Author Topic: Come keep us company at expensive event - and don't forget your wallet!  (Read 4572 times)

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CarpeFelis

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This is a situation that happened a couple of years ago and it still boggles my mind.

DH and I know another couple, let's call them S and B, who are fairly strapped for money but love to go out and party at any opportunity.  (Probably the chance to talk to adults - they have 5 kids which is why they're strapped.)

S's parents gave them a pair of tickets to the symphony, which was for a special New Year's Eve concert including a formal party.  Not exactly cheap, as you can imagine.

They invited us to come keep them company at this event.  Did they offer to buy our tickets?  No.  Did they offer to split the cost of our tickets?  No.   OK, I could understand that they couldn't afford either of those options.  Did they offer to at least feed us before the event?  No.  In fact, when we arrived to pick them up (yep, we were expected to do the driving too!) we found them being served dinner like royalty by S's parents, who were babysitting.  Did they offer us anything?  No.

Am I wrong to feel that these people were rude, or at the very least, presumptuous?  It seems to me that if you're going to invite someone along to an expensive event, you either help defray the cost of their tickets or at least offer to treat them to a meal (which really doesn't have to be expensive at all).  As it turned out, they got free tickets, a free dinner, and free transportation - while we had to pay for our tickets, get our own dinner, and provide the transportation.

Had it been entirely up to me, I would have turned down the invitation, but DH really wanted to go.  He lets people like these walk all over him and calls ME the rude one if I protest.

Chocolate Cake

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They invited us to come keep them company at this event. 

This would be called a "dutch treat" event.   

From your post, it doesn't appear that they mislead you into believing they would be hosting you, right?   
You had full and prior knowledge as to what your expenses would be, right?   You had the complete option of declining to drive and to attend, right? 

If so, I don't know what you are so upset about.   Couples go out together "dutch treat" all the time.    The problem comes in if one couple indicates to the other couple that they will be the hosts and then don't follow through leaving their "guests" with footing part of the bill unexpectedly.   That doesn't sound like the situation here.

CarpeFelis

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I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's presumptuous to assume it's dutch treat when you're, in effect, asking the other person to spend a large amount of money.

I know if the situation were reversed, I'd feel like I was using them and rubbing their noses in it.  Come keep me company, and oh by the way, my ticket's free but you've gotta pay...

Chocolate Cake

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From your original post, there was no assumption......you knew that the evening was going to be dutch treat from the beginning.    They didn't, at any time, offer to host you so the word "presumptuous" doesn't apply to this situation except if they presumed you had the funds to join them (which is actually a compliment).    If the evening was going to tax your budget, you could have declined.

Further, I think it's somewhat of an "entitlement" attitude to expect another couple to underwrite your evening when they were very clear at the beginning that each couple was to take care of their own.    If they hadn't made clear that the activity would be dutch treat, you'd have ever reason to be upset at having to pay your way.

I think what is really going on is sour grapes.  That they received free tickets, etc. still bothers you, but that doesn't mean they did anything wrong in the least.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2007, 06:40:18 PM by Chocolate Cake »

sparksals

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The only etiquette blunder I see with the situation as described is your presumption that they would pay for your tickets and feed you a royal dinner.

I'm with CC on this.  Sounds like sour grapes to me. 

CarpeFelis

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First of all, the terminology "dutch treat" never came up.

And I did not expect them to pay for us nor feed us a "royal" dinner.  I did, however, expect them to display the courtesy of at least OFFERING or in some way acknowledging that they understood that they were making something of an imposition by asking.

Maybe it's because I had depression-era parents, but I was raised to believe it's presumptuous to invite someone to an event that costs a lot of money AND expect them to go dutch.  The fact that they "could say no" doesn't put them any less on the spot.

Seriously, this came across as "come entertain us, and oh by the way it'll cost you a bundle..."

jordan

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Had it been entirely up to me, I would have turned down the invitation, but DH really wanted to go.  He lets people like these walk all over him and calls ME the rude one if I protest.

How did they walk all over you? And you make such a point of them being financially strapped. Why did you assume they would cover the cost of the evening?

Now, I can see how that first part was a misunderstanding. As we see here all the time, what constitutes an invitation to be a guest and what constitutes "please join me and pay your own way" offer can be confusing. i can see why you would have thought the former and they would have meant the latter.

But if that's the case, why the grudge?

But did you really expect S's parents to FEED you? Why?


