Author Topic: I know this is for women only, but I'm going to conspicuously hang around anyway  (Read 9789 times)

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TootsNYC

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I think he was rude. He wasn't being restricted to one room in the house. He was asked to stay out of one area of the house.

Depending on how well I knew Amy I'd be asking "What was up with your DH last month? Was he mad about you hosting? If he doesn't like it, you can host at my house for your turn next year."

And I agree that she probably tried to joke about it to cover up her embarrassment. It would truly be embarrassing for me to be married to someone who disrespected my request so blatantly.

I think that since you are the one who sends out the email, you can call her now and ask about this. Tell her that you found it intrusive, and you want to be proactive about handling it, and not make other people feel they have to say something.

So, Amy, what's up, and what can we do to avoid that next year? If your DH is unlikely to do a fade-out next year, how would you like to handle the hosting when it's your turn? Since I do the scheduling, I thought I should ask. Do you want to see if someone else will let you use their place if you do all the food, etc.?

Or yes, whoever introduced Amy to the group might be a good person to have that conversation as well.

gellchom

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Yeah, I was thinking too that although perhaps he or Amy misunderstood, Amy's husband may just be a jerk who made a point of hanging around just because he was asked not to (probably put beans up his nose when he was a kid) or because he simply could not stand to keep out of something. Whether it's immaturity or being controlling, I feel sorry for Amy.  He was rude.  It's always rude to insert yourself into a gathering to which you are not invited, even in your own home.  Coming into the kitchen for a drink or a pen is one thing; hanging around all evening is quite another.  If he had work he absolutely had to do that evening and he absolutely had to do it in the kitchen, he could have apologized and put on headphones or something.

I love Bah12's suggestion of what to do and how to say it.  It doesn't put Amy on the spot to discuss her marriage or her husband, but it gets the job done politely and diplomatically.

And I don't think there is anything at all wrong with asking your spouse and kids to let you have the house, or part of it, to yourself and your friends occasionally -- certainly once a year is not a big deal, and I would think that anyone who would sulk or adopt a What-how-dare-you-tell-me-I-can't-be-wherever-I-please-in-my-own-home attitude about having to do it once a year is being very childish.

heartmug

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Bunco is so much fun!  I play at a neutral location, one woman's guest house, so we have never had that problem with husbands.  Her husband travels so much that she wants to host every time so she doesn't have to find a sitter.  So the rest of us provide the snacks.

I agree with those who said talk to Amy.  It may be that if you want her in the group, that you all will have to accept that when it is at her house, her hubby will be there.
The trouble is not that the world is full of fools, it's just that lightening isn't distributed right.  - Mark Twain

mspallaton

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I have to go a little against the grain here - a lot of folks have offered that perhaps they didn't understand that the gathering was truly "women only".  I do agree with that statement and I will say that if I was asked to host a gathering where my husband would be banished to a section of his own home and considered rude for merely existing in our presence, my response would be to politely decline hosting and remove myself from the group.

I get that some couples like to have their alone time away from one another and we certainly do too, but telling members of a household that they must make themselves scarce, even for just one day, is to me an incredible overstepping of boundaries.

Mentioning to Amy that you'd like it to be women only is okay, but be prepared that she may decline to host in the future if she truly understands that you don't want her husband present -- that is certainly what I would do.

123sandy

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I don't care for the idea he was in his kitchen, making his dinner and getting in their way. Put that way really makes it seem he was unwelcome in his own home. That would get my back up.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 01:09:19 PM by 123Sandy »

TootsNYC

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I have to go a little against the grain here - a lot of folks have offered that perhaps they didn't understand that the gathering was truly "women only".  I do agree with that statement and I will say that if I was asked to host a gathering where my husband would be banished to a section of his own home and considered rude for merely existing in our presence, my response would be to politely decline hosting and remove myself from the group.

I get that some couples like to have their alone time away from one another and we certainly do too, but telling members of a household that they must make themselves scarce, even for just one day, is to me an incredible overstepping of boundaries.

Mentioning to Amy that you'd like it to be women only is okay, but be prepared that she may decline to host in the future if she truly understands that you don't want her husband present -- that is certainly what I would do.

If he'd been on the computer and mostly ignoring them, I'd be on your side. But he was interjecting himself into the conversation as well.


Teenyweeny

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I have to go a little against the grain here - a lot of folks have offered that perhaps they didn't understand that the gathering was truly "women only".  I do agree with that statement and I will say that if I was asked to host a gathering where my husband would be banished to a section of his own home and considered rude for merely existing in our presence, my response would be to politely decline hosting and remove myself from the group.

