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Why Put ME on Blast?

One of my closest and dearest friends is graduating in a couple of days…but I received an E-vite LAST NIGHT to attend the ceremony and dinner following. After I declined the invitation and thought about how cruel the “NO” sounds, I called her to explain. I also mentioned how the invitation made me feel. Today I received an update to the E-vite….see below:

I was originally going to send an e-announcement about my graduation, then I had a few friends ask why they were not invited. I did not think that most people wanted to come. In fact, I had mixed emotions about participating myself.

I knew that it was important to walk for the young, impressionable minds around me: my two goddaughters, Koko and Nina, and my nephew Abe whose most common phrase now is “I am a Morehouse Man.” I want him to be encouraged to announce “I am a Morehouse Alumnus” and to continue on to be among the distinguished alumni of a graduate school or two. But I was still undecided until my sister Stevie and my fellow graduates convinced me to walk.

Because I was constrained by the amount of text that will fit on the invitation, I didn’t get to fully explain that I was actually announcing the following: I am graduating, and my family and I will be eating at Boneheads; you are welcome to come to either if you want to. But, don’t feel obligated, even if you are in town. It’s a weeknight, and not only will we eat late, but we cannot even be sure what time we will get to the restaurant.

All of this was on my mind, but until I started hearing from people, I didn’t realize that this message was not communicated. My friend called to tell me that she felt pressure because I would show up for her.

I am touched by the feedback. When it’s important that you show up for a celebration for me, I will plan for a time that’s convenient for more people and give sufficient notice. This was really more of an announcement.


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