Faux Pas From Every Angle

by admin on January 15, 2014

I have a friend we will call her Rose for this story. Rose is a single mother with a 17 year old daughter Alexandra. Our mutual friend Lorelei had invited Rose and I to her 50s themed birthday party including Alexandra, Rose’s daughter. This is just one story about Alexandra and her rude behavior towards her mother and others but the one that stands out the most. I am married but we are unable to have children biologically.

I was very much looking forward to the birthday party for months and even had a custom designed poodle skirt made for the occasion. About 3 days before the party Rose telephoned me to suggest that we attend the party together and stay overnight at her home. Rose lives about an hour and a half drive from my home and as the party venue was much closer to Rose’s home I agreed to stay and we arranged I would get ready at home and be at Rose’s by 6:30 pm as the party was at 7:30 pm and only a 45 min drive from Rose’s.

Well, the night arrived and as scheduled I was at Rose’s home at the arranged time with my overnight bag. On arrival Alexandra, Rose’s daughter, was also getting ready for the party but stated she would not be getting dressed up. Rose and I got dressed in our poodle skirts and finally we were all ready to leave. I suggested that I drive, but Rose insisted we take her car. I attempted to chat to Alexandra on the way but she gave one word answers. I can recall we were nearing the party location and looking for a parking space, I distinctly recall looking at the clock in the car which read 7:17 pm. We park and finally arrive at the party. On arrival we greet our friend Lorelei and give our friend her gift. Rose and I look around and do not recognize anyone else and then decide to buy a drink (yes, another time for the drink story but you had to pay for drinks!).  I asked Alexandra if she would like a drink.  In a rather surly tone she says, “No I don’t”, and proceeds to play with her iPhone. Rose expresses her concern for Alexandra’s well being! I want to say,  “Uh, who is the parent here?”, but say nothing… Lorelei comes over and takes photos, Alexandra protests quite rudely and states, “Don’t take my photo”, Rose asks her if she wants her to drive Alexandra to meet up with her friends? Again Alexandra states loudly and rudely, “No I don’t want to be driven anywhere”.  I feel like a bit of a fool at this point as I don’t know anyone and my friend Rose continues to become more and more concerned Alexandra is not having a good time and there is limited conversation between Rose and I.

After a while Rose goes up to our friend Lorelei and tells her that we are leaving….. I am just flabbergasted as she did not say anything to me, I don’t know what to say and I am very mindful not to create a scene and not sure what to do. Rose’s house is a good 45 minutes drive from the party and my car is back at her place. Rose tells our friend Lorelei that we are leaving but does not ask what I want and quite frankly I was still in shock. We leave, not a word is said about the surly Alexandra, not an apology or what would you like to do. We return to the car and I note the time is 8:39pm. Not much is said and I am waiting for the apology. Rose decides we should get takeaway pizza and have sodas. I spy the local liquor store and tell Rose I want to buy a nice bottle of wine to have with the pizza, we pull in and make our separate purchases. Surly Alexandra sits pouting in the car, we finally get to the pizza shop and Rose makes sure she orders Alexandra ‘s favorite. Rose does pay for the pizzas and refuses my contribution. We arrive back at Rose’s house and proceed to change and eat pizza and have our drinks. We watch the local government election and make small chatter, Alexandra is a happy girl now…. I wonder why…because her mother gave in and brought her home because Alexandra wasn’t enjoying herself! In hindsight I should not have had a drink because now I cannot drive and I should have just packed up and driven home even if it was 9 pm and a long drive and made my excuses.

The next morning I wake early, I am tired and I really want to go home but Rose and I planned to go out for brunch and I don’t want to be rude. Eventually Rose wakes up and we have breakfast, not a word about Alexandra. Alexandra wakes and grunts at us and goes off to get ready for her weekend job. We go off to brunch but not before we have to drop off Alexandra at her weekend job.  Alexandra says not a word in the car nor goodbye then she gets out.

Rose and I continue onto brunch, the conversation is about everything but the party. Rose does confide in me about her daughter’s treatment of her and how she is upset by Alexandra. We head back to Rose’s house and Lorelei telephones, I speak to her briefly, wanting to discuss our abrupt departure but resist with Rose beside me. Rose speaks to Lorelei and the conversation from Rose is,  “Absolutely you should unfriend Alexandra on Facebook because of her rude behavior. Thank you for your support and for saying I don’t owe you an apology, Alexandra does.”  At this moment I walk away, I realize what a fool I have been and I wonder is it me, was I too sensitive… Expecting an apology from my friend Rose for her rude daughter’s behavior.  I leave and make my way home but not before I thank Rose for having me overnight and for dinner. Four months later and I have not had contact from my friend Rose, she has , in fact, unfriended me recently on Facebook, which I am quite relieved about.

Over the past few months I have thought what if, I should have not gone to Rose’s home, I should’ve driven home as soon as we got back to Rose’s, I wonder to this day and I am provably wasting my time, but I wonder why Rose never acknowledged my feelings or gave me an apology. I will give this up now as there is no point dwelling but I will try to speak up in future. hindsight is a great thing. 0112-14

I’m wondering why a 17-year old girl went to a party she clearly had no desire to be at?   Couldn’t she have been left at home to stew in her own anti-social juices that night?  And it doesn’t sound like anyone of your group was enjoying the party due to not knowing any other guests.  It looks to me like Rose conveniently exploited Alexandra’s poor behavior as the reason to bail from a party that turned out to be much less fun than either you or Rose had anticipated.

