Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

Was this rude?

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OK, a few weeks ago we were invited to the wedding of some close friends. I was just finishing off my makeup, checking the hang of my dress and otherwise preparing to leave for the wedding when the phone rings. Other friends (J and K), who were also going to the wedding and live in the same city but a longer drive away, want to know if they can come to our place between the wedding and reception so K (who gave birth 6 months ago) can rest. Hubby says, um, uh, OK....and so begins a frantic last minute clean up effort (place looked like a cyclone had ripped through it - we normally clean the next day). I ruined my (professional) hairstyle, got all sweaty and gross, yelled at hubby, and then raced to the wedding in the nick of time.

After the wedding we galloped home and frantically assembled the few bits of 'guest' food we could find (dried fruit, nuts, cheese, Polish sausage) on a platter. J and K (and a few other friends - I didn't mind this, since we were stuck with entertaining anyway) turn up, K takes one look at platter and asks for an apple. Hubby offers dried fruit, no, apple please. Hubby gives it to her. I show her spare bedroom, and we spend a couple of hours entertaining everyone else, while I nurse a headache and seethe quietly.

Here's my question: were J and K rude? We think that they were, but a few people have commented that all we had to say was no, so it wasn't rude to ask. I get that. But we were really put on the spot. I mean, J pointed out on the phone that she has a 6 month old and didn't sleep well, so how could hubby say no without appearing to be horrible? And would a BIT of warning (the wedding was at 2PM, call came at about 1PM, and we had to travel for about 30 minutes to get to the wedding) be too much to ask? And couldn't K have brought her own darn apple if it was that important?

Sorry for venting. I might have this all wrong and I'm happy to be corrected! I do like J and K - but I find them hard to deal with sometimes. Hubby and I are kind of pushovers (in case you couldn't guess!) and I'd love some advice about how to say 'no' more often. Thanks!

Are you close friends when J and K?  I would probably have a hard time saying no to a close friend, but not to an acquaintance.  I also wouldn't care what my friends thought of my housekeeping, considering YOU were the ones doing them a favor. 

I think that maybe they could have asked if you guys planned to go back to your house between the wedding and the reception, rather than directly ask if she can crash at your place.  However, I do think that you were much too kind to gather a platter together.  I would have let them know that I would be OK with her resting there and left it at that.  It's their responsibility to feed themselves. 

I don't think they were rude for asking.
But equally, you would not have been rude to say "We weren't planning on coming back home in between" if you weren't, or if you were, "Feel free to come back with us, but the place is a complete tip, " or "That wouldn't really be any good for us this time, unfortunately."

Spending more time and energy cleaning up, and ruining your own day, than it would have taken them to drive the extra distance to their own place, was entirely unnecessary.

1. yes, they should have given you more warning/time to prepare, (perhaps the baby was particularly cranky that day and they were trying for a plan B?) Closer friends do things for each other at the last minute, acquaintances do not.  You know which category these people fall into, so you can decide what was appropriate.

2. It was your decision to say yes to them, and it was also your decision that your house had to be clean for them (I understand WHY, since I am the same way, but you have to recognize that it was your decision to run around and clean and put together a platter for them) I suggest you work on your ability to refuse in the future (not meant to be snarky - just matter of fact, since you mentioned you and your husband are pushovers. You'll find that a lot of people here dont believe that being a pushover/guilt/pressure is an excuse for being walked all over.  Once you've recognized your tendencey to give in, it's your responsibility to address that issue, which of course takes time and practice and isnt easy!  ;))

3. They should have graciously accepted the food that was offered to them - this was undoubtedly rude.  Especially to ask 2 times. 

I am betting that your relationship with these people would vastly improve if you were to learn how to set effective boundaries - they wouldnt take such advantage, and you wouldnt be aggravated because you wouldnt be allowing it.  I think your anger may be a bit misdirected here.  Again, this is said in a matter-of-fact tone, which I know is hard to convey with written word, and only based on this one posting, so take it for whatever it's worth to you.

Good luck!   

I think it was thoughtless of them to ask at the last minute, and it would have been perfectly polite to say "I'm sorry, we weren't planning on going home between the ceremony and the reception."


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