Sunday, January 11, 2015

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner

R.a.n.t. of week 01/11/15
To come or not to come? That is the question for this week. When invited to a friends house for dinner (or other function), do you accept? And if so, what are the reasons for you to not accept? For me, it's usually dependant on whether I have previous plans or not. In some cases, I'm just not in the mood. To some degree, it might have something to do with whose inviting me and who I'll likely encounter there. If it's a very close friend, I know who they associate with and will be more likely to go. If it's a lesser known friend, I may be hesitant. But that doesn't mean I'm going to exclude myself right out. So the next question arises, "Who's all coming?" The problem is, is this a question you want to ask the host? And if so, when? I thought about answering these questions myself, but then I remember I have a friend who writes for a magazine that addresses a lot of these questions for young girls. So I decided to Skype her and ask a few questions. Below is the transcribed conversation we had. It's only been amended slightly.

Jeffrey Scott: "How are things in Canada?"

Jenni Long: "Cold"

JS: "But you're personality warms everyone up, right?"

JL: "Uh huh" (Looks impatient, I decide to get to the point)

JS: "This week I'm writing an article..."

JL: "In your blog."

JS: "..... Yes. I'm writing an article on my blog having to deal with etiquette and I thought this was right up your alley. Do you have your bowling ball handy?" (Failed attempt at a joke. She ignores it, per usual.)

JL: "So what's the question? I don't have a lot of time."

JS: "Is it taboo to ask the host of a party you are invited to, who's coming?"

JL: "It depends. Are they asking before or after they have accepted or declined?"

JS: "Does it make a difference?"

JL: "Yes, as does the reason they are asking. There might be a good reason they are asking. If they want to know who's coming after they have accepted, they may be wanting to know in case they want to car-pool. Or they may want to avoid mentioning the party to others who are not invited. If they ask the question after declining, they may also be wondering so they don't mention the party in front of others. Generally, it's a good idea to let your guests know who's coming, for whatever reason they might have. Does that answer your question?"

JS: "Sort of, but you also said the reason may be different if they are asking before they accept or decline. That's primarily what I'm curious about. Are they basing their decision to come depending on who's coming to the party? And if so, what are your thoughts on that? I'd feel slighted if a person were to decide not to come after they found out who was coming. As if my companionship isn't enough motivation for them to come."

JL: "Again, the person may be asking before they accept fearing someone may be there they don't want to run into. I can understand why you might feel the way you do, but ultimately, they are looking out for themselves and if they decide not to come, they are the ones missing out. So I can understand why they might ask that before they decide to accept or decline. But for the record, and I don't believe I'm going to say this, I agree with you. It's poor taste to ask someone who's coming before they decide to accept. If they feel uncomfortable later, they can politely call and excuse themselves."

JS: "Okay, thanks for answering the question for me."

JL: "Let me know how the blog post goes."

JS: "Feel free to check it out. Remember, you are always welcome to write another guest article for the blog."

JL: "I'll keep that in mind. Well, I gotta go. Have some more editing to do on the latest edition of the magazine. We have a new writer, so that means I have a lot of work to do."

JS: "Well, have fun with that. Talk to you later."

(Insert weird noise Scype makes when someone hangs up on you).

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Jenni Long is a writer and editor
of the Canadian children's magazine
'Fille Forte'. That being said, her
thoughts do not necessarily reflect
those of myself.

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