I find it quite ironic that Lorelei is offended at Alexandra’s rude behavior when the reality may be that Alexandra was texting a submission to Ehell about how she was at a birthday party hosted by the birthday girl and how ungracious it was that the poor suckers (ooops, we mean”guests”) were forced to buy their own drinks.   What kind of cheapskate hostess and greedy pig does that?

I don’t see where you had much choice in how this all played out since you were the guest of Rose and basically at her mercy.

{ 74 comments… read them below or add one }

Snowy January 15, 2014 at 4:48 am

I think the OP is better off without those “friends.” I surely hope that behind the scenes, Alexandra is having her behavior corrected by her mother. if she’s being taught that such rudeness is acceptable, I feel badly for her.

And I want to hear more about this “pay for your drinks” thing..? At a birthday party?!

(Psst… It’s “bail” from the party!)

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Marozia January 15, 2014 at 5:29 am

OK, there are so many things wrong with this! But just the main two.
1. Why did Alexandra ‘have’ to go to this party. The girl is 17, for Heaven’s sake! Let her sit at home with her own pizza and soda herself, texting. She doesn’t need to do it at a boring old party.
2. Lorelei with her greedy pig, gimme money, buy-your-own-drinks party.
I had to accompany my GM to a family wedding reception when I was 16. I was bored out of my nut. Thank goodness we left early. I have to admit I was a little rude (only because I thought my schoolwork was more important and needed to be done). “Why didn’t you spend time with your cousins?”, GM said.
Another wedding (same GM!!) I attended with her – I had a ball – caught up with lots of cousins and talked to lots of other rellies. Completely enjoyed myself! Then my GM had the nerve to say “You didn’t pay attention to me.” Sometimes reverse psychology works (I never went to another one of those wedding again with GM).
OP, I think you are well rid of Rose and surly Alexandra.

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HollyAnn January 15, 2014 at 7:02 am

Alexandra sounds like a dreadful girl and her mother is absurdly indulgent.
However…
You did know Lorelei, the birthday girl. Why didn’t you seek her out and catch up a little? You could have asked her to introduce you to some of the other guests. Maybe if you had made some effort to mingle and have a good time Rose wouldn’t have been so quick to pull you out of the party to indulge her daughter. I don’t understand people who go to big parties and then complain that they don’t know anybody and spend the entire time clinging to the people they came with. Why go to a party if you don’t want to mingle?
When Rose announced that you were all going, you could have said, “Already? But we just got here!” It might not have changed her mind but at least you would have made her feel a little bad about her rudeness.
And you had plenty of time alone with Rose the next day to voice your displeasure about the previous night but you didn’t say a word.
I guess the lesson is a general “stick up for yourself” – if you don’t voice your feelings, people will not take your feelings into consideration.

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Lo January 15, 2014 at 7:05 am

From what you’ve described I honestly would have laughed if I’d heard Rose on the phone agreeing it was her daughter owes her an apology. Rose owes just as much to Lorelei for ditching the party. Is Rose not still an authority figure in Alexandra’s life? Rose is in control of the transportation and Rose is the one who should have put her daughter in her place Alexandra is a teenager. She’s old enough to reign in her sulkiness for a party and she’s old enough to stay at home if she can’t manage that and she’s old enough that once she is at a party her mother can still lay down consequences for that behavior and insist they stay regardless of what Alexandra wants.

And you now know better than to be involved with these two and yes it was the height of rudeness that Rose left and forced you to leave too. That is unfortunately the cost of carpooling. If you could not get a ride home any other way then you’re forced to leave with your host. It is on the host to be generous to you in that situation and she behaved appallingly.

If I’d cut anyone some slack here it’s Alexandra. She’s at a prime age for drama and her mother is tiptoeing around her instead of calling her out. I’ve never raised a teenager but I’ve been one. And that kind of parenting never helped anyone.

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Miss-E January 15, 2014 at 7:32 am

Why is are grown women discussing unfriending a 17-year-old girl? Sounds like Lorelei is just as immature as a teenager. Maybe Alexandra was being a but surly but leaving a party early isn’t a major faux pas is it?

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Alie January 15, 2014 at 8:01 am

I think the person who was rude here was Rose, not her daughter. Sure her daughter didn’t want a drink, to have her picture taken, or to be driven anywhere, but those are all legitimate choices. Rose could easily have left her daughter alone to play with her phone and enjoy the party. At 17, the daughter is not a little girl. I agree with the admin – Rose exploited it to bail on a party where you didn’t know anyone. If not, Rose needs to understand how old her daughter is and not freak out because she’s not having a good time.

Anyway, I don’t see anything particularly egregious about the daughter’s behavior. Rose unnecessarily escalated the situation.

But I also think you are WAY too hung up on it. Sometimes parties don’t work out and it’s really okay to bail and do something more fun.

