Author Topic: I know I was wrong but...  (Read 5647 times)

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bookworm252

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I know I was wrong but...
« on: October 11, 2012, 03:33:07 PM »
Hi all - long time member but infrequent poster here.  I wanted to ask about something that happened quite a few years ago but still feel humiliated by when I think about it.

A few years ago my then boyfriend became friendly with a couple that he met through a youth group.  They were a host family for an exchange programme that he was involved with through his work.  Long story short they invited us out to stay with them in Canada - we are from Europe.  They had visited our country before and I had met them and thought they were really nice people.

Anyway,we went out there for two weeks and had a wonderful time until a few days before we left.  Some friends of theirs had invited us all to a family function held in a bar/restaraunt in their town.  There were lots of kids there and we were enjoying ourselves and meeting lots of new people - so far so good.

I went to the bar to get some drinks and on the way stopped to chat to our hosts daughter and her friend, whom I had never met, and offered to buy them a drink (their daughter was 21).  They both asked for beers, I bought them, they thanked me, I went back to the table.  That's when I got in trouble.

The mother of the friend came to our table and started loudly chastising me for buying her underage daughter a drink.  Turns out the friend was only 17.  I genuinely did not know that, and it never occurred to me that an underage person would ask me for an alcoholic drink, in a place where both her parents were socialising.  I apologised profusely, said that I didn't realise she was only 17 and would never have got her an alcoholic drink had I known. 

Our hostess asked me to come to the ladies room with her, where she proceeded to berate me for another few minutes, asking me why I did it, don't I know it's against the law etc.  I just kept reiterating that I didn't know the girl was underage, I was really sorry etc.  There were lots of women in the bathroom and I was humiliated and close to tears.

 I *know* what I did was wrong but I really didn't know it was wrong at the time, or obviously I wouldn't have done it. 

When I returned to the table the hostess's daughter and her underage friend were at the bar drinking their beers.

My question is - shouldn't the mother have immediately taken the drink from her daughter, ascertained where it came from and quietly spoken to me or our host about it? 

Next day things were very strained and when I asked our hostess why the girl was allowed to continue drinking she said that none of the staff knew she was underage so no harm done, and she just dismissed the incident as 'no big deal'.  Ummm well if it was no big deal why publicly humiliate me?

Maybe I'm overreacting, and would really appreciate some perspective. Thanks!  :)




NyaChan

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Re: I know I was wrong but...
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2012, 03:38:33 PM »
I don't think this was really your fault.  They went out of their way to make you feel bad when the true culprit was the teenager who asked for a drink she knew she couldn't legally have.  For the future, I'd adopt a practice of not buying young people drinks unless you already know they are old enough.  While you knew the daughter was 21, it seems you didn't know the friend of the daughter or her age. 

Hmmmmm

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Re: I know I was wrong but...
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2012, 03:39:26 PM »
That is very strange.  I don't think you are over reacting.  I could understand the 17 yr old's mom being upset and approaching you but once you said you didn't know the girl's age, she should have dropped it.  Then she should have had a very long talk with her daughter about underage drinking and made sure that the beer was removed.

I have no idea why your hostess chose to get involved or why she acted the way she did.  Her actions and  remarks the day after would really make me question socializing with them again.

NyaChan

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Re: I know I was wrong but...
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2012, 03:41:42 PM »
That is very strange.  I don't think you are over reacting.  I could understand the 17 yr old's mom being upset and approaching you but once you said you didn't know the girl's age, she should have dropped it.  Then she should have had a very long talk with her daughter about underage drinking and made sure that the beer was removed.

I have no idea why your hostess chose to get involved or why she acted the way she did.  Her actions and  remarks the day after would really make me question socializing with them again.

I think the hostess probably heard about it from the parent and was embarrassed that her guest was the person who bought the drink.  I think it was wrong of her to blame you that way - if she truly had a problem she needed to address with you, it should have been done in a respectful manner in a private place.

lowspark

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Re: I know I was wrong but...
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2012, 03:44:53 PM »
Your hostess was probably embarrassed by your actions since you were her guest and she took out her embarrassed feelings on you in a most inappropriate way. Not excusing her behavior, just suggesting a possible explanation.

What baffles me is that after all the fuss made by both the mother and your hostess, no one took the beer away from the daughter. How does that make any sense at all?

You made a inadvertent mistake by not asking the friend's age. But the host's daughter deliberately did something wrong by not telling you her friend was underage. Did no one say anything to either of them at all?

