It’s Thanksgiving And You Should Be Grateful I Have Invited Myself To Dinner

by admin on November 21, 2011

My husband and I decided to invite two friends over for dinner. (I should note that these two friends are former partners that have been broken up for about two years. They often fight and push each others’ buttons but have followed my request that “you can fight with each other until you walk through my door then it must stop”.) The day and time was set. I had purchased all the ingredients for what I thought would be a dinner everyone would enjoy. We have previously had both people for dinner and holiday meals and both say they love my cooking. I was in the kitchen preparing dinner and my husband was entertaining one of our guests (Guest A) when the other guest (Guest B) called. He (Guest B) wanted to know whether or not I would be serving wine with dinner. I did not plan on serving anything with alcohol because both parties had to drive to work after our meal. Guest B decides that he no longer wanted to come to dinner. I continued to cook and thought, “His loss.”. Guest A walks into the kitchen as I am just about to start serving our dinner and asks if I can make Guest B a plate. Guest B had called Guest A, not me, to ask for the plate. At this point I’m a bit upset but rather than make a scene I said yes. Guest A says that he needs to take the plate over to Guest B before we eat because Guest B had to go to work. Again, to not make a scene I said fine and prepared a plate. So, while Guest A takes the plate I fixed to Guest B and our dinner is getting cold I let my husband know exactly how upset I am about this. He was not pleased either. My husband has since had a discussion with Guest B. It went along the lines of, “If you can’t be bothered to come to our home for dinner because we are not serving alcohol do not call and ask for a plate to be brought to you. You are free to bring your own beverage. My wife is not your personal chef and will not ruin everyone else’s dinner”. We have not invited Guest B over for dinner since.

Here is my new dilemma. Guest A and Guest B spent Thanksgiving with us last year because we are all very far from our families. Guest B has invited himself to our home for Thanksgiving dinner. (He made it very clear last year that he was getting “plates from a bunch of people” [while I was still cooking!] but still asked to take some home with him.) I’m not sure I want to deal with all the drama he causes but I don’t want to be rude either. I cook the entire meal by myself from scratch. It’s a lot of work. But it’s work I would be doing anyway. I love to cook and my holiday menu is something my husband looks forward to every year, as do I. I just want to have a drama free Thanksgiving. Guest B already assumes he is spending Thanksgiving with us and has said so, without an invitation from my husband or myself. Is there any way to tell him that he is actually not invited without my husband and myself looking like jerks? Or should we just deal with him for the holidays?  1119-11

I can’t fathom why you entertain two people to dinner who must be warned that a ceasefire is in effect in your home.   A good hostess arranges her guest list to include people who will make delightful dinner conversationalists and will interact pleasantly with other guests.   Anyway….

Pick up your telephone and inform Guest B that you cannot accommodate him for Thanksgiving this year as you have other plans.   You are under no obligation to tell him what exactly those plans are and if he asks, he’s a boor and you are well within your etiquette rights to deflect answering the intrusive question.   Well, let’s face it, he’s a boor through and through and unless he’s related to you by blood or marriage, you owe him no hospitable obligations to continue entertaining him.

{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathryn November 21, 2011 at 6:34 am

“Guest A walks into the kitchen as I am just about to start serving our dinner and asks if I can make Guest B a plate…”
Here’s what I would have said:
Wow, that’s a bit weird. Why doesn’t Guest B just come over instead? How’s he planning on getting it? Oh don’t drop it off to him, our food will go cold while we wait. Let’s not worry about it. Guest B is an adult and can deal with the consequences of his actions.”

By “not making a scene”, you are actually making a scene. Or rather, you’re allowing Guest B to make the scene. I think part of hosting is smoothing things over so that scenes aren’t made. If you’d graciously said no, the only scene would have been at Guest B’s house.
It’s not rude to not invite Guest B over this year. Why on earth would that be rude? If he brings it up, remark “that’s an interesting assumption” or “why would we invite you over? You didn’t care to come last year, though you requested a plate of my food be delivered to your door.”