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Lerah99 January 15, 2014 at 8:24 am

Once you agreed to take Rose’s car, you are pretty much stuck with her.

If you were upset by her daughter’s behavior and wanted Rose to apologize, you should have TOLD her.

Brunch would have been the perfect opportunity to say, “I was really looking forward to this party. I feel that you allowed your daughter to cheat us both out of the opportunity to enjoy it. You insisted on driving which left me with no option to stay when your daughter refused to be social. I would like an apology for how last night was handled.”

People are not mind readers. If Rose and her daughter are in some long standing passive-agressive battle of wills, this may have been a perfectly normal evening for Rose. If you want an apology, state clearly how you feel you were wronged and ASK for an apology.

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Wendy B. January 15, 2014 at 8:33 am

Cut your losses at this point. Rose is ruled by her daughter and always will be, and the fact that she un-friended you pretty much says it all.

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Abby January 15, 2014 at 8:42 am

Well, I suppose Rose should have asked you if you wanted to stay, but from your admission, that party sounds really boring and maybe she assumed that pizza and a bottle of wine would beat standing around paying for overpriced drinks and not knowing anyone else. But yes, she should have asked.

Rose does sound overly tolerant of Alexandra’s poor behavior, but there’s often a difficult dynamic between single mothers and teenage daughters.

As far as Rose unfriending you, did you perhaps mention to a few mutual friends about Alexandra’s impolite behavior and Rose’s failure to apologize to you for it?

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Stacey Frith-Smith January 15, 2014 at 8:53 am

You were really stuck, weren’t you? Your friend, her daughter and your erstwhile party hostess all seem to have abandoned their respective good sense and social chaos ensued. The story is an interesting one in this regard- it allows others to see the cascade of bad results arising from the inconsiderate choices of all three of the “characters” in your tale. The good news? You don’t have to associate with any of them again- thus freeing you up for more urgent or entertaining tasks…like cleaning the lint trap of your clothes dryer…going bumper bowling…pretty much any alternative to what you experienced on that night.

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Tanya January 15, 2014 at 9:21 am

Chiming in with those who think that Rose should apologize on her own behalf, not that of her daughter’s. At Alexandra’s age, Rose can’t necessarily control her (so Rose shouldn’t have to apologize for her conduct), but Rose can certainly control how she reacts to her daughter’s surliness. I don’t see anything wrong with Rose being concerned over Alexandra’s not having a good time, but when it was clear that Alexandra wanted to leave, the polite thing for Rose to do would have been to ask the OP what her preferences were. When you carpool– particularly when it’s at your own insistence– you have an obligation to the others in your party to consider their wants and needs when it comes to the time of arrival and departure. It’s unfair to prevent your guest from taking their own car, and then use your driving as leverage to enforce your will on them with regard to transportation.

It was rude of Rose to force the OP to leave the party before she was ready. It was also rude of Alexandra to attend a party she clearly didn’t want to be at, and then make herself so unpleasant that her mother felt forced to leave, but in the larger picture, the rudeness that affected the OP the most was Rose’s. The OP could have ignored Alexandra’s behavior, she could not ignore being forced to leave the party. So I think Rose owed the apology for her own behavior, first and foremost.

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DGS January 15, 2014 at 9:31 am

Drama (unnecessary, I might add), all around. Alexandra was rude, but she behaved like a typical teenager, forced for some unimaginable reason, to trot along to an adult party that she probably, had no interest in (I’m imaging that the text on the Iphone went something like this, ‘OMG, my mother who is like, totally cray-cray, is dressing up in some ridonk outfit with her friends and dragging me to a stupid party. Ugh, yuck, frowny face’). She’s 17; she should have holed up at home with her TV and her Iphone and her own pizza.

And why is all this Facebook unfriend going on…could it be any more passive-aggressive? And why was OP friends on Facebook with someone’s teenager in the first place? The adults ought to behave better than moody high school girls.

Sure, Rose caved unnecessarily to her daughter’s rudeness and demands, and Lorelei was clearly uncouth for charging for drinks, but OP could have made an effort to socialize at a party (egads, that’s what parties are for – go up and introduce yourself to some people, or ask Lorelei to introduce you, start chatting, and you never know, you might meet new people and have a good time). OP could have also forgone the liquor store, excused herself and driven home after such a dismal evening.

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Cat January 15, 2014 at 9:38 am

Expecting a mother to apologize for her daughter’s behavior is often wishful thinking. You were trapped and did the best you could in a bad situation. I’d forget about it and move on.

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MyWorldand January 15, 2014 at 9:41 am

Sorry there was a lot not being said all over the place here!

This was a party that you had been looking forward to for months, but you knew only the hostess and good old Rose. Did you not ask if there would be other people that you would know?

When Rose stated she was leaving, you had the option of voicing your unhappiness, other than it sounds like you were also unhappy being at the party yourself because you knew nobody else

You also had the (inconvenient I would agree) option of taking your car once you got back to Rose’s house, and driving back to the party if you really felt bad about leaving.

Finally, Rose unfriended you. That spoke volumes without words. Her doing that does not seem like too big a loss anyway.

