Etiquette Hell

Hostesses With The Mostest => Entertaining and Hospitality => Topic started by: NyaChan on January 28, 2013, 05:37:33 PM

Title: Can a person RSVP Yes x 1/2?
Post by: NyaChan on January 28, 2013, 05:37:33 PM
Host indicates to people who have a yearly tradition of watching the Super Bowl that they would like to host this year.  Host also mentioned that they were asking ahead of time because they had hosted the year previously and didn't want to pre-empt someone else if they had wanted to host.  The people in the group responded that Host should go ahead.  While Host mentioned the event casually later on in conversation, the event was not actually discussed with specifics.  On Friday, so 1 week and 2 days before the Super Bowl, the group received an official invitation asking for RSVPs.  An invitee responded on the last day before the deadline, prompted by the Host's reminder, that they were going to another gathering for pre-game and the first half, but would stop by for the latter half of the game.  Is this appropriate?
Title: Re: Can a person RSVP Yes x 1/2?
Post by: siamesecat2965 on January 28, 2013, 05:45:35 PM
I think it depends, but wouldn't bother me. It's not like a formal dinner party, where the guest said oh, i'm having drinks and dinner with friend a, but will come by you (friend b) in time for dessert.  To me, its more casual, where someone dropping in later on would be ok.  I've been to SB parties where people come and go. And now that the game begins later and later, sometimes its just not possible to stay the entire time. I know i'm going to friends, but will most likely leave at halftime, and my friends are fine with that. I get up early for work, so I'd like to be home at a fairly reasonable hour, so i can get to bed, etc. in time.

Also, a week and a day or two doesn't seem to be all that much notice; esp for a big event like the Superbowl.  So I don't blame the invitee for accepting another invite, when, even though it was talked about, no firms plans were made.
Title: Re: Can a person RSVP Yes x 1/2?
Post by: Deetee on January 28, 2013, 05:54:42 PM
While seeing as I have done a similiar thing (went for a hike and then joined the SB party later) I think it's fine.

There are events where dropping in and out is expected (Open House) and events were it is not appropriate (Formal Dinner).

Some parties are (people may be there for the first part, the last part or the middle) and some aren't.

I would think of a superbowl party as generally being a fairly casual affair and one where it is fine to arrive late or leave early, as I have witnessed that and aside from this thread never considered it anything to even think about.
Title: Re: Can a person RSVP Yes x 1/2?
Post by: WillyNilly on January 28, 2013, 05:59:00 PM
I definitely think its fine.  But late comers have to deal with all the good seats already being taken and the awesome food already started!  >:D
Title: Re: Can a person RSVP Yes x 1/2?
Post by: katycoo on January 28, 2013, 06:32:16 PM
Yes, for that style party its fine.

For a sit down dinner it isn't but where a person's late arrival or early departure doesn't adversely affect the party, its fine.
Title: Re: Can a person RSVP Yes x 1/2?
Post by: NyaChan on January 28, 2013, 06:41:14 PM
If it makes a difference at all, the invite was billed as a dinner & game.  Last year the host had chili with a bunch of sides and a signature cocktail for the event.  That said, I remember two people coming, eating, and leaving at the last one so maybe that's what they were thinking of in reverse. 
Title: Re: Can a person RSVP Yes x 1/2?
Post by: katycoo on January 28, 2013, 06:51:59 PM
If it makes a difference at all, the invite was billed as a dinner & game.  Last year the host had chili with a bunch of sides and a signature cocktail for the event.  That said, I remember two people coming, eating, and leaving at the last one so maybe that's what they were thinking of in reverse.

