Author Topic: s/o "your child isn't invited"--guests who ask you to pick them up  (Read 7504 times)

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AzaleaBloom

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Re: s/o "your child isn't invited"--guests who ask you to pick them up
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2014, 08:09:46 PM »
I have known people throughout the years who don't/can't drive.  While I can't say it was universal, there was sometimes a tendency to have no understanding of what they were actually asking.  It their mind, it was "Oh, it's only 20 minutes away!"  They don't realize that it's 20 minutes to pick them up, 20 minutes to get back, 20 minutes to take them home, and 20 minutes to return - nearly an hour and a half total. 

That having been said, it falls on the person being asked to say "no."  It also falls on the person without transportation to find their own way.  I lived for a short time as an adult without a car.  I took public transportation, walked, and sometimes missed out on things.  When I did get a ride, I was always very appreciative and made it clear how grateful I was.


TootsNYC

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Re: s/o "your child isn't invited"--guests who ask you to pick them up
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2014, 08:22:28 PM »
I think the blurring of lines between social and business functions is involved here, too.  We see posts on here all the time about hosts or HC's who expect wedding guests to "cover their plate", i.e. pay for their meal with an appropriately priced gift.  And this extends to family charging for cooking a holiday meal, or party invitations that turn out to be MLM sales presentations, or fundraisers, or overgrown "birthday girls" or "birthday boys" who voluntell friends to pay for their dinner in a restaurant.

The restaurant and hotel business is now referred to as "the hospitality industry". Hospitality is not supposed to be an industry.  The greeter in a restaurant is now called a "host" or "hostess," but they are not hosting anything - in fact, they are often the most junior member of staff.  Customers at hotels and restaurants are called "guests", even though they are paying.

Society's expectations toward what it means to be a host or guest are a complete mess.

I think you're right, EllenS. (Someone here at EHell even used the word "catering" to describe entertaining guests in your own home. A slip, I'm sure, but sometimes semantics matter.)

I'll confess, I was often grateful that people come to my house (which is *totally* backward!!) because I'm in a outer borough.

And, we will often drive people from other boroughs home (whether we're getting together in our house or at a restaurant), because trying to get to our place from Brooklyn, is a 90-minute ordeal (it's 20 mins in the car, so even both ways, it's still markedly less time), and they'd probably turn down the socializing opportunity completely.
   But if I felt taken advantage of, we'd stop!

I sort of see bah12's point--but only sort of.

I'd tweak is as indicated.

For picking people up for a party, I guess I don't see anything wrong with stating that a ride is needed for attendance.  It really annoys me when people complain that they have limitations (car isn't working, no babysitter, etc), but don't really do anything to change it.  So, if I invited someone to a party and they had transportation issues, I wouldn't be offended if they said "I'd love to come, but unfortunately my car is in the shop and I don't have a way to get there.  Do you know of someone else that's coming that could possibly pick me up on the way or would you be able to give me a ride if it doesn't interfere with your planning?"  As long as they accept "no" as an answer, I don't see an issue with asking. 


I think there is something wrong with asking the phrase I crossed out.
I think it's OK to alert your host to your travel difficulties, in case she has a suggestion for solving them. But to directly ask her to come pick you up, when she's already giving you another gift? Not cool--if she can pick you up, she'll offer. Don't directly ask her.

I think you misunderstand me:

Quote
I really think that when hosting gets to the point that it stresses you out and makes you resent your friends for not being appreciative enough is the time that you either need a new group of friends or you need to take a break from hosting.  Just my opinion.   

I'm not stressed or resentful. But I don't thank people for coming, not anymore. I'm not a merchant, I'm the one who did them the bigger favor--the only person who should be thanked is me. And I hadn't heard any of my own friends say it, but others have said, "She wouldn't invite me if she didn't want me there" (which is true, of course) as if somehow -they- were the ones doing the big favor by showing up.
   So of course I express my enjoyment of their company, pretty effusively, but I don't say "thank you for coming." There's something about that literal phrase that sets my teeth on edge when it comes from the host's mouth.