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Whodunit January 15, 2014 at 9:45 am

Does anyone else notice these “Facebook” references as to who us unfriending who and why? Are we not grown adults? This really gives me the creeps!

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Emily January 15, 2014 at 9:54 am

The most laughable part here must be Rose telling Lorelei that she should “absolutely unfriend” the daughter– as if a 17 year old would care that one of her mom’s friends unfriended her on Facebook! I can’t think of a more ineffective solution and I can just see the daughter’s eyes rolling.

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Shalamar January 15, 2014 at 9:59 am

I have two teenage daughters, and I can say with no hesitation that they would sooner get root canals than go to a “lame 50’s-themed adult party” with me. I can only imagine that Rose, for reasons known only to her, insisted that Alexandra come to the party. So I agree with some other comments – my criticism is for Rose, not her daughter.

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Kelly January 15, 2014 at 10:03 am

I’m wondering if Alexandra might not be incredibly shy. It sounds like the LW and Rose don’t have much of a mentality for etiquette beyond high school themselves, so I don’t feel like LW’s perceptions of Alexandra are 100% accurate. As someone who was very uncomfortable in large groups (especially ones in which I had nothing in common), I would try my best to stay out of the way, something that more than one adult interpreted as “snobby” because I wasn’t laughing and chattering. Or, if not, teenagers are sometimes surly. It’s nothing personal.

Leaving the party sounds like a separate issue between LW and Rose, not some evil crafting on the part of Rose’s daughter. In fact, I’m leaning toward thinking Rose may have insisted on her daughter’s presence, making the burden of rudeness entirely hers.

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acr January 15, 2014 at 10:03 am

Dealing with the parent of a horrible child myself now. I think these parents see themselves and others as “fellow victims” of their child’s “inexplicable” bad behavior. They don’t see that they have created this bad behavior.

I have been in a similar position to the LW. Perhaps she felt it would be “disloyal” to Rose to “ditch” her at the party? And also to leave her alone with her misbehaving daughter? I know there have been times when I kept beside the bad parent in my life b/c I mistakenly thought I was offering support while they dealt with their horrible child. ANd people who might normally approach you to make conversation won’t b/c they don’t want to get near that big mess.

Also, the LW may have been embarrassed that she was associated with these two. Again, I have been there! Hopefully Lorelei has the sense to unfriend Rose as well as Alexandra.

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Powers January 15, 2014 at 10:17 am

So you mean Alexandra acted like a typical 17-year-old dragged to a poodle-skirt party? Gosh, imagine that.

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livvy17 January 15, 2014 at 10:20 am

What a strange story. There are so many things that make me feel like we haven’t gotten the full picture:
Why was the daughter invited to 50’s (far before her time) birthday party for an adult her parent’s age? – especially if she has a history of being of rude?
Why did the daughter choose to go, or why was she forced to go if she didn’t choose?
If she’d been forced to go, why was Rose offering to drive her elsewhere?
Was the OP having a good time at the party? Was it a fun party at all? Other than the buy-your-own drinks, no other description of the party is offered.
Why does the OP say that she should have packed up and went home rather than enjoying Rose’s company for the rest of the night? Was there tension later? Why was there lack of contact later?

The tone of this submission is all over the place – I would really love to hear Rose and Alexandra’s side of this story! It sounds like there was either much more to this story than described, or OP has tried to make a bunch more drama than is necessary out of this situation.

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just4kicks January 15, 2014 at 10:24 am

My teenagers aren’t thrilled going grocery shopping with me, much less dragging them to a party!
Not excusing the girl’s rude behavior, but why couldn’t she be left home???

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Allie January 15, 2014 at 10:30 am

I suspect your former friend pressured her unwilling daughter to go to the party hoping to have some fun mother/daughter time, with disastrous results.
I guess the best you can do is treat this fiasco as a learning experience.
Always keep your own vehicle and be sure to have an alternate transportation plan in place should you choose to “share” a ride.
Don’t knuckle under to things you are uncomfortable or unhappy with just to be “polite.” There is a time for politeness (for instance, you don’t make a scene in the middle of the party but pull your friend aside to discuss what time you will leave), but there is also a time for a polite spine.
One thing I don’t understand, unless you have a specific restriction on your licence (in my area there is a zero-tolerance policy for new drivers), I fail to see how you can’t drive after a single drink.
Lastly, I have to say, a cash bar at a birthday party hosted by the guest of honour? Puh-lease! Lorelei is the one who deserves to burn in the fires of Etiquette Hell. At least Alexandra has the excuse of being a hormonal teen and Rose has the excuse of dealing with the stress of having a hormonal teen to contend with.

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AS January 15, 2014 at 11:06 am

Thank you, admin… for saying exactly what I was wanting to say.

A lot of people seem to be at fault here, the OP and Alexandra being the least of them! Too many things are wrong here, and Alexandra’s faults seem to have gotten exaggerated, not in a small part due to her mother.

