Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: KimodoDragon on June 10, 2013, 12:56:05 PM

Title: I Didn't Commit To This
Post by: KimodoDragon on June 10, 2013, 12:56:05 PM
Last week, I was asked by “Gwyneth” if I could attend a showcase featuring her granddaughter, Kathy.  Gwyneth is a lady I know and Kathy is her 15 year old granddaughter, whom I know as an extension of Gwyneth.  Kathy is a wonderful singer as I have heard her on a few occasions.

I explained to Gwyneth that I was unable to attend the showcase as I had a retirement party to attend, but I wished Kathy well.

Fast forward to this week.  Gwyneth stopped me and asked, “what happened to you, Kathy was looking for you at the showcase”.  I reminded Gwyneth of the retirement party I was attending.  She went on to say, “well she had four tickets that were bought and paid for and people didn’t show up, she was mad”.

I looked at her and said, well, I hope she did well.  Gwyneth then said, “of course she did well, but $20 a ticket for no shows is a bit much”.  I took that as my cue to depart from the conversation.  Her parting words were, “Kathy is really mad”.  I walked off.

I didn’t say anything else because I didn’t want it to seem I took any responsibility or was at fault.  But the way the conversation went, I felt she either wanted me to apologize and/or offer money for an unused ticket.  I didn’t commit to attending the showcase. Was this bad behavior?
Title: Re: I Didn't Commit To This
Post by: RingTailedLemur on June 10, 2013, 01:02:41 PM
Yes, it was bad behaviour - on Gwyneth's part.  You did nothing wrong.
Title: Re: I Didn't Commit To This
Post by: veronaz on June 10, 2013, 01:04:37 PM
I don't see any bad behavior or obligation on your part.  You told Gwyneth you couldn't attend.  Then she gets an attitude because you didn't attend.  ???
Title: Re: I Didn't Commit To This
Post by: Allyson on June 10, 2013, 01:14:52 PM
I sure hope she didn't tell Kathy you were attending and then either get her hopes up you'd be there, or make it so another person couldn't attend. If she brings it up again, I would be pretty blunt.  "Wait, I told you I had another commitment, but you got me a ticket anyway? Why would you do that? I wasn't a no-show, I never told you I was coming!"
Title: Re: I Didn't Commit To This
Post by: LazyDaisy on June 10, 2013, 01:23:23 PM
You're fine. Since you don't really have a relationship with Kathy, and Gwyneth invited you only last week, I wonder if the 4 tickets were purchased before you were invited and you're a B-C-or D-list invitee after other people declined. Or each participant in the showcase was obligated to sell/buy a certain number of tickets and Kathy wasn't able to meet that goal. It seems really odd that Gwyneth or Kathy really expected you to be there since at the time of the invitation, Gwyneth never indicated that you'd be paying for your own ticket. If she really thought you had agreed, wouldn't she have said something about ticket price then?
Title: Re: I Didn't Commit To This
Post by: Cat-Fu on June 10, 2013, 01:40:06 PM
I have a sneaking suspicion that Kathy didn't  know you were "missing" at all, and Gwyneth is just looking to get some cash back for the tickets.
Title: Re: I Didn't Commit To This
Post by: MrTango on June 10, 2013, 02:25:49 PM
I would respond with:

OP: "Gwynneth, do you remember when you first asked me if I was able to attend?"
Gwynneth: "Of course."
OP: "And what did I tell you at that time?"
(If her response is anything other than acknowleding that you declined)
OP: "No.  I declined.  I told you at that time that I would be unable to attend.  You chose to buy an extra ticket.  I told you that I would not be able to attend.  There is no legitimate reason for you to be upset with me."
Title: Re: I Didn't Commit To This
Post by: TootsNYC on June 10, 2013, 02:27:10 PM
I'm not sure why you didn't say, "What? I told you I couldn't go. And Kathy sure never asked me directly whether she should get a ticket for me."

Feel free to defend yourself.

And no, you aren't in the least obligated, etc. ,etc.
Title: Re: I Didn't Commit To This
Post by: JenJay on June 10, 2013, 02:33:33 PM
I play dumb with people like this, it's the easiest way to "avoid the crazy".

“well she had four tickets that were bought and paid for and people didn’t show up, she was mad”
I bet she was! That was really rude of people to accept the invitation and stick her with the cost of the tickets.

"..$20 a ticket for no shows is a bit much”
I agree. I hope she doesn't invite those same people again. Obviously they can't be counted on.

