My husband and I love to entertain. The following scenario has happened a few different times to us and I wondered what your thoughts were.. I will reference the specifics of our most recent dinner party..
We invited a couple that we are getting to know over for dinner. We confirmed that they liked steaks and my husband grilled up some beautiful ones. I put out our best china and had beautiful lighting all around the house. We were excited to have this couple over and make some new friends!
They arrived 30 minutes late (at 7:30) but I quickly forgave that. They were coming from quite a ways away and they had gotten lost.
I served appetizers while my husband went outside to grill. I chatted and caught up with the couple. By the time dinner was ready it was 8:00. We enjoyed a lovely meal and good conversation. They asked for a tour of our house about 8:45 as we were wrapping up dinner and I obliged. At 9:00 I was just about to ask them which flavor of cheesecake they preferred for dessert when the wife of the couple informed me that they had to get going because they were attending a birthday party and were already late to it.
I felt taken aback a bit and felt a little slighted. We had spent a great deal if time and money to entertain them for the evening and they had double booked us! I felt like we were just a pit stop for them to refuel and be on their way.
What they did seems rude to me. Am I being too sensitive or should this couple be cast into Etiquette Hell? 0205-15
I had a similar situation happen to me very recently. We had invited a couple to lunch after church so that we could get to know them better. The wife called me last week to explain that a friend’s son’s Eagle Scout ceremony had been rescheduled for 2 p.m. the same day of my lunch that was scheduled to commence at 1 p.m. They had already agreed to attend this ceremony before it had been cancelled for weather and rescheduled. The wife felt they would have had to quickly eat and run from our lunch in order to make the ceremony in time. We agreed that simply would not do and we agreed to postpone our lunch for another day in the near future.
So, the difference is that this couple clearly expressed an interest in having the time to also get to know us and called to discuss the conundrum they were in. I am fine with this and was willing to accommodate their sudden change in schedule, however, had the conversation been more along the lines of them having been invited to something they considered far more interesting to attend than our luncheon, my interest in inviting them to any other events I may host would have been diminished. You know the type I refer to…you invite them and either they waffle with an rsvp until the last minute in an apparent attempt to keep the calendar clear in case something better comes along or they rsvp in the affirmative and then cancel at the last minute or never show up because a better offer was made. I graciously accept their last minute declinations and then resolve to not invite them to any further events until I cycle through a long list of potential guests which could take at least a few years.