Burned-Out Hostess Wants an Invitation

By Amy Dickinson | July 21st, 2023

The road goes both way, woman says

Retro image of a burned-out hostess in her kitchen. From Petro Kladyk

After doing the hosting without getting invitations in return, a burned-out hostess reaches out to “Ask Amy” for advice. See how Amy Dickinson responds to “Road Goes Both Ways.”

Dear Amy:

Five years ago, my husband and I moved to a new town where we knew nobody.

We began inviting folks to play on our tennis court, then started a bridge group at our home, and now have a great circle of friends. We’ve also invited many of these folks to our vacation home, and they are all very grateful and enjoy our times together.

My problem is that in these five years we have received almost no invitations from any of these folks.

I’ve been told discreetly it’s because most of our new friends live in more modest homes and feel they cannot entertain the same way we can.

How can I communicate (without fishing for an invite) that those things don’t matter to me, and that I’d appreciate a call to meet for a meal somewhere or even a cup of coffee?

I just feel like our social life is a one-way street that only leads to our house.

– Road Goes Both Ways

Dear Road Goes:

You could attempt to open this up by asking (at your bridge group, for instance), “Is anyone else here able or willing to host one of our game nights?”

However, you should also understand that, no matter how well liked you are or what values you attempt to convey, a sizable percentage of people simply never host anything.

They can be very grateful for your hosting, but don’t issue invitations to coffee, don’t invite people to their homes, and won’t call you up to join them on a walk through the park.

Sometimes this is because of a real or perceived difference in your socioeconomic status, and sometimes this is because … they just don’t extend themselves in this way.

If you feel like you’re a burned-out hostess, you should take a breather from hosting, which might inspire others to step up.

Want to get even more life tips from Amy? Read more of her advice columns here!

In the tradition of the great personal advice columnists, Chicago Tribune’s Amy Dickinson is a plainspoken straight shooter who relates to readers of all ages. She answers personal questions by addressing issues from both her head and her heart – ranging from accepting a new friend to dark family secrets and DNA surprises. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers. You can email Amy Dickinson at askamy@amydickinson.com or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068.

©2023 by Amy Dickinson

More from Boomer