This one wasn’t a huge deal, but it stung a little.
I have a friend who I will call Jane. Jane is generally sweet but very, very etiquette-challenged.
Jane recently had a birthday and decided to throw a birthday dinner for herself, at which the diners would pay for their own dinner and each chip in for hers. Already this is on shaky ground, since I believe etiquette dictates that you shouldn’t host your own birthday party or throw a party at which you are not actually hosting but expect the guests to pay their own way. Unfortunately I have seen this a lot lately so I don’t think many of the guests thought much of it.
The part that I think offended the most people was that Jane announced via Facebook that she was having a birthday dinner so all her friends should check their event invites and respond. Except she sent that message to ALL her friends, when only a handful were invited to the dinner. Some of us checked several times that day before realizing it wasn’t a technology glitch, but rather that we had been excluded. I wasn’t very upset as she lives over an hour away and the dinner was in the middle of the week so I would have had to decline anyway, but I thought it was rude to discuss a party with people who were not invited.
This was followed up by a second message, again to all of her friends, reminding them to RSVP. Keep in mind that most of the people she sent the message to hadn’t been invited in the first place.
Lastly, she made a big point of posting pictures and talking about her wonderful birthday party, which again, didn’t offend me as I couldn’t have gone anyway, but was likened to salt in a wound by some mutual friends who live closer and would have liked to have been invited.
I understand that there are times when you are throwing a party/dinner you cannot possibly invite everyone you know, or even everyone you would like to invite, due to space or other restrictions, but I was always taught never to mention an event to those who were not invited. My mother even made sure when I was a child that I knew not to discuss a sleepover or birthday party in front of other friends unless I knew they were going also, to make sure they didn’t feel slighted. Is this something that has fallen by the wayside and not done anymore, or was Jane inadvertently committing a big etiquette blunder? 0313-14
I was twitching at the first mention of her hosting her own birthday party with the expectation that her guests were paying for her meal. Tacky!
Regardless of how many people do this, it is still rude, unkind and inconsiderate to flaunt the details of a party to people who are not invited to attend. One of the worst examples I personally witnessed was a young woman exclaiming on Facebook how happy she was to celebrate her upcoming wedding “with 50 of my dearest friends” at her wedding shower. Those people who were not invited to either the wedding or the shower got a rude epiphany as to where they stood with her. People don’t think about how their words and photos can disappoint and hurt people.
There has already been one wedding in our family and another scheduled soon and because the weddings have had a small guest list, we do not discuss the details of the plans ahead of time or share photos to a wide public audience. It simply is not kind to taunt people with information about an event they are not invited to participate in.