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Missy November 21, 2011 at 6:36 am

Really?

You are absolutely right to “disinvite” him. It is presumptuous of him to assume that he will be invited. Next time he brings it up, you can set the record straight and tell him that you did not extend an invitation to him. Or perhaps, you could tell him that you didn’t expect him since he will have “plates from a bunch of people” to keep him fed. :P

Please, for your sanity, don’t back down and allow him. Your ill feelings toward him will continue to grow and you’ll resent having him at your dinner.

I wish you luck.

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Typo Tat November 21, 2011 at 7:48 am

I think there’s no good way to disinvite this guy without creating drama if you’re having other friends for thanksgiving. If you’re not having any other friends over, just tell this guy you’re having a family evening this year, and that you’re sorry he misunderstood.

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Green123 November 21, 2011 at 8:06 am

I really don’t think the OP and her husband have to worry about ‘making themselves look like jerks’. The only jerk is this tale is your rude and presumptuous Guest B. Tell him no, he cannot come for dinner and no, he cannot have a plate of food and no, you won’t act like his personal chef any more.

(I also love to cook for special occasions, but I’m not a doormat. I make a rule that the food I cook is for the people I am host to ONLY, and the food is served at the time I said it would be served – period. No plates sent or taken for missing friends or absent relatives, no waiting and no plates for latecomers. No special arrangements for the terminally late or the terminally picky. I serve wine that complements the food, and water, with the meal – if people want beers or a special kind of wine or a special flavoured lightly sparkling scented water, or some particular cola with their meal, they can bring their own)

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MellowedOne November 21, 2011 at 8:12 am

This story involves events that are actually quite trivial in nature. The actual core of the problem is that OP is extremely reluctant to stand her ground when unacceptable behavior presents itself. Reactions that are actually quite appropriate..such as declining the no-show’s request for food..are seen as ‘causing a scene’ by the OP.

OP, you ask, ” Is there any way to tell him that he is actually not invited without my husband and myself looking like jerks?” — Well, saying ‘no’, firmly but politely, will not earn you like-ability points. But it will rid you of this unnecessary drama in your life.

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Margo November 21, 2011 at 8:18 am

Wow! I’m stunned at the rudeness of both A & B, who thought it was acceptable to expect you to make a plate up forsomeone who could not even be bothered to turn up and collect it for himself, let alone actually fulfil his obligation as a guest to show up once he has accepted your invite.

I agree that you have absolutely no obligation to allow B to invite himself to dinner. It is certainly not rude for you (or your husband) to simply say to him, if he makes any comment suggesting that he thinks he’ll be there, that you are not able to invite him this year, because of how he bahved last year. What was his response to your husband’s conversation with him? Has he invited you and your husband out anywhere since then?

You don’t have to give any reason for not inviting him, but if he asks, or if he is someone whom you know well and whose friendship you value, I don’t think it would be unreasonable to say that you felt he was rude last year, both in letting you donw at the last minute, and in assuming that you would send a plate for him, and that you felt taken advantage of, and that you feel that his assumption that you will feed him again this year comes across as the same kind of entitlement. That way, he knows how you feel, and why you are not falling over yourself to include him.

Depending on how he responds, you could then consider whether you are willing to give him another chance. It’s a pity you left it so late.

I think it is now too late to say anything to guest A I think it would also have been appropriate to have told him that he was welcome to take a plate over to B *after* you had all eaten. (and if you and your husband had started eating as soon as the meal was ready I don’t think that would have been rude, under the circumstances.

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--Lia November 21, 2011 at 8:57 am

How is a dinner invitation to someone’s home different from a coupon for a free meal in a restaurant? Let me count the ways. For starters, there’s no take-out, doggie bags, no delivery options. Also no choices to go to one that serves alcohol and no choosing to go any time the restaurant is open.

