I'm hurt by how I was treated by friend at lunch at her house

lowsparkSeptember 17, 2007

We went over to a friends house for lunch Friday afternoon after synagogue services for Rosh Hashana. She had invited several people over. They live about an hour away from us, in the far out suburbs, also itÂs an hour from the synagogue. We ended up going the long way I think and got stuck in the Friday-afternoon-leaving-town traffic and it took us forever to get there and when we arrived, it was clear we were late.

Everyone was already eating and all sitting around the large table in her dining room. So we went ahead and got some food and I went into the dining room to join the rest but there were only one or two empty chairs and there were four of us, me, DH, and my two sons. So I stood there a minute, not knowing what to do, then figured the only open seating was at the kitchen table so I went in there and my family followed.

So, thatÂs when I started to feel uncomfortable. Everyone else was at the DR table except us. The hostess apparently was just getting her food as well and she came over to join us, putting her plate of food on the table, and then walked away for some reason, then returned, picked up her plate and went to sit at the DR table. So here we are, the four of us, sitting by ourselves at the kitchen table. I was pretty upset all of a sudden because I felt completely out of place. It was like being relegated to the back room or the kids table or something. I got up and went to the bathroom to compose myself because I was upset.

When I returned after maybe five minutes, the host and another friend who had been sitting at the DR table came over and joined us, they had already eaten but talked to us while we ate. That went a long way toward making me feel better and we began to have a pleasant conversation which we continued in the living room for more comfortable seating after we ate.

Now, looking back, what I should have done was just tell DH & kids to bring chairs over to the DR table and squeeze in. Maybe things would have gone better if I had. But why didnÂt the hostess actually do that? She knows how many her table seats, and how many were coming. Yeah, we were late and maybe that put her off, but it wasnÂt because we dawdled and didnÂt bother to get there on time, we were stuck in traffic and she knew that.

After a while, it was time for the party to break up, everyone from the DR had gone into the kitchen, gathered their leftovers, they were saying goodbyes (mind you, we never got a chance to talk to these people or the hostess at all during the entire time). So we also got up, time to go. The hostess looked directly at me and said, "YouÂre going? DonÂt go, donÂt go." I thought, OK, well she didnÂt get a chance to talk to me and now wants to make up for that, fine, weÂll stay maybe another half hour.

One other guest looked like she might linger as well so I said, stay, weÂre going to stay a bit more so she did. Now itÂs just the seven of us: host & hostess, one other guest, and my family of four. The hostess plops down in a chair with her mail and begins to open it, not talking to any of us in particular, she makes a few comments about some junk mail she received.

Now about this time IÂm pretty much at the end of my limit. IÂve been feeling uneasy since we arrived and now I really feel weird. Opening your mail is something you do after all the guests have left OR maybe in an attempt to get the lingerers to get the hint and go. IÂm not certain what to do because she made it clear she wanted us to stay. Suddenly her cell phone rang and she got up and answered it and began to engage in a conversation, apparently with her son (at college) who wasnÂt feeling well.

That was the end. I understand her son was sick, but it was sort of the last straw. I went to the restroom to prepare for the long drive home and gathered my clan and said to the host, we have to go. He had to coax her off the phone long enough to say good bye to us. I was so relieved to go home.

IÂm completely taken aback by the hostessÂs behavior. Why didnÂt she try to make us feel welcome? Why did she act like she was going to sit with us at the kitchen table, then pick up her plate and move? Why did she look directly at me, making it clear she wanted me to stay, then proceed to behave as if weÂd overstayed our welcome? IÂve pretty much decided not to accept any more invitations to her house (if there are any). We belong to a couples group and will see each other monthly, and I would go to her house if that were the event, but not again as a side invitation as this lunch was.

Am I wrong to be so hurt by all of this? What would you have done or felt in my shoes?

