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Ever gone to a out of town conference and co worker makes you eat big dinner w/them?And you don't want to?

  • l

( I posted this on the local board of the place I am going but I need general advice)
Where to start? This hound is going to Oahu. we are going to a conference. sweet. anyway locally and in my travels, I prefer fereting out ethnic, public transportation accessable,affordable haunts no matter how seedy or unhip. A colleague (not a client) cornered us and insisted on going to dinner when there. we do not eat dinner or socialize with this individual in our home town(although this individual tries to get us too). So why when on business?Does anyone have to deal with this??? This has happened a number of times in many cities.Not "do you want to go to dinner" but "we have to go to dinner tell me your available night". You can only lie so many times (" oh,I am visiting my {fictional} cousin in Hoboken" etc). Said individual prefers over hyped,expensive, touristy, places (ie Bobby Flay, Emiril type places). Us: for very special celebrations we will splurge for the fine, perhaps fois gras spiked, offerings of an earnest local chef. The kinda guy you would sit and have a beer with. But for this. no. I won't- not a painful experience that must be endured. Anyway there is no getting out of this. This individual has made clear how lonely and sad they are...so we must. I do not wan tto blow the budget on suffering through a $300 meal. do we go to this person's crappy lackluster budget buster or insist they go to the little grungy gem that will knock your socks off? I have to make sure and let you know this is NOT expense account ocvered or some business account will be lost if you do not go out to dinner with this person. It is purely karmatic obligation/ pity. what would you do?

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  1. Be proactive and invite them to dinner with you, at the place of your choosing, in a price range you are willing to spend.

    "I am dying to go to X-- would you like to join us? I understand it has the best carnitas on the North Beach."

    "Wow- let's have dinner but I really want to go to Meglo-Expense House."

    "Sorry- that really isn't in my price range."

    Repeat. It helps if you plan your schedule in advance and have another person to accomodate.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JudiAU

      Exactly...invite him to a place you want to go. Why not say, "the group has decided on so-and-so, why don't you come along." OR, "well we already planned on this place, why don't you come along." If he's lonely why would he refuse and you are including him socially. Just make sure you have co-workers or other colleagues there to be mutual buffers and spread the pain around.

    2. If you really don't want to go and it is a financial burden why not say you just can't afford it. You could then, in the spirit of human kindness invite them to come with you to a place of your choice. If that doesn't work and you do find yourself stuck in an "overhyped, expensive, touristy place," perhaps you could chalk it up to experience and look for some things on the menu that do look interesting. Perhaps you might find an appetizer more appealing than the entrees.

      I traveled 40 -45 weeks a year all around the country - and parts of Europe for 18 years for business. I had many meals in hyped touristy places that were actually wonderful, I also enjoyed places off the beaten track.

      Maybe your co-worker will come with you to one of your favorite spots and find out they enjoy themselves. Stranger things have happened.

      Good luck.

      p.s. I once had my boss insist on going to a very expensive steak house in New York. He left before the end of the meal and stuck me with the bill. He then wouldn't approve it on my expense report . So I do sympathize.

      1. "I am sorry, I can't afford X, and the company won't pay for it. Would be happy to go with you Y instead. I hear it is really good, and not at all pricey"

        Repeat as often as necessary. If you have to repeat more than twice, say;

        "I'm awfully sorry, as I said, I can't afford X. I guess we will have to have dinner together some other time instead, when we get home. I am going to go to Y. Have fun at X though!"

        I suppose it is possible they will offer to pay. If they do, you can accept only if you are sure they won't later try to back out. If you are worried they might, or just don't want to waste a meal at X, you can always say, "that is very sweet of you to offer, but I wouldn't feel comfortable with that. Have fun though!"

        2 Replies
        1. re: susancinsf

          I am grateful for the advice pouring in. it is hard to say I can't afford something when indeed I suppose I could but choose not too. While not rolling around in the $, I am able to meet my needs w/o debt (due in part to contant throughtful expenditures, thus my angst over this whole thing). As I mentioned, slurges are for special occasions not stilted dinners marred with psychodynamics. I LOVE the advice of inviting the person before they invite you. Brilliant. you know they will corner you at some pt so beat them to the punch. IN this case it is too late. I have no doubt that some of the places the person will recommend will be good, but I prefer such lush dinners involve clinking a glass and nuzzling my love than watching an ego maniac holding court, while struggling a plastered smile and wishing that it would end. i might as well be eating at applebees b/c I want it to end NOW. to make matters worse I will add this person will say to the wait staff " split it equally" when they order the most expensive items on the menu. also despite my thriftness, I am a 20% ++ tipper and have to make sure the staff is taken care of. this person sees every little thing is as a slight by staff and starts deducting...

