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AIBU to be pissed off with this reading group member?

(140 Posts)
TheFarSide Mon 26-Aug-13 20:08:07

I am in a book club with four former colleagues. We?ve been meeting for years and take it in turns to choose a book and host the book club in our own home, which involves providing food and drink. However, one member has only ever hosted the book club once and has since then avoided having us round her home with a series of excuses and tends to prevail upon another member who lives ten miles away.

What this means in practise for me is that I am either (a) hosting the book club, which I do enjoy but it does involve spending money, clearing up, etc or (b) driving myself and this person (who can?t drive) to the other venues which means I can?t drink or (c) spending £10 on a cab fare if I want to have a drink.

As she is the only one who lives near me, I resent missing out on what I see as my turn to be entertained, have a drink and walk a short distance home afterwards. She, meanwhile, always gets to be entertained in someone else?s house, drinks as much as she wants, then gets a free lift home.

I?ve put up with the situation for a long while but AIBU to be getting really pissed off about it? Or am I just getting things out of perspective?

ViviPru Mon 26-Aug-13 20:12:58

What do the other book clubbers make of it?

emsyj Mon 26-Aug-13 20:14:10

Is there possibly a reason why she avoids hosting? Perhaps she can't really afford the food & drink? Perhaps her house is really messy and she can't face cleaning it for all of you? Who knows. If everyone lived near you, would you be as annoyed?

I think it would piss me off to be giving her a lift so that she was able to drink every time and I had to miss out - why don't you suggest sharing a cab?

MrsLouisTheroux Mon 26-Aug-13 20:16:59

That would annoy me too.
Say you fancy a drink next few times, cant drive therefore and suggest you split cab fare.

onepieceoflollipop Mon 26-Aug-13 20:17:33

Perhaps one or all of the club members need to gently enquire why. Perhaps suggest that if someone else "hosts" when it is her turn, then she provided everything that would be expected if it was in her home. Oh and yes she pays all or part of the cab fare to share with you.

Clawdy Mon 26-Aug-13 20:20:52

I'm in a book group and this would really annoy me. As in your group we all take turns to host the evening and provide wine and snacks. Occasionally someone has missed their turn because of a family problem and someone else volunteers to take an extra turn,but it's rare. She needs someone to have a quiet word,but it's a difficult one,I agree. Perhaps the other member could say she can't help her out next time?

MrsLouisTheroux Mon 26-Aug-13 20:21:13

Meant to add... There may be valid reasons why she can't host. Her DH, state of house, lack of money. I have been in a situation where I can't ask people to come over to my house. It's hard to understand if you live in a happy home. Some people don't though.
I'd go with the cab option.

TheFarSide Mon 26-Aug-13 20:22:44

It's not really discussed ViviPru - one of the bookclubbers who lives far away always steps in to rescue the situation by offering to host it when x is reluctant.

I kind of know the reasons why emsyj: I think she doesn't want us to see how she lives. Her house is fine - certainly not messy, but she makes jibes about our so-called "show homes". I know she's got self esteem issues. It's not that I'm not understanding (I've got my own hangups) but it feels unfair to me.

SarahAndFuck Mon 26-Aug-13 20:24:02

I don't think you are being unreasonable.

She's getting all the benefits with none of the effort or expense.

Perhaps you could suggest a kitty, so you all put the same amount in each month at the end of the meeting and give it to the host of the next one to buy food and drink with.

That way, the host has the preparation and tidying up but not the expense. And that way, she would at least have to pay her share for the hospitality even though she never hosts an evening.

I love your name by the way. Gary Larson is a genius. I love the one of the aliens watching the earth explode and they are all saying "ooohh!" like people at a firework display. And the cow on the lookout for cars.

TheFarSide Mon 26-Aug-13 20:24:17

We do split the cab fare, BTW, but it's £20 so £10 each. I think I'd like her offer to pay the full fare especially as she's had so many free lifts off me. It's not the money so much, it's the principle.

treaclesoda Mon 26-Aug-13 20:28:35

That would annoy me too.

treaclesoda Mon 26-Aug-13 20:30:00

oh, I was a bit abrupt there. Yes, it would annoy me, and I would feel taken advantage of.

