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Was it rude to assume I was invited?


My husband was invited to a corporate cocktail party by the publisher of some of his works.
He RSVP'd, and we were planning to attend together.

We just found out, however, that no guests are invited, due to limited space.

Should they not have specified that on their invitation?

This isn't an 'office party'.

it's a party in honor of the writers who the company represents, of which my husband is one.

My husband is not the greatest network-er, and is only comfortable at these kind of events with me.

Was it wrong of us to assume that I could come?

Thanks so much for any feedback!

  1. I wouldn't say it was rude, but it was presumptuous. My partner gets invited to a lot of things like this and I never once assumed I was invited unless it was stipulated. And I've always been correct.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ttoommyy

      I agree with ttoommyy. If the invite did not specify "and guest," you just presumed. If your husband is not comfortable at things like this (mine isn't either, so I sympathize), he can politely decline or just say something came up at the last minute, if he has already RSVPd, and he will be unable to attend.

      1. re: ttoommyy

        "My husband is not the greatest network-er, and is only comfortable at these kind of events with me."

        I will also add that the exact opposite is true at my house; my partner is a big schmoozer while I get extremely anxious at an event like this. On the rare occasion that I have been invited to something that is for me only and no guest, I might decline based on the type of event. I never even think about asking if I can bring someone or assume my partner can accompany me.

      2. Well, you start by saying that your husband was invited, so there you go. You were not invited. I would never assume that I'm invited to an event of my DH's work unless specified, such as a Holiday Party.
        You're not rude, but made an assumption probably influenced by your DH's social anxiety.
        You're not invited, and that's par for the course with work-related events.
        And, you don't rsvp for two unless you see that you *and guest* are invited. That's usually made clear on the invite.

        11 Replies
        1. re: monavano

          My presumption had nothing to do with his social anxiety.

          As I stated, this is not an office party or holiday party. It is a party in honor of the artists who are represented by this company - which include my husband.
          I think it was a natural presumption on our part.

          Anyway, thanks all, for the feedback.

          1. re: Michele212

            note the word "probably". I don't know you, so that's why I stipulated, and didn't mean to state as fact.
            I inferred that from your OP. I guess we both made presumtions ;-) However, I think you will see even by the limited amount of responses to date, it's not proper etiquette/natural to assume what you did.
            Anyway, good luck to him at the event!

            1. re: monavano

              He's not attending.
              We were going there on our way to another event, so there it is.
              Thanks again, all.

            2. re: Michele212

              Did your husband receive a written invitation? How was it worded? Did it say "Mr. & Mrs." , or "Mr. and guest"? If not, only he was invited. If he feels he will be unable to cope with the situation, well he can just tell them he can't make it. On the other hand, if it is important to his furthering his career, maybe he can go for a short time, and then make a gracious exit.

              1. re: CookieLee

                The invitation was via email.
                "In honor of our authors, etc."
                I don't have the invite any longer, but it obviously must not have said "and guest"
                He needs no help furthering his career there - he's actually one of their "big cheeses."
                Thanks again for replying.

                1. re: Michele212

                  YW. I found myself in a similar situation at one time. It was quite surprising to me as well.

              2. re: Michele212

                I don't think you were incorrect to assume you were invited. My husband is often invited to receptions by the various publishers he is affiliated with. At every one, spouses or partners of the authors/editors have been present.

                1. re: dulcie54

                  Well, thank you Dulcie...I'm also a pretty well established artist in this field, so it seemed kinda kooky to us.
                  This situation was a first for me.
                  So, I decided to do some kind of reality check, and found ChowHound.
                  Glad to know of this site, now.

                2. re: Michele212

                  ""It is a party in honor of the artists who are represented by this company - which include my husband."" - Michele212

                  Well, there's your answer. Are YOU an artist represented by that company?

                  1. re: NE_Wombat

                    They're very much interested in one of my properties, and I'm very involved with them in three of my husband's titles, - so it was a real FAUX PAS in our book.

                    1. re: Michele212

                      But their "faux pas" doesn't change the fact that you were clearly not invited. Two separate issues.

