≡ Menu

Share The Party Love

I am absolutely flabbergasted at my friend’s response to a party invitation.

I learned that there will be a visible full lunar eclipse or “blood moon” this week, so I invited my friend Jenny over to watch it with me at my house and perhaps have a bit of dessert as well. She agreed to this and said she would bring a cake. Later that evening she messaged me and asked if it was girl’s only, and I replied that it was not, thinking she would bring her partner along.

I created a Facebook event so I would remind myself of the details and I invited 2 other friends. Unfortunately I didn’t save the settings properly and Jenny invited another 10 people! Including someone that I didn’t even know. I only found out because my partner happened to see it on Facebook and told me. I quickly changed the event to private and invite only, deleted the other invites before anyone saw them and messaged Jenny. I explained that I couldn’t accommodate that many people at my small house. She replied with “just sharing the love!”   I couldn’t believe that she would invite other people to someone else’s house! I have since cancelled the event and told her I got an extra shift at work. I am quite good friends with her partner but now I really want to cut her loose! I would like to remain friends with her partner as well, but this seems impossible given her self entitled behaviour. 1007-14

Yes, well, Jenny can “share” the love on her own time and her own place.  It was rude of her to assume your “love” was free for the giving to all her friends.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Bella October 21, 2014, 3:10 am

    I realize what she did was rude but to end friendships over it. Jeez

    • Lizajane October 21, 2014, 8:01 am


    • PM October 21, 2014, 8:25 am

      We don’t know that this isn’t a pattern of behavior with Jenny.

      • Danielle October 21, 2014, 11:00 am

        I completely agree. Assuming this isn’t a pattern of behavior, which I would considering that Jenny was the first person that the letter writer chose to invite, indicating that she was pretty well liked, I think in this case that ending the friendship is a little harsh. The poster should show some grace and forgive a one time faux pas. Not everyone is raised with good manners, and everyone makes mistakes. The right thing to do is to sit down with Jenny, explain how it made LW feel for her to invite someone else to her home without permission, and be polite but firm that that sort of thing is not acceptable. If Jenny values the friendship, she will not make that mistake in the future, and the whole thing can be forgotten.

      • Lizajane October 21, 2014, 4:11 pm

        That’s true, but since the OP doesn’t indicate that, I believe we should take the post as it’s written.

    • iwadasn October 21, 2014, 1:19 pm

      She mentions her “self-entitled behavior” in the last sentence, so it seems like this sort of thing happens a lot. If I had a “friend” who pulled things like this on a regular basis, I wouldn’t want her in my life anymore either.

    • Syn October 21, 2014, 2:20 pm

      Agreed. The OP mentions nothing about if this is usual behaviour for Jenny, so drawing that conclusion is a bit unnecessary.

  • B October 21, 2014, 3:25 am

    “I explained that I couldn’t accommodate that many people at my small house.”

    Excuse me? You did not explain “that she was NEVER to do anything like that again”? You lied about why you cancelled it?

    Please find your polite spine and tell Jenny that you were deeply unimpressed she would do that.

  • RC October 21, 2014, 3:54 am

    If OP actually had an extra shift at work then I’ll give them a pass, but if it was an excuse? Not cool, work on that polite spine.

    I do feel OP is somewhat overreacting; whilst Jenny’s actions were somewhat thoughtless and rude, it’s at the low end of the scale and it’s not like she pitched a fit when OP set her straight.

    • lakey October 21, 2014, 11:28 am

      It really depends on if this is a pattern of behavior or a one time mistake. I think everyone is entitled to an occasional mistake. If however a friend consistently takes advantage of you, it is time to rethink the friendship.

  • just4kicks October 21, 2014, 4:20 am

    I once went to a girl’s only party (yes, I was invited 🙂 ). Halfway through the merriment in breezes a lady, who was also invited, with two small children and an infant in tow. No one else brought their kids, nor were any invited. The party came to a dead silence as we all just looked at her and her kids. She shuffled about in an embarrassed manner and said, “So sorry. I had to bring the kids, my husband didn’t feel like babysitting tonight!” At which point 3/4’s of the ladies said in unison, “BABYSIT?!? They are HIS KIDS!” We all looked at each other and burst into gales of laughter. Great minds think alike.

    • ketchup October 21, 2014, 5:46 am

      Insane. He didn’t feel like it?

    • Oh Joy October 21, 2014, 7:55 am

      This is a bit off-topic, but every family has different dynamics. Of course it was wrong for her to bring her children, but a room full of women breaking into “gales of laughter” at how her marriage works was simply cruel.

      • Tracy P October 21, 2014, 10:29 am

        I think they were laughing at how all of them said the same thing at the same time. It wasn’t what they said, just that they all said it together.

      • A different Tracy October 21, 2014, 10:50 am

        Is there a way a marriage works that legitimately includes rewriting the existing definition of “babysitting?” Because, no matter how a couple chooses to divide their childcare responsibilities, babysitting is what you do for other peoples’ kids, not your own.

      • hakayama October 21, 2014, 11:29 am

        To use Maxwell Smart’s* line, “Would you believe that” those gales of laughter were probably like projectile vomit or diarrhea? Totally uncontrollable, unforeseen, unstoppable?
        Not the sort of premeditated, intentional cruel act that YOU see there.
        I actually see that bunch as soul sisters since I get very tired of asking people how much they are paid/paying when they mention “in full, exclusive charge” situations.

        *Does anyone else remember HIM?

        • just4kicks October 22, 2014, 4:59 am

          Yes, I surely do, and now I’ll have the Get Smart theme song running through my brain all day! 🙂

      • YersiniaP October 21, 2014, 12:50 pm

        I don’t think they laughed at the woman and how her marriage works, but at the fact that most of them said the same thing at the same time. 🙂

      • Ashley October 21, 2014, 1:24 pm

        This. She was already embarrassed, it sounds like. Doesn’t make it right for her to bring small children (an infant can be a lot harder to leave to babysit with considerations like nursing), but unless this is a habit of hers, people seem to be making a lot of assumptions about her marriage and husband.

      • iwadasn October 21, 2014, 1:26 pm

        It has nothing to do with how her marriage works. If he doesn’t want to take care of his own kids, he shouldn’t have had them. And if she had no one who was willing to take care of her kids, she should have stayed home instead of dragging them along to a place where they were not invited.

      • L.J. October 21, 2014, 3:12 pm

        What kind of family has “dynamics” where the father has no responsibilities for childcare? That’s what it means when someone babysits, that they are temporarily taking care of children to whom they would otherwise have no responsibilities.

        I bet he “helps out” with housework too.

        • Lacey October 22, 2014, 2:26 pm


      • Saucygirl October 21, 2014, 3:55 pm

        I don’t think they were laughing at how her marriage works. I think they were laughing at themselves for all saying the same thing at the same time.

      • Jays October 21, 2014, 4:31 pm

        I guess I’d say maybe it would be a well-needed wake-up call that something’s really off about “how her marriage works.” :/

      • just4kicks October 22, 2014, 5:10 am

        @Oh Joy: I replied last night but it wouldn’t post, apologies if it pops up later.
        Anyway, I’d like to clarify that we were not laughing at this gal or her kids. We were laughing because most of us there said the EXACT same thing at the EXACT same time, as if we’d rehearsed it, which we didn’t, because no one knew she’d have her kids with her.
        I was single at the time, but 20 years and four kids later, my husband pulls the same crap, so I can certainly sympathize with her. A couple of years ago, I was working a part time nights/weekends job for extra cash. One of my coworkers went in for some sort of out patient surgery, and I offered to pick up two or three of her night shifts for her. DH flipped out because “that means I have to stay home those nights and babysit the kids!!!” Yes, yes it does….only you’re their FATHER, you are caring for your children, NOT “babysitting” while I’m at WORK”! You will have to make them dinner as well, and help with homework…..guess that makes you a chef and a tutor too. Argh.

