The Mad Guest And The Tea Party

by admin on March 26, 2013

The backstory: Every year when the weather gets warm and my flowers start doing well I host a fancy tea party. I send out formal invitation with the RSVP information and a note that says this is a fancy dress party. Sunday best please! We serve fancy foods and home-brewed iced tea and pretend we’re high-society ladies who lunch for an afternoon instead of college students and young professionals.

But this year I’m a little apprehensive. I’ve gotten word via email that a specific girl (who we will call H) from last year’s party is attempting to invite herself. It should be noted that after her behavior last year I have severed ties with her and I do not intend to invite her this year.

In general I don’t consider this young lady to be a friend, but more of an aquaintance who I know via mutual friends. I invited her anyway as I wanted to be nice and I thought she would enjoy the event. In our group, she’s known for being a tad pretentious and a bit oblivious, but this takes the cake since we didn’t know just how downright mean she could actually be.

A week before the party, H RSVPd “no” because apparently she had another event she would be attending that day. That was fine. I planned on her not coming and cooked and baked accordingly.

The day of the party everyone was there and we were eating finger sandwiches and butter cookies and chatting. About an hour in, H shows up despite having told me she wasn’t coming. Okay, well, I did get a little excited while cooking and there’s more than enough food. Okay, not a problem. She’s in ripped jeans and a filthy t-shirt while her hair looks like she hasn’t brushed it since the night before. We’re all in dresses with nary a hair out of place (we get really into this). Still not a problem, if she wants to look out of place, that’s her choice since I know she owns several dresses that would have been more than appropriate.

It was that she started insulting my guests that made me kick her out. H walked up to one girl who has been trying to lose weight for awhile and says (quite loudly) “Oh no! It looks like that diet of yours isn’t working!” She says to another invitee who has been looking for work since graduating “Oh, you haven’t found a job yet? You must not be trying hard enough.” To another (who recently called off an engagement), “Well, you’re not married yet because you sleep with every boy you meet!” The poor girl went off crying. Note that all of this happened within ten minutes of H showing up.

I politely took H aside and asked her to leave. (I have no idea what else to do in this circumstance. If you have any suggestions I would be glad to hear them). She was livid. She started screaming about how I was an awful person and how I must be a terrible friend and then that I was some horrible social climber. I then escorted her to her car and told her it was time for her to go home.

The party broke up within 15 minutes of her leaving as H had largely destroyed the previously happy mood (telling someone they sleep around can do that). This year she is not going to be invited, and that is not going to be a subject for debate.

H has already sent me an email saying, “I can’t wait for your spring tea party this year! Here’s my address so you can get my invitation to me! I’m already planning on coming!” I tried ignoring her, but she’s now sent five more emails saying, “Hey, figured you didn’t get my last email. S says you’re still using it. I’m coming, right?” or something to that extent. You have to admire her persistence!

How do I tell her she’s not invited without looking like a terrible person? I want to come off as nice, but at the same time I don’t want her to think at all that she’s invited, nor do I want her knowing my new address. 0320-13

First you tell mutual friend “S” to please not give out your personal contact information.   Second, you ignore the persistent emails.  If you have broken all social ties to her, you are under no obligation to reply to any emails whatsoever.    You do not need to tell her she is not invited.   Your silence on this matter should scream volumes that she is not wanted at your soiree.   Ignore, ignore, ignore.

Just how would you look like a terrible person by refusing to invite someone who has insulted your guests, insulted you, behaved abominably, is a crass invitation grubber and whom you have no desire to have any acquaintance with…to the point you want your new address kept from her?   Kindness is best executed in this case by ignoring her. Responding to her in any way reinforces her delusion that there is some remnant of a relationship left and that her prior behavior has no consequences.

{ 106 comments… read them below or add one }

Shoegal March 26, 2013 at 11:28 am

I’m not sure that I agree with admin either. I think I would want to make it very clear to this girl that she knows she isn’t invited. My initial thoughts would have been to ignore her but given her past behavior I would just have to believe that if she knows the date and time she will probably end up showing up. This girl showed up to the party last year anyway after declining the invitaiton. Obviously, she doesn’t care if she is invited or not – if she knows the date and the time – she’ll come. If you just go ahead and tell her – “Sorry, I can’t accomodate you” – she knows she was not invited and that can’t be misunderstood or misinterpreted the way silence can. If she shows up then she will also know that she is most definitely “crashing the party” and was not welcome there.

I don’t know if I care about safeguarding her feelings when she so openly insulted people at the last party. No need to go into why – just say – you are not invited. I don’t really believe that it is rude.

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NostalgicGal March 26, 2013 at 11:29 am

Do NOT allow any contact back with H. It will just empower her. Continue to do the ig-nore.

