E-mail Bianca at bphillips@memphisflyer.com

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