Author Topic: Too early to the party/update #53  (Read 8542 times)

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lowspark

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Too early to the party/update #53
« on: March 18, 2013, 11:29:30 AM »
A couple of weeks ago two of my friends and I were hosting a party in honor of another friend's daughter and her fiancé. It was at a venue where we brought all the food and decorations ourselves. We arrived two hours early to give ourselves plenty of time to set everything up.

About 30 minutes before the party was supposed to start, one of the guests showed up. Now, I was still in my jeans and t-shirt, running back & forth from the kitchen down the hall to the room, setting things up, carrying hot food, etc. I was like, "hi" but completely taken aback by the fact that she was so early. One of my fellow hostesses apparently knew the guest (I didn't), and gave her a hug so I moved on and just continued what I was doing. I don't know what conversation they had apart from the initial greeting. I later saw the guest off to the side, in a sort of currently unused corner of the room, fiddling with her cell phone and didn't pay much attention after that.

I finished my part of setting up and got changed into my party clothes just (barely!) in time to meet the first guests (aside from the early one) who arrived several minutes before the party start time.

My questions are, was this guest rude for arriving (what I consider to be) too early? She didn't get in the way aside from her initial arrival and greeting but I was a bit put off by her presence in my harried state. Were we, the hostesses, rude in any way for not paying more attention to her while we were getting all the last minute stuff set up? And lastly, has "fashionably late" gone out of style? Not that I wanted everyone to be late (of course, not everyone arrived on time!) but I was pretty surprised at the number of guests who were there before the actual start time.

Disclaimer: I didn't react in any bad way to any of them, I am just expressing my surprise here and wondering about the norm. Also, don't get me wrong, I was actually happy for the early guests because they definitely got the party started, I was just surprised.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2013, 09:50:46 AM by lowspark »

TurtleDove

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Re: Too early to the party
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2013, 11:33:19 AM »
I think it depends on the type of party and relationship between the party-throwers/GOH and me.  For a child's party or a shower, I show up exactly on time. For a party where I am very close with the party-throwers I might come a bit early to help or I show up right on time. For more of a "party" party or open house, if I am more of a friend than a BFF or family member, I will be fashionably late, because I assume the closer friends and family will be right on time like I am for my close friends and family.

So, yes, I think that the early person was out of line.  I don't think you needed to pay attention to her any more than you did. 

cicero

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Re: Too early to the party
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2013, 11:38:44 AM »
I don't ;think anyone was rude, really. I don't like it when people show up too early for an event, but it doesn't sound like she was in the way. There is also a difference between showing up too early at someone's house and showing up early to a public venue - maybe the guest miscalculated how long it would take her to get there and figured she could just find a quiet corner and wait (which is what she did), or use the restroom.


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LazyDaisy

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Re: Too early to the party
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2013, 11:46:57 AM »
I think it's rude to show up to a hosts home before the set time. However this party was at a separate venue and not at a home. She probably didn't think that hosts/hostesses wouldn't be dressed yet, or still cooking and cleaning. I think as long as she didn't start eating, or get in the way, she wasn't rude. I would have handed her some decorations or assigned small tasks over to her though. If you show up early, you've "volunteered" to help.  ;)
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Hmmmmm

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Re: Too early to the party
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2013, 12:01:30 PM »
It wouldn't have bothered me. I would have figured she had a concern about travel timing or maybe had someone drop her off. But I'll admit that any early guests who arrive to a party I'm hosting are usually going to be put to work.


Outdoor Girl

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Re: Too early to the party
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2013, 12:06:31 PM »
I think she was rude to show up an hour and a half early, if there were other places within walking distance where she could have waited, like a coffee shop or something.  But if the venue was out in the middle of nowhere and that was the time she could get there due to transit issues, she was fine to do as she did and stay out of the way.

You were fine to greet her and carry on, as was your co-hostess.

The guests who arrived minutes before the start time were completely fine, IMO.  I generally plan to be ready to go 15 minutes before the actual start time of an event when I'm hosting for just this reason.  But if you're earlier than that?  You'd better be prepared to work or you need to go find somewhere else to hang out until the stated start time.
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Dorrie78

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Re: Too early to the party
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2013, 12:26:27 PM »
Perhaps she had told the hostess who was her friend that she needed to arrive early for some reason, but would be happy to sit in an out of the way area and occupy herself until the party started and was told that that would be okay. I would hesitate to say that this guest was rude without knowing all the facts about the situation. OP - did you talk to your co-host who knew this woman and find out why she was early? It doesn't sound like she was in the way, although I can understand being a little uncomfortable that she was there so early.

Softly Spoken

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Re: Too early to the party
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2013, 01:00:22 PM »
This is a timely post. I have never thought about being early as being rude, but I am always early.

Firstly, I hate being late so I always hedge my bets and have some "buffer" time because "stuff happens."
Second, I rely on the bus for transportation, and anyone who rides the bus can tell you that you have two choices: arrive early or arrive late.

I arrived early over the weekend to a two-day seminar (bus + ferry + longish walk in unknown area = lots of extra time just in case ::)). The lady in charge of hosting the event was very nice and invited me in even though she was still setting up. I offered to help and she was grateful.

