A friend, Lindsey, and I are kind of in a pickle, and looking for a bit of advice. One of our good friends from college, Amy, is getting married, and we were both invited to the wedding as well as the bachelorette party. It’s been a while since college, but we were both excited to get the electronic invite, searched it over, and both responded the same way.
You see, we’re both pregnant. There’s no hiding it with me, but Lindsey can wear some looser clothing and looks good. But, as this is a bachelorette party hosted by someone who is still in college themselves, there’s going to be some drinking involved. The party is in three parts, first a ‘dance class’ at a place that allows no drinking, then dinner at a local hot spot, and finally finishing with ‘bar-hopping’.
Lindsey and I both responded that we’d love to go to the class and to dinner, but because of our conditions and the cost of going bar-hopping in a large city, we were both going to end our night there. Lindsey called me and suggested that, since we weren’t going drinking, that we carpool down to the class and to dinner, and I agreed to go halves on the gas. The next day we saw Amy, said we were both looking forward to her bachelorette party, and joked a little about what was going on before moving on to wedding and baby talk. All was well for about two days, then I got a phone call from the girl running this party, I’ll call her Natalie.
Natalie did not know Lindsey and I were pregnant, but she thought it was great because “now we have designated drivers to get us home at the end of the night”. I explained as politely as I could that I had no intention of going out to the bars, and didn’t want to make the half-hour drive to come back out and pick everyone up. Natalie, apparently not hearing me in the slightest, then asked if there was any way I could borrow one of the large vans from where I work, and maybe get my hands on another one Lindsey could drive. At this point I explained again that I did not want to pay cover charges to get into bars I was not going to drink in, and that I did not have the energy to stay out all night waiting for the 4 a.m. closing time so I could drive a large group home. And that there’s no way for me to get one work van, let alone two, since work vans are supposed to be used only for, suprisingly enough, work.
Natalie then went off on me, calling me selfish, spoiled, entitled, and those are just the nicer insults. She hung up on me, and I thought she just needed a cooling down period. Not twenty minutes later there’s a note sent out to all the participants. According to this note the class the group is going to only allow so many participants, and that there was such an ‘overwhelming response’ to the party that we were over that number. So she was going to have to ask two of us to go on the ‘waiting list’ and if someone dropped out of the party we’d be welcome to come. It should be no shock that the two of us asked, in this mass e-mail, to step aside were Lindsey and myself.
Now, I know how many people she said were the max for this place. I also know that this isn’t the ‘limit’ for this kind of party, and for the class she’s planning she could double our number and still be under the limit, because I held a party in the exact same location a few months back and still have the literature that lists the max number of guests per each class. And the information is up on the net, so anyone who takes the time can look it up. It says we would be welcome to come to dinner, but she wants everyone to pre-pay for three rounds of drinks, and it would be $XX per head for everyone. Even the ‘non-drinkers’ since it’s only fair we ‘do our part’. No one was going to be able to go without paying the money in advance. So to go to the dinner I’d have to buy booze for everyone else at the party except Lindsey. I have no problem paying part of the bride’s share, but I don’t see why I should be covering drinks for anyone else.
Lindsey called me, very upset, and we both realized that we had been all but disinvited from this party. And now we’re not sure what to do. Amy is still very excited about this, and has talked to us once about it, and we weren’t sure what to say to her. Do we tell her the truth, which we can prove up to a point with the e-mail Natalie sent, or do we both pretend something came up and bow out without another word? Do we pay the new entrance fee for the dinner or should we just skip the whole thing? I won’t lie, I was looking forward to this and I’m very upset as well, but I don’t want to get Amy upset, since I’m sure she’d be horrified to hear of this going on. 0730-11
What a pickle the hostess has created! Natalie has placed an enormous burden on you and other guests with expectations that cannot be met. But I believe in people’s innate sense of justice and perception and it would not surprise me if this email gets back to Amy via another guest or there are others who back out based on their own refusal to fund everyone else’s drinking.
Accept that you’ve been disinvited by the incredibly ungracious, petty Natalie and if Amy brings up the topic of the bachelorette party, tell her, “I’m so sorry but it appears Lindsey and I will not be able to attend after all.” If she asks why, you can tell her honestly that you were disinvited by the hostess. But being the graciously devious person I am, I would promptly start planning an alternate party to honor the bride on a different weekend. Who says that there can only be one party hosted in honor of the bride, particularly when no gifts are expected? Make it different (geez, dancing and drinking til you keel over is so overdone by everyone and their dog…boring) , invite everyone (including Natalie), expect no money from anyone and have fun!
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I’m glad the bride got the news about what her sister was pulling and was able to deal with it. Tell people what is going on.
Ten years ago I found my birth family after I had searched for thirty years. The niece who put the ad out under my birth mother’s name told me that no one in the family wanted to meet me. My birth mother just was curious about what happened to the four children she placed for adoption. I was told that they were having a family reunion, but I was not invited as no one wanted me there.
Nine years later I happened to find a younger brother’s address and I wrote him to ask if he would like to see me. He told me he had no idea that I wanted to meet the family or that I was told they would not see me. The niece had lied to me and then had written a series of letters about what a horrible person I was although she had never seen or spoken to me. She sent the letters to everyone to make sure they would never see me. I have no idea as to why she did it.
@ Angel, sorry I don’t mean to come across as being nosey, I was thinking more along the lines if the information is freely given it helps me be better host and stops me putting my foot in it, so long as the guest was happy doing so. I should have made that clear.
I normally find the question “what do you like eating/drinking and what do you NOT like?” useful – that way it allows the guest to specify specific requirements. Then the person can give as much or as little explanation as they as to their preffances.
Natalie expected everybody to pre-pay for $60 of alcohol? I bet those friends of hers would have been drinking on everyone else’s tab!
Honestly, if I were Amy, I would want to know. I would be very upset, in fact, if this wasn’t brought to my attention and I found out after the fact.
If the person organizing a party in my honor disinvited my friends – my pregnant friends, just to compound the nastiness – because they refused to bow to her unreasonable, impossible, and ridiculous demands (to which she responded with shouting and name-calling), would be in for a very big shock when I expressed my regrets that I would not be able to attend the function she’d been planning in my honor after all.
There are some situations which shouldn’t be met with an over-abundance of consideration for a person who’s being completely horrible. This situation is entirely Natalie’s fault, and she’s “punishing” innocent people, including the bride. She doesn’t deserve a pass, she doesn’t deserve her way, and she doesn’t deserve people sacrificing to keep from stepping on her toes.
That’s not to say her rudeness should be met with rudeness. But an appropriate level of bluntness? Absolutely. Don’t tip-toe around this girl, it’s what she wants and expects and it’s why she thought she could pull a stunt like this.