Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: CakeBeret on November 07, 2012, 09:16:49 AM

Title: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: CakeBeret on November 07, 2012, 09:16:49 AM
BG: We have a 2.5yo son who, like me, thrives on routine, and a consistent bedtime is key for him to be compliant and not cranky. We are still somewhat flexible--we shoot for 8pm bedtime but it's not a big deal if it's closer to 8:30 before he gets to bed.

DH's best friend Joe has a new-ish girlfriend Annie. We were invited to Annie's home for dinner at 8pm, and DH told her he was sorry but we couldn't come over that late, as 8pm is DS's bedtime. We've spent enough time around Annie and Joe that they are pretty aware that we stick to bedtime pretty closely. So Annie said no problem, we could have dinner at 6:30 instead. That would give us ample time to eat, visit, and get DS home in time for bed.

So we get to Annie's house and she's prepping the food. Son and I play with Annie's toddler, and we wait. And wait. Son starts getting cranky from hunger, so my husband got him a snack. And we waited more.

By 7:30, Annie had the food prepped but had not even begun cooking. I decided that Son and I were leaving (DH had plans with Joe after dinner and had planned to stay later anyway) but DH thought it would be rude. Son was getting pretty cranky (close to bedtime and hadn't had dinner) so I put my foot down and we left. Annie and Joe didn't say goodbye to us or even say anything at all, really.

I had to stop and get Son dinner on the way home, which irritated me as we had already spent $15 bringing groceries at Annie's request.

Was there anyone rude in this situation, or was it just a combination of bad luck and poor planning?
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Shoo on November 07, 2012, 09:23:21 AM
Annie was extremely rude.  She knew your schedule limitations, and chose to ignore them.  Not only was she rude, but she was PA, as well.  I'm not fond of your husband not leaving with you.  He should have cancelled his plans with Joe and gone home with you, IMO.  He ended up rewarding Annie's rudeness by staying.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: HermioneGranger on November 07, 2012, 09:23:48 AM
No, I'd be angry too.  Dinner at 6:30 means dinner at 6:30, give or take (maybe fifteen minutes).  She was at the very least. inconsiderate, if not out and out rude.  She knew your son's bedtime, and didn't care.  I wouldn't be going back over there anytime soon. 
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: WillyNilly on November 07, 2012, 09:24:15 AM
I think it was poor planning (not bad luck) and that poor planning, on Annie's part, was rude.

Some parents, heck some people, do not keep schedules at all.  In fact they get defensive and angry at even the idea of keeping to a schedule.  That's fine for them.  But its not ok for them to inflict that lifestyle on people who  personally keep to a schedule and calmly and politely communicate that.

You were 100% clear and honest about your timeline.  You had to be home by 8 for kiddo to be in bed no later then 8:30, closer to 8 if possible.  She said "ok" and then didn't come through.  That's on her.  It would have been fine, I'm sure for her to say "oooooooooh, gosh I really don't know if I can do that.  Maybe we could do an early night of take out?  I'd really love to spend at least some time together." Or she could have said "how about lunch over the weekend?"  There were lots of options that could have been exercised.  But placating your verbally and then going ahead with the plan that you'd communicated wouldn't work for you, was not ok by any means.  She owes you an apology.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: weeblewobble on November 07, 2012, 09:27:09 AM
No, your son needed to eat and go to bed.  The hostess was made aware of this when you (sensibly) tried to decline her invitation.  It's her fault for not adjusting accordingly, especially after she said she would prepare dinner earlier.  If she didn't want to follow through on that, she should have said, "That's too bad, maybe another time."

And not talking to you just compounds the rudeness on the "hosts" part.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Jones on November 07, 2012, 09:28:17 AM
You bought the groceries, she knew your time restrictions, and she got to keep the groceries and eat at the time she wanted to eat? Not cool. I don't think you were rude for leaving early, but it sounds like Annie was quite the inconsiderate hostess.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: JenJay on November 07, 2012, 09:31:03 AM
They were rude to delay dinner so late, rude not to say goodbye to you when you had to leave, and possibly rude to ask you to supply groceries for the dinner they invited you to and then didn't serve to 2/3 of your family. What was up with that? And when did your DH finally get to eat? (just cuz I'm curious)
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Zilla on November 07, 2012, 09:32:47 AM
Well part of the groceries would be consumed by your husband so not a total loss.  I think she was rude in the sense she should have informed  you that she was running behind and couldn't adhere to the earlier dinner date.  That way you could have planned to stay to visit for a bit and leave.
I would also look into a babysitter next time a dinner invitation is issued so you aren't caught like that again.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: VorFemme on November 07, 2012, 09:37:35 AM
I'd say more like Annie planned that dinner would be ready when SHE wanted it ready - but that is a 55 year old woman who has seen a few passive aggressive people in her lifetime.

Granted - I am also a 55 year old woman who sometimes has trouble getting organized - but I don't leave food sitting around prepped but not cooked for more than ten or fifteen minutes - "food poisoning" is not a fun experience. 
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: lowspark on November 07, 2012, 09:40:42 AM
I think it was poor planning (not bad luck) and that poor planning, on Annie's part, was rude.

I agree.

But here are my questions:
-- What groceries did you bring? Was it something which would take the hostess mere minutes to put together like salad fixings, or something which would require a lot of prep like a bunch of veggies that would need chopping for example? I ask because whatever she asked you to bring might have been a clue as to how long it was going to take to make dinner.
-- Did you offer to help? I'm not saying you needed to or should have. But I'm just putting myself in your place and at about 6:45 I'd have handed Junior over to Dad and gone in the kitchen to see what still needed doing as it was already 15 minutes later than dinner was supposed to be served.
Doing this would have also given you some insight as to when dinner was really going to be ready.

In your place, by 7 pm, I would for sure be questioning when dinner was really going to be ready and I'd be making my excuses right then because when my kids were that age, delaying their dinner by as much as a half hour could easily be disastrous in terms of their disposition.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Redneck Gravy on November 07, 2012, 09:45:12 AM
Wow!  Annie did exactly as she pleased didn't she? 

I wouldn't be accepting anymore invitations for dinner there again and if asked I would politely explain why. 

You are owed an apology but I will be surprised if you get one. 

Update please if new info comes up.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: amylouky on November 07, 2012, 09:45:49 AM
You weren't rude. I'm guessing Annie doesn't have children.. I know before we had our little ones I kind of did an internal  ::) at people who were so adamant about bedtimes and naptimes.. I know better now. Our two start melting down around 8:45, by the clock.

I think maybe the not sticking to 6:30 dinner time was clueless and inconsiderate, but not unforgiveably rude.. maybe the food prep took longer than she'd bargained for? But acting PA and not speaking to you? Definitely rude. I don't think DH was rude for staying, sounds like that was the plan all along..
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Luci on November 07, 2012, 09:49:15 AM
Annie was really rude and thoughtless. Some people just can't keep schedules, so we have learned who they are and avoid situations where it is important - no concerts with a certain couple, for example.

I am wondering why you took 'groceries'. Did you just take raw materials and then not help with prep? I think I would have found out what they were for and had the dish/tray ready to go.

You did state your parameters, though, and she promised to abide by them, so I think you acted in the best interests of your child.

You weren't rude. I'm guessing Annie doesn't have children.. I know before we had our little ones I kind of did an internal  ::) at people

They played with Annie's toddler.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: TootsNYC on November 07, 2012, 09:51:57 AM
... we had already spent $15 bringing groceries at Annie's request.

Was there anyone rude in this situation, or was it just a combination of bad luck and poor planning?

Well, I think it's a fundamental rudeness. Or a fundamental and total lack of awareness of what "having people over for dinner" means and what the responsibilities and pleasures of being a host are.

I think your leaving was absolutely the best possible thing you could have done. It's perfect feedback for Annie about the consequences of her actions.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: CakeBeret on November 07, 2012, 09:52:41 AM
I brought toppings that required no more than 5 minutes prep, and were not needed for the cooking process. I would have prepped/served them when the time was right, but I didn't want to prep them prematurely and have them sitting out for an unknown period of time.

I did offer to help, twice. The first time, Annie ignored me completely, and the second time, she said no.

I thought about leaving earlier, when it was readily apparent that dinner was not forthcoming anytime soon, but as Son was behaving well at that point it seemed a little abrupt.

I don't know what time they ate, I haven't had a chance to talk to DH. Based on what I saw before I left, I would guess they ate around 8:30.

Annie does have a toddler a few months younger than my son.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: amylouky on November 07, 2012, 09:54:24 AM
You weren't rude. I'm guessing Annie doesn't have children.. I know before we had our little ones I kind of did an internal  ::) at people

They played with Annie's toddler.

Oh, duh. Missed that sentence in the OP, sorry. I'm envious of Annie, then, for having a child that is apparently more flexible with routines and schedules.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Sophia on November 07, 2012, 10:00:30 AM
I don't think she ever planned on eating before 8pm. 

I would have left earlier.  Maybe 7pm.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: lowspark on November 07, 2012, 10:03:02 AM
Sounds like you pretty much did everything right, including (in my opinion) going above and beyond by waiting till 8 to finally leave.

I don't think she ever planned on eating before 8pm. 

I would have left earlier.  Maybe 7pm.

A big POD to this.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Miss March on November 07, 2012, 10:07:44 AM
I'm disappointed that your DH didn't have your back in this, and that he suggested YOU would be rude to take your son home.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: WillyNilly on November 07, 2012, 10:09:42 AM
You weren't rude. I'm guessing Annie doesn't have children.. I know before we had our little ones I kind of did an internal  ::) at people

They played with Annie's toddler.

Oh, duh. Missed that sentence in the OP, sorry. I'm envious of Annie, then, for having a child that is apparently more flexible with routines and schedules.

Some people just aren't schedule people.  I don't have kids but I keep to a pretty regular schedule in my aspects of life.  My BFF has a baby and once I just casually asked if she had gotten a schedule now due to the baby and whoa you'd think I asked if she planned on farming her kid out for Ebola virus experiments!  She was offended at the very idea!  She is adamant that her kid fit into her (and her DH's) lifestyle and not the other way around (a concept I generally agree with with, I had just been curious as I wasn't sure if things like schedules were something one could do that with... but maybe her kid came out used to it since when she was pregnant she didn't keep to a schedule either so even in-utero the kid was "eating" and "sleeping" at random times daily.)
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Jones on November 07, 2012, 10:12:53 AM
I'm not a schedule person either, but when Boo Bear started sleeping at a certain time in the afternoon and falling asleep at a certain time in the evening, with general crankiness when he was hungry, a schedule grew out of that  ;)  :D
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: TootsNYC on November 07, 2012, 10:14:55 AM
I think it was a good move for you to wait since your son was behaving well. Once he got cranky, it would be clear why you were leaving, and it would seem much more reasonable. Leaving earlier might have come across as passive-aggressive on its own--and, as you say, abrupt.

Annie's toddler may have been at a stage that is more flexible; or a child that doesn't have such a need for structure. And her child may simply be used to a very different schedule, if eating later is something that she normally does.


(when my first kid was really little, I told the doctor that I had her on a schedule. He said, "Oh?" Yeah, I said--I have a piece of paper, and everytime she does something, I write down what time it is.)
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: NyaChan on November 07, 2012, 10:16:46 AM
I'm disappointed that your DH didn't have your back in this, and that he suggested YOU would be rude to take your son home.

Well I can see why he might have thought that, even if it wasn't true.  There is something that strikes a person as "Whoa!" when a guest walks out before dinner.  What he didn't seem to get is that the host had caused the action, not their son's schedule.  I too don't think she had any intention of serving dinner on time.  She basically told you to come early during the time she had planned to cook anyways.

One question though for OP - did you actually say goodbye to your hosts before you left and they just stood there ignoring you?  Or did you just tell them you were leaving and they just acknowledged you were leaving but didn't specifically say goodbye?  I'm getting the feeling that they really wanted your husband over for dinner, but aren't particularly fond of you.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: lowspark on November 07, 2012, 10:17:38 AM
I think the child aspect of this is almost a red herring. What if the OP had a dietary condition that meant she had to eat at certain times? Or what if the OP had some reason she had to be home by a certain time? It's really not important as to why she requested an earlier meal, just that she requested it and Annie agreed to accommodate her. Being off by 15 minutes is acceptable. 30 minutes is borderline. Any more than that and it's rude and inhospitable. Which is why at 7, when it was clear dinner would not be ready in the next few minutes, I think it's ok to leave, citing the fact that the understanding was 630 and sorry, but we gotta eat (in nicer words, of course).
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: CakeBeret on November 07, 2012, 10:19:21 AM
I'm disappointed that your DH didn't have your back in this, and that he suggested YOU would be rude to take your son home.

He has a skewed view of what's "rude", so I never really take his word on that. ;) He did apologize profusely that we didn't get to eat and the night was kind of a flop, so I don't really think he did anything wrong.

I was feeling really awkward about leaving, DH went into the kitchen and told Annie and Joe that I was leaving, and they didn't come out of the kitchen or make any acknowledgment. I called out "goodbye" as I left but got no response.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: HermioneGranger on November 07, 2012, 10:19:58 AM
I'm not a schedule person either, but when Boo Bear started sleeping at a certain time in the afternoon and falling asleep at a certain time in the evening, with general crankiness when he was hungry, a schedule grew out of that  ;)  :D

Heck yes to this.  Do I miss flexibility and a bit of spontaneity?  Yes.  But a toddler with a set schedule?  Priceless.  We have our weekends and evenings back (to a degree). 
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: HermioneGranger on November 07, 2012, 10:21:22 AM
I don't think she ever planned on eating before 8pm. 

I would have left earlier.  Maybe 7pm.

Likely.  And I would have left on time as well.  And if I was feeling really ungracious, packed up the groceries I had brought and taken them home with me. 
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: squashedfrog on November 07, 2012, 10:25:16 AM
I'm disappointed that your DH didn't have your back in this, and that he suggested YOU would be rude to take your son home.

He has a skewed view of what's "rude", so I never really take his word on that. ;) He did apologize profusely that we didn't get to eat and the night was kind of a flop, so I don't really think he did anything wrong.

I was feeling really awkward about leaving, DH went into the kitchen and told Annie and Joe that I was leaving, and they didn't come out of the kitchen or make any acknowledgment. I called out "goodbye" as I left but got no response.
Its this bit that gets to me.  Have you spoken to them since? Do you intend to?  Because to not even acknowledge you leaving is actually beyond rude, it feels rather passive aggressive.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Jones on November 07, 2012, 10:32:39 AM
I'm disappointed that your DH didn't have your back in this, and that he suggested YOU would be rude to take your son home.

He has a skewed view of what's "rude", so I never really take his word on that. ;) He did apologize profusely that we didn't get to eat and the night was kind of a flop, so I don't really think he did anything wrong.

I was feeling really awkward about leaving, DH went into the kitchen and told Annie and Joe that I was leaving, and they didn't come out of the kitchen or make any acknowledgment. I called out "goodbye" as I left but got no response.
Its this bit that gets to me.  Have you spoken to them since? Do you intend to?  Because to not even acknowledge you leaving is actually beyond rude, it feels rather passive aggressive.
Yes....this is very strange! I'm getting a "they don't care for you much" vibe from this action.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: dharmaexpress on November 07, 2012, 10:36:15 AM
What lovely hosting!    :o

I have a friend who does this to me every time she has me over for dinner.  I've learned to eat before I go, because if she says we're eating at 6, we're actually eating at probably 8:30 or so.  I've been trapped at her house starving more than once.  She's an utterly nice, disorganized person.  What are you going to do.

Anyway, I too think this situation was poor planning - entertaining people smoothly takes some practice (and sense?).  Their ignoring you when you left turned it into rudeness.  Unfortunate that your husband wasn't on board with your decision.

My friend mentioned above wants everything perfect and she's just scattered and slow in the kitchen - she'd be really offended if someone left, and I don't think she quite understands what a big deal it is to serve dinner 2+ hours later than you said.  I can see her being silent and huffy over something like this.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: shivering on November 07, 2012, 10:46:29 AM
I doubt it was intentional on Annie's part. Just a function of poor planning. However, that doesn't make it any less rude considering OP expressly told Annie that they needed to eat early. It was also really rude not to apologize and say goodbye. Annie's not good with schedules, fine, but she should've acknowledged the inconvenience.

Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: CakeBeret on November 07, 2012, 10:49:50 AM
Well, Joe and I are good friends so I doubt he and I will have any lingering issues over this. Annie and I never liked each other much in the first place, although I've really been trying to be friends for DH's and Joe's sake.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: StuffedGrapeLeaves on November 07, 2012, 10:54:16 AM
Adding to everyone who said that Annie was rude, and I agree that she had no intention of eating at 6:30, either.  It was a passive aggressive move to have dinner at the time that she wanted. 


Some people just aren't schedule people.  I don't have kids but I keep to a pretty regular schedule in my aspects of life.  My BFF has a baby and once I just casually asked if she had gotten a schedule now due to the baby and whoa you'd think I asked if she planned on farming her kid out for Ebola virus experiments!  She was offended at the very idea!  She is adamant that her kid fit into her (and her DH's) lifestyle and not the other way around (a concept I generally agree with with, I had just been curious as I wasn't sure if things like schedules were something one could do that with... but maybe her kid came out used to it since when she was pregnant she didn't keep to a schedule either so even in-utero the kid was "eating" and "sleeping" at random times daily.)

Although in theory I like the idea of fitting the baby around the parents' lifestyle, a lot of it depends on the child, too.  My son does much better on a schedule, but I have a friend whose toddler does fine without one.  When you have a cranky toddler at 8:30 p.m., there's no much you can do to force him to go out to dinner even if that's what you want to do.   So we compromise in order to continue with some aspects of our lifestyle.  For example, if we want to go out later at night, we leave him at home with a babysitter.  If we want to do something during his naptime, then we know to take his stroller so he can sleep in the stroller. 

I'm not a schedule person either, but when Boo Bear started sleeping at a certain time in the afternoon and falling asleep at a certain time in the evening, with general crankiness when he was hungry, a schedule grew out of that  ;)  :D

Yes, this is what happened to my DS.  He got consistently cranky if he is not fed by certain times or if he was not asleep by a certain time at night.  If we kept him up past a certain time at night, not only would he get super cranky that night, he wouldn't get a good night sleep and would be super cranky the next day, too. 
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Zilla on November 07, 2012, 10:55:33 AM
I'm disappointed that your DH didn't have your back in this, and that he suggested YOU would be rude to take your son home.

He has a skewed view of what's "rude", so I never really take his word on that. ;) He did apologize profusely that we didn't get to eat and the night was kind of a flop, so I don't really think he did anything wrong.

I was feeling really awkward about leaving, DH went into the kitchen and told Annie and Joe that I was leaving, and they didn't come out of the kitchen or make any acknowledgment. I called out "goodbye" as I left but got no response.


Its this bit that gets to me.  Have you spoken to them since? Do you intend to?  Because to not even acknowledge you leaving is actually beyond rude, it feels rather passive aggressive.
With me as well.  I was okay with what your husband did up till this point.  They were rude not to come out and say sorry and have a good night bye.  And the husband let them ignore you?  Your husband should have left with you after this last bit of rudeness.  These are NOT friends. 
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: bloo on November 07, 2012, 10:58:40 AM
Well, Joe and I are good friends so I doubt he and I will have any lingering issues over this. Annie and I never liked each other much in the first place, although I've really been trying to be friends for DH's and Joe's sake.

Okay I was going to agree with another poster that it was just poor planning but now, after your latest post, I'm going to side with those that think this was passive-agressive.

Even if she wasn't passive-agressive, she was rude. Rude to have dinner later than 6:30pm (it should NOT have been 6:31pm or later since the timeframe was already discussed to have been of importance - where this is not discussed beforehand, I give 30 minutes leeway in my mind before I start wondering when the food will be ready when I'm being hosted - but others may give more or less leeway in their minds).

She was rude to totally ignore obvious hints that you would have to be wondering, 'When the heck is dinner going to be ready?' and to not apologize for not having dinner ready like she said she would.

She was rude to not tear out of that kitchen with groveling apologies when it was clear you were leaving with sincere promises of making it up to you. No follow-up phone call?

