Why do I bother inviting people...

…when they don’t turn up?

Last weekend I held a barbeque, invites having gone out 10+ days beforehand. Some declined, others said they’d come, others said they might. Not one person turned up. Not one.

Today a friend and his SO were due to visit. He couldn’t say when as they have to come a long way, but that’s ok - I wasn’t going anywhere today anyway. They never came. He rang a short while ago (18:30 ish) to say they weren’t coming. But he said he knew they wouldn’t be coming at 10:00 this morning.

I am very disappointed.


That happens often enough here that the feeling isn’t unknown.

OTOH, it’s better to invite somebody and them not show up than for them to drop by uninvited.

Hope you didn’t have to eat all that barbecue yourself!

I have to ask - when you are invited somewhere, do you RSVP and then go?

If, as I suspect, you are courteous about invitations, then the reason is all these other people are uncouth, selfish pigs. Sorry. No cure known.

Speaking of bad manners, a recent episode of “Will and Grace” had Will, Jack and Karen thinking it was hilarious that Grace would expect them to come out to Brooklyn for brunch, just because she’d invited them and they’d accepted. What’s funny about that? It wasn’t cartoonish, like some of the mean and selfish things Jack and Karen do. This cruelty was presented as something the average audience person would empathize with and find funny.

Qts, I know exactly how you feel. I know people that do this too. However, after having invited these people to my place on three separate occasions and having spent the extra $$ on food (ribeye steaks, etc); I have learned my lesson. I no longer invite these people over to eat. I have no problem with them dropping by, but we don’t make any plans with them anymore.

Frankly, it’s just rude to accept an invitation and then not show. I do understand that emergencies come up, but that wasn’t the case with these folks

Yes to the former, and as for the latter, if I say ‘Yes’, and then find I can’t go, I d*mn well make sure I let the host know as soon as I can.

That’s horrible! poor you!

Get some new friends. Real buddies don’t pull that sort of crap on someone they respect. You have every right to be completely hacked off. Such poor conduct is inexcusable.

I’ve had the same thing happen. People say they will come, then don’t. It only took once for me, though.

Watch out for the ones that say ‘might’. It means that they will come if they can’t find something better to do.


That is my worst nightmare…inviting people and having nobody come…that’s probably why I don’t entertain as much as I would like to.
Sometimes people can be so heartless… : (

It’s becoming a disturbing trend from what I hear talking to my friends and coworkers. A coworker’s brothers just got married back in Florida (where his family lives) and he reports that only about 1/3 of the people who RSVP’d for the wedding reception showed up!! Man, that’s the height of rude to me - criminally rude frankly, considering the per-person cost to the family hosting the event.

I don’t bother holding parties anymore. If I invite people over, it’s personal invitations to five or six people whom I know will come and it’s almost always a dinner party or some other thing like that where I can get a final headcount the day before - or where guests are bringing stuff of their own.

Funny though, I’ve had events go both ways - lots of hard work and lots of invitations go out only to have very few show - or - make mention to six or eight people about having a little get-together for so-and-so to celebrate what-not and 30 show up…

Oh, but invite people over for fresh Maine Lobster and ask them to chip in $10 or so to help cover the cost and they show.

Invite some Dopers over :slight_smile: We’d show up for some good grub.

It sh*ts me to tears when you have an idea like ‘lets go stay in a log cabin for the weekend’ and your friends act like you are trying to convince them to go into a concentration camp or something. They’re putting up arguments like ‘its such a long way’, ‘the weather might be bad’ and the burden of proof is on you to show why they will have fun! Why are people so damn lazy? I only invite a few people these days who are actually into doing stuff.

Tell your friends how hurt/inconvenienced you were and if they don’t apologise and make an effort in the future, why should you make the effort for them?

What Zenster said - you need a better class of friend. The people who said they were coming owed you a phone call to tell you they weren’t coming. Generally the only thing that keeps me from keeping social engagements is illness, and I always call ahead of time unless it’s something like an ER visit, in which case I call as soon as I can.

Oi, Melanie, I know from whence you speak. That drives me nuts too. You shouldn’t have to justify hanging out with your friends.

I once had a friend call mere hours before a party to say that she just didn’t feel like coming and would instead be staying home and doing nothing.

At least she was honest, and at least she called. No one else did, and no one came either. You see, they are a pack. If one doesn’t come, none will.

I stopped having parties after that. Stopped having any contact with any of them, actually.

This kind of behavior is totally maddening.

Some people aren’t intentionally rude - they don’t have the sense to put this stuff on their calendar, and just need a reminder.
In the future, I’d recommend making one more set of calls the night just before the event. Call everyone who previously said they would come or they might come. Nicely remind them that you’re having a cookout tomorrow at 5pm, and could they give you a definite answer on if they are coming or not (because you want to know how much food and drink to get, etc).

For the people who say they might come, say something like “OK, that’s fine, but since you’re not sure, then I won’t get food for you guys. Some other time we should plan to have dinner together when you know you have a free evening. But you’re welcome to stop by tomorrow if you can”. And then just assume they are not coming.

For the people who still say they will come, if they end up not coming, then scratch them off your invite list forever. They’ve got no interest in being friends anyway. (They don’t even understand the concept).

I had a friend who would respond to invitations with “Well, I can’t promise that I’ll be there, because I may not, and I wouldn’t want to let you down, so if I do show up, it will be a pleasant surprise, huh?”


i stopped inviting him.

Thanks everyone for the kind words.

One time I actually told three different people I’d be at their party. I totally forgot it was all on the same day :frowning:
So I was one hour at place A, drove off, stayed an hour at place B and arrived even later, totally stressed out, at place C. At least I managed to show up everywhere, but it was a bad experience for everyone and I am not going to do that again (not that I did it on purpose the first time). These days I go to whoever invited me first or - if I find out about things at approximately the same time - I’ll go to the “party” that suits me best.

Back to the OP: So far I’ve only had a few people not show up and these were rather the acquaintances than real friends. Fortunately my friends always show up when they say they do. But with some people it’s just annoying: When I hosted a party in the town where I am studying they told me “Oh, it’s too far away, if the party were here, I’d come.”
So next year I hosted the party in my hometown and they said they’d be there. I didn’t hear from them for months, heh.