Have a talk with S, about do NOT give H ANY info. If there is a leak as this sounds like the only route of contact left, it will be S. It may take something as drastic as leaving S without an invite so no information gets to H, such as when.

BE prepared that H is going to show up. I agree with the have a big friend to help out with refusing her access and to deal with getting her to leave. It sure sounds like she is going to do something considering the last performance.

Sorry that someone has to ruin your nice affair, OP. There are some that just don’t get it.

I agree with some of the other posters, that also warning your friends you did invite, that there may be a crasher and yes you are going to try to deal with it, but be warned; so that if the worst does happen, H doesn’t destroy the party. I’d also be wary that if H shows she doesn’t do collateral damage (such as key cars of those that did come) in which case someone to control her until police do arrive may be needed. A couple of swipes is all it takes to do a lot of damage to someone’s paint.

I’d like to hope the worst doesn’t happen, but being prepared for it is the best strategy.

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badkitty March 26, 2013 at 11:36 am

I agree with Admin on this one. Step one, however, is to deal with the issue of your friend who gives out your contact details. Nobody should be giving that information to anyone, ever.

@Melnick, you could have dealt with the situation while avoiding conflict and drama by simply saying that you don’t give out that sort of information, no matter the reason. Apologize if the person seems to take offense, but then stick to this policy. Frankly, it should be your policy no matter what: if I want someone to have my phone number, I’ll make sure they get it. If they lose their phone, let them email or fb me or contact me in some other way and I’ll give out whatever information I want them to have because that’s MY decision to make and no-one else’s.

OP, unless you want this horrible woman to continue to message you, call you, show up on your doorstep, Do Not Reply. Seriously. As was said before, all you will have taught her is that she needs to send dozens of messages before you reply but in the end you *will* reply. Block her emails if it’s difficult for you to see them and not respond (some mail services will even allow the message to bounce back to the sender, which is nice) and make sure your friends know that you’ve cut this person off. It doesn’t need to be awkward, and you can wait until each individual mentions her if you don’t want to be the one to bring it up. My guess would be that they won’t miss her at your party, and if people know that you’ve cut her off for her bad behavior it might give them the courage to do the same (or talk to her about it, help her to change, etc.). If she manages to show up uninvited this year, don’t even let her get as far as the refreshment table: just turn her right around and take her back out to her car – you’ve done it once, you can do it again :)

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Kristin March 26, 2013 at 11:37 am

What an awful situation. Who needs that kind of anxiety prior to a lovely event like that? I would get a guy friend to be the bouncer, as “another Laura” just suggested.

I wonder if she showed up drunk last year and just doesn’t remember her behavior?

If the party is indoors, then look out the window when the bell rings and simply don’t answer the door. If it’s outside, put a lock on the gate. I have no doubt she will show up. And if she does, then it’s S’s turn to get her out of there.

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Barensmom March 26, 2013 at 11:42 am

I would send one e-mail: “After your disgusting performance at my party last year, you are not invited nor are you welcome in my home at any time. If I see you on my property, you will be treated as a trespasser and escorted off the premises. If you cause a scene of any kind, I will call the police and press charges.”

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Ashley March 26, 2013 at 11:43 am

Your tea party sounds like an awesome way to get everyone together and get fancy. I was hoping to do something similar at a historic hotel for my bachlorette party (they offer a full Victorian tea service) but they only do it at certain times of the year, and unfortunately it already ended for this year. :( I’m sorry H ruined your party last year, I cannot believe some of the things she had the audacity to say! I agree with admin that you need to tell everyone to stop sharing your personal details with H. Tell them that you are not inviting her because you do not want a repeat of her previous appearance at the party. Block her email (every email provider has a way of blocking things), or at the very least, mark her as spam so she ends up in a folder that just goes in the trash.
The only thing that I am worried about is if she decides to crash anyway. I never know how to handle that because I’ve only ever heard of it occurring, never actually seen it happen. All I an think of is if you have a friend who’s a bit imposing looking, to have them watch for her and swoop in and ask her (as politely as possible)to leave before she makes it to the door.

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Jenn50 March 26, 2013 at 11:47 am

Delislice, having read “The Gift of Fear”, I recognize the Gavin deBecker quote, and would tend to agree, but for one thing; he advocates no further contact AFTER one clear, firm rejection. Something along the lines of “Regardless of what you thought, or why you thought it, you are not invited to my party, and are not welcome in my home. I am certain that I will not change my mind, and wish to have no further contact with you.” And then, you have to stand by it, because you’re right. If you tell someone “I don’t want to talk to you.” 40 times, you ARE talking to them, 39 times more than you wanted to. I’m not certain that the offender in this story has earned this level of rejoinder, but I do agree with those who think that ignoring this person would not likely have the desired outcome. Ignoring people leaves things up in the air, making it possible for them to misinterpret the situation. “He likes me, he’s just shy.” “She’s just playing hard to get.” or in this case, “I’m sure my invitation got lost in the mail, and she doesn’t check her email very often. After all, I was invited last year!” I’d be tempted to use a less harsh, but still explicit rejection, like “I’m sorry, you aren’t invited.” Otherwise, it’s very likely she’ll show up anyway.