I would have done the same thing by leaving, especially since my oldest was a terror when he was tired and cranky. And while I'd be annoyed at having to leave my groceries, I'd consider it a $15 investment into the School of Experience: lessoned learned - no more plans with Annie that interfere with your family's schedule.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: NyaChan on November 07, 2012, 11:04:23 AM
I really don't think it was poor planning.  She was prepping for a whole hour after OP arrived, and was still cooking when she left.  They didn't eat until exactly when she had originally invited them over.  If that was by accident, then the host made serious serious serious miscalculations.  I can understand being a half hour or even an hour behind, but this was even more than that & with no explanation of why, not even an "I got home for work late," or "I had to start this step of the dish all over again."
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: lilfox on November 07, 2012, 11:23:19 AM
I just had a similar situation where I was the hostess, and our friends coming over had let me know they needed to leave by 8 at the latest to allow their daughter to keep her 8:30 bedtime.  Our daughter doesn't have such a strict schedule, but it doesn't matter.

I managed to prep everything from scratch after they arrived* while staying involved in the conversation and still had dinner on the table at 6:30, didn't ask them to bring a thing (though we did enjoy the wine they brought), and they left when they needed to at a little past 8.

(* Normally I'd have at least prepped if not cooked before they arrived but other things got in the way and I knew full prep + cook time was just over an hour.)

I guarantee if things had gone too slowly I would have kept my guests updated and asked if they would like an alternative (ordering takeout, more appetizers while waiting).  Even if it's embarrassing to admit my failing as a punctual, organized hostess, it's better than not appearing to be a gracious hostess at all.

OP did the right thing by leaving when necessary.  My own impression is that Annie thought OP's child would be as flexible as hers, given the opportunity, so didn't care to stick to an earlier schedule regardless of the agreement.  Doesn't excuse it though, definitely a hosting fail on several counts.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: JenJay on November 07, 2012, 11:35:54 AM
(when my first kid was really little, I told the doctor that I had her on a schedule. He said, "Oh?" Yeah, I said--I have a piece of paper, and everytime she does something, I write down what time it is.)

LOL!  ;D

As far as whether or not it was poor planning I could see it going either way. If the meal was a roast and Annie severely underestimated how long it would take to cook because she'd never made one or it was significantly larger than she usually fixes, I'd give her that. It happens. If it was something fairly simple like tacos I think most people can judge, within maybe a 20 minute margin of error, how long it's going to take to brown some meat and let it simmer for a bit while the seasoning does its thing, chop the lettuce, shred the cheese, etc. Unless she's really a new cook and this was one of the first few times she'd had people over for dinner. Still, dinner being two hours late? I find it incredibly hard to believe that was a complete honest mistake. I know that if I erred that badly I'd have ordered a pizza for my guests by 7pm and apologized all over the place.

A funny BTDT - DH and I were once invited to dinner for 6:30 so we showed up at about 6. When we arrived our hostess was prepping dinner and she continued to prep dinner for THREE HOURS, no joke! It was chicken breasts baked in some jarred sauce (Nothing against jarred sauce, just mentioning that because it didn't take 3 hours to make the sauce. lol) and two sides - mashed potatoes and a steamed veggie. By the time we ate it was nearly 10pm. That was 20 years ago and I still want to call her and ask "What the heck was up with dinner?" lol
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: lilihob on November 07, 2012, 11:40:29 AM
She doesn't like you.
She doesn't like your schedule for your son.
I believe she had no intention of eating before 8:30.
You left, your husband stayed, she won.
If you want to keep your friend, you're going to have to put up with her behaviour, there is no etiquette to deal with this.
There was nothing you could have done.
Personally, I would state all the above facts to my husband, and ask again, "who was rude?"
Not you!
My sympathies, this is a stinky situation.
See your friend, but avoid her.
Never eat at their home again, it puts you at her tender mercies.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Judah on November 07, 2012, 11:49:50 AM
Many moons ago, when I was very first starting to learn how to entertain in my own home, I had dinner get away from me like this.  I was mortified.  But the thing is, I didn't leave my guests hanging, and the next day I called to apologize.

If it was just poor planning on Annie's part, it was still rude, and she should have been falling all over herself to get you something, anything, to eat. That she seemed unconcerned with your schedule tells me that it wasn't just poor planning.

You were not rude for leaving early to get DS to bed, but I do think you should have sought your hosts out to say goodnight.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: BeagleMommy on November 07, 2012, 12:45:10 PM
For a moment, let's imagine that it wasn't a toddler needing to stick to a schedule.  Suppose it was someone like me who is a diabetic.  I have to plan my medications around my meals.  If I was told dinner was to be at 6:30 I would have taken my medication between 6:15 and 6:30.  I could delay it by half an hour at the most.  After that I would have to snack to keep my blood sugar from dropping.  One snack because of a delay isn't a problem.  If I have to have multiple snacks it throws the balance off and I pay for it the next morning when my blood sugar is higher than normal.

Annie was rude.  I suspect she did this on purpose.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: guihong on November 07, 2012, 12:59:30 PM
I think if dinner was really getting away from her, she should have quickly scrambled together subs and chips, or other takeout and explained what happened (late from work, etc.).  That to me indicates that she was just saying 6:30 and meant 8:30 something.   I'm also irked with the OP's husband, as I think he should have left also.  That would be having Cake's back.

I'll never forget one Christmas when we (DH, me, and the IL's) were invited over to DH's aunt's house for dinner.  I realize that kind of big dinner takes a lot of prep, so when we were told to come at 2:00, we figured eating at 3 at the latest.  What happened was even worse than the OP in that there was no prep at all!  Not a word about dinner.  I was four months pregnant and had a crank of a toddler.  Finally about 4:00, I couldn't take it any more and asked my MIL to please ask her sister for some food or we would have to go.  We left.  I remember we had a whopping spread of ham sandwiches for dinner ::).  I still don't know what was up with that; a misunderstanding?
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Luci on November 07, 2012, 01:01:28 PM
I brought toppings that required no more than 5 minutes prep, and were not needed for the cooking process. I would have prepped/served them when the time was right, but I didn't want to prep them prematurely and have them sitting out for an unknown period of time.

I did offer to help, twice. The first time, Annie ignored me completely, and the second time, she said no.

I thought about leaving earlier, when it was readily apparent that dinner was not forthcoming anytime soon, but as Son was behaving well at that point it seemed a little abrupt.

I don't know what time they ate, I haven't had a chance to talk to DH. Based on what I saw before I left, I would guess they ate around 8:30.

Annie does have a toddler a few months younger than my son.

Thanks for the answers. Aside from whipped cream, which is the only must be served right now topping that I know of,, I guess the $15 dollars in groceries  was for wine?

Just curious! Annie is still rude and not to be relied on.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Yvaine on November 07, 2012, 02:24:00 PM
Thanks for the answers. Aside from whipped cream, which is the only must be served right now topping that I know of,, I guess the $15 dollars in groceries  was for wine?

I think I'm confused???  :-[ :-[ :-[
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Zilla on November 07, 2012, 02:37:47 PM
Thanks for the answers. Aside from whipped cream, which is the only must be served right now topping that I know of,, I guess the $15 dollars in groceries  was for wine?

I think I'm confused???  :-[ :-[ :-[

She is asking the OP what were the items she bought for $15. 
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Yvaine on November 07, 2012, 02:38:33 PM
Thanks for the answers. Aside from whipped cream, which is the only must be served right now topping that I know of,, I guess the $15 dollars in groceries  was for wine?

I think I'm confused???  :-[ :-[ :-[

She is asking the OP what were the items she bought for $15.

No, I understood that much, I just couldn't figure out where the whipped cream and wine came from.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: artk2002 on November 07, 2012, 02:41:46 PM
I doubt it was intentional on Annie's part. Just a function of poor planning. However, that doesn't make it any less rude considering OP expressly told Annie that they needed to eat early. It was also really rude not to apologize and say goodbye. Annie's not good with schedules, fine, but she should've acknowledged the inconvenience.

Poor planning is intending to serve at 6:30 and serving at 7:00 (barring any accident, etc.)  Inviting for 6:30 when you have a guest with a hard stop time at 8:00, and not even starting to cook until 7:30 isn't poor planning.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: NyaChan on November 07, 2012, 02:52:57 PM
I think whipped cream was the only guess the poster could make as to what a topping which shouldn't sit out (the description given by OP) would be.  Since that doesn't cost $15, the poster further guessed that OP must have bought wine.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: kittytongue on November 07, 2012, 02:55:56 PM
Is it bad that after reading the thread I still only really have a problem with your DH not leaving with you? Annie was really rude. But my husband not backing me up and then leaving me by myself to deal with the problem with our kid? There'd be a Discussion when he finally got home.

Edited to add:
The reason that I'd be having it out with my husband after he got home is this. I think that "You're being rude by wanting to leave to take care of DS" translates to "I'm having fun and don't want to be bothered dealing with reality intruding here. Stop being a buzzkill by expecting me to back you up." Granted that is my take on the situation. YMMV.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Luci on November 07, 2012, 02:56:29 PM
I think whipped cream was the only guess the poster could make as to what a topping which shouldn't sit out (the description given by OP) would be.  Since that doesn't cost $15, the poster further guessed that OP must have bought wine.

Yes. Just a silly guess, some curiousity, and completely unimportant to the intent of the thread.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: NyaChan on November 07, 2012, 02:57:41 PM
I was actually thinking it might be cheese or sour cream.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: CakeBeret on November 07, 2012, 03:11:20 PM
Oh. Bakery bread, avocados, good leaf lettuce, and tomatoes.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: CakeBeret on November 07, 2012, 03:13:36 PM
The reason that I'd be having it out with my husband after he got home is this. I think that "You're being rude by wanting to leave to take care of DS" translates to "I'm having fun and don't want to be bothered dealing with reality intruding here. Stop being a buzzkill by expecting me to back you up." Granted that is my take on the situation. YMMV.

DH and Joe had plans, so it was predetermined that Son and I would leave after dinner. DH tends to think that anything that causes others discomfort is rude, and since leaving before dinner is served makes a big statement, he thinks causing the hostess discomfort is rude.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Jones on November 07, 2012, 03:15:45 PM
Oh. Bakery bread, avocados, good leaf lettuce, and tomatoes.

Aw, I was hoping for something sinfully tastey like ice cream toppings; caramel, butterscotch, cookies waiting to be crumbed up....I don't know why, it just sounds delightful I guess.

Ahem. You should have reclaimed and taken your groceries home, could have made some great sandwiches.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Zilla on November 07, 2012, 03:16:02 PM
The reason that I'd be having it out with my husband after he got home is this. I think that "You're being rude by wanting to leave to take care of DS" translates to "I'm having fun and don't want to be bothered dealing with reality intruding here. Stop being a buzzkill by expecting me to back you up." Granted that is my take on the situation. YMMV.

DH and Joe had plans, so it was predetermined that Son and I would leave after dinner. DH tends to think that anything that causes others discomfort is rude, and since leaving before dinner is served makes a big statement, he thinks causing the hostess discomfort is rude.
So he thought it was fine for them to serve it over 2 hours later and not to acknowledge your leaving because you were committing the larger faux pas? 
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Sophia on November 07, 2012, 03:32:03 PM
I think some people will quickly think that they are theirs are rude, but slow to think the same of outsiders.  Seems to be based on upbringing. 
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: WillyNilly on November 07, 2012, 03:45:14 PM
The reason that I'd be having it out with my husband after he got home is this. I think that "You're being rude by wanting to leave to take care of DS" translates to "I'm having fun and don't want to be bothered dealing with reality intruding here. Stop being a buzzkill by expecting me to back you up." Granted that is my take on the situation. YMMV.

DH and Joe had plans, so it was predetermined that Son and I would leave after dinner. DH tends to think that anything that causes others discomfort is rude, and since leaving before dinner is served makes a big statement, he thinks causing the hostess discomfort is rude.
So he thought it was fine for them to serve it over 2 hours later and not to acknowledge your leaving because you were committing the larger faux pas?

Well I bet if Cake had stayed, then he would have thought the hosts were rude, because she would have been the one made uncomfortable by them.  But because she left, she was the rude one for making them uncomfortable.

I've met people like that and really they don't make too much sense and you can't really win, so most people just brush them off and do what they've gotta do.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: perpetua on November 07, 2012, 03:49:02 PM
Hello - I'm new here although I've read for a while, so I hope it's OK to steam in on this.

I think Annie was probably a bit rude, maybe a bit passive aggressive and certainly badly organized.

However, I also think it's rude to turn up for a 6.30 dinner then eat and run, which is pretty much what you'd have had to do to get your son home for bed at 8. What time did you arrive?

I've read a lot of threads here about dinner parties and it seems to me that it's more about the food than the socializing, which I find a bit... odd. I do think it's rude to eat and run like that - it says 'I'm only here for the food' to me.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Drawberry on November 07, 2012, 03:50:20 PM
I have to agree with lilihob in what they said about the hostess not 'agreeing' with your schedule. I've seen and been on the receiving end of people passive aggressively displaying their dislike of everything from me enjoying foreign foods to how other people handle their own children's lives. I think when it comes down to people having a specific way of life, like say not enjoying foreign fare or having a specific set of standards for their family and children, when someone else breaks out of that mold it can be threatening in a way. Even for something that is normally completely absurd to feel agitated or threatened by like whether or not your granddaughter eats Japanese food or another couple has a different way of handling their children (assuming neglect or abuse is not present of course).

The hostess may have been off-put by your initial decline and felt some kind of passive aggression as if she imagined you holding your own parenting styles above hers and making it more important. Which is clearly absurd, but again I've seen and been on the receiving end of equally nonsensical passive aggression.

That said, I don't think she was particularly out to destroy your life or anything of the sort, but I do think her choices on how to handle the evening where conscious ones and not an accident. The way the couple treated you as you left with your child demonstrated extreme rudeness and passive aggression.

I am also going to side with those who expressed dislike for how your husband handled the scenario as well. It feels as if he was just putting his own entertainment in front of the needs of you and your child and just let you take hold of it all so he would avoid seeming 'rude' to this couple and not have to give up his previous plans. I'd be very upset and not make it a secret.

Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Shoo on November 07, 2012, 03:51:01 PM
Hello - I'm new here although I've read for a while, so I hope it's OK to steam in on this.

I think Annie was probably a bit rude, maybe a bit passive aggressive and certainly badly organized.

However, I also think it's rude to turn up for a 6.30 dinner then eat and run, which is pretty much what you'd have had to do to get your son home for bed at 8. What time did you arrive?

I've read a lot of threads here about dinner parties and it seems to me that it's more about the food than the socializing, which I find a bit... odd. I do think it's rude to eat and run like that - it says 'I'm only here for the food' to me.

If dinner were ready at 6:30, there would have been plenty of time for socializing during and afterward.  And besides, that was the agreement going into it.  The hosts knew the OP had a deadline.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: WillyNilly on November 07, 2012, 03:53:40 PM
Hello - I'm new here although I've read for a while, so I hope it's OK to steam in on this.

I think Annie was probably a bit rude, maybe a bit passive aggressive and certainly badly organized.

However, I also think it's rude to turn up for a 6.30 dinner then eat and run, which is pretty much what you'd have had to do to get your son home for bed at 8. What time did you arrive?

I've read a lot of threads here about dinner parties and it seems to me that it's more about the food than the socializing, which I find a bit... odd. I do think it's rude to eat and run like that - it says 'I'm only here for the food' to me.

Its rude to eat & run at a dinner party, but that doesn't sound like this was.  This sounds more like a casual get together.  Its fine for a friendly meal to only last an hour or two - I mean when I go out to dinner with friends its usually only 1-3 hours at most, then we all go home, why should dinner at home be so different?

Plus to add to that, OP initially graciously declined the offer of coming over for dinner citing her schedule conflict.  Annie insisted and implied the short window of time was ok.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: perpetua on November 07, 2012, 03:54:19 PM
Hello - I'm new here although I've read for a while, so I hope it's OK to steam in on this.

I think Annie was probably a bit rude, maybe a bit passive aggressive and certainly badly organized.

However, I also think it's rude to turn up for a 6.30 dinner then eat and run, which is pretty much what you'd have had to do to get your son home for bed at 8. What time did you arrive?

I've read a lot of threads here about dinner parties and it seems to me that it's more about the food than the socializing, which I find a bit... odd. I do think it's rude to eat and run like that - it says 'I'm only here for the food' to me.

If dinner were ready at 6:30, there would have been plenty of time for socializing during and afterward.  And besides, that was the agreement going into it.  The hosts knew the OP had a deadline.

I disagree. I don't think an hour - presumably the OP would have to get home, also, so would have had to leave before 8 - is enough time to politely socialize with someone offering you hospitality without implying 'It's all about the food!'

I do agree that Annie agreed to it, though. Perhaps her delaying tactics signify that she wasn't happy about it. Obviously not the best way to go about it.

Of course in this case the OP didn't get to eat so it's a moot point, but in general, this line of thinking puzzles me.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: perpetua on November 07, 2012, 03:56:19 PM

Plus to add to that, OP initially graciously declined the offer of coming over for dinner citing her schedule conflict.  Annie insisted and implied the short window of time was ok.

Perhaps she wasn't as OK with it as she implied, hence the delaying tactics. A passive aggressive way of getting the message across, sure.  Not ideal.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Drawberry on November 07, 2012, 03:57:47 PM

Plus to add to that, OP initially graciously declined the offer of coming over for dinner citing her schedule conflict.  Annie insisted and implied the short window of time was ok.

Perhaps she wasn't as OK with it as she implied, hence the delaying tactics. A passive aggressive way of getting the message across, sure.  Not ideal.

This is what I feel was going on.

Maybe she hastily agreed without taking time to consider if she really wanted to host something that early, maybe her husband pressured her into it so the two guy's could keep their previous plans, who knows...but it certainly feels like her behavior was a passive aggressive tactic to get her displeasure across.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Snooks on November 07, 2012, 04:02:44 PM
Annie was definitely in the wrong but I think you should have gone in and explained why you and DS were leaving.  The way things panned out could come across as flouncing out.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: CakeBeret on November 07, 2012, 04:04:34 PM
I disagree. I don't think an hour - presumably the OP would have to get home, also, so would have had to leave before 8 - is enough time to politely socialize with someone offering you hospitality without implying 'It's all about the food!'

I do agree that Annie agreed to it, though. Perhaps her delaying tactics signify that she wasn't happy about it. Obviously not the best way to go about it.

Of course in this case the OP didn't get to eat so it's a moot point, but in general, this line of thinking puzzles me.

It was a simple dinner (no multiple courses or anything), we could have eaten and been done in 30 minutes. With two toddlers, short meals are ideal. :) And as I was okay keeping DS out a tad bit late, we could have socialized for another hour after dinner, until eight o'clock. We only live 15 minutes away, and that would still get him in bed before 8:30.

Regarding my husband, I don't agree that he should have had to miss out on his time with his friend. It was already determined that Son and I would leave early--and in fact, we left at about the same time we would have, if dinner had been ready at 6:30. As for his idea of rudeness, I fully understand it because I was raised with the same people-pleasing mindset he was. It's not correct, mind you, but I understand why he thinks that way and it doesn't bother me.

Snooks, DH explained why we were leaving. By that time, I felt uncomfortable enough that I didn't want another uncomfortable interaction with them.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: bloo on November 07, 2012, 04:13:51 PM
Cake, I apologize for being a Nosey Parker but have you had a chance to talk to your husband about Annie's attitude after you left?
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: CakeBeret on November 07, 2012, 04:17:35 PM
Cake, I apologize for being a Nosey Parker but have you had a chance to talk to your husband about Annie's attitude after you left?

I really have not, it's been quite a day.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: DavidH on November 07, 2012, 06:43:03 PM
I think she was rude for serving dinner too late.  I can understand some delay, since dinner at 6:30 doesn't necessarily mean you can set your clock by it, but not to start cooking until an hour after the appointed time is unreasonable. 

On the other hand, I don't think you can complain that they didn't say goodbye to you since you made no effort to do the same to them.  Since one of them was presumably cooking by that point, going into the kitchen to say you're sorry you have to leave since it's getting so late would have been the right thing to do. 
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Yvaine on November 07, 2012, 07:01:04 PM

Plus to add to that, OP initially graciously declined the offer of coming over for dinner citing her schedule conflict.  Annie insisted and implied the short window of time was ok.

Perhaps she wasn't as OK with it as she implied, hence the delaying tactics. A passive aggressive way of getting the message across, sure.  Not ideal.

That's kind of what I think too...unless she does it all the time. I have a friend who chronically invites people to dinner at six and, at eight, turns to her partner and asks "Should we make the chicken or the pork?"  ;D You get used to it with her, you know what you're getting into, and she'll have candy or fruit to munch on in the meantime, but you're ready to eat the table itself by the time dinner is actually served.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: flowersintheattic on November 07, 2012, 07:11:04 PM
I think she was rude for serving dinner too late.  I can understand some delay, since dinner at 6:30 doesn't necessarily mean you can set your clock by it, but not to start cooking until an hour after the appointed time is unreasonable. 