Allyson

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Re: s/o "your child isn't invited"--guests who ask you to pick them up
« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2014, 08:26:01 PM »
I can't drive due to vision issues. I live in a city with decent public transportation, but it stops running before midnight. I try *really* hard never to impose on someone, but among my social group, I think because it started up when many people didn't drive, it's kind of the norm for drivers to take people home after an event. I am always very appreciative of people doing it for me, and offer gas money if it's not right on their way.

I can't think of any situation where I'd call someone up to drive me *to* a place, but I have said stuff like "Ok, the last bus is soon, so I'm going to head off now" fully intending to do so! But in my group, more often than not someone will say "oh don't worry, I'll give you a lift home". I'll ask my good friends ahead of time if they mind driving me home from a place. But in that case I would *never* hold them up in any way, like by whining they're leaving too late/early or what have you.

Asking for a ride from the host *to* their house seems really odd to me, and if for some reason I had to do it (no public transit for instance) I'd make sure to arrange it ahead of time, not call the day of.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: s/o "your child isn't invited"--guests who ask you to pick them up
« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2014, 10:31:04 PM »
Interesting post, TootsNYC!

I do think it's rude to expressly ask the host to pick you up and take you to their house. It's putting the host on the spot, and more than likely interfering with their preparations.

However, I think it's ok to explain to the host that you'd love to come to their party, but have no way of getting there. Hopefully, the host will OFFER to pick you up, or recommend several other feasible options (eg catching the ABC train to West Street, etc, or putting them in touch with another guest who lives nearby and would be happy to give them a ride, etc).

As for the issue of thanking the guests for attending, I'd guess this is because these days, people are so busy, and seem to have so many other competing priorities. The fact that they chose YOUR event to attend may motivate many hosts to thank their guests for coming.

EllenS

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Re: s/o "your child isn't invited"--guests who ask you to pick them up
« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2014, 11:36:08 PM »
I do thank my guests for coming, though, because to me that means "I am happy you came, it was a better party because you were here."
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kareng57

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Re: s/o "your child isn't invited"--guests who ask you to pick them up
« Reply #20 on: January 03, 2014, 11:44:08 PM »
I would never, ever make this request.  I'm only a short-distance driver (I don't do freeways) and I figure that it's my problem if that means I can't attend parties.

However - longtime good friends wanted me to attend their Boxing Day party.  The husband was willing to pick me up ( a half-hour away) and drive me back.  They're understanding that this is still a difficult time of year for me - my Dh died during Christmas time two years ago.  As it happened, they also invited my sons and one of them provided transportation anyway.

But - if I had taken Hosts up on their offer - does that mean that I would have been impolite?

Iris

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Re: s/o "your child isn't invited"--guests who ask you to pick them up
« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2014, 11:53:53 PM »
I would never, ever make this request.  I'm only a short-distance driver (I don't do freeways) and I figure that it's my problem if that means I can't attend parties.

However - longtime good friends wanted me to attend their Boxing Day party.  The husband was willing to pick me up ( a half-hour away) and drive me back.  They're understanding that this is still a difficult time of year for me - my Dh died during Christmas time two years ago.  As it happened, they also invited my sons and one of them provided transportation anyway.

But - if I had taken Hosts up on their offer - does that mean that I would have been impolite?

Not at all - it's an offer.

I picked up a friend for my NYE party. However, she had already arranged other transportation of her own volition when I decided that given the number of small children coming it might be better to drop my dog off at his sitter's house for the party. Since the sitter's house happens to be right around the corner from friend's house I rang and offered to pick her up. So she got a ride, I didn't have to go out of my way, and the person who was driving her didn't have to anymore. Win-win!
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Mel the Redcap

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Re: s/o "your child isn't invited"--guests who ask you to pick them up
« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2014, 12:14:42 AM »
I think you're right, EllenS. (Someone here at EHell even used the word "catering" to describe entertaining guests in your own home. A slip, I'm sure, but sometimes semantics matter.)

That was me. ;D I was half asleep and I think I was originally writing something about 'catering to' your guests' needs, changed it, and totally flaked on finding better wording.
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GreenEyedHawk

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Re: s/o "your child isn't invited"--guests who ask you to pick them up
« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2014, 02:02:53 AM »
As a non-driver, I hardly ever ever ask for rides to events.  In fact, I never ask for rides unless I really have no other option, and I insist on compensation of some kind, whether it's paying for gas or buying dinner or whatever.

