Author Topic: Too early to the party/update #53  (Read 8577 times)

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mrs_deb

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Re: Too early to the party
« Reply #45 on: March 21, 2013, 11:40:31 AM »
I don't think it's rude to show up a very few minutes early, but if the person must come inside,  they should at least stay quietly out of the way.

We had the exact same issue last January at the surprise 50th Anniversary Party we were throwing for my in-laws at our club.  The invitations specified a 6:30pm arrival time for guests with a 7:00pm arrival time for the guests of honour - we had people show up 45 MINUTES EARLY.  5:45pm people come trooping up the stairs after being asked specifically to stay downstairs in the lounge until 6:30.  We're all sweaty in jeans and t-shirts, setting up tables, cooking, etc., and here they come.  Where should we sit?  Isn't the bar open yet?  What's for dinner?  Is there going to be champagne?  Where did you get the centerpieces?  When are your parents coming?  I need a drink!  When will you put the appetizers out?

Yes, I'm still irked  :P.

Danika

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Re: Too early to the party
« Reply #46 on: March 21, 2013, 01:56:52 PM »
I don't think it's rude to show up a very few minutes early, but if the person must come inside,  they should at least stay quietly out of the way.

We had the exact same issue last January at the surprise 50th Anniversary Party we were throwing for my in-laws at our club.  The invitations specified a 6:30pm arrival time for guests with a 7:00pm arrival time for the guests of honour - we had people show up 45 MINUTES EARLY.  5:45pm people come trooping up the stairs after being asked specifically to stay downstairs in the lounge until 6:30.  We're all sweaty in jeans and t-shirts, setting up tables, cooking, etc., and here they come.  Where should we sit?  Isn't the bar open yet?  What's for dinner?  Is there going to be champagne?  Where did you get the centerpieces?  When are your parents coming?  I need a drink!  When will you put the appetizers out?

Yes, I'm still irked  :P.

Bolding is mine.

Aaaaak, I'm irked on your behalf!

gellchom

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Re: Too early to the party
« Reply #47 on: March 26, 2013, 11:28:29 PM »
I don't get it.  Why would you come early at all, even 5 minutes early?  The hosts might still be getting ready.  I know I do not appreciate it if my guests are early at all (although I certainly agree that 5 minutes early is not a big deal, and certainly not at all the same thing as half an hour early).

We try to arrive about 5 minutes late to give our hosts a little leeway.  It has nothing to do with not wanting to be the first; we don't care about that.  In our community, it's just considered to be the considerate thing to do.

I hasten to add that this is for parties -- NOT weddings, meetings, lectures, classes, presentations, or other events that start ON TIME.  In our community, weddings especially start on the dot.  So you need to be there a few minutes early to be seated in time.

bloo

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Re: Too early to the party
« Reply #48 on: March 27, 2013, 02:03:34 PM »
I have to admit, I don't like early as I'm usually working til launchtime but it bothers me less than being ridiculously late, I guess. For a smaller gathering I might not be dressed or even showered until 45 minutes before. I would be a little peeved to get out of the shower and my guests already be there.

When I have a big get-together (like a hundred people on my lawn) it is typical in our social circle that our closest friends will volunteer to come early and help with set-up. Either there's a pre-party the night before if that involves cooking, or they show up a couple hours early with more people than necessary and more beer than necessary   ;D to help set-up. It's stress-free because there are so many hands to help out and there's a lot of laughter and fun. Often those same ones can kind of stand-in as de facto hosts since they're intimately aware of the setup of everything and also will help with the bulk of the clean up that night or the next day. We all do it the same for each other.

gellchom

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Re: Too early to the party
« Reply #49 on: March 27, 2013, 03:37:12 PM »
I have to admit, I don't like early as I'm usually working til launchtime but it bothers me less than being ridiculously late, I guess. For a smaller gathering I might not be dressed or even showered until 45 minutes before. I would be a little peeved to get out of the shower and my guests already be there.

When I have a big get-together (like a hundred people on my lawn) it is typical in our social circle that our closest friends will volunteer to come early and help with set-up. Either there's a pre-party the night before if that involves cooking, or they show up a couple hours early with more people than necessary and more beer than necessary   ;D to help set-up. It's stress-free because there are so many hands to help out and there's a lot of laughter and fun. Often those same ones can kind of stand-in as de facto hosts since they're intimately aware of the setup of everything and also will help with the bulk of the clean up that night or the next day. We all do it the same for each other.