On the other hand, I don't think you can complain that they didn't say goodbye to you since you made no effort to do the same to them.  Since one of them was presumably cooking by that point, going into the kitchen to say you're sorry you have to leave since it's getting so late would have been the right thing to do.

The bolded is what's been bothering me about this story.

I completely agree with everyone else that Annie was rude. (If the additional background hadn't been given, I would maybe say she was just disorganized, but with the additional background that she and the OP don't exactly get along...I have to go with rude.) But I have hard time coming up with a reason that the OP wouldn't have gone in to say goodbye, unless she had to cut and run extremely quickly (if her child was on the cusp of screaming, for example), but that doesn't seem to be the case, since she knows that Annie and Joe didn't come out to say good-bye.

That having been said, I don't think it's a big deal given the background on OP and Annie, but I do think the better option would have been for the OP to say good-bye herself.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Yvaine on November 07, 2012, 07:15:14 PM
I think she was rude for serving dinner too late.  I can understand some delay, since dinner at 6:30 doesn't necessarily mean you can set your clock by it, but not to start cooking until an hour after the appointed time is unreasonable. 

On the other hand, I don't think you can complain that they didn't say goodbye to you since you made no effort to do the same to them.  Since one of them was presumably cooking by that point, going into the kitchen to say you're sorry you have to leave since it's getting so late would have been the right thing to do.

The bolded is what's been bothering me about this story.

I completely agree with everyone else that Annie was rude. (If the additional background hadn't been given, I would maybe say she was just disorganized, but with the additional background that she and the OP don't exactly get along...I have to go with rude.) But I have hard time coming up with a reason that the OP wouldn't have gone in to say goodbye, unless she had to cut and run extremely quickly (if her child was on the cusp of screaming, for example), but that doesn't seem to be the case, since she knows that Annie and Joe didn't come out to say good-bye.

That having been said, I don't think it's a big deal given the background on OP and Annie, but I do think the better option would have been for the OP to say good-bye herself.

I'd actually pictured the OP saying bye and the hosts just kind of going "Hrumph." I guess clarification is in order!  :)
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: LeveeWoman on November 07, 2012, 07:22:30 PM
From CakeBeret's No. 65: Snooks, DH explained why we were leaving. By that time, I felt uncomfortable enough that I didn't want another uncomfortable interaction with them.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Jones on November 07, 2012, 07:32:23 PM
She'd already tried speaking to Annie about help, been rebuffed once and ignored once. I doubt Annie would have been willing to hear an in-person explanation and goodbye at that point, as shown by the fact no one responded when she called a goodbye from the door.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: CakeBeret on November 07, 2012, 07:32:56 PM
From CakeBeret's No. 65: Snooks, DH explained why we were leaving. By that time, I felt uncomfortable enough that I didn't want another uncomfortable interaction with them.

Yes. DH explained while I got DS ready. I rather expected one of them to poke their head out of the kitchen to say goodbye. I did call out a goodbye as I left, with no response.

And dh says they didn't eat until 9pm.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: JenJay on November 07, 2012, 07:45:00 PM
From CakeBeret's No. 65: Snooks, DH explained why we were leaving. By that time, I felt uncomfortable enough that I didn't want another uncomfortable interaction with them.

Yes. DH explained while I got DS ready. I rather expected one of them to poke their head out of the kitchen to say goodbye. I did call out a goodbye as I left, with no response.

And dh says they didn't eat until 9pm.

So even if you'd accepted the initial invitation for 8 dinner still would have been an hour late! I wonder if she was ticked the husbands had plans and wanted to delay them?
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: snowdragon on November 07, 2012, 07:54:43 PM
From CakeBeret's No. 65: Snooks, DH explained why we were leaving. By that time, I felt uncomfortable enough that I didn't want another uncomfortable interaction with them.

Yes. DH explained while I got DS ready. I rather expected one of them to poke their head out of the kitchen to say goodbye. I did call out a goodbye as I left, with no response.

And dh says they didn't eat until 9pm.

  I over 50 , but I would have been tired and cranky by this point - I think I would be declining all future dinner invites
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: LifeOnPluto on November 07, 2012, 08:27:16 PM
I don't think it's rude per se to serve dinner over an hour after your guests have arrived. In fact, this is the norm for most of my friends when we have dinner at each others' houses. We have a few drinks first, some finger food, and a good chat. Then dinner is served; sometimes a couple of hours after we arrived.

The OP's situation is different though. She specifically told the hostess that she needed to leave by 8pm. So Amy should have prepared and cooked earlier, so that dinner was served shortly after the OP arrived. At best, Amy was extremely scatter-brained and disorganised. At worst, she was very rude and passive-aggressive.

I also think Joe was slightly rude too. Amy is his girlfriend, right? He should have told her to get a move with dinner, as his best friend's son needed to be in bed by 8.30pm. Instead, it sounds like he was caving into whatever Amy was (or wasn't!) doing.


All that said, another option might have been to have asked Joe and Amy if they had anything DS could snack on. Then, whether it was ok to put DS to sleep in their bedroom. If they'd said no, that would definitely be a cue to leave. But if they said yes, that could have been a solution.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: CakeEater on November 07, 2012, 09:41:41 PM
I don't think it's rude per se to serve dinner over an hour after your guests have arrived. In fact, this is the norm for most of my friends when we have dinner at each others' houses. We have a few drinks first, some finger food, and a good chat. Then dinner is served; sometimes a couple of hours after we arrived.

The OP's situation is different though. She specifically told the hostess that she needed to leave by 8pm. So Amy should have prepared and cooked earlier, so that dinner was served shortly after the OP arrived. At best, Amy was extremely scatter-brained and disorganised. At worst, she was very rude and passive-aggressive.

I also think Joe was slightly rude too. Amy is his girlfriend, right? He should have told her to get a move with dinner, as his best friend's son needed to be in bed by 8.30pm. Instead, it sounds like he was caving into whatever Amy was (or wasn't!) doing.


All that said, another option might have been to have asked Joe and Amy if they had anything DS could snack on. Then, whether it was ok to put DS to sleep in their bedroom. If they'd said no, that would definitely be a cue to leave. But if they said yes, that could have been a solution.

Agree with all of this. Except that my kids wouldn't be moved from bed to car and back to bed when it was time to go home. They'd wake at some point, then not go back because they'd napped.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Sophie Jenkins on November 08, 2012, 12:45:02 AM
If this is the first time (with these friends) that a dinner has been delayed, I'd be inclined to swallow my annoyance and deal with it. I've been cooking dinners for nearly twenty years, and even with all that experience, I still manage to figure times wrongs when it's most important. Murphy's Law in action, I suppose.

My husband's friends have some spouses who I'm not all that keen on, but I would never try to put a dinner together to inconvenience them out of spite. That's incredibly childish. So, yeah. Once I'd readily forgive. Twice would make me cautious.

People sometimes make mistakes. I feel like part of etiquette is letting the honest mistakes go, even when we're not fond of the offenders.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: mindicherry on November 08, 2012, 01:56:35 AM
I'm sorry - but barring the $ aspect (which when someone invites me to dinner, I expect, be it food, wine or flowers),, this just seems like different parenting styles.

I have 3 kids..and all 3 of them can fall asleep at the drop of a dime,  This is not because they had a specific nap time or bed time.  If I was invited to something at the approximate time they needed to go to bed, I gave a heads-up that I may be in another room rocking them to sleep...or they may just have fallen asleep on the sofa in the house. I honestly have little patience for parents who insist on a schedule and get mad at the world when they are not willing to bow to that schedule.

You left - that was your choice.  My children would have just fallen asleep on the sofa and then I would have just transferred them from house to car to bed.  i know that other people would say "my kids would NEVER have slept through them coming home, being transferred from a car seat to a bed, etc".  Well - maybe because you never tried it,  My kids could always do it!
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: MariaE on November 08, 2012, 02:35:04 AM
I'm sorry - but barring the $ aspect (which when someone invites me to dinner, I expect, be it food, wine or flowers),, this just seems like different parenting styles.

Promising to have dinner ready by 6:30pm and then for it not to be ready until 9pm has absolutely nothing to do with parenting styles. The tired child is a red herring - we might just as easily have a situation where the OP was diabetic. At the end of the day, the host promised something and then failed to deliver. That in itself is rude.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Free Range Hippy Chick on November 08, 2012, 02:57:52 AM

I have 3 kids..and all 3 of them can fall asleep at the drop of a dime,  This is not because they had a specific nap time or bed time. 

Quote
You left - that was your choice.  My children would have just fallen asleep on the sofa and then I would have just transferred them from house to car to bed.  i know that other people would say "my kids would NEVER have slept through them coming home, being transferred from a car seat to a bed, etc".  Well - maybe because you never tried it,  My kids could always do it!


I think this is a little unfair - it may be different parenting style, as you suggest, but it may also be different 'childing' style. If all of your children can 'always' do it, you're lucky. I had one child who could do it, and one who most decidedly could not, and I don't for one moment believe that I changed my parenting style between them. I belonged to the 'be relaxed, no set schedule' group, and the Elder Chick wasn't bothered when his meals came as long as they came, wasn't bothered where he slept, but when he slept, he wasn't having any of this moving about thing. I used to keep a long novel in the car, because if he settled for his nap in the car seat, he would sleep for two hours, unless I tried to move him, in which case the rest of the nap wouldn't happen today. Younger Chick made it plain early on that he was regimented in the matters of meals and sleep. Both had advantages, both had disadvantages. The main disadvantage was that they weren't the same and couldn't be treated the same.

I also agree that the presence of the child is a red herring. OP and DH received an invitation for 8 p.m. They refused it and explained why. The invitation was reissued for 6:30, and they accepted it. It doesn't matter whether the reason for the refusal was that OP wanted to put her son to bed, or gets heartburn if she eats after 7:30, or had promised to be home at 9 to phone her mother, or has a religious objection to late nights, or had promised herself an all-night extravaganza of popcorn and Pride and Prejudice on DVD. Joe and Annie knew that eating late was unacceptable to OP; they could have said 'oh, shame, we can't make that work, then. Joe can just come round at nine, and we'll get together for lunch or something another time.' As soon as they said that the meal could be at 6:30, knowing that it mattered to OP, they had an obligation to make that happen, no matter what they thought of it. 
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: kckgirl on November 08, 2012, 06:43:45 AM
You left - that was your choice.  My children would have just fallen asleep on the sofa and then I would have just transferred them from house to car to bed.  i know that other people would say "my kids would NEVER have slept through them coming home, being transferred from a car seat to a bed, etc".  Well - maybe because you never tried it,  My kids could always do it!

If my children were touched while they were asleep, that was it. No more sleeping for now. I did try letting them go to sleep and moving them to car and home to bed. Didn't work. Doesn't work for all kids. I'm happy for you that your kids were so flexible, but you can't paint all kids with that brush just because it worked for you and yours.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: artk2002 on November 08, 2012, 07:04:12 AM
I'm sorry - but barring the $ aspect (which when someone invites me to dinner, I expect, be it food, wine or flowers),, this just seems like different parenting styles.

Promising to have dinner ready by 6:30pm and then for it not to be ready until 9pm has absolutely nothing to do with parenting styles. The tired child is a red herring - we might just as easily have a situation where the OP was diabetic. At the end of the day, the host promised something and then failed to deliver. That in itself is rude.

I agree. Without a cranky child, I would likely have left. Dinner promised ~6:30 and delivered at 9:00 would make me a very unhappy person.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Jones on November 08, 2012, 07:05:23 AM
I've never met a child who could fall asleep on an empty stomach.

I, on the other hand, would be unable to fall asleep after a 9 o'clock meal. I get bad heartburn if I lay down after a meal. Serving at 9 pm basically ensures I'm not getting to sleep until midnight-1ish. Not a biggie in some people's lives but I get up at 5 for work every day. Serving at 6-7 is perfect, I'm in bed by 10.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Sophia on November 08, 2012, 07:44:01 AM
I'm sorry - but barring the $ aspect (which when someone invites me to dinner, I expect, be it food, wine or flowers),, this just seems like different parenting styles.

I have 3 kids..and all 3 of them can fall asleep at the drop of a dime,  This is not because they had a specific nap time or bed time.  If I was invited to something at the approximate time they needed to go to bed, I gave a heads-up that I may be in another room rocking them to sleep...or they may just have fallen asleep on the sofa in the house. I honestly have little patience for parents who insist on a schedule and get mad at the world when they are not willing to bow to that schedule.

You left - that was your choice.  My children would have just fallen asleep on the sofa and then I would have just transferred them from house to car to bed.  i know that other people would say "my kids would NEVER have slept through them coming home, being transferred from a car seat to a bed, etc".  Well - maybe because you never tried it,  My kids could always do it!

You were lucky then in the child-sleep department.  Your kids are obviously deep sleepers.  Not everyone is.  Heck, I sleep better when I go to bed and get up at the same time every day. 

I remember one of the books on babies/children and sleep.  The authors had 4 or 5 kids.  They were all different in their going-to-sleep style.  One of their kids was like yours, and fell asleep at the drop of a hat.  In the book was a picture of that kid as a small toddler who laid down and fell asleep while in the middle of crawling up stairs.  It was adorable. 
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: anonymousmac on November 08, 2012, 07:54:09 AM
i know that other people would say "my kids would NEVER have slept through them coming home, being transferred from a car seat to a bed, etc".  Well - maybe because you never tried it,  My kids could always do it!

That's really insulting.  Do you honestly think parents whose kids are different from yours are just really stupid, and that they insist on following unnecessary schedules because they're just ridiculous people?
 
Many, many kids would be melting down in ways completely beyond their control if they didn't get food at a reasonable time, and many kids could be up screaming for hours if they weren't able to fall asleep in their own beds and stay there.  And it's not because their parents are too dumb to try not following a schedule.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Otterpop on November 08, 2012, 08:08:31 AM
Yes, I've had one of each.  Light sleeper, heavy sleeper in the same household!

OP told them she needed to leave by 8, they served dinner at 9.  This was passive, agressiveness at its finest.  I'd decline any future invitations that involve cooking.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: cicero on November 08, 2012, 08:46:23 AM
with your updates - your friend was very rude. you *told* her that 8 PM is not good because it's your son's bedtime. she assured you it was no problem and she would have dinner at 6.30

and then you got to her house and dinner was nowhere near ready; in fact, dinner wasn't even served till about 30 minutes *after* the original dinner time (the one you said wouldn't work for you).

there is no doubt in my mind at least, that this was done puposely. unless she really is *that* clueless and flaky. if something happened and she couldn't get dinner on the table on time (and accidents *do* happen) then she apologizes, and she pulls something out of the freezer, or clls up the local pizza or other take out/delivery place. i find it suspiciously coincidental that dinner was served *after* the hour that you said you had to leave by - and you ended up leaving without dinner.

Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: bloo on November 08, 2012, 08:49:00 AM
I'm sorry - but barring the $ aspect (which when someone invites me to dinner, I expect, be it food, wine or flowers),, this just seems like different parenting styles.

Promising to have dinner ready by 6:30pm and then for it not to be ready until 9pm has absolutely nothing to do with parenting styles. The tired child is a red herring - we might just as easily have a situation where the OP was diabetic. At the end of the day, the host promised something and then failed to deliver. That in itself is rude.

Agreed with MariaE, this has nothing to do with parenting styles. Rude no matter what the situation might have been that dictated that OP leave by 8 or eat by 6-7pm.

And mindicherry, I agree with the PP's that say you were lucky. One of my kids could sleep anywhere, the other couldn't.

And it wasn't for lack of trying.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: CakeBeret on November 08, 2012, 09:38:14 AM
I have 3 kids..and all 3 of them can fall asleep at the drop of a dime,  This is not because they had a specific nap time or bed time.  If I was invited to something at the approximate time they needed to go to bed, I gave a heads-up that I may be in another room rocking them to sleep...or they may just have fallen asleep on the sofa in the house. I honestly have little patience for parents who insist on a schedule and get mad at the world when they are not willing to bow to that schedule.

I absolutely and unequivocally do not expect anyone "to bow to that schedule." It is a decision that DH and I made and uphold, and our problem to deal with. We have never asked anyone to change their plans to fit our schedule. I did not ask Annie to move dinner time. We declined the invitation; it was her choice to reissue it for an earlier time. Yes, I mold my schedule around my child's bedtime, but I do not ask anyone else to do the same.

You are extraordinarily blessed to have children who are so easily put to sleep. My son goes to sleep wonderfully in his own bed, but he is going through a phase right now and does not sleep well anywhere else. And getting him to sleep without dinner? Not going to happen.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: citadelle on November 08, 2012, 09:46:44 AM
Just wondering, did you enjoy their company otherwise? Were the conversation and interactions fun and interesting for you? If so, maybe it is just a quirk that dinner was not served in time, and you'd be able to socialize with this couple knowing that even though the food may not be forthcoming, the company is still good! If not, maybe it isn't even about the late dinner as much as it is that you and Amy just do not get along.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: CakeBeret on November 08, 2012, 09:51:45 AM
Just wondering, did you enjoy their company otherwise? Were the conversation and interactions fun and interesting for you? If so, maybe it is just a quirk that dinner was not served in time, and you'd be able to socialize with this couple knowing that even though the food may not be forthcoming, the company is still good! If not, maybe it isn't even about the late dinner as much as it is that you and Amy just do not get along.

I got to converse minimally with Joe, and not at all with Annie. DH and I spent most of the time entertaining our son and Annie's toddler. So no, it was not really enjoyable socializing.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Bexx27 on November 08, 2012, 10:03:21 AM
I'm sorry - but barring the $ aspect (which when someone invites me to dinner, I expect, be it food, wine or flowers),, this just seems like different parenting styles.

I have 3 kids..and all 3 of them can fall asleep at the drop of a dime,  This is not because they had a specific nap time or bed time.  If I was invited to something at the approximate time they needed to go to bed, I gave a heads-up that I may be in another room rocking them to sleep...or they may just have fallen asleep on the sofa in the house. I honestly have little patience for parents who insist on a schedule and get mad at the world when they are not willing to bow to that schedule.

You left - that was your choice.  My children would have just fallen asleep on the sofa and then I would have just transferred them from house to car to bed.  i know that other people would say "my kids would NEVER have slept through them coming home, being transferred from a car seat to a bed, etc".  Well - maybe because you never tried it,  My kids could always do it!

What an interesting assumption.

First, as several PPs have pointed out, the fact that the child was the reason for needing to leave by a certain time doesn't actually matter. The point is that they needed to leave by a certain time. They did not expect the host to accommodate them -- they simply declined the invitation that didn't suit their schedule. The host chose to change the time so they could attend, but didn't stick to the terms of her invitation. Maybe the delay wasn't intentional on Annie's part (although it probably was), but she was perfectly aware that CakeBeret needed to leave at 8 and she's wrong to hold it against CakeBeret for sticking to that. I suspect that a) Annie didn't really want CakeBeret there, and b) Annie is one of those smug parents who think that their kids' naturally easy dispositions are due to their superior parenting and everyone else is just not trying hard enough.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: RingTailedLemur on November 08, 2012, 10:09:44 AM
It really does sound like a power play, CB.  You didn't make your child's bedtime this woman's problem because you graciously declined her invitation because it was at a time you could not make. She offered to change the time for you and then stuck to her original plans.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: TootsNYC on November 08, 2012, 10:11:02 AM
Hello - I'm new here although I've read for a while, so I hope it's OK to steam in on this.

I think Annie was probably a bit rude, maybe a bit passive aggressive and certainly badly organized.

However, I also think it's rude to turn up for a 6.30 dinner then eat and run, which is pretty much what you'd have had to do to get your son home for bed at 8. What time did you arrive?

I've read a lot of threads here about dinner parties and it seems to me that it's more about the food than the socializing, which I find a bit... odd. I do think it's rude to eat and run like that - it says 'I'm only here for the food' to me.

If dinner were ready at 6:30, there would have been plenty of time for socializing during and afterward.  And besides, that was the agreement going into it.  The hosts knew the OP had a deadline.

The OP also would have been willing to put her child to bed at 8:30.

Also, one reason the child was getting cranky is that he was hungry.