The thing is, Amy has been a member of this group for 6 months. She has to have known the rules. If she didn't find the rules to be to her liking, she should not have accepted the generous hospitality of 6 other hosts, and found another hobby.



mspallaton

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I agree that she should withdraw herself from the group, but I don't agree that her husband was rude for participating in a social gathering in his own home.  Perhaps she believed that the other women's husbands simply had no interest?  I know when work is divided when we visit my parents home, most of the "menfolk" go and work outside, do house projects etc... while most of the "womenfolk" are in the kitchen.  Except that my husband loves cooking so he joins us in the kitchen most of the time.

My point is - it is possible to observe a situation and not believe it to be a "rule" as much as just a "how things have been". 

Like I said, I know I'm going against the grain on my interpretation of his behavior -- though I agree with those saying Amy should not participate if she doesn't agree.  I just sympathize much more with Amy than with a group of people restricting a gathering from members of the household it is being hosted at.  I cannot fathom believing that it is rude for a member of a household to be present and interact with guests in his or her home during a gathering.

What they are really asking is for her to tell her husband he is not welcome to speak to or interact with guests in his home.  I don't honestly think that is a reasonable thing to expect.  Now - asking Amy if she minds assisting in hosting duties at someone else's house and seeing if someone else will host twice -- that seems like a fair solution.

But as I said - expect the possibility that Amy will become offended and bow out of the social group.  If my husband were not permitted to interact with guests in his own home, I would bow out of that group without question.

Deetee

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I have to go a little against the grain here - a lot of folks have offered that perhaps they didn't understand that the gathering was truly "women only".  I do agree with that statement and I will say that if I was asked to host a gathering where my husband would be banished to a section of his own home and considered rude for merely existing in our presence, my response would be to politely decline hosting and remove myself from the group.

The thing is, Amy has been a member of this group for 6 months. She has to have known the rules. If she didn't find the rules to be to her liking, she should not have accepted the generous hospitality of 6 other hosts, and found another hobby.

I agree with the comment. There is NOTHING wrong with finding that a social event or series of social events is not to your taste for any reason. If Amy hd played Bunco twice and realised that she wouldn't be able to host so she dropped the group, that's not a problem.  There is something wrong with attending and enjoying an event with set rules/standards and then changing the event when it's your turn. 

mspallaton

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I have to go a little against the grain here - a lot of folks have offered that perhaps they didn't understand that the gathering was truly "women only".  I do agree with that statement and I will say that if I was asked to host a gathering where my husband would be banished to a section of his own home and considered rude for merely existing in our presence, my response would be to politely decline hosting and remove myself from the group.

The thing is, Amy has been a member of this group for 6 months. She has to have known the rules. If she didn't find the rules to be to her liking, she should not have accepted the generous hospitality of 6 other hosts, and found another hobby.

I agree with the comment. There is NOTHING wrong with finding that a social event or series of social events is not to your taste for any reason. If Amy hd played Bunco twice and realised that she wouldn't be able to host so she dropped the group, that's not a problem.  There is something wrong with attending and enjoying an event with set rules/standards and then changing the event when it's your turn.

I think, for me, why I sympathize with her is that the idea that it would actually be a "rule" that my husband could not be present/interact with me while the guests were there simply doesn't compute. 

I've also seen people make this point consistently in other contexts: don't attribute to malice what can be explained by simply stupidity.  While I don't think the term "stupid" applies here - I would challenge the idea that she "had to know" it was a rule.  I would have assumed, naively and honestly, in her situation that the other ladies' husbands simply had no interest in being there and since mine did have an interest, it wouldn't be a problem.

lowspark

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I have to go a little against the grain here - a lot of folks have offered that perhaps they didn't understand that the gathering was truly "women only".  I do agree with that statement and I will say that if I was asked to host a gathering where my husband would be banished to a section of his own home and considered rude for merely existing in our presence, my response would be to politely decline hosting and remove myself from the group.

I get that some couples like to have their alone time away from one another and we certainly do too, but telling members of a household that they must make themselves scarce, even for just one day, is to me an incredible overstepping of boundaries.

Mentioning to Amy that you'd like it to be women only is okay, but be prepared that she may decline to host in the future if she truly understands that you don't want her husband present -- that is certainly what I would do.

