Author Topic: Bday sabotage? More details in p. 4, 10, 27  (Read 9116 times)

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daen

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Re: Bday sabotage? More details in p. 4, 10, 27
« Reply #45 on: April 03, 2013, 02:51:13 PM »
I wonder if the method of invitation had anything to do with it.

I find (ymmv) that if I have a written (paper) invitation to something I tend to consider it more 'formal' than a phone call invitation. If my friend calls to give me details of a party - I tend to assume it's pretty relaxed and as long as I show up for some of it I'm in the clear. I can totally see myself going out for dinner with some friends before another friend's party thinking it starts at 7:00ish.

If however, I had an invitation that said 'starts at 7:00' I would be on time because it would indicate to me that the event is important enough to the host to make more 'formal' arrangements (for lack of a better word).

Could it be that the guests who arrived late did so because they assumed that it was a fairly casual affair given that the details were communicated via phone?

Even with an informal invitation, I personally would consider that 7:00ish would mean arriving at the latest by 7:45. This was twice that.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Bday sabotage? More details in p. 4, 10, 27
« Reply #46 on: April 03, 2013, 02:54:20 PM »
To me, they scheduled an event concurrent with the first half of the birthday party and invited the same guests. 1.5 hours late is not running overtime; it's overlap.  And I can't help but think that is very inconsiderate to their hostess, and wrong.

This.


Surianne

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Re: Bday sabotage? More details in p. 4, 10, 27
« Reply #47 on: April 03, 2013, 03:06:55 PM »
I wonder if the method of invitation had anything to do with it.

I find (ymmv) that if I have a written (paper) invitation to something I tend to consider it more 'formal' than a phone call invitation. If my friend calls to give me details of a party - I tend to assume it's pretty relaxed and as long as I show up for some of it I'm in the clear. I can totally see myself going out for dinner with some friends before another friend's party thinking it starts at 7:00ish.

If however, I had an invitation that said 'starts at 7:00' I would be on time because it would indicate to me that the event is important enough to the host to make more 'formal' arrangements (for lack of a better word).

Could it be that the guests who arrived late did so because they assumed that it was a fairly casual affair given that the details were communicated via phone?

For sure, that's how it would work in my circle. 

*inviteseller

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Re: Bday sabotage? More details in p. 4, 10, 27
« Reply #48 on: April 03, 2013, 06:10:02 PM »
Guests can show up to a cocktail party at a bar when they can, but to plan a dinner apart from the party and invite other guests, knowing it will take you all away from your supposed friends birthday party is rude.  Some guests may have had something they had to do (work, kids ect) and caused them to come late, but to blatantly make these other plans that they knew would interfere shows they are not really friends and they wanted it to be about them.

NyaChan

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Re: Bday sabotage? More details in p. 4, 10, 27
« Reply #49 on: April 03, 2013, 06:18:56 PM »
I really don't understand why a verbal invitation is seen as casual now or somehow less worthy of timely attendance.  The only times I got a written invitations was for weddings or children's birthday parties, and I don't think a party is less important than other invitations just because someone wasn't able to afford or take the time to have a paper invitation made.  I mean the dinner wasn't done by a paper invitation either right?  Why does it rate higher than their commitment to the birthday party which was also off-paper? 

saffron

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Re: Bday sabotage? More details in p. 4, 10, 27
« Reply #50 on: April 03, 2013, 10:09:31 PM »
Hmmm - let's see if I can better explain my train of thought  :)

I don't think that the dinner is more worthy of timely attendance - I guess the point I'm trying to make is that the style of party (cocktail) combined with an informal style of invitation feels to me like it might have more of an ebb and flow of guests. More like: Stop by for cocktails to celebrate my birthday - we're starting things at 7:00. To me - that doesn't scream "be there at 7:00" it says "be there sometime after 7:00"  - I could easily see some people arriving at 7:00 but leaving at 8:00 and others arriving at 9:30 and staying 'til it shuts down.

