My friend “Gwen” let me know that she was planning a trip to my city and would be meeting up with her friend “Sharon” here. Sharon is a sports fan from England and was eager to see a soccer game in the U.S. so I asked if the two of them would be interested in attending a game in my city. They both agreed.
A couple weeks before the game, Sharon mentioned it in an e-mail and seemed excited to attend. Meanwhile, Gwen complained about the already agreed-upon date and time and the length of the game and informed me that she hated soccer. Despite this, they both reconfirmed that they wanted to go. Also, I felt that I owed it to the foreign traveler, Sharon, to follow through on my offer.
Gwen arrived in town before Sharon, and I gave her their tickets so that no one would need to wait at the gate for anyone else. I said that we could meet at the seats a few minutes before the game started. Since I hadn’t met Sharon, I thought we could chat for a bit before the event got underway.
On the evening of the game, I brought along some team memorabilia and snacks for each of them and planned to treat them to dinner at the stadium as well. I was excited to play hostess at this event. I was optimistic that all would turn out well despite Gwen’s grumbling … until the game had been going on for half an hour and they still weren’t there.
I was interested in watching the game and wanted to get some use out of my own ticket, so I stayed. I also wanted to be there to be polite to Sharon. Gwen didn’t call or text to say they’d be late, and I decided that it was not my responsibility to inquire about their whereabouts.
They arrived after the game had been going on for 40 minutes (I had actually been at my seat for 55 minutes, since I arrived 15 minutes early).
Gwen introduced me to Sharon and said, “I bet you thought we weren’t going to show up!”
I smiled weakly and said, “I thought you got lost!”
Gwen explained that they had been shopping at the stadium vendors and sampling beers. She was drunk. She proceeded to painfully clap her hand on my shoulder and thigh, wring my neck, hold a beer right in front of my eyes, block me from exiting the row for a few moments each time I got up (including when I was getting up to buy our meals), and make loud insulting remarks about me, all apparently meant as good fun.
I did say, “Could you stop that, please?” early on, but I don’t think she noticed that I was speaking. Mostly, I was shocked and speechless.
I stayed for most of the game because I didn’t want to be rude to Sharon, who was angled away from Gwen and me and didn’t seem to notice Gwen’s behavior. At the time, it seemed inappropriate to call her attention to Gwen’s behavior or to declare, “It was very nice to meet you. I need to leave now!” after just a few minutes. I did leave a bit early “to beat the rush.”
What might I have said? Would it have been OK to leave before they arrived? To leave just after they arrived? 0913-12
I think what you said was fine. As for leaving, you paid for your ticket and you could stayed or left whenever it suited you. Pity poor Sharon who had to docilely go along with whatever antics Gwen inflicted on her while she tried to be a good guest.