In Command Of One’s Hospitality

by admin on May 8, 2012

It was my boyfriend’s (let’s call him “Brandon”) 22nd birthday recently, and since I don’t have a lot of money, I decided my present to him would be a surprise birthday bash with all of his closest friends at the new house that we have just leased. We live in City A, whereas Brandon grew up in Suburb L, about a half hour’s drive away, so getting his friends down here is sort of a rarity, what with people involved in school and work and so on. Brandon’s closest friends are “Chris” and “Jason”, whom he grew up with and considers brothers to him. Chris was more than delighted by the idea when I told him, and I asked him if he would be able to pick Brandon up and distract him for a couple hours on the day of the party while I went and fetched the supplies and decorated the house. Chris agreed, and all of the other guests were invited, about ten or twelve of them. This was a week before the party was supposed to start, and I got the RSVPs by Thursday, including Jason’s.

Saturday was the day of the event, and I went to my office job while Brandon relaxed at home, knowing only that Chris was coming over that day. At 5pm when I got out of work, I had a frantic text message on my phone from Chris urging me to call him. He said that he had been unable to get to City A any earlier that day so Jason had picked up Brandon and was distracting him. Chris was coming later, along with a friend of Brandon’s that he hadn’t seen in close to a year. All right, fine, as long as someone got him out of the house, I didn’t much care. So I went to the park near my work and waited for my friend to pick me up for errand running. I went on Facebook, and long story short, made a major mistake that led to Brandon finding out about the party. He was absolutely thrilled and agreed not to come home until everything was set up. He sounded a little sad on the phone, though, and I was slightly suspicious, but didn’t think much of it as I began my whirlwind adventure of decorating, ordering pizza and selecting music.

Now, my guests are well aware that Brandon and I don’t have a lot of extra money. This party was invite-only – if I didn’t invite you, please don’t show up (though I think most parties are like that…) and I trusted that most of our friends would understand that. I was buying things according to my official count, which was seven, including me, Brandon and the roommate. Jason pulled into the driveway, and I saw Brandon was sitting in the backseat, which I found odd…until I saw a strange girl sitting in the front seat. I covertly asked my other guests, who were all friends with Jason, if they knew who she was, but no one had the foggiest. All right, well, I can’t exactly tell her to go home, so with any luck, she’ll be fun to hang out with. Everyone goes inside for food, and I ask Brandon how his day was. He’s evasive, which is unusual for him, so I now definitely know something is up, but I’m not going to make a big deal of it at his birthday. So I put the leis on him and the big fuzzy hat (I love tacky parties) and we all eat, talk, catch up and play some party games.

Did I say we all? I meant everyone but Jason and this girl. She doesn’t bother to introduce herself but makes a beeline for the Xbox and she and Jason decided that their time would be better spent playing Portal 2, a game that Jason OWNS and can play at any time that isn’t his best friend’s birthday party. Brandon’s brother, Chris, and the other friend all try to get Jason involved in what we were doing, but he’d just ignore them. During a particularly spirited game of Telepictionary (if you haven’t tried it, you really should, it’s awesome), I gently asked Jason if he wouldn’t mind turning off the game and hanging out with us. This girl actually started TALKING OVER ME, telling him to put a portal somewhere so she could jump blah blah blah. I was so tempted to tell her where to put that portal it wasn’t even funny, but I instead gritted my teeth and went back to the game. After two hours of this, they abruptly stand up and put their coats on. “We’re leaving,” says Jason. “Bye. Chris, can you take [Brandon's brother] home?” Then they just leave.

