Maybe I'm a sucker but I have this impression of a lonely, socially awkward man who would probably be hurt and bewildered to be told he wasn't allowed to come in. I just don't think I would have the heart to do it.gen xer
I feel a little sorry for him actually.
, as I read through this topic I found myself having much the same reaction. The first page of the thread is a long way back so I'm cutting and pasting the OP's description of Bob:Bob's not terrible, but nor is he particularly nice to be around. Ron and Amy get invited to the same things we do, and invariably Bob is tagging along, uninvited. It is unclear whether Ron and Amy are actively inviting Bob along, or cannot say no to Bob when he asks to tag along (from what I've heard from others the second option is more likely).
At a party last year, Ron and Amy brought Bob along again, when the hostess specifically told Ron that Bob was not invited and not to bring him. Bob proceeded to creep some of the women out (not aggressively, just a bit 'off'), drink enough to make him vomit all over the floor and hostess' new (suede) lounge, and then try and hug everyone goodbye in his vomit covered shirt.
Yes, that definitely sounds awful. OTOH, DH and I know someone who has a number of good qualities (he's both generous and well-meaning), but who is very socially awkward. We have spent enough time with this guy to recognize his good qualities, and because he's pretty relaxed with us, most of the time he's okay to be around. But I can easily picture, based on my limited experience with him in larger groups, how something like the above would play out.
I.e.: he'd try to flirt, but he would try too hard, and cross a line, mistakenly thinking it makes him look/sound like "a man of the world" but in actuality kind of creeping out the woman he's talking to. He would be nervous, and might drink too much as a way of trying to relax, and then throw up. Probably only once, but once is more than enough, especially when coupled with his other issues. When meeting new people, especially in groups, I've seen him appear overly aggressive in his remarks and defensive in his responses, again due to nerves and general lack of ability to read/respond to some social clues. The unfortunate result is that it tends to shut down the immediate conversation he's having, and make others in the vicinity wary.
To be perfectly clear: I'm not condoning or excusing any of this behavior, or Bob's behavior, and I completely understand why the OP doesn't want to socialize with Bob in her space. But I do also feel sorry for him IF the situation is similar to how I've outlined. Because that long-term ingrained social awkwardness can be a very high hurdle to overcome, and people are not necessarily open to giving you a chance if you've already behaved in an offputting way.
My guess (and it is purely a guess, because there is so much we don't know from the OP's post) is that she belongs to a pretty loose social group and that in general bringing an "extra" to a party is not a problem. Ron and Amy know Bob the same way I know the "Bob" in my life, and they want him to succeed socially. And, if the social group is fairly loose, and if Bob knows that, there is no graceful or easy way for them to essentially say "Yes, in general extra people are welcome, but not you". Bob hears about some party, he knows Ron and Amy are going, he assumes that he'll be welcome, and they can't find a way to tell him No. Lather, rinse, repeat.
From an etiquette standpoint, I think the burden of telling Bob he's not welcome is on Ron and Amy, if indeed he is attending these social events because they are bringing him. It seems pretty clear that he's not directly invited so that is the most likely situation. I am wondering how strongly the message to not bring Bob was conveyed to them earlier? It seems to me that telling someone "Hey, come on over, but don't bring that Bob guy" is itself pretty awkward, and it's possible that the message wasn't delivered in a strong enough way that Ron and Amy took it seriously. Again, this is speculation, but I'm imagining some nervous laughter, and maybe some lame joking, which would be enough to let Ron and Amy convince themselves that it wasn't serious, and therefore they could ignore the problem.
Overall, I think the best answer is for the OP (and/or one of her friends who also doesn't want to deal with Bob socially) to look for an opening to find out from Ron and/or Amy what the circumstances are that cause them to bring Bob along. The OP stated that she has the idea from others that they are "letting him tag along", so it doesn't sound as though she would be suggesting they leave their best friend at home. And maybe they would welcome some help in finding a way to deliver the "this party is just for us" message. The good news is that at this point the OP is talking a hypothetical "how to avoid this in the future", rather than a "we're having a party this weekend and I don't want Bob there" situation. So she has time to either wait for (or even create) that opportunity to talk directly to Ron and/or Amy about why they bring Bob along.
At the end of the day, I don't think there is any way to tell Bob that he's not welcome that will not cause hurt feelings. And if his main problem is major social awkwardness, then I can only hope that he has someone in his life who will lay that out for him and suggest ways to overcome it. FTR, I have tried this with my "Bob" with only limited success. We are not super close and it's hard for me to bring it up; I have mostly done so when asked for dating
advice or when there is a rare conversational opening. It's tough, and I really sympathize with the OP. At this point, DH and I do not invite "Bob" along to social events that are outside of the group from which we know him. We did once, when organizing a group to go out and see a show, and it was awkward enough that I am not eager to repeat the experience. Fortunately he doesn't know the people we socialize with most often, so doesn't have an expectation of being invited. But I digress...