Author Topic: Just checking - am I okay here?  (Read 6417 times)

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Bethalize

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Just checking - am I okay here?
« on: December 22, 2012, 06:10:30 PM »
For the last two New Year's Eves I have had dinner with the same set of friends. in 2010 we were seven. In 2011 a new couple were added in. The pattern is formal dinner party, but with one social unit bringing a course. In 2012 it's mine and DH's turn to host.

In Autumn I learned from the one single person in our set that they were planning on spending NYE 2012 somewhere else. I was very pleased with this because I won't do a formal dinner party for more than eight. The quality of the food suffers and besides, I don't have a table big enough. So I invited the other three couples. My older friends accepted, but the new couple looked at each other and said they didn't know what they were doing yet. I said I understood, but as seating was limited I would accept that as a refusal. They didn't say anything else about it over the next two months.

My single friend changed his plans so I invited him to dinner. Part of his decision to change plans was me pointing out that if he had stayed in the village for NYE he would have been invited to dinner. This was just last weekend. I've been planning this for a while and have eight specially commissioned pigeon breasts for the main course. This is my first time of formal entertaining this year as I changed the format of my birthday dinner to a buffet so I could include the new couple (when couple number 2 said that I was having a "party" when it was actually a dinner party and I didn't want to hurt feelings). I'm looking forward to having a dinner party.

Today at 10pm I receive a text saying are you in tomorrow, can I drop something off, and by the way we're going to be here over NYE, are you still having a party? Am I okay in saying: "When you declined the invitation I am afraid I invited someone else"? I think I should be but my spine needs stiffening. I also feel a bit that although two months in advance is quite far ahead to ask someone to dinner when it's a big holiday weekend like NYE it's not unreasonable and should clue people in to the fact that I'm making it an event of some import. Frankly if it had been me I would have either said "yes please" and planned my Christmas activities with that in consideration or I would have said "Sorry, I'd love to but other plans aren't finalised yet. When do you need to know by?" and then either declined or accepted by the due date. I feel a bit taken for granted with people turning around the weekend before Christmas expecting that this might be a still-valid invitation, even though I said I'd take it as a decline, so I want to make sure that's not colouring my views.

What say ye all?


bonyk

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Re: Just checking - am I okay here?
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2012, 06:23:36 PM »
You already told them that seating was limited, so I'd just reply, "I'm sorry, but we're all full for NYE."

mrkitty

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Re: Just checking - am I okay here?
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2012, 06:27:11 PM »
I think you're fine to respond as you've planned to. You invited them, they weren't sure, you told them you would take their "maybe" as a decline, you went ahead and filled their slots. I don't think you're required to wait indefinitely for someone to change their plans. It sounds like something fell through for them and now they're going to their plan B - you. But you can't accommodate because you've already firmed up your arrangements. I think you're  totally in the clear and it's all very polite. I hope you have a delightful evening.  :D

Next year, if you host again, these two guests will just have to accept your kind invitation earlier!
Learn from past. Live in the present. Hope for the future.

Octavia

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Re: Just checking - am I okay here?
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2012, 06:30:46 PM »
You're in the clear. But based on the text you received, it sounds like you might be getting a Christmas gift from them when they stop by. So it might be an awkward conversation while you're holding a gift from them in your hands. I recommend texting or even calling even them back right away saying that the NYE invitation had been taken off of the table two months ago when they would not commit, and you have no room to host them. If you're worried about JADE'ing or backing down, then text instead of call.
"I never explain anything." ~Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins

Surianne

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Re: Just checking - am I okay here?
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2012, 06:36:57 PM »
You already told them that seating was limited, so I'd just reply, "I'm sorry, but we're all full for NYE."

I agree.  And I like this wording because it doesn't try to scold/blame them for asking or for not saying yes two months ago.   

doodlemor

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Re: Just checking - am I okay here?
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2012, 06:41:36 PM »
Do these people normally "drop something off" at Christmas, and do you drop something at their house?  If not, I think they are being manipulative to get a New Year's invitation.

Don't let yourself be sidetracked.  Your response is fine.  They gambled that they would get another invitation, and things fell through.  Not your problem.

sparksals

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Re: Just checking - am I okay here?
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2012, 07:07:34 PM »
Sounds like they were waiting to see if something better would come up.  They snoozed.  They lose. 

Raintree

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Re: Just checking - am I okay here?
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2012, 07:30:45 PM »
I agree with the OP completely. I myself don't like to commit two months in advance, but I would absolutely understand if someone wanted a firm yes or no by a certain date. You did say you'd take their "we don't know what we're doing yet" to be a no.