Your guest must have missed that memo, but the LW didn’t help by going along with the misconception. The question now is how to let the rude guest know that the rules have changed, something that gets across the idea that “I know I let you treat me like a doormat before, but I’ve decided not to do that anymore.” I mean, from the guest’s point of view, not only did he get a free meal without having to act like a guest earlier, he got delivery to boot. I wonder if he tipped. No wonder he feels entitled to invite himself for Thanksgiving. As far as he’s concerned, that nice restaurant with the free meals is open, why shouldn’t he get his meal delivered again?

Just say no. No explanations. That will only cause him to argue and bring you into the drama.

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David November 21, 2011 at 10:02 am

Guest B is rude for inviting himself to Thanksgiving. You are not rude to tell him “that won’t be possible.”

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Katie November 21, 2011 at 10:06 am

I have a feeling that Guests A and B may be the OP’s divorced parents – otherwise I cannot understand the behaviour of ANYONE in this post. Why on earth would the OP and her DH put up with such behaviour – and why would Guest A even consider taking a plate of food to someone she can’t even be civil to??! Guest B’s rudeness and crassness is beyond belief. I hope the OP doesn’t invite them back – but if indeed they are her parents, I still wouldn’t be keen to invite Guest B back anytime soon.

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Bint November 21, 2011 at 10:20 am

This story is insane. You made up a plate for someone who refused to come because you weren’t serving booze? You both let the other guest take it away and your dinner got cold? I mean, in all seriousness, there’s not wanting to make a scene and there’s just not making sense. This goes beyond doormat into plain daftness.

“If you can’t be bothered to come to our home for dinner because we are not serving alcohol do not call and ask for a plate to be brought to you. You are free to bring your own beverage. My wife is not your personal chef and will not ruin everyone else’s dinner”.

Well, yes. This is what should have been said when B rang in the first place.

Should you host him for Thanksgiving? No, absolutely not. Of course not.

In your place I’d send him an email saying, “I was surprised to hear you plan to come to our house for Thanksgiving! We have not invited you and I’m afraid that won’t be possible.” Or probably something rather more sarcastic before I got a grip on myself and edited it into a polite version. Who does this man think he is? And please, please stop facilitating it! Who cares if he thinks you’re jerks? He’s a complete prick!

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gramma dishes November 21, 2011 at 10:48 am

Even if he IS related to you ‘by blood or by marriage’, I don’t think you are obligated to entertain anyone in your home that you did not specifically invite.

I’m sure he’ll be getting plates from several other homes for the holiday, so he isn’t going to starve to death just because he missed your delicious meal.

Perhaps if you remind him that you still won’t be serving anything alcoholic maybe that will deter his enthusiasm. ;-)

Seriously, just tell him (as suggested) that you have other plans. And by the way, I would not invite “A” either. Anyone who would leave your home and let your dinner get cold to take a plate to someone else is also not worthy of an invitation. Even if she wanted to take “B” a plate, common sense would dictate that this would be done after the meal, not before or during it.

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Redneck Gravy November 21, 2011 at 10:52 am

I agree, call him now and say that you have other plans for Thanksgiving and will not be able to entertain him.

You are under no obligation to explain your plans. If he dares show up anyway, just to check your plans, your DH will kindly escort him off the property and he will probably never figure out why he is no longer invited to your home. People like this have to be beaten with clue by fours.

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Twik November 21, 2011 at 10:58 am

I think the letterwriter has to learn how to say “no”. I agree that it starts strangely, by inviting exes who have to be warned not to misbehave, although I suppose the OP is trying to avoid taking sides in the breakup. But why on earth was she willing to “make up a plate” for someone who disrespected her invitation so direly? And why is Guest A, who is supposedly hostile enough to B to require a warning, the one running over to B’s place with the plate? And why are people letting their own dinners get cold waiting for A to return from such shenanigans?

