SZ Connect: Helping Community Singles Split the Sea

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Dear Jido,

When my husband and I were invited to a friend’s dinner party, I replied that I did not think we could arrive in time for dinner due to a work commitment with a specific end time, but that we could arrive after dinner if that would be okay.

The hostess then let me know she was frustrated that I seemed unwilling to accommodate her invitation by revising my schedule in order to arrive on time.

I was taken aback by her response. Was I incorrect in replying the way I did?

Who is at fault here?

Tardy Guest

Dear Tardy,

It doesn’t sound like you did anything wrong. After all, what is an invitation? It’s a formal request to attend or participate. You aren’t REQUIRED to respond positively to every request. Sounds like you answered politely andhonestly.

But let’s think about it from your hostess’s perspective for a moment. Perhaps she was preparing a gala event, two months in the making, fit for a king, everything planned to the “T.” And when she invited you, she expected (or hoped) you would be as excited to participate in it as she was to plan it. And when you said no, she was deflated and disappointed. “How could you not be excited to attend? Don’t you know what kind of evening it’s going to be?”

Obviously, the commitment at your job was not possible to change. That too is reason enough to turn down an invitation since you cannot disappoint the people to whom you had already given your word. Once again, commendable.

The only thing you could have done in response to her words was to tell her you will make every effort to get there as early as possible – and that you look forward to spending a splendid evening with her and your mutual friends. And then do so.