The original thread reminded me how absolutely bad me and my husband are at this, but I didn't want to hijack the thread.
We have a few different interests, different friends, but also a very mixed pool. To us, an invite to one of us does not mean an automatic ticket for the other one, unless specified. If it's an activity I am not interested in at all, I see no reason to tag along.
However, where this approach worked fine in college, all of a sudden different rules seem to apply ever since we are all out of school. A few examples;
- A (female) friend invites my husband for a cup of coffee. He asks me if I mind, I say not at all, they decide on a date, and they go out for coffee. Husband arrives, and friend wants to know why I didn't come along. Err... because you just invited husband? No, apparently she meant both of us. Ok, fine... why can't you just say so?
- Husband gets invited over for poker with the guys. So I find something else to do. He comes back with a very confused look on his face. I ask him what's wrong, and apparently he was the only one who didn't bring his wife along. The host was apparently very annoyed that I decided to stay at home without warning. The kicker? Afterwards all the guys, including the host, complained about how distracting it was to have the girls just sitting there, bored, talking about anything but poker in the same room, including how boring poker is.
A few examples from the other side:
- A friend organizes a Risk day. She invites me, inquires about husband, but he hates risk, so he's off the list. He doesn't mind one bit. She invites another friend, lets say friend X, and makes it clear it's supposed to be Risk only. I show up late to their house... and friend X's girlfriend, who absolutely hates Risk opens the door with a huge smile. I blurt out 'what are you doing here?' (I know, I know, major foot in mouth moment, may I burn in Ehell)
She goes 'oh, I was bored, so I decided to come along. Don't worry, I'll sit in the corner and read.' Which she didn't end up doing. Instead, she took a store catalog, plonked it almost on top of our board and started asking us what we thought of this and that, disrupting our game. I find out they never even called ahead to ask if it was ok if she came along, she just showed up because she didn't want to be alone. Hostess was annoyed at her, but still told me that I
was the rude one, because they were a couple, so any invitation to him is one to her by default, so I just had to deal, and my foot in mouth moment was really rude.
(Keep in mind, I really do love this girl, but I was royally annoyed since I left my husband at home because the intent of the evening was very clear, and she kept interrupting our game)
- Me and husband sometimes organize movie marathons. They usually have a theme, and people just bring movies within that theme, and we decide then and there what to watch. One couple has been over to them before a few times, but the girl has mentioned that she absolutely hates SciFi. Eventually I plan a SciFi themed marathon, and since it wasn't to her interest, I don't invite her, just her boyfriend.
She gets upset, boyfriend gets upset, asks me what she did wrong and why am I mad at her. Meanwhile, I have single friends who keep missing out on the marathons because I now have to count every couple as a double.
So yes, any tips and tricks would be great, because I just can't seem to stop dropping the ball. It just confuses me to no end, I never know just how to invite, who to invite, and how not to step on any toes. Not to mention we can't ever seem to figure out if me, husband, or both are invited.
Is it so weird of me that I assume people are smart enough to go 'Hey the invite didn't list my girl, maybe I should call and ask if she can come along, so they can have a better head count' instead of just dragging her along? Or to realize 'Hey, they're going out for tennis with the four of them, and I really hate that game, so the invite probably wasn't for me.'
And I am especially tired of defending my marriage. 'No, my husband did not come along. Well you see, he really does not like tabletop, it's simply not for him. He can't very well just sit there and stare at us while we play, can he? ... oh, that's exactly what your wife is going to do? No, we're not heading towards a divorce. Please stop staring at me as if I am the strangest creature you ever saw.'
It just confuses me to no end. I understand it's rude to say 'You're invited, but leave the spouse at home', but to me, it's equally rude to assume you are invited when you did not receive a direct invitation. And yet, calling people out on that is, again, rude. I can't win.