Don't know how you would tackle it though.

SaucyJack Mon 26-Aug-13 20:30:41

I think YANBU to want her to start making more of an equal contribution to stuff seeing as it's been going on for so long.

I don't let people in my flat either tho, so I totally get why other people don't either. Being a pathological slob is no fun.

HollaAtMeBaby Mon 26-Aug-13 20:32:13

YANBU. She's a pisstaker. Next time it's your turn to host, don't invite her.

TheFarSide Mon 26-Aug-13 20:32:13

I think my pissed-offness has grown to these huge proportions because she really enjoys the book club and is always pushing for us to hurry up and have the next one, so very keen to enjoy herself at everyone else's expense, but not so keen to make the effort to host it herself.

There are mental health type issues (very low self esteem, ashamed of her family, ashamed of her ethnicity, etc) so I have been sympathetic, but she just gives in to them and carries on behaving the same way. The other book club member who keeps offering to host instead (I refuse to) is just enabling her to carry on without dealing with her issues.

[Thanks Sarah - I like the one about the real reason dinosaurs became extinct]

intheshed Mon 26-Aug-13 20:32:17

We sometimes have our book club in the pub- could you suggest this next time she is reluctant to volunteer, and choose a book in walking distance to you?

Xmasbaby11 Mon 26-Aug-13 20:36:02

I'm in a book group and we do try to make it all fair with hosting. My problem is when X can't host, we have to meet at a bar and becomes an expensive evening of a meal and drinks. I resent this because I have so little disposable income for evenings out, whereas they are all have more spare cash and think nothing of £20+ on a weekday evening out.

I think someone needs to be a bit more direct about asking the member when is good for her to host, and maybe NOT stepping in to rescue her when she is reluctant. I know that some people don't like others in their homes, but if that's how the book group works, she should accept it.

TheFarSide Mon 26-Aug-13 20:38:07

I think if I were in her position, I would take everyone out for a pizza when it was my turn to host.

I am planning on saying something to her.

TheFarSide Mon 26-Aug-13 20:38:58

Thanks for all your comments and suggestions BTW.

Jenny70 Mon 26-Aug-13 20:40:01

Our bookclub sets up a roster for the year, to help plan around it. Can you do this, then hopefully she will accept her turn to host... if it's left to someone to volunteer, it's easier for her to sit back.

Us it an issue with picking/buying book rather than hosting? That causes stress in our group, esp if book turns out to be a dud....

Arisbottle Mon 26-Aug-13 20:44:05

I feel quite sorry for her, can you to reach a compromise whereby she gets to contribute to the book club in a different way.

Out book group is in a local cafe.

TheFarSide Mon 26-Aug-13 20:45:03

There's no issue with choosing the book Jenny ... although funnily enough one of the other members used to have this problem, and sometimes would put off choosing for months and months, then we would all be getting twitchy about the book club dying out.

I love reading and discussing books, but I can't cope with all these difficult people. grin

TheFarSide Mon 26-Aug-13 20:49:24

No need to feel too sorry for her Aris - as I said before, she's always being entertained, cleared up after, and driven home.

I'm all out of patience.

I am definitely going to have a word. The other book clubbers are a bit wimpish, so it's going to be down to me.

Arisbottle Mon 26-Aug-13 20:54:10

But as you say she has,
Low self esteem
Family issues
Mental health problems

If I were her friend I would not want to put extra pressure on her.

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Mon 26-Aug-13 20:56:17

Does she never even offer you petrol money? I would do that if someone was regularly giving me a lift and I wasn't in a position to give them lifts in return.

I like SarahandFuck's suggestion of a kitty so that you are least splitting the costs of hosting, even if not the actual physical hosting duties.

I also am hmm at feeling sorry for her. Having a very messy house or whatever may be valid reasons to have someone over, but are not IMO valid reasons to impose on others and not take your fair share of costs and trouble on the chin. And I say that as someone who has an embarrassingly messy house. When things like this happen to me I have a mad clear up to make at least one room presentable. Only wish I could stick with it blush

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