General Etiquette > Holidays

Friend invited another friend....

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I have a friend (really!) who has a holiday/vacation dilemma.

Ally lives overseas (in my country, that's how I know her) and only visits home once a year, in the summer. Last year, her old school friend Betty suggested they go on a long weekend to the beach together while she was back on home soil. Ally says they had a great time, went out dancing, caught up with a lot of chatting, it was great.

This year, Betty suggests they do the same again when Ally goes home . Ally agrees.

Then, Betty mentions she has invited Carly, a friend of hers that Ally has not met.

Ally is not sure whether she wants to go now. She thinks Betty was out of line for inviting someone else without asking first.

Her reasons are:
- she wants to spend quality time with her old and dear friend Betty
- she's not sure about sharing a room with someone she doesn't know (she's not the most social of people, I will say that)
- the first night of the trip, Friday, is her birthday. Last year she and Betty went out for cocktails and then clubbing and she thinks it will be weird with a stranger.

Ally wonders whether to tell Betty to un-invite Carly; to request that Carly not arrive till Saturday, after her birthday; or decline the trip altogether and say she wants to spend more time visiting with her family.

(to note, they would all be sharing a suite as was already planned between Ally and Betty,so there is no added cost to Ally which was a query I had)

My personal opinion is Betty should have asked first but probably thinks Ally and Carly will get on and it will be a fun girls weekend. I think Ally should speak to Betty about it and then decide if she really wants to go, but not request that Carly arrive a day late. That would just be super awkward and rude to Carly.

Ally is lovely but can be a little neurotic and appear a bit anti-social sometimes. I wonder if Betty invited Carly to keep things light and fun!

If Betty is the host and Ally is the guest, then Betty can invite whomever she wants.

If Ally and Betty are planning this together, then I think Betty should have run it by Ally first.

At this point Carly is invited and it would be rude to un-invite her.  So Ally needs to decide if she can live with hanging out with Betty and Carly, or if she is going to do her own thing.

There are friends/family I will travel with and share a suite/hotel room, and those I will travel with but likely not wish to share a suite/room with for the comfort of all.

I would not be "okay" agreeing to travel, and share a room/suite with an additional person I had never met if - as it seems happened here - I was *told* after accepting an invitation that I would have an unknown to me "roomie".

In Ally's place, I would explain to Betty that I would enjoy a repeat of our prior trip, but am not interested in a trip with additional friend-of-Betty, though certain they are nice people.

While Ally cannot ask Betty to uninvite someone already invited, Ally is not obligated to honor her acceptance of an invitation from Betty which Betty has now materially changed.

If Ally decides to go ahead with the trip, I would suggest she mention to Betty that she is concerned about sharing a room/suite with someone she does not know - to make Betty aware of the concern - and ask Betty to consult with Ally before making any further plans for the trip.

To me, a birthday is something generally celebrated with intimates, not strangers. It was rude of Betty to change the parameters of the visit afterward. I think it would be fine for Betty to tell Carly, "I'm sorry, but could you come after the b-day?" because of this.

However, if I was Ally, I'd just decline because the parameters changed. If Betty wants to know why, Ally can explain in a non-accusatory or upset way and then leave it to Betty to decide if she wants the parameters to go back or at least agree to have Carly come the day after the b-day.

Based on a one time event, Ally made the assumption that the parameters of the trip that Betty organized would be the same as the previous year. Unless Ally out right stated that "let's do exactly what we did last year" or made other statement to imply the group would remain the same, then I don't really fault Ally for organizing a holiday she would most enjoy.

I don't think she has the right to request Betty change her plans. However, if very uncomfortable she can beg to bow out stating she had thought the trip would be just the two of them again and is uncomfortable taking a holiday with a stranger.


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