1) As others and admin have said, why did Alexandra have to go to a party she wasn’t interested in? At 17, my parents would have easily left me at home. It is not that I was always being a good girl – not all 17 year olds are, and I have often gotten myself into trouble with my parents. But as my parents used to say, they are confident in their parenting, and trust that their daughter will not do something terrible. If I had behaved badly at a party, like Alexandra, I’d have gotten an earful from my parents. But my mother would never have bad-mouthed me to others, no matter how true it would be. These are places where a white lie like “Oh! I was starting a headache” would work miracles. As the OP said “who is the parent here”?

2) Where were the hosts of the Birthday party? I am not even going to go into the technicalities of hosting your own party, etc.; but the hosts should make all their guests comfortable. Apparently, OP, Rose and Alexandra knew no one, and the host didn’t bother to introduce them, or include them in the party. We have hosted as well as been to a lot of parties. There are a couple of friends who host informal graduate student’s parties at their house annually. They have a pretty big backyard, and the party size gets to about 50 to 70 people. Given that the invitation goes to all graduate students in the University, very often there is someone or the other who is new to the gathering. The hosts always make sure to come and introduce themselves to the new comers, and introduce them to someone else in the group so that they can start a conversation.

“Absolutely you should unfriend Alexandra on Facebook because of her rude behavior. Thank you for your support and for saying I don’t owe you an apology, Alexandra does.”
Seriously, what kind of a mother says this about her own teen-aged daughter?

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PWH January 15, 2014 at 11:09 am

It sounds like there were several things that shouldn’t have happened that night. One huge thing though is that OP never spoke up for herself. Never once did she mention anything to Rose about what she wanted to do or perk up and say “We are leaving all ready? We just got here”. She had the opportunity a few times, but chose to hold her tongue, which she is now second guessing all these months later.

Rose likely used Alexandra as an excuse to leave, what sounds like, a boring party. As for Alexandra, her behavior sounds typical of a teenager. (My 24 year old brother still gives one word answers when I talk to him on the phone, he lives out of state.) Why she was asked or decided to go to that party kind of boggles my mind (perhaps Rose made her attend). Unless there were other teenagers attending, no teenage girl would want to attend a boring adult party with her Mom and Mom’s friend.

As for all the talk about unfriending on Facebook and the like. It sounds like OP didn’t make an attempt to contact Rose in those 4 months either. Rose likely felt the friendship was over and just happened to make the first move.

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Mae January 15, 2014 at 11:29 am

I think both Rose and Alexandra were both rude, mostly Rose. I won’t even say anything about being charged for drinks.

At 17, Alexandra was more than capable of spending a few hours alone and cooking her own pizza! I see 2 possibilities: either Alexandra was “forced” to go by her mom (behavior in the car before they arrived) or thought mom would have fun at a party without her and went to make sure it did not happen. The mother/daughter relationship does seem to be passive/aggressive and I can see a manipulative teenager doing something like this.

@Wendy B. comment #7 -totally agree.

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Tye January 15, 2014 at 11:37 am

“I am married but we are unable to have children biologically.”

That’s terribly sad if having children is something one wants, but I don’t see how that has anything to do with this trumped-up dramaganza, or the fact that the LW, her friend and her friend’s daughter all appear to be 17 yers old.

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AMC January 15, 2014 at 11:49 am

No idea what Lorelei’s deal is. It seems like there might be more to this story than OP was privy to. As for Alexandra, her behavior was certainly rude, but Rose is her mother and the one responsible for it. It is the parent’s duty to teach their children how to act in civil society. I get the feeling that Rose is more concerned with being her daughter’s friend rather than her parent, and as a result Alexandra is the one calling the shots.

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Kristin January 15, 2014 at 12:22 pm

If I were the OP, I would have said to Rose, “I had a skirt custom made for this party and spent two and a half hours just to get here. If Alexandra can’t stand it, she can go sit in the car.”

It’s pretty nervy to throw a party for yourself and then ask your guests to pony up for the bill. Man!

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Library Diva January 15, 2014 at 12:28 pm

It must be hard for parents to see their relationship with their teen take a turn for the unpleasant. But I can’t think of a more counterproductive way to try to “solve” this than to force their attendance at the party of a family friend. Alexandra was rude, no doubt about it, and she’s old enough to be responsible for her own behavior. But Rose created the entire situation by dragging her along. I wouldn’t be surprised if Alexandra deliberately acted as miserable as she could in order to convey her displeasure at having to attend this party. Anyone who’s ever read an article in a woman’s magazine about teens knows that a big part of their stereotypically miserable behavior is an attempt to establish their own identity separate from their parents. If there’s any truth at all to this theory, forcing your teen to be as joined at the hip to you as when she was 5 will only make things worse. I agree with the poster who said it was funny that Alexandra’s big “punishment” was being unfriended by Lorelei. I doubt she’s even noticed.

It’s a shame that this incident caused the disintegration of the OP’s friendship with Rose, but maybe she is better off without Rose in her life, if that’s the way Rose is going to be.

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Elizabeth January 15, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Since you had all driven together, the decision to leave at an unplanned time should have been discussed as a group. Instead, Rose catered top her daughter (why ever was she even there?) and ignored you completely. Alexandra is a snotty child – maybe she will grow up someday. Rose, however, is an adult, and she treated you rudely my forcing your departure. Rose owes you an apology; she made you part of the group and then completely excluded you whilst meeting her child’s needs.

