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.