Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

Come keep us company at expensive event - and don't forget your wallet!

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CarpeFelis:
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:
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:
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:
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.

sparksals:
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. 

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