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I should clarify by saying that I didn't make it obvious I was upset. That's why I went to the bathroom because I needed a moment by myself to sort of get through my emotions in private. I never let on that I was unhappy or upset and as far as I know, no one knew I was because no one said anything or acted like anything was amiss.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 5:54PM
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Not everyone who invites people over are very good host or hostess. In this case your friend is not a good hostess. I personaly beleive that they dont care to be a good host. Their goal is to make sure that THEY have a good time. At least you now know that so when she invites you over in the future you could/should decline the invite. I have a friend like this too. And yes i have even eaten alone at the table like you.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 6:38PM
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Did you call from the road and let her know you were stuck in tarffic?
Were there other people there with kids in tow?
I agree she should have seated herself with the majority of her guests. But also she should have set enough places...or perhaps was an unexpected guest who arrived before you did?
She was frazzled. She didn't have enough places for all her guests....4 or the guests were late and then her son calls and tells her he is sick....and you really don't know how sick.
I think you over reacted, it would have been nice of you to stay until she was through talking to her son and then expressed concern....and perhaps say something like "You are frazzled, I am frazzled by the traffic, best we catch up another time....thank you for a lovely time" and then beat it....still smiling....and dump on your family in the car.
Linda C

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 6:55PM
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I can understand why you felt bad.

I don't understand why there weren't enough chairs at the table. Did you call from the road? If so, maybe they misunderstood that you were still planning on joining them for the meal and actually REMOVED your place settings, or offered them to some unexpected guests, or something like that.

I don't think she should have started opening her mail, but if you are very close friends, I wonder if it would have bothered you had it not happened when you were already upset after the business with the seating -- and for that matter, the stress of the long ride and the traffic and being hungry ... I know I would not have been at my most patient.

Lindac makes a good point about the sick son. I would feel so bad if my son were not only alone on RH, but sick as well; I might well not be as polite to my guests as I would like to be (especially if I thought they would still be there after the call).

All in all, I do agree that your friend could have been a better hostess. But I also agree that what she did wasn't seriously dreadful. She, too, might have been not quite at her best, trying to get a carefully-planned holiday meal served to a lot of guests, and then learning that four of them would be late, and then they are later still -- not your fault at all, but I know that as an experienced hostess yourself, you can understand how that kind of thing can really throw off your timing and make you feel disappointed that after all the preparation, you can't do your best. So if she is a good friend, cut her some slack on this one and don't make any boycott policies.

You still have a few days to forgive her before YK! :-)

Happy new year --

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 12:21AM
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My situation was a little different in terms of relations involved and the fact that I wasn't late, etc., but I feel as though I could have written your post --well, at least the dining in another room part.

My experience happened over 10 years ago and I can still recall it like yesterday. I had a lump in my throat the size of a cantaloupe and I can totally relate to your feelings. My husband and I were the last to arrive to a gathering (still on time, but others had started eating). Everyone else ate at the main table..we ate by ourselves in a back room. The host sat with the others. I was so shocked. And, you know why I think it hurt more than usual, because this lack of manners showed a disrespect that I took personally. A lot of manner problems can be written off as bad breeding and not always taken personally. If someone doesn't RSVP you don't think it's because they don't like you; you know it's because they're too stupid to know to do so, etc...But, not having seats for you like that...come on.

I took the situation I was in very personally. For a while I tried to write it off as bad breeding and that maybe the host simply didn't realize what they were doing; maybe they were just more relaxed than most people...but after getting to know them...I have decided that, at least in my case, it was a mix of two things...bad breeding and a bad (passive agressive) host. Hope not, but sounds like maybe you were dealing with the same thing.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 12:34AM
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Did you call from the road and let her know you were stuck in tarffic?
No, we didn't because we didn't realize that we were that late. I'd only been to her house once before and like I said, she lives in the far out suburbs, an area which we don't often travel to, especially on a Friday afternoon. There was no set time for the lunch to start, it was just "after services". We clearly chose the wrong way to get there, but didn't know that when we were still in the car. She did call us when we were about 5 min away so by that time we knew we were late. I do understand if she was unhappy with us being late, to some extent. But even if we'd been early, someone would have been stuck at that kitchen table because there was not enough room at the main table.

Were there other people there with kids in tow?
First of all, let me clarify. My kids are 17 & 20 years old. Not little kids. Plus, she had specifically told me she expected me to bring them -- it's the holiday, I'm not leaving my kids at home while I go to lunch. Her own son was there (she also has two sons who are around the same ages as mine). Aside from that, no, there were no other kids. But I don't know how that plays into it. She invited my whole family, my kids are not babies, and we either all should be welcome for a holiday lunch, or not invited at all.

or perhaps was an unexpected guest who arrived before you did?
I have no idea -- we never even got a chance to say more than "Hello" to the folks in the DR. Under normal circumstances I would have introduced my self to those I don't know, had conversations, etc. But all that was impossible since we were in separate rooms the entire afternoon.