I think that part of the problem is that when the OP’s husband spoke to B, he gave a message of “next time, don’t do this,” when what they really wanted to say is “there won’t be a next time, bub”. I’m not sure how they know that B thinks he is invited, but it would not be rude to call and say, “I know that we’ve traditionally had you and A for dinner at our place, but this year we’re making other plans, so I wanted to give you a heads up.”

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Xtina November 21, 2011 at 11:01 am

Guest B is a pompous, presumptuous donkey-rear! Sounds like his plan last year was to collect as much free food as he could from various people, and only go in person to places where he’d get free alcohol (and–let it not be missed here that the guy was planning on boozing it up and THEN both driving and going into work directly afterwards—NOT good).

OP, you owe this guy no explanation whatsoever as to why you will not be hosting him again. Call him up and tell him exactly what the admin says–spot on. You have other plans (mainly being: plans that don’t include him, haha!) and you don’t need to elaborate. He is not welcome at your house. Do not say “sorry, but…” or anything that sounds apologetic about it. Repeat the same phrases as many times as it takes. If he has any brains whatsoever, he will infer from your tone and refusal to give any more information that it is his bad manners that has alienated him from your home.

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Serenity S November 21, 2011 at 11:03 am

I agree with Admin. You should tell friend B that you already have other plans this year.

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Kitty Lizard November 21, 2011 at 11:03 am

This boor reminds me of a friend of my husband’s who cancelled at the last minute no less then
three (3) times with specious excuses, then threw a fit when I refused to reschedule for a fourth
time. Take a leaf from the Nancy Reagan handbook and Just. Say. No. Enjoy your Thanksgiving with people you truly enjoy, drama free. We learned to do that when we finally just said no to both our families and their collective drama and established our own family traditions.

Kitty

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Jojo November 21, 2011 at 11:18 am

OP, you are under no obligation to invite anyone over for Thanksgiving. Personally, I’d shake things up this year and there are two exciting options!
1. Borrow a dog and go for a nice healthy walk with your DH before making dinner. Guest B will arrive and discover that there is no one there to feed him. I’m sure his other friends who gave him plates of food last year will be more than happy to accommodate this year too. It may even instill in him the concept that ‘Thanksgiving’ is about sharing bounty with your friends and family rather than just mooching off them.
2. Turn up at Guest B’s quite early and imply that you thought he’d invited you over for Thanksgiving, then be very, very disappointed that he hasn’t prepared anything, considering the lengths that you went to for him last year. Lament the fact that you have nothing in for Thanksgiving and will now have to get take out, which will completely ruin your day. Add tears. Leave. Go and enjoy your lovely home cooked meal.
What really gets me is that if Guest B had really wanted to drink, why not turn up with a bottle of wine? It’s the least you can do for someone who is making you dinner.
Having had my own mooching friend invite herself to stay over Christmas and not take NO for an answer because she had made that plan and was sticking to it, I appreciate how difficult it is ( she lived FOUR miles away, so it’s not like she couldn’t have just popped by for the day as we had originally offered). Sometimes you just have to get creative!

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spartiechic November 21, 2011 at 11:26 am

Amen Admin! I had to stop reading after the first sentence and shake my head. Who invites two people who obviously don’t get along very well to a dinner party for four? If there are several people there (i.e. a Christmas party), I could see inviting them because there would be other people with whom they could converse. With that little of a crowd, the host(ess) would have to know that these two would then have to be in uncomfortably close proximity to each other. You should invite them one at a time to separate dinners.

However, it does sound like Guest B needs some help with his manners. It’s incredibly rude to call and ask what the host(ess) is serving and then cancel at the last moment (then ask for a plate). I could see calling and asking if they needed anything or what kind of wine they would like you to bring (if any), but not attending because they aren’t serving alcohol is disrespectful. To expect to be invited and act as if you have been, is also rude. Admin’s advice is completely correct. You don’t have to invite someone you do not want to have in your home. Call him up and politely explain that you just cannot host him for Thanksgiving this year because you’ve made other plans.