              3. If your name, or "and guest" appear on the invitation, you're included. Otherwise, no.

                1. I don't think it was rude of you, you were merely mistaken. It's not a big deal, and now you'll know for next time that you need to get clarification on the situation if it's not completely clear to you.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: Muchlove

                    Thank you for you kind and civilized reply.
                    Though many intend to be helpful here, I can't help but detect a hint of hostility in some of these replies.

                    1. re: Michele212

                      i think you are right about the note of hostility and I can;t imagine why it's there. I think it's quite rude of the host of this evening (corporate or otherwise) to invite a guest without their mate. I work for a small company, we would never do that. Especially if the night is to honour your husband, it should be a pleasure for him to attend- with his mate!

                      1. re: nummanumma

                        There are internal policies, for better, or for worse, that preclude spouses, SO's, guests, or similar. Wife has worked for hospitals for decades. One had a standing policy that no spouses were to be invited to ANYTHING. It was expressly forbidden - only the employees, with zero exceptions. At others, family was ALWAYS invited, and they made a big deal of the family. It just depends. Now, the Sisters insist that I attend every event, though there are some, that are being hosted by other entities, so I always ask.

                        Were I charged with hosting MY authors, I would certainly invite one guest for each, but then I hold the "family" pretty dear. Heck, there have been some professional events, where I assumed that I was NOT invited, only to find that the people in charge demanded that I attend, but I know that they just wanted me to pick the wines... [Grin]

                        To the OP, sorry that things went down, as they did. It can be a harsh world out there, as I have found out. That is why I always ask.

                        Good luck,


                      2. re: Michele212

                        LOL get used to the hint of "hostility" LOL!
                        I've been in the same situation and learned the hard way. Boyfriend at the time was taking a course and there was a Course Party. We assumed I was included, and I showed up only to find that I was the ONLY non-Course person there. AAAK!
                        After that experience 20 odd years ago, I learned to ask specifically "does the invitation say guest/spouse/significant other?". Throughout the years, my Dear Hubby (DH) has been to a number of work events where guests were specifically not invited. Even yesterday, DH (not the boyfriend above LOL) came home and said there was a function at a restaurant that night (he just found out). I asked, AM I INVITED? and he said "I'm NOT SURE", meaning I stayed home. Just as well, as it turned out that guests weren't invited.
                        You certainly weren't rude. It was a reasonable assumption. Sometimes these invites aren't clear, and I personally prefer to err on the side of caution.

                        1. re: freia

                          "Sometimes these invites aren't clear, and I personally prefer to err on the side of caution."

                          Great point. Hosts should be specific, and too few are.

                          Same for the "requested attire," but that is fit for a different thread.

                          Well stated,


                        2. re: Michele212

                          Try not to worry too much if you get snarky or hostile replies. It's the internet! Also, sometimes it can be hard to read tone and people aren't necessarily trying to be rude, it just comes off that way.

                          In addition I will note that I have noticed many people on Chowhound have much stronger feelings about correct etiquette than I do. Generally I am a forgiving person and don't mind if other people don't do things exactly "right". But apparently there are lots of things which are considered "tacky" and certain posters seem to think that everyone in the world lives in exactly the same culture and should behave in exactly the same way. Personally, I believe in treating people like...well...people! Sometimes people make etiquette "mistakes", but this does not mean that they are rude and should be shunned.

                          1. re: Muchlove

                            Yes, I have observed similar.

                            In similar situations, I ask, and then ask again. I hate unpleasant surprises.


                            1. re: Muchlove

                              Love this post and I definitely agree on culture/etiquette.
                              There's also the internet oppositional force in effect. People like to take the opposing view to an OP.

                        3. Thanks for all of the replies.
                          Though we both feel this was a terrible error on the company's behalf, we'll be more careful in the future.

                          18 Replies
                          1. re: Michele212

                            It probably was presumptuous, and maybe a bit rude.

                            The best course of action would've been to have your husband ask around the office to see what the protocol was.

                            Live and learn.