I had easy kids, always. Both of them. I knew how incredibly lucky I was. Sure, I stretched things, and it's true that if you don't try, you'll never know if your kid is "elastic" enough. But I don't believe that every parents whose kids need a rigid schedule is someone who has never challenged their kid.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: rose red on November 08, 2012, 10:13:49 AM
I agree it doesn't matter why the guest has to leave at 8pm.  You do not change the time, promise dinner at 6:30, and then not serve until 9pm.  You don't do that without an explanation even if nobody has to leave.  I can see around a 30 minute delay, but almost 3 hours?  No.  Just no.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on November 08, 2012, 10:16:40 AM
I remember a thread from about a year ago where the OP suffered from acid reflux.  Her doctor had told her to not eat after 9 pm.  And yet, although she had warned her mother and stepfather several times about this, it seemed that every time they went out to dinner, the parents would have this and that happen ("Listen to this CD!"  "Let's just order drinks and talk first before we even look at the menu.") such that the food wasn't even being served until 9 pm.

This is the same situation.  The OP needs to have their meal served by a certain time, and although the other party agrees, they manage to sabotage the effort and push the meal back to their preferred time.  It was rude then, and it is rude now.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: TomatoBunny on November 08, 2012, 11:29:35 AM
I got to converse minimally with Joe, and not at all with Annie. DH and I spent most of the time entertaining our son and Annie's toddler. So no, it was not really enjoyable socializing.

This makes it sound like you and your husband were essentially babysitters.  :-\

Since Joe apparently wasn't socializing with you and your husband, was he mostly in the kitchen with Annie?
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: bopper on November 08, 2012, 11:51:03 AM
I wonder if to her "come over for dinner at 6:30"  meant "I will start dinner at 6:30" and for you it means "eat dinner at 6:30".

Maybe it is bordering on rude to leave, but on the other hand, you are the one who has to deal with a cranky toddler the next day, not them.
And how can they complain because you want your son to be in bed by 8:00 and aren't that flexible, but they were equally not flexible in wanting to eat when they wanted to eat.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: EmmaJ. on November 08, 2012, 12:23:09 PM
I think Annie knew exactly what she was doing.  Moreover, I think she planned to do exactly that.  When she did not come out to say goodbye to you, that proved it to me.  A clueless, unorganized person would have rushed out to apologize for the delay. 

I'd tread carefully around her in the future.  I don't think I'd ever call her on it, but would certainly refuse any future invitations.

Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: artk2002 on November 08, 2012, 12:27:44 PM
I wonder if to her "come over for dinner at 6:30"  meant "I will start dinner at 6:30" and for you it means "eat dinner at 6:30".

Maybe it is bordering on rude to leave, but on the other hand, you are the one who has to deal with a cranky toddler the next day, not them.
And how can they complain because you want your son to be in bed by 8:00 and aren't that flexible, but they were equally not flexible in wanting to eat when they wanted to eat.

Although there can be a lot of leeway between the invitation time and the actual serving time -- we've had many, many threads on that -- I think that 2.5 hours is rude without a specific heads-up. If Annie meant "come at 6:30 for dinner at 9:00," she was obligated to say so, especially since the OP told her that she had a hard stop and Annie agreed to move the dinner time because of that.

I don't think that it was at all rude to leave. OP was given a set of parameters before the event and the event was changed arbitrarily. An invitation is not a summons, nor is it a prison sentence. OP wasn't obligated to stay as a prisoner of etiquette.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Luci on November 08, 2012, 12:42:28 PM
As adults without young children to take care of, we have left twice.

Once dinner was scheduled for a certain time, was very, very late. We had told the hostess that we had to leave at a certain time because of an uncle's funeral. She said fine. As I remember, I did help with the prep and serving, Lucas and I gulped down a serving of meat and a dinner roll, and left on time. I didn't do any cleanup.

The look on their faces was priceless. We did get to the funeral on time, and had a good meal afterwards. All interactions with them have been a little better scheduled since then, even when it didn't matter.

The second time was after a cousin's funeral. Oddly, there was no meal afterwards - which might be the norm in some places - so we were invited to the other cousin's house for supper. No plans were made. They wandered around for a while trying to decide whether to go to the seafood place  or run out for Chinese and a couple of other options. After an hour of no decisions, we just thanked them, gave our condolences one more time, and left. We had an 8 hour drive. Burger King never looked so good!

So, yeah, hungry adults get cranky, too. In CakeBeret's case, her focus in on the child,
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Decimus on November 08, 2012, 01:50:23 PM
I will agree that the child is a red herring.

It doesn't matter whether it was the child's bed time, acid reflux, or that they had something else to do that required they leave at a fixed time (say, a scheduled flight).  "Come over at 6:30 for dinner" could mean "come over at 6:30 and we'll socialize and then eat later," yes.  But here there was a fixed end time.  If the hosts had socialized and then served dinner at 7:30 it would be 'borderline' but, if the food only takes a half-hour to eat, just barely borderline.

The hostess did not start PREPARING the food until 7:30 -- this I feel indicates deliberate rudeness.  Even heating up a frozen pizza in the oven takes 15 minutes!  That, I feel, is the key.

I understand why OP's husband did not depart but I feel it does set a bad precedent in that the hostess will take it as "If I drag my feet enough I'll never need to feed that woman I dislike and my SO can keep his friend."
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Luci on November 08, 2012, 02:36:37 PM
If OP hadn't given us all the details, we would be saying things like, "So what's the problem? Just get a snack and lighten up!"

So she had to tell us the gravity of the situation and we can expand from there to other instances where being that late can be rather egregious.

So, it's not a real red herring, just an example to make the scenario make sense.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: ClaireC79 on November 08, 2012, 02:48:54 PM
Did the OP actually speak to Annie about the timing of the meal?  If not there is the possibility that it was a misunderstanding, such as meanings in brackets
A - come for dinner at 8 (we'll eat at 9 so can socialise for a bit first)
DH - that's a bit late isn't it, we're usually putting DH to bed then
A - you can come earlier if you want how about 6, our DS has finished his tea by then (we can socialise and then eat once the kids have gone to sleep, won't hurt them to top and tail)
DH - great we'll see you then (dinner will be earlier and DS can get back for bedtime)
A - OK (kids will be fed before we have a grown up meal after a few hours chatting)
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: LeveeWoman on November 08, 2012, 03:00:44 PM
Did the OP actually speak to Annie about the timing of the meal?  If not there is the possibility that it was a misunderstanding, such as meanings in brackets
A - come for dinner at 8 (we'll eat at 9 so can socialise for a bit first)
DH - that's a bit late isn't it, we're usually putting DH to bed then
A - you can come earlier if you want how about 6, our DS has finished his tea by then (we can socialise and then eat once the kids have gone to sleep, won't hurt them to top and tail)
DH - great we'll see you then (dinner will be earlier and DS can get back for bedtime)
A - OK (kids will be fed before we have a grown up meal after a few hours chatting)

From CakeBeret's first post: DH's best friend Joe has a new-ish girlfriend Annie. We were invited to Annie's home for dinner at 8pm, and DH told her he was sorry but we couldn't come over that late, as 8pm is DS's bedtime. We've spent enough time around Annie and Joe that they are pretty aware that we stick to bedtime pretty closely. So Annie said no problem, we could have dinner at 6:30 instead. That would give us ample time to eat, visit, and get DS home in time for bed.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: C0mputerGeek on November 08, 2012, 03:08:25 PM
If OP hadn't given us all the details, we would be saying things like, "So what's the problem? Just get a snack and lighten up!"

To what details are you referring? Inviting someone to dinner at 6:30PM and then serving the meal at 9:00PM is rude, regardless of whether children were invited or I got along with the hostess. I would not tell anyone to "get a snack and lighten up!" However, that's mainly because I would have left once I saw that the dinner prep had not even been started.

As a frequent hostess, I am also aghast that the OP was "charged" $15 for the non dinner. I don't have my guests bring food/drink/etc. when I invite them to my home for a meal.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: mj on November 08, 2012, 03:33:21 PM
I think Annie knew exactly what she was doing.  Moreover, I think she planned to do exactly that.  When she did not come out to say goodbye to you, that proved it to me.  A clueless, unorganized person would have rushed out to apologize for the delay. 

I'd tread carefully around her in the future.  I don't think I'd ever call her on it, but would certainly refuse any future invitations.

This is how I read it as well.  It could have been a misunderstanding, sure.  However with all the details and lack of apology, it really doesn't seem like a misunderstanding at all.  It reads to me that Annie meant to do this.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Luci on November 08, 2012, 03:50:37 PM
If OP hadn't given us all the details, we would be saying things like, "So what's the problem? Just get a snack and lighten up!"

To what details are you referring? Inviting someone to dinner at 6:30PM and then serving the meal at 9:00PM is rude, regardless of whether children were invited or I got along with the hostess. I would not tell anyone to "get a snack and lighten up!" However, that's mainly because I would have left once I saw that the dinner prep had not even been started.

That's exactly what I am saying in the rest of my post

So she had to tell us the gravity of the situation and we can expand from there to other instances where being that late can be rather egregious.

So, it's not a real red herring, just an example to make the scenario make sense.

I've been on eHell long enough that I know we always ask for more details or make up a bunch of reasons why it doesn't matter so much. CakeBeret was just getting that part out of the way.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: ClaireC79 on November 08, 2012, 04:31:18 PM
What I meant was Annie may have said 'come over at 6.30', meaning DS can sleep on the sofa (which others have said their kids would have been happy to do) and the husband hearing it may have taken it as 'we'll eat at 6.30' and relayed it as 'she offered dinner at 6.30'
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: LeveeWoman on November 08, 2012, 04:38:51 PM
What I meant was Annie may have said 'come over at 6.30', meaning DS can sleep on the sofa (which others have said their kids would have been happy to do) and the husband hearing it may have taken it as 'we'll eat at 6.30' and relayed it as 'she offered dinner at 6.30'

That's not what happened.

 So Annie said no problem, we could have dinner at 6:30 instead. That would give us ample time to eat, visit, and get DS home in time for bed.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Winterlight on November 08, 2012, 08:04:40 PM
I think I would decline further dinner invitations.

Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: LifeOnPluto on November 08, 2012, 08:15:35 PM
What I meant was Annie may have said 'come over at 6.30', meaning DS can sleep on the sofa (which others have said their kids would have been happy to do) and the husband hearing it may have taken it as 'we'll eat at 6.30' and relayed it as 'she offered dinner at 6.30'

It's possible, but the onus was on the hostess to clearly state this. All she had to say was "How about we feed our kids early at home, then you guys can come over at 6.30pm. You can put your DS to sleep on the sofa once his bedtime rolls around, and us grown-ups can have dinner." Then she would have been in the clear.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: LeveeWoman on November 08, 2012, 08:29:43 PM
CakeBeret said in No. 78 that she does not put her son down to sleep in someone else's house because he wakes up at some point between then and when she gets him into his own bed 15 minutes away and does not go back to sleep.

Whoops! No. 78 was from CakeEater.

However, CakeBeret's No. 91 explains her situation.

I apologize for the mix-up, eHellions!
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Allyson on November 08, 2012, 10:22:23 PM
A mixup from too much cake...sounds tasty...

Yes, in general 'come over for six thirty' could mean eating at a later point, and would mean that in some circles. But it was specifically discussed that it would be an earlier dinner, so that you could leave by a prescribed end date--8:00. In what world is serving dinner at 9 with no explanation or apology an ok thing to do? Regardless of the reasons, this was really rude. You could've had to be at work by 9, and it would've been rude too!

It's one of those things that makes my blood boil, and just seems like such total disregard for others. The 'oh, tee hee I'm always late!' personality is annoying enough, but when someone has specifically given a time they need to be out of there..do they think it's just a suggestion? If it really was a time got away from her scenario, she should have been falling all over herself apologising! I'd have been mortified.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: LeveeWoman on November 08, 2012, 10:29:41 PM
A mixup from too much cake...sounds tasty...

Yes, in general 'come over for six thirty' could mean eating at a later point, and would mean that in some circles. But it was specifically discussed that it would be an earlier dinner, so that you could leave by a prescribed end date--8:00. In what world is serving dinner at 9 with no explanation or apology an ok thing to do? Regardless of the reasons, this was really rude. You could've had to be at work by 9, and it would've been rude too!

It's one of those things that makes my blood boil, and just seems like such total disregard for others. The 'oh, tee hee I'm always late!' personality is annoying enough, but when someone has specifically given a time they need to be out of there..do they think it's just a suggestion? If it really was a time got away from her scenario, she should have been falling all over herself apologising! I'd have been mortified.

Badda-boom! Badda-bing!

Annie did this on purpose.

Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Really? on November 08, 2012, 11:29:27 PM
So I don't think the OP was rude. She needed to leave, she needed to leave and the Hostess was way off on time.

I would be interested in an update to see how the Host and Hostess reacted after a couple of days. Cause I thought it was kind of rude of them also to note even come out to say bye.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Maude on November 09, 2012, 02:44:50 PM
So. What were the husbands'plans that were so flexible that they could be accomplished any time between about 8.00pm and 10.00pm?
I think that next time your husband has plans with Joe you should politely decline and spend the evening at home entertaining your child ONLY and not babysitting Annie's child.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: miranova on November 09, 2012, 06:06:49 PM
So. What were the husbands'plans that were so flexible that they could be accomplished any time between about 8.00pm and 10.00pm?


I can think of multiple things.  Going out and getting a few drinks, playing pool, throwing darts, watching a DVD, etc etc.

But back to the topic, yes, the hosts were very rude.  You on the other hand did exactly what you said you would do, which was leave by a certain time.  In what universe could it be rude to actually keep one's word?  I'm not saying it would be wrong to stay if you had wanted to, but leaving as you said you would is perfectly acceptable and any host who expects you to cancel other previous plans (no matter what they are) to stay far later than intented is a special snowflake indeed.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: mindicherry on November 09, 2012, 07:25:57 PM
I wonder if to her "come over for dinner at 6:30"  meant "I will start dinner at 6:30" and for you it means "eat dinner at 6:30".

Maybe it is bordering on rude to leave, but on the other hand, you are the one who has to deal with a cranky toddler the next day, not them.
And how can they complain because you want your son to be in bed by 8:00 and aren't that flexible, but they were equally not flexible in wanting to eat when they wanted to eat.

First - to everyone who replied to my post 2 (3?) pages back...I didn't mean to "post & run" and then not reply.  One of my kids was sent home from school sick at 9:00am yesterday morning and I have been dealing with THAT fun. (he's finally better, as of a few hours ago)

I guess, in my mind, unless this is a next-door neighbor or your "BFF", I don't understand how it is really "acceptable" to drive to a friend's house, be there at 6:30pm, expect to walk in and have dinner on the table, then leave 90 minutes later (in order to get your child to bed).  Where is the time for socializing? Where is the time for treating them as anything more than a free dinner? If someone invites me/my family over for dinner, except for the "neighborhood impromptu barbecues" ("hey - it's a school night and I have some ribs.  Do you have any salad?  Let's toss everything together and feed the kids so we can get them to bed at a reasonable time and they can still have some time to play")...I expect to be there for a MINIMUM of 2-3 hours.

On the other hand, your husband DID have plans with Joe afterwards.  Perhaps the best idea would have been for just your DH to go for the dinner, and you have stayed home, since you only had a 90-minute window. I'm not saying that your DH gets to have all the fun while you stayed home, but given your time restraints, a 6:30pm dinnertime with friends (and expecting to have ANY time to do anything other than eat) would probably be best hosted in your home, when you can have dinner, then put your child down at their appointed bedtime, and then have time to socialize (which is the whole point of getting together with friends - right?)

As for those who pointed out that I was very lucky/blessed to have children who would fall asleep anywhere:  yes - I realize that I was "lucky".  I didn't mean that EVERY child will be like that.  But I also had quite a few friends (when my kids were younger) who would hang a sign on the front door that said "Please don't ring bell - baby sleeping" and then wonder why their kids were such light sleepers.  Maybe I AM extraordinarily lucky, but my kids were cuddling to sleep with me in the hospital when they were 36 hours old and the TV was on (I NEED "white noise" at all times).  I have only my own experience (and the dumb choices - seriously - REALLY dumb choices) of some of my personal friends to go on)

Edited to add:  that being said, I do think that Joe's GF was rude because you twice told her your expectations.  on the other hand, I think that your expectations were unreasonable to many people.  You should have just stayed home if you knew that they were the kind of people who like to eat late.  My mother invites me over to dinner all the time at 7...we never eat before 9.  Maybe this was your first experience with this couple (although given their original chosen dinner time, you should have had a clue).  But "late-eaters" and "early eaters" can usually only agree when it comes to an afternoon BBQ.  And this is coming from someone who recently went on a cruise with "early eaters" when we are "late eaters" and we had a fun fight about picking the Dinner Seating Time!
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: TootsNYC on November 09, 2012, 08:01:57 PM
I think the OP's hostess and host had said the half hour would be fine.

Frankly, if I had invited someone w/ a narrow window for dinner, I *would* have had dinner ready BY 6:30.

I think it was rude to be in the kitchen cooking, with their guests cooling their heels in the other room. You don't invite people over to watch you cook. Your cooking should mostly be done by the time they get there.

Don't get me wrong--I have had people over for dinner and not been finished when they arrive. But--I always regard it as a failure when that happens, unless it's a few last-minute touches.

And even in those situations, we socialized WHILE I finished up. We talked--they stood in the kitchen doorway, or my DH entertained them in the living room with me shouting comments from the kitchen or running out briefly to be part of the convo when it got suddenly interesting.

I think this was a lesson for the OP--while your kid is little, evening dinner get-togethers aren't a good idea. Maybe they'll work if *you* host, but they leave you a very short socializing time. And it's the rare host that can make your short socializing time work. Apparently THIS particular hostess and host can't do it.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: TootsNYC on November 09, 2012, 08:02:26 PM
Oh, and...

I've never needed 2.5 *HOURS* to finish the dinner that was running late!!
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: bloo on November 09, 2012, 08:10:23 PM
I guess, in my mind, unless this is a next-door neighbor or your "BFF", I don't understand how it is really "acceptable" to drive to a friend's house, be there at 6:30pm, expect to walk in and have dinner on the table, then leave 90 minutes later (in order to get your child to bed).  Where is the time for socializing? Where is the time for treating them as anything more than a free dinner? If someone invites me/my family over for dinner, except for the "neighborhood impromptu barbecues" ("hey - it's a school night and I have some ribs.  Do you have any salad?  Let's toss everything together and feed the kids so we can get them to bed at a reasonable time and they can still have some time to play")...I expect to be there for a MINIMUM of 2-3 hours.

In the OP, Cake's DH declined the invite because of their son's sleep schedule (nothing wrong with that). Annie countered with an earlier dinner time. Hosts and guests AGREED on the time and length of the visit. That makes it acceptable. No one else gets to determine how long the event should last, kwim? Had Annie had dinner ready at 6:30pm, they all could have socialized until 8pm.


On the other hand, your husband DID have plans with Joe afterwards.  Perhaps the best idea would have been for just your DH to go for the dinner, and you have stayed home, since you only had a 90-minute window. I'm not saying that your DH gets to have all the fun while you stayed home, but given your time restraints, a 6:30pm dinnertime with friends (and expecting to have ANY time to do anything other than eat) would probably be best hosted in your home, when you can have dinner, then put your child down at their appointed bedtime, and then have time to socialize (which is the whole point of getting together with friends - right?)

The OP has made statements to the effect that Joe and DH already had plans anyway. Annie pushed the issue with the timing so OP could attend for dinner. I'm willing to bet $5 that Cake would have bowed out of the earlier dinner if she already were aware of the fact that Annie is a flake.


As for those who pointed out that I was very lucky/blessed to have children who would fall asleep anywhere:  yes - I realize that I was "lucky".  I didn't mean that EVERY child will be like that.  But I also had quite a few friends (when my kids were younger) who would hang a sign on the front door that said "Please don't ring bell - baby sleeping" and then wonder why their kids were such light sleepers.  Maybe I AM extraordinarily lucky, but my kids were cuddling to sleep with me in the hospital when they were 36 hours old and the TV was on (I NEED "white noise" at all times).  I have only my own experience (and the dumb choices - seriously - REALLY dumb choices) of some of my personal friends to go on)


I'm not intending to pick on you Mindi but it just seems like you're on the other end of the spectrum. I thought the same thing about my kids. I could just train them to be heavy sleepers. But I think its a combo of me vacuuming under their cribs while they napped AND they're just heavy sleepers. And since you need white noise at all times does that mean you're parents made a really dumb choice while you were a baby, you know, of being too loud?

