Author Topic: Questions on inviting one half of the social unit update post 69  (Read 14389 times)

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lowspark

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Re: Questions on inviting one half of the social unit
« Reply #60 on: July 25, 2012, 08:24:53 AM »
What's interesting to me is the amount of time and energy that's being spent on being considerate of Olivia's feelings, when she's indicated quite plainly that she doesn't give a hoot about anyone else's.  I admit that in my younger days (like, young teen) I behaved in similar annoying and immature ways.  And people quit hanging out with me.  And I got the point and corrected myself.  It always drives me batty when selfish behavior is excused with, 'well, that's just how s/he is'.  Well, it's just how I am to not tolerate it.

Firstly, it's not just Olivia's feelings which have to be considered, it's Paul's too. If he is going to be offended on Olivia's behalf, that can cause a rift in the OP's friendship with him. So there are more than one person's feelings to be considered.

Second, the OP indicated that this is the only thing about Olivia that she doesn't like so it's not as if she just wants to completely sever her friendship:

I am fond of Olivia, but not this aspect of her, and that probably comes out in my posts. This One Particular Thing about her is irksome.

I'll repeat what I said above and what PPs have said. I really think this is a case of both or none. I would not just invite Paul without Olivia.

bloo

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Re: Questions on inviting one half of the social unit
« Reply #61 on: July 25, 2012, 08:34:40 PM »
Is there someone else who enjoys the game and could be your 4th? Personally I wouldn't invite Paul. If he found out after the fact and expressed disappointment I'd be honest about why he wasn't invited.

"You know I adore Olivia, but she's made it very clear that she doesn't enjoy Risk but also doesn't enjoy being left home while you play. I thought the easiest solution for everyone would be to not mention it to you."

Paul and Olivia get to decide how they behave at gatherings, BUT, everyone else gets to decide whether or not to invite them.  ;)

I totally agree with this. It seems the least hurtful to Olivia and puts the ball (or game piece) in Paul's court after/if he finds out about non-Paul Risk games.

bloo

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Re: Questions on inviting one half of the social unit
« Reply #62 on: July 25, 2012, 08:57:40 PM »
I believe in "issue the invitation and then let the guest are participant decide if they can attend" not figure out if the person can join based on what I assume is their situation.

I fully believe it is up to Paul and his wife to determine their social schedule. 

I think think it is perfectly OK to invite Paul only.  He can then decide if he wishes to attend an activity without his wife.  I think the bigger issue is how to make sure Paul understands he is invited to join the activity but there isn't also an invitation for his wife to come and try to change the activity.

re: the first bolded.  I think there comes a point where their situation stops becoming an assumption.  I had a friend who brought her BF to everything.  Literally everything.   He wasn't even specifically invited to any of these things!  She established that rule by her actions.  He even showed up at a girls night out.  I never specifically said it was a girl's night, but with all the invitees and the things we planned, it was pretty obvious.   I eventually stopped inviting her to certain things because rather than hurt her feelings by saying he can't come, it was just easier that way.  Sometimes I just want to have one-on-one time with a friend, you know?  But that was just never possible.  I only invited her to those things where I didn't mind him being there from a certain point on.

re: the second bolded.  Yeah, that is exactly the issue.  No matter what OP decides, there will be consequences.  OP needs to decide which consequences are best:
- having interruptions in the game of Risk,
- risk offending her friends Olivia and Paul by excluding Olivia or
- find a fourth Risk player and see Olivia and Paul at a different time. 

If it were me, I'd do either the first or the third.  More likely the first and I'd issue the invite as I said earlier.  (Sorry to quote myself but it's just easier than typing it again.)

OP, I think you should invite Olivia when you invite Paul.  Make sure he understands that all you will be doing is playing Risk and if Olivia wants to come and watch, that's fine, you are happy to see her, but that it is not a socializing type of party.

Then leave whether Olivia comes or not up to Paul.  That's probably the best you could do in this situation, IMO.  Specifically singling Olivia out as being "not invited" would not make for good relations.

Re: the bolded in your post, Macadamia Nut, you're nicer than me!  :)

I had one girlfriend, Mary and her daugther, Bip who were so weird about this. They would come up with a girl's night, get it organized, then show up at the last minute with their husbands. The first time it happened, I kept my mouth shut (but I was annoyed 'cuz my hubby was home with the kids and I didn't arrange this).

