I love to host parties and events and do so pretty frequently. We throw a variety of events – everything from huge blow out parties to bbq’s, brunches and game nights.
I am part of a women’s gaming group that meets monthly. These women are sweet and funny and I enjoy their company. There are quite a few women in the group – about 25 or so – and I’ve been in the group less than a year so I’m still getting to know some of these ladies. I’ve been to about 6 game nights and hosted one as well.
My best friend is in the group (she invited me) and I’ve done some outside things with some of these ladies and my best friend.
Now to the dilemma. I host an annual ladies brunch. I always host it in January and invite women that inspire me. It’s a chance to get together with motivated, ambitious women and encourage and support one another as we talk about our dreams and goals for the new year. It’s a favorite event of mine.
In the past the event was pretty small but I’m now in a larger home and can seat up to 20 women. I do it up fancy with place settings and nice china and mimosas. I host many events that are standing room only but for this event I plan accordingly so that everyone has a seat. Because of this set up I carefully choose my guest list. I invited 25 women and true to my estimation, 20 rsvp’ed yes. It’s perfect!
The other day my best friend informed me of a recent lunch that took place. About a dozen women from our gaming group went out to lunch a few weeks back. I couldn’t make it to this particular lunch but in my absence someone brought up my upcoming brunch. Several of the women didn’t know what the brunch was and so a few of the women happily described the brunch and the events that will take place and got all of the other women excited about coming. It never occurred to the women telling about it or to the women listening that those that didn’t know about it weren’t invited. My best friend sat there not knowing what to say and never corrected anyone (can’t blame her for that, it was an awkward position to be in).
So apparently there are at least 8 additional (uninvited) women coming to my brunch. 4 of whom I didn’t even know their name.
This is the third time something like this has happened in this group. It seems as if there’s a “everyone in the group is invited” kind of mentality.
Besides the obvious lack of manners and awareness, this kind of mentality bothers me. I might not click with all 25 women in this group and don’t want to feel obligated to invite every single person to every single event. I don’t always have the space or budget to do so.
It’s too late to do anything about the brunch. I just prepared extra food and will grin and bear it. However, going forward my best friend suggested the next time I have an event and don’t invite everyone to reach out to the repeat offenders that blab to others and let them know this is not an event for our gaming group, I couldn’t invite everyone and to please refrain from sharing it with others to avoid hurt feelings.
Ironically the blabbers are vivacious and fun and some of my favorite people in the group, other than these offenses. I don’t think they are being malicious at all but just want everyone to come and have a great time.
Advice please? 0121-17
I’ve experienced this as well. I chalk it up to people wanting to share the fun on the presumption that everyone should be included and that I would be happy to spread the hospitality indefinitely. This “problem” occurs among circles of friends that are actually quite healthy, relationship-wise, so the group mentality is one of inclusiveness and generosity. It doesn’t seem to occur to people that the hosts can have other circles of friends they wish to integrate at a hosted function.
Your best friend could have commented in the discussion thus, “I could be mistaken but I believe XXXX’s brunch is not a gamer group function and that she has invited other women outside of our circle to attend.” Unless the women of this gamer group are utterly obtuse, this gentle hint should give most of them pause to reconsider inviting themselves or others.
As for the OP, to be honest, I would have continued my brunch preparations as if I had not heard this piece of information from my best friend because you really don’t know just how many are actually going to attend uninvited. Set the tables, put out place cards, prepare the right amount of food for 20 guests and prepare to greet your guests. If the uninvited do show up, you greet them graciously just like any other guest and then you set up an impromptu table and chairs in some obscure corner that will not detract from your invited guests’ enjoyment of the event. Treat them kindly, reassuring them that all is well but let the ad hoc nature of your hospitality speak volumes that you had not planned on them.