        • Lera99 October 22, 2014, 8:04 am

          When I was about 8, I remember my mom got a holiday job at a craft store to earn some extra money for Christmas.

          My dad resented having to watch my brother and I those nights. So he simply made sure he spent more money than she earned when he was “taking care” of us. He’d order pizza, take us out to the movies, take us out for ice cream, but a couple of movies on VHS to keep us entertained etc…

          It was passive aggressive as all get out, but it was successful. My mom quit her holiday job since dad was spending us into the poor house on those nights when she was working.

          • Fai October 22, 2014, 11:25 am

            Wow. And how is your parents’ marriage doing now?

          • NostalgicGal October 22, 2014, 11:57 pm

            I’m surprised they’re still married after that…

          • Lera99 October 24, 2014, 9:07 am

            They were married for about another decade after that.

            Then my Dad found religion. In and of itself that wouldn’t have been a bad thing, but he felt called to do prison ministry.

            My mom drew a line in the sand and said “Do NOT give our home address to convicted felons. You have a teenage daughter at home. We will get you a PO Box.”

            But apparently Jesus told my dad that giving out a PO Box showed a lack of trust in these poor convicted felons who were better now because they’d accepted Jesus.

            So he gave out our home address and then stood up in front of the Church to tell everyone about it because it showed having true faith in the Lord’s protection.

            So my mom divorced my dad and bought a gun. Good times.

    • Michelle October 21, 2014, 8:23 am

      I’m always floored when fathers/husbands say things like that! You helped make them and by golly, you are going to help watch them!

      My sister’s ex is/was like this. He had to have a “father’s weekend” every other month. To me, a father’s weekend would be doing things with your child. Nope. His idea of a father’s weekend was to go off camping and drinking with his friends!! Of course, he hasn’t seen his child in 4 years, so that explains a lot.

      • JWH October 21, 2014, 10:23 am

        Is it a weekend for father-son bonding? Or a weekend for fathers to get together? I can’t see anything wrong with somebody wanting to get together with friends outside the family (and w/o said) family once every couple months.

        • Michelle October 22, 2014, 10:00 am

          It was a weekend for him to go camping and drinking with friends. It was every other month, without fail. He never asked if it was a good weekend or tried to plan it so it would be convenient for both of them. Most of the time, she would be getting ready for work or coming in from work and he would say “I need a father’s weekend. Bye” and be gone. Once, he left a note and left the baby with a neighbor. He never offered to take care of things and let her have a “mother’s weekend”.

          It turned out he was not a nice person and a bad husband and father. I could write a novella about he things he would do. In the end, they are both better off without him.

          P.S. I do not think that anything is wrong with having a weekend to yourself or with your friends, occasionally. If you are in a marriage and/or have kids, I think you discuss it with your partner. Not like my ex-BIL used to do- “I’m gone. Bye”. My sister often had to scramble to find someone to watch the baby or miss work.

      • kit October 21, 2014, 11:05 am

        Um… HELPED make them? No, he was ONE OF TWO equal adults making them. He can be one of the two equal adults taking care of them, too.

        • Michelle October 22, 2014, 10:01 am

          Bad choice of words. You are correct and I agree.

      • hakayama October 21, 2014, 11:38 am

        I imagine that sometimes it’s better for children not to have a father in their life, if it’s going to be the wrong kind of guy. The “father figure” should not be just a figurehead.
        Best wishes for your sister and nephew to be better than OK without the child’s father in the picture.

        • Michelle October 22, 2014, 10:02 am

          Thank you! It has been hard, but they are making it through.

    • PM October 21, 2014, 8:37 am

      That reminds me very much of my sister’s relationship with her husband. He was going out 2-3 nights a week, meeting friends for wings/beer, going to basketball games, work events, etc., and Sis was always home with their toddler. He never asked her if she was available to stay at home with my niece, he just told her, “I’m going out.”

      Sis was very stressed and unhappy. She didn’t have an hobbies or friends outside of work because she didn’t have time to go out and cultivate them. Mom and I told she needed to stop asking permission and stop being so available. And we sent her gift certificates for classes at her local hobby store. She signed up for some scrapbooking nights, put it on the family calendar, and the next time BIL informed her he was going out, she said, “Sorry, I’m busy that night.”

      She said the look of shock on his face was incredible and he argued that it wasn’t fair for her to just schedule something without talking to him. She pointed out that he’d been doing it for years and she was going to her craft club. It took a few repeated incidents (He tells her he’s going out, she says, “Sorry, busy.” And points to the family calendar. It’s not her fault that he doesn’t check the family calendar. He stays home while she goes out and makes friends.) But he finally figured out that he needed to check with her beforehand to make sure she was available for childcare before TELLING her he was going out. They both have “me” time outside of the house and they’re both happier.

      • Tracy P October 21, 2014, 10:31 am

        That is a great story to hear! Sounds like he wasn’t purposely putting all the work on her, he was just clueless about it. And at least he learned and things worked out!

        • PM October 21, 2014, 8:16 pm

          I think it was more along the lines of, “willful cluelessness.” As in, “Well, she’s not complaining, so it must be OK!”

      • MK October 21, 2014, 10:47 am

        Yes, the parent babysitting comment is baffling to me too. Any time my DD stays with DH when I need to go out to run an errand or appt or whatever, my mother will ask in this incredulous voice”who is keeping DD?!” Keeping? I have to gently remind her, “DD is with her Dad” or “DD stayed home with DH” or something like that. Mom thinks I am just up and leaving DD unattended? or hiring a sitter when her father is there? Uh no, Mom.

      • NostalgicGal October 21, 2014, 11:53 am

        Yep, early years of marriage, he could go and be anywhere and anytime and the world was supposed to revolve around his schedule. Once upon one I didn’t even have keys to the apartment for four months after that one move-with the incident where I had someone staying, his parents were in town, we were due at the sister’s for supper and he birded off with his friend, and I finally had to knock, beg, and use the other unit’s phone to call the sis and go gods I don’t know where he is. While I sat in the stairwell with my friend… he got home and it was ‘oh’ about he’d spaced it and we were three hours late now… (they wouldn’t have found my body if I’d done something a fraction of that). I called the sis, said he’d shown, we’re on way (and they’d waited food for us). And I let HIM explain the entire thing to sis and parents (ASK HIM was my line and I shut up, sat back and he was on the grill-why late, why I was locked out of the apartment, and everything) that was both a train wreck and priceless and he got to swing in the breeze all by himself. It also cured several things. Fortunately we had no kids in the mix; but. We both have cellphones now for use in emergencies; and gods and fishes you better use that phone or you’re burger well grilled. We also BOTH have a right to friends and activities of our own, and an equal share of any extra budget funds (often not much to share) (@hakiyama, yes, he has many good qualities. Just took awhile of polishing to get them to show. The first five years were… interesting)

      • just4kicks October 22, 2014, 5:18 am

        @PM: Good for your sister, glad she’s standing her ground.
        My husband can go to the local tavern to hang with his buddies, and when I mention or complain, I’m a bitch and a harpie. But when my only friend was going through a divorce, and asked me to meet her for a cocktail and a shoulder to cry on, we had a huge fight because we “don’t have money to spare for you to go bar hopping”. And yes, there were certainly many red flags before we married, but I ignored them all.

        • B October 22, 2014, 8:48 am

          If my husband called me a bitch, let alone pulled this attitude, he would not be my husband much longer.

