Ann Landersish – What to Make of this Dilemma?

Just before heading to the US for my grandparents’ 90th birthdays, I received an interesting message in my inbox.  It seems I’m turning into an ersatz Ann Landers.  What advice would you give this guy, whom we will call Reader X?

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Long-lost relatives?

Hello Chris. You and Tawn both seem to have really insightful perspectives on life. I have been reading your blog for a few years. I never comment on your entries though. Hopefully your wisdom and advice will guide me through this dilemma. You could even post it on your blog to see how other readers would do in my situation. But please keep me anonymous. Thank you!

I have been taking road trips with this group of friends every summer (about 6 of them) for a few years. This year I was excluded and never invited. In fact I didn’t even know that they were on a trip until they updated their facebook statuses.

Considering all the planning and coordination involved, I am pretty sure they didn’t just simply forget to invite me.

My questions are:

1) Should I confront them or play dumb?
2) Should I even hang out with this group of friends anymore? I would think that by excluding someone deliberately was an obvious hint that they didn’t want that person in the group anymore. Would I appear clueless and stupid if I hang out with them again?

Now, I responded with some initial thoughts to Reader X, which I won’t share with you at the moment.  The next day, he replied with the following message:

Hi Chris. Thanks for the reply. … It would be great if you could present your readers my dilemma. Sorry I don’t mean to hijack your blog.  Your readers seem really mature and level-headed when facing life problems as well.

I decided to hear the truth so I messaged one of the girls in the group. I said “I can’t help but notice that I wasn’t invited on the trip. I’d like to know why. I’m prepared to accept any answer, but I want to hear it from you.”

She said it was thrown together quickly. But with hotel booking and coordinating each other’s schedule, it definitely didn’t happen spontaneously. In the past, they would plan the trips weeks ahead.

Then she said they only had one car. That explanation doesn’t really make sense because they know I have a car as well. Also why would they invite 6 people in the first place when the car could only accommodate 5. The explanation is clearly flawed.

So what now? Accept and believe. Or accept and move on?

So let’s put it to you, the “mature and level-headed” readers of my blog.  What initial advice would you have given Reader X and, now that he’s confronted one of the girls who left him behind, what advice would you give him for going forward?