          1. re: lyn

            All I can say is that there is more than one definition of "afford" and it sounds to me like you are wrong when you say you can afford it! Sounds to me like you really can't afford to eat at the places this person is recommending, at least from a psychic standpoint! Indeed, you really can't afford it financially either, if you want to keep to your goal of not going into debt.

        2. "Thanks for wanting to include me, but all of my free time is booked." Why would you let yourself be bullied into spending time with someone you'd rather avoid?

          3 Replies
          1. re: pikawicca

            ^yeah. it is good but I already have done that lie many times over a few conferences. this time the person hit us the instant the conference was booked. hence the high intensity of this chowhound challenge. remember if you act like a total a-hole you have to face this person at work. I still say...should you tell the person you are going to the rat infested dive and they are free to join you?after they said "lets go to dinner and I want the 7 hour tasting menu" "oh and the cab ride split up is only $30" . lest I sound like an insensitive jerk....or on the other spectrum a pushover, I am somewhere in between like the rest of us-an assertive yet empathetic,compassionate person. So keep it the advice coming!

            1. re: lyn

              This is not a lie: You have already decided how you want to spend your time, and it is not with this person. This person is trying to manipulate you into doing something you don't want to do -- he/she is the "total a-hole," and everyone of your co-workers knows it.

              1. re: pikawicca

                ok pikawicca -darned if you didnt call this one. I mean the total a-hole part

          2. Rx, repeat as needed:
            "I'm sorry, it's not possible".

            There are no excuses that invite argument. No reasons or lies that will trip you up later. It is simple and 100% guaranteed. (you can thank my late MIL for this one - a very hard-earned lesson over many years of extremely manipulative behavior)
            "It's not possible" as often as necessary.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Sherri

              This is actually a better suggestion than mine, even, because it doesn't invite argument. as you say, repeat as often as necessary. after all, OP is arguing with herself! How can she expect to stand up to arguments from the person she wants to avoid?

              1. re: Sherri

                This is exactly the response recommended by the marvelous Miss Manners, my go-to guru on all etiquette questions. Even if (or especially if) he keeps badgering or interrogating you, stick with the plain and simple response.

                It's your time, money and stomach. Don't let some bully usurp your control.

              2. Four words: "I don't want to."

                Or the slightly more polite, if verbose, equivalent: "You know, Bill, when I travel I really enjoy exploring the little out-of-the-way places only the locals know about. It's a sort of hobby of mine, and it helps make being away from home more bearable for me. So I think we'd both be a lot happier going our separate ways."

                Or the always-reliable 'it's out of my control' ploy: "I have another commitment, sorry. But you enjoy."

                Or honesty: "I'd rather root through a fast-food dumpster than eat at that kind of place, and since we're being honest you might as well know that I'd eat with maximum-security prison inmates before I'd take a meal with you."

                2 Replies
                1. re: wayne keyser

                  as it happens I have eaten with maximum security inmates and yes, I would rather eat with them. this situation is that bad

                  1. re: wayne keyser

                    AAAAHH HA HA HAAA!! Your "honesty" response is priceless!

                    And, the "other commitment" need not be a lie. You're committed to having a pleasant inexpensive meal away from unpleasant companionship.

                  2. I went on a business trip where the boss felt we should eat all of our meals together. One coworker hated the idea and was honest yet tactful: "In my free time I prefer to sight see as opposed to eat a long time consuming meal, so please don't be offended if I don't join you." Worked like a charm.

                    1. "Anyway there is no getting out of this. This individual has made clear how lonely and sad they are...so we must." Dude, you summed up the situation. Bite the bullet and deal with it. In future, set the agenda.

                      1. When you go to someplace where you want to do the food, specify up-front that you have x number of meals (usually 3 x days in place) and that you can't waste a one. Having said that, let anyone join you. I set my foot down in a workshop in Laos (where I used to work) last month and it all worked out well--for me and for those that joined me.