          I presume you are choosing to accept this in your life, but I am sorry you are experiencing this.

          • hakayama October 22, 2014, 4:02 pm

            In a vaguely similar situation described by “just4kicks”, my then husband said something about “no wife of mine will…blah, blah, blah”.
            I made it easy for him: relieved him of the wrong wife. ;-O

          • just4kicks October 23, 2014, 10:53 am

            With four wonderful kids, one going to college next year, one will be in Catholic high school, and two in middle school, I am choosing to accept it and not uproot my kids lives. Not being a martyr either. He does what he wants and I will decide where I want to go after they are all out of the house. Many may disagree, but I feel it’s what’s best for my children right now and in the foreseeable future, it that changes, I’ll reassess the situation.
            Thank you to all who commented.

          • Michelle October 23, 2014, 11:14 am

            Amen, @B, amen.

            I feel sorry and sad for you, @just4kicks, if you are still going through this.

        • NostalgicGal October 23, 2014, 12:00 am

          I’m hoping you’re a single by now… I had moments but that one is the cake and candles…

    • Amber October 21, 2014, 10:10 am

      Eeek! One wonders what kind of lump that husband was if he couldn’t watch his own three kids for a single evening.

      • hakayama October 23, 2014, 8:39 pm

        It could be a lump similar to the one I had briefly, and just for one child. One of the first nights after my infant was born, I became conscious of the words “wake up, your dog is crying”. OK, so he was a bit confused in his sleep about the identity of the crying creature, 😉 but obviously it was MINE to take care of when it cried or filled the diaper.

    • YersiniaP October 21, 2014, 12:58 pm

      I find it extremely rude of the women with the children, to not even call ahead and ask if it was alright to bring the little ones, if they could be accommodated, if the event was even remotely kidfriendly.

      I’m not going to get into how annoying I find the husband’s point of view, that his watching the kids is “babysitting”, many commenters have already said it. We don’t know the dynamics of her marriage, and neither are they anybody’s business.

      However, I feel it is odd that the only alternative to the father watching the children she saw seems to have been to take them with her to an adult-oriented event, instead of, oh I don’t know, find someone else to babysit or stay home herself.
      Taking the kids with you in an emergency when you do not have a babysitter is ok I think, but was going to that party so important that it was alright to put the other guests and the host of the party in an awkward position?

    • Hollyhock October 21, 2014, 1:17 pm

      I don’t understand why women have children in the first place within relationships that have some of the dynamics described here. It’s so unfair to the kids, especially, to have a half-hearted father or parents who wangle about who should be “stuck” with the children. With 7 billion people on the planet you’d think they could find a more simpatico person to rear a family with.

      And I don’t think it was out of line of the party guests to burst into laughter — the kid-towing guest’s marital dynamics had after all interrupted and affected their evening; if they thought the excuse was lame they were entitled to a spontaneous show of eye-rolling. To twist the knife or grill the guest or berate her over her relationship would’ve been rude and going to far, but etiquette does not frown at a bit of mild public shaming to make a point.

      • jen d. October 21, 2014, 8:57 pm

        It isn’t always easy to figure out what kind of father a man is going to be before kids come along. There can be signs, but it isn’t always obvious. For a lot of women, giving up spare time comes naturally when a baby comes along. We’re more conditioned to it. There are some men who just never get there, or do after a lot of negotiating takes place.

        I have a great husband. Because he’s so great, it was a big shock to me when baby came along and he acted like the husband in this story. It took a lot of talking and listening for him to realize that he was going to have to give some things up, or just redefine what leisure time looked like. Everything is much better now, but a lot of couples aren’t able to get around this.

        • Lera99 October 22, 2014, 1:00 pm

          My brother and sister-in-law both agreed that they wanted kids when they got married.

          When my sister-in-law was about 8 months pregnant, I received a frantic call from my brother.
          He said “I just realized. We’re having a baby. I’m not going to be able to sit around on Saturdays getting stoned and playing video games. What am I going to do? What made me think I’d know how to take care of a baby?”

          In his defense, he has been a really devoted and great father. My little niece has both her parents firmly wrapped around her little fingers.

          But I think there are often men who don’t realize how having a kid will change their life. They have this image of throwing the ball in the back yard with jr. And that seems awesome. But they aren’t really prepared for the complete shift in priorities required to be a good parent.

          Marriage can be difficult enough, making compromises and managing priorities to ensure you and your partner are both happy and getting your needs met. Add kids to the mix and that gets harder instead of easier.

          • NostalgicGal November 3, 2014, 4:12 pm

            Or what kind of mother a woman will be. College friend got pregnant and thought that her social life was going to continue to be one merry and extended late night party and game session because everyone would help watch her little pumpkin for her. Baby came. Yes people had offered to help her out but after a week of her handing the kid off every second she could, and wearing through all those offers; she now had a 24/7 mamahood and everyone hid. I never offered to sit and she tried some famous moves to get me to take her little boy at a moment notice. I tended to be deaf, blind, and totally stupid. ‘I just don’t know *where* I’m going to find >anyone>>WHERE<<< I'm going to *find* <<>> to take little pumpkin’. The event was starting any moment now and I refused to cave in and say those words she was fishing and praying for ‘oh NO problem I’ll gladly take the munchkin’. Instead I repeated ‘Well that’s everyone I know so I don’t know where you’re going to find anyone, either.’ she’d finally hang up and treat me like evil personified next time she seen me; and the others got told what she tried to pull once she got out of earshot. We were the ‘UnBabysittersClub’. (yes a couple of paternity cases they finally figured out the father; who actually wanted her and the kid and she had more….)

        • AthenaC October 24, 2014, 9:24 pm

          “It isn’t always easy to figure out what kind of father a man is going to be before kids come along.”


          On the other hand, I found that it was MUCH easier to pick out a spouse the second time around because I got to see how he was with my kids right from the beginning. Even when we had a baby later there were no unpleasant parenting surprises because I could already see what type of a dad he is.

          In fact, it was so much easier to pick out a spouse the second time around that I would almost recommend kids before marriage. Almost. Except for the fact that single parenthood can be pretty hectic, and also it’s optimal if the kids can have the same parents for their entire childhood.

  • Marozia October 21, 2014, 5:25 am

    Gee…it would’ve been nice if Jenny had asked you if she could invite 10 more people, at least you would’ve known, but just to put on social media…not cool at all. Very rude of her.
    Don’t ditch the friendship over that.

  • Marie October 21, 2014, 6:06 am

    And this is exactly why I never make Facebook-events for private parties. 😉

  • Septima October 21, 2014, 8:02 am

    There is a setting in Facebook that declares “Guests may bring other guests”. If this id what is meant by “didn’t save the settings propperly” Jenny can’t be faultet.

    • alex October 21, 2014, 11:21 am

      Yes she can. Most people would only bring people if they were aware it was okay to do so, not just because a FB setting wasn’t saved.

    • Rodinne October 21, 2014, 12:56 pm

      I disagree. One of the basic premises of etiquette is that one does not invite other people to a party that one is invited to. If Facebook doesn’t know any better, it doesn’t excuse Jenny.

    • Syn October 21, 2014, 2:23 pm

      No, it’s still rude no to check. That setting is there so people who aren’t friends with the event maker can invite people the event maker would still like to be there.

      • Septima October 22, 2014, 1:42 am

        Well, no. It’s there for the “bring everyone, more the merrier” open party situation. And honestly, making an event for four people is overkill, you make a four-way conversation for that.