Outdoor Girl

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Re: I know I was wrong but...
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2012, 03:55:59 PM »
OP, is there such a thing as a drinking age where you are from?  If not, did that play into it at all?

Secondly, depending on where you are in Canada, the drinking age is either 18 or 19.  I would know the correct age so knowing that the one girl was 21, I would assume her friend to be within two years of her age and therefore legal to drink.  It would never occur to me that a 21 year old was hanging out with a 17 year old in a bar, especially.

Your hostess berating you was absolutely out of line, especially when underaged friend sat at the bar, calmly drinking her beer!  If they were so absolutely up in arms about the whole thing, why didn't they take the beer away from her?  They also risked having some of your party thrown out because they were drawing attention to the fact that one of the girls was underaged.  The best thing to have done for all concerned was quietly ask you to come to the bathroom, let you know once there that one of the girls was underaged and to please not purchase another drink for her.  I mean, what's done is done and there was no way for you to take it back.  All you could do was apologize and promise not to do it again.

The bartenders could have asked you who you were buying the beers for, too, since the girls were sitting right there at the bar.  And carded underaged friend, if they thought she wasn't legal.
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Amava

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Re: I know I was wrong but...
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2012, 04:01:41 PM »
I would not have apologised. I would have wanted an apology from her and her daughter because the daughter mislead me.

I would not have apologised to the hostess either, but told her /once/ that I had done nothing wrong, that I was being mislead by the daughter and berated to the mother and since I was her guest, how was she going to make that right for me? 

Judah

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Re: I know I was wrong but...
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2012, 04:06:19 PM »
I would not have apologised. I would have wanted an apology from her and her daughter because the daughter mislead me.

I would not have apologised to the hostess either, but told her /once/ that I had done nothing wrong, that I was being mislead by the daughter and berated to the mother and since I was her guest, how was she going to make that right for me?

POD! OP, you did nothing wrong the under-aged girl lied to you to get something she wasn't supposed to have.  You were wronged.
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bookworm252

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Re: I know I was wrong but...
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2012, 04:12:06 PM »
OP here - I'm from Ireland, where the drinking age is 18.  The girl looked about the same age as my hostess's daughter, so it really didn't occur to me she might be younger.  The girls were not actually standing at the bar, I passed them on my way there, bought the drinks and brought them to them.  They ended up at the bar though I don't know if she had any more drinks.

I don't know why the drink wasn't taken away from her by her mother.  At that stage I was beyond caring and just wanted to get out of there :-\  Things were strained for the last few days of our holiday.  Hostess's daughter never mentioned it so she could well have been chastised about it.  Anyhoo.  Learned my lesson!

O'Dell

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Re: I know I was wrong but...
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2012, 04:14:22 PM »
No you aren't overreacting. The hostess and her friend sound horrible. I think a simple apology from you should have taken care of it, but considering that they let the girl keep drinking there was no need to say anything to you at all. OK maybe they could have said don't buy her any more.

Honestly, their reactions were so ridiculous that I suspect they were caused by something other than what they said. What I don't know, but that makes more sense to me than it being over the drink.
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magician5

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Re: I know I was wrong but...
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2012, 04:16:33 PM »
At a certain point, you have to take back control:

1 - restate in clear but brief terms how the error happened, and "get a receipt" (get acknowledgement that you have been heard);
2 - restate your apology and any actions you may take to make it better;
3 - refuse to listen to any more of the harangue and leave the area.
There is no 'way to peace.' Peace is the way.

SPuck

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Re: I know I was wrong but...
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2012, 04:17:11 PM »
Frankly, the mother of the friend sounds like an absolute witch who might have had other problems she was taking out on you. You were the one who was mislead.

Magnet

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Re: I know I was wrong but...
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2012, 04:22:24 PM »
it never occurred to me that an underage person would ask me for an alcoholic drink, in a place where both her parents were socialising.

Seriously?  Am I the only "bad girl" on this board?

NyaChan

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Re: I know I was wrong but...
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2012, 04:24:32 PM »
 :D Well I wouldn't do it myself, but I know some kids act up in public where they think their parents won't call them out on it.  In a crowded bar, she probably figured that her parents either wouldn't see, or if they did see, wouldn't go to the fuss of taking it from her in front of their friends - apparently she was right.  Her parent chose instead to rip into the unsuspecting person who was just trying to be nice.

Two Ravens

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Re: I know I was wrong but...
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2012, 04:26:37 PM »
Well, I drank when I was underage, but it most cases it was my parents buying the beer for me. (I was allowed to have 2) I wouldn't ask a stranger to buy me a drink when I was underage.