It’s my husband informing me that our guest of honor – along with his troop of ravenous teenage boys – won’t be coming.
“What? Is someone bleeding?”
I hold my breath, count to ten, tell my husband I love him and hang up. Then I drum my feet on the floor and scream like Rumpelstiltskin. Not so much for the last minute cancellation of a rather large party (dinner for 6 is slightly larger than dinner for 2, yes?) but it’s now obvious that this is the guy’s MO. He’s become one of those people. And it stinks.
I understand that my husband’s co-worker is depressed –going through a divorce, custodial parent of 3 teenage boys, topped with mortgage issues and car problems – hence the dinner invitation for him and his family. And the shopping expedition to make sure that we not only had plenty for dinner, but for leftovers: being a single parent on a single budget with four mouths ain’t easy. What can I say? Some folks hand out party bags - we send you home with roast beef and pasta salad.
But this isn't the first time he’s done this to us. On the up side, at least this time there was a phone call.
It would be easy to cross this guy off the guest list – permanently - but his kids are fond enough of us to call us Auntie and Uncle. And we know the guy’s going through a mess – really, we get it.
But honestly I just can’t wrap my head around how anyone could be so rude? I don’t know what it looks like from his side of the net, but from ours – it was hurtful. Is it his generation? Does he think cancelling a party invitation to someone’s home is the same as cancelling a dinner reservation at a restaurant?
I spent the bulk of my Saturday cleaning and preparing a very large roast. Which we will now eat forever. (By the end of the week I should be able to say, “mooo” with some authenticity.) Friday night, I boiled and marinated salads until midnight. Thursday evening was my (extra) shopping trip which got me home at half past eight with $200 less to my name.
At least Saturday’s cancellation wasn’t as embarrassing as last month’s fiasco. The guy just stood us up. A no show.
Catastrophes happen to the best of us – I get it. And so does a sense of ennui; depression; boredom, cocooning and the plain old I-don’t-wannas. However – IMHO – if you’ve already accepted an invitation, you pull up your big boy/girl pants and go.
If you don’t want to hang with someone, make a polite excuse and do NOT accept the invitation - don’t run your would-be hostess into the ground preparing for a party that's not happening.
So, what are we gonna do?
Except the next time my husband extends an invitation to this guy, I’m going to suggest telling him it’s pot luck – his.