“Kathy is really mad”
Poor girl, please tell her I said hello and I'm sorry I wasn't able to attend.
Title: Re: I Didn't Commit To This
Post by: shhh its me on June 10, 2013, 02:49:53 PM
I'm not sure why you didn't say, "What? I told you I couldn't go. And Kathy sure never asked me directly whether she should get a ticket for me."

Feel free to defend yourself.

And no, you aren't in the least obligated, etc. ,etc.
This , I do think if she;s brings it up again you need to say some version of " Gwynne I think you might have confused me with someone else.  I told you I want not able to attend the moment you asked me." oe what toots said.

I wouldn't be coy or subtle she either made a mistake or didn't listen or just wants to guilt you for these tickets.
Title: Re: I Didn't Commit To This
Post by: Coralreef on June 10, 2013, 02:55:49 PM
You have no obligations toward Gwyneth or Kathy since you declined from the start. 

Did she mention that tickets were $20 per person when she invited you?  If not, the same probably happened to other people, who had accepted but once they learned the price, were not willing or able to spend the money.  Hence, the no-show / retractions of the invite. 

If you invite me somewhere and spring the price at the last minute, I'm bowing out.  Some things need to be planned, otherwise I can budget for them.  I'm pretty sure that goes for a lot of people.
Title: Re: I Didn't Commit To This
Post by: jedikaiti on June 10, 2013, 02:56:34 PM
I'm not sure why you didn't say, "What? I told you I couldn't go. And Kathy sure never asked me directly whether she should get a ticket for me."

Feel free to defend yourself.

And no, you aren't in the least obligated, etc. ,etc.
This , I do think if she;s brings it up again you need to say some version of " Gwynne I think you might have confused me with someone else.  I told you I want not able to attend the moment you asked me." oe what toots said.

I wouldn't be coy or subtle she either made a mistake or didn't listen or just wants to guilt you for these tickets.

I concur. "I don't know why you or Kathy would be upset with me. I told you when you first asked there was no way I could attend as I had a prior commitment. I can only imagine that you must have me confused with someone else."
Title: Re: I Didn't Commit To This
Post by: Mikayla on June 10, 2013, 02:58:47 PM
I'm not sure why you didn't say, "What? I told you I couldn't go. And Kathy sure never asked me directly whether she should get a ticket for me."

Feel free to defend yourself.

And no, you aren't in the least obligated, etc. ,etc.

This.

I don't think your reaction was wrong, OP, and certainly not rude.  But it's also ok to clarify when someone goes off her rails and blames you for something clearly not your fault. 

If nothing else, you could pose it as a question and ask if she misunderstood what you told her when you declined the invite.  All I know is I wouldn't have remained silent, simply because this kind of behavior is really offputting.
Title: Re: I Didn't Commit To This
Post by: snappylt on June 10, 2013, 04:42:57 PM
KimodoDragon,

Is this an isolated incident of "strangeness" by Gwyneth, or has there been more than just this one case?

The reason I am asking is that I had a close relative who suffered from Alzheimer's.  As her memory was failing, she would start forgetting things people had told her, just like Gwyneth seemed to have forgotten that you had already told her that you could not attend.

If this is part of a pattern, it is possible that Gwyneth is in the early stages of dementia.
Title: Re: I Didn't Commit To This
Post by: JeseC on June 10, 2013, 04:58:25 PM
I'm not sure why you didn't say, "What? I told you I couldn't go. And Kathy sure never asked me directly whether she should get a ticket for me."

Feel free to defend yourself.

And no, you aren't in the least obligated, etc. ,etc.
This , I do think if she;s brings it up again you need to say some version of " Gwynne I think you might have confused me with someone else.  I told you I want not able to attend the moment you asked me." oe what toots said.

I wouldn't be coy or subtle she either made a mistake or didn't listen or just wants to guilt you for these tickets.

POD.  If she did make a mistake, or even if this is isolated behavior, this gives her a graceful way out while still making it clear that you never said you would attend.
Title: Re: I Didn't Commit To This
Post by: Otterpop on June 10, 2013, 06:31:35 PM
KimodoDragon,

Is this an isolated incident of "strangeness" by Gwyneth, or has there been more than just this one case?

The reason I am asking is that I had a close relative who suffered from Alzheimer's.  As her memory was failing, she would start forgetting things people had told her, just like Gwyneth seemed to have forgotten that you had already told her that you could not attend.

If this is part of a pattern, it is possible that Gwyneth is in the early stages of dementia.

I was thinking that too.  She was talking as though you'd committed to being there and then flaked.  I like Mr. Tango's idea of asking her questions to remind her of your initial conversation.
Title: Re: I Didn't Commit To This
Post by: chibichan on June 10, 2013, 07:08:13 PM
I have a sneaking suspicion that Kathy didn't  know you were "missing" at all, and Gwyneth is just looking to get some cash back for the tickets.