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Yet Another Laura March 26, 2013 at 11:56 am

You did the right thing last year by escorting her out of the party. She reminds me of a hand grenade. She shows up, explodes all over the place within seconds, and everyone else has to deal with the shrapnel. Ms Hand Grenade is not your friend.

I’m with Admin, here. If the answer is not yes, it’s no. You don’t have to explain anything to H. Issue your invitations, have your party, and if she shows up, tell her she wasn’t invited and that she has to leave immediately. And then close the door.

Your friends will see that you’re putting them first and not coddling a bully.

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Tracy March 26, 2013 at 12:49 pm

delislice: “H is in no sense a stalker, and I am not trying to suggest she is or minimize the problem of stalking. However: The books I have read that discuss stalking agree that ignoring the emails is the right course of action. One retired FBI agent and security adviser said: “If you refuse to take 41 phone calls from (him) and give in and answer the phone the 42nd time so that you can tell him to go away … all you have done is inform him that 42 phone calls is the price of ‘admission.’ ”

While I’m a huge fan of Gavin De Becker in general, and of this advice in particular, it applies to stalkers. Not people who seem to believe they have an invitation to a specific event. I do not think it would be helpful here. I disagree with Admin and believe this person needs to be directly told that she is not invited.

“If (when?) she shows up, have a large persuasive friend or acquaintance on hand who is able and willing to grasp her gently but firmly by the bicep, walk her to the curb, and suggest that she leave on her own … or, that she has the option of standing there, still in his grip, until the police arrive.”

This, I DO agree with!

ferretrick: “What amazes me the most about this story though is not her behavior, but that of your other friends. You went to all the work to organize a lovely event, cooked fancy food, etc. and when a horrible guest got out of line, you dealt with it quickly and effectively and remained a gracious hostess. Yet your friends still allowed this tacky heathen to ruin the event you had worked so hard on, and left fifteen minutes later? Real friends would have taken the lead, and said, ok, we’re not going to let this spoil our fun, and returned to eating and drinking. It might take a few minutes for the party to recover it’s equilibrium, but it could have been done. Instead, your friends allowed one person’s bad behavior to spoil your event and abandoned you (and obviously didn’t offer to even help clean up, if they left w/in fifteen minutes). I wouldn’t be likely to hold the event again at all after that.”

I agree. I can’t imagine what kind of delicate sensibilities your friends must have, if they felt compelled to abandon your party due to one rude guest. Judging by your story, I thought they were rather hale young adults, not a bunch of shrinking violets magically transported from Victorian times. ;-)

Lynne: “The combination of her past behavior (immediately insulting AND late AND grungily dressed) indicates to me that she may have planned her past appearance as sabotage, and may well be intending to do a repeat performance as revenge for your having cut her off.”

I agree. Her actions do seem too targeted to be anything but deliberate. I suspect she has a grudge against your fancy tea party and plans to disrupt it again. Especially since she acted so out of character.

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The OP March 26, 2013 at 12:54 pm

Hi, the OP here. Just clarifying a few things because I realized after the fact that I hadn’t explained well.

S is very well known within our group of friends for having no spine at all. If you ask her anything, she’ll tell you the answer you want to know. Even if someone expressly tells her “Please do not give out this information,” all it takes is a childish threat of not being her friend anymore and she’ll spill the beans. It means we generally don’t tell her our secrets, and yes, we have spoken to her about this many times. This is a girl who needs some kind of therapy for whatever it was that hurt her in the past, and we do not want to hurt her and risk her becoming more damaged by ostracizing her. One day she’ll take our urgings into therapy to heart and go, but until then she’s sweet and we love her anyway.

Now… Back on topic!

Neither S nor H will be attending this year, but S will not be attending as she will have moved out of the state for work by that time. She knows she will not be getting an invitation, so that leak is now plugged.

H was told – to her face in the student union building on campus no less when she attempted to hug me a week after the event – that I never wanted to hear from her or see her again after what she did. I did not quietly fade from her life, it was a nice sized engine roar as I sped off, leaving her in the dust. What can I say? I was royally pissed.

Should H show up, the police will be called. The attendees who know her all know she will not be invited this year and do not tell her a thing, thankyouverymuch. H burned a lot of bridges that day, so I doubt anyone would tell her the time of day, let alone the party info!