The second time it happened, she was getting in my mini-van at a pre-determined meeting spot (we're taking a 1.5 hour drive to a big town) an informed me that her husband, John, would be joining us in town. So, I, in turn, informed her that 'uh no, he won't be'.

She was startled. "What? Why not?"

I said, "Because this is a 'girl's night out', which YOU arranged. Your husband is not a girl. He's a guy...like the other 5 husbands sitting at home tonight, watching kids, including mine."

Cue sputtering and excuses, "But I didn't make his dinner and he has to eat so I said he could meet us at dinner!"

"We will take up a collection for him to pick up tasty drive-thru." All the other gals were nodding their heads in agreement and letting Mary know verbally that John meeting us for dinner - again - wasn't sitting well with us.

This was a chick that always seemed to forget her wallet when we'd meet, too. I didn't do too many more girl's nites with her. And as far as her husband and son-in-law showing up at hen parties - in John's case...I think he was a little jealous and lonely and would guilt her into letting him come (and he was 50 years old at the time). Her daughter, Bip's, husband was just lazy and if food was involved would insist on coming because he wasn't about to make arrangements for his own food for one lousy evening.

The other husbands totally understood about a need some of us chicks have to just be around other chicks but mine and a couple others were a little miffed/weirded out by John and his SIL tagging along to these.

On topic: I'd agree with first and third options, too, Macadamia Nut.

Hillia

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Re: Questions on inviting one half of the social unit
« Reply #63 on: July 25, 2012, 09:32:50 PM »
Of course, the whole discussion of 'when will Paul get it?' is moot, since the OP is moving away and won't be playing Risk with Paul again anytime soon.  That definitely colors my opinion.

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saki

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Re: Questions on inviting one half of the social unit
« Reply #64 on: July 26, 2012, 06:50:53 AM »
Are you absolutely sure that it annoys everyone and not just you?

For instance, when I'm playing board games - even ones that are strategic, like Risk - I like to chat about other stuff.  Not only does it not bother me, I'd actually rather not sit there in silence or only discussing the game itself.  I think, often, when someone is steamed up about something, other people make sympathetic noises even if they don't actually agree with them - so I think it's worth really thinking about whether the others are annoyed or, even if you have discussed it with them, whether they aren't just making sympathetic noises because they realise you're really annoyed by it and it's easier than saying "well, actually, I wouldn't mind a bit of chat during the game".

If you're the only one really annoyed, I don't think it's wise to make a big deal of this.

As well as the various suggestions others have made, I wonder if another solution might be to pick a different boardgame - one that's simpler and that a) Olivia might enjoy playing and b) you'd be ok with conversing more during.

Blueberry

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Re: Questions on inviting one half of the social unit
« Reply #65 on: July 26, 2012, 11:24:03 AM »
Er, I’d like to put some input in from Paul’s (possible) perspective.

When I was married, my Ex said we were a package deal. Now, this was NOT my idea, it was his. So I was forbidden to go anywhere without him. A friend invited me to his poetry book launch. Ex came along. Griped the whole time about how this was boring, poetry was useless, etc and kept talking to me while I was trying to listen to the readings. I had to leave early because people were getting ready to murderize him.

Another time was a friend’s going away party. She was moving home to Russia so I wouldn’t see her again for a long time. She and her husband rented a hall, had appetizers, karaoke machines and beer kegs (hey, we were young!). Again, Ex griped the whole time. He didn’t like karaoke machines, thought the beer kegs were juvenile and insulted their choice of appetizers (chips, dips, those kinds of foods). He faked sick and said we should take a walk outside to get some air. ‘Taking air’ turned out to be ‘I called a cab to pick us up a couple blocks away to escape from this hellish immature gathering and I know you’re grateful.’

If it wasn’t interesting to him, he’d whine and nitpick and insult. He’d also try to turn conversations to HIS interests. Nevermind we were there for the museum exhibit. Museums were just full of old dusty things that didn’t matter (according to him). It was time to discuss his online gaming achievements. If HE wasn’t having fun, no one, especially me, could either.