As an aside, after being on e-hell for a while I am making a concerted effort to commit to yes or no, not "maybe" or "I'll see" or if I am really uncertain, I check to see when they want to know by. Because it's true, "I don't know what I'm doing yet" DOES generally mean, "I want to see what my options are and decide closer to the time." Unless, of course, it means, "I might be visiting relatives on the other side of the country for two weeks over the holidays, but it's not finalized yet and if I'm in town I'd love to come!" But then if being out of town was a possibility, I'd SAY that, and still ask when the potential hosts needed to know by.

bopper

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Re: Just checking - am I okay here?
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2012, 07:32:07 PM »
"Oh dear, when you couldn't accept our invitation we invited someone else. I am so sorry we won't be able to get to spend New Year's together this year but I hope we can next year."

SoCalVal

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Re: Just checking - am I okay here?
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2012, 07:50:10 PM »
the new couple looked at each other and said they didn't know what they were doing yet. I said I understood, but as seating was limited I would accept that as a refusal. They didn't say anything else about it over the next two months.

I think they needed to discuss it with each other, which I understand, but they could've said, "We'd like to discuss it first; by when do you need to know?"  Since you didn't hear from them over the next two months until the other day, you are in the clear.

by the way we're going to be here over NYE, are you still having a party?

This makes me think that they don't understand it's a formal dinner party, not just a party where the number doesn't matter that much.  I think a PP's answer of "I'm sorry, but all spots are full.  Have a good NYE!"



Kaypeep

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Re: Just checking - am I okay here?
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2012, 08:06:37 PM »
the new couple looked at each other and said they didn't know what they were doing yet. I said I understood, but as seating was limited I would accept that as a refusal. They didn't say anything else about it over the next two months.

I think they needed to discuss it with each other, which I understand, but they could've said, "We'd like to discuss it first; by when do you need to know?"  Since you didn't hear from them over the next two months until the other day, you are in the clear.

by the way we're going to be here over NYE, are you still having a party?

This makes me think that they don't understand it's a formal dinner party, not just a party where the number doesn't matter that much.  I think a PP's answer of "I'm sorry, but all spots are full.  Have a good NYE!"

I think SoCalVal brings up some very valid points.  I'd reply back that sorry, you're not having a party but hosting a small, formal dinner with limited seating.  But perhaps you can join this couple for brunch the weekend afterwards?  Or, depending on what time your dinner party is, if you eat dinner early perhaps you can say "I'm having a dinner party early in the evening but you're welcome to join us at 11 for drinks and the midnight toast." if that works for you.

Winterlight

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Re: Just checking - am I okay here?
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2012, 09:09:53 PM »
"Oh dear, when you couldn't accept our invitation we invited someone else. I am so sorry we won't be able to get to spend New Year's together this year but I hope we can next year."

This. It isn't guilt trippy and covers the essentials nicely.
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To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
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TheaterDiva1

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Re: Just checking - am I okay here?
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2012, 09:32:53 PM »
I get that there's a limit to how many you can host for a formal dinner (and you did let them know that), but can you have them over for drinks after dinner to ring in the new year?

SoCalVal

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Re: Just checking - am I okay here?
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2012, 11:11:36 PM »
I get that there's a limit to how many you can host for a formal dinner (and you did let them know that), but can you have them over for drinks after dinner to ring in the new year?

Wouldn't that be a bit awkward though and compel the OP to have to make sure all aspects of the sit-down dinner part are done before these other people come over?  I guess I would rather not have to worry about that timing or that the people would make the mistake of coming too early (making things even more awkward).  To me, it would be best they not come at all this year thus eliminating any awkwardness of their presence (e.g., the other guests might feel funny about talking about how dinner went or whatever they discussed earlier in the evening because the other couple wasn't included, etc.).



sparksals

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Re: Just checking - am I okay here?
« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2012, 01:02:12 AM »
the new couple looked at each other and said they didn't know what they were doing yet. I said I understood, but as seating was limited I would accept that as a refusal. They didn't say anything else about it over the next two months.

I think they needed to discuss it with each other, which I understand, but they could've said, "We'd like to discuss it first; by when do you need to know?"  Since you didn't hear from them over the next two months until the other day, you are in the clear.

by the way we're going to be here over NYE, are you still having a party?

This makes me think that they don't understand it's a formal dinner party, not just a party where the number doesn't matter that much.  I think a PP's answer of "I'm sorry, but all spots are full.  Have a good NYE!"

I think SoCalVal brings up some vetry valid points.  I'd reply back that sorry, you're not having a party but hosting a small, formal dinner with limited seating.  But perhaps you can join this couple for brunch the weekend afterwards?  Or, depending on what time your dinner party is, if you eat dinner early perhaps you can say "I'm having a dinner party early in the evening but you're welcome to join us at 11 for drinks and the midnight toast." if that works for you.


I would not do this.  It is B List.