She was frazzled.
Not as far as I could tell! She didn't act frazled, or say anything to indicate she might be.

her son calls and tells her he is sick....and you really don't know how sick.
No, I don't. I do know she was yelling at him on the phone to think about what he needed to do. By yelling I mean raising her voice in a scolding way. It was not a sympathetic "poor dear" kind of conversation. And like I said, the phone conversation was just the last straw. It alone would not have been enough to make me upset, but on top of everything else, it was just the end.

I think you over reacted, it would have been nice of you to stay until she was through talking to her son and then expressed concern
Yeah, it would've been nice, but at that point, I was so ready to not be there anymore. Plus my sons were already ready to go since they thought we were leaving when everyone else did. They are very sweet and patient so they weren't complaining, but in appreciation of that patience, I have to be reasonable in how long I stay. And there had been no interesting conversation for the past 15 minutes at least - so they were starting to get a bit restless, and I can't blame them.

....and perhaps say something like "You are frazzled,
IF she had been frazzled (which I saw no evidence of) then by the time she was opening her mail in front of us, she was pretty darn relaxed.

I admit I do tend to overreact in some situations, but in this case, it was just too many things in a row which I simply could not understand and which made me incredibly uncomfortable.

maybe they misunderstood that you were still planning on joining them for the meal and actually REMOVED your place setting
There were no set place settings. It was very casual, tuna salad, pasta salad, cheese cubes, fruit salad, like that. You just grabbed a plate and helped yourself and found yourself a seat.

trying to get a carefully-planned holiday meal served to a lot of guests
There were maybe about 15 guests in all and very simple/casual. I guess there is a possibility that she might have been frazzled and like I said, we'd kind of settled in to conversation with the host and another friend so at that point all was fine.

I think the icing on the cake was the fact that she point blank asked me to stay and then proceeded to behave as if she wished we would leave.

You still have a few days to forgive her before YK! :-)
Thanks for that gellchom! LOL, you put some perspective on it for me. It's not that what she did was unforgivable, far from it! It's more that it hurt my feelings on a few levels, and that it made me think of her as a hostess I don't want to encounter again. I've reveived her and her husband in my home several times and (I hope!!) I've always been gracious. I will receive them again, willingly. But it will take a lot to get me over there for anything other than the normal Havurah events in the future. Not because I'm mad, but more because I want to avoid feeling that way again.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 10:44AM
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I forgot to say I definitely appreciate your feedback and perspectives. It helps me to look at things carefully to make sure I'm ok with my OWN feelings and behavior. So any additional comments are definitely appreciated.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 10:46AM
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I would have been hurt also. Hopefully you can decide if you want to remain friends with her and it may give your family something to laugh about later.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 1:04PM
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The situation doesn't seem all that bad to me. Not ideal, no. But 15 guests and a casual meal and all, I would not be upset by having to sit elsewhere when the "main" table was full. I wouldn't take the circumstances as something to be hurt or upset over.

Please take another, more positive perspective on it, and call and thank your friend again for the invitation and tell her you regret the two of you didn't get a chance to really visit. She probably has no idea the situation was upsetting to you.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 6:40PM
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Only you are in charge of how you feel. You reacted negativly, that is your problem.
Why did you not call when it became clear that you would be arriving at least 1 1/2 hours "after the service"? Why didn't you drag a chair up to the table and sort of apologize for being so late and try to introduce to those you didn't know?
What would you have done in her position? I would imagine she was expecting that a mixed group would find themselves in the kitchen....and here was a party, lacking 4 invited guests....what would you have done? Said...."well now we need to keep room for Mae's family so you sit in the kitchen and you sit over there".
You arrived after the party had well begun and the guests were seated, short of the hostess saying "No- no....you sit in the kitchen we have to allow room for Mae and her family and I don't know just when they will arrive.
Think of her position...
She has an after services gathering, informal, no places set, a gathering of friends, some of which didn't know each other. She set food on the buffet....people were chatting, eventually getting and filling their plates. After an hour and a half, she begins to wonder if she should be putting out more food ro putting stuff away, so she calls you....after all she has not heard that you took the wrong way and got stuck in traffic. And, 5 minutes later you arrive...at least 1/2 an hour late...perhaps more.
As happens with such a group, the guests all gathered around one table instead of splitting up and some being in the kitchen and some in the dining room.....so you pulled yourselves up in the kitchen and the hostess came in to make you feel welcome. What would you have done in such a situation? Should she leave the rest of her guests in the dining room to stay with you? I don't think so> You didn't know some people....because you were late and missed the social/get acquainted time.
By then you were really pi$$ed and nothing she said would have been right....she saw that and aasked you to stay a bit....then got a phone call from her son who was sick....and perhaps not doing the wise thing about getting attention so his mother was scolding him.
Again....what would you have done? Say "sorry dear, I have guests who are staying for a little....I hope it's nothing serious..have your room mate call me if you lose conciousnes.
I think you over reacted. Put yourself in her position.
Linda c