        • Syn October 22, 2014, 2:14 pm

          You honestly think it’s totally acceptable to invite who you want to an event with an open invitation, regardless of what the invited actually says 😀 “Hey come to my place for a nice evening” vs “huge house party, bring your friends!” has absolutely no difference in your eyes. Scary.

          • Syn October 22, 2014, 2:15 pm

            *invitation actually says

          • Septima October 24, 2014, 2:52 pm

            No, but if you accidentally issue an invitation to a casual event which explisitely states the Facebook equivalent of “Open House, Bring everyone”, then you need to take responsibility for the resultating misunderstanding and not throw a tantrum at your clueless friend.

    • JO October 21, 2014, 3:56 pm

      Agreed. Chalk it it up to a misunderstanding and move on.

      • English1 October 22, 2014, 6:02 am

        I disagree. I don’t think Jennie did anything wrong.

        There are only four options when you set up a Facebook event.
        Who can see and go to this event?
        Public (Anyone on or off Facebook)
        Open Invitation (All friends of all guests and anyone they invite)
        Guests and Friends (People invited by any host or guest)
        Invitation Only

        the Op should have selected the last option, but didn’t. Any of the other options encourage friends to invite other people along.

  • GG October 21, 2014, 8:08 am

    Lately, I feel like many of the submitters have been grossly overreacting to situations that could have been easily diffused with some conversation. What Jenny did was rude, absolutely. Inviting others to someone else’s house without the host’s permission is a terrible thing for a guest to do. However, if she’s such a good friend why wouldn’t you just talk to her about what she did? Canceling the party and lying to her about why doesn’t solve anything.

    If you want to end the friendship over this you have that right but it seems petty to me. I’ve been in a similar situation and I told my friend she was responsible for uninviting the people she was going to bring to a party I was throwing. She apologized and said that she thought it was an open house not a small dinner party. Sometimes miscommunications happen and the only way to figure out what’s really going on is to talk to the people involved.

  • kolobok October 21, 2014, 8:16 am

    I think this is simply a misunderstanding, in large part due to Facebook. Because the OP put the incorrect settings on the event and, when asked if the party were only for women, didn’t reply specifically that the friend was welcome to bring along her partner only, the friend assumed it was an open event. I’m not saying it was correct of her to then invite others, but I do think there’s no need for outrage or ending a friendship. In the future, I would recommend using a method other than Facebook to keep track of your own event details. Plus, I think “old-fashioned” invitations not only create a feeling that the event is “special” (I would be much more inclined to attend something where I received a written invitation in the mail or even a verbal invite or a personal email rather than a Facebook invite), but also prevent situations where your event is mistaken for a public gathering that all and sundry are invited to, which are so common on Facebook.

    • Manda October 21, 2014, 9:27 pm

      I agree with this comment. The OP made an error, that the friend obviously misunderstood. If the event was left with the settings where those invited could invite others, then…that leaves the impression that the host/ess was okay with people to include others in the party.

  • PM October 21, 2014, 8:24 am

    Ugh, this reminds me of people who do something incredibly selfish or stupid and then send you something like, “Gotta love me!” with an obnoxious smilie. Like they’re some adorable scamp and you just can’t possibly get mad at them.

    “Just sharing the love.” is a pretty manipulative response. “Just” minimizing the impact of what Jenny had done. and then “sharing the love” implying some altruistic motivation. As in, “I am a good person because I am being generous and loving and altruistic, but you are a bad person, because you are preventing me from doing that.” Of course, Jenny wouldn’t have to take the added burden of providing food or drink or a clean, comfortable setting for her “generosity” so it’s pretty darn easy for her shrug off the consequences.

  • Nicole October 21, 2014, 8:28 am

    I ran into a similar issue a couple of years ago.
    I ended up planning a bachelorette party, despite not being the maid of honour (that’s a different issue entirely). Plans were made, including dinner at a local restaurant. One of the bridesmaids took it upon herself to invite several people, without informing me. I had to make some panicked last-minute calls to make sure they could be accommodated, and bought some extra party favours. To this day, the other bridesmaid honestly doesn’t understand why I was upset.
    And the kicker? The bride’s mother invited herself to the dinner, and arrived with two of her friends. They were unimpressed that there was no room at the table for them. Wonder why?

    • hakayama October 22, 2014, 4:07 pm

      There goes one brazen old hag that just doesn’t understand that a “bachelorette party” is for bachelorettes. I wonder what other aspects of her poor daughter’s life she continues to interject herself into. And how the marriage is faring…

  • Michelle October 21, 2014, 8:35 am

    If she’s a friend and this is the first time she has done this, I would simply speak to her about. “Jenny, I’m glad you were excited about the eclipse event, but I would appreciate it if you would not invite other people to my home” or something along those lines. If she did it again, then I would cut her loose.

    I think it would be hard to be friends with half a couple. How does that work? Partner, you are invited but Jenny is not. Unless you and the partner have outside interests that bring you in contact when Jenny is not around, such as a hobby group, I think it would be rude to invite only half a couple to party/gathering at your home. Unless Jenny did something really awful like make a scene at your party by screaming and smashing things against the wall or was really rude/disrespectful to you or your guests.

  • Shoegal October 21, 2014, 8:35 am

    The party sounded extremely low key – like you were inviting just her and no one else to watch the moon and have some dessert. If it had been me I would have called and asked if I could bring anybody along no matter the gender – since it didn’t sound like a party at all – just an extremely small gathering or some friends hanging out. Jenny could have misread the entire “party” when you posted it as a Facebook “event” which sounds like a bigger deal and thought this was a larger, more substantial party. When you said it was ok to invite her friend – then I suppose she assumed that it was okay to invite others but that’s a real stretch though. Frankly, she seems clueless and was very quick to take advantage of the situation. It is not okay to invite other people to another person’s home without asking. Period.

  • cece12 October 21, 2014, 8:42 am

    I sympathize with that “I don’t want to deal with this issue, I just never want to talk to this person again!” feeling that you’re having, OP, but I think you’ll find it more beneficial to be honest with Jenny about this.

    Don’t think of it as being confrontational, because it’s not! It’s okay to discuss unpleasant things that have upset you, particularly when there doesn’t appear to be any malicious intent on her part, just a misunderstanding.

    Truthfully, that’s the only way I can see you being able to continue a friendship with her partner – by taking steps to mend your own.

  • Shalamar October 21, 2014, 9:00 am

    I’ve been on the opposite side of this – I was once invited to someone’s house by someone other than the hosts. Some backstory: the hosts were a couple that I’ve known for 20 years (“Susan” and “Dan”). We have a mutual friend, “Clarence”. All of us often got together with our significant others to have dinner or see a movie or whatever. So, when Clarence told me “Hey, Susan and Dan are having us over for dinner this Saturday, wanna come?”, I didn’t even consider that I might not be invited. I just assumed that Clarence was speaking on Susan and Dan’s behalf.

    Well, I arrived at Susan and Dan’s house – and the expression on Susan’s face as she answered the door told me that I’d stepped in it, big-time. I should have said something, but I didn’t know what to do, so I just brazened it out. I still feel embarrassed whenever I think about it!

    • kingsrings October 21, 2014, 3:07 pm

      Something similar happened to me once. Two friends had been invited to a mutual friend’s house for dinner after the three of us had all worked at the same job together. One of my friends kept on strongly insisting that the hostess was including me as well even though she hadn’t said anything to me about it. He finally pressured me so much that I gave in and agreed to go with them. Oh, and did I mention that the two of them were carless and thus needed a ride to there? Yup. Then when we walked in my friend told hostess that he hoped she didn’t mind that I came along with the two of them. You could tell that she’d been caught totally by surprise. But she politely accommodated me and thank goodness she had enough food for us all. But lesson learned for me to stand my ground next time and not give into someone’s pressure to practice rudeness.