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VickyLee March 26, 2013 at 12:59 pm

I think a polite reply clearly stating that no invitation will be extended to this- well, certainly not a lady, but I’ll be polite here and say miserable sponge- is well in order. By ignoring her there is a chance that little Miss Taken will try to crash the party some how. Instead, I would nicely inform her that she is not welcome in your home and you would prefer not to call the police in the event of any trespassing. This is also a good idea as it is proof that you informed her that she is not allowed on your property, in case of any future horrors.
After sending the aforementioned e-mail I would then simply block her own address (very simple with most e-mail services) and cut off any contact- indirect or direct- with her and her friends.

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June First March 26, 2013 at 1:04 pm

A few suggestions:
-Don’t engage her. I like the earlier idea that “giving in” after five emails will only show her that you will eventually cave.

-Warn your guests verbally, not by email. Emails can be forwarded to the offending non-guest, and taken out of context. I think a phone call to the guests who have rsvped would be prudent. You could say, “I need to ask for your help. H keeps emailing me about this party, but after what she said last year to you, I am not inviting her. Please don’t give her the time or the date.”

-Coincidentally, we just had a “threat assessment and conflict resolution” class at work. A police sergeant came and told us that if you approach someone with your hands palms-up, it should be calming. Also, keep your voice low and stand at an angle about three feet away. If she tries to shove you, she won’t knock you down.

What’s that saying? Forewarned is forearmed?
I also request an update.

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travestine March 26, 2013 at 1:05 pm

If your friend ‘S’ doesn’t have enough backbone to refuse to give out your personal information to this pushy, belligerent ignoramus, I doubt she will stand up to her when ‘H’ demands the date of the party. Simply not responding to e-mails isn’t sufficient with someone like this. She needs to be told clearly, in a one line e-mail: “Thank you for your interest. The guest list is now complete. You have not been invited to this year’s party. I do not expect to see you at this event.”

This is clear, it isn’t rude and it makes it clear her presence is neither expect nor desired.

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Enna March 26, 2013 at 1:12 pm

I would tell this odd person that she is not welcome and you do not want to be contacted again because of the way she has behaved e.g. insulting everyone. Then ignore all other contact from her: any apology or explanation you get from her should be judged on it’s merrits. She sounds more touble then she is worth. I wouldn’t invite her again unless she has turned over a new leaf and you think she is going to be a fun person who you want to invite. You will learn this from “S” and I think you need to talk to “S” about giving out your details.

Just tweak admin’s advice. To me this woman won’t listen unless you actually say “NO!”

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lakey March 26, 2013 at 1:32 pm

In case she decides to crash, keep your door locked and open it as each guest arrives. Peek before you answer the door. If this woman is as obnoxious as she seems, you need to make sure she doesn’t get in.

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LadyPhoenix March 26, 2013 at 1:57 pm

This is the one time I will disagree with the Admin.

Tell H that after the events of last year’s party, that she will NOT be invited to anymore of your events, nor is she welcome in your home. Then block her.

Talk to S about not releasing your address and that H is NOT invited to the party under ANY circumstances. If she continues siding with H, then that might be a sign to ditch S as well for being a possible instigator for drama.

If H does come to the party, I think you may have the right to call the police on her for trespassing. The event is invitation only, you didn’t give one out, so wouldn’t the party be considered a “Private Event”? Well, anyways, if she does come, don’t let her inside. If she gets livid, escort her to her car or threaten to call the police if she gets too rowdy/violent.

Basically the attitude should be stern: “No. You were abusive the last party, so you’re not coming to this one.”

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Kris March 26, 2013 at 2:14 pm

My advice is to send two emails. One to H telling her she is not invited and WHY she is not invited. The second two S and any other mutual friends who may let the date and location slip to H. Remind everyone that because of her previous behavior H is not invited and that you would greatly appreciate it , if no one from this point forward handed out your contact information to her.

No reason to be nice at all. As someone else pointed out sometimes to clue-by-four is needed to get one’s point across.

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TylerBelle March 26, 2013 at 2:30 pm

I have a relative with similar behavior. She can be somewhat nasty to others, while believing her actions don’t have any effect on their attitudes toward her.

I agree with ignoring, for any sort of reply, be it in the negative (ie., “You are NOT invited”), still gives an opening for contact. If this woman shows up anyway, meet her at the door and request she leave, much like in the previous year. For who knows, telling her she isn’t invited until you’re blue in the face isn’t a guarantee that she still would not come.

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Frankie's Girl March 26, 2013 at 3:14 pm

I disagree with the Admin. What’s wrong with having a polite spine?

If it was me, I would rather tell the rude person caging an invitation something like this:

H, I’m sorry you are confused. I did not send you an invitation because you are not invited. At the party last year, you said many hurtful things that upset many of my guests and you were asked to leave. Instead of apologizing for your rudeness, you called me names and screamed at me as you were leaving. These are not the actions of a friend, and I do not consider you one of mine. Please do not contact me again.