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 7:36PM
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I do wonder exactly how late you were.

I was always taught that you should hold your meal and wait for late guests....that a proper host should have a buffer built in to allow for lost guests, etc. especially when you were all driving good distances. Gosh, sometimes I've had to wait close to an hour for people. It sounds like it was a sit down type lunch so they probably should have waited for you unless you were over an hour or so late.

Still sounds to me that she was mad you were late and became somewhat passive agressive about it...telling you to stay but then opening her mail...yikes...that screams it to me. No one has ever opened mail at a gathering I've been to, ever. And, most don't answer the phone when they're entertaining either. Odd that you even heard her conversation. I would have taken the call out of earshot if it was important enough to have to take, wouldn't most people? It's almost like she was trying to make you uncomforatble. Her actions may seem benign on the surface, but deep down, I bet they weren't. People that lack manners generally aren't respectful people; it really is that simple.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 12:27AM
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She was the hostess and did not make you feel comfortable or welcomed, it's as simple as that. You don't have to put yourself in her place or find excuses for her. I find that over analyzing.
Maybe you were ultra sensitive that day; if she is someone you value, move forward and forget this unmemorable lunch; after all, she and her friend did join you at one point . She might have been having a bad day also and was clueless.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 7:54AM
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I actually HAVE been in her position, many times. I have hosted lots of lunches & dinners where it was a buffet, where there was not enough room at one table, where people arrived late.

I've never had people sit at tables that were separated by the kitchen, or that made people feel like they weren't part of the whole group. When I have a party of this size, I set up seating such that people have a choice to either ALL congregate in one room, OR to spread out into a second one IF they choose to. But there is definitely enough room for everyone in one room if that's how the dynamic of the group works out.

I don't know if I've ever had an event of this kind where SOME didn't arrive late. Or do all sorts of other things like bring extra guests without letting me know first, bring a completely different dish than they'd promised for a pot luck, etc. I never made them feel like they were inconveniencing me -- as hostess it's my job to make my guests feel welcome and comfortable no matter what they do to throw me off my balance. Surely you, Linda, experienced hostess that you are, have also had similar experiences and have handled them with aplomb!

And again, I'll emphasize this if I didn't make it clear before. I got over the table separation issue quickly since a couple of people came to sit and chat with us and the rest of the afternoon was pleasant (I wasn't pi$$ed as soon as about 10 minutes after we arrived, I'd gotten over it).

What freaked me out was the mail opening thing -- which came on top of the previous situatation which had made me uncomfortable -- sitting at a separate table AND never having any opportunity to mix with the rest of the party.

I will never understand why she specifically told me to stay, and then proceeded to make me feel as if I should have left.

So, I can chalk up her behavior in one of two ways.
1. She really was upset with me for being late and was specifically being antagonistic toward me...
2. She never realized that anything she did including opening her mail was something that might make her guest uncomfortable.

I'll choose #2 because I do like this friend and don't believe she's the type to behave this way on purpose.

A couple of final points:
How late were we? I can't say for sure since there was no set start time, but I'm guessing around 20 minutes or so, because when we arrived, the last of the guests were getting their food -- the hostess had not yet gotten hers.

As far as where she sat, it was fine that she sat with the other guests, no biggie. What made me feel weird was that she first put her plate at our table indicating that she meant to sit with us and then proceeded to move to the other room. I think that if I'd been in that situation, I'd have sat and eaten at the spot where my plate was, THEN excused myself and said, I need to visit with my other guests, why don't you come in and join us in there when you're done, we'll pull up extra chairs.