We do that, too, but, bloo, this is a different situation, isn't it?  You said that your closest friends volunteer, presumably in advance, to come early.  That's not what we're discussing here -- it's guests simply showing up early for the party.

lowspark

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Re: Too early to the party
« Reply #50 on: March 27, 2013, 03:45:55 PM »
Exactly. There are some situations where early guests are welcome. For example, my sister is not only welcome to come early when she's invited to my house for a party, she's expected to. She's my sister (and my best friend) so she can hang out in my room as I'm getting dressed, she can help me with last minute stuff, or, if I'm actually ready before the start time, she can keep me company till the first guests arrive.

In this kind of situation, or in the situation of the friends arriving early to help set up, it's actually not really arriving early. It's arriving at the expected time, even if that expected time is different for some people than for others.

In this case, the guest's arrival a full half-hour before the party really threw me. Especially considering that as one of the hosts, I didn't know her, and that she arrived well before the guest of honor who arrived about 10 minutes before the party start time, as was expected.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2013, 11:25:00 AM by lowspark »

mom22militarymen

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Re: Too early to the party
« Reply #51 on: March 28, 2013, 10:55:46 AM »
This reminds me of a funny story where my husband and I were the "early" guests. We had been invited to a child's birthday party of a co-worker of my husband's. The family is from Nepal and invited lots of guests and had wonderful foods. The party invitation said 2pm. So we arrived around 2:10. There were no cars outside the house and it looked really quiet there. I went back to the car to look at the invitation to make sure I had the time and day right. I did. A moment later the host roars up in is car with the cake and balloons gets out and just looks at us.
I asked him if I had the right day and time and he says oh yes come in the house. Well it was very obvious that they were not ready for the party at all and there were no other guests. We stood there for a minute and then I asked him if we had messed up some how. He assured me that the party was on but people from Nepal don't show up until an hour or hours later and that was expected. He suggested we come back in an hour or more.
So we went and wandered around the Home Depot and took a longer route back about an hour and 15 minutes later. And the party was in full swing!! A couple of people even gave us the "you're late!" ??? look.
Some of the other American guests seem to know to come late or were just less punctual anyway.
We still laugh about it and learned some new customs that day.

White Lotus

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Re: Too early to the party
« Reply #52 on: March 28, 2013, 10:06:35 PM »
I like to be ready about half an hour early, and save small, un-messy tasks to do from about half an hour before until the big push of arrivals about ten minutes late.  The Prof does the same.  When people arrive early, and some always do, "to help" is what they usually say, we have chores for them to help with, and can get an active and convivial atmosphere going so it doesn't feel like we are waiting for something, because it has already started.  I'd be terrified to wait until the last minute to dress.  However, as guests we tend to arrive about five to ten minutes after "start" time, except for specific timed events like weddings, when we arrive so as to be seated before the ceremony.

lowspark

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Re: Too early to the party/ update
« Reply #53 on: April 01, 2013, 09:50:14 AM »
OP here. I got a chance to chat with my co-host who knew the early bird this weekend. I'm gong to give additional (previously not important) background then tell you what she said.

[bg]The venue we were using is a large meeting room in a somewhat prestigious and well known office building where the GOH works. She specifically wanted to use that building for the party. She had shown us around a few months before the party to give us a feel for what we were working with. We did contact her with a few questions about specific things about the room and kitchen as the party approached and as our own plans firmed up.[/bg]

My co-host, told me that the early arriver told her that the GOH had requested she get there early to sort of make sure we had everything under control. Now, I'm not exactly sure how to take this. I admit that it sounded a little bit off when my friend said it. I was thinking, ok, three adult women who are her mother's age and pretty darn experienced in giving parties (between the three of us, we've hosted tons over the years and GOH definitely knows that) and she thinks that she needs to send one of her friends to check up on us?

In the light of day, as I type this out, it could have been pretty innocent and of course I'll give her the benefit of the doubt, but it really struck me the wrong way. Turns out, it also struck my co-host the wrong way. We both felt a little bit like, I don't know, GOH didn't trust us to get things right. Again, who knows. She just might have been nervous/excited/whatever. And the party went beautifully and she thanked us profusely so it's really a non-issue at this point. But I did want to post the update.

Danika

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Re: Too early to the party/ update
« Reply #54 on: April 01, 2013, 04:06:04 PM »
the GOH had requested she get there early to sort of make sure we had everything under control.

