Husband has not been invited to this year’s Court Leet, the men-of-the-village-only dinner that’s been going on continuously since the thirteenth century that he was so proud to have been invited to for the last two years. He thought P. was just winding him up when he asked him if he had received his invitation yet, but it turns out the invites really have gone out and one has not come through our door. He is more upset about this than he’d like to admit and has come up with several conspiracy theories by way of explanation, including the fact that we hang out all the time with our gay weekender friends, R&R — if this is really the case I tell him he should be proud to be excluded — and that he made the faux pas of wearing jeans to last year’s event. In a fight over the weekend I tell him it’s because he has developed a reputation for being loud and obnoxious and everybody in the village can hear him screaming and yelling at me. Despite my assertion I feel bad he’s been excluded, like the mother of the only kid in the class not invited to the birthday party.

I too have my own exclusion worries. On Thursday my company announced they were laying off 12% of my division, not totally unexpected. I tell myself I am not in the bottom performing 12% and other rationalizations meant to reassure, but on Saturday night I wake up at 1AM and can’t go back to sleep for the stress. Read Rachel Johnson’s hilarious book about her first year as editor of The Lady to calm myself back down. All she was asked to do was lower the average age of readers from 78 to 40-something and double circulation in the middle of a recession to prevent the magazine from going under, which helps put my job stress into perspective.

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