Friday, December 14, 2007

I apologize for not taking your money

There are things we might or might-not do depending on other people's financial situation. It sometimes has to do with whether or not we invite someone to a relatively expensive event based on whether or not we think they can afford it. The problem with these invitations (or lack of them) is no matter how well intended the are they can be offensive. Our assumptions both about others' financial resources or what is or isn't a spending priority is their decision--not ours.

Here are two examples. Tiffani and I invited some friends to a mildly expensive restaurant confident they'd enjoy the evening without worrying about the cost, but this upset other friends that would have eagerly gone because of the opportunity to escape their children and indulge in a unique night-on-the-town without giving the expense a second thought.

It happened again during my mayoral campaign this fall. We held a $50/person fund raiser catered by a neighbor at her home. Most of the guests we invited were people Tiffani and I didn't feel imposing on (if you can call trading appetizers, wine, and beer for $50 imposing) because we knew they either had the money, were politically active, or had previously invited us to their fund raisers.

The fund raiser was successful in that we raised nearly 1/4 of our campaign's $6515 total, but it was unsuccessful in that it we might have raised more and we upset a few of our friends, family, and neighbors by not inviting them.

Michigan's economy has been tougher on some people than others. On the list of people we didn't invite are the unemployed and under-employed. Some are couples I thought (read: decided) needed to keep their $100 more than I needed them to donate it.

Some of the people who wished they were invited told us we shouldn't have concerned ourselves with their finances--their finances are their own problem as are their priorities. To them my campaign for mayor was a priority. We found out of others' disappointment indirectly through family and shared friends.

Again, I apologize. I promise we won't make that mistake again.

When next one of us runs everyone is on the list. We'll have more fund raisers with higher minimums and you'll be invited to all of them until you've contributed the maximum allowed by law.

Be careful what you wish for!


  1. It's a double-edged sword isn't it? You just can't please everyone.

    Your intentions were good so I wouldn't stress over it.

  2. No need to apologize. We forgive you. Really we do. Har har.