When I arrive early to something, I either ask if I can help or stay out of the way. I don't expect anything from my host because they are not "on the clock" yet. I would never want my earliness to be an imposition. If it feels too "empty" or awkward, I will leave and come back depending on the circumstances. If I am early I expect, or at least am not surprised, to find the host unprepared/busy/disheveled etc. I have been there, I don't judge and I do what I can to help if possible.

I would never want my being early to put anyone out, but usually I can't help but arrive early. :-\
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Outdoor Girl

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Re: Too early to the party
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2013, 01:08:52 PM »
Softly Spoken, you were fine.  Where circumstances dictate that you will be early, you either help out or stay the heck out of the way.   :)
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cicero

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Re: Too early to the party
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2013, 01:32:00 PM »
I think she was rude to show up an hour and a half early, if there were other places within walking distance where she could have waited, like a coffee shop or something.  But if the venue was out in the middle of nowhere and that was the time she could get there due to transit issues, she was fine to do as she did and stay out of the way.

OP said she was 30 minutes early, not 90.

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Outdoor Girl

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Re: Too early to the party
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2013, 01:34:55 PM »
Oops - I read 30 minutes into their 2 hour prep time.  Still, more than 10-15 minutes early?  Find somewhere else to wait for a bit, if possible.
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DavidH

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Re: Too early to the party
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2013, 01:42:48 PM »
It's a tough call, I don't think it's rude to arrive early to a venue, but still awkward.  Arriving at someones home 30min early is more problematic since they may not be dressed or something like that.  It also depends on what's around.  If there is somewhere nearby you could go until the event starts, that's probably the better option, but if not and you're there, then you make the best of it like this person did.

If it was a party in a private room at a restaurant or a hotel, I'd suggest going to the bar and ordering something like a soda or drink to kill time rather than interrupt the others.  If that's not possible, and it's in a neighborhood, then finding a coffee shop or other place nearby where you could spend some time would be better.  On the other hand, if there's nothing else around, I don't think you're obliged to sit outside for half an hour until the even starts. 

Luci

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Re: Too early to the party
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2013, 01:53:00 PM »
I don't have any problem with guests being a little early - if they are family, I put them to work, but they know this by now.

She wasn't family, was greciously recieved, and stayed out of the way. We don't know why she was early and I don't really care. Public transportation, a long distance when stuff can happen, unfamiliar territory, being habitually early anyway have all been mentioned.

No one was rude.

It has been mentioned that it might be rude to show up at a home rather than a rented venue that early, but I still don't see that as rude. Even if there are kids, I usually have a quiet corner - even if it's just the sofa and coffee table - that the family can sit in while I bussle. We offer the beverage setup which we always do early, and go about our business.

Sharnita

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Re: Too early to the party
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2013, 02:02:14 PM »
Also wondering, since there were multiple josys and she knew one of tje other ones if it is possible she either was told a different start time or was told it was ok to come early?


lowspark

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Re: Too early to the party
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2013, 02:23:41 PM »
To answer the questions, first of all, no, she wasn't told a different time. This party was by mailed invitation which clearly stated the start time. I was actually the one who created and sent the invitations, and it was my phone number & email addr on the invitation for replies so all the replies came either to me or to the GOH who then passed them on to me. The hostess who knew her only knew her through the GOH so they are just casual acquaintances.

The venue we were at was a private building which is in the thick of a business & shopping district. Easy to get to but traffic delays are common in the area so I can see if she was coming from far away (possible as I have no idea where she lives) that she might have left herself plenty of time and it just didn't take her that long after all. I just think in her place, I probably would have either sat in my car for a bit, or, like I said, lots of retail stuff in the area so it would have been quite easy for her to kill 20 minutes somewhere nearby once she realized how early she'd be. However, there was no bar or other kind of place to kill time in the actual building itself.

By the way, I'd say there was probably a 99.9% chance that there was no public transportation involved. We don't have good public transportation here, not to mention this party was in the evening and taking a bus around here after dark isn't that great of an idea, on the slim chance that there actually is a bus which goes from whereever she llives to this location.

It was not feasible to put her to work for a couple of reasons. Mainly because we three who were organizing the party were sort of each in charge of dealing with whatever we'd brought food & drink-wise. We'd split the responsibilities so we were each sort of doing our own thing while also coordinating with each other. So adding a fourth person to the mix who had no idea of what we were doing or what needed doing just would have created more work than help. In addition, this was a sort of cocktail dress type of party so I would not have felt comfortable engaging help from someone in a cocktail dress & heels in this situation. Like I said, I didn't get dressed till the last minute as I didn't want to run back & forth in my nice dress & heels.

So yeah, she wasn't in the way or even a huge inconvenience. I just felt uncomfortable that she's arrived so early as I just wasn't mentally prepared for any guests yet. I never did get a chance to talk to the hostess who knew her to see if she had any take on it.

I also think a social situation like this is different than a seminar or other kind of professional situation like what Softly Spoken mentioned.