I may have overreacted in my own emotions, I don't know, can't help how my emotions go! But I definitely didn't overreact visibly or verbally toward her that day. I didn't and won't say anything to her ever about how I felt that day. It's a done deal and the point of this thread was for me to be able to evaluate what I did and what she did and how it all made me feel. I agree that there were things I could have done differently, but again - it's all about making your guests feel welcome and comfortable. She didn't do that in my case.

Thanks again for everyone's imput, it definitely helped! And I welcome any more discussion.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 12:26PM
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I pick # 2. As i stated before their are people who love to have others over at their house but are not good host/hostess. Their main objective is for THEM to have a good time.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 1:28PM
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Whatever your analysis of the situation, I don't believe she was intentionally snubbing you.....she just never thought. She's not a "thoughtful hostess". She didn't think to set up another table in dining room so everyone could eat together. She never thought that maybe you would feel awkward. She didn't even give a thought that opening her mail would be rude and certainly not answering her phone.
We all know people who just don't do a casual meal well....they need a caterer and a set table and a set arrival time.
I have a friend who has been in a position of doing big important parties, fundraisers for gubernatorial candidated and for presidential candidates, corporate entertaining...when it HAS to be right. But when she calls some neighbors in for "supper" she can do some amazing things! Once she served 2 trays of frozen lasagna that were leftover from another party and were refrozen....and pretty well dried out. She will forget to buy ice. She has more than twice invited me to dinner and when I arrive she says...Oh Dear! I am out of Scotch, do you want to go home and get some?" LOL! Everyone on this forum knows I drink Scotch! LOL! How could she call me for dinner and not think..."DO I have Scotch for Linda? Do I have ice?" It's not that she doesn't buy Scotch, but that she has other friends who drink it and she never thinks to check the supply!
Somepeople are not gracious hosts" and she seems to be one.
But I believe if you had been Johnny on the spot and it was another family who was late, they would have been treated the same way.
I still say you over reacted, you were not singled out for thoughtless treatment, that's just the way she entertains.
Of all the bad parties I have been to, I really don't think any of the hosts or hostesses have singled me out for rudeness....theya re just clueless. I don't think the hostess at the party where the cat jumped out from under the sofa and bit me on the foot told the cat to "Get Linda!". I don't think the party where I was asked to bring my own chair and where the only shade was in a machine shed facing west on a 95 degree day was aimed at me....it was just the hostess trying to pay back all obligations cheaply.
So....bottom line, you shouldn't feel hurt. She didn't mean to insult you, she just is a poor hostess. Just be glad she didn't turn on the TV and sit there with the remote in her hand! LOL!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 4:33PM
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lowspark, I think you are doing exactly the right thing venting here and giving her a pass in real life. I certainly understand how you felt, and I also agree with lindac that your friend wasn't trying to be rude and maybe didn't even realize she was. As I wrote above, if you are very close friends, opening mail, taking calls, etc. and even paying more attention to other guests, isn't such a big deal. So if you are trying to see this in a charitable light, maybe try to see it all as an expression of intimacy!

That is, if you are READY to try to feel that way. I know I usually need a few days to fume, or feel sorry for myself, or whatever, before I shake myself off and get some perspective. After all, we all have to make allowances for each other's weak points, or no one would have any friends! Being a less-than-gracious hostess isn't good, but I wouldn't call it a character flaw. And it would be hard to be in YOUR league as a hostess, anyway -- you are awesome.

Okay, so in this same vein, may I rant a bit, too? I feel SO small complaining about this, but I know you will understand how I feel. A friend of ours is undergoing chemo and radiation for cancer. Her prognosis is excellent, and so far she is feeling pretty good (tired but able to work, etc.), but I know it is still scary, taxing, and awful for the whole family. Our great little community stepped up to the plate as always, with another friend coordinating daily radiation chauffeurs (including me), meals for all the Jewish holidays, etc. I had already invited them for the 1st night of RH, and she accepted. Two days before, she called and asked if "we could do it another time" -- I'm still not exactly sure what if anything that is supposed to mean in the context of RH dinner, but the point was, they were begging off. It wasn't because of her health, though; her husband is the president of their shul, and they are without a rabbi, so a "temp" rabbi was coming in that afternoon, and she just didn't think he'd be there early enough to have dinner before services. That sounded odd to me; how could he possibly be planning to get to town so close to sundown? And we live just across the street from their shul. Well, she added, her husband might well have to work right up until time for services anyway; things are always extra busy at his office on the 11th and 12th of the month. I didn't say anything more, but I really wondered why, if that's true every month, they accepted the invitation in the first place and then didn't cancel until 2 days before -- after I had already shopped and cooked and it was too late to invite any other guests. I offered to bring over the food for them to eat at their home. "If you insist," she said (those were her words, but actually somehow it didn't sound so bad when she said it as it looks in print). Fortunately, I had loads of food, because you really do need to have more to serve it at two homes -- you have to bring at least two servings of each thing per person. I bought more wine and challot, cut the cakes in half, got everything packed up early -- not really a big deal, though, in fact it was fun; I even included a vase of flowers.

