Miss Manners: She threw a party and then she billed the guests

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Pre-COVID, my large family had parties all the time, since it was always someone’s birthday, anniversary or other milestone. We would get together, celebrate and go home; nothing else happened.

However, I have one family member who would graciously offer to throw a party for someone in her own home, then instruct guests to bring a specific dish or a bottle of wine (usually both).

We usually all chipped in to make these dinner parties happen. But a couple days after the event, she would send a message to all the guests to find out how much everyone had spent on their dish. She would then include her own costs for decorations and the like, and charge all guests a payment.

This usually ranged from $30 to $50 — which, when added to what I spent at the grocery store and the time spent preparing food, wound up close to $100. I would rather just go to a restaurant. This charge always came as a surprise to me, because it was only ever mentioned after the party was done with.

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As someone who hosts friends for dinner, I’ve never expected them to pay me back. I usually don’t even ask for wine or alcohol, but will suggest something if someone offers to bring a bottle.

The issue with my relative has gotten to the point that my partner won’t go to events at her home anymore, and I don’t want to invite any friends because I don’t want the embarrassment of sending them charges on her behalf. I rarely want to go myself, because I don’t want to go through the effort of preparing food and being charged, as well.

I know she doesn’t have a lot of money, but the general consensus is that if you can’t afford the cost of a party, don’t throw the party.

COVID has allowed me to skip nearly every event she’s thrown this year, but I recently decided to attend a gathering of seven people. Lo and behold, the next day I was asked how much I had spent on food, and then was told to send her money.

My partner can continue to skip all …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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