Regarding the bolded, that's exactly the point. If Amy doesn't feel comfortable with the way the group has agreed to do things, then she is perfectly within her rights to bow out. No harm no foul. I wouldn't hold it against her any more than I would a former member who dropped out because she was returning to school and no longer had time for the group.

In a social situation where you are not able or willing to follow the rules, it's perfectly ok to drop out of the group. I just don't see how it's ok to deliberately not follow the rules. I don't blame you or her or her husband for not liking the rules. I do find fault with deliberately flouting them.

I'm hoping that what happened was that Amy sprung it on her husband that day or shortly before and that when he refused to comply it was too late for her to do anything about it. If this is the case, maybe it won't come up again as they will have had several months to get used to the idea. I like gellchom's suggestion that if he was really stuck there because of the computer, he could have worn earphones.

The fact that he deliberately made his presence known throughout the evening is what completely changed the dynamic for me.

To clarify a bit, bunco is played at three separate tables, usually in separate rooms and after each round people switch tables. So in this case, we were in the breakfast room, the dining room and the family room. Passing through the kitchen as we switch tables is a given. That's where the food and drink are plus it's the shortest route between two of the tables.


lowspark

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I don't care for the idea he was in his kitchen, making his dinner and getting in their way. Put that way really makes it seem he was unwelcome in his own home. That would get my back up.

Yeah, I can see that. If he was just in there fixing his dinner and then he cleared out, believe me, I wouldn't be posting.

Again, these are the things that make it seem deliberate:
1. He announced that he knew he wasn't supposed to be there but was staying anyway. It was sort of like thumbing his nose at us.

2. He deliberately interjected comments into our conversations.

mspallaton

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I have to go a little against the grain here - a lot of folks have offered that perhaps they didn't understand that the gathering was truly "women only".  I do agree with that statement and I will say that if I was asked to host a gathering where my husband would be banished to a section of his own home and considered rude for merely existing in our presence, my response would be to politely decline hosting and remove myself from the group.

I get that some couples like to have their alone time away from one another and we certainly do too, but telling members of a household that they must make themselves scarce, even for just one day, is to me an incredible overstepping of boundaries.

Mentioning to Amy that you'd like it to be women only is okay, but be prepared that she may decline to host in the future if she truly understands that you don't want her husband present -- that is certainly what I would do.

Regarding the bolded, that's exactly the point. If Amy doesn't feel comfortable with the way the group has agreed to do things, then she is perfectly within her rights to bow out. No harm no foul. I wouldn't hold it against her any more than I would a former member who dropped out because she was returning to school and no longer had time for the group.

In a social situation where you are not able or willing to follow the rules, it's perfectly ok to drop out of the group. I just don't see how it's ok to deliberately not follow the rules. I don't blame you or her or her husband for not liking the rules. I do find fault with deliberately flouting them.

I'm hoping that what happened was that Amy sprung it on her husband that day or shortly before and that when he refused to comply it was too late for her to do anything about it. If this is the case, maybe it won't come up again as they will have had several months to get used to the idea. I like gellchom's suggestion that if he was really stuck there because of the computer, he could have worn earphones.

The fact that he deliberately made his presence known throughout the evening is what completely changed the dynamic for me.

To clarify a bit, bunco is played at three separate tables, usually in separate rooms and after each round people switch tables. So in this case, we were in the breakfast room, the dining room and the family room. Passing through the kitchen as we switch tables is a given. That's where the food and drink are plus it's the shortest route between two of the tables.

It isn't about him being stuck there though - it is his home.  Someone probably should speak to Amy and give her a chance to bow out.  These "rules", expressed with such rigidity that a man cannot stay in the common areas of his home and dare to speak to guests there, are not something I believe most people would simply understand if not explained.  Since that is the "etiquette" your group has adopted, I believe you owe it to Amy to spell it out so she can decline to participate.

lowspark

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<snip>

What they are really asking is for her to tell her husband he is not welcome to speak to or interact with guests in his home.  I don't honestly think that is a reasonable thing to expect. 
<snip>

Well... not exactly. Like I said, husbands do make brief appearances occasionally and that's fine. It's just the hanging around the whole evening that doesn't work for this gathering.

shhh its me

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  Since you were in 4 rooms , it would matter to me if he only talked while your group was in the kitchen (4 times right? once before , twice to switch tables and once after? )  I think being where the food was but not were the primary activity of the evening would be minor, as long as he wasn't shouting into the other rooms.