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To have felt like I was on the receiving end of an unkind joke

(57 Posts)
greyrainydrizzle Wed 06-Dec-17 15:32:19

It was my birthday on Friday. Normally I never celebrate but after a bereavement my friends felt important so I sounded out a few people in September about an afternoon tea on at a local stateley Home. It was £11 per head.

I started checking with people on the weekend before they were still coming and all said yes.

You probably know where this is going. On the 29th the texts and messages started coming in saying that x y and z had come up but have a great day. By Saturday morning I was down to me and two others and the table was booked and paid for twelve.

I’m so upset

Darlingsof Wed 06-Dec-17 15:35:50

Sorry you have rubbish friends, they perhaps didn't realise that you were forking out for it? Still that's crap. It's the time of year I think, people get busy...

MikeUniformMike Wed 06-Dec-17 15:37:42

It's not you and it's probably not a cruel joke. I had this with best friend's milestone birthday. A long time ago now as it was over a decade ago. Booked a huge table in a restaurant and only nearly half the party turned up. Fortunately, we weren't left out of pocket but it looked bad and BestFriend was a bit upset.
Some used the no babysitter excuse, some had some last minute excuse etc.
It's not you but it does show who your real friends are.

MissionItsPossible Wed 06-Dec-17 15:38:53

shock sad

That is absolutely bloody horrible. It'd be bad enough if you hadn't pre-booked but you mean to tell me you are out of pocket x9? I don't know how anyone can be so cruel and selfish. I am so sorry for you OP. I hope you ditch those so called friends and stick to the two that actually made the effort to show up. I am sat here shaking my head.

Scentofwater Wed 06-Dec-17 15:39:20

That is shit.

If I was you I would be speaking to each of the non attendees individually to say that as the booking had been made and you’d paid for it you’re now out of pocket for a fair bit, and that it had been a crap experience. If they are decent they will pay you back and apologise, if they refuse or make a fuss about it you know they aren’t really your friends and you are better off without them.

I have been in similar situations but without the money aspect and it really hurts, but each individual would not have imagined that everyone else was going to bail.

MissionItsPossible Wed 06-Dec-17 15:41:08

Oh sorry the post above me prompted me to add I don't think it's an unkind joke I just think they are inconsiderate (so frustrating posting from work and not allowed to swear). If it was an unkind joke they wouldn't have text you so you'd be wondering or they would have phoned and laughed at you. So no, not a joke but still doesn't make it less unkind.

greyrainydrizzle Wed 06-Dec-17 15:42:02

I didn’t literally mean that it was an unkind joke but that it FELT like one

MikeUniformMike Wed 06-Dec-17 15:45:20

It is unkind. People should know what they can commit to and just not accept if they can't commit to it.

MikeUniformMike Wed 06-Dec-17 15:46:21

On a positive note, OP, you have got two nice friends. Hugs.

BenLui Wed 06-Dec-17 15:47:22

I hope you told them how disappointed you were in them, and didn’t just say “it’s fine, never mind”.

teaandtoast Wed 06-Dec-17 15:48:35

Perhaps they were thinking you paid if you actually went and had the tea, like a restaurant?

Debby08 Wed 06-Dec-17 15:52:59

I feel sorry for you. But at the end of it all be reminded that your reaction towards a circumstance be it a bad joke or an unfortunate event would tell so much of your character. I personally think it's not a bad joke and it's just that people tend to get caught up with other things. But nonetheless, be mature to accept things you don't have control over as I know you are for sure.

Herbcake Wed 06-Dec-17 15:53:44

Well, each person would've thought they were the only person bailing I guess.

But it was really rude and flaky. Why can't people be arsed with basic manners? You commit to something, you do it, not just decide on the day if you fancy it!

I'd be interested to know what reasons they gave you.

Pagwatch Wed 06-Dec-17 15:57:35

It's absolutely understandable that it feels personal. Of course it does.
It isn't, it's just people being flakey but that's not how it feels.

If it helps at all I organise events every week for third parties. No matter how many people rspv - including having paid upfront - about a fifth of people don't turn up. You were really unlucky

Grumblepants Wed 06-Dec-17 16:00:16

I will come with you. I always feel like this when I arrange parties so I don't bother anymore. DH says one of his worse memories was his 18th when his dad threw him a party and put on loads of food and hardly anyone turned up. It's so heart breaking. Can you try and get some money back from the booking and spend it on a bottle of champagne for you and your 2 real friends. I hope you have a lovely time flowers

BrokeAndBad Wed 06-Dec-17 16:03:26

Well Happy Belated Birthday 🍰

All great people are born Dec 1st (even those that crash their cars on that day 🙄😡)

The friends that didn't turn up? They not worthy of your friendship, I'm sorry about your recent bereavement xxxx

ThumbWitchesAbroad Wed 06-Dec-17 16:05:03

It seems to be the norm these days, and for the last few years, that people think it's ok to just ditch at the last minute for "something that's come up". I mean, barring accidents and illness, something shouldn't "just come up" that precludes you honouring an invitation that you've already accepted, it's rude!

