I have been very upset over this and my husband actually suggested submitting this story to see what everyone else had to say about it. One Friday night my sister, Ellie, calls up early in the evening and says that her and her husband, Ned, were thinking they would like to spend the evening with us and were willing to travel up our way. She lives about an hour away from us and we rarely have many opportunities to do something fun with them. I was delighted but had loose plans to spend the evening with friends that night. We are a part of a group neighbors that often get together over the weekend. Right after I got off the phone with my sister Ellie – my neighbor, Penny, texted to ask if my husband and I wanted to come over. I immediately asked if it would be ok if I brought Ellie and Ned and she texted back, “Yes, of course.” I then called Ellie and asked if perhaps she and Ned would like to go over to Penny and Ace’s house. Ellie said that would be great.
Ellie and Ned have met Penny and Ace before. Well, to give you a little background. Ace is known to be a complicated soul and has rather crass manners. He has rubbed people the wrong way before even among the members of our group. My husband and I have always liked him despite his flaws and even when problems with his behavior have come up before, we would refrain from talking badly about him. He is the type of person who has some issues but would take the shirt off his back if he thought it would help you. Ace is sort of like a country boy and Ellie and Ned are decidedly more urban. So they are quite different but that was never a problem.
Anyway, we all go over and initially, Ellie and Ned are rather quiet but as the evening wore on became more social and talkative. Penny is so very sweet and went out of her way to try to make them comfortable in her home. Ace not so much. We were all hanging out in the kitchen, talking, having some food and a couple of cocktails. After about an hour, Ace gets up and moves into the living room that is adjacent to the kitchen and starts to watch television. It is an open floor plan so you can see the entire living room from the kitchen. This isn’t really unusual. The television can be on or off when we all get together. At one point, Ned goes into the living room to talk to Ace and another neighbor that was sitting there. Ace gets up right then and goes back into the kitchen. I am interacting with the other people there and although I wasn’t sure about it I got the sense that Ace was being a little evasive with Ned. At one point in the evening, I go into the living room and I sit next to Ace. I’m not sure how it all came up but he sort of says that he really isn’t enjoying Ned’s company. I proceeded to tell him that Ned was a really nice guy and Ace said that that had nothing to do with the fact that he found Ned rather “boring” and didn’t want to listen to his stories anymore. I said ok and then got up to go back into the kitchen. I’m not sure how I ended the conversation there. Eventually, we all leave.
I asked Ellie if she had a nice time the next day and she said yes but they would never do that again. I asked her why. She said that both her and Ned did not feel welcome there. She recounted the fact that twice during the evening that Ned had gone into the living room and twice Ace had got up to leave. Ok. I do not require that Ace like Ned or my sister but I do require him to be friendly with them. If Ace and Penny brought friends or relatives into my home I would have gone out of my way to be nice and to make them feel welcome. It is rare that Ace spends any time with Ned at all, he definitely could have sucked it up for an evening. It is one thing for me to realize that Ace wasn’t being friendly but it is another thing entirely if Ned and Ellie know that too. I suppose it was rather stupid of me to think that they didn’t pick up on it. I was mortified and told Ellie how sorry I was and asked if she would apologize to Ned as well.
I am filled with rage now. I told my husband what Ellie had said and he was upset about it as well. I told him that I was so angry that I didn’t want to be around Ace any longer. He said that I should talk to him about it and that I shouldn’t just suddenly disappear but I am just so mad and hurt by his behavior that I don’t think I can do that without becoming mean and hurtful myself. I have no wish to hurt Penny who was as nice as she could be but I just can’t bring myself to forgive Ace. Ellie and Ned were nothing but nice to my friends and didn’t deserve to be treated like that. At this point, I’m not really sure what I should do. 0207-14
What to do? You should vow to never inflict unexpected guests on your neighbors like that again. If you had “loose plans” with Ace and Penny then you should have informed your sister of this and asked her to reschedule their visit to another day. If visiting with your sister was important to you, then you should have informed Ace and Penny of the change to your “loose plans” that evening and that you and your husband look forward to socializing with them soon. What you did was attempt to maximize your socializing with two different couples and everyone lost. Ellie and her husband did not get quality time with you and neither did Ace and Penny.
Additionally, don’t presume that because you think you would be a great hostess to surprise, uninvited guests that others should be equally thrilled at the sudden change in their guest list.