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              I find your response a bit rude, too.
                              My husband doesn't 'work' in this 'office', so there
                              s no "asking around."
                              He is an award-winning, established artist, who has several prominent titles represented by this publisher.
                              It is an evening in celebration of their writers, of whom he is one.
                              To invite a celebrated guest, and not allow him/her to bring a spouse/guest, seems like a truly stupid move to us on this company's part.

                              1. re: Michele212

                                I agree it is pretty stupid and short sighted of them. Skip it and enjoy your other event.

                                1. re: Michele212

                                  I went back and re-read the thread when you opined that answers here were "hostile." I just don't detect that, nor did I see rudeness in an honest answer you just gave a snarky reply to just above here. The one who introduced the possibility of rudeness of your attending into the discussion was you, in your topic header. Otherwise, I suspect no one would have characterized it as rude, just mistaken.

                                  Sometimes it's a good idea to lurk in a new site for a while to get the feel for how folks communicate before jumping in with a question that might bruise your feelings if folks answer it with candor and directness.

                                  Those aren't synonymous with "hostile" or "rude."

                                  1. re: Michele212

                                    It DOES sound like a 'stupid move', especially if you are involved with them too, but that sort of thing happens. I guess your choices are to just do whatever you wish about it (neither one is going) OR contact the person you work with there and ask if it's an oversight. Nothing gets accomplished by ignoring it IMHO.

                                    My wife and I just went through a situation where a good friend of ours was invited to the wedding of another friend's daughter. The invited friend has been living with a man for five or six years but he wasn't invited, so she was very hurt and wouldn't go. we looked into it a bit and found that the bride had done all the inviting, not letting her mother help or .advise, and the bride really didn't know about the 'boyfriend'. Should she have checked all that kindof thing with her Mom...... sure. But she didn't! In our opinion life's too short to let this stuff get to you.

                                    1. re: Midlife

                                      We should probably just let it go.

                                      The OP now has her answer.

                                      The OP may think some of us were rude or snarky or whatever.

                                      But she asked a question, and got responses (some of which maybe she did not like).

                                      Whatever. Life's too short to dwell on such things.

                                      To the OP: No rudeness was intended in my reply. Simply trying to be honest and frank.

                                      1. re: Midlife

                                        Yes, were I hosting the artists, that I represented, I would want each to be as comfortable, as is possible, and would have done everything to see that they were.

                                        Maybe I am just old fashioned?


                                        1. re: Midlife

                                          Reminds me of the wedding of my college roommate. I had been dating my boyfriend for 6 months. He was not invited because we weren't considered serious enough. ( we have now been together 5.5 years). I believe this was a budget issue but I was very uncomfortable at the wedding because of several additional reasons. My current roommate was not invited because of a request by the best man even though she was also a friend/roommate o the bride. And the only other friend I knew who was invited had declined to go. After the ceremony I ended up getting in my car and crying because everything was so awkward.

                                          1. re: melpy

                                            Ugh. I had the same experience back in my early 20's. A childhood friend was the first of us to get married at 22 (shockingly, it didn't last). She didn't invite me to bring a guest because she had not met my boyfriend. She only invited her friends who had boyfriends she had met to bring them as guests. Adding insult to injury, she invited my old high school boyfriend and his new girlfriend. Then she invited my parents and sat me with them!

                                            1. re: southernitalian

                                              Aww sorry! I was sitting next to the twin and new girlfriend of the best man who was the ex of my current roommate (the girl not invited). It was terrible because I was relegated to the task of also breaking the news to my roomie that she wasn't invited.

                                              1. re: southernitalian

                                                Shockingly, I got married at 22 and today is our 35th anniversary. Hey, ya never know! Weddings can cause a lot of animosities, intended or not, I know ours did. We didn't want any children, for money reasons not that we hate kids, but my little sister was my flower girl. So my husband's cousins made a big stink that their similarly aged kids should also attend. My poor (and I mean POOR) father.

                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                    Thanks, we're keeping it simple this year for a change!