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This is a situation that happened a couple of years ago...

And you are still put out? Is there a backstory to this?


I guess, based on what you posted, I don't see much of an etiquette issue, either.

CarpeFelis

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The backstory is that the "Destination Weddings" thread with the discussion of presuming that people would spend thousands to attend one reminded me of this situation, which is on a much smaller scale but similar idea.

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But did you really expect S's parents to FEED you? Why?

No, I did not expect them to feed us.  But is it not considered rude to not even be offered a glass of water when you are a guest in someone's home?  (And it was the parents' home where we picked them up.)

FoxPaws

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I'm not understanding how simply asking someone if they want to go somewhere is an imposition.

I have family and friends that are much better off financially than I am. I've often been asked to attend events that were outside of my usual budget. If I wasn't interested, I politely declined. If I was, I quietly made whatever arrangements I needed to (e.g. using a credit card, doing without something else) and said yes.

There were no hard feelings on anybody's part either way.  8)
I am so a lady. And if you say I'm not, I'll slug you. - Cindy Brady

Chocolate Cake

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They invited us to come keep them company at this event. 

First of all, the terminology "dutch treat" never came up.


Here you go.   When they invited you to come keep them company, that was your sign that you'd be picking up your own tab.   Now you know.   If you understood that to be the case then, you wouldn't have wasted two years thinking they were rude were, in actuality, they never offered to host you to begin with. 

making something of an imposition by asking.

It's not an imposition if you have free will to decline.   They asked.  You agreed.  You regret it through no fault of theirs.  Live and learn. 
« Last Edit: July 31, 2007, 07:56:18 PM by Chocolate Cake »

sparksals

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First of all, the terminology "dutch treat" never came up.

And I did not expect them to pay for us nor feed us a "royal" dinner.  I did, however, expect them to display the courtesy of at least OFFERING or in some way acknowledging that they understood that they were making something of an imposition by asking.

Maybe it's because I had depression-era parents, but I was raised to believe it's presumptuous to invite someone to an event that costs a lot of money AND expect them to go dutch.  The fact that they "could say no" doesn't put them any less on the spot.

Seriously, this came across as "come entertain us, and oh by the way it'll cost you a bundle..."

If it was an imposition for them to ask you, then you could have graciously declined.  From what you described, I would have thought it was Dutch, especially if it is typically that way in your circle.

I was raised by Depression-era parents too.  I was raised not to presume.  A symphony night is not a hosted event in my books.  An invite to a restaurant or to one's home for dinner is.

Personally, I think you expected too much.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2007, 07:58:09 PM by sparksals »

CarpeFelis

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Well then, I stand corrected.

It still wasn't a lot of fun sitting around waiting for them to finish their dessert, though.   :P

sparksals

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Well then, I stand corrected.

It still wasn't a lot of fun sitting around waiting for them to finish their dessert, though.   :P

Well, I do think they could have at least offered you a glass of wine, water or dessert!  They were not gracious in that regard, most definitely.

jimithing

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Well then, I stand corrected.

It still wasn't a lot of fun sitting around waiting for them to finish their dessert, though.   :P

I agree that it would have been polite to offer you something when you arrived to the house.  When I was in high school and a friend would come by to pick me up as we were finishing dinner, my mom wouldn't necessarily invite them to join us, but she would ask if they wanted a drink while they waited.  I agree that this would have been polite.

Unfortunately, I am going to have to jump on the bandwagon about the expectations surrounding this event.  The details and dynamics of the event should have been clarified before attending.  If my friend said, "Do you and DH want to join us for a fun night out on the town?", I would never assume that they were picking up the tab.  Even if all of the events were free to them, that doesn't mean it should be free to you.  I have often received free tickets to a sporting event or movie.  I have told my friends that I had a free ticket and asked if they wanted to join me.  I would never feel obligated to pay for their ticket or chip in.  If they can't afford it then they decline the invitation.  The only time that I have helped to pay for the cost of something was when I have been out to dinner with a group and have put a gift certificate or a large coupon towards the bill and then split it evenly from there. I wouldn't expect anyone to do that, though. 

jordan

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The backstory is that the "Destination Weddings" thread with the discussion of presuming that people would spend thousands to attend one reminded me of this situation, which is on a much smaller scale but similar idea.


oops. I was unclear.

I meant a backstory with this couple. You seem pretty upset, and I was wondering if this were the last straw after a string of other incidents.