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To expect our friend to bring a bottle of wine when he comes to us each week?

(43 Posts)
pingu2209 Mon 19-Nov-12 08:09:08

Nearly a year ago my dh oldest friend moved from one end of the country to the other to live in the village we live in. It wasn't to be near us, it was just fluke that a new job was in the nearest town and he liked the village we live in. He knew/knows nobody and lives alone with no girlfriend etc.

We have him over for dinner every week on a Thursday. He drinks a lot and when he is with us drinks well over a bottle of wine to himself. We always drink 2 bottles of wine. My dh doesn't drink and I have 1 or 2 glasses max., the rest is drunk by our friend.

At first he brought a bottle of wine along each time he came. However, after a few weeks I told him not to worry as he will be with us so regularly that he shouldn't worry. My perspective was that a weekly mid week meal with us is quite low key, nothing grand and I wasn't expecting to drink alcohol each week. However, I didn't realise how much he 'liked a drink' and he will ask for a glass of wine.

He is a maths wizz and since this September has come to our house earlier than normal every fortnight or so and works with one of our children on their maths. The lesson lasts about half an hour. He then joins my dh and I for an evening meal - with 2 bottles of wine.

This Sunday we invited him and a couple of other friends for a roast. We don't normally see him at the weekends as we are busy with our 3 children's activities etc. I made a big effort and the beef alone was over £23! The other friends came with wine and chocolates, he turned up empty handed.

I am in mixed minds over whether I am unreasonable to expect a bottle of wine. I have spoken to my dh and he agrees with me that it was quite rude to turn up with nothing.

However, firstly, he is a very old friend. Secondly, I did specifically say not to bring wine along each week. Thirdly, he is working with one of our children on their maths on a regular basis (although not weekly as he isn't able to come to us early enough).

I have tried offering him tea and coffee when he comes on a Thursday but he responds with a smile (I think he thinks I am joking) and says he'd rather a glass of wine.

However, 2 bottles of wine a week is ending up quite expensive! I belong to a wine club and get a crate of wine each quarter; it doesn't last!

GhostShip Mon 19-Nov-12 08:13:00

You told him not to bring one! Perhaps now would be a good time to start suggesting. Maybe say that you aren't part of the wine club anymore, a white lie but would cover the fact that you told him not to, then are asking him to

And it's not his fault you spend 23 quid on beef is it.

mrsscoob Mon 19-Nov-12 08:14:04

YABU You said it yourself in your 3 points.

Notquite Mon 19-Nov-12 08:14:04

Put one bottle on the table next week. I think a meal and a drink is a fair return for the maths tutoring, but a bottle between you on a week night is more than reasonable. If he wants more, he can revert to bringing his own.

vodkaanddietirnbru Mon 19-Nov-12 08:14:39

tell him you've given up wine to save up for christmas and dont have any in the house so if he wants a drink he'll have to bring his own

mrsscoob Mon 19-Nov-12 08:14:54

Plus a maths tutor would cost far more than a bottle of wine.

OpheliasWeepingWillow Mon 19-Nov-12 08:15:48

Well buy cheaper wine! Seriously. Tesco own or something and save the good stuff for when he leaves. Job done.

Flatbread Mon 19-Nov-12 08:16:21

Let it go, it is trivial in the larger scheme of things.

I think it is fantastic that he is tutoring math, will help your child in the long-run.

MammaTJ Mon 19-Nov-12 08:17:14

Buy cheaper wine!! It works for me. I go to Tesco and buy a half price fairly decent one or two.

Dawndonna Mon 19-Nov-12 08:17:34

Half an hours maths tuition is around twenty quid.

schobe Mon 19-Nov-12 08:18:27

I know the right thing to do is just to have a word and be honest. Say that you hadn't realised it would be 2 bottles a week - could he contribute one of them?

However I would be tempted to take the cowards way at first and just stop offering the 2nd bottle. If he asks say you've run out (hide wine). I reckon after the 2nd time he'll turn up with a bottle.

However he'll also know that you are playing a game and were too weasly to say anything. Depends on your relationship with him.