                        1. also for what it is worth- this is not like a NY to Chicago type thing this is 1/3 away around the world so somehow this person is even more clingy/dependent/manipulitive than normal. I appreciate the time contraint/ I gotta have my ethnic eats angle. "I will be eating taro and butt tacos you are free to come with... only 50 cents each! talk about small plates!" My intended menu is full of unknown things, organs and orfices (ie tripey, spammy, poke, stews)...in the words of Monty Burns Eeeeexcellent. individual may in the end pass.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: lyn

                            Sounds like they are no game for the offal truth.

                            1. re: lyn

                              Exactly. Restaurants with international food have popped up everywhere in Vientiane over the past 10 years. They mostly cost a bundle. I prefer, even if prices were the same, traditional Lao food with lots and lots of very funny meat bits. Fortunately, people in the workshop came from all over. My street food companions included an Oz bloke living in Sri Lanka and a German woman from Ghana. We wolfed down the orifice stews with great gusto.

                            2. Tell him/her that you only have $20(or whatever) to spend for dinners, and it wouldn't be fair to hamper him/her. Sounds like the plan is for you and others to subsidize his/her dinner with that "let's split it equally" ploy.

                              1. Lyn, since you work together I understand you have to be diplomatic. How about, "you know, I've put myself on a budget because I spent so much on xyz and I'm afraid that's out of my price range right now". Or simply, "I'm on a budget, how about abc instead", realizing your coworker probably won't want to go there. Even if he/she does, at least you'll eat food of your choice.

                                Unfortunately in this instance you can't very well use, "I'm sorry, I have other plans". Good luck.

                                1. Why don't you just tell the truth?!

                                  "You like to go to big expensive restaurants, and I don't. I prefer small ethnic hideaways, so that's where I'm planning on going."

                                  Invite them with you if you want; don't if you don't.

                                  1. Use the Chowhound boards. Don't show him this thread, but start by asking a question on the appropriate board for an inexpensive Chowish place in the locale you are going to. Invite him to join the discussion, and he'll feel like an insider and you can choose the place you want to try.

                                    1. I'd be careful with the budget thing... he might offer to pay!

                                      A long time ago, my friend and I went to a conference in Boston and spent most of the time hiding from our annoying co-worker so we didn't have to hang out with him. We should have been upfront with him, because we spent most of the time feeling guilty and not really enjoying what we were doing.

                                      I've learned it's better to be yourself, and it's okay to rock the boat a little. If this guy was your boss, I might say something else, but he's obviously got some issues and maybe if everyone did what they really wanted, he would be forced to face those issues. So think of it this way... doing what you want not only makes you happy, but may even help your co-worker look a little deeper into himself, lol.

                                      Wayne hit it dead on... just tell him how food is your passion, and going to out-of-the-way places is your hobby. Don't invite him to come if you don't like him. Follow your passion and enjoy!

                                      Tell us how it went when you come back...

                                      1. Sorry to be the contrarian but you are there on business, not a vacation. There are lots of good suggestions on how to move the locale to a resto of your choice and affordability (both financial and psychological) but the bottom line is that it's not your vacation to snuggle with honey. If someone in your shop is insistent on going out to dinner, no matter how big an a-hole, suck it up and make the most of it. Business trips ain't about enjoying the "free" time.

                                        I have spent countless meals not with DW on conferences and it is not the A-list, but you gotta do it.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: jfood

                                          Unless the purpose of the dinner is to conduct business, it's a social occasion, and no one is obliged to attend.

                                          1. re: pikawicca

                                            Ah, Picawicca if the world were so black and white. In a perfect world you are right, but corporate life does not allow for such "my time versus biz time" when attending a conference. Colleague or customer asks to join for dinner, answer is "my pleasure", now you need to make the best of it. Try to get the right place for the right price. Unfortunately this is just one of those suck it up times. This guy may be your boss in a few years and he will remember getting blown off.

                                            1. re: jfood

                                              While there may be politics to play, and there may be pressure to conform, you aren't required to go. I travel extensively and I hate going to the hotel bar ("let's go have a drink"), so I don't.

                                        2. That's right... after the day's business is conducted, dinner together is optional. Eating on your own doesn't make your business trip a "vacation." I don't believe you have to do it for your work unless, jfood, you are in a field where something like that is a part of the work culture... where "sucking it up" may be necessary. In my field, it most definately is not.

