Etiquette School is in session! > "I'm afraid that won't be possible."

A missed opportunity

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littlelauraj:
This is an example of when "I'm afraid that won't be possible" *could* have worked:

On this coming Sunday my husband and I will be hosting our yearly chili feed and open house.  We literally invite absolutely everyone we know, although usually only have about 100 people come through.  Of those people, about 15 are going to be kids (including ours).

Well, every year I have a new etiquette challenge, usually from the same couple and their son.  This year it's someone new.  Friends of ours (that we rarely see any more) that haven't been able to attend in the past let us know a couple of weeks ago that they will be here, with their 8yo daughter.  Yay!

Last year we had a babysitter, which worked out well.  She kept track of the kids in the basement, watching movies and playing games, while I got to actually hostess my own party.  In the past, I sometimes had to keep track of kids not my own.  This year her brother will be babysitting.

Anyway, a couple of nights ago the husband of this one couple, Dave, calls up and asks if he can also bring along his out of town guest, his brother.  Not exactly polite, but we would have invited him along if we had known he would be around.  We have a definite "more the merrier" kind of thing going on.

Then he springs the real reason he's calling.  He, his wife, and brother are planning on checking out Local Attraction that Doesn't Allow Children and for which One Must Make a Reservation-and can we watch their daughter while they go?  During our party.  WHAT?

Well, Dh was completely unprepared for such a dumb**s request and said, "Yeah, sure!"  And as soon as he got off of the phone regretted it.  I can't entirely blame him-stupid babysitting requests usually come to me, and he didn't know *what* to do.  I told him next time just say no.

It got worse, though.  Dave called yesterday and asked dh to lunch.  It's probably been more than a year since they went to lunch so my radar went up.  Dh is really disappointed now-Dave wanted to let him know that they'll be back to pick up their daughter a half hour *after* the party is supposed to be over.  I was hot under the collar, for sure.  I told Dh to practice saying, "No, that won't be possible."  This is the second time something like this has happened at chili feed.  It's chili feed, not chili feed and fun daycare!  Aargh!

Real Live Mermaids!:
It's not too late.  Simply call (or have DH call) Dave and say, "You know, I should have checked with littlelauraj before I said we'd watch your niece.  I feel so foolish, but I'm afraid it won't be possible to watch her, she doesn't know us, and it simply won't work out."

You don't know this kid, she could completely freak out being left alone at a huge party where she doesn't know anyone.

You don't owe these poeple anything, they are severely taking advantage of you (this is why Dave called your DH instead of Mrs. Dave calling you) keep repeating that over in your head until you believe it!

littlelauraj:
I'm sorry I wasn't more clear-the child in question is Dave's daughter, not his brother's.  We know her and she has been here before.  Although it's been quite some time since her last visit, so I'm not entirely sure what sort of child she is growing up to be.

I realize that we could back out, but I am choosing not to.  It could lead to a certain amount of awkwardness for my husband's professional life-nothing career-breaking, but awkward nonetheless.  A simple no at the beginning of all of this would have been better.

My daughters will probably enjoy a little visit with the girl.  It will be a special little treat for them on the end of a great party.  I'm crossing my fingers for a well-behaved guest!

I'mnotinsane:
I'm also wishing you luck.  Hope your girls have fun and keep us updated.

Raintree:
They probably figured it was OK since there will be a bunch of kids there and a babysitter, and the kids know each other so it's almost as if the kids are having their own little party. However, I think it's rude that they are using your party as a babysitting service and then they are going to take off and do something different. They should be attending your party as a family or not at all.

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