Edited to add:  that being said, I do think that Joe's GF was rude because you twice told her your expectations.  on the other hand, I think that your expectations were unreasonable to many people.  You should have just stayed home if you knew that they were the kind of people who like to eat late.  My mother invites me over to dinner all the time at 7...we never eat before 9.  Maybe this was your first experience with this couple (although given their original chosen dinner time, you should have had a clue).  But "late-eaters" and "early eaters" can usually only agree when it comes to an afternoon BBQ.  And this is coming from someone who recently went on a cruise with "early eaters" when we are "late eaters" and we had a fun fight about picking the Dinner Seating Time!

I disagree that Cake had any unreasonable expectations. Since when is it unreasonable for people to...oh you know..DO what they SAY they're going to do? Cake can have her kid on any sleep schedule she wants. If Annie didn't like the constraints of Cupcake's sleep schedule, she shouldn't have offered to have dinner ready earlier. She should have accepted Dh's decline of Cake and Cupcake coming over. Like I said earlier, Cake didn't know Annie was quite this flaky. Now she knows to stay home if Annie invites her over for an 'early dinner'.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: bloo on November 09, 2012, 08:18:20 PM

First - to everyone who replied to my post 2 (3?) pages back...I didn't mean to "post & run" and then not reply.  One of my kids was sent home from school sick at 9:00am yesterday morning and I have been dealing with THAT fun. (he's finally better, as of a few hours ago)

BTW, I'm sorry your son was sick but glad he's feeling better! :) I shouldn't have ignored that part of your post. :-[
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: miranova on November 09, 2012, 09:13:02 PM
Oh, and...

I've never needed 2.5 *HOURS* to finish the dinner that was running late!!

Seriously.  Unless she was cooking a Thanksgiving turkey, nothing should take THAT long to "finish up".  I vote deliberately passive aggressive.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: CakeEater on November 09, 2012, 11:18:14 PM
I wonder if to her "come over for dinner at 6:30"  meant "I will start dinner at 6:30" and for you it means "eat dinner at 6:30".

Maybe it is bordering on rude to leave, but on the other hand, you are the one who has to deal with a cranky toddler the next day, not them.
And how can they complain because you want your son to be in bed by 8:00 and aren't that flexible, but they were equally not flexible in wanting to eat when they wanted to eat.



As for those who pointed out that I was very lucky/blessed to have children who would fall asleep anywhere:  yes - I realize that I was "lucky".  I didn't mean that EVERY child will be like that.  But I also had quite a few friends (when my kids were younger) who would hang a sign on the front door that said "Please don't ring bell - baby sleeping" and then wonder why their kids were such light sleepers.  Maybe I AM extraordinarily lucky, but my kids were cuddling to sleep with me in the hospital when they were 36 hours old and the TV was on (I NEED "white noise" at all times).  I have only my own experience (and the dumb choices - seriously - REALLY dumb choices) of some of my personal friends to go on)



My first baby never slept. We were at our wits' end. I was an absolute basket case when she never slept more than 45 minutes in a row, ever, until she was six weeks old. That's day and night. For 6 weeks. 20 minutes was my longest sleep day and night. You can bet your bottom dollar that I tried everything to make that kids sleep.

Seriously, asking people not to ring the doorbell when she was finally asleep in the middle of the afternoon and I could take my 20 minute nap so I didn't go completely insane was not a 'dumb choice', I promise.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: squeakers on November 09, 2012, 11:34:45 PM


As for those who pointed out that I was very lucky/blessed to have children who would fall asleep anywhere:  yes - I realize that I was "lucky".  I didn't mean that EVERY child will be like that.  But I also had quite a few friends (when my kids were younger) who would hang a sign on the front door that said "Please don't ring bell - baby sleeping" and then wonder why their kids were such light sleepers.  Maybe I AM extraordinarily lucky, but my kids were cuddling to sleep with me in the hospital when they were 36 hours old and the TV was on (I NEED "white noise" at all times).  I have only my own experience (and the dumb choices - seriously - REALLY dumb choices) of some of my personal friends to go on)


My kids could sleep through a dirt track race (and did.. daddy raced every week-end back when).  They could sleep through a cockatoo screaming (more decibels than a jet plane).  But moving them from a car seat to their own beds would guarantee a meltdown of epic proportions.* Ones that no one but me got to enjoy. Cos hubby needed his sleep for work=our money.  His parents, my parents or our friends.. never had a clue.  Cos we found it out early and made plans with those limitations in mind.

The OP knows her kid.

The hostess knew the limitations her guests had.

The hostess chose to ignore those limitations.

The hostess and host were rude.

And the hubby doesn't get any points once 7pm came and went with no food showing up.

*(we won't talk about from a couch/bed/carset to carseat in the house to carseat in the car and a 45 minute drive... cos I don't need that nightmare to compete with "forgot my gym locker combo and am naked" dream. I've been out of school for over 20 years and no babies for over a decade.. but the former is much more sad vs embarrassing... I can deal with embarrassing).
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: gypsy77 on November 10, 2012, 12:34:30 AM


Edited to add:  that being said, I do think that Joe's GF was rude because you twice told her your expectations.  on the other hand, I think that your expectations were unreasonable to many people.  You should have just stayed home if you knew that they were the kind of people who like to eat late.  My mother invites me over to dinner all the time at 7...we never eat before 9.  Maybe this was your first experience with this couple (although given their original chosen dinner time, you should have had a clue).  But "late-eaters" and "early eaters" can usually only agree when it comes to an afternoon BBQ.  And this is coming from someone who recently went on a cruise with "early eaters" when we are "late eaters" and we had a fun fight about picking the Dinner Seating Time!

The thing is, Cakeberet *tried* to decline and stay home. The hostess then chnaged the invite already knowing the time constraints. CakeBeret did not ask her to change them, it was offered by the hosts.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Catananche on November 10, 2012, 05:05:41 AM
I would have left at 8 as well. In my circle of friends and family when we invite someone over for dinner at 6.30, the food will be on the table around 6.30. And when my guests tell me that they have to leave around 8, I'm going to try my hardest to make sure they are fed, entertained and had a good time before they left.

As for the sleepers: I had one good sleeper. She would sleep through anything, could be moved from carseat to bed (and reverse) asleep, she would (and could!) sleep everywhere. No need for notes on the door to be quiet for her!
Then her sister came along. She was a light sleeper, if you walked past her room and your knees creaked she would be up again. For hours.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: anonymousmac on November 10, 2012, 08:15:16 AM
But I also had quite a few friends (when my kids were younger) who would hang a sign on the front door that said "Please don't ring bell - baby sleeping" and then wonder why their kids were such light sleepers.  Maybe I AM extraordinarily lucky, but my kids were cuddling to sleep with me in the hospital when they were 36 hours old and the TV was on (I NEED "white noise" at all times).  I have only my own experience (and the dumb choices - seriously - REALLY dumb choices) of some of my personal friends to go on)

In my experience, the causality runs the other direction.  People whose kids can sleep deeply, easily, and almost anywhere are able to have flexible schedules, go anywhere, and make lots of noise around their kids.  People whose kids have lots of trouble falling asleep, wake very easily, and mostly can't sleep except at specific times in their own quiet beds, end up as those families who have to really follow a schedule, restrict their activities, and tiptoe around if they don't want to live a nightmare of sleep deprivation and constant meltdowns.

I think many parents of easy kids think they just did something right, but in my experience we really don't have as much control over these things as we'd like to think.  It always felt like adding insult to injury when parents of easy kids say things to me like "Oh, just make lots of noise around kids and take them out a lot!  That's what I did and my kids sleep through anything!"  It's as if they think (1) that I didn't already try that 1000 times and (2) that I must just be really stupid, following schedules and tiptoeing around my kids for absolutely no reason.

I'm glad your son is feeling better!
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Sophia on November 10, 2012, 08:22:35 AM
A friend in the mom church group has a daughter the same age as mine.  She said she never intended on following a schedule - at all.  But, she said you could set a clock by when her daughter wanted to eat or sleep.  During baby playgroup she might say something like "It must be 4 o'clock so-and-so needs food".  But, it wasn't that she saw the time and THEN realized she should feed her child.  She saw that her daughter wanted food, and then noticed the time. 
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Hunter-Gatherer on November 10, 2012, 09:36:15 AM
I have 3 kids..and all 3 of them can fall asleep at the drop of a dime,  This is not because they had a specific nap time or bed time.  If I was invited to something at the approximate time they needed to go to bed, I gave a heads-up that I may be in another room rocking them to sleep...or they may just have fallen asleep on the sofa in the house. I honestly have little patience for parents who insist on a schedule and get mad at the world when they are not willing to bow to that schedule.

You left - that was your choice.  My children would have just fallen asleep on the sofa and then I would have just transferred them from house to car to bed.  i know that other people would say "my kids would NEVER have slept through them coming home, being transferred from a car seat to a bed, etc".  Well - maybe because you never tried it,  My kids could always do it!

I only have one kid, who's now 4 and a half.  I've never really kept him on a strict schedule, and like yours he's a really good sleeper, though in a strange house with strange people he'd probably (even 2 years ago) just stay up until whenever I left (even if it was midnight) and then fall sound asleep moments after getting in the car to go home.  Fortunately he transfers from the carseat to bed very well.

On the other hand, that's my kid, and I know not everyone's kids are like mine.  I'm not going to push other people to do things my way any more than I want them to tell me that I'm wrong for not keeping him on a strict schedule.  (Although if a parent complains to me about their child waking them up at 5 in the morning and I know that they keep a strict schedule where they put the child to bed at 7 at night, I'm not averse to pointing out that the former is a logical consequence of the latter. >:D )  One thing I'm specifically not going to do is agree to something that fits their schedule, and then intentionally draw things out to mess up that schedule just because I disapprove of it.  That is extremely rude, and even as a parent who doesn't do a strict schedule, I can say that the host in the OP was PA, and very, very rude.


Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: JenJay on November 10, 2012, 10:22:07 AM
I have three kids and they were all fantastic sleepers. In CB's shoes I could have kept them up late. I could have put them down at her house and taken them home and put them to bed. I still would have been ticked if I'd been invited for dinner at 6:30 and not served until almost 9. I would have had snacks for my kids but I would have been tired, hungry and grumpy! The child's sleep schedule is a red herring, it doesn't matter why CB had to be home by 8:30. Unless there are extenuating circumstances like your oven broke and there's nowhere else to get food, it's rude to delay dinner by 2.5 hours, especially if you're in the kitchen preparing it that entire time and don't bother to socialize with your guests, offer snacks and drinks, etc.

CB was not rude to leave when she said she needed to leave. It doesn't matter why she had to go. Her husband did the right thing and declined the invitation for 8pm, explaining that she needed to be headed home by 8 (or shortly thereafter). Her hostess acknowledged that and chose to change the invitation to accommodate CB's need to be home at 8. The hostess then delayed dinner, either through deliberate snottiness or accidentally due to lack of planning, forcing CB to have to leave before dinner. There was nothing rude about CB having to leave.

Let me change the scenario a bit and share something that happened to me. I needed a consultation with a new doctor. I called the office and was offered an appointment for 3pm. I explained that I couldn't make that because I had another appointment that couldn't be changed at 4pm and it was half an hour away, so I needed to leave the office by no later than 3:15 to be safe. She said she understood and offered me an appointment for 2pm and assured me that they keep a tight schedule and I'd be out of there in plenty of time.

I show up at 1:45, check in, and wait... and wait... and wait. At 2:45 I went to the counter and asked if I would be called soon, explaining that I had to leave by 3:15. I was told it wouldn't be much longer. At 3:15 I gathered my purse and jacket, went back to the reception counter and explained that I had to leave and why. I also told her I expected my co-pay to be refunded. Was I rude for leaving? Nope. I explained, twice, that I needed to leave by a certain time. If they thought I was bluffing that was their mistake.

(As it turned out the doctor was fantastic, and really was generally on schedule, but there'd been an emergency with a pregnant patient. He called me on my way home and insisted I come back during his lunch hour on whatever day was convenient for me and was never late again for any of the appointments that followed.)
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: TootsNYC on November 10, 2012, 10:47:34 AM
On the other hand, that's my kid, and I know not everyone's kids are like mine.  I'm not going to push other people to do things my way any more than I want them to tell me that I'm wrong for not keeping him on a strict schedule.  . . .  One thing I'm specifically not going to do is agree to something that fits their schedule, and then intentionally draw things out to mess up that schedule just because I disapprove of it.  That is extremely rude, and even as a parent who doesn't do a strict schedule, I can say that the host in the OP was PA, and very, very rude.

I'm not going to say that Annie was *intentionally* making dinner take so long.

But I'll tell you that even accidentally I'm not going to take an 2.5 HOURS  to get some sort of dinner before my guests when they arrive at my home. Or if it took me that long, I'm not going to be ignoring them the whole time. Nor would I omit an apology when they said, "It's getting too late, I have to leave."

THAT is the part of this that makes this whole thing so rude, and not just "lame at timing dining." (I've *been* "lame at timing dinner," but I wasn't rude on top of it.)

The hosts didn't make much of an effort to interact w/ their guests; they didn't apparently apologize that stuff was late and explain it, and when two of their guests *had* to leave, they didn't bother to even call out from the kitchen, let alone come out and say anything.

I'd have been apologizing all over the place at 7pm. And making some "oh, the heck with it!" decisions. We'd have eaten the carrots raw instead of cooked.

I'd also have been asking at least one of my guest (since these are good friends) if they'd be willing to pull the salad together, or something, to speed things up.
   (Heck, Annie was sure willing to ask for topping stuff that cost $15; that doesn't indicate that asking for help would have been such a faux pas between them.)

You can be damned sure that if CakeBeret had been at one of OUR houses, she wouldn't be posting at Etiquette Hell about this--because not a ONE of us would have let her leave our house without an apology for our bad timing. She'd have left KNOWING that the friendship hadn't been damaged and that she hadn't been rude.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Dragonflymom on November 10, 2012, 11:31:38 AM
I had the mortifying experience of serving dinner about 2 hours late once when we had friends over.  I was trying out a new recipe (always a mistake when having company over I discovered the hard way!) and it looked a lot easier and faster in the book then it actually ended up being.

But I apologized all over the place about it.  I accepted their help in trying to get the thrice accused sweet potato pancakes and tamarind soup done at a more reasonable hour.  I tried to socialize with them as best I could while stuff was cooking, and so did my husband.

My point in all this is that yeah cooking disasters happen.  But a good host does not handle them like this woman does.  A good host handles them with as much grace as they can, and tries to make the best of it.

That's what makes me think it could have been passive aggressive.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Allyson on November 10, 2012, 11:43:41 AM
About the 'rude to only be around for an hour and a half' thing...that might be true in general, but I think this is an exception because Annie *knew* that going into this. She specifically invited them for the time she did so that they could be gone by 8. So to me, had everything worked out, this wouldn't even have slightly been an issue. Yes, it's technically breaking a rule, but it seems to me it was an agreed-upon-by-everyone rule breaking.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: SleepyKitty on November 10, 2012, 11:46:56 AM
I guess, in my mind, unless this is a next-door neighbor or your "BFF", I don't understand how it is really "acceptable" to drive to a friend's house, be there at 6:30pm, expect to walk in and have dinner on the table, then leave 90 minutes later (in order to get your child to bed).  Where is the time for socializing? Where is the time for treating them as anything more than a free dinner? If someone invites me/my family over for dinner, except for the "neighborhood impromptu barbecues" ("hey - it's a school night and I have some ribs.  Do you have any salad?  Let's toss everything together and feed the kids so we can get them to bed at a reasonable time and they can still have some time to play")...I expect to be there for a MINIMUM of 2-3 hours.

See, things run differently in my social circle. Time is tight for all of us, we understand time is tight, and 2-3 hours for dinner is just not do-able. I would absolutely not expect to spend that long with someone. And the hosts in this circumstance were well aware that this was the situation for CakeBeret.

And I'm not sure why you couldn't socialize over dinner? For my set, dinner IS the socializing time. So, asking where the time for socializing/treating them as something more than a free dinner puzzles me. Isn't the dinner that time? Having dinner on the table and ready to go frees up MORE time for socializing (to me) because then one person isn't in the kitchen trying to finish cooking. Everyone sits right down together and spends that 90 minutes together over dinner, or maybe 30 minutes at the table and then 60 in the living room over tea/coffee or however you want to slice it.

I just can't understand how sitting down to dinner with someone and spending 90 minutes in their company is somehow not acceptable. How much socializing is necessary?
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: TootsNYC on November 10, 2012, 11:51:23 AM
And remember that Annie & Joe's cooking schedule fixed it so that there was NO socializing. To me that's a big part of the rudeness.

The hosts were in the kitchen and the guests were in the living room by themselves.

Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: LeveeWoman on November 10, 2012, 12:22:35 PM
And remember that Annie & Joe's cooking schedule fixed it so that there was NO socializing. To me that's a big part of the rudeness.

The hosts were in the kitchen and the guests were in the living room by themselves.

No, they were joined by the hosts' toddler whom they entertained!  ::)
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: artk2002 on November 10, 2012, 03:59:30 PM
I guess, in my mind, unless this is a next-door neighbor or your "BFF", I don't understand how it is really "acceptable" to drive to a friend's house, be there at 6:30pm, expect to walk in and have dinner on the table, then leave 90 minutes later (in order to get your child to bed).  Where is the time for socializing? Where is the time for treating them as anything more than a free dinner? If someone invites me/my family over for dinner, except for the "neighborhood impromptu barbecues" ("hey - it's a school night and I have some ribs.  Do you have any salad?  Let's toss everything together and feed the kids so we can get them to bed at a reasonable time and they can still have some time to play")...I expect to be there for a MINIMUM of 2-3 hours.

It's acceptable (without the scare quotes, please) when the host has agreed to that. If Annie wanted a minimum of three hours to socialize then it was up to her to set that expectation. The OP (through her DH) was very, very clear on what her intent was. Annie was free to say "I'm sorry, that doesn't work for us." She didn't.

Not every social event has to meet your very specific standards. Getting together for 30 minutes over coffee is just as good as a 2-3 hour visit. Different events have different parameters and that doesn't make any one of them wrong. What's wrong is agreeing to one set of parameters and then not following through.

OP is blameless here. OP didn't "expect to walk in and have dinner on the table." What she did expect was that dinner would be served in enough time for her to eat and leave when she said she had to leave -- two very different things. Dinner could easily have been served at 7:00 or 7:15 to meet her exit requirement that Annie had previously agreed to. Not starting dinner until 7:30, especially a dinner that took 1.5 hours to prepare, was a clear violation of the agreement.

If you don't want to visit someone for such a short time, you're free to decline any invitation that doesn't meet your standards. If you invite someone and they say that they would like to, but have a restriction, you're free to rescind the invitation if you don't think the event will be up to your standards if you were to accommodate their restriction. OP tried to decline and Annie agreed to change the event to meet OP's need.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: LeveeWoman on November 10, 2012, 04:35:35 PM
I guess, in my mind, unless this is a next-door neighbor or your "BFF", I don't understand how it is really "acceptable" to drive to a friend's house, be there at 6:30pm, expect to walk in and have dinner on the table, then leave 90 minutes later (in order to get your child to bed).  Where is the time for socializing? Where is the time for treating them as anything more than a free dinner? If someone invites me/my family over for dinner, except for the "neighborhood impromptu barbecues" ("hey - it's a school night and I have some ribs.  Do you have any salad?  Let's toss everything together and feed the kids so we can get them to bed at a reasonable time and they can still have some time to play")...I expect to be there for a MINIMUM of 2-3 hours.

It's acceptable (without the scare quotes, please) when the host has agreed to that. If Annie wanted a minimum of three hours to socialize then it was up to her to set that expectation. The OP (through her DH) was very, very clear on what her intent was. Annie was free to say "I'm sorry, that doesn't work for us." She didn't.

Not every social event has to meet your very specific standards. Getting together for 30 minutes over coffee is just as good as a 2-3 hour visit. Different events have different parameters and that doesn't make any one of them wrong. What's wrong is agreeing to one set of parameters and then not following through.

OP is blameless here. OP didn't "expect to walk in and have dinner on the table." What she did expect was that dinner would be served in enough time for her to eat and leave when she said she had to leave -- two very different things. Dinner could easily have been served at 7:00 or 7:15 to meet her exit requirement that Annie had previously agreed to. Not starting dinner until 7:30, especially a dinner that took 1.5 hours to prepare, was a clear violation of the agreement.

If you don't want to visit someone for such a short time, you're free to decline any invitation that doesn't meet your standards. If you invite someone and they say that they would like to, but have a restriction, you're free to rescind the invitation if you don't think the event will be up to your standards if you were to accommodate their restriction. OP tried to decline and Annie agreed to change the event to meet OP's need.

