Author Topic: Late Guests  (Read 8977 times)

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Adah

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Late Guests
« on: December 10, 2006, 02:57:32 PM »
The "Helping Out" thread about early guests made me think of what we normally deal with -- very late guests. I'm talking at least an hour or more. For example, earlier this year, DH threw me a wonderful party after I received my graduate degree. The party started at 1 p.m. and we figured it would go to about 4 or 5, although we didn't set a specific end time. Around 3:30 p.m. (yes, that's 2.5. hours late) two sets of guests showed up (6 people total). By they time they arrived, we had gone through a lot of the food and several other people were beginning to leave. Because of their lateness, the party lasted until 8:30 p.m. Although I had a great time, I was exhausted, having had a very emotional day that started very early. And DH felt like he had hosted two parties, not one. For both of us, it was a very, very long day.

So here's my question: When late guests arrive, what do you do? Do you adjust the end-time of the event? Or do you make it clear that the party still will be ending at the previously discussed time? In this case, we hadn't defined a specific end time but I've had other situations when these same guests have arrived hours late to parties with more of a set end time.

Cyndi

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Re: Late Guests
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2006, 03:15:18 PM »
End it at the planned time. It's not fair for you to have to play host to people who don't care enough to show up on time. All that holding the party longer will do is teach them that "Oh, it's okay to be late because X will hold the party out longer for us!" and the behavior will continue.

Tabris

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Re: Late Guests
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2006, 03:34:42 PM »
Definitely end at the correct time. And if the food has run out, don't make any more food for them. Let them pick over the chips and whatever is left of the fruit plate. Coffee is cold? The microwave is over there. Hey, look, it's time for you guys to be going. Great seeing you. Too bad it's so brief, but I'm sure you had an emergency that kept you from coming on time. Maybe next time we can catch up more. Bye.

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veryfluffy

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Re: Late Guests
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2006, 03:47:03 PM »
Yes, you certainly end it at the time you intended. Although if you do have an end time in mind, it can be helpful to indicate this on the invitation: e.g. 1 pm to 4 pm.
   

freakyfemme

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Re: Late Guests
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2006, 04:09:24 PM »
I wouldn't mind having the party go later, but the later end of the party would be more "low-key," as in, if the latecomers had missed out on dinner or whatever, they'd just get dessert and coffee, and if it was a party where there were to be certain activities that required a certain number of people (for example, let's say there was a standing tradition of a holiday Pictionary tournament that everyone looked forward to), then I wouldn't hold it up for the benefit of people who were that late, because then I'd assume that they might not be coming at all.  Basically, I wouldn't do anything that might take away from the event for the people who *were* there, for the benefit of the people who weren't.

Gigi

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Re: Late Guests
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2006, 04:20:20 AM »
Some people just don't get it.  DH has a cousin like this.  If you visit them she always pressures you to stay longer, even if you have already been there longer than you'd planned.  This happened at a birthday party for DH one year. His birthday is 7/5 but we ofter celebrate on the fourth when it's a long weekend. This time the party started about 1:30 to give us plenty of hang-out time and to have dinner finished in time for those who wanted to go to the fireworks display.  Eight o'clock comes and everyone but cousin and her DH leave to go to the fireworks.  They came into the house and sat down in the family room.  They stayed, and stayed, and stayed.  They were still there at 10:00....eight and a half hours... and they showed no signs of leaving.  Finally after I had cleaned up the kitchen and put everything away I got a chance to sit down in the recliner and put my feet up. Almost immediately I put my head back and "fell asleep".  She finally noticed and whispered to my DH "Is she asleep?"  He replied "Yes.  She must be exhausted since she's been on her feet all day and it's a lot of work to put on one of these parties." Her reply: "Oh.  I guess we should be going then."  Ya think??????  I wasn't really asleep but it was the only thing I could think of that would get rid of her without hurting her oh-so-sensitive feelings. The world is full of self-centered people who have no clue that it's possible to outstay your welcome.