I've known people accept party invitations, and then blow it off on the day because they felt like going to the beach instead, or they fancied shopping instead, or something else completely unnecessary that they could have done another time. It's just very inconsiderate and says (to me) that they don't value me or my time at all sad

When I was a child (a long while back now!) we weren't allowed to blow off party invitations if we'd accepted them. Even if something "better" came up, we honoured our first response. Seems that's not much the case these days.

Witchend Wed 06-Dec-17 16:05:55

Was it a firm invite though. So: "Come to my birthday on 4th December at 2:00 for afternoon tea at Posh Local Hotel, cost £11."
Or was it a sound out: "I'm going to have an afternoon tea for my birthday, would you be interested in coming if I book it?"

Because the latter, I can be happy to come along in theory, but if the afternoon tea suddenly comes on a day I can't make (and you saying my birthday may make it clear to you what date, but other people don't necessarily remember), or the timing's dreadful, I wouldn't feel bad about pulling out as I hadn't committed to more than interest in the first place.

Rationalsozialist Wed 06-Dec-17 16:06:00

Oh OP sad
I've been on the receiving end of this too, and I bet the financial aspect really stings.

As scent says, did they know that you had paid for them in advance?
If so, maybe gently explain that you're disappointed that you've ended up paying over £100 for an £11 afternoon tea, and that had you known sooner you would have saved your money and bought yourself a special present/treated yourself to champagne with the two friends who could make it etc.

If you didn't make it clear, maybe something along the lines of "I'm so sorry you couldn't make it, what date would you be free to do something? I'm a bit out of pocket after my birthday (my own fault for being less clear!) so maybe we could do something cheap/free?"

That leaves the ball in their court to make it up to you if it was a genuine oversight.
If they cancelled last minute, in the knowledge you'd paid for their place, they've been very rude not to offer to reimburse you.

Do not be ashamed to point out you have been hurt. It can feel really awkward, I know, but in most instances it is so unintentional - I know I've been guilty and it was never malicious - and any true friend would jump at the opportunity to make this up to you. Don't let pride let you sit and wallow, when you may be depriving yourself of having your worth affirmed by people who are mortified to have hurt you.

notacooldad Wed 06-Dec-17 16:06:34

My ex colleague had thislast month. It was her 40th. She hired a room and even swooped the rooms for the bigger one.150 people were invited and over 100 said yes. She ordered food, put a tab on the bar and really went to town decorating the place. There was loads of excitement on FB about it. A couple of days before excuses started to come in, in fact most of them came a couple of hours before the event.
25 people turned up!

The thing is she is lovely and popular. I honestly think it was because it was a cold dark night and people can't be arsed turning out not realising everybody else bailed as well.

Rationalsozialist Wed 06-Dec-17 16:08:29

(And that's not to say you are being too proud, sorry if that came across in any way as patronising or snarky!)

BrokenBattleDroid Wed 06-Dec-17 16:10:28

Oh jeez op, poor you that must have felt galling.

If it had been any individual one friend then it would have been OK (though mildly disappointing), so I'd go with the mindset that each friend was imagining they were the only non-attendee.

Of course that only counts if they are all otherwise good friends. If this is a last straw type thing for any of them then I guess it tells you all you need to know, but assess that for each friend individually as they didn't duck out together (that would be truly shit!).

JessieMcJessie Wed 06-Dec-17 16:10:29

What awful friends. When you checked with them the weekend before, did you make it clear you were paying upfront? If so I’d be aski g all the no- shows to transfer mevthe money and, starting the text with “as you were one of 9 who cancelled at the last minute I am quite a lot out of pocket”- make sure they know that their “oh everyone else will still go” attitude did not wash here and hopefully they will have the decency to see how much it would have upset you.
And did the venue really still charge you for 9 uneaten teas? I know they may have some costs to cover but charging you the full whack is a little harsh?

I hope that you did confide your sadness in the two who did go and not just brush it off, and that the three of you had a good bitch-fest about the others.
Happy belated birthday.

MrSnrubYesThatsIt Wed 06-Dec-17 16:13:16

That's horrible.
Some people are just selfish pigs.

Katedotness1963 Wed 06-Dec-17 16:14:31

I wonder if texting makes it easier to back out at the last minute? You don't have to "face" the other persons disappointment, or even hear it. Just a quick "so sorry, something's come up", and carry on with your day.

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