Background: About a week ago, I came home to find my neighbor, Jan, sitting outside her apartment with her friends Sandra and Eli. Jan had found out a few weeks ago that I was single and had told Eli about me. She said that he wanted to meet me. So we were introduced. He seemed like a nice enough guy. Jan was telling Eli about how I volunteer at our local, live outdoor theater. I told them about a new musical that was coming up and they said they were interested in going the following Friday.
Story: Tonight, Jan, Sandra, and Eli show up at the show while I'm taking tickets and Eli gives me his extra ticket and says that I should come sit with him. I thanked him and said that I wasn't sure that I could. There are a few problems with this: First, I am technically working, although I'm not being paid, I just can't abandon my job or my friends who I work for for a guy that I hardly know. Second, even if I did (the house manager is one of my best friends and she would have let me) his seats were in the third row of the center section (granted he gave me the aisle seat), which would have been too difficult for me to get up and out of the theater before everyone else to get to the concession stand to serve concessions, which I was assigned to do at intermission and to be down at the entrance seeing everyone out at the end of the show.
I ended up not sitting with Eli and he questioned me about it as he was leaving at the end of the show. I made noises about having been busy working and left it at that.
So, was I rude or was Eli clueless? Was there a better way to handle this?