All for All and None for One | The Late Date | The Guest That Will Not Leave


All For All and None For One

Dear Micah,

I never finished college when I was of college age which has caused me some setbacks in life especially with my work.  Though I have all the experience needed to fulfill higher jobs, I can never be promoted because I don’t possess that little expensive piece of paper.  So I started back to school in January and started taking some classes on-line and a couple at the school at night.  Needless to say I have way less free time now.  One would think that I would have friends that support me but it’s looking like they don’t.  My girlfriends have just moved on without me.  Our regular Wednesday night dinners, which I now cannot do for a little while, they have continued without me.  I asked if we could move them to Tuesday but I got ignored I guess.  There are movies, Oscar noms, I’ve wanted to see and they wouldn’t wait on when I could go, they just went.  Things like that.  It’s really hurt my feelings and made me wonder how good of friends are we really?  The four musketeers just went down to three I guess.  Am I being petty or do you think I should tell them how this is making me feel?

Jeanette

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Dear Jeanette,

Does it really matter if you tell them how you feel?  Would they alter anything?  Probably not and then things would just be strained for you when you were around them again.  Sometimes–not always but sometimes—it’s better to ignore the walls that other people throw up between you and they (they? them? themselves? I don’t know the grammar there).  Sometimes calling attention to the fact that you are feeling isolated and ostracized is just going to make the others involved feel weird around you and you will feel even further isolated from them.  As a rule, people generally dislike being confronted with something they have done to hurt someone else’s feelings.  It makes them embarrassed and ashamed and instead of just apologizing and trying to make up for it, people often just get defensive and then start looking for things to call attention to about the accuser.

If you tell your girlfriends that they are leaving you out of things, then they are just going to get defensive and defend their actions.  They are also going to defend each other because they are all guilty of the same thing, pushing you out, and so they have to stand united in their defense of themselves unless they are big enough people to recognize that they really have been wrong and hurt your feelings.  Most likely, they will just defend their actions and then dredge up examples from the past of where you may have hurt their feelings.  Soon a big fight ensues and you’ve lost your circle of friends.  Like the Oscar song from Frozen, just “Let It Go” and try to find a time when you can join in with them.

Also, do try to keep this in mind, Jeanette: even though it would have been a nicer thing for them to hold off on dinner and movies and activities until you could ALL be part of it, it isn’t really fair of you to expect them to stop their social routines simply because you switched your schedule up.  I have no idea if any of you are married or dating anyone too regularly right now, but if you are then finding time to spend with your girlfriends, is probably hard to do.  Arranging all of your lives to always accommodate this set “friend night” probably took some doing, so it may be difficult for those women to change things around just because you decided to take a class that night.  And if none of you are married or dating, then you’re a group of single ladies who use your friendships as companionship and you hit the town together to have a little fun and meet some people.  Again, they shouldn’t have to put a halt to their social fun just because you changed your availability.

I think if you were to say something to them it is just going to make you feel less connected to them and not have the effect that you really hope for.  Leave things alone and try to do something with them when you can, even if it’s just meeting for a drink after class.  Next semester, don’t schedule a class on the night you have set to see them.  Keep that night sacred for your friendships. School waited this long, so it can wait a little longer if you have to rearrange things or take a slightly lighter class load in order to preserve your relationships.

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The Late Date

Dear Ask Micah,

A buddy of mine set me up with a girl he knows. Friend-of-a-girl-he-sees kind of situation.  On the night I was to meet her I got caught up at work with something my boss had to have me take care of right then.  It made me about thirty minutes late to the dinner.  I didn’t have her number so I texted my buddy and asked him to reach her to let her know.  Like my luck runs, he didn’t see the text then and so when I finally arrive to the restaurant she is running really cold and already ordered her dinner.  Just as I sat down and tried to explain, her food came, she ate it, and then paid her check and left.  I told her what happened and she sat there listening like she heard me, but she never warmed up and wasn’t saying much.  Then she just paid and left.  I offered to pay the check and asked her to stay with me while I ordered something and we’d get to know each other, but she didn’t.  I really want a second chance with her.  I’m a good man and I think she would be glad she did but she won’t consider it.  My friend even showed her the text later but it didn’t matter.  I really want another opportunity here, what can I do?

Ford

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Dear Ford,

She must be hot as hell, because for the life of me I cannot see why you’d want to have another chance.  She sounds like a bitch.  Yes, it is BEYOND rude to be late, especially for a first date, but you tried to explain and even if you were lying, it’s just good manners to give a person the benefit of the doubt the first time.  Add to that the fact that later your story was substantiated by your friend when he showed her the text.  If she is truly still angry over your being late, then I have to tell you my friend that you have dodged a major bullet here.  Here is a woman with no understanding, no empathy, no patience, and who will fly off the handle quickly and stay off the handle even when she knows she is in the wrong.  Men cheat and divorce because of women like this.  Let the hostile bitch go.