Later on as we’re cleaning up, Brandon reveals what happened earlier that day. Jason and this girl (whose name he didn’t find out either) showed up at the house, sullenly saying, “We’re supposed to take you out,” then took him to downtown City A where they proceeded to ignore him for almost 3 hours as Jason and this girl had a date. I had told Jason about this a week in advance, and he told me that he hadn’t had anything planned for the day. I was really mad that someone would do something like that. This day was about Brandon! I wrote Jason a long note telling him that I was disappointed with his behavior, since I don’t believe in sitting and letting it brew (I would have preferred to discuss it in person, but Suburb L is kinda far away) and he never bothered to respond. Brandon is a sweet and forgiving person, but I doubt that I will want to see Jason any time soon. 0504-12

There are many times when rude boors appear to control the situation and the well mannered are paralyzed into doing nothing in their own homes out of fear that having a spine equates to be rude themselves.    Being hospitable to guests does not mean we cater to every whim they have to indulge their selfish wants.   If you do not want guests in certain rooms of the house, you close the doors sending the clear message this area is off limits.  If you do not want people watching the television or playing with x boxes or fiddling with computers during your event, you turn these devices off.  Unplug them if necessary.   If a guest has the audacity to actually turn them on, you calmly walk over and turn it off while beandipping like a pro by asking them if they would like to join the others or have a drink.   The truly exceptional hostess takes command of the situation and assertively targets the strange guest with very pleasant questions as if she were the cheeriest friend this guest ever had…”Oh, hi!  I haven’t met you!   I’m Fifi! I own this house.  And you are?  Freaka?  Did I get that right?  Delighted to meet you!  Have you met Steve over here?  No?  Oh, I am so derelict in my hostessing duties…let me introduce you around to everyone!,” and take her by the hand to meet everyone in the room.       And if guest sits there like a bump on a log refusing to, well, be a guest, then ignore him or her and remind yourself to not invite them again.

As for Jason’s uninvited girlfriend, there are times when entertaining that we get hit with the unexpected guest and etiquette demands of us that we not make a scene about it but welcome them as if they had been invited.  Nine out of ten times the uninvited guest doesn’t know they actually were not invited but believed the real invited guest that they would be welcomed.

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Hemi May 8, 2012 at 8:37 am

Showing up with an extra guest is bad enough, but then to ignore everyone and not even join in his friend’s party?!! When I tried to get them to join the party and they girl talked OVER me, I would have yanked the plug on the video game.

I’m guessing that Jason made a date with this girl after the party invite and then was upset he had to fill-in for Chris at the last minute. Brandon ended up being the “third wheel” on the date. It DOES NOT excuse his behavior. Who treats a friend that way????

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Kristy May 8, 2012 at 8:37 am

Sounds to me like Jason is one of those selfish people who doesn’t like anyone else getting attention bestowed upon them even though it was his best friends birthday. I continue to be amazed at the lack of manners and decent behavior some people seem to have. I often have to wonder how their parents have raised them and if they too are the same selfish people.

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AMC May 8, 2012 at 8:51 am

Something tells me that Jason and his girlfriend were not expecting to entertain Brandon before the party because Chris had agreed to do it, and they had planned to have a date together before the party. Perhaps the nameless girlfriend was upset that whatever plans they had together were changed at the last minute and they had to entertain Brandon. Of course, this is not Brandon’s or OP’s fault. Chris and Jason are to blame for that. Chris should have upheld his commitment, and Jason should have declined to pick up Brandon if he felt it was really that much of a burden. This still doesn’t excuse Jason and his girlfriend’s behavior at the party though. I have encountered people like that at parties before who ignore guests and refuse to participate or even acknowledge that anyone else is in the room. I find though that they’re pretty much just as rude and unpleasant in all settings and situations outside parties too.

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MidoriBird May 8, 2012 at 9:50 am

I’ve been the “uninvited” guest, as indicated, without any idea that I was, in fact, uninvited, when my so-called friend had asked me to come with her. The host loudly whispered to my friend at the time “Why is she here? We didn’t invite her!”

Needless to say that I made a very fast excuse to leave and tried hard to cover my hurt. Bad enough I have Asperger’s and can’t stand gatherings to begin with; I will not stay at a place where my presence is not wanted. Ever.

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Cat Whisperer May 8, 2012 at 9:55 am

Wow. So many issues here.