Sit down dinner, or food will be cooked, set out and people can fill plates and watch the game as they choose?  The formality makes a difference.  Is one person not eating dinner going to be awkward for the others like if would be around a dining table?
Title: Re: Can a person RSVP Yes x 1/2?
Post by: NyaChan on January 28, 2013, 07:01:47 PM
She doesn't have a dining table actually.  I've been over when it was just me and we ate at the island that has two stools.  When there are more people, she puts out food on that counter when it's time & we all take our food to her living room area where there are couches/chairs/tv to eat.  So I guess there is really no formal dining in the official sense at her apartment?  I don't have a table like that either since I live alone too, so I'm not really sure how others would think of it.   
Title: Re: Can a person RSVP Yes x 1/2?
Post by: katycoo on January 28, 2013, 07:04:49 PM
Based on your description, I think its fine.  Ideally the person should be able to tell the host whether they plan to eat dinner at their party on not (and therefore be present at time of food serving) but I don't see a problem.
Title: Re: Can a person RSVP Yes x 1/2?
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 28, 2013, 07:32:05 PM
I think it is fine. At other Super Bowl parties I've been to, there is always munchies but then a heavier dinner served during half time.  A few occasions, all the food was set out for people to eat when they wanted.  But I really think this is the type of party where people can come and go.
Title: Re: Can a person RSVP Yes x 1/2?
Post by: Deetee on January 28, 2013, 07:52:02 PM
The other very important point is this is up to the host, not guests to decide what is acceptable. I'm pretty laid back for parties and not laid back for dinners in terms of attendence (I was going to say I'm super strict for dinners, but my sister showed up with an extra guest for Thanksgiving and I was completely happy with it. I was just glad the table wasn't completely set so the guest wouldn't realise she was unexpected. I just told my sister after her friend was welcome anytime but I wanted a heads up before.)

Anyhow, I would be put out as the host if I thought guests were getting annoyed on my behalf for something that I, as host, was cool with. 
Title: Re: Can a person RSVP Yes x 1/2?
Post by: NyaChan on January 28, 2013, 08:28:12 PM
Deetee, I am not annoyed about it as it doesn't really affect me, but the Host was a little taken aback and told me in private that she was a little hurt.  I don't think she had considered that people would only come for half, but the couple said it so casually that I figured it might be completely normal for others and thought I'd check here. 

Title: Re: Can a person RSVP Yes x 1/2?
Post by: Surianne on January 28, 2013, 08:50:04 PM
Sounds pretty normal to me -- I wouldn't consider a sports-watching event as a formal occasion, nor a dinner eaten in the TV room.  Why was the host hurt, did she tell you?
Title: Re: Can a person RSVP Yes x 1/2?
Post by: Deetee on January 28, 2013, 09:00:16 PM
Deetee, I am not annoyed about it as it doesn't really affect me, but the Host was a little taken aback and told me in private that she was a little hurt.  I don't think she had considered that people would only come for half, but the couple said it so casually that I figured it might be completely normal for others and thought I'd check here.

If host was annoyed then it was inappropriate. But that said, I still think it is on the host to communicate that to the offending guests, as I would call this type of of party a pretty grey area.

 (It wouldn't bother me as host, but I also do not invite boarish people to my house. I do invite very, very busy people at times so I appreciate that they can make it. I would rather have eat and run over no visit, but I don't know anyone who would abuse it)
Title: Re: Can a person RSVP Yes x 1/2?
Post by: katycoo on January 28, 2013, 09:26:31 PM
Deetee, I am not annoyed about it as it doesn't really affect me, but the Host was a little taken aback and told me in private that she was a little hurt.  I don't think she had considered that people would only come for half, but the couple said it so casually that I figured it might be completely normal for others and thought I'd check here. 

I wonder why Host is taking the 1/2 rsvp so personally?  Its an invitation to watch a sporting event with food.  Its not like the guest is only coming to half a wedding.

I don't wish to downplay her feelings but I don't reallu understand them given the nature of the event.  I just had an 'all day long' BBQ for Australia Day.  The purpose of the party was to listen to the Hottest 100 countdown which plays from 12noon to 6pm.  I didn't care if people couldn't stay the whole time.  I prefer people to come for a bit than not come at all if possible.  It shows that they want to be there.
Title: Re: Can a person RSVP Yes x 1/2?
Post by: zinzin on January 28, 2013, 09:38:35 PM
Seems fine to me. In my circle, those types of parties are often "come when you can, leave when you must".
Title: Re: Can a person RSVP Yes x 1/2?
Post by: Kiara on January 29, 2013, 11:39:47 AM
In my group of friends one person always throws the Super Bowl party.  She explicitly states it starts at 5:30, but come when you want, and leave when you want.  I'm usually there on time, but I think last year was the first year I stayed until the end, and I've been going for close to 8 years.