Re: dinner - since everyone needs to be at dinner at a certain time in order for everyone to eat together it follows that the "start time" would be stricter. So not a case of a 'higher rating' just a case of logistics.

I really don't think it was deliberately mean or rude. I can understand a group of people saying 'hey let's get together for a quick bite before the cocktail party' and then having things run overtime.

Since the party was slated as 'after dinner' if the 7 or so friends hang out as a group themselves, it seems natural that they would get together and eat first. (I am making the assumption here that the dinner group spends time together apart from the larger birthday crowd regularly - if not, then it's a whole other kettle of fish because the motive does indeed change)

Also: Were the dinner organizers aware that 7 people was in fact 1/3 of the party group? I went to a housewarming cocktail party recently where there were 70 odd guests, had I arrived late with 7 friends - it wouldn't have made any difference at all to the party dynamic since the people I would have arrived with would more than likely be the same people I would be 'mingling' with.

With respect to the formality of the invitation - I get paper invites for baby showers, kids parties, weddings, housewarmings, Christmas cocktails and yes, some adult birthday parties. I just think that the host isn't going to have the same kind of impact calling up friends as s/he would sending an invitation. It doesn't have to be an elaborate invitation  - but to me taking the time to get the details down on paper - or even through e-mail - is less casual than a quick phone call. :D

Does any of that make sense or am I totally off the deep end?

Surianne

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Re: Bday sabotage? More details in p. 4, 10, 27
« Reply #51 on: April 04, 2013, 12:52:37 AM »
Saffron, that's exactly how I'm seeing it too, and I would have made the same assumptions you did about the timing and casualness of the event.

I think it very likely comes down to different ideas of what the event was.  The OP's friend intended that her birthday be an event where people showed up at a specific time (or close to it) and stayed for the evening. 

I've never been to a birthday at a bar like this -- all of the ones I've attended where open houses, you come and go throughout the night.  So without having experience with what she was assuming I understood, I very well might have come across as rude to her, and not caring about her birthday -- which would not be the case at all.  It would be perfectly normal for a subset of us to say to each other, "Hey, Friend's birthday cocktails will be a lot of fun!  Why don't we grab dinner first, and join when we're ready, and we'll have a whole night of catching up with friends!"

So I wouldn't assume malicious intent or sabotage from all of the friends who went to dinner.  It's possible the organizers were being jerks, because the OP says her friend has had previous problems with them -- but from the others, who haven't caused problems previously, I think it's more likely to assume a misunderstanding of the circumstances.




peaches

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Re: Bday sabotage? More details in p. 4, 10, 27
« Reply #52 on: April 04, 2013, 10:54:09 AM »
For me, a friend's birthday party trumps "let's get together for dinner".

The time was laid out by invitation, a birthday is a pretty important event, and people can get together for dinner anytime.   

It takes people to make a party successful and fun. While they probably didn’t intend to, this group of friends let the birthday girl down.

« Last Edit: April 04, 2013, 10:57:56 AM by peaches »

WillyNilly

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Re: Bday sabotage? More details in p. 4, 10, 27
« Reply #53 on: April 04, 2013, 11:14:01 AM »
Here's my issue with your theory Saffon. I think it could be valid in a lot of situations, but not in this one.

Here are some selected pieces of info from our OP:
Quote
...Lucy, Mary and Tess are known each other since forever. Mary and Tess are BFF, Lucy is just “friend”...
...The time was set just after dinner time on a Saturday night. In my region going to the restaurant means a 2 hour meal so eating out before the party wasn’t a valid option (at least, this is what I thought so I had dinner at home).  Lucy sent out invitations: Tess said she would come, Mary said she wasn’t sure because she was afraid her boy could take the flu (she couldn’t leave him at home and weather was freezing cold). Lucy said “ok”. Cue to 3-4 days before the party,  Mary and Tess said Lucy that they had planned a restaurant dinner the same evening of the party and invited her to join. Lucy thanked them but refused to join: she had host duties and she had to be on the party site before the time set...
...Lucy was catering beverages and food...
...Problem is, the restaurant dinner held back 1/3 of the guests...
...The party was supposed to last 3 hours, a.k.a. closing time for the bar, and everybody was aware of that.
I'm trying to stay generic, so let's say that dinner time is usually 7:00pm and Lucy invited people for a 8:30pm party. Plenty of time if you eat at home, not so much if you go to the restaurant. Usually restaurant meals last 2+hours (that is perfectly normal and expected). It was highly unlikely that Mary, Tess and the dinner guests would be on time.
Please note that first Lucy invited people to her birthday and then Mary and Tess arranged the dinner...

They are old friends and Tess & Mary had specifically discussed the dinner with Lucy. So the answer to "did they know it was 1/3 of the guests?" question to me is "very likely" as they most likely know who Lucy's friends are, know the bar in question and how many it can accommodate, and probably discussed the party and the dinner as there were at least 2 phone conversations between old friends going on. They might not have known it was "1/3" but they most likely knew it was a decent chunk of the guests.

Tess and Mary knew absolutely the dinner plans would cause them to be late to the cocktail party as Lucy said as much when they invited her to the dinner, as that's how she declined. Plus the 2+ hour dinner is a known norm in the area. (Plus lets face it, dinner with 7 people always takes a long time).

They all knew the cocktail party was a short, set time frame - 3 hours (8:30 to closing), so by showing up 1.5 hours into it, they knew they were missing a solid half; they couldn't think they'd have hours left at the party to catch up with friends - they would have less time at the party in fact then they had at dinner. That is clearly prioritizing dinner.

Tess had verbally RSVP'ed to the party in advance of even making dinner plans.

In some cases I do totally see how a bar party could be a casual drop in anytime thing, but to me I think that's when its just a "meet at the bar" kind of thing not a private room with catering, which what this was. Especially because Tess told Lucy early on she was coming - so nibbles and drinks would have been ordered with a certain number of guests in mind.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2013, 11:15:58 AM by WillyNilly »

NyaChan

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Re: Bday sabotage? More details in p. 4, 10, 27
« Reply #54 on: April 04, 2013, 11:21:41 AM »
Well honestly though - if they discussed the dinner and party beforehand and Lucy knew she couldn't go because it would make her late, \didn't she already know ahead of time that it would make her friends late too?  By not pointing it out to them that it would be a problem to her for them to show up late, wasn't she implicitly saying that it was okay?

Hmmmmm

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Re: Bday sabotage? More details in p. 4, 10, 27
« Reply #55 on: April 04, 2013, 11:24:38 AM »
Well honestly though - if they discussed the dinner and party beforehand and Lucy knew she couldn't go because it would make her late, \didn't she already know ahead of time that it would make her friends late too?  By not pointing it out to them that it would be a problem to her for them to show up late, wasn't she implicitly saying that it was okay?

No, I don't think so. Instead it would seem her friend's would have a moment of awareness and think, "Oh, yeah, we'd probably miss a big chunk of the party if we go to dinner at that time. Maybe we should go to dinner earlier or skip the idea totally."

TurtleDove

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Re: Bday sabotage? More details in p. 4, 10, 27
« Reply #56 on: April 04, 2013, 11:30:04 AM »
Well honestly though - if they discussed the dinner and party beforehand and Lucy knew she couldn't go because it would make her late, \didn't she already know ahead of time that it would make her friends late too?  By not pointing it out to them that it would be a problem to her for them to show up late, wasn't she implicitly saying that it was okay?

No, I don't think so. Instead it would seem her friend's would have a moment of awareness and think, "Oh, yeah, we'd probably miss a big chunk of the party if we go to dinner at that time. Maybe we should go to dinner earlier or skip the idea totally."

I agree with NyaChan.  If Lucy wanted her friends there at the start of the party, she should have said something.  To me, what the friends did was not rude but rather just what happens at parties, and Lucy knew what their plans were and apparently didn't express that this upset her.

NyaChan

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Re: Bday sabotage? More details in p. 4, 10, 27
« Reply #57 on: April 04, 2013, 11:31:47 AM »
Well honestly though - if they discussed the dinner and party beforehand and Lucy knew she couldn't go because it would make her late, \didn't she already know ahead of time that it would make her friends late too?  By not pointing it out to them that it would be a problem to her for them to show up late, wasn't she implicitly saying that it was okay?

No, I don't think so. Instead it would seem her friend's would have a moment of awareness and think, "Oh, yeah, we'd probably miss a big chunk of the party if we go to dinner at that time. Maybe we should go to dinner earlier or skip the idea totally."

Well I kinda mean in terms of picking up on whether it is a come when you can or be here right at the start sort of party, as was being debated earlier.  If they genuinely thought that it was a come when you can (and I've been to cocktail parties where people did show up an hour in because they didn't want to stay for the whole 3 hours that was set out in the invite and no one blinked), that would have been the time to correct them, but it wasn't done.  They essentially told her their plan to show up an hour or so after the start time, and she in no way indicated that it wasn't appropriate for the type of party she was throwing.  That is unless they changed the start time of their dinner after that conversation of course.

Not saying I would have done what they did, but there is some possible room before they get firmly into mean girl territory.

Surianne

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Re: Bday sabotage? More details in p. 4, 10, 27
« Reply #58 on: April 04, 2013, 01:17:37 PM »
For me, a friend's birthday party trumps "let's get together for dinner".

The time was laid out by invitation, a birthday is a pretty important event, and people can get together for dinner anytime.   

It takes people to make a party successful and fun. While they probably didn’t intend to, this group of friends let the birthday girl down.

I wonder if that's part of the disconnect too.  I've never seen adult birthdays as important events, and in my circle they're just an excuse to get together -- very casual, no pressure to attend, etc.  So hearing "birthday" wouldn't make me think it was more important than another day, if that makes any sense.

SleepyKitty

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Re: Bday sabotage? More details in p. 4, 10, 27
« Reply #59 on: April 04, 2013, 01:55:47 PM »
For me, a friend's birthday party trumps "let's get together for dinner".

The time was laid out by invitation, a birthday is a pretty important event, and people can get together for dinner anytime.   

It takes people to make a party successful and fun. While they probably didn’t intend to, this group of friends let the birthday girl down.

I wonder if that's part of the disconnect too.  I've never seen adult birthdays as important events, and in my circle they're just an excuse to get together -- very casual, no pressure to attend, etc.  So hearing "birthday" wouldn't make me think it was more important than another day, if that makes any sense.

I agree. I'm guessing a bit part of the varied reactions to this come from everyone's personal experience with their social group. In mine, a birthday = an excuse to get together, not a special event. Also in mine, even if the cocktail party at the bar was only three hours, there still wouldn't have been an expectation that you show up on time and stay the whole time unless you were part of the host's inner circle of friends. Finally, I agree with NyaChan that if I were Mary or Tess and had told Lucy about the dinner plans, I would have expected her to tell me if she had a problem with the timing/guest list.

Now, normally I would say the whole scenario would not be strange in my social circle, so it woudn't be rude, but if it *was* unusual for Lucy's social circle, it would be rude. (Here comes another but!) But, this wasn't just Mary and Tess. 7 people were involved, and I find it hard to believe that out of the seven, every single one was clueless and/or rude. To me, this suggests that maybe this social circle works in a similar way to mine and the ones described by Surianne and Saffron, and Lucy had difference expectations for the party than the party-goers.

Not that Lucy doesn't have a right to be miffed, just that perhaps the number of invitees who saw the timing as more casual might mean that Lucy may not have communicated her vision for the party effectively if so many of her guests felt comfortable coming so late.