I've declined events due to transportation issues.  Usually I will ask my host if there's bus service nearby (or I'll use the MyCity transit site to figure out for myself if taking public transportation is feasible) or I'll just say, "I'd love to attend but the buses don't go there," or "The buses don't run that late" or whatever.  If I can afford it, I may take a cab.  But I never ask a host to pick me up.  If they offer, I will accept, but if someone offers me a ride to and from an event, I certainly won't complain I'm not ready to leave when they are, since they're doing me a huge favour already. 

So I guess what I'm trying to say is, it's not rude to accept if someone offers, but I do feel it's a little out of line to ask for a ride.

ETA on the matter of saying "Thank you for coming".  I'll either say "Thanks for coming" or something along the lines of "It was great to see you!" and I use them interchangeably.  "Thank you for coming" to me means, "I appreciated and enjoyed your company."  And of course you should always thank a host.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2014, 02:05:50 AM by GreenEyedHawk »
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Marbles

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Re: s/o "your child isn't invited"--guests who ask you to pick them up
« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2014, 02:43:41 AM »
I'm the one with the MIL who called for a ride from the train station. It really was an imposition. She did it several times, but I think my DH talked to her about it because she has driven the past two times she has come to visit (which takes about the same amount of time).

To fill out the picture of her asking:

Before we had kids, we'd invite MIL down periodically to have dinner, just the three of us, and she'd take the train to our local station and we'd pick her up. No problem.

Now, MIL and FIL have been divorced nearly 40 years, but they still hate each other. However, they do know how to avoid each other at parties. DH and I hold two parties each year to which we invite both of his parents -  each of our sons' birthdays (we split holidays). To make it easier for MIL and FIL to circulate in patterns that avoid each other, we make it a big crowd, typically 25-30 people (usually around a 2:1 ratio of adults to children). Hosting that many people means a lot of cooking and prep work.

The last time she called to be picked up from the station, my boys were 2 and 3.5, which meant they needed a lot of supervision. DH and I usually split the hosting duties by tag-teaming one person cooking or setting up, while the other one ran around desperately trying to keep the kids from making a huge mess before the guests arrive. So, having him get the surprise phone call (sometimes she'd leave a VM when she got on the train to give us notice!) to run out even for a short jaunt was not appreciated. (I think one time I made him take the kids with him in the car, just to keep making progress on the party. Getting two excited toddlers fastened into car seats did not make the errand faster.)

I'm surprised MIL even asked us for help. She is very independent. She lives 2 miles from a train station, up a very steep hill, which she walks regularly. We live a mile from the station on the flat, with bus service that runs from the station to 2 blocks from our house. There are always taxis at the station, too.


*Once we had kids, she stopped reciprocating invitations. She loves trying new restaurants, so that was her primary way of hosting.  We get the impression from BIL and SIL that she doesn't really like kids, and I can see that she might not want to dine with infants or toddlers. It makes me a bit sad she doesn't want to do anything else with us either.

Isilleke

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Re: s/o "your child isn't invited"--guests who ask you to pick them up
« Reply #25 on: January 04, 2014, 12:41:13 PM »
I'll ask my good friends ahead of time if they mind driving me home from a place. But in that case I would *never* hold them up in any way, like by whining they're leaving too late/early or what have you.

Snipped out the relevant part.  I don't mind driving around, especially when you all live somewhat close and are going somewhere a bit further away. But the last time I did this, my passenger had to work till 8PM, which meant we didn't arrive before 9.30PM and then she insisted we leave at 1AM because she had things planned the next day. I was a little peeved for this, because well
- the party we were invited to started at 6PM and I could have been there but chose not to so we could go together (my friend lives with 5 other people we don't know and it was their housewarming, so out of 30+ people she would have known 2, I knew about 10 I think)
- she could have told me beforehand she didn't want to stay very late
- especially since my friend throws the kind of parties that don't end before the sun comes up.

