how to self invite without self inviting
December 4, 2011 8:41 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to invite myself to see an old friend, without actually inviting myself. how to do it without looking like an inconsiderate boob?

I've recently moved to a different area of the country than where i've spent most of my life, with the purpose of going to grad school. the semester's winding down and i wouldn't mind a break at the end of it. there's a large town about an hour away i wouldn't mind spending the night unwinding after finals are over. via facebook, i know a friend of mine from 5-6 years ago is living there now. we haven't kept in touch, but we were decent friends back when, and i would like to see her. there was no romance or other weird drama between us, nor am i romantically interested now, so that's not a concern.

i've already status updated that in general that i was thinking of going to that town when the semester is over, to which she commented that it's too bad she'll gone over christmas. her comment looks to a bit to me like a non-invite, but it's vague enough that i'm not sure, and the semester's over quite a bit before then (though she'd have no way of knowing). can i probe further without looking rude? i was thinking of setting a date to go down without conferring with her, that way it's non-committal if she can't go out. this really isn't a big issue i know, i'm just not great on social cues (non-inflection on the internet doesn't help), and i'd rather not have it look like i'm trying to force an obligation on someone else.
posted by camdan to Human Relations (9 answers total)
"Actually, the semester ends pretty early and I'm planning to be around on X and Y Days. Will you still be around then? If so, maybe we could grab some coffee and catch up."

That way, it's your plan, and if she happens to be around, she can respond in the affirmative.
posted by BlooPen at 8:47 PM on December 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

Wait, I'm confused--are you interested in staying with this friend? Like crashing on her couch? Or are you planning on going there anyway and just want to meet up?

If it's the second, I think it would be reasonable to say, Hey I want to come visit your town anyway and it would be great to see you and catch up. I'll be in town , would there be a good time for you to meet up? I know this time of year is kind of hectic so I totally understand if that doesn't work.

Also, if you're not fishing for a place to stay, you're not really inviting yourself. You're inviting your friend out.

If you are looking for a place to stay, I'd say you should just be upfront about it. You could even say, so I feel awkward about this but...

posted by overglow at 8:50 PM on December 4, 2011

You're not looking to crash at her place or anything like that, right?

Just send her a note/wall post that says "Hey, I'm going to check out YOURTOWN sometime between Dec __th and ___th, can you recommend a good place to eat/drink? I know you mentioned you're away for the holidays, but if you're around during that time, would love to catch up over a drink if you're free!"

If you haven't talked/corresponded at all since you moved there at the beginning of the term, add something at the beginning to the tune of "Hey! It's been ages, huh? Just moved here for school, enjoying things, blah blah blah. " Otherwise, if you've talked at all since you've moved and the basic small-talk things have been covered, just jump right in.

As an aside, if you haven't corresponded up 'til now, and have made no indication to her so far that you want to reconnect, and she made that comment on your status out of the blue, I wouldn't see it as a non-invite. In fact, quite the opposite, because if there was someone I didn't want to talk to, I certainly wouldn't randomly comment on their status update.
posted by miss_kitty_fantastico at 8:51 PM on December 4, 2011 [4 favorites]

ok, i think you guys have answered my basic question, which is i'm not being intrusive. "inviting my friend out" probably works best. i'm not trying to crash on her couch, i might not even spend the night and if it got to that i'd say i'd get a hotel room before asking her. and no i haven't corresponded with her since moving here, so maybe a catch-up email would suffice before anything else. thanks!
posted by camdan at 8:59 PM on December 4, 2011

From the sounds of what you're trying to do, you're not self-inviting, you're extending an invitation to your friend. Presumably you're planning on going to [town] whether or not she's there, right? If yes, then you're not inviting yourself to [friend], you're inviting yourself to [town], and inviting [friend] to join you. You're good.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:09 AM on December 5, 2011

Kinda besides the point, but if you're interested in this person at all you might want to reconsider using "status update" as a verb.
posted by rhizome at 11:49 AM on December 5, 2011

If you are not crashing at her place don't worry about the self-invite issue.
Just tell her that you are planning on visiting her city in near future and you would like to plan it when she's available, so you could catch up.
posted by WizKid at 2:44 PM on December 5, 2011

yeah that's what i was going for empresscallipygos, i planned on going to town anyway, i just didn't want to give the appearance of imposition or obligation.
posted by camdan at 5:31 PM on December 5, 2011

oh yeah she's cool with hanging out, i'm going to hers for dinner. this issue is resolved.
posted by camdan at 5:38 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

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