Also, it's your DH's friend - you could just get him to deal with it. I just know you're going to come on and reply that your DH doesn't mind the 2 bottles. Damn these generous-natured, hospitable people.

BellaVita Mon 19-Nov-12 08:18:35

Well half an hour tutoring here would be £10. Do you pay him? If not then I think you are being a tad unreasonable.

It is not his fault you spent £23 on beef.

HellothisisJoanie Mon 19-Nov-12 08:19:04

say you have no wine?
we rarely do now, since i started a diet

pingu2209 Mon 19-Nov-12 08:19:45

You are all right. I knew it in my bones that I was being a bit unreasonable and yes he would have turned up if I had offered a mean on Sunday of beans on toast. It was my decision to have the topside of beef.

I don't want to drink every week mid week, so I will not have a glass of wine with him, but offer him one bottle (buying cheap ones from a supermarket rather than the £10+ bottles from the wine club).

I don't think I can have the chat about bringing his own wine. I will just offer him one bottle and that is that.

schobe Mon 19-Nov-12 08:19:54

Oh yes, I forgot the maths tuition. I think that's worth ONE bottle for friends, not two. And I've been a maths tutor <therefore know everything wink>.

NervousAt20 Mon 19-Nov-12 08:20:01

Hmm I'm in two minds as you did tell him not to bring one but I think he should every now and then. Next time he comes over and asks for a glass just say "oh sorry I haven't had a chance to get any, tea or coffee?" Then maybe next week he'll bring one along

lottiegarbanzo Mon 19-Nov-12 08:22:48

Just be honest and say you wouldn't normally drink mid-week. You could say perhaps, on reflection, it would be lovely to have a glass of whatever he's drinking. Or see it as payment for the maths tuition but buy cheaper wine.

Mismatch in drinking expectations can be quite uncomfortable. I have hated being limited to one small glass because my host hardly drinks, when I'd much rather have brought my own and had two glasses.

mrskeithrichards Mon 19-Nov-12 08:23:49

I had a friend like this he'd pop in and ask for a gin. I hid my gin.

lisad123 Mon 19-Nov-12 08:24:25

Just put one bottle out and leave it at that. Maths tutors here are £25 a hour so I think your getting good deal, plus you told him not to.

ErikNorseman Mon 19-Nov-12 08:25:35

You are not obliged to drink with him, just serve yourself juice/water and buy in some cheaper bottles for Thursdays. I'm not sure why you told him not to bring wine! But the tutoring seems a fair exchange in monetary terms, if you want to look at it like that.
However he was rude to turn up to Sunday lunch empty handed.

lottiegarbanzo Mon 19-Nov-12 08:25:42

Yes, surely if you don't drink at all, he'd have to be quite gauche to ask you to open a second bottle (slightly contradicting my previous post but really, there are reasonable limits).

pingu2209 Mon 19-Nov-12 08:36:27

I said that he 'liked to drink' but he and dh have spoken ages ago and he has a drink problem. My dh says that we shouldn't be having wine when he has a drink problem. He isn't a recovering alcoholic, he isn't tee total. He drinks alone each evening and I am not sure he would be able to get through the evening with us without a drink, so I can't not have any alcohol in the house.

Of course, if he said to us that he wanted to do something about his admitted drink problem, I would hide all alcohol when

pingu2209 Mon 19-Nov-12 08:36:43

when he came round.

FellatioNelson Mon 19-Nov-12 08:37:24

Hmmm. This is tricky - on the one hand you did tell him not to bring wine any longer, and he might be one of those slightly emotionally unintelligent men who takes things a bit too literally, but he does sort of tutor your children as a way of returning your hospitality, but on the other hand you'd have to be pretty thick skinned and selfish to not notice that the arrangement was somewhat one-sided after a while. I think he should start thinking for himself and doing what seems right, irrespective of what you said to him, and bring the wine anyway.

VU of him to not bring any when it was a dinner party with other guests present as well though, and not just your usual casual arrangement.

HellothisisJoanie Mon 19-Nov-12 08:37:49

i think oyu are getting beyond yourself. Your bottle of wine or lack of it wont cure alcoholism.

leave that to H or to the bloke himself.
have one bottle only of cheap plonk OR offer to pay him for tutoring.

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