I remember this horrible time at my work’s Christmas party. I’d been leading the planning and we were renting out this awesome pub near us and there would be tons of food, drinks, games and fun. Although I’d been the lead in this, I had to spend the time sitting at a 2 person table with just him as he moaned about how much he hated my friends and how could anyone possibly think reading was a good pastime. I just wanted to play pool and darts with my friends and eat some great pub grub. Everyone else was at the 4, 6, 10 person tables. When people would come over to try to get me to play games with them or get us to sit at a bigger table to join in on conversations, I’d feel his foot pressing on mine, and I’d have to say ‘Oh, I’m fine right here.’ For an event I’d planned, I was there for only an hour.

People couldn’t stand him. I hoped that someone would invite just ME and me alone to something, but after the girls night where he came anyways and sat at a different table to watch me, the social invitations dried up. He was a stickler for inviting social units. Didn’t matter if the event wasn’t interesting to him, he HAD to come because I was going. If I said he wouldn’t be interested and I was going alone, oh no, that was not right. It was rude to leave him to do his own thing. And rude to not invite him to everything I was invited to. This worked in reverse, so I spent a lot of time at LAN parties reading in a corner.

Yes, this is an extreme example. But sometimes, just sometimes, maybe we can break the rules.

bloo

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Re: Questions on inviting one half of the social unit
« Reply #66 on: July 26, 2012, 11:44:23 AM »
Er, I’d like to put some input in from Paul’s (possible) perspective.

When I was married, my Ex said we were a package deal. Now, this was NOT my idea, it was his. So I was forbidden to go anywhere without him. A friend invited me to his poetry book launch. Ex came along. Griped the whole time about how this was boring, poetry was useless, etc and kept talking to me while I was trying to listen to the readings. I had to leave early because people were getting ready to murderize him.

Another time was a friend’s going away party. She was moving home to Russia so I wouldn’t see her again for a long time. She and her husband rented a hall, had appetizers, karaoke machines and beer kegs (hey, we were young!). Again, Ex griped the whole time. He didn’t like karaoke machines, thought the beer kegs were juvenile and insulted their choice of appetizers (chips, dips, those kinds of foods). He faked sick and said we should take a walk outside to get some air. ‘Taking air’ turned out to be ‘I called a cab to pick us up a couple blocks away to escape from this hellish immature gathering and I know you’re grateful.’

If it wasn’t interesting to him, he’d whine and nitpick and insult. He’d also try to turn conversations to HIS interests. Nevermind we were there for the museum exhibit. Museums were just full of old dusty things that didn’t matter (according to him). It was time to discuss his online gaming achievements. If HE wasn’t having fun, no one, especially me, could either.

I remember this horrible time at my work’s Christmas party. I’d been leading the planning and we were renting out this awesome pub near us and there would be tons of food, drinks, games and fun. Although I’d been the lead in this, I had to spend the time sitting at a 2 person table with just him as he moaned about how much he hated my friends and how could anyone possibly think reading was a good pastime. I just wanted to play pool and darts with my friends and eat some great pub grub. Everyone else was at the 4, 6, 10 person tables. When people would come over to try to get me to play games with them or get us to sit at a bigger table to join in on conversations, I’d feel his foot pressing on mine, and I’d have to say ‘Oh, I’m fine right here.’ For an event I’d planned, I was there for only an hour.

People couldn’t stand him. I hoped that someone would invite just ME and me alone to something, but after the girls night where he came anyways and sat at a different table to watch me, the social invitations dried up. He was a stickler for inviting social units. Didn’t matter if the event wasn’t interesting to him, he HAD to come because I was going. If I said he wouldn’t be interested and I was going alone, oh no, that was not right. It was rude to leave him to do his own thing. And rude to not invite him to everything I was invited to. This worked in reverse, so I spent a lot of time at LAN parties reading in a corner.

Yes, this is an extreme example. But sometimes, just sometimes, maybe we can break the rules.

Do I even have to guess why this dude is an Ex? >:(

Hopefully your current/future beau is not this unbelievably needy!  :)

I'm assuming he wasn't invited to the 'girl's night', he just showed up, right? If that's the case, would Ex have respected someone inviting just you? See, in your case, Blueberry, I agree that your situation was, as you said, extreme...abusive even. Olivia seems a bit self-centered and needy but the OP admits to liking her. People couldn't stand your ex, obviously for good reason. So I generally buy into the 'package deal' invite unless it's for a specific interest.

For OP, the game Risk may be considered a specific interest BUT Saki made an excellent point of what may be the other players' perspectives.
If OP is going away, AND she likes Olivia, why not just have a get-together with the people she likes?