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WildIrishRose November 21, 2011 at 11:29 am

I, too, wonder why you would invite people you know can’t or won’t get along. As your husband has already informed Guest B, you are not his personal chef and are under no obligation whatsoever to feed him! I would just let Guest B know that he needs to make other holiday plans. Don’t ruin your own holiday and that of your family and invited guests just to accommodate this clod.

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Hemi Halliwell November 21, 2011 at 11:34 am

As always, Admin’s advice is dead on. Tell him he’s not invited and have a drama free Thanksgiving.

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ferretrick November 21, 2011 at 11:54 am

The whole story is just weird-if Guest A had to take the plate right then because B was going to work, how was B EVER going to attend and eat the meal with them in the first place? It sounds like he was due at work before the meal would have been eaten.

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SHOEGAL November 21, 2011 at 11:58 am

How much on the outs are Guest A and B – when Guest A is going to take a plate over the Guest B???
I think Guest A should have known this is incredibily rude and said no to bringing the plate by for him. Guest B should never have asked and been accomodated. If he wants to cancel dinner at the last minute for a lame reason like not having alcohol – then he doesn’t get any.

You don’t owe Guest B anything – in fact, you don’t even need to offer an explanation. All you have to say is that you aren’t going to be able to accomodate him for Thanksgiving dinner. Period – end of sentence. Then say – so sorry but I have to go and get off the phone.

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Twik November 21, 2011 at 12:00 pm

I think that B has to learn that dinner parties are not restaurants – you can’t call for takeout to be delivered.

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Xtina November 21, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Also meant to add in my previous post that the reason someone behaves as Guest B did is because someone lets him get away with it. OP, you are not doing anyone any favors by acquiesing to his requests (last year or this year) in order to “avoid drama”. Don’t feed the beast, figuratively or literally.

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AS November 21, 2011 at 1:15 pm

I am not even sure why OP thinks that she and her husband will look like jerks (and probably Guest B comes out looking like a saint?). When I was young, by dad used to tell me a saying that “the world is a reflection of yourself”. If you think that you are being a jerk, you’ll be letting others, especially people like Guest B, feel that way too. So, for your own sake, please understand that only you and your husband have the right to decide whom to invite, what to serve (or not to serve), what time to call, etc. at your own house. Let Guest B know why you are not inviting him, and let him know why if he asks. If he makes a scene, let him make. You can hang up the phone because you don’t want to be in the scene.

Like admin and many others, I too was wondering why you’d invite two people who don’t get along well with each other (and apparently only those two people) for dinner.

@Katie – unless same sex couples can adopt a child where OP lives, Guest A and B cannot be OP’s divorced parents given that OP refers to both of them with male pronouns.

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Louise November 21, 2011 at 1:20 pm

I suspect Guest B will think you’re a jerk if you decline to do anything he wants you to do. So you might as well do what makes you happy and tell him that your plans have changed for Thanskgiving and you won’t be able to have him over.

If he has a hissy-fit, be assured that you’re not the cause of the scene, he is. Don’t shoulder the burden of his embarrassment.

Also, don’t be afraid to put a value on your own hospitality. You’re a good cook and you must be a good hostess because people are eager to come round for Thanksgiving, right? Don’t lose sight of that. Don’t let someone insult you by taking advantage of your hospitality or making you feel it counts for nothing. It doesn’t.

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Maitri November 21, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Guest B is not your friend. He is taking advantage of your good nature and willingness to not rock the boat. People like that push and push and push because other people let them do so. Please grow a spine and tell him that he is not invited. Hope your Thanksgiving goes well!

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Otter November 21, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Good grief! At a certain point I stop being mad at the boor and start being mad at the enabler. OP, your lack of spine is clearly part of the problem.

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Maitri November 21, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Katie ~ They are not the OP’s parents because they are both males, according to the story. Not that that makes either one less rude!

