Most people dread Mondays. They are psyching up all week towards the weekend and on Monday their mini vacation must come to an end. For me, and many like me, Thursday is my Monday. It is looked at with dread. For me Thursday has come to mean the last chance to make shabbos plans. As the week moves on the dread gets stronger and stronger. What will I do this shabbos? Where will I be? Where will I be the most comfortable? Or should I just go with the least uncomfortable? Some weeks come easy, invitations come well in advance and they are the ones which seem worth accepting. During other weeks it seems like there will be no plans at all. And sometimes it seems that staying home alone may be the better alternative to accepting invitations.
There are always outsiders offering their opinion (like with everything in life). Their take is usually against staying home citing reasons such as it being depressing. But are they offering another option? The longer I am single and the more weekends that come without plans, the less energy I have to make things right. I’ve been advised against “getting used to it” but at times I see no other choice. I’d rather sit home in my non-shabbos environment than face the degradation involved in calling to self-invite. Of course, these well meaning friends who I self invite to are the ones who “open their homes” and let us all know that we are always welcome and to just let them know when we want to come. At times this works well, but that depends on the friendship, the family situation and if the host has first invited in the traditional way. As a rule I do not call to invite myself over if I have never been there before. But if someone constantly extends invitations then I know they really mean it. I also see a trend that those who only offer open invitations usually have an excuse when i finally call. Is the open invitation just a way for them to assuage their own guilt? does it make them feel giving without having to actually give?
Then there is the question of why they are inviting me. Do they see my need and therefore invite me (which makes me feel pretty pathetic yet I am grateful that at least they do that). Or do they invite me for what I have to offer. Am I wanted for my charming personality or for their guilty conscience? That is the question.