Archive for July 9th, 2007

“Do We HAVE To Invite _____?”

Monday, July 9th, 2007

That famous philospher (and DWI suspect) Rodney King once asked, “Can’t we all just get along?” Unfortunately, as Rodney himself discovered, there are times when the sad answer to that question is, “no!”

So, what do you do when you are hosting a party, and there is someone you really don’t want to invite, who just happens to be a close family member, neighbor, classmate, or business associate? The spectrum of possibilities includes:

1. Don’t Invite Them. Planning an event is stressful enough. If this person’s presence will ruin the evening for you, and if you are prepared to accept any repercussions (like being cut out of the will), then nuts to them!

2. Invite Them – Conditionally. At a recent dinner, one normally-loquacious guest told me that our hostess had warned her to not monopolize the conversation in her usual fashion. (In fact, she told me this three separate times.) I see nothing wrong with a host defining the limits of their hospitality to someone who has abused it in the past.

3. Invite Them – Then Let Whatever Happens Happen. You are not responsible for someone else’s misbehavior. And few – if any – of your other guests will ever blame you for the boorish actions of your Problem Friend/Relative/Co-worker. Chances are very good that your “normal” guests will understand the difficult position you were in. As a matter of fact, the chances are excellent that your other guests have been in the same spot themselves (and possibly with this same person.) By inviting him or her in good faith, when they misbehave, you don’t look bad, they do.

Besides, if there is a troubled history between you and this person, there is always the possibility that they won’t show up at all! (Such miracles do happen.)