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: katiepie

                                            I did not say it was sucking up but it is common courtesy.

                                            1. re: jfood

                                              Yes you did...

                                              I quote: "If someone in your shop is insistent on going out to dinner, no matter how big an a-hole, suck it up and make the most of it."

                                              Maybe I should have quoted "suck(ing) it up" because I had to add the "ing" to make my sentence grammatically correct.

                                              In some work cultures it certainly is a "common courtesy" to squash what you would really like to do with your personal time and spend it with an obnoxious co-worker who calls all the shots. In the past, did I have to have dinner with a new sales manager who I wasn't particularly fond of? Of course... business-wise, it made sense. Did I have to have dinner with the annoying 20 something year old IT guy who wanted to go to a sports bar and get drunk? Haillll no. Should I have?

                                              I don't think it's a matter of common courtesy, but of proper judgement. If you love where you work and it is good for business, then by all means, suck it up. Otherwise, who cares? Do what you want with your personal time. Those memories will last a lifetime... you won't even remember your co-worker's name when your 80, but you will remember your dinner in Hawaii.

                                              I don't think this situation is going to affect Lyn's job in any way...it will just cause some personal discomfort with a co-worker. If I'm wrong Lyn, please correct me.

                                              1. re: katiepie

                                                You are right and I mis-read your reply. So we are all on the same page sucking up does not equal suck(ing) it up.

                                                I also agree that when we are all old the memor of a romantic dinner with DW will far outweigh the bad dinner but the road to retirement has many choices.

                                                Have the dinner, "suck it up" and then go for a nice romantic walk on the beach. I'd bet the ending to the evening will outweigh either the "suck it up dinner" or the romantic dinner.

                                                1. re: jfood

                                                  To be clear, the OP is not choosing between dinner w/SO and dinner with colleague. The reference seemed to be along the lines of "if I go to a high-end place, I like to do that with my SO." The SO is back home.

                                                  The OP is also clear that the colleague is not a client. Naturally, if the person in question is a client, manager, key vendor or mentor, one ought to accept unless one has a compelling reason to do otherwise. Treat those as business invitations in a social setting.

                                                  The co-worker is extending a social invite in a business setting.

                                                  Be pro-active if the co-worker could be part of the group on different terms; be tactful if he or she could not.

                                                  1. re: jfood

                                                    Afte the OP finally cleared up his/her semantics, it's clear I got the details wrong, and I take back a large chunk of my reply to jfood's post.

                                                    I've revised my point of view in a different reply to the OP quite a bit further down the thread.

                                                    Apologies.

                                            2. If you feel obligated to go with him to dinner, say you already planned on going to this ethnic restaurant you heard about and you're welcome to join. If not, I won't be able to make it to your 7 hour tasting restaurant because I already have my week planned.

                                              1. I promise I will report back although this trip is not until January. But there will surely be a conversation this week about the where/ whens and all this advice has been helpful to us. We do not know if the intended will want to eat innards off styrofoam -which we will tell them now that is the plan. he/she will sulk but so be it. They may not even come.

                                                I am starting to feel guilty toward you kind hounds b/c I was purposely non specific about the gender of me, my spouse and the perpetrator...and whether me or my spouse is the one with the offending co worker. I am not trying to deceive anyone, just worried about the event that this person will read this...as it would be crushing. I am sure that happens, but that discussion is for a whole other thread sometime. Anyway I will report back as info rolls in

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: lyn

                                                  hahaha. I'm going to a conference in January too! But since I'm quietly planning my meals sans colleauges, I'm sure you're not talking about me.

                                                  For me, it would depend on how I feel about the person while @ work. If it was someone with whom I rarely socialised @ home, then I'd have no problems saying "no thank you". And if the pestering continued, I'd follow with, "why do you continue to ask me?" or "why don't you ask so-and-so?"

                                                  You're a lot nicer than I am; I wouldn't feel bad about leaving them on their own. Worst-case, I'd invite them to join me on a night or two before the conference ends to join me for dinner. I've had my share of family/friends/colleauges trying to invite themselves to join me for dinner/travel/event; I finally learned to put my foot down.

                                                  Good luck!