My son and I took the stuff over at 4 pm erev RH, and were surprised when the husband answered the door. He seemed a bit sheepish but didn't say much. Their daughter said, "They brought more food." She thanked us as we left; I'm not sure he did. We haven't heard from them since. We were a little miffed -- evidently there was some other reason they canceled, but we decided, so what? This isn't about us anyway, and who cares why? We know they like us and weren't just blowing us off. Maybe she was scared she wouldn't be up to it, or there was some other issue that was none of our business, and with the roller coaster they are on, we could certainly let it go. She is trying so hard to keep her chin up all the time and not to let her cancer change their lives and routines at all, and of course that's impossible, so it must be very hard on all of them.

But then ...

Yesterday, my husband was reading her on-line blog (there is this really cool site for patients that allows people to log on and not only leave encouraging messages, but to read updates so they can stay informed without bothering the family with the same question a million times). She had written, regarding RH, "We had dinner at home with some friends on Wednesday night, dinner out on Thursday night, and lunch out on Friday."


Dinner at home with friends? What are WE, the caterer? I mean, I really wouldn't mind a bit their sharing the meal I cooked with whomever they liked if in the first place we had just planned on bringing them food -- I'd expect it, in fact -- but they accepted, then backed out of, dinner at our home (although they went to others' homes the next 2 days) and had guests over Wednesday night. Seems to me that they could have asked us if we'd like to come over there (of course we wouldn't have), or at least have taken a little of that time she spent on the computer to shoot over an e-mail saying "The food was good -- thanks!"

Sorry to go on so long. I think you can understand both how we felt, and also why we wouldn't dream of saying it to anyone here. I mean, really, even in the worst light, it's so unimportant, and with what they are going through, I think they are entitled to a LOT of slack. It was foolish of her to put that on the blog -- of course we'd see it -- but truthfully I see that less as evidence of hostility than of the fact that they are just not thinking straight right now. I know I wouldn't be at my best by a long shot. They are really, really super people, and as a matter of fact are excellent and frequent hosts themselves. This is way, way out of character for them, and I know they didn't mean to be rude.

Which is why this forum is SO GREAT! You all are wonderful to have read this far; it has really gotten it out of my system. Just in time for YK!

So many posts on this forum, and some others, too, are like this. Maybe there should be a "Friendship" forum. Although I could see that turning into a bunch of posts of sentimental "A friend is ... " and "Send this to every wonderful woman you know!!!" poems; the stuff my mother-in-law is always sending me.

Oops! I'd better stop before I get onto THAT rant! :-)

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 5:30PM
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what a story! Yes, I know exactly how you feel. I guess it just happens that people do things without thinking through the ramifications. My guess is that for some reason she felt it would be better to have the temp rabbi eat at her house instead of asking to bring him to yours. Probably because she felt that would be what he expected (to eat at the pres's house, not to eat at someone else's house who didn't belong to their shul) or because she would feel funny about not recieving him for dinner. Who knows?

But then why didn't she just say that? Maybe she was afraid to offend you (which she ended up doing anyway) or afraid you'd try to insist they bring him?

As you said, with all she's going through, it doesn't really matter and she obviously just wasn't thinking clearly.

It amazes me how you always just seem to "get it". You always have such great answers for people, sometimes I'm reading a question, thinking, I know the solution! And then I read your reply and think, OOPS! Glad gellchom replied first, she hit it right on the nose!