ETA: smilies so my tone doesn't, hopefully, come across as too critical!

DavidH

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Re: Questions on inviting one half of the social unit
« Reply #67 on: July 26, 2012, 04:46:32 PM »
I don't think you can fix this.  I think the practical choices are invite Paul to play Risk and accept he will bring Olivia, or invite someone else and avoid Olivia and Paul.

I would suggest a study group for a class is perhaps one of the few coed groups you could invite one half of a social unit to.  Since he brought her to his study group and then allowed her to disrupt it, he doesn't seem to socially aware or good at boundaries. 

Meeting to play a specific game is less clear than a study group and he's brought her in the past to game night, so shy of explaining to him I'm inviting you only and your wife is not welcome (which is rude since it's not a single sex gathering or clearly inappropriate that she be there like a work function), it is unlikely he will suddenly realize she is not really intended to come along with him. 

I don't think it's rude to issue an invitation along the lines of, "We are having XYZ activity night, would you like to come?"  The person can broadly interpret you as the social unit or just themselves.

Twik

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Re: Questions on inviting one half of the social unit
« Reply #68 on: July 27, 2012, 12:05:39 PM »
DavidH has a good point. If in the past, you've invited the couple, it's like that an invitation worded, "Paul, would you like to come and play RIsk?" would result in him interpreting "you" as a plural, including his wife.

If you tell him, "Paul, we'd like you to come over and play Risk. But please, don't bring Olivia," ... well, I just can't see that conversation going well.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Adelaide

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Re: Questions on inviting one half of the social unit
« Reply #69 on: July 27, 2012, 12:11:03 PM »
The situation has resolved itself-the friends I have already invited have said that their friends are available to play, which means that we have the maximum number of players the game will allow. :)

If someone ends up dropping out I will take the advice I have received on here and invite both of them while wording my invitation in such a way that they know we're playing a Serious Game of Risk and that socializing isn't the main agenda.

EMuir

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Re: Questions on inviting one half of the social unit
« Reply #70 on: July 27, 2012, 12:17:13 PM »
I don't think one should ever invite only half of a social unit, unless it's for some girls/ boys only activity.

As far as I know, the etiquette rule about social units is not limited to formal events only.

I would definitely be distancing myself from anyone that tried to do that to me or my DH.
This is the way that I see it too.  Either a person should invite both of us or neither of us.  I'd be miffed if a mutual friend invited my DH to a social gathering and excluded me.  If it were all one gender or all employees (no spouses), I'd understand.  But not a social gathering of mixed genders given by a mutual friend.

Then how would anyone ever play chess?  "Howard, I'd like to invite you and your wife over to play chess on Friday.  No, against me. Well, I can't invite just one of you!"

Twik

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Re: Questions on inviting one half of the social unit update post 69
« Reply #71 on: July 27, 2012, 05:24:27 PM »
Well, that's why if the occasion was described as "we're having a game of Risk, and we would like you to play a side", it sounds better than "come to our party. We'll play some Risk there. Only don't bring your wife."
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

DavidH

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Re: Questions on inviting one half of the social unit update post 69
« Reply #72 on: July 27, 2012, 05:29:27 PM »
Chess would be perfect time for the word you to be used I think.  Friend, would you like to come over to play chess?  Of they say great, I'll be there, then you plan chess.  If they say great, we'd love to, then you plan chess and ensure there is a comfortable place for their other half to sit and watch the game as you play.  I'd avoid explicitly inviting or excluding their other half and hope they figured out that only two could play the game at once.

cheyne

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Re: Questions on inviting one half of the social unit update post 69
« Reply #73 on: July 27, 2012, 05:41:54 PM »
Glad things have worked out for you OP.  Olivia would drive me to distraction whether or not I was trying to concentrate on an activity.  Needy, clingy people have a way of doing that to me.


Hillia

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Re: Questions on inviting one half of the social unit update post 69
« Reply #74 on: July 27, 2012, 05:52:05 PM »
So my followup question:  you've included Uninterested Spouse to the event, provided him/,her with a comfortable spot to sit and watch or not watch as they choose.  US proceeds to disrupt the activity by complaining, interrupting, whatever.  Do you try to soldier on, or stop an activity that x-1 people are enjoying to watch hello wrestling or whatever US wants to do?

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