I think it's pretty common.
Title: Re: Can a person RSVP Yes x 1/2?
Post by: Roe on January 29, 2013, 04:53:40 PM
Yeah, this is pretty common for a Super Bowl party.
Title: Re: Can a person RSVP Yes x 1/2?
Post by: gellchom on January 29, 2013, 05:03:45 PM
I think it depends upon the type of party and the hosts' expectations.

Many Super Bowl parties are drop-in-and-out kinds of things.  But not all are.  If you are one of four people, that's very different from one of 25.  The hosts of a smaller group might not care, but some might.

Some days, e.g. New Year's Eve and Halloween, are times when people are likely to be invited to more than one party, and therefore hosts often make them open-house types of events, because they don't want to make their guests have to choose.  In such cases, hosts don't seem to mind getting a 1/2-acceptance -- (although I always try somehow to make all the hosts feel that I'd really rather be at THEIR party all evening, but I "have to" drop in elsewhere, too.)  Two of our friends both always have Halloween parties the Saturday night before (or of) Halloween.  They both know it and understand that their many mutual friends will go to both (and one couple even sometimes comes to the end of the other party).  Unless it's something like a restaurant reservation or a dinner party, I think that hosts would be kind of unrealistic to expect that people won't be going to other parties besides theirs on those two nights especially, and also often Fourth of July and high school graduation season, when, in our community, lots of grads' families have casual backyard open house parties for the whole class and their parents, so there are usually more than one each evening, and everyone just sort of makes the circuit.

Super Bowl Sunday seems to me to be kind of on the line.  I wouldn't mind getting a 1/2 acceptance.  But your friends did mind, right?  And I can't say they were unreasonable.  Because although the official invitation didn't come until after you received and accepted another invitation, it sounds, if I am understanding correctly, that the time, date, and the fact that you would be invited were already pretty clear.  So from their point of view, it might well feel like you had plans with them, and then something you preferred came up, so you're ditching them for half their party.

The point is, it could go either way, and the important factor here isn't which rule applies -- it's how they feel about it.  That you cannot control, nor is it subject to rules about Super Bowl parties.

It still doesn't mean that you can't go to both parties.  But you might want to think about how you communicate it to them.  Don't be cavalier or make them feel like they are wrong if they are hurt.  Don't say self-justifying things like "Well, Super Bowl parties are usually open house style" or "You don't mind, do you?"  Let THEM be the gracious ones and tell you it's fine if they come for 1/2 their party -- don't YOU tell THEM.  If they are hurt or offended, don't try to argue that you were right, just apologize for the misunderstanding and don't do it again.
Title: Re: Can a person RSVP Yes x 1/2?
Post by: Sharnita on January 29, 2013, 05:35:46 PM
In my experience, it is a pretty common thing.
Title: Re: Can a person RSVP Yes x 1/2?
Post by: MurPl1 on January 30, 2013, 11:28:23 AM
Superbowl, Halloween and NYE parties tend to be like this in my circle, and I'm always flattered when people choose to make mine the last stop.  Cuz that's usually when all the excitement is happening.   Well, end of game and midnight.  But at my Halloween Party is when we've all had a few jello shots and have gotten extra giggly ;)
Title: Re: Can a person RSVP Yes x 1/2?
Post by: NyaChan on January 30, 2013, 01:11:15 PM
As for why the Host was a little hurt:  This is our last year of school and after this we are all moving to different states.  She probably won't have the opportunity to host all of us at once before we graduate.  For the most part, this group of friends has been hanging out since the beginning of our first year of school and we've always watched the Game together & no one split the party with another party.  I think because it was a regular event to have amongst these friends, Host figured that by letting everyone know that she would like to host (she was talking about this last semester too, not just this one) and getting agreement from everyone that the agreement counted like a "Yes" to the invitation with details about it to follow.  She texted me this morning wondering if she should count them in the numbers for dinner or not.  I didn't really know if she should or shouldn't to be honest so I wasn't much help on that.