DITTO!
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: NyaChan on November 10, 2012, 04:48:09 PM
Don't want to copy the whole thing, but I agree completely with artk2002 & LeveeWoman
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: FauxFoodist on November 10, 2012, 06:45:37 PM
I guess, in my mind, unless this is a next-door neighbor or your "BFF", I don't understand how it is really "acceptable" to drive to a friend's house, be there at 6:30pm, expect to walk in and have dinner on the table, then leave 90 minutes later (in order to get your child to bed).  Where is the time for socializing? Where is the time for treating them as anything more than a free dinner? If someone invites me/my family over for dinner, except for the "neighborhood impromptu barbecues" ("hey - it's a school night and I have some ribs.  Do you have any salad?  Let's toss everything together and feed the kids so we can get them to bed at a reasonable time and they can still have some time to play")...I expect to be there for a MINIMUM of 2-3 hours.

It's acceptable (without the scare quotes, please) when the host has agreed to that. If Annie wanted a minimum of three hours to socialize then it was up to her to set that expectation. The OP (through her DH) was very, very clear on what her intent was. Annie was free to say "I'm sorry, that doesn't work for us." She didn't.

Not every social event has to meet your very specific standards. Getting together for 30 minutes over coffee is just as good as a 2-3 hour visit. Different events have different parameters and that doesn't make any one of them wrong. What's wrong is agreeing to one set of parameters and then not following through.

OP is blameless here. OP didn't "expect to walk in and have dinner on the table." What she did expect was that dinner would be served in enough time for her to eat and leave when she said she had to leave -- two very different things. Dinner could easily have been served at 7:00 or 7:15 to meet her exit requirement that Annie had previously agreed to. Not starting dinner until 7:30, especially a dinner that took 1.5 hours to prepare, was a clear violation of the agreement.

If you don't want to visit someone for such a short time, you're free to decline any invitation that doesn't meet your standards. If you invite someone and they say that they would like to, but have a restriction, you're free to rescind the invitation if you don't think the event will be up to your standards if you were to accommodate their restriction. OP tried to decline and Annie agreed to change the event to meet OP's need.

DITTO!

Count me in agreement also.  I couldn't imagine dictating for everyone else what is an acceptable minimum length of time to socialize, especially when it has been agreed upon by those involved.

Look at the reverse.  Really, is it acceptable to mandate that others spend a minimum of 2-3 hours socializing with you when they agreed to coming over for dinner (or whatever other meal)?

If your social circle's practice is 2-3 hours minimum and that is what is understood, then that's fine.  However, it's not acceptable to project that on others outside of your circle and look at them askance when they don't follow YOUR rules.

In the OP's case, the friends agreed to the change then didn't follow through.  I can't say whether or not it were intentional, although not coming out of the kitchen to say goodbye was definitely rude.

DF has an aunt who is notorious for never being on time with dinner.  Even two of her kids won't come over when she wants them to because they know she'll never have dinner ready near the hour she wants everyone to come over (I'm talking she wants everyone over like at 2-3pm and state dinner will be ready about 6pm then dinner isn't ready until about 7-8pm).  I don't think she's being PA or controlling.  I think she really just is a bit too laid-back about being on a schedule.  One time, DF's cousin showed up at 6pm, and dinner was still about an hour late (Cousin had something to say about that, too, which we all found really funny).  DF has told her in advance that, no matter what time dinner is served, we have to leave by a specific time in order to be able to make the 1.5-2 hour drive home while still alert (DF doesn't really care for me insisting on it, but I tell him repeatedly that I don't care for having to pull over and snooze in a parking lot because he wants to stay later then neither of us is awake enough to make the drive home without stopping).

Anyway, if it weren't for the fact that the couple would not come out of the kitchen and did not apologize to the OP at all, I would've thought of this as a really really bad sense of timing.  However, the fact that they didn't tells me it doesn't matter if it were not intentional; they didn't think themselves in the wrong here.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: kareng57 on November 10, 2012, 10:29:48 PM
But I also had quite a few friends (when my kids were younger) who would hang a sign on the front door that said "Please don't ring bell - baby sleeping" and then wonder why their kids were such light sleepers.  Maybe I AM extraordinarily lucky, but my kids were cuddling to sleep with me in the hospital when they were 36 hours old and the TV was on (I NEED "white noise" at all times).  I have only my own experience (and the dumb choices - seriously - REALLY dumb choices) of some of my personal friends to go on)

In my experience, the causality runs the other direction.  People whose kids can sleep deeply, easily, and almost anywhere are able to have flexible schedules, go anywhere, and make lots of noise around their kids.  People whose kids have lots of trouble falling asleep, wake very easily, and mostly can't sleep except at specific times in their own quiet beds, end up as those families who have to really follow a schedule, restrict their activities, and tiptoe around if they don't want to live a nightmare of sleep deprivation and constant meltdowns.

I think many parents of easy kids think they just did something right, but in my experience we really don't have as much control over these things as we'd like to think.  It always felt like adding insult to injury when parents of easy kids say things to me like "Oh, just make lots of noise around kids and take them out a lot!  That's what I did and my kids sleep through anything!"  It's as if they think (1) that I didn't already try that 1000 times and (2) that I must just be really stupid, following schedules and tiptoeing around my kids for absolutely no reason.

I'm glad your son is feeling better!


It can go just about any kind of way.  Overall, DS #2 was a much easier baby than his older brother.  However, he really was much more tied to a schedule.  He really *had* to have lunch around 12 pm, and his 3-hour afternoon nap shortly afterwards.  Moving anything even by about a half-hour or so would lead to inconsolable sobbing.  (Not that that wouldn't have happened with his older brother, but he was miserable all the time anyway, it didn't really make any difference... :)

So overall I agree - all babies are different.  An analogy can be a mom who figures she's a breastfeeding expert because it worked so well with her first two babies.  Then baby #3, the Nursing Rebel comes along, and all theories are off...(please, I'm not trying to start a breastfeeding debate, I'm just trying to demonstrate how many parenting theories can come apart).

Certainly a fairly unconventional baby-schedule can work, if baby ordinarily gets up after 8 am and has dinner around 9 pm or so - perhaps this works with the parents' work schedules.  But no one should expect a baby who usually eats a 6 pm to willingly wait till 8 pm or later.

For OP - I do think it would have been preferable to stick your head in the kitchen and say "sorry, we have to go, Baby has to eat".  But if you couldn't, you couldn't.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: gen xer on November 11, 2012, 10:49:51 AM

I'm sort of torn on the whole babies / children on a schedule thing....I have been on both sides.  We had the youngest children on DH's side of the family and I sometimes felt they had NO consideration for reasonable timings for the kids.  On one occasion it was 7:30 pm before a decision was even made about what restaurant to go to ( you know the kind of endless debate and indecision that often goes with a big group trying to make plans ) and I was fuming.  My girls were not on a rigid schedule by any means but I liked them to eat and go to bed at a reasonable hour.

On the other hand I don't want to raise special snowflake children where the world is expected to revolve around them and their schedule.  As children get older they should be able to handle a little less structure.  I can understand parents of babies and young children trying to follow a stricter schedule if only because they are often  the ones paying for it in terms of miserable kids and poor sleep.  A little less cluelessness and a little consideration on the part of people who aren't in that situation goes a long way.  However I have a friend whose sons are older ( youngest is 7 ) and she often insists that people have their meals ready to serve by 5:00 pm because "her boys are hungry".  Errrrr....they can wait until 6:00 or even 6:30.  The sooner they learn that they have to live with life's little curveballs the better.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: cicero on November 11, 2012, 11:56:18 AM

I'm sort of torn on the whole babies / children on a schedule thing....I have been on both sides.  We had the youngest children on DH's side of the family and I sometimes felt they had NO consideration for reasonable timings for the kids.  On one occasion it was 7:30 pm before a decision was even made about what restaurant to go to ( you know the kind of endless debate and indecision that often goes with a big group trying to make plans ) and I was fuming.  My girls were not on a rigid schedule by any means but I liked them to eat and go to bed at a reasonable hour.

On the other hand I don't want to raise special snowflake children where the world is expected to revolve around them and their schedule.  As children get older they should be able to handle a little less structure.  I can understand parents of babies and young children trying to follow a stricter schedule if only because they are often  the ones paying for it in terms of miserable kids and poor sleep.  A little less cluelessness and a little consideration on the part of people who aren't in that situation goes a long way.  However I have a friend whose sons are older ( youngest is 7 ) and she often insists that people have their meals ready to serve by 5:00 pm because "her boys are hungry".  Errrrr....they can wait until 6:00 or even 6:30.  The sooner they learn that they have to live with life's little curveballs the better.

but again - as others have pointed out - the whole "child has to eat on time" isn't really the point.

the point is that the cakeberets were invited to dinner with their toddler son to a family that has a son around the same age.

the original invite was for 8.30. the cakeberets declined, citing the late hour. the friends changed the hour to an earlier hour. it was clear that diiner was at 6.30 to enable cakeberet to be home on time.

they get there - dinner is no "delayed", it is no where *near* ready. dinner was actually ready two and a half hours AFTER the original dinner time. I have no idea what was being served, but I can't think of a mid-week family dinner with two toddlers that would take that long.

not only that - but the hosts left the cakeberets alone to entertain their own (the hosts') son. and left them for 2.5 hours with no snacks? appetizers? something? (the OP said that MR. Cakeberet got his son a snack).

even if there was no child that needed to be home, it's rude to delay dinner by 2.5 hours, while ignoring your guests, and leaving your guests to baby sit your child. sorry - just not done.

and if this was a case of "kitchen mishap" then you say something - you say "wow, mr. and mrs. cakeberet, i'm so sorry, you see i defrosted what i thought was chicken and it turns out to be venison heart... so I'm just cutting up a veggie tray and we've ordered a pizza - it should be here in a few minutes. meanwhile, let's nibble on these veggies!"
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: gen xer on November 11, 2012, 12:22:04 PM

I'm sort of torn on the whole babies / children on a schedule thing....I have been on both sides.  We had the youngest children on DH's side of the family and I sometimes felt they had NO consideration for reasonable timings for the kids.  On one occasion it was 7:30 pm before a decision was even made about what restaurant to go to ( you know the kind of endless debate and indecision that often goes with a big group trying to make plans ) and I was fuming.  My girls were not on a rigid schedule by any means but I liked them to eat and go to bed at a reasonable hour.

On the other hand I don't want to raise special snowflake children where the world is expected to revolve around them and their schedule.  As children get older they should be able to handle a little less structure.  I can understand parents of babies and young children trying to follow a stricter schedule if only because they are often  the ones paying for it in terms of miserable kids and poor sleep.  A little less cluelessness and a little consideration on the part of people who aren't in that situation goes a long way.  However I have a friend whose sons are older ( youngest is 7 ) and she often insists that people have their meals ready to serve by 5:00 pm because "her boys are hungry".  Errrrr....they can wait until 6:00 or even 6:30.  The sooner they learn that they have to live with life's little curveballs the better.

but again - as others have pointed out - the whole "child has to eat on time" isn't really the point.

the point is that the cakeberets were invited to dinner with their toddler son to a family that has a son around the same age.

the original invite was for 8.30. the cakeberets declined, citing the late hour. the friends changed the hour to an earlier hour. it was clear that diiner was at 6.30 to enable cakeberet to be home on time.

they get there - dinner is no "delayed", it is no where *near* ready. dinner was actually ready two and a half hours AFTER the original dinner time. I have no idea what was being served, but I can't think of a mid-week family dinner with two toddlers that would take that long.

not only that - but the hosts left the cakeberets alone to entertain their own (the hosts') son. and left them for 2.5 hours with no snacks? appetizers? something? (the OP said that MR. Cakeberet got his son a snack).

even if there was no child that needed to be home, it's rude to delay dinner by 2.5 hours, while ignoring your guests, and leaving your guests to baby sit your child. sorry - just not done.

and if this was a case of "kitchen mishap" then you say something - you say "wow, mr. and mrs. cakeberet, i'm so sorry, you see i defrosted what i thought was chicken and it turns out to be venison heart... so I'm just cutting up a veggie tray and we've ordered a pizza - it should be here in a few minutes. meanwhile, let's nibble on these veggies!"

Yes.....and I agree that since the timing of the dinner was specifically addressed then the hosts should have followed through on serving dinner when they agreed to do it.  No argument here. 

However many times it is what others expect or assume....( they SHOULD be serving dinner at 5:30 because they should know that we like to eat early ).  If it is not mentioned beforehand ( not the case here I realize ) then I think it is rude to dictate timings to the hosts.  I was invited to dinner at a friends house once with my children and dinner was not served until almost 9:00 pm.  Yes we were starving and I was privately kind of annoyed.....but I didn't ask beforehand when supper would be served.  It was assumed on my part that it would be earlier....but that's what I get for assuming.  My kids survived without withering away too.  Sometimes we have to suck it up that it doesn't always go as we'd like and I think it's a good lesson for kids to learn in general.

Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: RingTailedLemur on November 11, 2012, 12:24:29 PM
But that's a completely different situation and I don't see how it applies here.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: LeveeWoman on November 11, 2012, 12:29:43 PM
But that's a completely different situation and I don't see how it applies here.

Neither do I.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: gen xer on November 11, 2012, 12:39:36 PM
But that's a completely different situation and I don't see how it applies here.

I mention it because I think it is one of those situations where there is a lot of blurring between having a genuine beef like the OP did ( with respect to having discussed it in advance ) to becoming rigid, inflexible and demanding.  I am not accusing the OP of that....I just think that many parents can become a little too "mama-bearish" when it comes to accomodating their children.

It's a fine line that the OP didn't cross....but others do which is why I do think it applies here.  Just something to consider.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Rohanna on November 11, 2012, 01:09:48 PM
I disagree- particularly when children, the elderly or people with known food-sensitive illnesses like diabetes are involved its incumbent on the host to mention if dinner will be served outside of culturally normal "Dinner time". In most parts of N America that tends to be sometime between 5:30 to 7. If I get invited over for 5 for dinner, I would be upset if I had to wait to eat until 8 or 9 without being warned previously. My father would have to leave, as his diabetes cannot handle that long without food . It's always good to check- but really, if you're invited over at dinner hour for dinner, I wouldn't fault you for not having the timing stamped in triplicate.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: jpcher on November 11, 2012, 01:23:53 PM
Chiming in late, here. I haven't thoroughly read all of the responses, pretty much skimmed.

When DDs were toddlers I always brought snack food, if not an entire meal for them, to gatherings. Just in case. Not saying that OP should do this, but it worked for me. When they got older I stopped bringing food for them, thinking that they should just eat off of whatever is served.

I'm reminded of a time when the DDs were maybe 5&7. SIL invited us over for dinner. (Guest list was just LDH, DDs and I along with her SO.) She said "Show up any time after 3:00" I did not ask when dinner would be served and I didn't bring snacks for the kids. I figured dinner would be around 6:00. SIL served appetizers, but they were more adult tastes (buffalo wings, spicy mexican roll-ups, etc.) Getting to be around 6:00 I asked if I could order a pizza or something for the DDs. SIL said "No, no, no. We'll start dinner soon. They can eat whatever we're serving!" 7:00 and still no signs of any dinner prep. I ran out to McDonald's for food for the DDs, much to SIL's chagrin.  It was after 8:00 when SIL and her SO started the grill . . .

That being said, I do believe that a polite hostess should take any invited kid's needs into consideration.


You can be damned sure that if CakeBeret had been at one of OUR houses, she wouldn't be posting at Etiquette Hell about this--because not a ONE of us would have let her leave our house without an apology for our bad timing. She'd have left KNOWING that the friendship hadn't been damaged and that she hadn't been rude.

LOL! I agree whole-heartedly.




5 replies while I was posting . . .
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: gen xer on November 11, 2012, 01:58:10 PM
I disagree- particularly when children, the elderly or people with known food-sensitive illnesses like diabetes are involved its incumbent on the host to mention if dinner will be served outside of culturally normal "Dinner time". In most parts of N America that tends to be sometime between 5:30 to 7. If I get invited over for 5 for dinner, I would be upset if I had to wait to eat until 8 or 9 without being warned previously. My father would have to leave, as his diabetes cannot handle that long without food . It's always good to check- but really, if you're invited over at dinner hour for dinner, I wouldn't fault you for not having the timing stamped in triplicate.

Fair enough....my DH is hypoglycemic and needs to eat regularly.  I would not fault someone with a genuine medical need for making a discreet inquiry about the timings of a meal.....and trust me I know what it is like to have hungry, tired small children.  I too have given my kids small snacks etc when they were really young to help them get through to a late meal.

That being said I expect my kids to buck up and make do now.  Yes I think hosts should serve dinner at a reasonable hour - nobody would be served at 9:00 pm at my house - but still....I remember my MIL arriving at my SIL's place at about 1:00 pm and the first words out of her mouth were "Where's my lunch? I haven't eaten and I'm huuuuunnnngggrrryyyy"  She was shrill, rude and obnoxious.

The manners go both ways here.....
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: LeveeWoman on November 11, 2012, 02:02:39 PM
I disagree- particularly when children, the elderly or people with known food-sensitive illnesses like diabetes are involved its incumbent on the host to mention if dinner will be served outside of culturally normal "Dinner time". In most parts of N America that tends to be sometime between 5:30 to 7. If I get invited over for 5 for dinner, I would be upset if I had to wait to eat until 8 or 9 without being warned previously. My father would have to leave, as his diabetes cannot handle that long without food . It's always good to check- but really, if you're invited over at dinner hour for dinner, I wouldn't fault you for not having the timing stamped in triplicate.

Fair enough....my DH is hypoglycemic and needs to eat regularly.  I would not fault someone with a genuine medical need for making a discreet inquiry about the timings of a meal.....and trust me I know what it is like to have hungry, tired small children.  I too have given my kids small snacks etc when they were really young to help them get through to a late meal.

That being said I expect my kids to buck up and make do now.  Yes I think hosts should serve dinner at a reasonable hour - nobody would be served at 9:00 pm at my house - but still....I remember my MIL arriving at my SIL's place at about 1:00 pm and the first words out of her mouth were "Where's my lunch? I haven't eaten and I'm huuuuunnnngggrrryyyy"  She was shrill, rude and obnoxious.

The manners go both ways here.....

Not in CakeBeret's situation.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: gen xer on November 11, 2012, 02:03:11 PM
I should note too that DH never makes demands on anyone...if he needs to eat or is concerned that dinner may be delayed he either eats something beforehand or brings something along.  That's what I do with the kids too so we aren't imposing our schedule on our hosts
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: NyaChan on November 11, 2012, 02:17:01 PM
When my sister and I were little, my mom always fed us a decent amount of food ahead of time and then would give us smaller amounts of food at the actual dinner party.  Her reasoning was that  if we came up against food we couldn't eat or if food was late for our schedules, neither the host nor the other guests need know about it.  That said, I agree that in this case, the child's schedule was irrelevant.  An agreement was made & the host neither kept up their end of the bargain, nor showed any sign of remorse for having failed to do so. 
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Rohanna on November 11, 2012, 02:17:52 PM
I wouldn't call someone without manners or consideration a "host". It's fine if you choose To be so flexible, but I don't think people should be expected to allow others to walk all over them. I don't believe a bag of goldfish cracker is an acceptable dinner for my kid, so if dinner is going to be at or past his bedtime, especially if I had checked the time as. the OP did, I would be going home.

I believe in teaching my kids to be flexible, but I also believe in teaching them to stand up for themselves and not be taken advantage of.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: gen xer on November 11, 2012, 02:46:57 PM
I disagree- particularly when children, the elderly or people with known food-sensitive illnesses like diabetes are involved its incumbent on the host to mention if dinner will be served outside of culturally normal "Dinner time". In most parts of N America that tends to be sometime between 5:30 to 7. If I get invited over for 5 for dinner, I would be upset if I had to wait to eat until 8 or 9 without being warned previously. My father would have to leave, as his diabetes cannot handle that long without food . It's always good to check- but really, if you're invited over at dinner hour for dinner, I wouldn't fault you for not having the timing stamped in triplicate.

Fair enough....my DH is hypoglycemic and needs to eat regularly.  I would not fault someone with a genuine medical need for making a discreet inquiry about the timings of a meal.....and trust me I know what it is like to have hungry, tired small children.  I too have given my kids small snacks etc when they were really young to help them get through to a late meal.

That being said I expect my kids to buck up and make do now.  Yes I think hosts should serve dinner at a reasonable hour - nobody would be served at 9:00 pm at my house - but still....I remember my MIL arriving at my SIL's place at about 1:00 pm and the first words out of her mouth were "Where's my lunch? I haven't eaten and I'm huuuuunnnngggrrryyyy"  She was shrill, rude and obnoxious.