      • hakayama October 22, 2014, 4:11 pm

        Did you tear your “friends” a new one, as the expression goes? I wonder if the pressure would be on if they had another car at their disposal.

        • kingsrings October 23, 2014, 12:37 am

          Nope. They just needed a ride. And since we were all in the same area and same job, they figured they’d use the one not invited as the chauffeur! Wonder what they would have done if I’d said no like I should have.

    • Syn October 21, 2014, 3:44 pm

      Ouch. I’ve taken to double checking. If someone invites me to someone else’s party, I ask make sure the person inviting me has *asked* the host. If they say “oh I didn’t ask but I’m sure it’s okay!” I say “please just check just in case, otherwise I’m not comfortable coming.” After that it’s out of my hands.

    • chechina October 21, 2014, 4:15 pm

      I had something similar happen to me when i was about 22. Still makes me feel embarrassed to this day. Lesson learned: dont go if the host didnt invite you.

    • Rosie October 22, 2014, 1:58 pm

      I understand the whole “don’t go if you’re not personally invited” concept, but what about events that involve couples? We have a group of four couples and we frequently get together for dinners at each other’s houses. The invitations are mostly informal; so and so will be having a conversation with my husband and will decide to do dinner, and my husband will tell me in the morning that we are going to so and so’s for dinner that night. I do not feel like I need to be personally invited by so and so in order to show up at dinner.

      However, we’ve had a few recent miscommunications that have challenged my understanding. One of the other wives has taken to explaining that she wasn’t at a dinner because she wasn’t personally invited and her husband didn’t tell her about it. I’ve told her that she is always welcome at my house if her husband is going, and I try to contact her directly if we are having a dinner, but she does seem to miss out on more dinners because of this. I can’t tell if it’s a miscommunication issue between her and her husband, or her way of bowing out of a dinner she’s not interested in. On the flip side, my husband recently went to dinner at another mutual friend’s house in the same group where everyone else was attending, but claimed that he didn’t tell me because his friend (our friend really) hadn’t explicitly told him to invite me. I was pissed to be excluded on such flimsy grounds! Do you think each half of the couple needs to be personally invited to make it clear in a group where we traditionally hang out as couples, not individuals?

  • MK October 21, 2014, 9:07 am

    My aunt invited 6 people to my parent’s anniversary party. 3 were far flung relatives and 3 were “old neighbors” My siblings and I were paying for everything and trying to keep costs manageable. When Aunt told me, “Oh I invited “these 6 people” I said, “You need to uninvite them” She protested loudly, they really needed to be included! so, I said, “then you need to give me $15 per person to cover the buffett” Her response? “the more the merrier!” Maybe so but not on my dime. 3 of her 6 did attend and Aunt did give me the $45, mostly because I walked up to her, greeted her warmly and whispered in her ear that I fully expected payment. I had just had my son and was pretty hormonal.
    She jokingly (to her I guess) repeats this story every couple years or so. Blah.

    • Shalamar October 21, 2014, 1:25 pm

      Ugh, MK! She’s probably expecting people to sympathize with her. “The nerve of that MK, expecting you to cough up $15 per person! What a terrible hostess!”

      When my husband and I were planning our wedding, we couldn’t afford a huge to-do, so we booked a very small room for our reception. It held 80 people, maximum, and as a result, we had to pare down our guestlist quite a bit. MIL-to-be loftily informed me that she planned to invite 8 distant friends/family members whom my fiancé and I had never met. We told her “No can do.” “But they’ll be so insulted!” “They’ll get over it.”

    • Anonymous October 21, 2014, 9:03 pm

      Wait, that’s not right–six additional people, at $15 each, would add up to $90, not $45.

      • Lizajane October 22, 2014, 7:27 am

        Only 3 came.

      • Tracy P October 22, 2014, 9:45 am

        Only 3 of the 6 showed up.

      • Michelle October 22, 2014, 10:08 am

        I think only 3 of the original 6 invited attended.

      • MamaToreen October 22, 2014, 10:19 am

        Only 3 showed

      • Kelly October 22, 2014, 10:49 am

        But only 3 out of the six that were invited showed.
        $15 x 3 – $45

  • Devin October 21, 2014, 9:18 am

    Will I think it was rude of her to invite people who you didn’t know; I think you sent a mixed message. When you post a Facebook invite it tells you on the invite if it is private or open. If it is private there is not option for guests to share the invite, but if it is an open invited it has a box where it suggests friends to invite, usually people that Facebook identifies at mutual friends. She may have seen that, plus the ‘its not girls only’, and assumed it was okay to invite friends.

    If she’s such a good friend, talk to her about it, don’t end a friendship over a possible miscommunication. I had this happen once at a girls brunch I hosted. A friend brought her live-in BF with her, though it was ‘girls only’. I would not have been put off if she had told me in advance, because she had good reason to bring him (they lived a significant distance away and had an appointment nearby). He is also good friends with the other girls invited, and they both apologized later for having not asked me ahead of time. Because we talked about it, we are all still very good friends.

    • hakayama October 22, 2014, 4:31 pm

      And I imagine that there was absolutely no way to “park” the BF nearby and retrieve him before heading home, eh?
      Your friend may have been seeing herself and her guy as “one (homogeneous) lump”, and was totally unaware of the fact that for others*, a guy at a hen party just changes the entire dynamic of the gathering. Appointments notwithstanding…

      *There are females that just lose their own person when they are in a relationship, seeing it as ONE mass rather than an association of TWO individuals.

  • MrsL October 21, 2014, 10:02 am

    I once lived in a huge house with some roommates. One of my friends decided that we were going to have a Halloween party one year and she began planning the entire thing and inviting people. To my house. Without my consent. As soon as I found out I told her that we didn’t have parties. She was mad.

    • Tracy P October 21, 2014, 10:35 am

      I’m assuming the friend that tried to start the party wasn’t one of the roommates? How do people think that works? They’ll just tell everyone that there is a party and you’ll give in to pressure and host it? Or do they think that parties just appear?

    • BellyJean October 21, 2014, 12:23 pm

      I just can’t understand why people would feel angry. She’s the one who acted without a thought to the ACTUAL host of this so-called party. She was the one imposing on you. It baffles my mind… I honestly cannot wrap my head around the logic. Good for you and your polite spine!

    • Rodinne October 21, 2014, 1:02 pm

      In this case, I see nothing wrong with what your roommate did. I get that it was your house, but it was hers as well. I presume you didn’t own the house, and weren’t the primary renter from whom she was subleasing. I understand why you wouldn’t want her to have a party in your shared space, but unless you had all agreed on a set of house rules that include “no parties,” I can’t see how she was in the wrong.

    • iwadasn October 21, 2014, 1:24 pm

      It’s a little different with roommates, because it’s *not* your house. It’s their house too, so why did you feel you were the only one who got a say?

      • Anonymous October 21, 2014, 9:08 pm

        Well, maybe Mrs. L was in college or university at the time, and the general rule there is, you’re there for school, and parties, overnight guests, etc., have to be agreed on by all parties, and these things always take a back seat to more mundane desires, such as studying and sleeping. At least, that’s how it was in every shared living situation I was in during university–on campus, those were official rules, and off campus, that’s what my housemates and I agreed on amongst ourselves.

      • Snowy October 30, 2014, 12:36 am

        She said it was one of her friends who did the planning, not one of the roommates.

    • Lizajane October 21, 2014, 5:14 pm

      She wasn’t one of your roommates?!?!?!