The more complicated the arrangements are for any kind of social event, the more likely that something will go wrong. That’s why I’m a firm believer in keeping things simple.

FWIW, because I’m not a big fan of letting people I know nothing about into my home, if I were the OP, I’d have gone over to the unknown woman guest when I saw her in the car and introduced myself, and politely asked her directly who she was with: “Hi, I’m Mary Jones. I don’t believe we’ve met. Your name is–? Are you with someone here?”

If the interloper has anything on the ball, she’ll respond something like “Hi, I’m Amanda Smith, and Jason asked me to come. I hope you don’t mind.” And Jason can pipe up his apologies for not alerting his hostess that he was bringing an extra.

For sure, no stranger is getting into my house until I know who she is and who brought her there, and who is therefore tacitly responsible for assuring that she’s made to feel welcome and for seeing to it that she doesn’t cause any problems. Once I knew that Jason was the person who had brought the stranger, I would have snagged Jason for a “can we talk privately, please?” clearing of the air.

It’s pretty obvious to me that Jason had brought this girl along for a “booty call” and was doing his thinking below the bellybutton, not above the neck. Which is certainly his privilege, as long as he doesn’t cross any etiquette lines in doing so. Seems to me that Jason committed several violations here:

He showed up at an invites-only event with an uninvited guest.

He failed to make a proper introduction of his guest to his hostess.

He failed to apologize to his hostess for the unexpected inclusion of an univited guest.

He and his guest withdrew from the other guests, creating an awkwardness.

He failed to apologize to his hostess for his behavior.

It sounds to me like OP handled the situation well; the only thing I’d have done differently was made sure I was introduced to this woman before she entered my house. Maybe I’m on the paranoid side, but I worry about safety issues and I just don’t want people I know nothing about, who have not been properly vouched for to me, made free to have the run of my house. I know of people who have found after a party that small valuable items had “grown legs” and disappearred; I know of people who have found their medicine cabinets re-arranged in a way that indicates someone was snooping in there; and I know of people who have found keepsakes broken after a party.

(I also have a separate issue, which is pets: nobody gets into my house until I’m sure they understand that my pets are family and they know the rules about dealing with pets.)

If Jason ever starts thinking with his brain instead of his gonads again, maybe he can be readmitted to the circle of friends, but since he’s made his priorities clear and apparently doesn’t care who he inconveniences as he pursues booty, I’d strike him off my guest list and not waste another thought on him.

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Cat May 8, 2012 at 10:14 am

Nothing like being a third wheel on someone else’s date. With a friend like Jason, boyfriend will never a role model for what not to do to a friend.

I like the idea of turning off the game and saying, “Oh, do come on and join the party. We can play the game the next time you come over and we really need to with us…” I doubt that I would have thought to do that, though. It’s a learned behavior to be able to deal with rude people without being rude oneself.

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Stacey Frith-Smith May 8, 2012 at 10:47 am

I agree with Admin- kindly but firmly take control of the situation. It is hard to restrain your ire as you move in to deal with such overt provocation, and that may be what had you too flummoxed to intervene directly. Also, his status as your beau’s best friend may have given you pause about intervening directly. In any case, you know who NOT to have chaperone your bf when planning a surprise party!

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Challis May 8, 2012 at 11:29 am

I agree with admin.
I cannot imagine why you did not turn off the tv/game, unless you thought it would just really cause a scene, but after the no-name girl’s behavior, I would have been VERY inclined to either force her to participate or force her to storm out of my house!

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The Elf May 8, 2012 at 12:29 pm

I’ve had similar situations in the past, though I usually do manage an introduction! I let them go. They don’t want to participate, that’s their loss. I’ll ask if they want to do whatever it is the rest of the party is doing, but if they refuse or don’t acknowledge me I don’t waste my time on trying. In my experience these people tend to be drama queens and trying to get them to participate indulges their drama. Same with throwing them out. If they do deign to play, they’ll just somehow try to turn it around to themselves. I once had a guy sit there with his iPod earbuds in the whole time. Alrighty then. When no one paid attention to him, he “twisted his ankle” and needed to leave. Suited me just fine.