                                          2. re: Michele212

                                            "He is an award-winning, established artist, who has several prominent titles represented by this publisher.
                                            It is an evening in celebration of their writers, of whom he is one.
                                            To invite a celebrated guest, and not allow him/her to bring a spouse/guest, seems like a truly stupid move to us on this company's part."

                                            Ah, so you feel slighted in some way that you were not invited to a party celebrating someone else's achievements. It was their party. They can invite whomever they choose. Maybe next time organize and fund your own party.

                                            1. re: Fowler

                                              They can invite whomever they choose, but if they want to follow etiquette they need to invite people with their significant others. That is the cut-and-dry Emily Post etiquette of the situation. Couples constitute a social unit and are thus invited to social functions together. Were this a work function instead of a work-related social function, they could get away without inviting them.

                                              1. re: LabLady

                                                so was this a social function or a work function? it is the in-between events that cause the confusion.

                                                1. re: LabLady

                                                  LabLady I guarantee you that you cannot find anything in Emily Post or any other etiquette guide that makes this anywhere near as clear cut as you try to make this. This was a "corporate cocktail party" given by an entity with which the invited guests had a business relationship. Couples are definitely not always invited to "social functions". If you can site to something that shows that I am wrong I would like to read it.

                                              2. re: Michele212

                                                Michele, this is a pretty tight community for such a big one. Please understand that we're a pretty straightforward crew and that while some straight answers aren't being padded for your benefit, they're still well intended.

                                                And remember, you didn't come in here asking whether or not it was a politic move on the company's part, but whether or not your presumption was kosher. A lot of the slightly critical voices here probably agree with you - the company would have been smart to invite spouses.

                                          3. I would have made the same assumption, seems strange not to invites spouses. Sounds like more of a business thing than a social event.

                                            1. Michele,

                                              I have found that the people in here do tend to be direct, but rarely intend to be rude. One of the problems with this media is that nuance tends to be lost. Especially in short exchanges. For example while I was reading through the replies and your responses it seemed to me that you were quite defensive, and not open to hearing opinions other than your own, merely looking for validation. But as I read more and more it was clear that wasn't the case at all.

                                              It's really difficult to word an invitation that says 'don't bring anyone with you', although the host does have a responsibility to make it clear. Obviously they did not do that. A line at the bottom should have said 'due to limited space, no guests please'. And the rules on this are changing. In the past a spouse would often be expected to come, in the emerging manners that isn't the case - nor is everyone assumed to be partnered, especially for a business event, which apparently this was.

                                              You were not totally in error to make an assumption, your host was not totally in error to assume no one was planning to bring a guest, and fortunately you found out soon enough to modify your plans.

                                              9 Replies
                                              1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                Thank you K-man,
                                                Yes, much nuance is lost in e-comments/conversations.
                                                Sensitive type that I am, I don't react well to terseness, when one is supposedly trying to help.
                                                I've learned for the future to not presume a spouse is invited when not stipulated on the invite.
                                                However, I still feel confident that this was a big-time mistake on the part of this publisher.
                                                Alienating your top artist/income earners is not the smartest move.

                                                1. re: Michele212

                                                  This Not About Food board tends to be a little rough and tumble, and those of us who have posted know that from the git go. If someone comes here expecting to have their opinion validated, it can come as a surprise when others think differently. If I post here, I expect opinions and not confirmation so I only do so when that is what I'm looking for.

                                                  Edited addition In my experience, when it is a professional event I don't expect for the invitation to include my spouse--but if I was planning on bringing him I would certainly check first.

                                                  1. re: Michele212

                                                    "However, I still feel confident that this was a big-time mistake on the part of this publisher.
                                                    Alienating your top artist/income earners is not the smartest move."

                                                    In the fat years, my husband's company (where he was bringing in the lion's share of revenue) had lavish holiday parties and employee picnics where spouses and whole families were included. When the economy got worse, parties and events were much smaller, the picnics went away and the holiday party was staff only.

