I need some advice regarding a party invitation. DH and I have a friend from college, now 20 years ago, whom I shall call Tom. Tom traditionally throws a party sometime around the holidays. Over the years the venue and timing have changed, as has the guest list, but it is typically a catered, dressy affair.
We have another mutual friend from college, Jenny. Jenny is often invited to the party, as are we, but neither of us is invited every year. We are not always invited the same year, which of course is Tom’s prerogative. Jenny is single and a little shy, so when the DH and I are there, she tends to stick with us; I wonder a little whether Tom separates us in order to encourage Jenny to mingle.
This year Jenny asked if DH and I would be attending Tom’s party. I told her we would not, as we had not been invited this year. She then suggested that I leave DH at home and attend as her “Plus one”. I felt that since I am often on the guest list, but was not this year, it would be inappropriate for me to attend as a guest of a guest. If Tom wanted me there this year he would have invited me! Jenny and several of her friends tried to convince me that Jenny could invite whoever she wanted to be her “plus-1”, but I still refused. Unhappily, Jenny declined the invitation, because she did not want to attend if she didn’t know anyone there.
About a week later, DH told me that we were invited! The invitation came from Tom’s business email account, so he had not recognized it at first. However, since Jenny had already declined because of us, I felt we had to decline as well, so none of us attended this year.
So Ehell readers, would it have been appropriate for me to attend as a plus-one in this situation? If I did not know Tom, would it be appropriate for me, as a female, to attend as an escort or is the plus-one assumed to be more of a dating-type relationship? I was sorry to disappoint Jenny but did not want to be rude to Tom. 0128-14
The question I have is whether Tom’s invitation offers a blank invitation for a “plus one” to his single guests or is it just assumed that a single person can bring an added guest? I’m wondering why Jenny hasn’t brought along a “plus one” for prior parties. Personally, I would have declined Jenny’s offer that I leave my husband to attend a party as her guest when at previous parties hosted by Tom my husband and I had always attended together. To my thinking Jenny was inappropriate in asking that your social unit be split up simply because she lacked the courage to go by herself.
As for you declining Tom’s invitation on account of Jenny….why? You truthfully told Jenny you had not received an invitation at the time she asked and she made her decision based on that information. Jenny is responsible for the choices she makes and I’m not seeing why you felt the need to decline Tom’s invitation just because Jenny did as well. You are not Jenny’s keepers or guardians yet it seems like you have a misplaced sense of obligation to Jenny. You could have told Jenny that you were mistaken, that the emailed invitation did come, that you had not been aware of it at the time she asked if you were going and having now received it, you and your husband would be attending. Jenny could have then dealt with the consequences of her choices or contacted Tom to tell him her plans have changed and she could come after all.