Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

Guest requests

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So, it's the end of the school year here.  It's a very busy time, filled with a lot of different administrative requirements and special events.  It's also the time of year when some people leave.

I'm having a goodbye party for three friends, a couple and a single person, who are returning to their home countries.  After juggling a few schedules, we (consensus decision, 10 people involved) settled on next Sunday for our dinner.  Yesterday, one of the guests discovered that a new commitment:her unit is having its year-end party the same night.  It's social and not compulsory but, since she's in admin, she kinda needs to be there, especially as the head of her unit is also leaving.  Last night she called, explained the situation, and asked if we could have dinner the next night, on Monday.  I didn't really see anything wrong with the request and said I would have to talk to the three guests of honour.  She needed to call the GOH couple for other reasons and said she would ask if they were free the Monday.  Okay, fine.

After I hung up on Friend, GOH3 (who is staying with me until she leaves) asked if that was Friend and did she ask me to change the date of the party.  When I said yes, GOH3 was, how shall I say?  Horrified?  Appalled?  The gist of her reaction was how dare Friend ask me, the host, to change a party date for her own convenience.  It was completely, utterly inappropriate and dreadful and terrible and a variety of other adjectives.   I didn't see it as a big deal (still don't, not really), so she suggested I post it here for reactions.

Was it really such a bad thing for Friend to ask to switch the dates?

It's an academic discussion, since GOH couple is busy on the Monday night.   And in case it matters, most of the people at the goodbye party are part of a group that was meeting regularly on Mondays.  And I'll have Friend and her husband over for drinks or whatever later in the week.  And, no, Friend didn't know about her units end of year thing before she accepted my invitation.  And we all know and like each other but sometimes have differences of opinions.  ;D

Since Friend wasn't the host or honoree, I have to admit that I'm on GOH3's side here-once you established the date and got all the GOHs to agree on it, they committed themselves accordingly.

As painful as it might be to Friend to have to miss the party, I think she should have simply said, "Wordgeek, unfortunately I'm not going to be able to make it to your party due to a work scheduling conflict."  She could also have asked if you and the GOHs could arrange a get-together just for yourselves.  But it was out of line for her to demand that everyone change their commitments just for her.

I have to agree with KR. Your friend was neither host nor honoree, so she should not have asked that the party be changed to suit her own schedule.

I agree that it was rude of your guest to ask for the date to be changed.  Also, since she had already accepted your invitation, why did she not say 'no' to the second event when that invitation was issued?

Under normal circumstances, when a guest asks something like this, I say sorry-you-can't-make-it-maybe-next-time.  In this case, since it's a goodbye party, "next time" can't happen.  To me, that allows for requests like this, which otherwise would be rude.  But maybe the circumstances aren't extentuating enough.  This is GOH3's opinion, who thinks that Friend suggesting such a thing is outrageous.

As for not refusing the second "invite," it's for a work-related event which Friend is pretty much obligated to attend.  She *could* refuse to go but, office politics being what they are... It isn't fair, but that's how work is sometimes.

Keen's response is a good one, I agree, and better than Friend's approach. 


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