The Only Thing Worse Than A Party Crasher

, , , | Related | March 17, 2021

My youngest sister-in-law moved closer to us a couple of years ago and we have included her and her boyfriend in our friend circle which we have known for approximately ten years. Everybody is in their mid- to late twenties; [Sister-In-Law] and her boyfriend are the youngest.

Our Dutch friends have a summer party every year, and this year, for the first time, they invite [Sister-In-Law] and her boyfriend. The Dutch friends start an email chain as it is a potluck party. 

Sister-In-Law: “We are bringing our friend, [Guest], as well.”

The party hostess is obviously a bit surprised to be told and not asked.

Hostess: “I guess that is okay.”

After a couple of emails about food:

Sister-In-Law’s Boyfriend: *To [Hostess]* “So, do you have a large table where [Guest] can set up?”

Another friend in the group email replies.

Friend: “It’s okay. We are only supposed to bring one or two dishes each. She won’t need a large table.”

Sister-In-Law’s Boyfriend: *As if stating the obvious* “For the health products she is going to sell us, of course. It is amazing what they can do! It has changed our lives!”

My dear husband and I see this email before our Dutch friends and have a discussion on how to politely stop [Sister-In-Law] and her boyfriend from embarrassing themselves further, but while my husband is composing an email to his sister, the hostess responds.

Hostess: “This is our summer party, not a sales party! You can tell [Guest] she is no longer welcome!”

Sister-In-Law: “But everybody will love the products and I promised her I would arrange this.”

Hostess: “NO!”

Host: “Do not bring her!”

Our Dutch friends are graceful and do not uninvite [Sister-In-Law] and her boyfriend, but at the party, both [Sister-In-Law] and her boyfriend still can’t understand that they have done anything wrong or weird.

Sister-In-Law: “Too bad they didn’t want to hear about all the nice products. This would have been such a perfect setting for a sales party.”

I have a distinct feeling [Sister-In-Law] either would have kept the hostess gift herself or would have gotten a discount on her next purchase for “arranging the party.”

In all fairness, I had complained to [Hostess] about [Sister-In-Law]’s immaturity and bad manners a couple of times, so I did not feel too bad for her. Anyway, she was better at shutting [Sister-In-Law]’s antics down than we were.

[Sister-In-Law] and her boyfriend — who became her husband — “saw the light” many more times in the following years, but after a couple of failed tries to “convert” us to whatever nonsense product or fad they were fans of, they realized we were out of pedagogic reach and stopped trying.

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Not Showering This Monster-In-Law With Praise

, , , , | Related | March 15, 2021

My husband’s mother doesn’t trust men. When my husband was eight he “broke up” with a classmate. His mother yelled at him, saying he was just like all men.

He had a girlfriend in high school for two years but they mutually broke up their junior year. When my husband and I got engaged, some friends, including his ex-girlfriend, threw me a bridal shower. At one point, I was in a small circle of women: me, my husband’s ex-girlfriend, his mom, his sister, and two friends. His mother turned to the ex.

Husband’s Mom: “[Ex-Girlfriend], this should be your bridal shower.”

I told my husband that night that when we got married, his mother could visit but her suitcases would never come through the front door. She also told us we couldn’t invite his dad to the wedding. I told her we already had and would let her know if he was coming so she could decide if she wanted to attend. If looks could kill…

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Give ‘Til It Hurts

, , , , | Friendly | March 10, 2021

Our friend group constantly has to meet wherever is cheap enough for [Friend]. [Friend] doesn’t work and doesn’t see the need to; he is content sitting at home watching TV and smoking. 

If he doesn’t have enough money to smoke or drink, he will leech off one of his friends until they have had enough, and then he moves on to the next. I’ve been that friend to him several times and had enough.

Everyone has tried to help him find interviews and offered to drive him to work, should he get the job. But he just won’t do it.

My birthday is coming up, and I don’t want to have another fast food parking lot meet-up. I find an inexpensive restaurant with a bar and share the invite out to all. Nearly everyone is really excited about it, apart from [Friend].

Friend: “I can’t afford this. You should choose somewhere everyone can go to.”

Me: “[Friend], we always go somewhere that suits you and we always end up back at your flat so you can smoke. Just once, I want to go somewhere nice.”

Friend: “Well, I won’t come, then.”

Me: “Okay, well, sorry to hear that.”

Friend: “Wow, that’s just nice, isn’t it?! Just ditch me.”