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claire November 21, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Wow, OP are you made of coconut matting with “welcome” stamped on your forehead? No, of coursde not, but thi sis how BOTH Guest A and Guest B have been treating you!

I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, being from England, but I understand it’s cultural significance and importance to you and it is extremely rude of your guests to treat you like this.

You need to address this right now as in NOW so that guest B doesn’t just turn up at yours! I agree that you don’t owe an explanation as to why not, and indeed, creating a reason could backfire on you. A short telephone call should do it. Your husband could do it if you feel you may get pulled into over explaining.

Can I ask, have guest A and B always been this entitled, even when they were together? They are not going to change now they are apart. You need to be away from the drama of their behaviour towards you and to each other.

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Gracie C. November 21, 2011 at 2:26 pm

@Typo Tat – there is no “disinviting” going on – he was never invited, so it’s only a matter of clarifying his eroneous assumption.

@Green123 – you are, of course free to entertain however you see fit, but seems strange to me that if a person does not want to partake of wine at your dinner the only other thing you will offer is water.

As for this crazy (non) couple, I’m wondering if Katie has guessed it right and these are the OP’s parents (or inlaws)

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Jay November 21, 2011 at 2:35 pm

You’re being a doormat if you can’t disinvite someone you didn’t invite in the first place.. I don’t see the dilemma here.. Guest B doesn’t deserve your hospitality (and frankly, neither does A)

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aka Cat November 21, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Ordinarily I’d disinvite Guest A for their supporting role in Guest B’s appalling lack of manners.

But given that Guest A and Guest B are often at odds, I have to ask myself two questions: why did Guest B specifically choose Guest A to procure his plate of free food, and why did Guest A comply?

My guess is that Guest B made the correct assumption that Guest A would go along with the outrageous behavior, in an attempt to prevent any fights. Even though the fights probably would have been out of the hosts’ earshot, and therefore not against their the no-fighting rule. Guest A, perhaps suffering from the same spine deficiency as the hostess, performed exactly as expected.

I wouldn’t even mention the whole mess to Guest A, unless a new demand for home delivery occurs. At that point the hostess can cheerfully tell Guest A that her delivery services aren’t required, and that she (the hostess) will contact Guest B to tell him that she won’t be providing take-out now or in the future.

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Another Laura November 21, 2011 at 3:17 pm

@ Katie, I highly doubt that A & B are OP’s divorced parents, since they are both referred to as “he” in the story and called former “partners.” Unless there was a typo, this sounds like a gay ex-couple. Also OP mentions that all four of them (OP, her DH, A and B) are far away from their families. This would not be the case if they were each others’ family.

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Gracie C. November 21, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Ah – yes, just saw all the pointing out of the male pronouns for both – makes Katie’s guess (that I thought might be a good one) less likely, though not impossible. But good point Another Laura about them all being far away from their families. Can’t understand why they would ever entertain these two together.

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Library Diva November 21, 2011 at 4:12 pm

I stand with everyone else: you’re not being the jerk by simply correcting this guy’s erroneous assumption. If I’m understanding this story right: two years ago, he cancelled on you at the last possible minute, then ruined your evening by having your other guest fix him a plate and bring it to him. Then last year, he told you that he’s got a whole string of people he apparently uses this way every Thanksgiving. Now he’s trying to worm his way back despite the fact that you haven’t asked him over again?

Tell him no, and prepare for it to get ugly. It may even cost you your relationship with this guy if you’re hosting people you both know, but not including him. The way you told the story, though, doesn’t make it sound like much of a loss. Good luck. He’s put you in a very unenviable position, especially if you would like a continued friendship with him. He did do it all to himself, though, and he’s the one in the wrong here.