THEN you go to full on ignore mode, and block her email/contact. Let her have her little bluster on facebook or wherever, but it will blow over and she will know 100% that she is not welcome at your house. It may be blunt, but it is not rude to explain to someone that is either clueless (or deliberately choosing to play clueless) in no uncertain terms that they will not be taking advantage of you.

Ignore mode works, but with people like this, you do have to spell it out for them.

I’d rather have a few moments’ worth of feeling uncomfortable while sending that email, than have weeks of worry about if/when the rude party crasher will show up and try to sabotage what should be a fun and lovely little event. It’s not just the hostess that will have that looming over her in the days leading up to the party, but if the jerk does show up, then there is the rudeness and hissy fit she’ll throw at some point to deal with then as well. Better to head that off early in my book. And I don’t think that makes me a rude person!

And OP, what does your mutual friend say about this person? If you tell her that this person is NOT invited and to stop giving her info on you, can you trust her not to do that?

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Marozia March 26, 2013 at 3:31 pm

I agree with the comments on ignoring ‘H’ this time. You’ve severed ties with this girl and tossed her out of your last party, what more message does she need?
I know that you are young students and professionals, but maybe you can have the spring tea party at a hired hall with one guest at the door checking all invitations. That way, if ‘H’ turns up without an invite, she won’t be let it.

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sv March 26, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Admin’s advice is good….the only concern I have is that it could potentially put your friends in the awkward position of telling H that they can’t share the details of when the party is, as she is not invited. It might also leave you apprehensive on the actual day as you might be worried she would show up. I think I would handle it by replying with a short, polite email : ” I’m sorry H, but I am unable to invite you this year. ” And then block her email, if that makes you more comfortable. She is not your friend, so don’t waste your energy worrying about what she thinks.

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Goodness March 26, 2013 at 5:04 pm

Having been in a similar position with the willfully clueless, I believe the right thing to do is to let her know that she is not invited, simply because this sort of person takes silence as tacit acquiescence. Tell her bluntly that after her behavior last year she is not welcome ever again and that if she arrives you will call the police. Do not use the words ‘sorry’ or ‘regretfully’ or any of their gentle cousins. Do not mention that she ruined last year’s party — that may giver her immense satisfaction. Do not say ‘this year’ or she’ll take that to mean she’s invited next year. Any emails she sends after your ‘un-invitation’ should be replied to, if at all, with “no, you cannot come.”

And I think others’ suggestion of some sort of unofficial bouncer is not a bad idea.

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Lynne March 26, 2013 at 6:35 pm

For those saying that she needs or deserves a response: I would agree if there were still a relationship or any sort of current, ongoing communication, but this woman has resurfaced solely for the purpose of inviting herself to the party, and presumably has had no direct contact with the hostess for almost a year. In this case, there is no need to renew the contact & start a conversation about “why.” If it’s an option, I’d go ahead and block her emails or filter them to your “Trash” folder. She can be told at the door that she is not welcome, and the police can be called if she does not leave immediately.

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ItsyBitsy March 26, 2013 at 8:45 pm

I agree with admin and anon (comment #4). If she seriously thinks that she is going to get/deserves an invite to your tea party this year after being ejected last year, then there is something wrong with her head. You cannot reason with people like that so best not to start. Anything you say will just be taken as encouragement.
Unfortunately, it would not surprise me if she showed up anyway. She’s on a totally different agenda to most people and a little thing like the lack of an invite is not going to stand in her way. I feel very sorry for you, OP. You should be anticipating your party with pleasure, not having the worry of this person showing up overshadowing it.

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ItsyBitsy March 26, 2013 at 8:53 pm

Sorry, that should have read “and Delislice’s comment #5″.
Not that I don’t agree with Anon. I wish I had nipped my mother-in-law’s nastiness in the bud when I first had the chance to do so. I didn’t, out of deference to my husband to be, and thus a monster was created.

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Katia March 26, 2013 at 10:36 pm

I would just block H from emailing you using your email settings. Then, even if H asks others, have them tell her they haven’t heard of anything for this year. That way, they’re not pressured into giving details and H will think you may have cancelled it or moved it over. She’s just doing this to get to you. Some people just enjoy others’ pain and discomfort. Do not give into it. As admin pointed out, you’ll just feed into it. Nothing is bothering her more than being ignored, because she’s obviously used to being the center of attention, whether it’s a bad or good kind of attention.

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crella March 26, 2013 at 11:05 pm

The OP quite clearly told H that she wanted nothing to do with her, ever. I too, feel that if she responds she’ll find herself in a quagmire of wheedling and pleading, or the target of H’s anger. I vote for ‘eject her if she arrives’. Many posters already beat me to the bouncer suggestion :-)

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AnaLuisa March 27, 2013 at 2:55 am

I disagree with Admin, and agree with Frankie’s Girl.