Maybe it's because I'm of the opinion that the driver decides. As in, when I'm the passenger I just go with whatever he/she decides, since they are the ones driving. Sure, it may be early/late for me, but e.g. if they feel that they are getting too tired to drive responsibly at a later time, I say let's go already!

Back on topic. I never had this situation before, but I'm starting to integrate in a new group and it seems there is one person who does this all the time and no one ever comments on it. They all think it's the most common thing to do apparently  :o.

Dragonflymom

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Re: s/o "your child isn't invited"--guests who ask you to pick them up
« Reply #26 on: January 04, 2014, 03:21:20 PM »
I quit having formal dinner parties.  Not because people failed to RSVP (everyone I invited was very good about that), but because people started treating the meal as if it were a restaurant meal and they could order what they wanted and reject what they didn't want.

I ended up spending way too much time trying to deal with other people's food issues and that pretty much sucked all of the joy out of hosting for me.  The only "hosting" I do nowadays is to provide a place for potlucks.  :)

I've had to deal with a lot of this too, especially from people doing paleo, low-carb, dairy-free, or whatever.  It is incredibly frustrating.   I'm tired of the PA comments about what I serve. Christmas dinner was a struggle to accommodate everyone.  Next year I'm scaling back more and people with issues can bring things that work for them.
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Dragonflymom

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Re: s/o "your child isn't invited"--guests who ask you to pick them up
« Reply #27 on: January 04, 2014, 03:29:09 PM »
I think it's a kind of entitlement in asking the hostess for rides (I was the one who started the other thread :)  ).  When it has happened to me I feel put on the spot and felt mean saying no.

I can see how it could go along with other increased expectations of hosting, like everybody expects all their different diets they are on to be catered to (I can understand religious/ethical choices, but I think expecting hosts to cater to whatever trendy weight loss diet guests are on and complaining if the host doesn't is ridiculous and entitled).

I have gotten to that point where I've found hosting stressful enough and resenting it enough that I'm ready to take a break.  And also just stop inviting the worst offenders.

The people who have been the worst at either asking for rides or otherwise making special snowflake demands about my hosting seem to very rarely, if ever, host themselves.  And the worst offenders have never invited me to anything so I wonder if they ever host at all and have any idea how entitled they are being.
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bah12

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Re: s/o "your child isn't invited"--guests who ask you to pick them up
« Reply #28 on: January 06, 2014, 11:48:31 AM »
I think the blurring of lines between social and business functions is involved here, too.  We see posts on here all the time about hosts or HC's who expect wedding guests to "cover their plate", i.e. pay for their meal with an appropriately priced gift.  And this extends to family charging for cooking a holiday meal, or party invitations that turn out to be MLM sales presentations, or fundraisers, or overgrown "birthday girls" or "birthday boys" who voluntell friends to pay for their dinner in a restaurant.

The restaurant and hotel business is now referred to as "the hospitality industry". Hospitality is not supposed to be an industry.  The greeter in a restaurant is now called a "host" or "hostess," but they are not hosting anything - in fact, they are often the most junior member of staff.  Customers at hotels and restaurants are called "guests", even though they are paying.

Society's expectations toward what it means to be a host or guest are a complete mess.

I think you're right, EllenS. (Someone here at EHell even used the word "catering" to describe entertaining guests in your own home. A slip, I'm sure, but sometimes semantics matter.)

I'll confess, I was often grateful that people come to my house (which is *totally* backward!!) because I'm in a outer borough.

And, we will often drive people from other boroughs home (whether we're getting together in our house or at a restaurant), because trying to get to our place from Brooklyn, is a 90-minute ordeal (it's 20 mins in the car, so even both ways, it's still markedly less time), and they'd probably turn down the socializing opportunity completely.
   But if I felt taken advantage of, we'd stop!

I sort of see bah12's point--but only sort of.

I'd tweak is as indicated.

For picking people up for a party, I guess I don't see anything wrong with stating that a ride is needed for attendance.  It really annoys me when people complain that they have limitations (car isn't working, no babysitter, etc), but don't really do anything to change it.  So, if I invited someone to a party and they had transportation issues, I wouldn't be offended if they said "I'd love to come, but unfortunately my car is in the shop and I don't have a way to get there.  Do you know of someone else that's coming that could possibly pick me up on the way or would you be able to give me a ride if it doesn't interfere with your planning?"  As long as they accept "no" as an answer, I don't see an issue with asking. 


