Author Topic: Would you say Margo was rude? #79, #139 non-update update  (Read 27904 times)

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Nemesis

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Would you say Margo was rude? #79, #139 non-update update
« on: December 21, 2013, 08:43:08 PM »
LONG story, since i am very long winded and love writing long backgrounds. >:D You can Choose to skip the entire background if you wish  >:D

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BACKGROUND
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Margo is a wonderful hostess. She would always print out lovely invitations to her dinner parties and address them, and then follow up with a phone call a couple of days later to check that I received it. Plus she allowed for phone call/text RSVP, or even through Facebook messages. So nice and convenient. I love her parties too, since she is an excellent cook and requires you to specifically NOT BRING any food to her house (great, since I simply cannot cook). Her dinners start early for mingling, wine and finger foods, followed by the sit down, four course meal and more wine, followed by cognac, coffee and dessert. All in all, it is a typically 5 hour event with loads of lovely food and wine.

Her parties are ALWAYS adult-only. She has crystals on display everywhere in the house, with expensive art hanging on the walls, velvet upholstery and silk cushions. It is clearly not a toddler-friendly house.

She had a dinner party last week. Now, I am a new mom and the hours were too long for me (with engorgement and all) so I had called Margo to let her know my regrets. However, she kindly told me that I was very welcomed to "eat and run" and my presence would be much appreciated! So the arrangement was for me to come 15 mins before dinner, and leave 20 mins after.

I arrived at our appointed time. This is where the story begins.

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MAIN STORY
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I arrived at Margo's home, handed her a gift and walked in. There were 9 others. Two were children o.O

Claudia, another guest, had brought her two kids. One is 4, the other is 6. Claudia is a lovely lady, but she can be quite oblivious to what is acceptable vs what isn't! As chit chat went on, Claudia said something like "I hope it isn't too much trouble, James and John are always so well behaved!" Margo replied "I am sure they are. What a surprise that you came, I really wasn't expecting you at all!"

Now, this made it VERY clear that Claudia had not RSVPed. (Was it rude of Margo to point it out to everyone?). The conversation reignited at dinnertime. It was obvious that the table had been arranged for 8 ppl. As we walked to the table, Margo said, "Oh please wait a moment. I wasn't expecting to have 10 guests instead of 7. Then she set separate dinner placings at the table for John and James and Claudia. (Again, quite this made it clear that Claudia and her boys had crashed the party. Was this rude?)

James and John were served the salad and soup appys with everyone else, but when the main course of Salmon came, they were given a plate each of tuna sandwiches. Claudia suddenly spoke up. "Oh, my boys usually eat a proper meal for their main! Would you mind?" I honestly was quite shocked by Claudia's boldness, but Margo didn't even skip a beat. She said "Oh dear, I am sorry,  I didn't know. And proceeded to take CLAUDIA's salmon dish into the kitchen with James and John's sandwiches. Everyone looked surprised. Margo emerged 5 mins later with the salmon portioned into two plastic plates, and the tuna sandwiches on the china dinner plate. Guess who got what :O (was this rude of Margo?)

Margo was cheerful and very friendly as she went, "Here you go. Okay let's continue with dinner!" And filled up our wine glasses and chitchat as though nothing strange had happened. We went on happily until dessert. Then Claudia suddenly said, "How come Nemesis got a full dinner when I had arrived before her?" Everyone turned to look at her and me. Before I could reply, Margo cheerfully said, "Oh,  I was expecting Nemesis." Then she changed the topic very quickly.

I made my excuses to the dinner party about 10 mins later.

Now bear in mind, Margo managed to do all that while smiling and remaining absolutely friendly. There was no trace of sarcasm in her voice, or any sharp tone whatsoever. James and John were exceptionally well behaved children, though the younger boy had fallen asleep at the dinner table after two bites of salmon which Claudia proceeded to finish. Claudia looked uncomfortable, but she didn't get angry. And the rest of us mingled well without any problems other than those few incidents above,

I know, you know and everyone knows that Claudia was rude. Was Margo?

Was Margo wrong? What would you have done differently?