Thanks for the update. It put EarlyGuest in an awkward position, though, because she appeared to just be milling about. And I do question what the GOH intended. Did EarlyGuest know more about that particular location than you hostesses, like where all the power outlets are, where to get ice if there's an ice maker on that floor, etc? It still seems odd that the GOH would have told her to do that. At least, the party went well. I still think the GOH should have told you hostesses "I've requested that EarlyGuest come early to help you as well, for reasons X, Y, Z."

lowspark

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Re: Too early to the party/update #53
« Reply #55 on: April 01, 2013, 04:21:43 PM »
Good questions. I don't know if she knew anything about the place. But by the time she arrived, we'd already been there an hour and a half (and GOH knew that, as we told her we'd be arriving 2 hours before the party began to set up, and she had to let building security know to expect us). So we pretty much already had time to find all the electrical outlets, etc.

According to my friend, that was the entire conversation between her and EarlyGuest. A quick hug hello, EarlyFriend says she's there at GOH's request, My friend says, thanks but we're ok, EarlyFrend goes off in a corner and fiddles with cell phone.

And yeah good point. If GOH had told us EarlyFriend was coming early to help, or ask us if we needed someone maybe, at that point, I'm sure we would have said no. With all three of us setting up, plus peripheral help from our husbands, anyone additional would just be in the way.

Surianne

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Re: Too early to the party/ update
« Reply #56 on: April 01, 2013, 06:18:14 PM »
My co-host, told me that the early arriver told her that the GOH had requested she get there early to sort of make sure we had everything under control. Now, I'm not exactly sure how to take this.

Why would you read anything negative into this?  To me it just sounds like the guest of honour suggested she showed up early in case you needed extra help.  Nothing nefarious about that -- they were both probably trying to be helpful.

lowspark

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Re: Too early to the party/update #53
« Reply #57 on: April 02, 2013, 09:11:41 AM »
I tried to explain it above but maybe I just can't explain it. Maybe you'd just have to be in my (our) position to understand. And the fact that my co-host also felt that way sort of validates it.

If you take out the factor of the venue for a minute, and imagine that we were giving the party in one of our homes, can you imagine the guest of honor sending a forward scout like that? It would be rather awkward. Well, in this case, although the venue really was her stomping ground, it was still, at least for the evening, our place. We had spent a lot of time, money and effort putting the party together over the last few months, and then spent two hours carting stuff in from our cars, getting tables set up, coordinating everything the three of us had put together in order to make it look nice in what started out as a big empty room with some tables & chairs. By the time EarlyGuest arrived, we were in the final moments, doing the last minute stuff.

So, in other words, at the culmination of hours of planning and doing, the idea that we'd need someone to swoop in and sort of make it all happen for us, was a bit off-putting. I'm sure you're right that they were both just trying to be helpful, but from our point of view, it didn't quite come off that way.

Again, I'm going to emphasize that neither of us would say anything at all to the GOH or to anyone else, that we both just discussed it between ourselves and then brushed it off, that I'm only posting it here as an update and that it is now a non-issue.

artk2002

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Re: Too early to the party/ update
« Reply #58 on: April 02, 2013, 05:32:24 PM »
My co-host, told me that the early arriver told her that the GOH had requested she get there early to sort of make sure we had everything under control. Now, I'm not exactly sure how to take this.

Why would you read anything negative into this?  To me it just sounds like the guest of honour suggested she showed up early in case you needed extra help.  Nothing nefarious about that -- they were both probably trying to be helpful.

Because it's an insult to imply that the OP, a clearly experienced host, needs someone to make sure that everything is under control. I would be highly put out if someone did something like that to me. I wouldn't mind if they asked if I needed help, but just showing up like that is insulting. The GOH is not in control and would be very much out of line to add someone to the hosting mix at the last minute.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Danika

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Re: Too early to the party/ update
« Reply #59 on: April 02, 2013, 06:12:25 PM »
My co-host, told me that the early arriver told her that the GOH had requested she get there early to sort of make sure we had everything under control. Now, I'm not exactly sure how to take this.

Why would you read anything negative into this?  To me it just sounds like the guest of honour suggested she showed up early in case you needed extra help.  Nothing nefarious about that -- they were both probably trying to be helpful.

Because it's an insult to imply that the OP, a clearly experienced host, needs someone to make sure that everything is under control. I would be highly put out if someone did something like that to me. I wouldn't mind if they asked if I needed help, but just showing up like that is insulting. The GOH is not in control and would be very much out of line to add someone to the hosting mix at the last minute.

Well articulated.