After discovering a good friend of mine was pregnant I offered to throw her a shower. She gratefully accepted and over the course of the next few months honed in on what she wanted, how many people, etc. I followed her wishes and signed a contract for a lovely venue that she approved of for the number of guests she’d told me to expect. Two days later she said she had changed her mind and no longer wanted a shower, that it was “too much stress” seven months into her pregnancy. (Note: I have paid for and planned everything, only asking her for a guest list, a vision for the shower, and registry info.) I gently explained I’d put down a hefty non-refundable deposit on the venue and catering, but she was insistent so I began the work of trying to negotiate a cancellation of the contracts. It wasn’t easy and I lost some money on it.
Three days after that she decides that she does want a shower, but she wants it thrown at her home. She insists it “wont’ be a lot of work” and that even though she’d like the new date to be very close to her due date “we can just cancel” if she goes into labor. I again pushed back and explained that throwing a shower in her home would in fact require just as much if not more work than a venue, and that I really wasn’t comfortable “just cancelling” given the time, effort, and expense that goes into planning. (I also wasn’t comfortable with sending an invitation to 90+ people, 90% of whom she knew wouldn’t make it, but wanted to include for the sake of getting gifts off the registry.) She insisted, so I told her I was sorry but while I was happy to help by bringing food or decorations, I couldn’t take on planning this whole new shower after she cancelled the last one with so little thought. She hasn’t spoken to me since, though I did receive an invite to the shower she is throwing for herself! In her home! Hosted by her! (That went to 90+ people.) I don’t even know whether I want to go at this point; I’m so disappointed and hurt by the whole mess, I don’t know if the friendship is worth salvaging. 0919-17
That is certainly a distressing and awkward situation your friend has placed you in. Having offered once to host a shower and been asked to cancel it at cost to yourself, you are under no obligation to host anything further that she wants. What is lacking in your friend is the humility and gratitude that someone cares enough to offer to host a shower in her honor. I’d go so far to say that not caving to her demands is an act of kindness towards her since you are not facilitating a character flaw in her.