And myself, I think I would have hopped in my car and gone back to the party, then made my way home. This would have sent Rose a message.

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Miss-E January 15, 2014 at 12:48 pm

I also do NOT like to have my picture taken without my permission. So I would have reacted in a similar manner. I read stories on here sometimes that seem to try a little too hard to paint someone as the villain. Does it really matter that Rose picked up her daughters favorite pizza? Was it some disgusting inedible kind? Did it further ruin the evening? Or is the OP just trying to push this idea that Alexandra is spoiled?

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cali.in.uk January 15, 2014 at 12:54 pm

This reminded me of a NYE party that my parents forced me to attend when I was 14. When I say forced, I mean that I said I didn’t want to go and my mom said it wasn’t a choice. (I had actually been invited to my first “party” at my best friend’s house with her parents and some other school friends and I was pretty disappointed I couldn’t go) The NYE party went the same way most of the other mandatory grownup parties I was required to attend over the years: I came with my parents, I said hi to everyone and then I sat in the corner uncomfortably for the next few hours wondering why I had to be there while I was ignored by everyone, including my parents.
I definitely think Alexandra sounds ruder than the average teenager, even though I wasn’t a particularly friendly kid I still would engage with adults if they spoke to me. But, knowing her behaviour, it seems weird that her mother brought her along.
About Rose: Some people don’t like saying sorry, regardless of their behaviour, and will even go out of their way to avoid people that they might have “wronged”, which seems like what Rose did to you. Sometimes these people will even turnaround situations in their head and convince themselves that you did something wrong to further exempt themselves from having to apologize (like jumping at the opportunity to blame her daughter for her own speedy departure from a party to the hostess). She didn’t contact you after the incident and then also defriended you on FB, so it doesn’t really seem worth it to mention at this point unless for some reason she asks you first.
I think at the time you were trying to make the best of the situation and create a fun night when your original plan didn’t pan out so don’t regret staying.

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gellchom January 15, 2014 at 1:16 pm

I think DGS nailed it: “Drama (unnecessary, I might add), all around.” And, as several posters have mentioned, mostly due to not communicating.

If you didn’t want to leave the party, why didn’t you just SAY SO to Rose? It’s not like she ordered you into the car. You say you didn’t know what to say; sure you did: “I’d like to stay a while longer. We came such a long way and I made this skirt and everything. How about another half hour?”

If you didn’t like the party, why did you WANT to stay? If the reason you didn’t like the party was that you didn’t know anyone, why didn’t you meet some people? DID you even want to stay? Or were you happy to leave, but don’t want to give up an excuse to be further offended by Rose and Alexandra?

You’re mad because Rose didn’t apologize or even bring it up. Well, why didn’t you? “You know, Rose, I know last night you really had your hands full with Alexandra, but I really wanted to stay at the party a while longer.” Although it’s hard to imagine Rose not responding with, “Oh, I’m sorry! Why didn’t you say so?” Especially if you had seemed bored or had commented on the cash bar or that you didn’t know anyone. If you were moping — and I’m not saying you were! Just a possibility — Rose might have felt like she was dealing with two sulky people.

Alexandra — well, horrible behavior, of course, but not at all unusual for a teenage girl, even when the parents have done everything fine (think of how many families you know where one kids is a horror but the others are lovely). Some kids are like this ALL the time, and most of them, even the real sweethearts, are sometimes. I have two great kids, and believe me, when they were teens, there were days when all I could do was fantasize about running away from home! There are all kinds of reasons that adolescents “soil the nest” when the day they will have to leave it draws frighteningly near. Anyway, I wouldn’t be surprised if, just as you are wondering why Rose didn’t apologize for Alexandra’s behavior, Rose is wondering why you never expressed any sympathy for her or even (if your relationship allows for it; I don’t know) said something to Alexandra: “Hey, Alexandra, cut Mom some slack, okay? She’s been looking forward to this party for a long time. We won’t stay too too late, I promise, and I’m sure it’s boring for you, but just let her enjoy it for awhile, okay?”

As for all this Facebook nonsense — unbelievable. Adults are doing this? And discussing it?

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girl_with_all_the_yarn January 15, 2014 at 1:17 pm

I have to admit that the whole story, I was having flashbacks to being a teenager visiting my dad and stepmother and being forced to attend their friends’ cocktail parties. I wouldn’t spend time with my dad (who I had limited time with) and I would have to listen to annoying, intrusive, and occasionally rude commentary from people I didn’t much care for.

And we’re not talking comments like “you should try wearing your hair back.” We’re talking comments about how awful it was that I went to public school (small town, the only other choice was a religious school and I wasn’t a member of that religion), or how short-sighted and repressed I was that I chose a large college and an engineering major instead of an arts major and a small, liberal-arts college. They’d ask questions about my parents’ divorce (none of their business), about my personal finanical situation (also none of their business), and literally “How much did your dress cost?” Also, because of a rare genetic disease, I don’t drink alcohol. It got very old saying “no, thank you. I don’t drink. Yes, really. No, it has nothing to do with my mother. Yes, I know my father is okay with it.” to the various and sundry people who would thrust glasses of wine upon me. (My disease is also none of their business.)

