Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

Dear Abby: Party Letter 12/3/12 Nightmare Guest

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Could be; Double Dipper and Eunice know a lot of the same people.  She may have heard about the St Patrick's Day party from someone who had been there at Christmas.


--- Quote from: Nora on December 03, 2012, 07:08:57 AM ---Why? Why pause/ruin the party for everyone? Why not just talk to the guy?

--- End quote ---

I've read through to the end and this is where I park my POD.  The LW stated that Jim "has a habit of inviting...", so it's reasonable to conclude he's done this more than once.  I have sympathy for them the first time it happened, since your choice is cause a scene or invite them in.

But the very next day, I would have told Jim in no uncertain terms that he was a guest at *my* event, and he will not be asked back again unless he will promise to come by himself.

I don't understand why the LW didn't set these boundaries sooner.

Don't invite him, and if he calls then they say: "Jim, we have not invited you for a reason. You seem to think we have "forgotten" to invite some people, when in fact we had no intention of inviting them. If you want to dictate who is at a party, you need to host it.  This is our party and I am sorry it has come to this but you are not invited as we can't trust you to not bring 10 extra people."

I think the question and the answer reflect the misapprehension that you can manipulate people into doing what you want, without coming out and saying what it is directly, because doing so is "mean". So, the hosts frantically try to figure out how to cut Jim's inviting off, without ever once telling him, "Jim, this is not fair to us, or our guests, and we want you to stop doing it. Do not invite any strangers to our party, because we will not let them in."

Meanwhile, Jim continues on his clueless way, probably congratulating himself for making the party so much better for everyone.

I think it's obvious that Jim sees this as a neighborhood party instead of the letter writer's party.  That's probably why he, as one of the neighbors, thinks he's got enough ownership of the party to ensure everyone he considers ought to be invited is notified.  I know it makes no sense, as the letter writer is the one throwing the party and paying for everything, but I've seen this sort of oblivious dunderheaded kind of thing before.  By going along with Jim's antics in the past, the letter writer and her husband have allowed Jim to continue to think this way and so he obliviously keeps doing as he thinks fit.  They need to put their foot down with Jim pronto and if they still want to have the party this year, they've got a choice to make.  They either allow the extra guests to come one more year or they contact everyone Jim has notified and let them know that there's been a misunderstanding with Jim and only those people they themselves have invited are expected at their party.  Otherwise, they can cancel the party this year and let Jim know why, then pick up the party again next year.

Only the letter writer and her husband can know what strategy suits them best.  They're going to have to get more firm with Jim no matter what they do, though.


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