Wednesday, December 08, 2010

With Friends Like This, Who Needs Frenemies?

Dear Grace,
I recently invited 2 friends to attend a benefit, in fact the biggest social event in our town this season. I did not ask for reimbursement for the ticket expenses, but rather invited both as my guests. We planned to meet for dinner beforehand, then proceed to the party. While one guest (Guest 1) met up with me more or less on time, the second guest (Guest 2) was nearly an hour late. Guest 1 and I discovered that Guest 2 had met up with others instead of joining us for dinner--without telling us, so we ended up waiting for her.

On our way to the gala, Guest 2 asked if I had the tickets, as she wanted to meet up with some other people beforehand. I explained that our tickets were electronically traceable to my credit card, which had to be presented, along with IDs at the door, so separate entry it wasn't possible. We arrived with time to spare so we decided to have a drink in a nearby bar before moving onto the event. At this point, Guest 2 did offer to buy a round of drinks, then complained that the beverage I chose was too expensive.

At the party, Guest 1 and I sat together, enjoying the spectacle and the crowd. Guest 2, seated directly to my left, abandoned our seats as the event began, again to see other people. Guest 2 left us repeatedly throughout the evening. After several hours, Guest 1 and I had had our fill and were ready to leave. Guest 2 had not returned, so Guest 1 and I left. Guest 1 escorted me home in a taxi, which she paid for, then proceeded on her way. Later, Guest 2 texted me, to find out if I left and why. I have not responded.

My question is - does Guest 2 owe an apology to me and Guest 1?

Grace Says:

The straighforward answer is yes, Guest 2 should apologize, and also send a thank you for your generous invitation. The reality is, however, that based on the horror story you shared, the owed apology is likely to arrive with the freezing over of hell, the needle appearing out of the haystack, or the camel fitting through the eye of a needle and the flight of pigs--pick your cliche. And dare I suggest, pick a replacement for 2; she doesn't deserve you.

You may want to batten down the hatches for the inevitable confrontation--people like 2 invariably skate over their own appalling behavior and instead focus on a bone they believe they have to pick with others. Justifiable though your departure was, 2 will undoubtedly make this entire contretemps about your 'abandonment'. Beware of that, and be done with 2. There are lots of other numerals out there who would love to go to a party with you. Maybe you should stick with the odd numbers? No one needs a frenemy, just ask the Mean Girls:

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