I think there is something wrong with asking the phrase I crossed out.
I think it's OK to alert your host to your travel difficulties, in case she has a suggestion for solving them. But to directly ask her to come pick you up, when she's already giving you another gift? Not cool--if she can pick you up, she'll offer. Don't directly ask her.

I think you misunderstand me:

Quote
I really think that when hosting gets to the point that it stresses you out and makes you resent your friends for not being appreciative enough is the time that you either need a new group of friends or you need to take a break from hosting.  Just my opinion.   

I'm not stressed or resentful. But I don't thank people for coming, not anymore. I'm not a merchant, I'm the one who did them the bigger favor--the only person who should be thanked is me. And I hadn't heard any of my own friends say it, but others have said, "She wouldn't invite me if she didn't want me there" (which is true, of course) as if somehow -they- were the ones doing the big favor by showing up.
   So of course I express my enjoyment of their company, pretty effusively, but I don't say "thank you for coming." There's something about that literal phrase that sets my teeth on edge when it comes from the host's mouth.

I think we just have a fundamental disagreement on what hosting is.  To me, it is not a gift that I grace my guests with.  It's a mutually beneficial arrangement.  I absolutely love cooking/hosting.  It gives me a real high...but as awesome as my home and food may be, my parties would still suck if great people didn't show up.  They provide a key ingredient to the success of my events...and they are the one thing I can't control about the evening.  So, when they accept my invite, come over and have a good time, have great conversation with me and say super nice things about my party, yeah, I'm going to thank them. 

And I really think that it's about how you (general) just look at the whole thing. If I saw it as an "event" that I have to organzize and take all the criticism/praise for vs. a "hanging out with my friends" in my house (one of my most favorite places to be), then I might be a little more stressed out, because it would seem like work.  I don't think you should feel obligate to host, obligated to have things a certain way, etc.  Just decide what kind of party you want to have, communicate it to your friends and don't be afraid to say "no" if they ask for something you aren't willing to provide.  That's why I don't stress out if someone asks me for a ride (and there's a difference between asking and demanding).  I really think that if you (general) have an issue with saying "no" that's a problem you need to work on...it's not fair to expect that your friends will never ask you a favor so that you never have to face the fear of letting someone down.  I also don't really see having a party as a gift so huge that asking for anything other than invite is seen as entitled.   

Here's the thing.  If I came to your party and you never "thanked" me for showing up, I seriously doubt I'd notice.  But I would notice an attitude that you're doing me some huge favor and just gave me some enourmous gift that I have to be adequately thankful for...and it wouldn't leave me a great impression.  And while I'm sure you don't project that at your parties, I do think having a discussion on whether or not it's ok to thank guests for coming to your party is a bit extreme.  Of course it's ok!  And I promise that if any of your guests seem too entitled, it's not because you said "thank you".  It's because it's who they are....not saying thank you isn't going to change it.

LadyJaneinMD

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Re: s/o "your child isn't invited"--guests who ask you to pick them up
« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2014, 09:59:58 AM »
I have known people throughout the years who don't/can't drive.  While I can't say it was universal, there was sometimes a tendency to have no understanding of what they were actually asking.  It their mind, it was "Oh, it's only 20 minutes away!"  They don't realize that it's 20 minutes to pick them up, 20 minutes to get back, 20 minutes to take them home, and 20 minutes to return - nearly an hour and a half total. 

That having been said, it falls on the person being asked to say "no."  It also falls on the person without transportation to find their own way.  I lived for a short time as an adult without a car.  I took public transportation, walked, and sometimes missed out on things.  When I did get a ride, I was always very appreciative and made it clear how grateful I was.

I know at least 3 people who don't drive.  One has never even had a driver's license, and the others simply can't afford cars.  All of them get around better than most people I know with cars!  They  know all of the busses and cabs and metro lines, and how to use them. One of those friends has traveled to Europe every year, for years.  And she has never driven a car in her life. 
So, I'm sorry, there's no excuse for not getting around.  There's (almost) always a way.