But, if you are determined to try again, I will give you the advice you asked for (even though I think you’re asking for trouble if you pursue her).  You could appeal to her sense of humor, if she has one.  You could send her through FedEx or UPS a box that contains a certificate for a meal at that restaurant with a menu from the restaurant included.  On the menu, you can have circled the items that you want with a note that says “Just in case I’m late again order this for me and I swear I’ll be there.  I would never miss dinner with you twice.”  And for fun, include a Fathead that you had made of yourself and send in the box with a note that says, “Just stick this to the chair until I get there so that people will know you have a date, because I know I embarrassed you making you sit there alone the last time.”

You follow me don’t you, Ford?  Just do something funny and unexpected that still conveys that you understand how bad it was that she felt stood up for half an hour.  If she has any humor or sympathy in her, she will find your gesture refreshing and she will call you.  If she doesn’t, then refer back to my original statement.  She is either a really selfish and egocentric person and you’re better off without her, or she just didn’t really feel any connection to you when you finally arrived and is just using your faux pas as her excuse to not see you again.

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The Guest That Will Not Leave

Micah,

Would you please tell readers that it is rude to stay too long at a party? I need to know how to gracefully tell party and/or dinner guests when they’ve stayed too long.  It’s always a problem but this past weekend was the worst case I have ever had.  I threw a going away party for a friend. At the end of the night one guy just wouldn’t leave.  Everybody had left except for two overnight guests.  We hinted.  We turned lights out in empty rooms.  We cut off the music.  We started washing up the dishes.  There was no hint he would take.  He just wouldn’t go home.  Finally he asked if it was time for him to leave and we politely commented that yes we were tired and he still stayed another hour!  He isn’t even a close friend, we barely know him.  He came with someone else who had long since gone home.

K

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Dear K,

I hate when people do that!  And it’s always the person that is the most exhausting to be around.  At the end of the party you are exhausted, ready to clean up and go to bed, and this annoying person will not go home after you’ve already spent entire night pretending that you didn’t want to bludgeon them to death with a croquette mallet!  I get it.  In fact, if you did bludgeon them, I am fairly sure a court of your peers might acquit.  Just FYI.

Anyway, it is in terrible taste to over stay your welcome at a party, and I do not know why some people never figure this out.  I suppose they think they have been one of the more fun guests at the gathering and that no one wants their time with them to end.  Or perhaps they believe they are one of the inner circle of close friends of which the rules of party etiquette do not apply.

For everyone out there reading this, please listen and learn, the rules of party etiquette apply to everyone. Even the best of friends can grow tiresome past a certain hour.  The worst party sins you can commit are as follows: Arriving late to a party, causing embarrassing or dramatic scenes at a party (although sometimes this can actually make the party spectacular), and overstaying your welcome.

Arriving late to me is the worst because someone has gone to a whole lot of trouble to make the party nice, get everything ready at a certain time, and if food is involved, it is at its best early.  For someone to stroll in an hour before the party is supposed to end just pisses me off.  It also signals that the party was not important to them, in which they shouldn’t have bothered coming in the first place. Or, they are trying to look really cool by arriving late, which signals to everyone that they are a douchebag.

The drama-causing sin is rude and shows a lack of respect and pride, however, as I said before, sometimes a good heated exchange can be the night’s floor show as long as the scene does no damage to the house and doesn’t involve the host or guest of honor.  A little drama between two random party guests can keep everyone from talking about how the host forgot to dust the picture frames on the wall.

And of course, the final party sin is the subject of our question: the dreaded late-stayer who ruins the end of the party with weirdness and anxiety because they just won’t take the hint.  Here are a couple of tips to help you make sure that you are never this person.  If your only connection to the party (i.e. the person you came with, or the mutual friend that knows these people) leaves, you should leave too.  The only exception to this would be if you truly have made friends with another set of people who beg you to hang around with them for a while longer.  But, as they leave, then you also must.  Another good thing to watch for is a mass exodus.  If you see three different people (or sets of people) departing and saying their goodbyes all within a fifteen minute period, it’s time to go home.  The party is drawing to a close and everyone else knows it, so grab your coat and get out.  It is never, I repeat, never okay for you to be at the house when a light is cut off and someone is washing dishes in the kitchen.  If that happens, you have WAY overstayed, and you need to run–not walk–to the nearest exit.

Now K., the best line I can give you when you have a straggler that won’t leave is this: “Here I am cleaning up with you still here.  Sorry, I don’t mean to be rude; it’s just I’m so tired and want to get this done before I go to bed.  But, it just occurred to me that you may be waiting to sober up a little before you head home.  Are you all right to drive, or do you need me to call you a cab?  I don’t mind calling you one if you need it.”  If that doesn’t give them the final hint, then just flat out tell them.  My grandfather never had any qualms about explaining to guests when they’d overstayed.  He’d be sitting in the living room with the guests and then suddenly he’d stretch his arms, yawn, and say, “Well, we’ve had a lot of fun with y’all tonight.  But it’s time y’all left.” Then he’d get up and walk to the door and open it.  He’d remain there while they grabbed their things and went out.  Sometimes directness works.

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