Hi, crella here, this is my first time to post a topic. My annual Christmas coffee for the neighbors got out of hand this year. Some of it was people who meant well (but who wouldn't listen), and some was rudeness and I'm already in a snit as what to do about this year's party
It started out simply enough. We moved into a house that many of the ladies in the neighborhood were curious about. It's sort of a Victorian, common enough in the US, but rare here. I walk my dog with a nice group of ladies, I thought I'd have them over for coffee at Christmas, it would give me 4 months after moving to get us settled, and the house is prettiest when decorated. I invited my dog walking friends the first year, we had 10 people. Great. The second year, one of the dog-walking friends invited one of her friends ('I'), that's fine too, she asked me, I knew the lady and said 'Sure'...
The third year 'I' asked if the neighborhood chorus could come. I knew 6 out of 8 members and those 6 have always come anyway, so again I said 'Oh sure'. They asked if they could sing, and did. They sang two songs, it was a nice time.
This year....hoo boy. The chorus group has grown to 13 members and they all came (I'm not in chorus and didn't know). Some of them I hardly know. Past members also came. Others people brought their kids (school was out). We had almost 30 people, it was a squeeze, but still doable.
However, the chorus group took over as if it were their event. The head of the chorus asked me about new neighbors maybe not knowing everyone's names , I explained that I would make sure everyone got introduced ( I was the hostess!). She ignored what I said, stopped everyone in mid-conversation , clapped loudly to get everyone's attention and ordered everyone into the living room for self-introductions. She also announced that I was going to make a speech to 'greet' everyone and 'officially start the party' which had been chugging along quite well on it's own for some time. Put on the spot, I made a brief speech, then everyone introduced themselves and then drifted off to where they were before. The chorus got up, lined up and started singing, passing out sheet music. Not a bad thing, but they sang 7 songs, performing for 40 minutes, effectively stopping conversation. I was not informed that they planned to perform their whole repertoire.
The older chorus members then sat down at the sweets table, and two of younger ones went into the kitchen and said they'd get the coffee. I could use the help, but they didn't ask who wanted coffee but just started filled all the cups I had out on the counter and leaving them all over all the tables, too many for the number of people actually there who wanted coffee. Each person had more than one cup in front of them. Partway through all this I told them (sweetly) that it looked like we had everyone taken care of when I saw everyone had a cup , but they kept filling cups ("so we don't have to keep getting coffee") . I kept having to throw away cold coffee and washing the cups, which they started filling again, I could not get them to stop. They effectively took over the kitchen.
When they were going home, two other chorus members pulled out Ziplock bags( the women I don't know)saying "I can't bake at all, I never have a chance to eat cake and cookies this good!". With other guests still to come, one woman took home five pieces of coffee cake and half a dozen of each of the cookies and another took home two Ziplocks of cookies, as well as enough Christmas paper plates and napkins for her family. I was flabbergasted.
I do not want the chorus to come anymore, or to be exact, the five that were pushy. They were polite at first , but this year their attitude was that it was their event. I was really put out to be ignored in my own house, to be told when and how I would speak to my guests, along with the antics of the Ziplock twins, the first time they're in my home. I worry about the repercussions though....it's a small neighborhood, they've been coming for 3 years now and some of the chorus members are women who are personal friends( the chorus and the dog walker's groups overlap). I know word will get around if I have the party without the chorus, but I couldn't stand another party like this last one. What's a girl to do?
Edited for clarity, I was spluttering