I hated these people, and I probably looked a lot like Alexandra at these parties. For all we know, Alexandra could be early admission to Harvard and leaving for college next week and mad that her mother has decided to spend time with other people when it’s her last weekend with her daughter. We don’t have the whole story here and we probably shouldn’t judge her for it.

At the very least, it looks to me like Rose was pushing the issue of Alexandra attending this party when Alexandry really didn’t want to be there.

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EllenS January 15, 2014 at 1:22 pm

I’m not entirely clear about what the OP wanted out of this evening. A night with Rose? Then going home with Rose was the best choice. A party with Lorelei? Then perhaps it would have been a better choice to ask Rose to wait a bit, then talk to Lorelei and see if anyone else at the party lives in Rose’s vicinity, or if you could make any alternate travel arrangements, like taking a cab or a bus back to Rose’s, or if Rose could come back to get you.

Just as Alexandra is a big girl and didn’t have to go to the party, you are a grown woman and you didn’t have to leave if you didn’t want to. Rose probably didn’t apologize because she had no idea you were bothered.

Unless you make friends with mean people who offend you on purpose, most people don’t realize they have done something wrong (if so, they wouldn’t do it!) If you think someone owes you an apology, the best thing to do is tell them how/why you were hurt, so you can work it out. However, if this was months ago it seems OTT to ask for an apology now. I’d just chalk it up to a learning experience and take two cars next time.

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Rachel January 15, 2014 at 1:49 pm

Daughter sounds like any other teenager who is being forced to do an activity with people who arent their age. And yes she sounds shy. OP sounds overly judgmental and seems way too upset.

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Angel January 15, 2014 at 1:59 pm

With all due respect OP, you put yourself in this situation and you kind of knew beforehand how this was going to turn out. You yourself say that you had witnessed Alexandra’s mean treatment of her mom, Rose before this. Did you think that all of a sudden she would have a personality transplant just because she is hanging out with her mom and mom’s friends??

Furthermore the last thing I would want to do is stay overnight at a friend’s house, if I don’t like their child and said child is going to be there. If you are ever in a situation like this perhaps you will know better for next time. As it is now I think you are better off without Rose for a friend. I would have a tough time respecting someone who clearly has very little respect for herself and lets a kid walk all over her. This clearly is not anything new.

And a party where you know nobody else but the birthday girl and two other people–and felt too uncomfortable to mingle? It’s a shame that you drove an hour and a half to have a miserable time. But, I think you might have probably had more fun if you were there on your own terms–and not forced to ride with someone else or have no ride home. Maybe you would have stayed longer and talked to people. Sometimes the people you go to a place with can set the tone for the entire night. Going somewhere with a person you don’t like–that’s not a great way to start. It’s got nothing to do with the fact that she is only 17 either. She sounds like a miserable soul :-(

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Skalr January 15, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Boo hoo. Take responsibility for yourself and stop playing the victim.

When you saw your friend was leaving, you should have simply asked why and then decided together what to do. Instead of salvaging the evening with wine and pizza, it’s sounds like you spent the whole night obsessed over the apology you were “owed” instead. Why not just speak to your friend (then or later on) and tell her what was bothering you?

As for teenagers, find me one that isn’t sullen or eager to spend an evening alone with parents at a ’50s themed party.

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haji January 15, 2014 at 2:23 pm

Reading this from the perspective of the 17 year old, I’ve wondered if there may be more at play here. I suspect the teen has gotten into some trouble recently and is not likely to be allowed to be home alone. Here’s some of my observations:
1) Alexandra is 17, so probably has her driver’s license. Leaving her with the car at home while you two go to the party means she can probably go out (and get into trouble).
2) Even if she didn’t have a car, her friends may have, and can come get her or party at her mother’s home while she and her friend are away.
3) The only solution a single mom has for a teen who has long outgrown babysitters is to force her to come along for her weekend plans to make sure she stays out of trouble.
4) Based on her tone towards everyone and her behavior, it’s likely she felt this party was in-fact punishment rather than the enjoyable experience it should have been. And her tone was likely one to make it as miserable for everyone else around her so no one would have any fun.

Not that any of the things I wrote excuse bad behavior on anyone’s part, but I’m wondering if this is what ended up playing out. This is the type of thing I would totally see a single mom being faced with if she wanted to have a social life and a daughter she didn’t necessarily trust to stay at home on a Friday night.

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Calli Arcale January 15, 2014 at 2:51 pm

I’m baffled that the 17-year-old daughter was dragged along in the first place. Force children to participate in social events at your peril: while it’s important they learn to politely attend events that they don’t enjoy for the sake of etiquette, doing it like this pretty much guarantees failure, because you can’t force them to be civil. And it doesn’t sound as if Alexandra was excessively rude. She just wasn’t participating; it should have been entirely possible to leave her in a corner to sulk and text while the adults enjoyed the party in spite of her (though a better approach would’ve been to leave her at home in the first place when it became obvious she wasn’t going to participate anyway). I can see the parents of a grade-schooler making this mistake. Not the parents of a near-adult, who presumably should have already learned how far they can push their child without catastrophe.