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Katie November 21, 2011 at 4:44 pm

@ AS, Maitri and Another Laura – ooops, missed the double “he” in my utter amazment at this story! Then, I really cannot understand why this behaviour was tolerated last year – and most definitely should not be this year!
This may be an unpopular viewpoint, but I have noticed in some of my parents’ friendships and also in my own social circle, behaviour that would not be acceptable in straight men, is sometimes put up with in gay men. I am NOT in anyway homophobic I promise but have seen some of my gay friends having outrageous tantrums (and storming out of places) that are affectionally chuckled over by others and seen as “oh that’s just how he is”, whereas if a straight male behaved that way, he would be seen as a boor and a pig (quite rightly too).

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Ann November 21, 2011 at 4:53 pm

I guess it’s easy to have disastrous dinner parties when one arranges them oneself.

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Twik November 21, 2011 at 5:27 pm

I suspect that A and B are simply a couple of friends who were together, and then separated (but still have some sort of relationship, if A will take food to B). It is, at holiday times, rather wrenching to have to pick one of a couple as “the real friend,” so I can understand why the OP tried not to have to do that.

But both A and B appear to see little wrong with treating the OP’s party more like a restaurant than a gathering of friends. One won’t attend if the drink menu isn’t to his liking, and the other cuts out to make deliveries. Both are behaving badly.

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Wink-n-Smile November 21, 2011 at 6:01 pm

I think you should plan to be out of town for Thanksgiving. That way, when you say the standard, “I’m sorry, but I am unable to accomodate your request,” and he says, “Why?” and you repeat, firmly, “I’m sorry, but I am unable to accomodate your request,” and he asks, “But why?” and you repeat, more firmly, “I’m sorry, but I am unable to accomodate your request,” and he whines, “But WHYYYYYYYYYYYY?” you can then state clearly that you want to be absolutely certain that guests don’t ruin your holiday this year.

Then you can add, “And we’ll have other plans every other year, from now on, as well.”

Generally speaking, you should never answer the “But WHYYYYYYYY?” question. You should simply repeat “I’m sorry, but I am unable to accomodate your request,” ad nauseum.

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Wink-n-Smile November 21, 2011 at 6:07 pm

JoJo – I love number 2!
Also, number 1 works, if you get a guard dog. If he stays long enough for you to come back, have your dog chase him away.

And your friend at Christmas – YEESH!

You know, it may not be polite, but there are times when the questi0n, “What part of NO don’t you understand?” really does need to be asked. People like that make me fantasize about grabbing them by the ear, and shooing them out the door and off my property. And if they complain, I can point to the “NO Trespassing” sign.

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Laura November 21, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Did anyone else immediately think of Peppermint Patty in the Peanuts’ Thanksgiving Special when they saw the title?

I think both A and B were rude and I wouldn’t invite them for dinners for a while. Like someone said above, if they can’t behave in the house without a warning, why would B ask A to bring him food?

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Cat November 21, 2011 at 8:26 pm

Someone B may show up on your doorstep one day, tell you that he has decided to move in with you, and ask where your car keys are because he wants to take a drive. If you don’t learn to say no, you will need to have duplicate keys made.
I have strict rules in my home: You come to breakfast, lunch or dinner only if you are invited; you do not say that you wish other friends/relations were dead while you are here, you do not invite other people to my home; you do not invite yourself to spend the night; you do not tell me that my gifts should be defecated upon; and/or you do not, in any way, insult me or my guests. I cannot tell you the number of people who find they cannot abide by these rules. Anyone crass enough to break my rules is not important enough for me to care what they think.

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Nuit November 21, 2011 at 9:45 pm

I am the OP. Just to set the record straight on a few questions that have come up. Guest A and Guest B are not my parents or my in-laws. My parents were happily married until the day they died. My in-laws live 1,200 miles away (and we miss them terribly). Guest A and Guest B are former partner’s that are still very much involved in each others lives on a daily basis. It often difficult to invite just one of them to do something without inviting the other. My “no fighting rule” came about when I noticed how often they like to push each other’s buttons (it increases when there is alcohol involved). They do this all the time and don’t seem to care who is around. The main reason either of them were invited to dinner was because I wanted everyone to have a nice Thanksgiving despite all of us missing our families. (They were the only people invited for dinner.) How is that being a bad hostess?