Yesterday I was chatting with the couple who is splitting the night, Todd and Jenny, before class and they mentioned to me that the person whose party they were attending first was making a fuss to them about them leaving half way & saying that they should stay for half time at the very least.  They told me that they told him that they appreciated the invitation, but there was no way they were going to miss going to Host's party altogether and will be leaving just before the end of the second quarter.  I am considering passing that along to Host (the part about them really wanting to go to her party) so that if she is still a little hurt, she'll feel better about it.   

gellchom, I'm not sure if your "you"s were general or specific to me, but I am neither guest nor host.  I was just there when the RSVP happened and the Host mentioned to me that it had bothered her. 
Title: Re: Can a person RSVP Yes x 1/2?
Post by: katycoo on January 30, 2013, 01:45:18 PM
Re dinner - she should ask the couple.  She should say "I'm serving up at about 7pm.  Will you be wanting dinner or eating at the other party?  I'm trying not to overcater as I hate throwing out food".

Otherwise I just overcater and have leftovers myself.  Makes it easier if people want seconds.
Title: Re: Can a person RSVP Yes x 1/2?
Post by: peaches on January 30, 2013, 01:57:36 PM
It would be fine with me at a Super Bowl party - obviously not fine for a more formal dinner.

Latecomers have to take their chances when it comes to food. I wouldn't plan around them (delay serving food or drinks, for example).
Title: Re: Can a person RSVP Yes x 1/2?
Post by: lowspark on January 30, 2013, 02:10:16 PM
Superbowl, Halloween and NYE parties tend to be like this in my circle, and I'm always flattered when people choose to make mine the last stop.  Cuz that's usually when all the excitement is happening.   Well, end of game and midnight.  But at my Halloween Party is when we've all had a few jello shots and have gotten extra giggly ;)

Yeah, I was going to say something like this. If you are the type of person who doesn't like party hoppers coming and going when you give a party, then don't have a party on a night where lots of parties naturally occur. Super Bowl, Halloween and New Year's Eve are specific examples. I learned this a long time ago when I gave a Halloween party. Much to my disappointment, the people who came mostly only stayed a very short while. I realized it wasn't a personal affront because heck, if I'd gotten multiple invitations for parties on the same night like that, I'd probably have done the same thing. But I didn't like the idea of hosting a party with those results.

Of course, any night you give a party, it's probable some won't be able to come at all, and possible some will have more than one event and only stop by for a while. It still happens all the time. The difference is that it's just one or two guests, as opposed to the majority of them.

As far as your friend, is she sure that the guests who are coming for the second half received her invitation or notice of having the party, first? They may have gotten notice of the other party first and figured they could do both. Another question, what if they'd spoken up at the time your friend first mentioned the party. Would your friend not have had the party based on their inability to attend?

Conclusion: It's normal, especially on a night like Super Bowl and your friend should not take it personally. I don't think the "half" guests are being rude.
Title: Re: Can a person RSVP Yes x 1/2?
Post by: Roe on January 31, 2013, 10:20:14 AM
Nyachan, it sounds as if your host friends treated the Super Bowl event in a very casual way and then got hurt and upset when others did too.  (issuing verbal invites, for one, that's pretty casual to me but pretty standard when it comes to SB)

Also, "not sure whether to count them in for the meal?"  Is it a sit down dinner?  If not, who doesn't love leftovers, esp after half-time? 

I really think your friend is making a bit more out of this than need be.  SB is typically a casual group of friends getting together to watch a football game, eating in front of the TV.  And the food isn't 5-star either...we are talking wings, fries, hamburgers, dips, chips, etc. 

Now, unless you are talking about a sit down dinner, they are in the clear as far as I'm concerned. 
Title: Re: Can a person RSVP Yes x 1/2?
Post by: NyaChan on January 31, 2013, 10:37:49 AM
Host wasn't freaking out or anything, the only reason this is even posted was because I was curious, I promise!  :)  She hasn't mentioned it again since the text - which also included general questions about cooking and serving, so not just about this - but if the event comes up in conversation, I might mention that everyone, including Todd and Jenny, were saying they were excited to come & not planning on being at school the next day if you catch my drift.  The reason the numbers came up is because she thought she would need to borrow a bigger crockpot for the main dish if there were more people coming.