(Cookies to those who made it through the entire story)

Edited to add : I do not know if Claudia had done this to Margo before. But at one mutual friend's home where I had arrived first, the boys had greeted the hostess so sweetly and politely when the door was opened. They were all dressed up and looked angelic. The hostess privately told me later on that she would have turned Claudia away if she had arrived alone, but she just couldn't do it when two cute boys were smiling so sweetly and expectedly at her. Maybe the same thing happened when Margo opened the door.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2013, 07:02:43 PM by Nemesis »

NyaChan

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Re: Would you say Margo was rude?
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2013, 08:54:18 PM »
Wow.  I understand Margo's position, but I feel like she essentially decided to teach Claudia a lesson in a very public and somewhat humiliating way.  I thought she was fine until the salmon thing came up - why not just say, "I'm sorry Claudia, but I didn't realize you or the boys were coming.  I simply didn't make enough for that many extra people."  If it was that big of an imposition, she ought to have told Claudia when she first showed up that she couldn't accommodate the extra guests and that they'd have to get together another time.  In other words, if you accept a guest into your home, you treat them like a guest.  You don't passive aggressively show them how unwelcome they are.

perpetua

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Re: Would you say Margo was rude?
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2013, 08:57:05 PM »
Secretly I think Margo's a genius, but then I have very little patience for gatecrashers. I bet Claudia doesn't do that again in a hurry.

Still, it might have been better to turn her away at the door.

Amara

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Re: Would you say Margo was rude?
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2013, 08:59:44 PM »
I think Margo could be the star in a sitcom so well done was her PA behavior. However, I believe she would have been better off politely turning away Claudia at the door and later, in private, telling her that RSVPs were required and that children were not invited.

CaffeineKatie

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Re: Would you say Margo was rude?
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2013, 09:01:08 PM »
I don't think Margo was rude--I think she displayed excellent self control while making sure that Claudia will NOT behave this way again.  Since the only alternatives I can think of would be to A) send Claudia away or B) have Margo act like a doormat, I'm glad she picked C.  And I might have been a bit less supportive of Margo until I read CLaudia's comment about her sons' dinners--OH NOOOOO WAY.

Mel the Redcap

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Re: Would you say Margo was rude?
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2013, 09:04:03 PM »
I think Margo was both not rude, and AWESOME.
"Set aphasia to stun!"

sweetonsno

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Re: Would you say Margo was rude?
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2013, 09:05:54 PM »
I agree with Amara. It would have been more polite to turn Claudia away at the door. Sure, it would have been awkward and uncomfortable for them both, but I imagine what happened was pretty awkward for everyone as well. I think that if Margo planned to accommodate Claudia and her family, she should have simply welcomed them (and then talked to Claudia privately about the lack of RSVP). It isn't polite to make it plain that someone else is being rude, especially if their transgression would have otherwise gone unnoticed by the rest of those present. The same goes, I think, for mealtime and the disparity in portions. The gracious thing to do in this case would be to quietly take Claudia aside to ask whether the kids would eat salmon BEFORE she served. If the kids DID like salmon, Claudia should have done her best to divvy up the food into ten portions. Basically, I can't get behind giving your hospitality grudgingly, particularly if you can't hide the fact that you're only doing it because you feel like you have to.

Nikko-chan

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Re: Would you say Margo was rude?
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2013, 09:06:54 PM »
Has Claudia done this before any maybe been warned by Margo not to do this again? If so, I would vote not rude. But... well, Margo was a bit rude, but Claudia was even ruder, and very presumptous at that!

aussie_chick

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Re: Would you say Margo was rude?
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2013, 09:08:33 PM »
I think I quite like Margo! Providing of course I wasn't on the receiving end of a lesson!

I think in this instance, both Claudia and Margo were rude.

Claudia - very rude for turning up without RSVP and for bringing children when it seems everyone knows children are not usually part of this social event. This is really clear to me since Op contacted Margo to decline the invite and Margo didn't once say "your new bub is welcome, just pop her in a bassinet" or something like that.  Margo compromised without compromising on the children part.

I think Margo was rude though for calling Claudia out in front of others with the "I am sure they are. What a surprise that you came, I really wasn't expecting you at all!"

I think Margo should have had this discussion with Claudia away from others before the chit chat and mingling went on. Either with

"Welcome Claudia. I wasn't expecting you. I'm very sorry not to have heard from you before because I would have been able to let you know that I couldn't accommodate James and John. We can catch up another time."

or if she decided to let them stay

"I wasn't expecting you. I don't have enough portions to accommodate John and James but I may be able to fix them a sandwich for their dinner."

I also think any table re-arranging should have taken place before everyone came in to sit down because again this was calling Claudia out in front of everyone.