I do draw the line at expensive electronic devices like my Xbox. If they are playing my Xbox without my permission, I’ll ask them to cease as soon as I find out and unplug and remove as necessary.

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Elle May 8, 2012 at 12:41 pm

It’s a (probably bad) habit of mine to play devil’s advocate on behalf of the person the letter writers write about. Mostly because I believe that it’s important to understand what might be going on in the “offender’s” head to promote communication and look at ways to defuse similar situations in the future.

That being said: Jason and his girlfriend? Unmitigated, grade-a, 24 karat boors. I think the LW handled this about as gracefully as possible seeing as how she was caught so flat-footed. Next time she’ll have more tools to deal with this politely and uhm, spinefully.

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Angel May 8, 2012 at 12:52 pm

I would have introduced myself to the friend’s date and made an effort to include her in the party. Playing video games and computer stuff wouldn’t happen at my house because I put that stuff away in another room so we can focus on each other. If people ask about it, I have other activities available–music playing, board games that the whole group can play at once if need be, and ice breaking activities. I think that the OP can definitely learn from this experience and put away all the computer/video game stuff before the party. Not to say that Jason and his date weren’t rude–they were beyond rude! But removing the distractions can help move the party in a direction you want it to go.

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Library Diva May 8, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Jason behaved like a jerk, no doubt, but I think Chris is the worse offender here, unless he had a really valid reason for not honoring his committment. He put Jason in a funny place, forcing him to choose between must have been a relatively new relationship (since OP didn’t think “Oh, this must be that Amanda that Brandon had mentioned” or whatever) and helping with his best friend’s party. It definitely doesn’t excuse him acting like a jerk, but I can see why it put him in less than a party state of mind. I think Jason should ditch this girl, though. Who acts that way at a party, even a party they don’t really want to be at? No one with any manners, that’s for sure.

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Sasha May 8, 2012 at 1:02 pm

OP here. You’re right, I should have grown a spine and turned off the XBox.

I left this out of the story in the interest of time (though I probably should have included it): when Jason and Mystery Person rolled up the driveway, I was outside with my friend, and the girl got out with Jason and Brandon. After that moment of thinking “who the hell is this” I tried to introduce myself. She smiled briefly then turned to Jason and chattered at him.

Rude.

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Shoegal May 8, 2012 at 1:40 pm

I want to know who plans a date the same night as your good friend’s surprise party? Even though Jason didn’t originally plan to keep Brandon occupied, I’m not sure how he thought he could do a whole date and then show up there?

Rude people – it would have been exceedingly hard to keep my cool once “that girl” started to talk over me. I mean – this is in MY OWN HOME and she was uninvited. That Girl was acting as if the OP was being rude by interrupting their playing. It would have set me all up for rudeness. I try to make univited guests feel welcome but after that incident I would have been very angry. I’m not sure if I would have been a savy enough hostess to tactfully yank the plug on the X Box without causing a scene. I probably would have allowed them to continue playing so as not to ruin the party.

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Sarah Jane May 8, 2012 at 1:46 pm

I agree with what other posters have said. Sounds like Jason probably met Hotsy Totsy after RSVPing and made plans with her, which were foiled by the need to preoccupy the guest of honor because Chris couldn’t do it. Old Jason should have just said no, because in the end, he really hadn’t done anyone any favors.

As a hostess, I’d have a hard time shutting down the game after they’d started playing, because then I’d feel like I was disciplining a bunch of children (which, yes, they were behaving like). I think I’d pull Jason aside alone (because I obviously wouldn’t know the chick he brought with him) and ask him to get with the groove or maybe come back later.