                                                    No alienation; things change, we understood it. This was about work, not about family, a perq, like many others, that was not extended to family. Alienating oneself could just make work less pleasant and positive in one's life, and change nothing. I don't see the point of getting all worked up over it.

                                                    1. re: mcf

                                                      Glad you said this. I plan corporate & educational events for my job, and spouses are not invited to the receptions 90% of the time - receptions where WE are paying for the guests. Even if we open it up for one VIP (or a group of VIPs) it becomes a slippery slope that the sponsor can no loner afford. And many, many times, the event tone is "work" even if it's Not Work, and the sponsor /host wants to promote an atmosphere of business chatter, not idle chatter.....
                                                      If it's a ticketed reception where the guest pays, The more the merrier!

                                                      1. re: stellamystar

                                                        My wife attends many events, and at all levels. In most cases, she is given the option of paying for my attendance. This is from training sessions, to junkets to Washington, DC, to speak to congressional leaders.

                                                        There have been, however, some, where I was not invited, and though I might have accompanied her to the city, I just dine solo, and see her, at the bar, when that dinner/event is over.

                                                        She is in meetings in San Francisco between 15 -24 times per year. Those meetings usually have a working dinner, with no spouses in attendance. We fly in a day early, so she can make the 7:30AM first session, and we get to dine together. On the next night, I am by myself, but use my time wisely. I scout new restaurants, so that for the next trip, I can take her to the best restaurants on our one night together.

                                                        Over my life, I have become to understand that, "it depends." I always ask, so as to not be in an uncomfortable position.

                                                        One hospital, where she was VP of Nursing, was totally against inviting ANY spouses to any function. In about 5 years, I think that I was invited to maybe two. It was their feeling that the only "family," that should be involved, was the "hospital family," and nothing else mattered. Now that she is a Regional President, she insists that for all of the events, that she has any hand in, also have spouses, and she tries to stage several per year, that include the entire family. Two of her events even open things up to "friends," in addition to family, and usually for sporting events and functions, such as "Zoo Lights."

                                                        Yes, it just depends.

                                                        Thank you for your observations, as they provide a different perspective, that many of us do not have.


                                                      2. re: mcf

                                                        +1, having the same experience. Also, spouse was feted during the party, after the economy tanked, and the event wasn't what I call "spousal". I was disappointed.

                                                      3. re: Michele212

                                                        Meaning this in the nicest possible way, Im sure that alienating you was NOT their intention. Even without knowing the specific nature of the industry, I can tell you (as an event planner of many years experience) the guest list was likely compiled with certain criteria that your spouse met that you did not. Its quite possible whoever issued the invitation may not even know your spouse HAS a spouse. Its obviously a professional event; professional behavior is expected. Next time YOU are invited to something like this, and only YOUR name is on the invitation, then YOU can ask "hey, can I bring the spouse too?"

                                                        1. re: Michele212

                                                          No doubt it was a mistake--their mistake! Glad to hear you won't be going. :)

                                                        2. re: KaimukiMan

                                                          "In the past a spouse would often be expected to come...."

                                                          This has never been true in my world/experience. Nor in any social etiquette I'm aware of. Invitees have always been those included on an invitation. Some places may get sloppy about it, but it's never been convention.

                                                        3. When a spouse is being honored I don't think assuming you are included is unreasonable. If the invitation isn't clear (the host should make efforts to remove uncertainty from the invite) then it is time to look for clues in how it is addressed. If clues are not forthcoming discrete inquiries can be made - perhaps someone he works closely with, such as his editor, could clarify.

                                                          This is why I am not a fan of emailed invitations except between people who know each other very well. It's too easy to hit a button and send something off without considering all aspects of the relationships.

                                                          1. I don't think it's at all presumptuous to assume that the spouse of a person being honored is included in an invitation to a party. Cocktail numbers are not usually so carefully monitored either. However, much depends on the exact wording of the invitation and its envelope, and surely the organizers would not mind being asked for clarification.

