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It’s Thanksgiving And You Should Be Grateful I Have Invited Myself To Dinner

My husband and I decided to invite two friends over for dinner. (I should note that these two friends are former partners that have been broken up for about two years. They often fight and push each others’ buttons but have followed my request that “you can fight with each other until you walk through my door then it must stop”.) The day and time was set. I had purchased all the ingredients for what I thought would be a dinner everyone would enjoy. We have previously had both people for dinner and holiday meals and both say they love my cooking. I was in the kitchen preparing dinner and my husband was entertaining one of our guests (Guest A) when the other guest (Guest B) called. He (Guest B) wanted to know whether or not I would be serving wine with dinner. I did not plan on serving anything with alcohol because both parties had to drive to work after our meal. Guest B decides that he no longer wanted to come to dinner. I continued to cook and thought, “His loss.”. Guest A walks into the kitchen as I am just about to start serving our dinner and asks if I can make Guest B a plate. Guest B had called Guest A, not me, to ask for the plate. At this point I’m a bit upset but rather than make a scene I said yes. Guest A says that he needs to take the plate over to Guest B before we eat because Guest B had to go to work. Again, to not make a scene I said fine and prepared a plate. So, while Guest A takes the plate I fixed to Guest B and our dinner is getting cold I let my husband know exactly how upset I am about this. He was not pleased either. My husband has since had a discussion with Guest B. It went along the lines of, “If you can’t be bothered to come to our home for dinner because we are not serving alcohol do not call and ask for a plate to be brought to you. You are free to bring your own beverage. My wife is not your personal chef and will not ruin everyone else’s dinner”. We have not invited Guest B over for dinner since.

Here is my new dilemma. Guest A and Guest B spent Thanksgiving with us last year because we are all very far from our families. Guest B has invited himself to our home for Thanksgiving dinner. (He made it very clear last year that he was getting “plates from a bunch of people” [while I was still cooking!] but still asked to take some home with him.) I’m not sure I want to deal with all the drama he causes but I don’t want to be rude either. I cook the entire meal by myself from scratch. It’s a lot of work. But it’s work I would be doing anyway. I love to cook and my holiday menu is something my husband looks forward to every year, as do I. I just want to have a drama free Thanksgiving. Guest B already assumes he is spending Thanksgiving with us and has said so, without an invitation from my husband or myself. Is there any way to tell him that he is actually not invited without my husband and myself looking like jerks? Or should we just deal with him for the holidays?  1119-11

I can’t fathom why you entertain two people to dinner who must be warned that a ceasefire is in effect in your home.   A good hostess arranges her guest list to include people who will make delightful dinner conversationalists and will interact pleasantly with other guests.   Anyway….

Pick up your telephone and inform Guest B that you cannot accommodate him for Thanksgiving this year as you have other plans.   You are under no obligation to tell him what exactly those plans are and if he asks, he’s a boor and you are well within your etiquette rights to deflect answering the intrusive question.   Well, let’s face it, he’s a boor through and through and unless he’s related to you by blood or marriage, you owe him no hospitable obligations to continue entertaining him.


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  • Cat November 22, 2011, 1:06 pm

    People who are rude seldom give us a chance to decide how we will respond in advance. They blindside us by suddenly announcing that they will be taking a plate of food to someone and we must all wait for them to return. That is why one must say no immediately. “Sorry, I am keeping leftovers and will not be sending plates of food.” If you don’t mind, let him/her take the food and you and your husband eat while he/she is off on his/her errand of mercy. He/She can have a sandwich when he/she returns.

    A friend invited some of us over to help paint his house. When I asked for something to drink as it was a hot day in Florida, I was told the water hose was over there. That was the only refreshment offered but we were expected to paint the house. His wife thought it was very funny that they used us to do the work and had to give nothing more than water from a hose.
    I made him take us out to lunch. I don’t have a quick temper. I simply tell rude people what I am and am not willing to do for them.

  • Gracie C. November 22, 2011, 2:48 pm

    After thinking about this, I think she should have told Guest A to take a plate for themselves as well and go and have dinner with guest B and that they could get together on another day. Then she should have sat down and had a peaceful (still hot) dinner with her husband.

  • Nuit November 22, 2011, 7:23 pm

    Thank you all for your input! I wish I had made myself clearer with my original post. I think that would have explained things a bit better. I take full responsibility for that.

    Claire, No worries and no apologies necessary. I think I may have let my emotions get the better of me. For that I apologize. Give me your address and I’ll mail you some goodies. Just complain if they are cold! 😉

    Enna, “The fact that they are happy to drink and drive and work with heavy machinary is worrying.” That was whole reasoning behind not serving alcohol at dinner! I used to work with people that had survived head injuries. I have seen first hand the devastation that can occur from someone drinking and driving. I absolutely will not play a part in having served someone alcohol and then get behind the wheel of a car.

    I am typing this as my husband is getting ready to take me out for our 25th year anniversary of our first kiss. Guess who called? That’s right! Guest A called, on behalf of Guest B, to see if my husband would take him somewhere that would take over an hour in driving time alone. Sweet hubby said “absolutely not I’m taking my wife out for dinner”! I’m sure you can all guess whose phone calls we are choosing not to answer. (And they have both been told exactly why!) Well, my husband is ready to go and I am ready to celebrate!

    P.S. All drinking of any alcohol will be done later tonight at home.