Claudia was extremely rude though for questioning the host for feeding her children something other than the main dinner everyone else was having - it put the host in an awkward position in front of everyone.

I do no have ANY issue with Margo saying to Claudia "I was expecting Nemesis". I think Claudia asked for that one by questioning the host and bringing another guest into the discussion.

The only reason I could give Margo for highlighting Claudia's behaviour in front of everyone would be if this was a regular thing for Claudia and the host had spoken to her about it privately before. But even then, if this had happened, perhaps Margo needs to stop inviting Claudia to her dinner parties and if questioned, be honest with her about why.


cicero

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Re: Would you say Margo was rude?
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2013, 09:13:30 PM »
I think Margo was rude in the very public humiliation. I think that once she didn't turn them away at the door, she shouldn't have treated them like gat crashers. The time to that was when they arrived.

She should have discreetly set up the extra seats earlier and figured out the meal. From what you are saying she seemed to have 8 portions of salmon ( one extra), so either reportion the eight to make two extra kiddie portions or discreetly tell claudia that she has tuna for the kids. Claudia was rude to not rsvp, and her remarks were extremely inappropriate

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citadelle

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Re: Would you say Margo was rude?
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2013, 09:14:53 PM »
I think Margo does not like Claudia very much.

Zizi-K

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Re: Would you say Margo was rude?
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2013, 09:24:58 PM »
Margo should have turned them away at the door. It would have been much cleaner and more honest to say, "I'm so sorry, you didn't RSVP and so I wasn't expecting you. Unfortunately the table is only set for 7, and I only made enough food for 7. Plus, as much as I like kids, I'm just not set up for them here. Let's catch up another time."

Once Margo decided NOT to do that, the onus was on her to be a good host. By allowing them in, she accepted the imposition. However, friendly a demeanor she maintained, as a guest I would not have appreciated that show at all. People make mistakes, clearly Claudia made one, but she did not agree to be repeatedly humiliated over the course of the evening. Margo was PA to the extreme. Claudia should have gotten a clue when Margo made a big fuss about setting more places, and made a polite exit.

m2kbug

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Re: Would you say Margo was rude?
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2013, 09:34:15 PM »
I'm lost on the dynamics here.  Was Claudia told she was welcome to stay with her children?  Was Claudia told privately the children would get sandwiches, or did all this play out in public where Claudia expected her children would be served the same meal?  I'm a little lost because it seems like Claudia was turned into an unnecessary display.  I don't think it would be that hard to set up a couple extra chairs and place settings ahead of time before people entered the dining room, and I don't think it was necessary to alert all the other guests that two of them were unplanned, even if they're under 12. 

I don't understand the full dynamics here.  Berating people sweetly and with a smile does not make you polite.  Were they welcome or not?  Can you pull mom off to the side and explain they'll get chicken nuggets because you weren't planning on the extras?  Did this have to happen in front of everyone?  And maybe it did, OP, because maybe this is the one that spoils the stew, but on the surface I see wrong with both Margo and Claudia.

doodlemor

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Re: Would you say Margo was rude?
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2013, 09:35:49 PM »
It sounds to me from the OP that Margo is pretty careful about checking RSVP's.  That makes me wonder if Claudia sent her regrets, then changed her mind and showed up anyway.  If such was the case, Margo should have turned them away at the door.

Margo was rude, but Claudia was ruder.  She really sounds rather entitled - bringing her children uninvited to an adult party, and then complaining about what they were being served. 

This reminds me of one of my favorite ehell classics, about uninvited children at a dinner party:

http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=4104.0


peanut8

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Re: Would you say Margo was rude?
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2013, 09:37:27 PM »
Long time lurker, first time posting - I would be curious to know what happend before you arrived.  Claudia seems to be so clueless that I could imagine Margo attempting to turn her away at the door and Claudia ignoring her.

I'm picturing the salmon as the pre-cut fillets that tend to be about 6 ounces?   It would make sense to buy one extra for a dinner party in case of a cooking accident, but it's unreasonable, as well as wasteful, for even a very generous host to buy 18 extra ounces of what can be a fairly pricy fish that they are not expecting to have anyone eat.  The fact that Claudia assumed over an extra pound of salmon could be readily at hand for her and her children is not just rude, but... oblivious?

And after the re-plating she seems to understand that there wasn't enough fish, but then can't fathom why the fancy dinner party doesn't operate like some sort first come first serve black Friday special? It seems like she thinks that Margo is running a restaurant.