                                                            1. Were this a social event properly speaking, classically that would mean spouses were assumed to be invited unless otherwise indicated. For a social invitation, a host would actually take care to know the social status of his/her guests and indicate the invitation was for Mr & Mrs or for X and Person X is Socially Known To Be Exclusive With (or, absent that, X and Guest, or just X Period - there is no social obligation to offer to host a couple that is not yet a social unit, properly speaking - this is one of the practical reasons why Society cares to know a couple's status in that regard... are you or are you not a social unit, and how Society treats you will depend on the answer to that question), and that removes confusion about the assumption.

                                                              But this is not a social event properly speaking, but a business event (even if it's not an office party - it's still a corporate event and that means the business dimension is its fundamental characteristic), so the assumption toggles in that case, so one reads the invitation more narrowly.

                                                              Your confusion is understandable, but I believe you would be wrong to say the publisher erred in this context.

                                                              So, chill.

                                                              1. Rude, no, you didn't show up uninvited, that would be rude.

                                                                NAIVE, yes. You should never assume that a business invitation includes a spouse. In fact with the tightening of IRS regulations for business T&E expenses, yhou should assume you are not included unless the invitation specifically says so.

                                                                1. Personally, I think it's odd to honor someone but not let them bring their significant other. If it was strictly business, then just give that person a bonus, and an email list of those honored. But, having a party to celebrate the honor, celebrate with who? The people that are just doing their job in the office? Big whoop. A celebration of an honor, in my book, would include a significant other or one guest per honoree.

                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                  1. re: wyogal

                                                                    If ONE person is being honored (i.e. given an award) then I agree, that person's spouse (if they have one) should certainly be included. But several upthread have mentioned IRS rules vis-a-vis T&E expenses, and a business gathering is just that .... business, not social.

                                                                    1. re: Cheflambo

                                                                      Correct Cheflambo, and as the OP noted, this particular event was for a number of people. Seems it was more of a thank you/lets keep doing business event than an 'awards' event. And in the hindsight we all have, it was business not social. 30 years ago my father was deeply involved in a professional organization. My mom was not only invited to all quasi-social functions (dinners, conventions, cocktail parties, etc.) she was expected to be there. Now when I attend such functions it is only very specific ones where any spouses are present. These are meetings for professionals, they are not social events even though there are social aspects to them. And yes, as a result, they are much less fun, much less interesting, and they have a harder time getting people to show up. Them's the breaks.

                                                                      1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                        KM: Your post addresses a completely different issue than what was raised by the OP. The original question was not whether spouses/partners/significant others/guests SHOULD have been invited. The question was whether they WERE invited. They obviously weren't.

                                                                        1. re: bhoward

                                                                          bhoward, and if you read the rest of the comments above, including the one by the OP there have been extensive comments about what should have been done. My reference to OP is not to Original Post, but Original Poster, I guess I should have made that clear. Finally that spouses/guests were not welcome was a fact that was not was not at all obvious to the Original Poster or this entire issue would not have come up.

                                                                          1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                            No, I think that virtually all responses that actually address the original question are in agreement--guests were not invited. The OP even begins "My husband was invited...". The question was simple--was it "rude" to assume that guests were invited. I believe all agree it wasn't rude to assume such--just a mistake. And I agree with the others who have posted that this is an issue better suited to a site other than Chowhound, even the "Not About Food" board.

                                                                            1. re: bhoward

                                                                              "I believe all agree it wasn't rude to assume such--just a mistake. And I agree with the others who have posted that this is an issue better suited to a site other than Chowhound, even the "Not About Food" board."

                                                                              That about sums it up.

                                                                  2. Etiquette Rules 101--"If invitation does not say 'and guest' then a guest is not included." You were not rude to assume otherwise, just mistaken. They may be making a mistake by not including guests but it is, after all, their function. Sounds like your husband did the right thing given your feelings--he chose not to attend which is his prerogative.

                                                                    1. I again, offer a "thank you" to all of these responses.

                                                                      Yes, we've learned...this was just not our usual cuppa tea.

                                                                      We've been around, and go to plenty of events, and host many parties ourselves.

                                                                      We were just thrown by the exclusionary aspect of this situation, given everything I've already spelled out in my initial post and replies.