This , exactly . Gwyneth probably tried that line on every.single.person who declined the invite . An invite , I might add , that did not seem to include the information that she was selling tickets to Kathy's performance .
Title: Re: I Didn't Commit To This
Post by: TootsNYC on June 10, 2013, 07:33:51 PM
Well, based on KD's original post, I would have assumed that if there were a ticket price, I'd be paying it; I wouldn't have assumed that Gwenyth was going to *treat* me. I didn't read it as a social invite.

But I also wouldn't have thought that I was somehow committed, ro that I'd be buying the tickets from HER or from Kathy.
Title: Re: I Didn't Commit To This
Post by: LifeOnPluto on June 10, 2013, 10:20:02 PM
How very odd. It's possible (as a PP suggested) that Gwyneth got you confused with someone else. Or perhaps she misunderstood you (somehow?) and thought that you would skip the retirement party to attend Kathy's recital?

Or as cat-fu said, maybe Kathy is just trying to scam some bucks off people.

Whatever the case, you are clearly NOT in the wrong, and definitely not obliged to apologise for your non-attendance, or worse, pay them the $20 for a ticket.
Title: Re: I Didn't Commit To This
Post by: lorelai on June 10, 2013, 10:32:52 PM
I'm not sure why you didn't say, "What? I told you I couldn't go. And Kathy sure never asked me directly whether she should get a ticket for me."

Feel free to defend yourself.

And no, you aren't in the least obligated, etc. ,etc.
This , I do think if she;s brings it up again you need to say some version of " Gwynne I think you might have confused me with someone else.  I told you I want not able to attend the moment you asked me." oe what toots said.

I wouldn't be coy or subtle she either made a mistake or didn't listen or just wants to guilt you for these tickets.

I concur. "I don't know why you or Kathy would be upset with me. I told you when you first asked there was no way I could attend as I had a prior commitment. I can only imagine that you must have me confused with someone else."

I like this response the best, it's very polite! Hopefully that'll work for you if it comes up again.
Title: Re: I Didn't Commit To This
Post by: Raintree on June 11, 2013, 01:06:41 AM
I think I would have said more, ie, "Well those weren't my tickets; when you asked me to go I told you I couldn't make it, so I wasn't one of your no-shows."
Title: Re: I Didn't Commit To This
Post by: KimodoDragon on June 11, 2013, 07:35:37 AM
Thanks to everyone for your responses!

To answer snappyIt:  I interact with Gwyneth somewhat frequently and I see no signs of memory failure.

If she brings this subject up again when I see her next, I will simply remind her (again) that I did not commit, had a previous engagement to attend and in no way asked for a ticket to the showcase.  She can be upset all she wants, I can't make this my problem.

Title: Re: I Didn't Commit To This
Post by: siamesecat2965 on June 11, 2013, 10:26:28 AM
Thanks to everyone for your responses!

To answer snappyIt:  I interact with Gwyneth somewhat frequently and I see no signs of memory failure.

If she brings this subject up again when I see her next, I will simply remind her (again) that I did not commit, had a previous engagement to attend and in no way asked for a ticket to the showcase.  She can be upset all she wants, I can't make this my problem.


That sounds like the best course of action to me.  If she doesn't have any signs of forgetfulness etc. as you say, then my take on it is that she was trying to make you feel guilty, and perhaps offer to pay for a ticket you never asked for, or committed to in the first place. and as you say, she can be as upset as she wants, as you did nothing wrong.
Title: Re: I Didn't Commit To This
Post by: cwm on June 11, 2013, 10:46:03 AM
Thanks to everyone for your responses!

To answer snappyIt:  I interact with Gwyneth somewhat frequently and I see no signs of memory failure.

If she brings this subject up again when I see her next, I will simply remind her (again) that I did not commit, had a previous engagement to attend and in no way asked for a ticket to the showcase.  She can be upset all she wants, I can't make this my problem.

This is the perfect attitude to have. I'm sure everyone has enough in their life to keep them busy, why worry about what someone else has created as a manufactured "problem" for you by them not listening?
Title: Re: I Didn't Commit To This
Post by: DottyG on June 11, 2013, 02:23:55 PM
Quote
I see no signs of memory failure.

I do.  She forgot that you said you weren't attending the concert! ;)

Title: Re: I Didn't Commit To This
Post by: KimodoDragon on June 11, 2013, 02:29:23 PM
Quote
I see no signs of memory failure.

I do.  She forgot that you said you weren't attending the concert! ;)

Good one, DottyG!