                                                2. you said in the orig post that this was a colleague and not a client and doesn't sound like it's the boss. if it were the boss i would just suck it up. it wasn't business covered by an expense account but purely out of kharmic pity that you said you would go. Since it sounds like you just don't want to spend time with this person rather than not spending lots of money on a meal, if i were you I would just say you are really sorry but you want to spend your days in oahu another way. maybe you can suggest someone else to hang out w/ him/her instead.

                                                  sounds as if you think this person is overbearing but maybe that's just the way they communicate. some people have very poor communication skills but that's no reason to lie to them or pity them. if you are up front and say you don't like certain things (repeating yourself helps) that person will eventually get it and find someone who does. by lying in the past you are as much at fault if not more than this person, imho. i mean how was he/she supposed to know what you really were into if you never told him/her?

                                                  1. I agree with the majority of posters here--if this dinner is not necessary professionally and no fun socially, then either take control of the dinner plans to make them more palatable (ha ha), or do your best to weasel your way out of it politely.

                                                    When at conferences, I find that breakfast is a good time to get work-related shmoozing out of the way (at least at meetings I go to, everyone stays in the same hotel and gets the same lame-o Continental breakfast). Lunches I may spend with colleagues (since I'll still be spending the afternoon with them), but I reserve my dinner hours for chowhounding, since the conferences I go to are in places I normally won't go to on my own. This way, my budget (or lack thereof) and penchant for organ meats won't cause any conflicts.

                                                    If I don't manage to slip out unnoticed for dinner on my own, I inevitably end up roped into joining a group of 6 or more people, half of whom are typically vegans with wheat and soy allergies, as they plod aimlessly through the streets of an unfamiliar city in search of someplace that can keep us all at one table without offending anyone's dietary sensibilities! Aargh!

                                                    Don't let something similarly unpleasant happen to you. Enjoy your trip!

                                                    1. Boy this is complicated. All things considered, unless the guy picks his nose at the table, dominates conversations and burps food your way, I'd opt for being generous, bringing him along and bringing many buffers to share the pain.

                                                      I know the feeling of weird co-workers and colleagues but it's ONE meal and who knows perhaps your generousity might bring a pleasant surprise or karma points when you need them. If being a grown up means doing stuff you don't like...you might try it.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: ML8000

                                                        I would do. But, it is a personal thing on taking pity on him/her. I think it would be sad to be in Honolulu alone if you're not adventurous and end up eating in the hotel room. Maybe just invite the person along for dinner only and then go somewhere for dessert/drinks/whatever.

                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                          That's a v. good idea and seem totally reasonable to me. Being a human being and having fun with your friends/colleagues isn't mutually exclusive, just needs a little planning. Also you might have some stories to tell over dessert or drinks.

                                                          1. re: ML8000

                                                            and who knows maybe it might turn out alright after all. esp after a couple of drinks.

                                                      2. I am curious as to why I haven't seen a post from you asking about restaurant recommendations in Oahu (on the Elsewhere in America Board where HI belongs). Do you know Oahu well? FWIW, assuming you will be in Honolulu and not elsewhere on Oahu, Honolulu is a large, sophisticated, metropolitan, Pacific Rim City. As such, I suspect there really are restaurants that would satisfy your need for adventure and yet not be too pricy, but that won't exactly be divey holes in the wall either. If you really want to compromise, seems like one of those would do nicely.

                                                        If you are located outside of Honolulu, you might find choices limited unless you drive into town anyway....

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: susancinsf

                                                          regarding no post for oahu. well I have been scouring the history...it is hard to post b/c everyone asks the same question and gets the same answers! I am leaning toward Ono Hawaiian for the the authentic meal...and then maybe side street Inn for some well prepared affordable food. I would like to go to China Town and do some major exploring. Maybe hit a fresh fish market and grill some local fish or make Poke. Last time I was there I went to Nicks fish Market on happy hour and salmon and tuna tartare on special it was one of the best things I have ever had (the rest of the menu was too boring) and I am in still in search of the best banh mi sandwich... thats my kinda thing. I also have to respond re: buffers. there are no buffers: everyone who knows this person has written themselves off from this person. remember pity/empathy is the main factor here. That is why, through all the affirmation of you hounds, this person is sincerely invited to whatever place we are going. I guess I was boiling at nearly being bullied into spending a fortune with bad company as opposed to eating someplace I wanted to (casual local joint). as follow up -the person does not pick their nose, however they are an egomaniac and a narcissist. and as I mentioned they are rude to wait staff which is pretty much intolerable in my opinion. Well we will do the right thing...invite this person to a place on our agenda.