So, yes, this forum is a great place to just come pour out my frustrations regarding this event, without hurting anyone. As Linda said, it wasn't personal to me, it just happened how it happened. I'm definitely way past it now, and as you said, I shouldn't make any boycott policies, I should just go in not expecting too much in the future, and maybe I'll end up pleasantly surprised!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 5:55PM
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gchom, definitely an odd situation; your gift of food should have been raved about. As for her saying: if you insist, it seems like she had more food than she could handle, why not say , no thank you.

As for the sweet emails, I have a friend who sends those constantly, although she knows I hate them. I just delete them and do not send them to my woman friends. I find "forwards" impersonal and most of them have been circulating for years.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 6:25AM
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Lowspark, is this a possibility? Perhaps she thought your sons and hers would eat in the kit and you and your DH would be in the din rm. When they decided to eat and you were not there her son took a place in Din rm. It is never easy to be in a social situation and uncomfortable and I am sorry that you were. It would have been nice if her son rose to occasion and said to yours "lets eat in the kit".

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 11:44AM
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You know what, mitchdesj -- with all that's going on over there, and every day being like a month, they probably forgot all about that I was bringing over what was intended to be a meal at our house that evening, and was now intended to be their erev RH dinner. Who knows if that's even what they ate on Wednesday night at all? Zillions of people are bringing over food all the time to them, both meals organized by that other friend and others spontaneously. Our items probably just got put in the refrigerator or freezer with everything else, and they might well not even remember what came from whom. And really, why should they? I certainly hope they don't waste precious energy on something like that!

It is amazing what letting a few days pass after an upset does for your perspective. Sure helps you learn not to react too fast! This isn't bothering me one bit anymore. But it's not only the time -- it's the listening friends here. So thank you all again.

Lowspark, how are you doing?

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 2:59PM
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gellchom, thanks for asking! I'm with you, a few days pass and all is well. It was helpful to vent that's for sure. But there is no question that there were no bad intentions from this friend, and that I'm glad I didn't make any indications to her that anything was amiss.

Thanks again! I wish you and any others who are fasting an easy fast!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 3:47PM
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May I won't comment on your friends behaviour because I have no idea where her head was at.

However I fully understand how you felt, being at the kitchen table just you and your family. That is uncomfortable to the max...in my opinion. Not so bad if it's in an open room , but all by yourselves, not good .

As a hostess I would have made everyone squeeze 'round the table, no matter if they were late, no matter how tight. This was not an elegant dinner party for 6 , it was a holiday celebration and that means it should be inclusive.

My take is that she just doesn't know better not that she was malicious. Facts are some people just don't get it/.

Take care and I hope your holidays bring you and your family joy and peace.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 5:30PM
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My 2 cents!

Sorry, but in my opinion you over-reacted in this situation.

In the day of cell phones I am sure you could have given her the respect of calling to say you would be late. This would have prepared her for your later arrival, and would have flagged the seating issue.

Were the children included in the invitation?

She made an attemp to sit with you and your family even though the majority of her guest were in the DR. Did you expect her to remain in the kitchen with you the whole time?
Also, it was you who made the choice to sit in the kitchen. The hostess/friend did not seat you there.
You could have simply asked her where you and your family could sit, and then taken her lead.

However, through it all, if she is a friend then why take it so hard and hurtful? I feel certain that she did not intend to hurt you and your family.

Next time, call your hostess especially when you are going to be really late.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 1:33PM
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Some Jews do not use the telephone on sabbath and Jewish holidays. Even if that's not the case for lowspark, it may be for her friend, or for other guests that may have been there. Even in circumstances where no one follows that rule, people can still feel a bit uneasy about ringing someone's phone in the middle of a holiday gathering. Like even if no one in the group keeps kosher, it can sort of seem in bad taste or just kind of odd to serve pork at a bar mitzvah, wedding, or Jewish holiday. It's hard to explain.

(Don't assume that because the friend answered the phone for her son, she doesn't care about using the phone on holidays. In fact, some people I know who definitely do not use the phone on holidays or sabbaths do answer if it rings -- because they assume that it must be a serious emergency.)

I will use the phone on holidays, but I wouldn't call another friend even if I knew she used the phone, too, if I knew she had guests for a celebration of the holiday. It still doesn't feel quite right, and besides, I don't want to put her in the position of having to decide whether to answer in front of them -- she may not appreciate having to publicly announce her choices about observance. I also wouldn't want to risk ringing the phone right when they may have been making pre-meal blessings.

