Another day, another story about a birthday party where no one rocks up.
This time, it was Minnesota mum, Jenny Moretter who was planning a 10th birthday party for her daughter Mackenzie.
After no one, NOT A SINGLE ONE of her fourth-grade classmates RSVP’d, she hit the panic button.
Why does my heart feel so sad? (via Facebook)
Her plea went viral, and so this story has a happy ending for the Moretter family. MacKenzie - who has an enlarged skull due to a rare genetic condition — ended up with a birthday party with hundreds of strangers, an outpouring of donations, so many birthday cards flooding in that they had to set up a special PO Box.
But for me it was bittersweet. 300 strangers converging on a party is nice. But where were the friends to begin with?
Last month it was another 10-year-old who invited all his classmates over for cake. Again, not a single one rocked up.
How is it that we live in a world where these mothers, who are presumably already in school communities, who presumably have neighbours, resort to reaching out to STRANGERS via the internet and pleading with them to rock up to a birthday celebration?
It's not just kids parties either. Anyone who has extended an invitation to others knows the unique anxiety of 'what if no one comes?'
Because inevitably, they don't.
Why isn't the autofill "I had a party and it was great"?
More and more, we find excuses. We hold out for a better offer. We cancel at the last minute. We don't bother RSVPing. We say we're going and just don't show. We put our own needs before the needs of someone who is reaching out and extending the arm of friendship. We're selfish.
And I just want to say this:
Go to the fucking party, people.
Even if it's cold, you're tired, you want to watch Netflix, you have to do your washing, you'd rather just not go.
Go to the dinner. Go to the event. Go to the coffee. Go to the drink. Just go for five minutes and say hello.
Yes, it might be uncomfortable. Maybe you don't feel like socialising. Maybe you're an introvert. Maybe you can't think of anything worse than making conversation with semi-strangers.
But here's the thing: it's not always about you.
Even Mia Freedman won't host a party in case no one comes: (post continues after video)
People always remember the people that were there. Be one of them.
When someone extends you an invitation, say yes. Opt in.
It says: I'm a friend. You're important. And I give a shit.
Saying yes, and opting in to things was this week's homework on The Well podcast. Rebecca Sparrow and Robin Bailey share tips on how to be better at life. Subscribe in itunes or listen to the full episode here: