Author Topic: Can my friend back out of hosting a shower? Update # 41 & #237!  (Read 32175 times)

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PennyandPleased

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Can my friend back out of hosting a shower? Update # 41 & #237!
« on: October 16, 2013, 10:57:55 AM »
I am sure this has come up before but the "search" tool does not work for me for some reason - I think it's my computer.

Anyway... I am asking this for my close friend Sheila.

BG: Sheila offered to throw a baby shower for her friend Leesa. (I am not close with Leesa at all so can't offer toooo much input on her personality.) Leesa has hit some really hard financial times and has little family support for her and her new baby and husband. No other friends or family offered to throw or help with the baby shower so Sheila offered because she felt that Leesa was someone that could use a lot of help getting baby supplies.

When Sheila offered to throw the shower Leesa was beyond thrilled and cried she was so happy. :END BG

A few weeks later Sheila sent Leesa an email with her general 'plan' for the shower before she sent out invites. Here is the plan:

# of guests Sheila can accomodate: 25
Food: dessert and punch (**she will put this on the invitation**)
Location: Sheila's home
Decorations: Keeping things "classy and simple" (flowers from Sheila's garden, balloons, purple color theme.) Classical music in the background
Favors: Hershey Kisses in purple foil in little mesh bags.

Sheila does have a limited budget and the above is what she said she could comfortably afford.

Leesa did not respond to the email for over 2 weeks even after Sheila called her. She responded yesterday and here is what she wrote:

Hi Sheila,
While I REALLY appreciate you throwing me a shower, and I feel sooooo horrible saying this, but I just can't bring myself to invite my friends and family to a shower that is just desserts. My family is used to showers with more substantial food and I just know they will make a scene if they show up and it's just sweets. Also I feel guilty inviting people to a shower and only giving them simple chocolate as a favor. Can you do something else? I always thought nailpolish would be a cute favor since I am having a girl and you know how I love doing my nails. Anyway THANK YOU again for throwing me the shower. I have attached the invite list and addresses. Love, Leesa.

***

The attached invite list had 38 people on it, instead of the requested 25.

Sheila is kind of a wreck about all this and is very angry. She feels like Leesa is being ungrateful but does not know if the dessert shower idea is rude? She can only afford so much and Leesa's ideas and guest list put her over budget.

Our other friends think Sheila should back out of the shower but Sheila is on the fence between backing out/ saying NO to Leesa's new requests/ Compromising. Ideas and thoughts for my friend EH?
« Last Edit: October 31, 2013, 10:32:35 AM by PennyandPleased »

Zizi-K

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Re: Can my friend back out of hosting a shower?
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2013, 11:03:07 AM »
Leesa is ungrateful and if I were Sheila, I would respond with something like this:

"Leesa, I understand that a nicer shower is always nicer, but unfortunately I planned for a shower that was within my budget and space constraints. I cannot afford to feed 25 people a meal, nor do I have the space for 38. Since it seems like what I can do isn't enough, I am happy to bow out and allow someone else to give you the shower you deserve."

Momiitz

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Re: Can my friend back out of hosting a shower?
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2013, 11:07:27 AM »
I think this might be a good time for your friend to use the phrase "I'm afraid that won't be possible."  I don't think your friend would be rude for backing out.  Your friend offered a nice shower in her budget, and Leesa wants something more.


Judah

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Re: Can my friend back out of hosting a shower?
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2013, 11:11:08 AM »
Leesa is ungrateful and if I were Sheila, I would respond with something like this:

"Leesa, I understand that a nicer shower is always nicer, but unfortunately I planned for a shower that was within my budget and space constraints. I cannot afford to feed 25 people a meal, nor do I have the space for 38. Since it seems like what I can do isn't enough, I am happy to bow out and allow someone else to give you the shower you deserve."

This is a perfect response.
Ask for what you want. Let's be clear on this one:
Subtle hints don't work.
Strong hints don't work.
Really obvious hints don't work.
Just say it!

-The Car Talk Guys

Lynn2000

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Re: Can my friend back out of hosting a shower?
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2013, 11:15:01 AM »
Although I can see Leesa made an effort to phrase her concerns "politely," what she is asking is not polite, and Sheila would not be rude at all to pull out of hosting the shower.

"Leesa, thanks for getting back to me about the shower plans. Unfortunately I can't accommodate the changes you want, so I'm going to have to rescind my offer to host. I wish you the best."

If I were Sheila, I would pull back completely, and not host the shower even if Leesa changed her mind and said the original plan was fine, or that she would augment it at her own expense. A 25-person shower already seems to me to be somewhat on the large side, and the original plan was perfectly polite. Leesa asking for such a big change would put me off hosting anything for her.

As an aside... It rubs me the wrong way when someone offers to host a shower for someone because they feel sorry for them and see it as their only way of getting necessary items. Aside from my personal feelings about people's responsibility to take care of themselves and the children they bring into the world, it really sets the stage for a lot of guilt on the part of the host and clouds their ability to make good decisions. Someone like Sheila may end up thinking she has to accommodate Leesa's changes, no matter how much stress or expense they cause her, because what will become of Leesa if she doesn't get this shower? How will she get along in life? And that's not really a burden Sheila should take upon herself--the first step may be dropping that mindset, so she can look at Leesa's response with a clear head. Just IMO.
~Lynn2000

WillyNilly

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Re: Can my friend back out of hosting a shower?
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2013, 11:20:13 AM »
I like the previous suggestions for responses to Leesa.

Another option of course is to bring in a co-host - if Leesa knows anyone who is willing to help financially, pooled funds could make for a more substantial shower.

I will say on the guest though - if 25 people can be accommodated, probably 30 should be invited as there are always "no" RSVPs.

lowspark

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Re: Can my friend back out of hosting a shower?
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2013, 11:20:47 AM »
I agree. Yes, Sheila can, and should, back out of the shower.
I wouldn't go into too much explanation either as Leesa apparently already realizes she's asking for more than Sheila originally offered.

Leesa,
When I offered to throw you a shower, I was offering the shower I described in my previous email. I understand it's not what you had in mind so I'll bow out in order to allow someone else to take over.

By the way, if Leesa backs down and wants Sheila's original offer, I'd still say no. That ship has sailed.

(in other words, exactly what Lynn2000 said while I was typing)

ladyknight1

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Re: Can my friend back out of hosting a shower?
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2013, 11:22:41 AM »
Leesa is ungrateful and if I were Sheila, I would respond with something like this:

"Leesa, I understand that a nicer shower is always nicer, but unfortunately I planned for a shower that was within my budget and space constraints. I cannot afford to feed 25 people a meal, nor do I have the space for 38. Since it seems like what I can do isn't enough, I am happy to bow out and allow someone else to give you the shower you deserve."

This is a perfect response.

I need a forklift to pick my jaw up off the floor. The above is a perfect response.

lowspark

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Re: Can my friend back out of hosting a shower?
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2013, 11:23:48 AM »
I like the previous suggestions for responses to Leesa.

Another option of course is to bring in a co-host - if Leesa knows anyone who is willing to help financially, pooled funds could make for a more substantial shower.

I will say on the guest though - if 25 people can be accommodated, probably 30 should be invited as there are always "no" RSVPs.

Regarding the bolded, and this is totally my own feeling, I wouldn't care if six other hosts stepped up to help, financially or any other way. I find it pretty rude and presumptuous for Leesa to request this. It would leave a bad taste in my mouth such that I would have no further interest in hosting the shower in any capacity.

MindsEye

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Re: Can my friend back out of hosting a shower?
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2013, 11:26:27 AM »
Hmm... YMMV but if I was Sheila and Leesa was a very close friend, here is the answer I would give...

"Leesa, what I offered is what I can afford.  If you want a full meal instead of a dessert buffet, then you need to cover the cost of the food upgrade.  If you want nail polish instead of candy kisses as favors, then you need to buy the favors.  And you still need to cut your guest list to 25 people, because 38 won't fit in my house.  So, what do you want to do?  We can do this, we can go with my original offer, or you can find someone else to host your shower."

Edited to add: And there is nothing wrong with a dessert-only shower!  I think that half of the baby showers I have been to have been either appetizers only or desserts only.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2013, 11:28:42 AM by MindsEye »

Zizi-K

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Re: Can my friend back out of hosting a shower?
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2013, 11:27:53 AM »
Is anyone else confused about the "family who offers little support" for Leesa, but must also be catered to (literally) or they will "make a scene"? I think Sheila will be saving herself a lot of grief by not allowing these people into her home.

flickan

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Re: Can my friend back out of hosting a shower?
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2013, 11:29:16 AM »
'scuze me while I bang my head against the wall.


"Dear Leesa,

If your family will make a scene because I have thrown a party for your benefit and gone to the trouble to invite them and the food at the party doesn't match up to their own perception of what a party "should be", let's just leave them at home.  They sound awful."

I don't know how to say that politely, though.

Backing out is the only right thing to do, as far as I'm concerned.  Leesa may be feeling pressure from an ungracious family but is an adult and should know better. 

Surely there are other friends who can be hit up for favors and are willing to throw money at rude people.  Why be that friend? 

DavidH

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Re: Can my friend back out of hosting a shower?
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2013, 11:36:09 AM »
I think Zizi-K had a great response. If Leesa did change her mind and accept the shower originally offered, I'd still back out, perhaps saying that once you realized that you could not host to her standard, you made other plans.  It seems to me that dessert and chocolates should be fine for any shower.  It might not be the most lavish affair, but very reasonable and well thought out and certainly nothing to be embarrassed about.   


JoyinVirginia

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Re: Can my friend back out of hosting a shower?
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2013, 11:38:51 AM »
My vote would be to reply to Leesa and say ”I can only accommodate 25, there are 38 on list, who should I send invites to? Need response by x date. The menu is set, this is what can fit my budget. ”
Tell her this and see what she says. Just be firm and state ” this is what I can do”. Then Leesa has choice of finding someone else to host.

alice

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Re: Can my friend back out of hosting a shower?
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2013, 11:53:02 AM »
I thought the reason that Sheila was hosting it was because Leesa didn't have any family support?  Who are these "friends and family" that would complain about a dessert shower, but aren't going to help her with the pregnancy?