The manners go both ways here.....

Not in CakeBeret's situation.

I have acknowedged several times that I don't think OP was rude since it was discussed beforehand....and I agree that if you are invited for a dinner you should in fact receive said dinner in a reasonable time.  I just think the guests need to consider the line between reasonable accomodation for their needs ( discussed in advance to be fair to both parties ) and being demanding. 

Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: TootsNYC on November 11, 2012, 02:48:08 PM
But that's a completely different situation and I don't see how it applies here.

Agreed!
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: TootsNYC on November 11, 2012, 02:52:01 PM

For OP - I do think it would have been preferable to stick your head in the kitchen and say "sorry, we have to go, Baby has to eat".  But if you couldn't, you couldn't.

This is the ONLY thing that perhaps the OP could have done different or better--perhaps she could have been a bit more proactive in socializing, but especially in saying goodbye *in person.*

(though I can understand if she was just a little bit peeved and didn't want to; and she may have been reading nonverbal signals that aren't really represented her that gave her the "stay out of the kitchen" vibe)
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: LeveeWoman on November 11, 2012, 02:52:50 PM
I disagree- particularly when children, the elderly or people with known food-sensitive illnesses like diabetes are involved its incumbent on the host to mention if dinner will be served outside of culturally normal "Dinner time". In most parts of N America that tends to be sometime between 5:30 to 7. If I get invited over for 5 for dinner, I would be upset if I had to wait to eat until 8 or 9 without being warned previously. My father would have to leave, as his diabetes cannot handle that long without food . It's always good to check- but really, if you're invited over at dinner hour for dinner, I wouldn't fault you for not having the timing stamped in triplicate.

Fair enough....my DH is hypoglycemic and needs to eat regularly.  I would not fault someone with a genuine medical need for making a discreet inquiry about the timings of a meal.....and trust me I know what it is like to have hungry, tired small children.  I too have given my kids small snacks etc when they were really young to help them get through to a late meal.

That being said I expect my kids to buck up and make do now.  Yes I think hosts should serve dinner at a reasonable hour - nobody would be served at 9:00 pm at my house - but still....I remember my MIL arriving at my SIL's place at about 1:00 pm and the first words out of her mouth were "Where's my lunch? I haven't eaten and I'm huuuuunnnngggrrryyyy"  She was shrill, rude and obnoxious.

The manners go both ways here.....

Not in CakeBeret's situation.

I have acknowedged several times that I don't think OP was rude since it was discussed beforehand....and I agree that if you are invited for a dinner you should in fact receive said dinner in a reasonable time.  I just think the guests need to consider the line between reasonable accomodation for their needs ( discussed in advance to be fair to both parties ) and being demanding.

This is not a guest's problem. This is a host's problem. In my opinion, she lied to CakeBeret, pulling an unconscionable bait-and-switch.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: gen xer on November 11, 2012, 03:03:03 PM
I disagree- particularly when children, the elderly or people with known food-sensitive illnesses like diabetes are involved its incumbent on the host to mention if dinner will be served outside of culturally normal "Dinner time". In most parts of N America that tends to be sometime between 5:30 to 7. If I get invited over for 5 for dinner, I would be upset if I had to wait to eat until 8 or 9 without being warned previously. My father would have to leave, as his diabetes cannot handle that long without food . It's always good to check- but really, if you're invited over at dinner hour for dinner, I wouldn't fault you for not having the timing stamped in triplicate.

Fair enough....my DH is hypoglycemic and needs to eat regularly.  I would not fault someone with a genuine medical need for making a discreet inquiry about the timings of a meal.....and trust me I know what it is like to have hungry, tired small children.  I too have given my kids small snacks etc when they were really young to help them get through to a late meal.

That being said I expect my kids to buck up and make do now.  Yes I think hosts should serve dinner at a reasonable hour - nobody would be served at 9:00 pm at my house - but still....I remember my MIL arriving at my SIL's place at about 1:00 pm and the first words out of her mouth were "Where's my lunch? I haven't eaten and I'm huuuuunnnngggrrryyyy"  She was shrill, rude and obnoxious.

The manners go both ways here.....

Not in CakeBeret's situation.

I have acknowedged several times that I don't think OP was rude since it was discussed beforehand....and I agree that if you are invited for a dinner you should in fact receive said dinner in a reasonable time.  I just think the guests need to consider the line between reasonable accomodation for their needs ( discussed in advance to be fair to both parties ) and being demanding.

This is not a guest's problem. This is a host's problem. In my opinion, she lied to CakeBeret, pulling an unconscionable bait-and-switch.
Agreed.  But I can't figure out why she would invite them over for that time if she had no intention of serving a meal at the agreed upon time.  I don't even ascribe terrible motives on her others have done....cluelessness about what it is like to have kids maybe....but not necessarily deliberate nastiness.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: LeveeWoman on November 11, 2012, 03:12:23 PM
I disagree- particularly when children, the elderly or people with known food-sensitive illnesses like diabetes are involved its incumbent on the host to mention if dinner will be served outside of culturally normal "Dinner time". In most parts of N America that tends to be sometime between 5:30 to 7. If I get invited over for 5 for dinner, I would be upset if I had to wait to eat until 8 or 9 without being warned previously. My father would have to leave, as his diabetes cannot handle that long without food . It's always good to check- but really, if you're invited over at dinner hour for dinner, I wouldn't fault you for not having the timing stamped in triplicate.

Fair enough....my DH is hypoglycemic and needs to eat regularly.  I would not fault someone with a genuine medical need for making a discreet inquiry about the timings of a meal.....and trust me I know what it is like to have hungry, tired small children.  I too have given my kids small snacks etc when they were really young to help them get through to a late meal.

That being said I expect my kids to buck up and make do now.  Yes I think hosts should serve dinner at a reasonable hour - nobody would be served at 9:00 pm at my house - but still....I remember my MIL arriving at my SIL's place at about 1:00 pm and the first words out of her mouth were "Where's my lunch? I haven't eaten and I'm huuuuunnnngggrrryyyy"  She was shrill, rude and obnoxious.

The manners go both ways here.....

Not in CakeBeret's situation.

I have acknowedged several times that I don't think OP was rude since it was discussed beforehand....and I agree that if you are invited for a dinner you should in fact receive said dinner in a reasonable time.  I just think the guests need to consider the line between reasonable accomodation for their needs ( discussed in advance to be fair to both parties ) and being demanding.

This is not a guest's problem. This is a host's problem. In my opinion, she lied to CakeBeret, pulling an unconscionable bait-and-switch.
Agreed.  But I can't figure out why she would invite them over for that time if she had no intention of serving a meal at the agreed upon time.  I don't even ascribe terrible motives on her others have done....cluelessness about what it is like to have kids maybe....but not necessarily deliberate nastiness.

She has a toddler.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: gen xer on November 11, 2012, 03:36:19 PM
I disagree- particularly when children, the elderly or people with known food-sensitive illnesses like diabetes are involved its incumbent on the host to mention if dinner will be served outside of culturally normal "Dinner time". In most parts of N America that tends to be sometime between 5:30 to 7. If I get invited over for 5 for dinner, I would be upset if I had to wait to eat until 8 or 9 without being warned previously. My father would have to leave, as his diabetes cannot handle that long without food . It's always good to check- but really, if you're invited over at dinner hour for dinner, I wouldn't fault you for not having the timing stamped in triplicate.

Fair enough....my DH is hypoglycemic and needs to eat regularly.  I would not fault someone with a genuine medical need for making a discreet inquiry about the timings of a meal.....and trust me I know what it is like to have hungry, tired small children.  I too have given my kids small snacks etc when they were really young to help them get through to a late meal.

That being said I expect my kids to buck up and make do now.  Yes I think hosts should serve dinner at a reasonable hour - nobody would be served at 9:00 pm at my house - but still....I remember my MIL arriving at my SIL's place at about 1:00 pm and the first words out of her mouth were "Where's my lunch? I haven't eaten and I'm huuuuunnnngggrrryyyy"  She was shrill, rude and obnoxious.

The manners go both ways here.....

Not in CakeBeret's situation.

I have acknowedged several times that I don't think OP was rude since it was discussed beforehand....and I agree that if you are invited for a dinner you should in fact receive said dinner in a reasonable time.  I just think the guests need to consider the line between reasonable accomodation for their needs ( discussed in advance to be fair to both parties ) and being demanding.

This is not a guest's problem. This is a host's problem. In my opinion, she lied to CakeBeret, pulling an unconscionable bait-and-switch.
Agreed.  But I can't figure out why she would invite them over for that time if she had no intention of serving a meal at the agreed upon time.  I don't even ascribe terrible motives on her others have done....cluelessness about what it is like to have kids maybe....but not necessarily deliberate nastiness.

She has a toddler.
Oh...that's right.  I forgot.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: MrsJWine on November 11, 2012, 03:39:56 PM
Kids have tiny stomachs and can only eat a small amount at a time (usually; sometimes when mine are growing, they can eat insane amounts of food), so eating somewhat frequently is a necessity, not a want.

However, that's completely irrelevant (except to make the situation even more unpleasant). If I were expecting dinner at a certain time and had to wait HOURS past that time to get it, I would be crazy with hunger. I have no health issues that make me a special case. I am a normal person with normal dietary needs. If I'm expecting dinner at a certain time, I plan my other meals of the day around it so I'm at least fairly hungry for dinner. If I were the OP, it would have been at least six hours without food, probably more like eight, by that point. Some people are okay going that long without eating, but I'm pretty sure most aren't.

It doesn't really matter if the hostess did it by accident; it was still rude and extremely inconsiderate. If you find yourself that far behind in food prep, you order a pizza, or, at the very least, put out some crackers and cheese.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: gen xer on November 11, 2012, 04:09:10 PM
If dinner is delayed by a ridiculous length of time I do not think it is rude to leave when you had intended to leave.  I did not mean to imply that people should endure anything in the name of good manners.  I would not stay somewhere hours longer than I originally planned just because the hosts couldn't get it together for whatever reason.

The OP was not rude since she was clear in what her limitations were....and I have to say I respect that she was upfront about them from the outset. 

But we do need to be reasonably ( key word is reasonably ) flexible as guests and take care to make it easy on the hosts too.  All I'm saying...
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Sharnita on November 11, 2012, 04:14:18 PM
I don't think kids are even really the issue.  I have mentioned before that teaching affects my schedule.  Say you hace to get up for work at 5 am.  You are inviteted to somebody's home for dinner on a work night and you regretfully decline because your schedule requires you to eat at around 5 or six and be home getting to bed by 9ish. It would still be rude for somebody to pull a bait and switch on you like the "host" did in this case.

Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: gen xer on November 11, 2012, 04:17:59 PM
I don't think kids are even really the issue.  I have mentioned before that teaching affects my schedule.  Say you hace to get up for work at 5 am.  You are inviteted to somebody's home for dinner on a work night and you regretfully decline because your schedule requires you to eat at around 5 or six and be home getting to bed by 9ish. It would still be rude for somebody to pull a bait and switch on you like the "host" did in this case.

I agree.....your own schedule shouldn't be totally derailed by poor or non-existent planning. 
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: mj on November 11, 2012, 05:04:10 PM
But that's a completely different situation and I don't see how it applies here.

I mention it because I think it is one of those situations where there is a lot of blurring between having a genuine beef like the OP did ( with respect to having discussed it in advance ) to becoming rigid, inflexible and demanding.  I am not accusing the OP of that....I just think that many parents can become a little too "mama-bearish" when it comes to accomodating their children.

It's a fine line that the OP didn't cross....but others do which is why I do think it applies here.  Just something to consider.

IMO, it doesn't really apply at all.  Other than OPs valid reason to have to leave by a certain amount of time, going anyplace else and whomever else was the host when this scenario happened would be considered rude.  Going to a restaurant with ample enough time to order, eat and leave by 8 PM yet not being served until hours later after your arrival time would be insanely rude no matter which way you slice it. 

So, I don't see how your bolded could actually apply in any similar scenario in the OP.  To make it apply, it wouldn't be a similar scenario.  What the OPs hosts did is rude no matter if there were kids involved or not, the kids are a red herring here.  Put in any reason the OP had to leave by 8PM, anyway you slice it, her host was rude.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: rose red on November 11, 2012, 05:21:27 PM
I think I understand what gen xer is saying and I agree with some of it, but being a flexable guest and parenting styles are different topics that has nothing to do with this specific thread.  They are interesting topics, but they just don't apply to this OP.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: gen xer on November 11, 2012, 07:26:11 PM
But that's a completely different situation and I don't see how it applies here.

I mention it because I think it is one of those situations where there is a lot of blurring between having a genuine beef like the OP did ( with respect to having discussed it in advance ) to becoming rigid, inflexible and demanding.  I am not accusing the OP of that....I just think that many parents can become a little too "mama-bearish" when it comes to accomodating their children.

It's a fine line that the OP didn't cross....but others do which is why I do think it applies here.  Just something to consider.

IMO, it doesn't really apply at all.  Other than OPs valid reason to have to leave by a certain amount of time, going anyplace else and whomever else was the host when this scenario happened would be considered rude.  Going to a restaurant with ample enough time to order, eat and leave by 8 PM yet not being served until hours later after your arrival time would be insanely rude no matter which way you slice it. 

So, I don't see how your bolded could actually apply in any similar scenario in the OP.  To make it apply, it wouldn't be a similar scenario.  What the OPs hosts did is rude no matter if there were kids involved or not, the kids are a red herring here.  Put in any reason the OP had to leave by 8PM, anyway you slice it, her host was rude.

I get that what I have been saying is not in direct relation to the OP's situation and I have agreed all along that the OP was badly treated.  I don't, however, think in the course of general discussion that stating that there has to be some flexibility on the part of the guests is totally irrelevant.  I am sorry if it has gotten too off-topic - maybe I should have started a new thread.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: kareng57 on November 11, 2012, 09:57:22 PM
But that's a completely different situation and I don't see how it applies here.

I mention it because I think it is one of those situations where there is a lot of blurring between having a genuine beef like the OP did ( with respect to having discussed it in advance ) to becoming rigid, inflexible and demanding.  I am not accusing the OP of that....I just think that many parents can become a little too "mama-bearish" when it comes to accomodating their children.

It's a fine line that the OP didn't cross....but others do which is why I do think it applies here.  Just something to consider.

IMO, it doesn't really apply at all.  Other than OPs valid reason to have to leave by a certain amount of time, going anyplace else and whomever else was the host when this scenario happened would be considered rude.  Going to a restaurant with ample enough time to order, eat and leave by 8 PM yet not being served until hours later after your arrival time would be insanely rude no matter which way you slice it. 

So, I don't see how your bolded could actually apply in any similar scenario in the OP.  To make it apply, it wouldn't be a similar scenario.  What the OPs hosts did is rude no matter if there were kids involved or not, the kids are a red herring here.  Put in any reason the OP had to leave by 8PM, anyway you slice it, her host was rude.

I get that what I have been saying is not in direct relation to the OP's situation and I have agreed all along that the OP was badly treated.  I don't, however, think in the course of general discussion that stating that there has to be some flexibility on the part of the guests is totally irrelevant.  I am sorry if it has gotten too off-topic - maybe I should have started a new thread.


I do understand what you are saying, even if doesn't really relate exactly to this thread.  Many of us do know parents who will assert "we are parents!  How dare you invite us to something that does not coincide with Baby's schedule?!"  But I agree, that's really a topic for a separate thread.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Sharnita on November 11, 2012, 10:02:59 PM
I think the (potential) guest's flexibility mostly comes in when they realize the event decribes don't really fit their scedule and politely decline.  I think to accept and then insist on changes would be rude - OP and her DH didn't do that.  On the other hand, promising changes to lure people in and then not following through is rude too.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Petticoats on November 11, 2012, 10:31:08 PM
<snip>  But I can't figure out why she would invite them over for that time if she had no intention of serving a meal at the agreed upon time.  I don't even ascribe terrible motives on her others have done....cluelessness about what it is like to have kids maybe....but not necessarily deliberate nastiness.

Maybe it was unconscious nastiness, then, but the effect was to send the extremely clear message that she didn't give a hang about CakeBeret. She may have been pretending to be a good girlfriend to Mr. Cakeberet's friend by "hosting" dinner, when she really didn't want to, so she could get the points for trying <eyeroll> while not having to be nice to someone she evidently doesn't want to be nice to.

Or perhaps she's such a self-absorbed person that this is standard behavior for her no matter who the guests are. In either case, I would probably be declining future invitations.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: cicero on November 11, 2012, 10:49:52 PM

Agreed.  But I can't figure out why she would invite them over for that time if she had no intention of serving a meal at the agreed upon time.  I don't even ascribe terrible motives on her others have done....cluelessness about what it is like to have kids maybe....but not necessarily deliberate nastiness.

but the fact is that this is *exactly* what she did.

and as i, and others, have pointed out upthread, if a timing/kitchen mishap prevents you from getting dinner on the table on time, then you (a) update the guests and (b) improvise. the OP brought some bread and toppings, how hard is it to scramble up some eggs, or order in a pizza? or something. maybe I'm cynical than you but it strikes me as extremely... odd, that the "hosts" actually *started* to prepare dinner at the time that dinner was supposed to be served and didn't serve dinner until after the time that cakeberet said she needed to leave. seriously? this was supposed to be a casual, mid-week dinner, for two couples and two toddlers, not thanksgiving turkey dinner with all the trimmings.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Katana_Geldar on November 12, 2012, 09:17:10 PM
You shouldn't really try anything new when you're entertaining, just in case you do have a kitchen mishap.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Bijou on November 12, 2012, 09:27:22 PM
She really does sound PA, to me.  I think I would tolerate her only because her SO is friends with my husband.  Otherwise, no.  And as for future dinners.  I don't think so, unless we all went out to eat or ate at my house, with her spending bucks on the dinner, of course. 
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: mindicherry on November 13, 2012, 01:26:49 AM
I guess, in my mind, unless this is a next-door neighbor or your "BFF", I don't understand how it is really "acceptable" to drive to a friend's house, be there at 6:30pm, expect to walk in and have dinner on the table, then leave 90 minutes later (in order to get your child to bed).  Where is the time for socializing? Where is the time for treating them as anything more than a free dinner? If someone invites me/my family over for dinner, except for the "neighborhood impromptu barbecues" ("hey - it's a school night and I have some ribs.  Do you have any salad?  Let's toss everything together and feed the kids so we can get them to bed at a reasonable time and they can still have some time to play")...I expect to be there for a MINIMUM of 2-3 hours.

See, things run differently in my social circle. Time is tight for all of us, we understand time is tight, and 2-3 hours for dinner is just not do-able. I would absolutely not expect to spend that long with someone. And the hosts in this circumstance were well aware that this was the situation for CakeBeret.

And I'm not sure why you couldn't socialize over dinner? For my set, dinner IS the socializing time. So, asking where the time for socializing/treating them as something more than a free dinner puzzles me. Isn't the dinner that time? Having dinner on the table and ready to go frees up MORE time for socializing (to me) because then one person isn't in the kitchen trying to finish cooking. Everyone sits right down together and spends that 90 minutes together over dinner, or maybe 30 minutes at the table and then 60 in the living room over tea/coffee or however you want to slice it.

I just can't understand how sitting down to dinner with someone and spending 90 minutes in their company is somehow not acceptable. How much socializing is necessary?
I guess it's just different social circles/expectations.  In my mind (and experience), if someone invited me over for dinner, I would expect to arrive at the appointed time, have about 30-60 minutes of "pre-dinner-talk/appetizers" while the host is cooking dinner, eat dinner and then hang out for at least another hour.  In my life/family/friendships - that's just how it "works".  That doesn't mean that *MY* time isn't tight as well.  I work from home running my own website (so it sometimes seems like a 24/7 job) and my husband is a retail manager (so he often has a yucky schedule of weekends and nights) and we have 3 kids that have school, sports, ballet, etc.  That being said, when we are able to coordinate our schedules to have dinner with friends (barring the impromptu barbecue that I mentioned earlier), I don't schedule it like a business meeting where I have 90 minutes and then I am out of there.

From the responses, it is obvious that some people DO operate that way....and THAT IS FINE.  They are just people that I wouldn't include in my social circle (and I am glad that nobody in my family is like that) because it would stress me out too much to be on that much of strict timetable when I am hosting.  If I invite someone over for dinner, everyone knows that I am inviting them over "for the evening" and I assume the same when I receive an invite. 

That doesn't mean that they are wrong and I am right - it's just a different way of living your life!

