I guess, in my mind, unless this is a next-door neighbor or your "BFF", I don't understand how it is really "acceptable" to drive to a friend's house, be there at 6:30pm, expect to walk in and have dinner on the table, then leave 90 minutes later (in order to get your child to bed). Where is the time for socializing? Where is the time for treating them as anything more than a free dinner? If someone invites me/my family over for dinner, except for the "neighborhood impromptu barbecues" ("hey - it's a school night and I have some ribs. Do you have any salad? Let's toss everything together and feed the kids so we can get them to bed at a reasonable time and they can still have some time to play")...I expect to be there for a MINIMUM of 2-3 hours.
See, things run differently in my social circle. Time is tight for all of us, we understand time is tight, and 2-3 hours for dinner is just not do-able. I would absolutely not expect to spend that long with someone. And the hosts in this circumstance were well aware that this was the situation for CakeBeret.
And I'm not sure why you couldn't socialize over dinner? For my set, dinner IS the socializing time. So, asking where the time for socializing/treating them as something more than a free dinner puzzles me. Isn't the dinner that time? Having dinner on the table and ready to go frees up MORE time for socializing (to me) because then one person isn't in the kitchen trying to finish cooking. Everyone sits right down together and spends that 90 minutes together over dinner, or maybe 30 minutes at the table and then 60 in the living room over tea/coffee or however you want to slice it.
I just can't understand how sitting down to dinner with someone and spending 90 minutes in their company is somehow not acceptable. How much socializing is necessary?
I guess it's just different social circles/expectations. In my mind (and experience), if someone invited me over for dinner, I would expect to arrive at the appointed time, have about 30-60 minutes of "pre-dinner-talk/appetizers" while the host is cooking dinner, eat dinner and then hang out for at least another hour. In my life/family/friendships - that's just how it "works". That doesn't mean that *MY* time isn't tight as well. I work from home running my own website (so it sometimes seems like a 24/7 job) and my husband is a retail manager (so he often has a yucky schedule of weekends and nights) and we have 3 kids that have school, sports, ballet, etc. That being said, when we are able to coordinate our schedules to have dinner with friends (barring the impromptu barbecue that I mentioned earlier), I don't schedule it like a business meeting where I have 90 minutes and then I am out of there.
From the responses, it is obvious that some people DO operate that way....and THAT IS FINE. They are just people that I wouldn't include in my social circle (and I am glad that nobody in my family is like that) because it would stress me out too much to be on that much of strict timetable when I am hosting. If I invite someone over for dinner, everyone knows that I am inviting them over "for the evening" and I assume the same when I receive an invite.
That doesn't mean that they are wrong and I am right - it's just a different way of living your life!
That being said - the OP DID specifically outline her time restrictions and Annie and Joe were rude....not only because they (possibly PA) knew her restrictions and didn't abide by them, but because (and I just re-read this), they didn't even say goodby to her.
Lesson learned - don't accept any more invites from Annie & Joe if they can't do what they say they can do. On the other hand, if Annie & Joe subscribe to the way I operate with invites for dinner, they won't be inviting the OP back anyway.
Once again - neither one is wrong.