I don’t think I made myself clear about a few things that happened that day. Guest B did not call me or speak to me about any of this. Guest B called and texted with Guest A and Guest A would tell Guest B yes before speaking with me. I wasn’t given the chance to “grow a spine” until the dinner was ready to be served and Guest A informed me that he had already told Guest B he would bring him a plate. I was so angry that I kept my mouth shut for fear of what would come out it! I actually have a temper when things like this happen and I have to choose my words carefully. Guest B has not been invited to our home since this happened. My husband explained exactly why he is not welcomed to have dinner at our home. Just to be clear I don’t speak with Guest B very often. My husband speaks with him more that I do.

Guest B has never invited us for dinner at his home. Guest A has had us over for dinner several times and Guest B was not there. Yes, Bint this story is insane but every word of it is true. Please everyone read my previous paragraph before making judgements about whether or not I am a doormat. Xtina, you are correct Guest B is “pompous and presumptuous”. Plus, my whole reasoning for not serving alcohol was because both Guest A and Guest B would be driving to work and using heavy machinery. Jojo, I like your ideas! Twik, you are absolutely right! Louise, I agree. I don’t put enough value on myself as a hostess and probably my own self worth. claire, yes they were both this entitled when they were together and they both remain entitled now that they are no longer a couple.

My husband has told both Guest A and Guest B that we are having Thanksgiving just the two of us. I was not aware of this when I wrote this post. So, looks like I’ll get my drama free Thanksgiving after all! And Christmas too!

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Stacey Frith-Smith November 21, 2011 at 10:16 pm

Here’s a thought that has probably already been echoed by many- delete both guest A and guest B from your list of invitees for all events. No more last minute cancellations. No more directives to avoid fussing and fighting. It’s a wonderful fact that you can invite whoever you please to your celebration and that no body is entitled to pass your front door absent said invitation. You are under no obligation to pick up a phone and advise anyone that you aren’t hosting them this year, though it might avoid a surprise as you are sitting down. Unexpected guests can be greeted with an expression of surprise and the statement “but you weren’t available last time, we never knew you would want to attend”. Or “we never dreamed you would miss dining with us. Sorry! We have other plans, however.” Close the door, raise a glass of your preferred beverage, and enjoy your dinner in peace.

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ArtK November 22, 2011 at 12:51 am

OP, why do you care what “Guest B” thinks of you? It’s clear that s/he regards you as nothing more than a free meal. So what if s/he thinks you’re a jerk? “Guest B”‘s opinions aren’t worth very much.

Me, I only care about the opinions of people who return the favor.

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claire November 22, 2011 at 5:37 am

@Nuit

Hoorah!! I am so glad you are going to have a stress free Christmas etc. I had an inkling that this couple were like that. And also drama queens. Incidentally I wasn’t actually calling you a doormat, I was pointing out you were NOT one, in support of you not allowing them to treat you like that in future. I’m sorry.

Now, have a Happy Thanksgiving (your dinner sounds delicous, could you airmail me some in a Jiffy bag?!)

claire x

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Jay November 22, 2011 at 9:41 am

Nuit: Thanks for the clarifications. And good for you!

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Enna November 22, 2011 at 10:13 am

@ OP, if Guest A and Guset B arrange things when you are hosting without your consent or involvement then that is just rude. I can understand why you didn’t want to loose your temper however if you are in thes same situation again just point out to guest A that as far as you are concenred guest B isn’t getting a plate as he isn’t coming and the food you have prepared will get cold. Sounds like Guest B espcially is taking advantage of you and exploiting your hospitaltiy. If I was in your posotion I would tell Guest A that as it is your house and you are hosting, to check any change in plans with you first.

The fact that they are happy to drink and drive and work with heavy machinary is worrying.

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jena rogers November 22, 2011 at 12:14 pm

Say no and lose these “friends.”

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