Me: *Sighing internally* “A couple of guys are just going for drinks. Why don’t you just come for a drink?”

Friend: “What, and miss out on the meal?”

Me: “I don’t know what to say. You don’t want to pay for a meal, you don’t want to come for a drink instead…”

Friend: “You could pay for me.”

Me: You want me to pay for your meal at my birthday celebration? I suppose you want me to drive you there, as well.”

Friend: “Well, yeah. You’re going anyway.”

Me: “I was being sarcastic. I won’t be driving to the bar; I’ll be drinking. The bus is what, 80p?! Look. Come, don’t come, whatever. I’m not the one paying for you this time.”

He didn’t come, but he did complain about me constantly for weeks. I lost touch with him. A year or so later, he still hadn’t changed.

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Throwing Up Your Hands In Frustration

, , , , , | Friendly | March 6, 2021

Before I go to university, I often hang out with a bunch of old high school friends. We have parties at different people’s houses, and over time, I get to know some of their acquaintances.

At one party, I notice the girlfriend of one of the friends has a couple of drinks, and then, after maybe an hour or two, she starts throwing up and her boyfriend is holding her hair back. At first, I don’t pay too much attention to it, but then I notice that it keeps happening at different parties she attends.

Concerned, I go to my friend who is hosting. 

Me: “Hey, why does [Girl] always start throwing up after a couple of drinks?”

Friend: *Laughs* “Oh, she can’t handle her alcohol, so at most parties, she’ll have a couple, be sick, and then just sleep the rest of the night!”

He says this like it’s a perfectly normal thing.

Me: “Err… then maybe she should stop drinking.”

Friend: “What? Why?”

Me: “If she can’t handle drinking, maybe she should think about giving up alcohol.”

Friend: “Oh, come on. It’s just her thing; it’s nothing to worry about.”

Me: “Throwing up all the time isn’t a good sign. Maybe she has some kind of condition where her body has trouble processing alcohol?”

Friend: “Don’t be daft, [My Name]. No one has trouble drinking alcohol. That’s a bunch of crap!”

Me: “Well, it isn’t, actually. [Famous Actor] has a condition where—”

Friend: *Interrupting* “You’re talking nonsense, mate. [Girl] isn’t hurting anyone, so just leave it, yeah?”

Me: “What if she gets herself into a bad situation and her boyfriend isn’t there to help her?”

Friend: “Stop talking crap.”

With that, he walked away, shaking his head and leaving me marvelling at how blase they all were about this. Soon after, I began university and I eventually drifted away from that group. I can hope that girl wised up a bit, or better yet, stopped drinking.

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This Takes “Taking The Cake” To A Different Level

, , , , , , | Friendly | February 23, 2021

I have a friend who’s the kindest person in the world but not always the smartest.

I invite her, her husband, and a couple of other friends over to celebrate my birthday with me and my husband and daughters. My daughters are vegan. My invitation, which I send out via email, says:

Me: “Don’t bring anything! No presents except your presence, and we have the food all taken care of. There’ll be pizza, appetizers, and two kinds of cake: one vegan for our daughters, and one non-vegan for everyone else.”

[Friend] replies to the email.

Friend: “Sounds great! See you then.”

On the day of the party, [Friend] arrives with her husband and hands me an enormous, very heavy container.

Me: “What’s this?”

Friend: “It’s homemade cheesecake! Remember how you said that you wanted me to bring dessert?”

She then looks behind me and sees the two cakes, and her face falls.

Friend: “Oh… you have dessert?”

I try to respond as kindly as I can.

Me: “Well, yes, but that’s okay. More dessert is always good, and I love cheesecake.”

Friend: “And the best part is that your daughters will be able to eat it.”

Me: “Um, no, I’m afraid they won’t.”

Friend: “Sure, they will!”

Me: “Oh, is it a vegan cheesecake?”

Friend: “Yes! Nothing but pure, natural ingredients: butter, cream cheese, and sour cream.”

Me: “I’m really sorry, but they won’t be able to eat it. Those ingredients aren’t vegan.”

Friend: “They’re not?”

The icing on the cake, so to speak, was that she hadn’t given the cheesecake enough time to bake. It was raw and gooey in the middle. Turns out that she’d woken up that morning, somehow got it into her head that I’d asked her to bring dessert, and frantically threw a cheesecake together as quickly as possible.

She meant well.

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