No-show guests -- I give myself a 'C' for how I handled it
At our recent "annibirthday" party, one couple who had responded that they were coming did not show up. I did not hear from them later, either. They knew it was a catered party, because I had told them when saying no-but-thanks-for-offering to the wife's what-can-we-bring.
About a month later, I saw them. I knew I should just let it go entirely, but I didn't stop myself; I asked, "I hope everything was okay on July 4th? We missed you." Fortunately, I didn't say it snidely. The wife apologized very nicely and (to her credit, I thought) admitted that they had just simply forgotten in the confusion of July 4th and felt terrible when they remembered the next day or so. I felt bad I had said anything and assured them that it really was no problem, we've all done the same thing, and not to worry about it at all -- we are just glad to know that nothing had been wrong. (I stressed the part about how everyone, including us, has done the same thing, so they would not feel I was trying to punish them.)
So I feel bad that I even said anything, but I hope it wasn't too bad. Maybe C+, even.
I really do understand that anyone can make a mistake. I also give them points for being honest; I wouldn't fault someone for making up a less embarrassing excuse. But I have to say that IMO they really should have called or e-mailed after the party to apologize, especially because they knew that we had paid the caterer and bartender for them, and also because they knew we were celebrating a 50th birthday and 25th anniversary.
I also just remembered that this is the couple who, years ago, accepted a dinner invitation, knowing that they would be the only guests, and didn't tell us until they arrived that they are vegetarians. They said they "hadn't wanted [me] to go to any trouble" -- but I had indeed gone to the trouble of cooking a whole meal, which my husband and I certainly didn't feel comfortable eating by ourselves in front of them, and it would have been absolutely no more trouble (probably less) to have made a vegetarian meal instead; I certainly would have preferred doing that.
I really like this couple, and they are such good people, and I know they really do like us, but when it comes to entertaining them from now on -- well, that's strike two!
Oh, two and a half -- they have never invited us over, or out.