So that might have been a factor here.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 11:47AM
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Gell, she said the hostess called her while she was on the road, about 5 minutes before they arrived.
So I don't think that weighed into the situation.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 4:10PM
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First, if you ever took etiquette classes then you know you as a hostess are to never get up when a late guest arrives and make much to do over them. You are instead suppose to sit and eat your meal with your other guests and hope the late arrival guests will fix a plate and take their seats. Also, the husband is suppose to or the male host if there is one is suppose to greet them.

As hostess you are suppose to take into consideration that the table is set for the correct number. So she was wrong on that one.

I don't think she is a good hostess probably and is not super comfortable doing it. Gosh my mom once got invited to tea at a friends with another friend and once there the hostess (if you can call her that) sat and folded clothes and looked as if she had not showered or even combed her hair.

I would let this go. It's just as bad to be upset over it for very long.

Move on and in the future I would not show up late if I could help it. If I was going to be that late I personally would have debated showing up at all and then sent flowers. Sometimes you have to make that decision too.

So it can be broken down in so many ways!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 6:12PM
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Ok, I've answered some of these points above already but once again to clarify:

1. There wasn't enough room at the table, so we did fix a plate but it wasn't just a matter of taking our seats. There were no seats to take. Going to the kitchen was a last resort - I didn't know what else to do.

2. The hostess had not yet eaten by the time we arrived. So she couldn't remain sitting at the table and eat without getting up. She wasn't already sitting at the table. She was standing, fixing herself a plate.

3. I didn't realize how late we were till we got there - there was no set starting time and she lives an hour away, we sat in the Friday-Afternoon-Heading-Out-Of-Town traffic which I don't know if you can imagine unless you live in a place like Houston where it's unpredictable at best and can be horrific.

4. My children, ages 17 and 20 WERE includded - it's a holiday. (for those who aren't Jewish, maybe that's not meaning anything to you, but would you go to a friend's house for say, Easter Lunch, and leave your kids at home, no matter what age? This would be comparable to that. In any case the invitation which was sent via email said, You and your family. There's NO question, the kids were included.

5. She made no attempt to sit near us. She put her plate down as if she meant to sit near us but came back before ever sitting anywhere, picked up her plate, and went to the other table. I don't mind if she sat with us or not, it's just the way she acted as if she was going to, then apparently changed her mind. Even THAT wouldn't have mattered had it been a table with others in addition to just our family. It was just weird, the four of us, sitting alone in the kitchen, no other guests sitting or eating with us, the rest of the entire party in another room, and no attempt to integrate us into the party. Yeah, we're guilty of being late. But as hostess, it's her duty to make us comfortable and welcome, late or not. That's what I think you'd learn in an etiquette class.

6. And again - we were about 20 minutes late. Is that really late enough to turn around after being in the car one hour and not show up at all? If someone were 20 minutes late to my house and let that convince them to blow off my party, I'd be horrified.

7. I HAVE gotten over this, WAY over this. I wasn't going to answer lizzynola's post for that reason and because most of her questions/comments had already been covered in my previous posts. But since the discussion continues, I'm answering.

I am glad I was able to vent here. I'm no longer mad or hurt. I'm still good friends with her. She had no ill intentions. I thank you all for your comments.


    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 1:31PM
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Not everyone who invites people over are very good host or hostess. In this case your friend is not a good hostess. I personaly beleive that they dont care to be a good host. Their goal is to make sure that THEY have a good time.

Thank you Nino's...that's why I try to have small dinners/partys so everyone has a seat at the dining room table and has my full attention....NJ

    Bookmark   October 14, 2007 at 6:32AM
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nancyjean, you are absolutely right, but even small dinner parties can be a nightmare. Several years ago we were invited to a dinner party by a neighbor. It was to include a lovely couple from Ireland, my husband and I, and of course, our neighbors (the host and hostess, who moved here from Michigan.) Our neighborhood was in Mississippi, and most people here have a Southern accent. In the middle of dinner, the hostess decides to start making fun of my Southern accent and would not stop. No one thought it was funny, but no one knew what to say. We were all speechless, but she continued with her rather cruel teasing. Finally, the subject was changed and we quickly finished dinner and dessert and made a quick exit. She called me when we got home, saying her husband said that she needed to apologize to me. I accepted her half-a$$ apology, but had already decided this person was not the type I would want as a friend or even acquaintance.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2007 at 2:41PM
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