I think that person’s chutzpah is unbelievable. I would never assume to be invited to a friend’s party unless he/she expressly invites me, even in case we are in regular contact, on good terms and nothing like the hissy fit ever happened.

In such a case, I would firmly and clearly answer that she is NOT invited. No regrets and/or apologies, and no further discussions, either (just for those who were afraid that if OP answers, she would inevitably fall into a trap of explanations etc).

I think she does not owe any explanations to a person who behaved in an inappropriate manner in several senses, and to top it off, wants to invite herself to a party whose host never meant to do so.

I would rather convey her an unambiguous message that she is NOT welcome, than ignore her. You do not have to worry that you are going to hurt the feelings of a person with such an outrageous behaviour.

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Bint March 27, 2013 at 4:50 am

“If (when?) she shows up, have a large persuasive friend or acquaintance on hand who is able and willing to grasp her gently but firmly by the bicep, walk her to the curb, and suggest that she leave on her own”

No, just don’t open the door to her. Large friends aren’t there to be your bouncers. They may choose to intervene should trouble break out, but asking them in advance to come to a party expecting to manhandle out some crazy banshee is just wrong. My husband has had years of this. “Oh, Uncle Archie’s coming to the wedding! I don’t want him there, he always gets drunk and goes mad, can you take him outside when he does?” Cue my husband, wearing full kilt regalia, having to drag a horrible drunken idiot outside, and going to the wedding on standby for that to happen. Yeah, thanks. We really enjoyed the evening knowing trouble was on its way and everyone blithely thought he’d deal with it.

If you want a bouncer on standby in advance, go and hire one from your local nightclub. Or wait for your large friends to offer.

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Lex March 27, 2013 at 5:26 am

Admins most recent comment labelling H as a ‘living, breathing Troll’ sounds pretty accurate to me.

Asking other attendees to lie to or otherwise deceive H is unfair to other attendees as you are putting them in an uncomfortable moral position. The behaviour of H at the previous party was foul and she upset a number of your friends. This was unacceptable and you handled the issue appropriately. It is a shame that they were not able to overcome this to enjoy the rest of the event. Although one idea might be to have some thematic ‘party games’ of a sort prepared as a distraction technique – my brother in law is fond of those little packs of trivia questions and he had one on the table a couple of christmases ago and it was brilliant – in the lull between dinner and dessert we had a friendly competition with whoever called out the correct answer getting a card and the person with most cards at the end ‘won’. We are a family so this was good natured but something of this type could be a fun distraction to restore conversation and divert attention away from the hurtful things said.

I cannot help but think that if H has been bugging you about an invite, she’s also been bugging other attendees – ‘Are you going to OPs party this year? I’ve lost my invite – where is it being held?’. It is not fair to expect other guests not to crack under persistant pressure – perhaps not everyone was as affected or directly insulted by H the previous year and so probably have less of a clear recollection of her poor behaviour.

It is your responsibility as host to make it very clear to H that she is not invited and the reasons for this. Other posters are wise in suggesting a clearly worded email but email can be ‘lost’. For clarity I suggest you have this discussion face to face. That way there can be absolutely no misunderstanding, no wriggle room and no way she can deny the conversation. If you have an opportunity to speak to her I would suggest doing so, although do so in private if you can as publically humiliating her is not the way forward here. You had enough of a spine to tell her how you felt in the student union so this conversation should be no different.

If you cannot reasonably make face to face contact, I don’t think H will pay any attention to an email or letter so your best approach is to make contingency for her appearing at the event uninvited. Ensure you have some distraction tools available and enlist a close friend to assist you in ejecting her or denying her entry. It is not worth validating her by replying to the email, but how and if you respond will depend on how sure you are that she doesnt have your address or cannot lean on someone weak (like S) until she gets it.

Not answering the door to this Troll will likely result in things being thrown over the fence (if the event is outside) or embarrassing public screaming so the best apporach here is to do the same as you did last year – don’t let her into the garden/house and escort her to her car.

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delislice March 27, 2013 at 6:15 am

Jenn, you’re right, of course, about Gavin de Becker’s advice. I believe the OP has already had a face-to-face with H and told her that she was severing ties.

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Lily March 27, 2013 at 8:05 am

I totally agree with Bint.
Your large friends, your guests are NOT there to provide security services for your party.

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--Lia March 27, 2013 at 8:52 am

It all comes down to whether we believe that H is genuinely clueless as to why she hasn’t received her invitation or whether she knows perfectly well what’s going on and is seeking revenge or wants to make a point. I believe it’s the latter and that she’s merely pretending it’s the former. Any answer that goes along, even for a second, with accepting her ruse is the wrong way to go. The way I see it, she’s pretending what happened last year has no import so she should get another invitation, or she’s pretending her invitation was lost so she needs to know when the event is happening. Anything the LW does to explain it to her, even if it’s just to say “No, you’re not invited,” is the wrong way to go. It opens the door to being asked why which opens the door for her to tell her side of the story and why the hostess was wrong.

