I have a story regarding the absence of proper etiquette and I need you, dearest Etiquette Hell readers, to hear it and decide who should be blamed for this gigantic faux-pas.
My girlfriend and I both attend a weekly couples’ outing with several couples who are close friends. Recently a new couple was invited, and had attended for several weeks, when we decided to invite this couple to dinner. We had previously done this with every other couple and it has been a great way to deepen friendships.
Two days before we were to meet for dinner, I approached Bob to ask him if the restaurant was acceptable, as well to ask if he and his partner wanted to come back for a night cap after (as I was always taught to do). Bob replied with, “Do you both drink? Well that’s a relief! We’ll bring some wine!” We don’t drink often, but when we do we like to drink!”
Caught off-guard, I replied that we certainly like to enjoy wine, but to please take care because I’d hate for them to drink and drive, and I’d hate for them to wind up hurt or in trouble because of it. He replied that he would do his best not to. I off-handedly and humorously made the comment, “Good, I’d just hate to be the cause of any trouble. I’d rather you just stayed than get into an accident.” Bob chuckled, and said he and Dale would meet us at our home on Saturday evening so we could drive to the restaurant.
On Saturday, Bob and Dale arrived at our home. As we greeted them, Dale reached into the car and pulled out a dog carrier, occupied by a little Shih-tzu. “We brought Lillan!,” Dale shrieked and was all-too-keen to introduce us to this little wonder. Immediately I was confused…had Bob told me that Lillian would be joining us? Taken aback, I invited them to leave Lillian at our home while we went to dinner. We went to dinner, which was filled with conversation, mostly from Bob, about how people in my line of work were “intolerable” and “grossly incompetent”. As my girlfriend and I became uncomfortable, Dale began his long and sad life story. In detail, of every year of his life. Since he was four.
After about two hours, and without my girlfriend Belle and I getting a word in, Belle states, “It’s been such a lovely evening, but I’m feeling a bit sick. I’m afraid I won’t be enjoying our night-cap, but thank you for joining us tonight.”
We get back to our home, and as I begin the ritual of saying “thank you” and “we should do this again sometime” Bob goes to his SUV and pulls out an overnight bag. What? Wait, did I miss something?
Bob and Dale then proceed into the house, let their dog out of its travel crate (at which point it relieves itself on the carpet) and start rifling through our kitchen for a corkscrew. At this point, I have no idea what is happening, and feel like whatever is going on, it’s out of my control. I politely decline wine, as does Belle, stating for a second time that she’s feeling sick and needs to go to bed soon.
I see this is become long-winded and I apologize. In short, Bob and Dale finish their bottle of wine by themselves, continuing their one-side conversation (and gossiping about the bad habits of the other couples in our group) when Belle promptly stands and announces she is going to bed. I stated that yes, as much “fun” as we’ve had, it is time for us to turn in. Bob agrees, then asks, “Which room is the guest bedroom?”
Shocked, I stumble over my words and ask if they really intend on staying the night. Bob laughs and asks if the guest bedroom has an en suite. Defeated (and slightly nervous) I lead them to the guest bedroom. It was difficult to sleep that night, and I woke up early in the morning to see Bob and Dale off.
7:30; 8:45; 10:00 all roll on with no sign of Bob and Dale. Finally, around 10:15, both Bob and Dale emerge. When I asked how they slept, the answer from Dale is, “Well, it certainly wasn’t the most comfortable bed, but I guess we go by just fine.” Dale then proceeds to enter the kitchen unaccompanied and ask, “So, what are you cooking for breakfast?”
I politely but firmly state that I haven’t had the time to prepare anything, a resigned Dale returns to the living room with a cup of coffee that he describes as his “lonely little weak coffee”.
Belle, who had awakened at the same time as me, immediately blamed me and made an excuse to leave the house before Bob and Dale woke up. Why would I even make that comment about “I’d rather you stay than drive drunk”? I’m sure she enjoyed grocery shopping more that day than any time previous. I immediately make an excuse on why I must leave due to mid-morning plans, and the couple decides that it is time to leave. Finally, after they’ve departed, Belle returns home and says that it was definitely my fault for the faux pas, because of the statement that I had made, in jest, that was taken seriously.
So, how much blame do I share in this incident? Thank you for hanging on as long as you could; I do realize this is a long story. Thanks. 0520-13
You inadvertently invited Bob and Dale to come into your house for a nightcap after dinner at a restaurant and to stay the night if they happen to get too tipsy. So, Bob and Dale arrived *planning* to get too drunk to drive home. But what they did to exploit that offer is inexcusable. Bob should have confirmed the offer to stay over as valid, Lillian the Shih-tzu should have been left at home or a kennel, Bob should have taken the hint that you were unprepared to host them as house guests when you asked if he was serious, they were rude guests to criticize the accommodations/friends/etc. The list goes on and on.
These two do not sound like people worth investing to get to know better.