littlelauraj

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Re: Late Guests
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2006, 10:39:07 AM »
Here is my late guest story.  This was just over a year ago at our annual chili feed.  That year we had it in the afternoon/evening, and all of the invitations clearly stated an end time of 7:00.  Our clueless neighbors showed up with their 5yo at around the start time and announce that they have somewhere else to be, but Son is staying with the other neighbor kid in charge of him.  Annoying but seriously, this neighbor kid is better with the 5yo than his parents.  Anyway, the arrangement is that they are coming back to pick him up from our house when their commitment is over.  They stay long enough to eat and then go.

At *7:30* they show up.  All of the other guests have gone, except for these two kids.  I am in the kitchen cleaning up and putting away food.  Clueless neighbors actually grab plates and pile on whatever food is still out-and sit down!  The whole time they are yelling at their son, who is one floor up, that it's time to go, find your shoes, etc.  Yeah, right.  Eventually the kid comes downstairs playing "keep the balloon up in the air"-in my kitchen, where I'm working and there are breakables he's actually bumping into, while they eat and watch.  I took his balloon away and told him to get his shoes.  I then got really PA and hollered at my kids that it was time to get ready for bed, come say goodnight to the guests.  (And it really was bed time, and yes the neighbors were very aware of it.)

At this point the husband says, "Gee, are you trying to kick us out?" and kind of giggles.  So I said, "Yeah, I guess I am."  I know that they probably still talk about how rude I was and I don't care.  I can't imagine sitting on my Ooo, I tried to get around the word filter with a nasty word., watching the hostess clean up a half an hour after the end of the party and everyone else is gone.  And yes, I did still send them a thank you note for bringing a pasta salad.   :D 

sparksals

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Re: Late Guests
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2006, 10:42:14 AM »
In my circle at home, parties with specified ending times are rare.  The only time I have seen them is for an open house.  Since I came to the US, we frequently get invitations for parties with a specified ending time.  It must be region specific, but at the same time, these functions are mostly for the Canadian club, so there must be areas back home who have the ending times.

To the OP - unless your party invitation gave the ending time, I think people might have been confused in the type of party it was.  Maybe they thought it was an open house/ drop in kind of thing and that's why they showed up so late.

Sharnita

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Re: Late Guests
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2006, 01:57:53 PM »
sparksals, I agree. In my area,  mid-Michigan, graduation parties tend to be informal, pot luck and with no specified "from/until" timeline. You drop in whenever. I was also curious what the invites said.

kckgirl

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Re: Late Guests
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2006, 05:54:57 PM »
Did your friends think it was a reception where you drop in whenever you can? I'd clearly indicate an ending time and not hold up any activities for those who are late. I think it may have just been a misunderstanding of the type of event.
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MadMadge43

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Re: Late Guests
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2006, 11:32:30 PM »
Quote
sparksals, I agree. In my area,  mid-Michigan, graduation parties tend to be informal, pot luck and with no specified "from/until" timeline. You drop in whenever. I was also curious what the invites said.

I thought all graduation parties were pretty much when you arrived type of thing. Reason being, on that day you might have multiple functions you need to go to. So stating on the invite what time it ended would help people plan on whom to see first. And even if I wasn't seeing someone else that day, I might still think that was the situation and show up at any given time.

And other afternoon parties I would definitely put an end time on it too. Evening parties are pretty much dictated by your crowd.

I once had an "afternoon" barbeque because I had to work the next day. It was me and two girlfriend, three guys showed up and we tried to entertain them for a few hours, when they were leaving two more guys showed up that we entertained and they finally left about 10pm, then the entire crew from my work decided to show up and partied till 3 in the morning. If my boss wasn't one of them I might have had more issue, but she gave me clearance to come in late. Oh the young, that wouldn't happen anymore.

behindbj

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Re: Late Guests
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2006, 04:09:47 PM »
So here's my question: When late guests arrive, what do you do? Do you adjust the end-time of the event? Or do you make it clear that the party still will be ending at the previously discussed time? In this case, we hadn't defined a specific end time but I've had other situations when these same guests have arrived hours late to parties with more of a set end time.