Granted she’s not a stalker by the usual definition of the word, but that doesn’t mean that the point about intermittent reinforcement doesn’t hold. She wants attention, even negative attention. Paying attention to her long enough to say that you’re uninterested in paying her more attention is a futile battle.

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Mae March 27, 2013 at 10:50 am

I think my original comment may have gotten lost in cyberspace so I will re-post.
I agree with Admin and other posters who say – Ignore her and if she shows up, tell her to leave or call the police to remove her. I think from your updated info that H is the kind of person who is so “unliked” or unhappy that she makes sure to spread her misery. You have told her face to face that you no longer wish to be friends or have contact with her because of her behavior, so you do not owe her further explaination.

She will try to show up and spoil this year’s event, so be prepared. I also would do as another poster suggested and forewarn the attendees that she is trying to finagle an invite and to keep the date/location/time under wraps. IF you have a friend that will act as “security” for the hours of the party, offer a small stipend and leftover goodies or maybe a special only-for-them goody.

I am sorry that she ruined your wonderful party. It sounds like a great time!

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Abby March 27, 2013 at 11:35 am

I agree that ignoring her will likely lead to H wrangling the information from S and showing up anyways. Sure, OP could tell S, please don’t give out any information to H, she is not invited, but what will happen when H asks S point blank, when is this party? Is S going to say, OP told me not to tell you? Or, I can’t tell you? 10 bucks says S is going to cave and tell H everything because she doesn’t want to deal with the drama, and H will show up anyways. Sure, OP could lock the door or meet her at the door and ask her to leave, but considering H’s personality, that doesn’t mean she won’t fire off a few verbal rounds in that brief period of time and wreck the mood of the party all over again.

I think a short email saying, you are not invited, don’t come, is fine. OP could add, I am not going to be responding to any more emails from you and I am not interested in maintaining contact with you- and if she emails you back, just delete it unread.

If she’s bound and determined to come even after that- well I just don’t even know what to say about that.

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Been There March 27, 2013 at 12:43 pm

I also respectfully disagree with those who think polite silence will work with H.

The OP made it very clear to H last year that she no longer wants anything to do her, so the fact that H is under the impression that she will receive an invitation tells me that H really IS clueless and will show up after having made some assumption that her invitation was “lost” and the OP must not have received any of the emails asking about the invitation. The OP and her guests do not need to have the anxiety of whether H will show up (and what she might try to do) hanging over them during the party.

In my opinion, the OP needs to send H a terse and blunt message stating that H already was informed last year that she no longer would be invited, that she is not invited, and that she will not be welcomed or admitted into the party should she show up – and that no amount or form of apology will change this. The OP then should state that no further communication from H will be acknowledged.

Some people need a direct and unambiguous statement as they cannot recognize subtlety even when it hits them over the head with a bat.

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Goldie March 27, 2013 at 1:18 pm

After OP’s update, I now agree with Admin that total silence should work best. H already knows she is not welcome; she is emailing OP after being told not to speak to her ever again; and S, the potential data leak, is moving out of state and won’t be getting an invitation, so she won’t have any beans to spill. I like the plan to call the police if H does show up. I wouldn’t put my large friends into a sticky situation by assigning them a task of physically ejecting a woman, who may press charges as a result. Good luck, OP!

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Abby March 27, 2013 at 1:49 pm

I just read the update from OP, and I would like to amend my statement. After reading that S is no longer in state and may not even have the information regarding the time and date of party and what OP’s new address is, I suppose it does just make the most sense to ignore her. If H doesn’t have any clue when and where the party is, she can’t really crash it. I was under the impression S and H are still close and S was going to the party.

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A March 27, 2013 at 2:19 pm

I agree with admin that ignoring her is the way to go. OP made it plain to H that they won’t be friends after last year, and if OP responds to H’s emails now, all that does is enable H to create more drama: “Can you believe how mean OP was to me, telling me I couldn’t come to her party?” etc. Ignoring her is simply OP following through on what was previously communicated.

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B March 27, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Depending on where you live, you may want to ask a local law enforcment officer if she can get “Trespass Warned” from your property…Meaning you fill out a form letting law enforcement know that she is not welcome to be on your property EVER, and they can remove/arrest her as soon as she makes the poor decision to show up. If you are feeling courteous, you may advise her that she is no longer welcome anywhere on your property and that any further advances will be forwarded to law enforcement, and dealt with by them. Sounds like H likes to try and “bait” people for altercations. Just my two cents.