    • NostalgicGal October 22, 2014, 4:03 am

      Rereading, MrsL lived in a house with roomies. One of her FRIENDS, not one of the roomies, started planning and inviting people to a party at MrsL’s place, where the friend did NOT live. That’s the gist. And the friend had no right to do this, good thing you had a nice shiny spine…

  • Jinx October 21, 2014, 10:24 am

    I get that the OP didn’t have the correct settings on FB about guests inviting other guests. But in what world would anyone think that inviting 10 people is a good idea when the host had only invited 3?

    The other weird part is, only one of the 10 people this guest invited was someone the OP *didn’t* know. That means that if OP had wanted the other 9 people there, OP would have invited them.

  • SC October 21, 2014, 11:20 am

    I wouldn’t cut off all contact because of one incident like this, but it can be part of a larger pattern of inappropriate, annoying, or offensive behavior. If it is, I’d start thinking of Jenny as an acquaintance, not a friend. You can still be friends with her partner, and probably want to be civil when you’re both at other events in your social group, but you don’t have to invite Jenny over or talk to her outside of social gatherings.

  • hakayama October 21, 2014, 11:49 am

    You left us to wonder, Dear OP, if your wish to “cut her loose” was caused by the moon fiasco, or was that embroilment the last straw in a series of “bumps” in that friendship.
    My suspicion is that you are/were not that keen on the gal, and that’s why you have a good “excuse” to just drop the rope. Otherwise, the more charitable and forgiving commentators are right in saying that that the one incident, however telling, is not enough cause to dissolve the friendship.
    If you and “free spirit” friend were never on the same page, perhaps you just could relegate her to the category of “friendly acquaintances”, and treat her that way in the future.

  • Willynilly October 21, 2014, 12:00 pm

    I have a friend who used to do this sort of thing (although long before Facebook). She honestly didn’t know better. She did this when she was young – in her early 20s. She came from a large, informal family and simply had never been taught otherwise, that’s how she had always experienced things. Also, in her defense, she truly wanted others to this for her events (she would constantly be confused and/or hurt people didn’t invite more folks along to her events).
    Finally another mutual friend and I sat down and explained how rude we, and others, found this behavior and we asked her to stop. There were a few screw ups here and there, and occasionally she does still privately ask if its ok to bring people to something, but for the most part she is cured of this social flaw. She simply needed to have it explained to her.
    She does still want others to invite extras along to her events, but she has also started communicating that with her invites, since she now realizes its not a ‘default’ behavior for most people.
    OP – try talking to Jenny in a friendly, matter of fact way. Jenny might legitimately have not realized what she was doing wrong. I would also suggest you start being more clear on your end, to proactively prevent this type of situation in the future. Sure there will always be slip-ups and social boars, but being very clear on your end will help to minimize situations.

  • NostalgicGal October 21, 2014, 12:00 pm

    Sounds like a both sided fumble here. I wouldn’t have invented an OT shift; but. I would have canned the party. Hearing the words ‘facebook’ and ‘invite’ together, tends to usually get things loused up… If I want people to come to something I’d use email at least, and personally ‘e-vite’ the list and mention NO plus-ones if I didn’t want to have it mushroom IF I was going to use electronic means.

    I stood and watched the eclipse by myself in a dark spot of my yard, I’ve seen more awesome ones but it was pretty good, at least I wasn’t frozen through or feeding mosquitos. Orionids peaked early this morning and we have a partial solar later this week, western half of US will get half or so and good view (23rd). Take proper precautions!!!!! (oat meal box pinhole projection viewer is easy to make and safest way to look that I can think of)

    • Michelle October 22, 2014, 10:14 am

      We do viewings for the eclipses at the museum where I work and we always have tons of visitors/members show up. We usually get a couple of TV stations coming out to broadcast from our observatory, too. We are giving away viewing glasses tomorrow night!

      • NostalgicGal October 23, 2014, 12:18 am

        Kewl. I got out the ‘water heater’ (my 12.5″ reflector) and all the gear to stop down, filter, and project image with it. I have a nice swath of clear shot and will be setting it up Thurs am, and rounded up every other (opera-filter set, I call them that, they are a cardboard with 3 #5 welding filters in the view hole) filter set I have, and am holding a ‘stop by and look’ event. I also took a 10′ piece of 4″ white PVC pipe and put a fitting at the bottom, and created a big pinhole projector. This will give about a quarter sized image, I’ve used them before… I’d rather you look safely than mess up…

        • NostalgicGal November 1, 2014, 8:11 pm

          update… eclipse ‘most amount of total’ was about the same location the lunar eclipse was; they lied a bit about how much coverage we had, but it was still a good show, and I had more than a few show up for getting a good view. Some neighbors appreciated that I took time to explain to their kids about what was going on, using a golf ball Moon, basketball Sun, tennis ball Earth to show them what was happening; and the big pinhole projector was the most popular of the setups. They could look, safely, and under supervision. Hope you had a good turnout, Michelle.

  • ketchup October 21, 2014, 12:05 pm

    I agree with other commenters that breaking off the friendship seems a bit radical. Why not talk things out with honesty? It doesn’t sound like she wanted to hurt you.

    In my experience I have found that women are often incapable of talking things out in a direct conversation. It’s happened to me too. I made a faux pas, and their responses were sending me a letter telling me they didn’t want to be friends anymore. There was no direct confrontation. I think girls aren’t taught how… and they have to be nice all the time. They don’t want to upset people, and are afraid of starting fights. Maybe. What do you think?

    • NostalgicGal October 22, 2014, 4:05 am

      My knuckle scars disagree… unfortunately.

      • ketchup October 22, 2014, 5:26 pm

        Ah, but you could very well be an exception. We do exist. 😉

        • NostalgicGal October 23, 2014, 12:19 am

          Yep, we do

    • Syn October 22, 2014, 2:16 pm

      Idk man I think men don’t even do that. They just drop the other person without an explanation.

  • Cathy October 21, 2014, 12:42 pm

    IMO, it’s generally not a good idea to invite people to events via FB or other social media, simply because it often leads to problems due to lack of real communication. The OP’s issue could have easily been solved with either face time or a phone call. And people have different ideas of what’s appropriate for a party – some people have the “more the merrier” view and others are “only those I invite”. I’m more the latter. We’re having a large family holiday party in December and I’ve already warned people that we would like to keep it to “family only” because of space considerations. Some family members have been known to invite all their friends and neighbors to a party given by another family member, and suddenly there’s all these people they don’t know and didn’t really want at their party, not to mention they didn’t plan food and drink for 20 extra people. I can’t really fault the OP’s friend here; without a solid guideline to go by, she probably just did what is normal for her. The OP should probably be more careful in future about using FB to invite people over and make sure her own wishes are clear about who’s invited and how many people she wants at a gathering.

    • Cecilia October 22, 2014, 10:28 am

      My sister and BIL invited an extra person along for a family-only Christmas party once, about 15 years ago. Since all the kids were small, I had made a pan of chicken nuggets and a pan of homemade pizza for them. This friend ended up consuming the entire pan of chicken nuggets, the entire pizza and an entire 12 pack of soda! I was in the living room, enjoying family time and watching the kids open presents and I noticed the friend kept disappearing. I thought he was going to the carport to smoke, but he was going to kitchen eating! I assumed the soda can he had in his hand every time he reappeared was the same can. Nope.

      When I suggested we eat, he said he wasn’t hungry. I thought he must have eaten before he came until I went to the kitchen to pull things out of the warmer and fridge. I must admit I was not gracious about it. Sister and BIL do not invite extra people along anymore.