Sometimes life happens when I have a great party to go to, and I arrive late.  BUT  - I try to call (if possible - once there was a road closure due to something that you wouldn't believe it if I told you (it involved smoe peculiar livestock), and I didn't have a cell phone) AND, no matter when I show up, I leave when the bulk of people are leaving - even if I'm only there for 20 minutes before it breaks up.  I also apologie profusely when I arrive and then again when I leave.

I also manage to get dinner or lunch get-togethers out of these because I usually suggest that we get together at another time since I couldn't visit with them at the party (and, yes, we either go out to eat or they come to my house for those.).

And - and this only applies to the way I view things - even if there is no end time given for a party, I assume that the thing is not meant to go all night (unless it says it's that type of gathering, like an open house).  Usually 2-3 hours is the assumed length for a general party (games nights and such may go on longer).

Hope that makes sense - because today I have apparently been making very little sense at work.

behindbj

Gileswench

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Re: Late Guests
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2006, 12:29:07 PM »
Quote
Hope that makes sense - because today I have apparently been making very little sense at work.

It made perfect sense to me!

Just last night my beloved and I were late to a dinner because his boss threw literally three hours of work on his desk five minutes before quitting time and told him it all had to get done before he went home. Luckily the hosts are notorious for never getting dinner on the table when they say they will, and they always are happy to provide for latecomers. Still I called to say we'd be late and we left when the majority of the guests left...and we didn't ask any special favors about dinner. We ate what was left and figured if there wasn't enough of something, well, it was gone and we could do without.

Sometimes life happens. The important thing is to understand that when life happens to you, you can't expect everyone else to re-arrange their lives around your minor emergency.

kareng57

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Re: Late Guests
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2006, 04:56:43 PM »
Quote
sparksals, I agree. In my area,  mid-Michigan, graduation parties tend to be informal, pot luck and with no specified "from/until" timeline. You drop in whenever. I was also curious what the invites said.

I thought all graduation parties were pretty much when you arrived type of thing. Reason being, on that day you might have multiple functions you need to go to. So stating on the invite what time it ended would help people plan on whom to see first. And even if I wasn't seeing someone else that day, I might still think that was the situation and show up at any given time.

And other afternoon parties I would definitely put an end time on it too. Evening parties are pretty much dictated by your crowd.

I once had an "afternoon" barbeque because I had to work the next day. It was me and two girlfriend, three guys showed up and we tried to entertain them for a few hours, when they were leaving two more guys showed up that we entertained and they finally left about 10pm, then the entire crew from my work decided to show up and partied till 3 in the morning. If my boss wasn't one of them I might have had more issue, but she gave me clearance to come in late. Oh the young, that wouldn't happen anymore.


That would have been my guess, too.  Of course if an invitation specifies a meal (i.e. brunch, dinner etc.) then it's rude for anyone to be late - except for emergencies of course and then they should still attempt to notify the hosts.  But I would have thought a graduation-party would be an open-house type of event where guests could arrive anytime during the time-intervals given.  Around here if, for example, an ope-nhouse  party invitation specifies 2 - 5 pm , it's still considered okay for people to arrive at 4:30 pm.

Lisbeth

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Re: Late Guests
« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2006, 10:44:57 PM »
If you're having an open-house type party, I'd allow guests to arrive at any time from the stated start time up until about half an hour before the stated end time.  (And make sure to state the end time on the invitation).

Otherwise, state an end time in the invitation and end the party at that time.  If guests come late, tell them something like, "Oh dear, we were really hoping to have more time to see you but the party has to end at [end time]." No apologies or explanations are required.
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