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amanda March 27, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Admin is right. Do not contact H. She is not a person who will take any notice of an email, all she cares about is getting a response. If I had been told I would never be invited to the gathering ever, I would not keep emailing asking for details of the next one. If she cannot understand ‘never invited again’, she is not looking for an invitation she is looking for a confrontation. People who have never dealt with a person like H do not understand. She is a troll who is cyber-stalking the OP.
If I can just give the OP one word of advice “DON’T”. You will regret it. If she shows up, shut the door and call the police. Do not try and explain or reason, she is incapable of understanding.
Don’t contact her just don’t.

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Joyous March 27, 2013 at 4:55 pm

omg, did she show or not?!

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crella March 27, 2013 at 8:29 pm

” My husband has had years of this…………………We really enjoyed the evening knowing trouble was on its way and everyone blithely thought he’d deal with it. ”

I hadn’t thought of that. Thank you for the viewpoint from the other side of that situation.

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SunnyDi March 28, 2013 at 12:16 am

How horrible! Was she drunk or on some sort of medication at the previous party? Regardless, that is no excuse for acting that way. If you have told her to her face you want no further contact with her, ever, I would ignore her e-mails and block her address. I would have no further contact with her. She sounds unstable and you will most likely get sucked back into her drama. In our city, the police can do a ‘drive by’ upon request. We do that sometimes when we go out of town. You can explain the situation to them and let them know the date/time of your party. In our city, the police would drive by your house a few times within that time period. If your city offers this service, it may give you a little piece of mind that the police are watching your house. Give them a call.

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mrsvandy March 28, 2013 at 2:44 am

I think the OP should ignore H’s emails. H is looking to get a reaction. She is either expecting some drama or an invite to come out of this. Just ignore her. If she tries to find out the information I’m sure most of your friends, have enough common sense not to tell her.

A few years ago with in my group of friends one girl had a big falling out with myself and several others. If someone were to have an event (on Facebook) she would RSVP as a yes and then go on an on about how she was most definitely going. At the time most people had a more the merrier mentality and hadn’t privatized their events or it was the event of an out of town friend who didn’t know the extent of the falling out.
The first few times several of the guest opted not to attend because she said she’s be there. But guess what? She didn’t show up, in fact she never did. She just wanted people to feel uncomfortable. She knew she truly wasn’t wanted there and had no intention of actually going and feeling out of place. She just wanted people to sweat it out, just like a troll.

Op, I really think H is just trolling you. Don’t feed the troll. I really doubt she’d show up anyways since she already knows that 1, No one wants her there and she really has no friends at this gathering and 2, You have removed her once from your house. Obviously it was embarrassing and she’d probably not want that to happen again

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another Laura March 28, 2013 at 7:43 am

I would like to point out that I wasn’t suggesting one of the party guests be bouncer, but a person who would be financially compensated for (presumably) his role as greeter/security. It could even be a friend with some law enforcement training.
Bint, I think it’s terrible that your husband was imposed upon at an event to which he was an invited guest. My proposal is to HIRE someone who wouldn’t otherwise attend (not alot of guys are into the tea party, many guys would love to play bouncer for a few hours).

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Aria March 28, 2013 at 10:04 am

Should H show up, the police will be called. The attendees who know her all know she will not be invited this year and do not tell her a thing, thankyouverymuch. H burned a lot of bridges that day, so I doubt anyone would tell her the time of day, let alone the party info!

I was going to say, she absolutely seems like the type to crash the party. Sounds like you have it covered, OP! Wow!

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JenG March 28, 2013 at 4:58 pm

If I were invited to your party and H asked me when it was going to be, I’d tell her it was being held two weeks after the actual date! I don’t suscribe to the theory that trollish questions need to be answered honestly.

Do let us know how the party goes OP! I am confident that it will be a lovely afternoon free of trolls.

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Cordelia March 28, 2013 at 10:11 pm

I think it would be a good idea to give H a clear statement that she is not welcome on your property at any time and if she attempts to attend the party, she will be treated as a trespasser.

Why? H is not a person who operates rationally. If she could potentially take a “you’re not invited” email as an invitation, she could just as easily take a lack of explicit denial as an invitation, too. Given her past behavior, there’s a strong possibility that H will try to crash. If I were in your situation, I’d want to make sure that if she decided to ruin my party a second time, I could seek as much legal redress as possible. In that event, you will want written evidence that she was told in no uncertain terms that she is not welcome, and therefore knowingly trespassed against your wishes.

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JeanLouiseFinch March 29, 2013 at 8:08 am

Too bad you don’t have loud barking dogs. Lots of people who try our door are directly discouraged by our loud and seemingly aggressive dogs. Our friends know they are waaaaay too friendly, and are merely barking for joy at having guests, but others leave and don’t come back. If one of your friends has a big dog, consider inviting the dog too. The way I see it, there’s nothing like having a dog around for a conversation starter. Bassets are especially good for this (they have deep voices and sound like big dogs), as long as this person doesn’t actually see the basset (because, looking and acting like Beanie babies, bassets don’t really intimidate anyone).

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