That being said - the OP DID specifically outline her time restrictions and Annie and Joe were rude....not only because they (possibly PA) knew her restrictions and didn't abide by them, but because (and I just re-read this), they didn't even say goodby to her.

Lesson learned - don't accept any more invites from Annie & Joe if they can't do what they say they can do.  On the other hand, if Annie & Joe subscribe to the way I operate with invites for dinner, they won't be inviting the OP back anyway.

Once again - neither one is wrong.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: mindicherry on November 13, 2012, 01:43:21 AM
I had the mortifying experience of serving dinner about 2 hours late once when we had friends over.  I was trying out a new recipe (always a mistake when having company over I discovered the hard way!) and it looked a lot easier and faster in the book then it actually ended up being.

But I apologized all over the place about it.  I accepted their help in trying to get the thrice accused sweet potato pancakes and tamarind soup done at a more reasonable hour.  I tried to socialize with them as best I could while stuff was cooking, and so did my husband.

My point in all this is that yeah cooking disasters happen.  But a good host does not handle them like this woman does.  A good host handles them with as much grace as they can, and tries to make the best of it.

That's what makes me think it could have been passive aggressive.
As someone who has had to scrap an entire meat entree and substitute it with another about 20 minutes before my guests were to walk in the door, I feel your pain! :)

The important thing is communication...and a good sense of humor (and a full "junk drawer" of take-out menus for places that will deliver!)
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Hmmmmm on November 13, 2012, 01:11:32 PM
But that's a completely different situation and I don't see how it applies here.

I mention it because I think it is one of those situations where there is a lot of blurring between having a genuine beef like the OP did ( with respect to having discussed it in advance ) to becoming rigid, inflexible and demanding.  I am not accusing the OP of that....I just think that many parents can become a little too "mama-bearish" when it comes to accomodating their children.

It's a fine line that the OP didn't cross....but others do which is why I do think it applies here.  Just something to consider.

IMO, it doesn't really apply at all.  Other than OPs valid reason to have to leave by a certain amount of time, going anyplace else and whomever else was the host when this scenario happened would be considered rude.  Going to a restaurant with ample enough time to order, eat and leave by 8 PM yet not being served until hours later after your arrival time would be insanely rude no matter which way you slice it. 

So, I don't see how your bolded could actually apply in any similar scenario in the OP.  To make it apply, it wouldn't be a similar scenario.  What the OPs hosts did is rude no matter if there were kids involved or not, the kids are a red herring here.  Put in any reason the OP had to leave by 8PM, anyway you slice it, her host was rude.

I get that what I have been saying is not in direct relation to the OP's situation and I have agreed all along that the OP was badly treated.  I don't, however, think in the course of general discussion that stating that there has to be some flexibility on the part of the guests is totally irrelevant.  I am sorry if it has gotten too off-topic - maybe I should have started a new thread.

I agree that the issue of why the OP had to leave is not relevant.  Let's take this out of context from even having a meal. 

Let's say a friend invites you over for an evening of scrapbooking at 7.  You say sorry, I can't as I have to be home by 8.  She says, oh that's ok, let's start at 6.  You arrive at 6 with your scrapbooking stuff.  She then spends the next 2 hours upstairs pulling all her stuff together and leaves you downstairs visiting with her child.  At 8, you call up and say, sorry, I've got to go as discussed.  I think we'd all agree that the hostess has been rude and the guest was well within her right to leave. 

To me what the hostess did to the OP was the same as this scenario. 
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: Rohanna on November 13, 2012, 09:01:06 PM
Honestly, re-reading it, it sounds like someone was enjoying some "puttering" time without having their child underfoot.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: MommyPenguin on November 13, 2012, 11:00:47 PM
You know what I wonder?  What *was* Annie doing in the kitchen for 2.5 hours?  Supposing she was being PA, that still meant that she had to spent 2.5 hours in the kitchen, and probably on her feet at least *pretending* to cook, because if she'd sat down to read a book and one of the guests walked in... so my guess is that she was cooking *something*.  What in the world was she doing that she managed to draw it out that long without going insane?  Cooking dinners for the week?  It's just mystifying.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: MrsJWine on November 13, 2012, 11:31:59 PM
You know what I wonder?  What *was* Annie doing in the kitchen for 2.5 hours?  Supposing she was being PA, that still meant that she had to spent 2.5 hours in the kitchen, and probably on her feet at least *pretending* to cook, because if she'd sat down to read a book and one of the guests walked in... so my guess is that she was cooking *something*.  What in the world was she doing that she managed to draw it out that long without going insane?  Cooking dinners for the week?  It's just mystifying.

Hah! No kidding. At that speed, she must have been chopping vegetables with the blade of her hand.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: sparksals on November 14, 2012, 01:34:46 AM
I think the OP's hostess and host had said the half hour would be fine.

Frankly, if I had invited someone w/ a narrow window for dinner, I *would* have had dinner ready BY 6:30.

I think it was rude to be in the kitchen cooking, with their guests cooling their heels in the other room. You don't invite people over to watch you cook. Your cooking should mostly be done by the time they get there.

Don't get me wrong--I have had people over for dinner and not been finished when they arrive. But--I always regard it as a failure when that happens, unless it's a few last-minute touches.


And even in those situations, we socialized WHILE I finished up. We talked--they stood in the kitchen doorway, or my DH entertained them in the living room with me shouting comments from the kitchen or running out briefly to be part of the convo when it got suddenly interesting.

I think this was a lesson for the OP--while your kid is little, evening dinner get-togethers aren't a good idea. Maybe they'll work if *you* host, but they leave you a very short socializing time. And it's the rare host that can make your short socializing time work. Apparently THIS particular hostess and host can't do it.

Let's just see how you do on the Thanksgiving you get to finally host, Toots.   Timing is a difficult thing, especially with a large meal. I don't have two ovens.  When the Turkey comes out, I have to put all the sides in the oven to heat while the turkey stands..  I am not a bad hostess b/c I still have food cooking when guests arrive. 

This last Cdn TG, I had plenty of appetizers, beverages and snacks.  The turkey was taking longer than normal.   Turkey is unpredictable.  It was still in the oven when guests arrived and I still had to heat the sides.  Sometimes it can't be helped not matter how much I tried to put on a good meal.  That does not make me a failure in the kitchen. 

Please let me know how you do in a couple weeks and let's revisit.   I think you're being a bit judgmental.  When a hostess is trying and things get a bit behind, that is not rude or a poor hostess.

The hostess in the OP, she was rude, but in general as you described, not everyone has dinner ready upon arrival and it is not rude for it not to be ready. 
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: sparksals on November 14, 2012, 01:55:32 AM
You shouldn't really try anything new when you're entertaining, just in case you do have a kitchen mishap.

I do it all the time.  That is try something new.  Mishaps are few and far between. Our friends like to try new foods and enjoy the adventure.  Friends, if they are true friends will understand if something doesn't turn out. 
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: MariaE on November 14, 2012, 03:34:11 AM
I think the OP's hostess and host had said the half hour would be fine.

Frankly, if I had invited someone w/ a narrow window for dinner, I *would* have had dinner ready BY 6:30.

I think it was rude to be in the kitchen cooking, with their guests cooling their heels in the other room. You don't invite people over to watch you cook. Your cooking should mostly be done by the time they get there.

Don't get me wrong--I have had people over for dinner and not been finished when they arrive. But--I always regard it as a failure when that happens, unless it's a few last-minute touches.


And even in those situations, we socialized WHILE I finished up. We talked--they stood in the kitchen doorway, or my DH entertained them in the living room with me shouting comments from the kitchen or running out briefly to be part of the convo when it got suddenly interesting.

I think this was a lesson for the OP--while your kid is little, evening dinner get-togethers aren't a good idea. Maybe they'll work if *you* host, but they leave you a very short socializing time. And it's the rare host that can make your short socializing time work. Apparently THIS particular hostess and host can't do it.

Let's just see how you do on the Thanksgiving you get to finally host, Toots.   Timing is a difficult thing, especially with a large meal. I don't have two ovens.  When the Turkey comes out, I have to put all the sides in the oven to heat while the turkey stands..  I am not a bad hostess b/c I still have food cooking when guests arrive. 

This last Cdn TG, I had plenty of appetizers, beverages and snacks.  The turkey was taking longer than normal.   Turkey is unpredictable.  It was still in the oven when guests arrived and I still had to heat the sides.  Sometimes it can't be helped not matter how much I tried to put on a good meal.  That does not make me a failure in the kitchen. 

Please let me know how you do in a couple weeks and let's revisit.   I think you're being a bit judgmental.  When a hostess is trying and things get a bit behind, that is not rude or a poor hostess.

The hostess in the OP, she was rude, but in general as you described, not everyone has dinner ready upon arrival and it is not rude for it not to be ready.

Not Toots, obviously, but I read her comment as not being finished with the preparations would be considered a failure. Getting something out of the oven and popping something else in wouldn't count.

... at least, that's where I'm at, so guess I read her comment through those glasses.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: cicero on November 14, 2012, 04:13:29 AM
I think the OP's hostess and host had said the half hour would be fine.

Frankly, if I had invited someone w/ a narrow window for dinner, I *would* have had dinner ready BY 6:30.

I think it was rude to be in the kitchen cooking, with their guests cooling their heels in the other room. You don't invite people over to watch you cook. Your cooking should mostly be done by the time they get there.

Don't get me wrong--I have had people over for dinner and not been finished when they arrive. But--I always regard it as a failure when that happens, unless it's a few last-minute touches.


And even in those situations, we socialized WHILE I finished up. We talked--they stood in the kitchen doorway, or my DH entertained them in the living room with me shouting comments from the kitchen or running out briefly to be part of the convo when it got suddenly interesting.

I think this was a lesson for the OP--while your kid is little, evening dinner get-togethers aren't a good idea. Maybe they'll work if *you* host, but they leave you a very short socializing time. And it's the rare host that can make your short socializing time work. Apparently THIS particular hostess and host can't do it.

Let's just see how you do on the Thanksgiving you get to finally host, Toots.   Timing is a difficult thing, especially with a large meal. I don't have two ovens.  When the Turkey comes out, I have to put all the sides in the oven to heat while the turkey stands..  I am not a bad hostess b/c I still have food cooking when guests arrive. 

This last Cdn TG, I had plenty of appetizers, beverages and snacks.  The turkey was taking longer than normal.   Turkey is unpredictable.  It was still in the oven when guests arrived and I still had to heat the sides.  Sometimes it can't be helped not matter how much I tried to put on a good meal.  That does not make me a failure in the kitchen. 

Please let me know how you do in a couple weeks and let's revisit.   I think you're being a bit judgmental.  When a hostess is trying and things get a bit behind, that is not rude or a poor hostess.

The hostess in the OP, she was rude, but in general as you described, not everyone has dinner ready upon arrival and it is not rude for it not to be ready.
sparksal i think you are being harsh here - I'm not toots but I believe her reply was about *this* thread which is specifically *not* about a big dinner (e.g., t-giving) where you are having multiple courses, and roasting a turkey etc. this thread was about a mid-week casual dinner with two couples and two toddlers. and toots is absolutely right - for a regular (mid-week, or even weekend but not a big occassion) dinner,  i think the expectation is to have dinner ready or "just about ready" at 6.30, so that guests can sit down to eat at or about 6.30 (especially given the parameters of this thread - the two toddlers, the time limitation). when i have company, or i am a guest, i do expect the meal to be "just about ready" - i agree with toots that it is rude for the host (remember: there was one hosting couple and one guest couple) to disappear into the kitchen for 2.5 hours to "prepare dinner".

Last minute prep - as in toss a salad, stick fish fillets under the grill for a few minutes, grill the steak - fine. Long-term prep - as in thrice baked potatoes, chicken cassulet, or 2.5 hours of dinner prep - not so much.

Thanksgiving dinners are a whole different story.

Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: sparksals on November 14, 2012, 06:30:03 AM
I think the OP's hostess and host had said the half hour would be fine.

Frankly, if I had invited someone w/ a narrow window for dinner, I *would* have had dinner ready BY 6:30.

I think it was rude to be in the kitchen cooking, with their guests cooling their heels in the other room. You don't invite people over to watch you cook. Your cooking should mostly be done by the time they get there.

Don't get me wrong--I have had people over for dinner and not been finished when they arrive. But--I always regard it as a failure when that happens, unless it's a few last-minute touches.


And even in those situations, we socialized WHILE I finished up. We talked--they stood in the kitchen doorway, or my DH entertained them in the living room with me shouting comments from the kitchen or running out briefly to be part of the convo when it got suddenly interesting.

I think this was a lesson for the OP--while your kid is little, evening dinner get-togethers aren't a good idea. Maybe they'll work if *you* host, but they leave you a very short socializing time. And it's the rare host that can make your short socializing time work. Apparently THIS particular hostess and host can't do it.

Let's just see how you do on the Thanksgiving you get to finally host, Toots.   Timing is a difficult thing, especially with a large meal. I don't have two ovens.  When the Turkey comes out, I have to put all the sides in the oven to heat while the turkey stands..  I am not a bad hostess b/c I still have food cooking when guests arrive. 

This last Cdn TG, I had plenty of appetizers, beverages and snacks.  The turkey was taking longer than normal.   Turkey is unpredictable.  It was still in the oven when guests arrived and I still had to heat the sides.  Sometimes it can't be helped not matter how much I tried to put on a good meal.  That does not make me a failure in the kitchen. 

Please let me know how you do in a couple weeks and let's revisit.   I think you're being a bit judgmental.  When a hostess is trying and things get a bit behind, that is not rude or a poor hostess.

The hostess in the OP, she was rude, but in general as you described, not everyone has dinner ready upon arrival and it is not rude for it not to be ready.
sparksal i think you are being harsh here - I'm not toots but I believe her reply was about *this* thread which is specifically *not* about a big dinner (e.g., t-giving) where you are having multiple courses, and roasting a turkey etc. this thread was about a mid-week casual dinner with two couples and two toddlers. and toots is absolutely right - for a regular (mid-week, or even weekend but not a big occassion) dinner,  i think the expectation is to have dinner ready or "just about ready" at 6.30, so that guests can sit down to eat at or about 6.30 (especially given the parameters of this thread - the two toddlers, the time limitation). when i have company, or i am a guest, i do expect the meal to be "just about ready" - i agree with toots that it is rude for the host (remember: there was one hosting couple and one guest couple) to disappear into the kitchen for 2.5 hours to "prepare dinner".

Last minute prep - as in toss a salad, stick fish fillets under the grill for a few minutes, grill the steak - fine. Long-term prep - as in thrice baked potatoes, chicken cassulet, or 2.5 hours of dinner prep  - not so much.

Thanksgiving dinners are a whole different story.

I dont think so, cicero.  Many have stated that not sitting right down for dinner is the norm for them.  Even for me on weeknight, I would delay serving to have bevvies and appies. 

Perhaps Toots did mean prep. I didn't read it that way.  The 'failure' part was a biy much. There are tonnes of reasons dinner can be delayed, none of which makes one a failure in the kitchen.   
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: secretrebel on November 14, 2012, 06:38:22 AM
I think the OP's hostess and host had said the half hour would be fine.

Frankly, if I had invited someone w/ a narrow window for dinner, I *would* have had dinner ready BY 6:30.

Maybe this is a question for the other thread but wouldn't having dinner for the exact time you expected the guests to knock on the door risk the food being overcooked once they'd come in and exchanged greetings and seated themselves and got drinks?

That seems a bit impractical unless it's something like a lasagne which is all prepared and already mostly cooked by the time the guests arrive and can be turned up or down if they are early or late.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: LeveeWoman on November 14, 2012, 06:39:48 AM
I think the OP's hostess and host had said the half hour would be fine.

Frankly, if I had invited someone w/ a narrow window for dinner, I *would* have had dinner ready BY 6:30.

I think it was rude to be in the kitchen cooking, with their guests cooling their heels in the other room. You don't invite people over to watch you cook. Your cooking should mostly be done by the time they get there.

Don't get me wrong--I have had people over for dinner and not been finished when they arrive. But--I always regard it as a failure when that happens, unless it's a few last-minute touches.


And even in those situations, we socialized WHILE I finished up. We talked--they stood in the kitchen doorway, or my DH entertained them in the living room with me shouting comments from the kitchen or running out briefly to be part of the convo when it got suddenly interesting.

I think this was a lesson for the OP--while your kid is little, evening dinner get-togethers aren't a good idea. Maybe they'll work if *you* host, but they leave you a very short socializing time. And it's the rare host that can make your short socializing time work. Apparently THIS particular hostess and host can't do it.

Let's just see how you do on the Thanksgiving you get to finally host, Toots.   Timing is a difficult thing, especially with a large meal. I don't have two ovens.  When the Turkey comes out, I have to put all the sides in the oven to heat while the turkey stands..  I am not a bad hostess b/c I still have food cooking when guests arrive. 

This last Cdn TG, I had plenty of appetizers, beverages and snacks.  The turkey was taking longer than normal.   Turkey is unpredictable.  It was still in the oven when guests arrived and I still had to heat the sides.  Sometimes it can't be helped not matter how much I tried to put on a good meal.  That does not make me a failure in the kitchen. 

Please let me know how you do in a couple weeks and let's revisit.   I think you're being a bit judgmental.  When a hostess is trying and things get a bit behind, that is not rude or a poor hostess.

The hostess in the OP, she was rude, but in general as you described, not everyone has dinner ready upon arrival and it is not rude for it not to be ready.
sparksal i think you are being harsh here - I'm not toots but I believe her reply was about *this* thread which is specifically *not* about a big dinner (e.g., t-giving) where you are having multiple courses, and roasting a turkey etc. this thread was about a mid-week casual dinner with two couples and two toddlers. and toots is absolutely right - for a regular (mid-week, or even weekend but not a big occassion) dinner,  i think the expectation is to have dinner ready or "just about ready" at 6.30, so that guests can sit down to eat at or about 6.30 (especially given the parameters of this thread - the two toddlers, the time limitation). when i have company, or i am a guest, i do expect the meal to be "just about ready" - i agree with toots that it is rude for the host (remember: there was one hosting couple and one guest couple) to disappear into the kitchen for 2.5 hours to "prepare dinner".

Last minute prep - as in toss a salad, stick fish fillets under the grill for a few minutes, grill the steak - fine. Long-term prep - as in thrice baked potatoes, chicken cassulet, or 2.5 hours of dinner prep  - not so much.

Thanksgiving dinners are a whole different story.

I dont think so, cicero.  Many have stated that not sitting right down for dinner is the norm for them.  Even for me on weeknight, I would delay serving to have bevvies and appies. 

Perhaps Toots did mean prep. I didn't read it that way.  The 'failure' part was a biy much. There are tonnes of reasons dinner can be delayed, none of which makes one a failure in the kitchen.

But that's not what happened to CakeBeret. She, her husband and their toddler were invited for dinner at 6:30 yet it wasn't served until two-and-a-half hours later, an hour-and-a-half after prep work had begun. Maybe I missed it but, CakeBeret and her husband were not served appetizers while they were forced to entertain the hosts' toddler. (Their toddler did get something to eat but only when his daddy had to get something.)

Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: sparksals on November 14, 2012, 06:45:10 AM
I realize that. I was responding to Toots' comment.  In the OP case, absolutely rude.  In general, not.rude not to serve immediately or shortly after arrival. 
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: TootsNYC on November 14, 2012, 09:56:20 AM
sparksals--did you not realize that I *was* talking about myself?

When *I* have SO much still do do in the kitchen that I can't really focus on my guests when they arrive, I consider that *I* have failed. In my own goal of "having a good time making the dinner for everyone" (bcs I'm stressed) and in my own goal of "timing dinner properly." I've been in the situation in which I had way too much left to do when my guests walked in the door. It marred my enjoyment of the evening.
   (I didn't mean "failed utterly in all aspects as a hostess"--those evenings were still pleasant.)

I did not say "you have failed"--I wasn't actually talking about other people at all.

And did you miss "should mostly be done"? I put the "mostly" in on purpose! Because of course some stuff might still be in the oven.

But if I'm serving dinner, I don't think it's "success at food prep" to still be cutting up the potatoes when people walk in the door (oh, salad and crudite, that's fine if you're still slicing--but you should finish pretty quick!)

I wasn't talking about you.
Title: Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
Post by: sparksals on November 14, 2012, 10:11:14 AM
Toots... No I knew you weren't talking about me specifically, but generally that those who don't adequately prepare in a timely manner are a failing.  I did not see you were talking soley about yourself.  My apologies for misunderstanding.  Been up since three AM sitting an an airport reading from the phone with 5 hours to go in a layover.