      • hakayama October 22, 2014, 6:29 pm

        Just cannot help but wonder if Sister and BIL stayed friends with that shameless gluttonous porker.
        This is the type of individual most of us would probably be too embarrassed to “share” with others, even in situations where there is no food involved. Not to mention hoping that we’re never stuck with one in conditions requiring strict portion control. Imagine him in a shipwreck/desert island scenario… probably would have to meet with “death by misadventure” if the rest had any hopes of surviving and getting out of the place alive.

      • NostalgicGal October 23, 2014, 12:23 am

        I do have to wonder how he thought he could eat all the food… (shakes head). The annals and comments of this site are full of reports of such clueless wonders [I had a roomie once like this, and she could EAT as well, and could never understand…taking half the food meant for ten and scarfing along, wondering why the others ‘weren’t eating’ as we skintzed out what was left… then went to the kitchen looking for more and complaining there wasn’t any… she didn’t stay roomie long, we couldn’t afford to feed her anymore]

        • hakayama October 24, 2014, 1:07 pm

          @Cecilia, NostalgicGal and all others that may come across “food inhalers”:
          I just learned (from a nutritionist and dr. of naturopathy) that there is an actual, recognized physical condition that causes this type of behavior. It seems that the “appestat” is either missing or malfunctioning, and also nutrients are not absorbed.
          Of course, the two people in that category that I came across, DID absorb. A lot. :-/ 😉

          • NostalgicGal November 1, 2014, 8:16 pm

            This lady didn’t have a malfunctioning appetite, she just had a massive appetite. And she was collecting mass; so she was absorbing the nutrients and such just fine. She just never seemed to ever get the clue about ‘not all food was for her’ and she never learned one bit of ‘polite’ about such things either. Even her family couldn’t understand it and she’d been ‘doctored’ for this stuff. I found out through grapevine recently, she’s still like that. Decades have not helped her gain any clues, manners, or polite.

      • Cathy October 23, 2014, 1:14 am

        Wow! That guy could eat! 😉 The last time we gave this party (it’s an annual event hosted by different people each year) was about 20+ years ago and we had about 10 or so extra people, none of whom I knew. My husband and I weren’t comfortable having strangers in our house. So we’ve been spreading the word that we’d prefer no extras unless they are cleared ahead of time. I’ll have enough food but we just don’t have a huge house, so we can’t accommodate everyone.

  • inNM October 21, 2014, 2:57 pm

    Perhaps I’ve been on the receiving end of similar behavior in my past, I’m going to give the OP some slack. Maybe cutting Jenny out of her life wasn’t the best move for their friendship but I can understand the rash motivation behind it.
    My mother has a term for it: live light and weigh heavy. It’s basically using someone else’s resources like time, money, house, or planning skills to appear altruistic. Like that engaged friend or relative who watches you plan your wedding and pay for it then decides to get married at the same time because all their friends are there, and the wedding is basically planned, what’s 10 more minutes of ceremony for a 2-in-1 special. I mean, she already has her white dress. Oh yeah, she has some people to add to the guest list and you don’t mind spending a little more money right?
    In the OP’s case, Jenny didn’t ask to expand the party, she asked of it was girls only, which makes it sound like the husbands would be invited. Therefore, the OP would reasonably expect a maximum of two more people to accommodate for. Yet Jenny invited 10 people. Did not sound like Jenny was going share the responsibility of preparing the party. She wasn’t putting out the time, effort, house or money and she did not tell the OP she wanted to invite that many people and change the purpose of he gathering. I can see how someone would feel used and want to distance themselves from the situation and the friendship

  • kingsrings October 21, 2014, 3:18 pm

    I’ve had this happen twice to me. In both instances my friends who had invited their own guests without clearing it with me first were very offended and upset with me for telling them no. The first case my friend invited a group of underage friends of hers to a house party my brother and I were throwing. No, we’re not going to allow a bunch of minors whom we don’t know into our house to do Lord knows what. In the second instance a friend invited her brother along to an event put on by my friends (whom she wasn’t friends with – she was my guest!) when this without asking me first. This was a reservations only event and space was tight. We didn’t have room to add one more person in. It wasn’t until we got to the event that she let me know she’d done this, too! When I broke the sad news to her that he couldn’t join us she threw a huge, angry fit saying that it was okay because he was her brother and that we were being so rude to her. She ended up angrily storming out of the restaurant and that was the end of our friendship, thank goodness. People never cease to amaze me sometimes. ……

  • Angel October 21, 2014, 3:35 pm

    You should have been honest and told her that you didn’t appreciate her inviting those extra people. And take it as a lesson learned to NEVER plan private parties over FB. If I am having a gathering of 10 people or less I just email them or text. This way there is no mistaking who is invited and if someone has the guts to forward the email and invite other people, I have the right to get mad. To me and to lots of other people FB event=public. And you can invite whoever you want. Unless the settings say otherwise. I don’t blame your friend for the misunderstanding. And to be honest your reaction is a little over the top. Unless this is a big pattern for your friend.

  • Gabriele October 21, 2014, 5:16 pm

    I know someone a little like Jenny. I’ve learned to just accept her as she is but I do plan what I say and do when it concerns her.
    She has to discuss everything…and I mean everything…with all her friends. If I am the first person she talks to about something then my comments and her thoughts on my comments get passed along to everyone else she talks to so that what I had thought was a private conversation becomes public knowledge. Most things were not that sensitive but finding out someone I barely knew had come to know more about me than my actual friends, well, I changed my responses to the first friend and started quoting things I’d read rather than giving a personal opinion.
    The friend is also somewhat like Jenny. If there’s an event, she wants everyone to come along for much the same reasons. Something…an idea, an event, whatever—isn’t ‘real’ to her unless it’s widely shared. She hates showers because some people want to play games and she doesn’t like games. She wants to sit and talk.
    When she got a video camera (20+ years ago) she video taped everything. Interacting with everyone, wanting ‘interviews’ even when they were intrusive or made no sense.
    I went to a movie with her once…it was a second-run movie house, fortunately as she kept asking me what I thought this scene and that action meant…her parents had told her it was a very funny movie and what did I think was funny about it? It was Little Shop of Horrors and it was supposed to be funny (I didn’t like it but that’s my taste). Invited over to watch a video (back when they were rentals) she’d pause it to ask a question about what was going on.

    I’ve wondered if her overbearing father so imposed his opinions on her when she was young (she was the eldest) that she never developed confidence in her own ideas and perceptions.
    But it’s just part of who she is and it’s not for me to try to change her. I just avoid the areas where we’d differ and since I have quoted reliable sources and not expressed unacceptable personal opinions, she trusts me (she’s told me I always give her a straight answer…) which keeps things going.

    So I wonder if Jenny has the need for reinforcement from other people in order to enjoy herself, her own experiences have to be validated before they’re ‘real’. If so, then the OP should be able to see a pattern in what Jenny does. Could be a form of social anxiety and that’s how she deals without (and clueless as to the reason). If so, then all the etiquette guidelines can’t come into play because her personal need is greater.
    If the OP can see a pattern then perhaps she could discuss it with Jenny’s partner to see if it happens in other instances. If that’s the case then I’d suggest talking to Jenny and take the tack of ‘I know you really like to share and you’re happier when there’s more people to share a good time with’…but inform her that not just you but others as well don’t share that approach.
    But yes, there are a lot of people who want to entertain their friends on someone else’s dime…

  • Cat October 21, 2014, 5:52 pm

    I think it would have been better when the question about “girls only” was asked, to say, “I am inviting a few people I want to come to watch the eclipse at my house. You may bring X, if you wish, but, with him, I shall have a full house.” Make it clear that is it not an open invitation to all and sundry. I, for one, do not want total strangers in my home.
    I am not ready to fault you for making an excuse to cancel the party. It’s awkward to say, “You invited people I don’t want to come so I am going to cancel the whole thing.” We just talked about kindness and sometimes reality is true, but not very kind. I’d wait awhile and then mention that I would prefer to invite the people I want to my home and she can invite whomever she wishes to her home.

