The third letter in this Miss Manners was about a hostess who asked a couple for a dinner party. The couple did not respond to 2 attempts to get an RSVP so the hostess assumed they weren't attending and invited another couple. The first couple contacted her within 24 hours of the party to say they were planning to attend but she informed them that they were no longer expected.
The story reminded me of an instance where one couple's bad manners ended up turning into a good thing. Years ago a new family had moved into our neighborhood and had kids close to our kid's age. I'd met the mom at the neighborhood pool a few times, really liked her and we decided we'd invite them to dinner. I also included two other neighbors we socialized with and everyone was committed a full week in advance. That morning I get a call from the wife saying her husband was tired from business travel and they would be begging off. Slightly irritated, we decided to make the best of it. There was another family who's kids were also in my kid's classes and though I'd only met the mom a couple of times I decided to call them up because I had wanted to get to know them better. I apologized for the late notice but asked if they'd be available. They readily accepted. About 4pm that afternoon I get a call from the wife of the original couple saying her DH was feeling more up to a night out and they'd join us after all. I apologized but said we'd already filled there spot.
The stand in couple joined us that night, we had a fabulous time, and they became an integral part of our social circle. Their youngest and my son became best friends and I still view her as one of my most intimate friends. 15 plus years later I still think of that as one of our most successful dinner parties (even with a house full of 9 kids between the ages of 5 and 8... kids were always invited but we fed them first and then they headed to other rooms to hang out).
We never did socialize with the other couple. One of the guys who was attending said he met the husband at the golf course that afternoon and said something along the lines of "I think we're both attending dinner with the Hmmmm family tonight." He's response was he had no idea that they'd be there but didn't say they'd already beg off. I think the husband had decided we weren't "posh" enough to socialize with because we weren't members of "the club" but once he found out other couples from "the club" would be there he wanted to attend. Or else he realized we'd learn he wasn't so tired he couldn't play 18 rounds of golf and then spend a good portion of the afternoon at the 19th hole.
Anyone else have similar stories?