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Amp2140 May 8, 2012 at 2:41 pm

While I get how OP feels, she should have made the plans form bf and the friend. Tickets to a minor league baseball game, movie tickets, lunch reservations…

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Marjorie Margarine May 8, 2012 at 2:59 pm

I tend to agree with Elf. If they don’t want to participate after I’ve made it clear that I’d like them to, I’m not going to unplug the game, it seems they’re probably bad company anyway. And people get awfully testy about being interrupted from their video games. Especially rude people.

I certainly would have introduced myself to mystery girlfriend, though. Maybe she was uncomfortable with the whole situation, too, and was trying to be unobtrustive and following boyfriend’s lead. After all, she didn’t know anyone there. If I had really been annoyed, I would have just talked to them/ included them in the conversation so it was hard to focus on the game. Like this: “So, what’s your name? How long have you and Jason been seeing each other? Where’d you meet? Where do you work? Have you met X? X and I were just talking about blahblahblah. Have you ever heard of it? What do you think of it?”

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Shalamar May 8, 2012 at 4:30 pm

MidoriBird, that’s awful! Your friend committed a faux pas by inviting you without the host’s permission, and your host was crass to make it so clear that you weren’t invited.

That reminds me of when my husband’s sister’s step-daughter tragically died in a car accident. It gets a bit complicated – my husband’s sister had married a man who’d gone through a very bitter divorce. There were a lot of people at the funeral from my husband’s family, my sister-in-law’s husband’s family, and his ex-wife’s family. I didn’t know quite what to do when the time came to leave the church – I gave my sister-in-law’s husband a huge hug, of course, because we were fairly close. I had never met his ex-wife, and I knew that the relationship between them was still extremely acrimonious. The poor woman had just lost her daughter, though, and I didn’t want to just sail past her without doing or saying anything. So, I reached out and touched her shoulder gently in passing. As I turned to leave, I heard her hiss “Who the HELL was THAT?” to the man standing beside her.

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babs May 8, 2012 at 8:48 pm

I pretty much had the same reaction as Elf. If Jason and his “date” were such boors, I believe I’d just leave them to their game and just have fun with people who really wanted to be there. I understand what people are saying about the host taking control of her space and her stuff, but I get the feeling that it was not the room they were in or the game they were playing that she had a problem with, but the fact that 2 people who were supposed to be celebrating her boyfriend’s birthday were selfishly doing their own thing. I say let them. How would it be any fun for the rest of the guest to force these two jerks to join the rest of the party when they clearly didn’t want to be there? They would just be wet blankets. I say good riddance.

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Cat Whisperer May 8, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Sasha, when “mystery person” ignores your attempt to introduce yourself, that’s when you smile politely to her and say, “Can you excuse us a moment? Jason, I need to have a private word with you,” and you physically snag Jason with an arm around the shoulder or by taking his elbow and guiding him away.

Then you ask Jason what’s going on with the mystery person, who she is, what his intentions are, and if circumstances seem to warrant it, offer him the chance to gracefully bow out of the party and take mystery person to wherever they want to go to consummate their horniness, as long as it isn’t your place. You thank him politely, of course, for serving as distractor for Brandon; and if you’re into irony, you apologize to him for upsetting his planned date.

Jason’s date’s rudeness is inexcusable, whatever the circumstances; if that’s an example of what Jason will subject long-time friends to in order to get his rocks off later, he’s a loser and the quicker you write him off, the better for all concerned.

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nobody you'd know May 8, 2012 at 11:48 pm

Oh yeah. Put the consoles away for sure and if anyone asks, explain that you’re keeping them safe (as they are quite valuable) and you hadn’t planned on using them as party entertainment. Don’t be afraid to be firm.

I’m sorry but this inspires me to rant and it’s slightly off-topic. Family functions at my grandma’s house invariably end with someone in her computer room, yelling at everyone to come in because YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS VIDEO IT’S SO FUNNY. Maybe I’m too prickly about it but I make it a point to excuse myself from the party before it deteriorates into indefinite Youtube viewing. I am very saddened by the inability of most people to enjoy time together without sequestering themselves to play with electronics. Time and a place, fellas…time and a place.