  • penguin tummy October 22, 2014, 6:36 am

    hello people, OP here.

    I should have added, yes this was another thoughtless incident in a long line of social gaffs. This girl has also commented “is that within your budget?” when we suggested getting some Chinese food at a food hall (average price around AU$8-10 per person). Her partner looked like he just wanted to die.

    She is also quite miserly, picking the most expensive food from the menu if she has a voucher, just so she gets “the best value” rather than what she actually wants. It gets really awkward going out with her. She always tries to get the most food for the least money, no thought about what the food is. She is really overweight and has no self esteem which is probably the core of the issue.

    Essentially Jenny isn’t a bad person, she is just socially inept. It comes across as rude and tactless. I’m not actually sure how to bring it up without crushing her. any tips?

    • padua October 22, 2014, 12:59 pm

      wow. this seems really unkind.

      • hakayama October 23, 2014, 10:19 pm

        I just caught your comments, and I hope that you could clarify what “this” seems unkind to you.

    • kolobok October 22, 2014, 3:07 pm

      I don’t understand how Jenny’s dining preferences or weight have anything to do with being rude; though I agree that her comment about the Chinese food was inappropriate. If you’re embarrassed by her when you eat out, stop eating out with them. (Though, IMHO, this is more of an issue with you than with her; why does it matter to you how others choose to spend their money or the criteria they use to select their dinner?)

      Since you want to remain her partner’s friend, I would not advise having any sort of “talk” with Jenny about being socially inept, as this would likely harm your friendship with the partner, who I assume would take her side, when she comes to him with hurt feelings, etc. I would suggest remaining pleasant and friendly with Jenny, but try to steer your interactions with the couple more toward interaction with the partner. If Jenny does/says something rude (not just something that unjustly annoys or embarrasses you), you should respond in a way that would ensure that it wouldn’t happen again, without being mean. For example, with the Chinese food incident, you could have replied, “My finances are not your concern; I think this looks like a great place for lunch.” For the party, “I’m sorry Jenny, I made a mistake when setting up the Facebook event. I will not be able to accommodate the people you invited to my house and I prefer to be the only one who invites guests to my home. When you asked if this party were only for girls, I thought you were asking if you could bring your partner along.”

    • hakayama October 22, 2014, 4:46 pm

      Dear Tummy,
      Cut your losses, let the partner be the collateral damage in eliminating Jenny from your life.
      Sadly enough, she sounds like a “life project”, but friends do not have the obligation of “reworking” sick psyches. In your case, it’s a question of self-preservation… OK, let’s reduce it to preservation of one’s happiness.
      We are always told that we need to reduce clutter in our surroundings. I have not come across any suggestions regarding the “human clutter” in our lives. (Possibly because by now I’ve given up on self-help.)
      Maybe Jenny’s partner might find a way of getting her the necessary help, be it in the form of books, therapy or both. However, there’s the possibility that Jenny might prove to be too much to handle (bear) after a while.

    • lkb October 22, 2014, 5:33 pm

      It seems to me that, as others have said, you could simply say, “Jenny when I invited you over, I really only intended for you and your partner to come. I was caught off guard when you brought 10 other people over. Please don’t do that again.”

      Frankly, though, it sounds as if your friendship with her is running its course. You both seem to have different values. (I don’t see a problem in getting the best value for a voucher — that’s what they’re for, isn’t it? It’s her money.) Calling her miserly, overweight, without self esteem and socially inept was unnecessary (and well, just as “rude and tactless”, IMHO.)

      • hakayama October 23, 2014, 2:25 pm

        It was a description of the person’s characteristics.* Presented to third parties.
        If it had been stated to Jenny, THEN maybe it would have been rude and tactless.
        However, OP had shown that she is neither rude nor tactless. She did come up with a white lie, most likely to avoid hurting Jenny’s feelings.
        Too bad that Jenny most likely would still remain clueless even after being told what you and others suggested.
        * Remember the old adage “If the shoe fits, wear it.”? Those are raw direct words whose purpose is to describe a raw person. But then, you might prefer to use the word “guests” when referring to prison inmates. And I can just imagine the indignation if anybody dared to say “jail bird”… 😉

        • lkb October 24, 2014, 12:41 pm

          And I thought etiquette was about kindness and applying the best intentions in others. Nope, I guess it’s all about judging people even when one is not there or one does not even know the parties involved.

          By the way, not that it matters, waaaay off on what I call prison inmates. To match the “If the shoe fits adage,” here’s another, “Remember what happens when you assume…..” 😀

  • Anonymous October 22, 2014, 10:13 am

    First of all, Jenny was wrong and rude to do this. I’m an introvert too, and I hate when a “small gathering” becomes a “cast of thousands” situation. However, since she was bringing a cake, and the get-together was to watch the lunar eclipse and have dessert together, then is it possible that Jenny thought that they were collaborating to make this (small) event happen, and therefore, she could invite others if she wanted to? It still doesn’t excuse not asking the OP first, but I can see her train of thought. Also, I agree with previous posters that making a Facebook event for a small gathering is unnecessary at best, and at worst, an actively bad idea, because the default setting is “Public,” and if you forget to put it on “Closed” or “Secret” or whatever, then everyone can see it, and they’ll think that anyone can come.

    • hakayama October 22, 2014, 6:38 pm

      After reading OP’s description of Jenny, one can gather that she felt magnanimous in her contribution of the cake*, and therefore also “entitled” to bring her contingent of friends.

      * Also, based on the description given of Jenny and her “biggest bang for the buck” stance, the cake quite possibly was on the inedible side; as in past the “sell by” date, or just plain icky.
      OK, OK, let’s hear from the charitable souls that will tell us we have only one side of the story. 😉

      • Anonymous October 23, 2014, 11:34 am

        Oh, I still believe that Jenny was wrong, and I don’t think it’s even entirely irrelevant for the OP to describe other “frugal” things Jenny does that border on weird/rude, because it gives some insight into Jenny’s motivations for essentially “transplanting” her own lunar eclipse party on the OP’s. But, I’m also thinking that Jenny’s thoughts might have been, “I contributed a cake, therefore it’s my gathering too, therefore I can bring a few friends……let’s see, I’ll invite Josh, Jana, John-David, Jill, Jessa, Jinger, Joseph, Josiah, Jeremiah, Jedediah……..” So, yeah, it’s still rude, but at least Jenny’s thought process is somewhat clear.

    • pbird October 28, 2014, 9:22 pm

      Why, why, why, do people allow Facebook into their lives anyhow? What a garden of awful potentialities!

  • delislice October 22, 2014, 12:16 pm

    Jenny was in the wrong — but I would really not set up a Facebook invitation for something involving 2 or 3 people. Because… Facebook settings.

  • Laura October 26, 2014, 12:53 pm

    Depending on how you set your Face Book invite, I don’t necessarily think Jenny did anything wrong…you said you accidentally didn’t get the setting right. So if it said “public” or “friends” or “friends of friends” are invited then how Jenny supposed to know you wanted it to be private invite only?!

    I have many different types of friends: most of which are “the more the merrier” type and set FB invites so “friends of guests” can be invited and are welcomed (and at smaller dinner party events the invites are set to “invite only”). You said you only didn’t know 1 of the 10 invitees, so presumably 9 are your friends/acquaintances as well. It seems like a simple misunderstanding based on your FB oversight and not an egregious overstep by Jenny.