Dear Annie: I have played in a local poker league for 10 years and have built solid friendships with these people. Three years ago, a new crew joined our crowd. At first, they were friendly, but in the past two years, one of them began having home poker parties. I was completely caught off guard when I started noticing Facebook posts with all of our friends, and my husband and I were not on the invite list.
I tried to be a good sport and would post comments to let them know I was glad they had a good time, but deep down, I was hurt that people I’d known for a decade didn’t seem to mind that we were not there. A few of them commented privately, saying they were not aware it was happening, but nothing changed.
Last year, I was diagnosed with cancer and have undergone radiation. My “don’t care” quotient is at an all-time high, so when I noticed once again that we were not invited to a gathering, I commented that it was a slap in the face and amazingly rude to expect me to be courteous and friendly during our poker games when it’s obvious that she has no regard for my feelings at all.
I later attempted to extend an olive branch to all of the members of our league (including Miss Rude) by inviting them to my husband’s birthday party, but not one of them showed up. Do I need a shrink, or should I just put all of our cards on the table and find out what I’ve done to make her deliberately alienate me? – Royal Flush
Dear Royal: This sounds like high school with the mean girls and the bullies. There could be any number of reasons why Miss Rude has isolated you – she doesn’t like you, she wants to be in control, she believes you are competition. The real question is why your other friends go along with it. If you have a pal in your group, ask for an honest assessment. But mostly, we think you need new friends.