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Danielle May 9, 2012 at 12:19 am

I hope Jason doesn’t get an invite to the next social gathering. Who treats their best friend this way on his birthday? And who comes to someone’s party, plays couch commando for hours, and then leaves? How exactly did Brandon ever become friends with such a selfish, insensitive boor?

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MeganAmy May 9, 2012 at 2:55 am

I would have tried to be gracious and allow uninvited MysteryGirl to join in our special celebration. But after this:

“I tried to introduce myself. She smiled briefly then turned to Jason and chattered at him…”

I think I would have said to Jason something like “Clearly, you have other plans for the evening and are not planning to celebrate Brandon’s birthday with us. Thanks for keeping him occupied. You’re free to go and do what you wanted to do now with your other friend [pointing to MyseryGirl]. Thanks again. See ya.”

And then I would have quickly escorted Brandon into the house and shut the door behind me before Jason and MysteryGirl could decide to come in too.

I was a doormat for a long time and always putting on a smile and being gracious. Now, I’m no longer gracious to people who are selfish and blatantly rude to me.

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Enna May 9, 2012 at 4:58 am

We don’t know if Jason and his female firend had any plans before – if they were unhappy about committing and couldn’t really commit then why did they if it was inconvienant? Why couldn’t Chris make it on time? Unless it was something out of his control like the car breaking down then there is no excuse, Chris knew he had to be somewhere at a certain time and should have allowed plenty of time to get there.

It’s still no excuse for the female firend to be rude though, even when the host tired to make introductions. She should have made more of an effort and if coming along was such an inconvienance again there is nothing wrong with polietly turning down a request. There was no excuse for them to be sullen, and say “we are meant to take you out,” and basically ruin the surprise. Chris when finding someone else to pick Brendon up should have double checked it was okay – we don’t know if he put pressure on Jason or whether there is communication breakdown but if Chris did then that was unfair.

If Jason and his female firend were looking forward to some time on their own then they should either rearrange it for a later date. I’m wondeirng if Jason would have brought her along to the party anyway? Would he have shown up? Too many ifs I think.

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Bint May 9, 2012 at 8:27 am

I will admit my flatmate once brought an uninvited girl to our house years ago who ignored the other three of us, tried to score drugs, and did quite a lot of what Jason’s piece did and worse.

I will also admit I would burn in Ehell for dragging him into the kitchen and telling him to get her out of our house before I kicked her down the stairs. I was so angry I was very rude about her indeed. He got rid of her.

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Wink-N-Smile May 9, 2012 at 8:43 am

As soon as she refused to accept your introduction, you should have refused her entry into your home. “I’m sorry, but I don’t allow anyone into my home until we’ve been introduced. You declined the introduction, so good evening! Jason, I hope you and your lady friend have a lovely night. See you soon.”

Easier said than done, of course.

She actually turned away from you and refused your introduction? Gee whiz!

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Shalamar May 9, 2012 at 4:01 pm

My husband and I once hosted the annual family Christmas dinner, after which my brother-in-law went into the living room and turned on our TV without asking permission first. He wanted to watch “the game”. I was incensed, but I kept my cool. After the cleanup was done (no, brother-in-law didn’t help), and we’d all retired to the livingroom, I turned off the TV and said sweetly “Sorry, BIL, but the TV stays off during family visits.” He was absolutely furious and dragged his wife out of there shortly afterwards, muttering loudly “I can’t even watch the GAME!”

(My husband and I aren’t sports fans, and we’ve often wondered what the family would do if we switched on THEIR televisions during a visit, saying “I HAVE to watch this episode of “Babylon 5″.)

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MeganAmy May 10, 2012 at 2:28 am

“My husband and I aren’t sports fans, and we’ve often wondered what the family would do if we switched on THEIR televisions during a visit, saying ‘I HAVE to watch this episode of ‘Babylon 5”?.”

