MISS MANNERS: We were phoned and asked to a friend’s 70th birthday party, with details to follow. I had the date on my calendar, but didn’t receive a confirming email. So I called a friend to check the date, and she said, “Didn’t you get the email? I will send it to you,” which she did. It included a very nice invite with a dinner menu hosted by a chef.
Well! I have since received another email from the host with an invitation for another evening, which is nothing like the first one. Apparently we were not supposed to be invited to the chef-hosted evening.
I declined the second invitation, and let the host know I was confused. He has since called me twice, asking us to please come to the first dinner, saying he will make it work. We are now feeling very awkward, as we were never to be invited to the first party. My husband doesn’t want to go at all now. What is one to do?
GENTLE READER: Like your on-again, off-again host, Miss Manners senses your understandable annoyance.
Having once invited you, your host should have “made it work” when he counted the chairs and came up short -- rather than waiting for you to query him. He then compounded his mistake by telling you how difficult it was to include you in the first event. (He thought he was demonstrating the lengths he would go to make amends. You and Miss Manners heard that he would prefer you not attend.)
What to do? Your husband is correct that you should not attend an event at which you are not welcome. But your host has demonstrated remorse. Assuming you wish to continue the friendship, it is time to forgive his clumsiness -- and perhaps to say that you would really rather attend the second event.