                                                                      Will never RSVP again without questioning the full extent of the invitation.

                                                                      Bottoms up!,


                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Michele212

                                                                        don't misunderstand that all these comments are directed at you, now its open discussion time, more about what we can expect based on the issue you raised.

                                                                        1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                          Good point!

                                                                          Michele212 - welcome to Chowhound! You dove into one of the more heated boards. Once the topic is out there it takes on a life of it's own and many remarks are no longer being addressed to the opening query.

                                                                          1. re: meatn3

                                                                            Agree with kaimuki and meatn. We're now just discussing the issue to further dig into the issue, not to dig at you! Sorry if we came off as abrupt; as others have pointed out, the direct approach here can be off-putting. I myself have gotten the smackdown for things I've posted looking for validation and then discovering I was wrong, Then we all shake hands or hug or toast (or EAT) and move on. Hope you will too.

                                                                      2. Michele,

                                                                        That is a tough one.

                                                                        My wife receives myriad invitations, to various events. I always ask if I am invited. I never take such an invitation for granted. Things just happen.

                                                                        However, I feel that it is incumbent on the hosts to make it clear that spouses are NOT included.

                                                                        Now, many of those events are not something, that I would want to attend, though any moments with my wife can out-weigh the event. Usually, I book a two-top, and keep her seat ready, for her to sneak away early.

                                                                        Sorry that you got "blind-sided" there, but trust me, it can happen. I do not feel that you were incorrect, but maybe something to think about in the future.

                                                                        Personally, I would think that the "man of the hour," would be expected to attend in the company of his wife, or SO, but that is just me. In my wife's case, things are often a bit different.


                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                          except he was one of the MEN of the hour it appears (or men and women as it may have been)

                                                                          1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                            "Behind every 'great man,' there is a great woman."

                                                                            Well, at the end of the day, it is all about the publisher, and their marketing companies, so it is, ultimately, their call.

                                                                            Is it correct, or is it incorrect? That remains to be seen. Still, if they make the rules, they are the ones, who must be accommodated.

                                                                            Been there, done that, and some times, it is NOT comfortable, but I have dined solo, so I can handle things.


                                                                        2. I think the issue is that the party is being thrown by someone who publishes your husband's works. It is being thrown by people who assist his career (while also certainly profiting from it). As such, the assumption was nominally inaccurate, thought not at all unseemly or rude.

                                                                          Had this been a party your husband was expected to attend, or one in which his services were being actively solicited, it would be ludicrous not to invite spouses.

                                                                          As it is, I think it's a bit crass not to invite spouses unless there is a very compelling reason not to (like a bachelor party). I certainly wouldn't feel honored if it were me, and my wife were not invited.

                                                                          1. I tend to agree that there seemed to have been a unusual amount of hostility in some of the answers to your query. But look at your experience this way: it would have been far, far worse if you had showed up at the event. So, you know in advance, and that saves embarrassment to you.

                                                                            I also think it is weird that an event celebrating established authors or artists does not include one guest on the invite. Surely the organizers could have chosen a larger space? But perhaps the economy has the publisher economizing on extras.

                                                                            1. Ehh. I don't think it's rude.. To date my husband has accidently brought me to two bachelor parties, not really knowing/thinking about it. That was embarrassing. Oh well. I do think, in your defense, that the invite should have been more specific.

                                                                              17 Replies
                                                                              1. re: LN2008

                                                                                I'm gonna presume that the invite was specific if it was addressed to Mrs OP's spouse.

                                                                                1. re: LN2008

                                                                                  To date my husband has accidently [sic] brought me to two bachelor parties, not really knowing/thinking about it.

                                                                                  Words fail me.

                                                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                    Um - me, too. I don't get it.

                                                                                  2. re: LN2008

                                                                                    Just jumping in here...