                                                          1. re: lyn

                                                            Thank you for reaffirming the pity/empathy part-I'm certain it was being buried. There are a number of threads on tipping which address how to reward a server when one's co-diners are not doing so. I think this is the time to remember that you've said this person is lonely and needy; certainly one can take the compassion shown to maximum security prisoners and extend it to someone who knows only you in a strange place. It is a business trip, after all, and not a honeymoon where the two of you could happily indulge your reverse food snobbery and insist on offal over expensive restaurants.

                                                        2. my crypticness has lead to readers making assumptions...which I as mentioned I chose to be vague (rather than deceiving) so I could not be identified by the offender should they read this (at this point they cant still be reading!)I am the spouse who is trying to help my s.o deal with this situation with the coworker. I AM joining the spouse on this trip (as I have on many before and had to deal with this), hence my stake in the matter. I am feeling very comfortable about inviting this person to join at us our tripey, innardy dive...and if he/she hates it, well so be it. maybe we will open his/her mind and palate!

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: lyn

                                                            Then I need to take back a chunk of my previous answer and update it with this: you're not really asking a question about food or restaurants. You're asking a business/social etiquette question. In fact, it's not even YOUR question, because you don't bear the business consequences of whatever you decide to do.

                                                            After all the obliqueness, here's a clearer answer: The person who has to maintain the work relationship, has to handle this. If your SO wants tips on how to tactfully dodge social obligations with business acquaintances, Miss Manners is the place to inquire.

                                                            And you, sorry to say, get to take a backseat.

                                                          2. Unless your company requires your SO to socialize with coworkers, you have no obligation to do anything. If the coworker is using dinner to discuss business, then have your SO bring the issue to his supervisor and ask if the company will be covering the cost of dinner since you will be discussing business. If not, then decline.

                                                            You have said to us that you only go out for high end meals for special occasions. Say that to the coworker, that it would make you uncomfortable otherwise and so you are declining the invitation.

                                                            If the person can't accept or understand that, dismiss him for what he is: a boor.

                                                            1. "Suit up" and make it a growth experience.
                                                              20 years from now...the situation could be one where you have to make an executive/business decision.
                                                              A sense of HUMOR can be THE BEST work policy!

                                                              1. Can your SO tell the colleague that they've promised you a Romantic Dinner-for-2 (or date-night), since you came along & endured the conference?

                                                                1. update: using all the recommnedations posted above, my spouse and I role played what would be said to this person when nailed down again. Well the person said "Oh I made reservations for us on the Tuesday we are there..." mind you this person never asked where we wanted to go, or when we were avialable and we clearly hemmed and hawed when asked about dinner in the first place. So per the role play my spouse says " I am so sorry, we are actually not available that night, I hope you will enjoy w/o out us" So the person says, "well I am changing the reservation!" So here is what is next. we will email the night we are available and invite the person to House of Island Tripe or where ever we think we are going. end of story. I just thought I would share the whole reservation w/o asking thing b/c it illistrates the manipulation we are dealing with.

                                                                  edit/add: also I should clarify the this trip is only partially funded by the employer professional development funds. so spouse less willing to "suck it up" for biz reasons.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: lyn

                                                                    Good for you!

                                                                    I didn't know they were THAT manipulative. Since that's the case, I would NEVER dine w/that person. Male or female, they are a complete bore.

                                                                    I'm glad you'll be able to enjoy your meals without them.

                                                                    1. re: lyn

                                                                      OK OK OK, from the guy who made the suck it up, not suck up comment. This guy sounds like a fungus, you were right. He does not take a hint well and you need to go to Plan B. Invite him/her to the Island as you suggest and if he hems or haws, ask him to join you for a drink before you and you spouce go out for a romantic dinner. If he still does not uptick to semi-intelligent, you might have to tell him that you've already made plans for each night and maybe you guys could get together back ayt home base. Easier to hide there.

                                                                    2. I all else fails, will send this link of the place we are looking at. Lets such say they did not use a food stylist to lay out these pics: http://www.geocities.com/NapaValley/9...

                                                                      warning: there is picture of a pig playing a piano, a foreboding sign.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: lyn

                                                                        Re: the pig playing the piano...reminds me of the old Starkist commercials and the difference between "great taste" and "tastes great."