Is there some other sin that we haven’t been told of? All in all, this seems like a peculiar story revolving around a mother who either uses her daughter as an excuse to get out of stuff or has, in seventeen years, completely failed to learn how to choose her battles.

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Aliciaspinnet January 15, 2014 at 3:02 pm

I think that there’s something that the OP didn’t tell us. Out of the blue Rose unfriended her for no apparent reason? I don’t believe it. Something OP did offended Rose in some way.

As for Alexandra, she sounds like a typical moody teenager who was dragged to a party where she knew no one but her mum and a few of her mums friends. I wouldn’t have been thrilled in her position either!

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Anonymous January 15, 2014 at 3:46 pm

I wouldn’t necessarily consider Alexandra’s actions/overall demeanour to be “bad behaviour.” Maybe she’s just an introvert, like me. I would have HATED having to go with someone I’d just met, to a big, noisy, crowded party full of strangers. Maybe 45 minutes was all Alexandra could handle. Maybe that WAS a compromise for her, and by then, she was just overwhelmed and HAD to leave. Maybe Rose really wanted Alexandra to at least try to attend the party, for as long as she could. As for “finally being happy once she got her favourite pizza,” I don’t know that it’s the pizza that Alexandra was happy about–maybe she was more happy to be out of the party, and on her way home. Maybe it was the “familiarity” of the pizza, rather than the fact that it was “exactly what she wanted.” Alternatively, maybe Alexandra thought she’d be able to handle the party, because she’s only 17. At that age, I still went to school dances, and similarly noisy, crowded events, and sometimes I could handle it, and other times, I couldn’t. For me, sensory overload can actually be physically painful–if someone invited me to a party like the one in the OP, I’d say no, and if saying no wasn’t an option, I wouldn’t be very happy.

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mark January 15, 2014 at 4:18 pm

Just a few points.

1. I probably would have reacted about the same as Alexandra did if I had been forced to attend a party that I had no interest in attending at 17 years old. Honestly I’m not much today at nearly 3x that age.
2. I only carpool with people I know are on the same page as me as to leaving time and getting their time. I hate being at someone else’s mercy/whim.
3. Facebook drama over friending and unfriending is silly.

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AIP January 15, 2014 at 5:10 pm

MyWordland pretty much sums it up for me.
I would add that you don’t know what happened before you got there- there could’ve been an almighty blow-up before you arrived, Rose could’ve insisted Alexandra come along for whatever reason, or Alexandra was meant to be doing something else that evening and it she couldn’t go for a reason that upset her. She might well be a self-absorbed little madam, but quite frankly it’s not off the grass she licked it if that’s the case.

And how deluded are these two grown women if they think a 17-year-old is going to be upset if her mother’s friend is going to block her on Facebook… Oh the manufactured drama!

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kingsrings January 15, 2014 at 5:23 pm

I can’t imagine why any 17 year-old would want to attend a party like this. And if her mother was for whatever reason requiring her to, then she definitely made a huge parenting error! As for the OP, she was kind of thrown off guard by this surprise, but in the future, communicate with the person whom you’re riding with ahead of time to make sure you both have the same idea on how long you’re going to be staying at said party. That why if you each want to leave at different times, then you can arrange to each drive there on your own. I learned that lesson the hard way as well when I was once briefly friends with someone who would spring surprises on me at get-togethers we car-pooled to, such as the time she announced only a short time after we’d arrived that we’d have to leave soon so that she could attend another party she’d been invited to. Not once beforehand did she let me know, and she was quite angry at me when I told her we’d be staying put until I decided on the departure time since I was the one driving. It was just one of the many rude things she did to me, which is why our friendship only lasted a short time. Now I make sure the other person and I are on the same page when carpooling together.

And shame on the hostess for charging her guests for drinks! I suppose that wasn’t listed on the invitation, either. I would also be quite uncomfortable at a get-together where I didn’t know any or a lot of the people there. I’m shy and and not at ease with socializing attempts with strangers.

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JackieJormpJomp January 15, 2014 at 9:18 pm

@gelchom
“Rose might have felt like she was dealing with two sulky people.”

Think this makes more sense than anything.

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VM January 15, 2014 at 9:35 pm

I must have become desensitized from reading too many stories of bad behavior, because when you were hyping Alexandra’s rudeness I thought there would be tales of her saying your poodle skirts were stupid, or stomping into the middle of the party demanding to be driven home. A teen’s sullen refusal to engage barely shows on my radar screen anymore.

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countrylady January 15, 2014 at 11:45 pm

Everyone in this story sounds so childish!

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Rap January 16, 2014 at 1:10 am

“The only solution a single mom has for a teen who has long outgrown babysitters is to force her to come along for her weekend plans to make sure she stays out of trouble.”

In fairness, is it really appropriate to make punishing your teenager part of someone else’s party?

“Hey, my kid was bad and too old for babysitters, but I also can’t trust her to be alone so I brought her to our grown up party where she’s gonna *pout* until I give in.”

Is that really polite to the host?

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