Shalamar, I double dog dare you! I would love to hear what happened. And when you leave, you can mutter loudly “I didn’t even get to hear Marcus Cole finish singing his song!”

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Wink-N-Smile May 10, 2012 at 10:36 am

If you turned on Babylon 5 at my house, I’d say, “Wait! I have it on DVD, so we don’t have to worry about commercials. Plus, there are subtitles!”

B5 is wonderful!

“God really does have an English accent, just like in those old movies.”

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Shalamar May 10, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Hee hee. Don’t tempt me. :)

Seriously, though – why is it considered acceptable behaviour to have “the game” on during get-togethers, even if some people couldn’t care less about sports? I’ve lost count of the number of visits we’ve had in which at least half the room has been mesmerized by football or hockey or whatever. The other half of the room usually tries in vain to actually have a conversation (the TV is terribly distracting even if you don’t care about what’s on it).

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Sugaryfun May 10, 2012 at 10:21 pm

That sucks OP. I agree that you probably should have turned the game off, but I doubt I would have thought of it myself when put on the spot like that. Sometimes people’s rudeness is so startling that you can’t think of the right thing to do straight away.

I’ve had a guest actually pull out a novel and start reading in the middle of my birthday party because he was bored. A couple of people simultaneously told him off and he put it away. I forgave him- sixteen years on I’m married to him!

Re. tvs, what do you do if your tv set is too big to move (ours is not a flatscreen, it’s a massive, heavy old one and I can’t physically lift it myself) or you have nowhere safe to put it? I hate it when guests put on the tv in my home. I invited them so I could talk to them, not so they could watch the news like they would at home. Since they are relatives and many years my senior I feel so awkward asking them to turn it off.

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The Elf May 11, 2012 at 7:04 am

RE: Having the game on. As a sports fan, I get it. But if you’re at a party where the game isn’t the focus, then you shouldn’t expect it. Don’t go if it is that important. I’m really only interested in games featuring my favorite team in my favorite sport, but there’s lots of different games and different sports, so we’ve held parties during game time. One thing we’ve done to compromise is to turn the game on in one room. Obviously this only works in homes where there are multiple rooms for socializing and the TV is in only one of them. In our split-level house, the TV (the only one in the house) in the basement family room. Just up a half flight of stairs is the main area of the house – living room, dining room, kitchen. We have had the game on in the basement and the rest of the party in the upper part and it actually “flows” quite well.

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kingsrings May 11, 2012 at 12:41 pm

I know what it’s like to be the clueless, unintended uninvited guest tagging along with the invited guest. I’ve been in that situation a couple of times. And unfortunately, at least once, the hostess didn’t hide her surprise and dismay. I can understand her side of it being caught off guard and just immediately reacting instinctively (it was a dinner that she had prepared, and now had to make an extra plate), but it’s still rude to make a guest feel badly. Be upset privately with the invited guest who dragged me along, not me. In the other situation, the hostess reacted to the surprise by saying, “Is this a new face?? Well, welcome to my home!!”. That is the right way to respond.

But in this case, the girl was very rude no matter what. She still needs to be polite and act like a good party guest despite her uncomfortableness, shyness, whatever. At any party, no one should ever sequester themselves away from everyone else for too long, and especially because they’re doing another activity, like playing video games (unless it’s a video game party, of course). You’re there to socialize and mingle in a group setting, and you don’t have to be the most outgoing person who talks to every single person, but don’t completely sequester yourself away. Anyone who did that at my parties would find themselves on the un-invited list.

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GroceryGirl May 12, 2012 at 7:05 pm

I must comment because I am having a housewarming party tonight and a guest if my fiancées turned up an hour early because he wanted to watch the Rangers game! He’s in my living room watching as I type (I’m in the kitchen, finishing laying out the food because the party doesn’t start for an hour!!) I got into a furious whispered fight with fiancée but, alas, the tv remains on. I plan on getting my loudest friends and settling on the couch next to him to have a chat!

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