                                                                                    You were 'accidentally brought' to a Bachelor Party by your husband? Did you know, in advance, this was a bachelor party and why would you go, if you knew?
                                                                                    I'm not sure if the the OP is still watching this thread but I'm very curious why she wouldn't just say to her husband "please go and enjoy yourself". It was his night to shine.
                                                                                    A Bachelor Party is, from what I know, for men, married or otherwise. It's not a place for females...or have things changed that I'm not aware of?

                                                                                    1. re: latindancer

                                                                                      bringing a wife/girlfriend to a bachelor party is grounds for ending a friendship in my book!

                                                                                      1. re: joe777cool

                                                                                        And Husbands/Boyfriends are prohibited from Bachelorette parties unless they are the Designated Drivers (which is always awesome!).

                                                                                      2. re: latindancer

                                                                                        I am completely with you on this one.

                                                                                        My wife has hosted several "bachelorette" parties, and for most, I am expected to be absent. For a few, they do want me to be the sommelier for those parties. I always ask.


                                                                                        1. re: latindancer

                                                                                          If we take the OP's word for it (and I have no reason not to), her husband would not enjoy the event on his own.

                                                                                          1. re: julesrules

                                                                                            Personally, in the last 35 years, I would be less comfortable, without my wife. I define a portion of my being, through her. When invited to events, where my spouse was not invited, I always declined.

                                                                                            I have declined membership in societies, that did not include spouses, as I do not get to spend enough time with her, as it is. I do not need a "boy's night out." I have more than my share.


                                                                                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                              I define a portion of my being, through her.

                                                                                              While not intended to grab my attention with that line, Bill Hunt, it sure did. Making it my favorite "" of the week!

                                                                                              (how often is such honesty posted!)

                                                                                          2. re: latindancer

                                                                                            because she said that her husband is not comfortable socially at events such as these, that's why she didn't tell him to just go and enjoy. he wanted his spouse with him.

                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                              Personally, I think being with the spouse, is a good thing. While I am comfortable dealing with the public, when she's across the room, I would choose to be with her, and especially as most folk, in most situations, know her, but not me. Senator X might recall me, from a meeting with my wife, but would be much more open to discussion, were she near-by. Heck, in many circles, I am known as "Mr. Linda Hunt," but I am proud to wear that badge - a badge of honor.

                                                                                              Were I being introduced to the "public," I would want her at my side, if at all possible. That would initially introduce me to much more of almost any room.

                                                                                              Still, if the event excluded the spouse, I would make do, though probably excuse myself, when possible, and let the "masses" interact with the other artists.


                                                                                              1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                I was talking about what the OP and her spouse preferred.

                                                                                                1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                  The environment that I worked in for 20 years had specific functions that were for work only. Regulations, so to speak. Really no choice to attend without a spouse/SO, and quite frankly, I feel there is a time and place for work-member-only functions, and a time and place for spouses too functions.
                                                                                                  I am pretty comfortable either with or without my spouse at my side. I love him dearly, but there are events/parties/functions where an invitation without a spouse makes sense I think.

                                                                                                2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                  Yes, that is what she said.
                                                                                                  Everyone's marriage is different. Everyone's definition of what a marriage includes is different. I enjoy couples, including my own, where the the individual is not defined by their significant other. I've been to many very important events where my husband has not been invited and he, the same.
                                                                                                  To each his/her own.
                                                                                                  Nothing is taken personally, neither one's ego is affected and we're both very, very proud and happy for the other's accomplishments.

                                                                                              2. re: LN2008

                                                                                                Well, my wife has hosted two "wedding showers," fairly recently, that were sort of "bachelorette parties," where only one gentleman was invited. He was a gay friend of each of the honorees, and a member of the senior management team." Both times, I retired to the lower patio, with the puppies, to stay out of everyone's way. In both instances, I was called upon to play "sommelier" for the party, though quietly went back to the lower patio, when my wine-service duties were done.

                                                                                                Now, those were at my home. I would never, never attend such an event, outside of my home, and would actually choose to skip the ones here - yet have been pressed into service, but for a very short time.

                                                                                                Now, I am much too old to host, or attend a bachelor party, but would never think of inviting my lovely wife to such. I would feel that highly inappropriate. But... that is just me.


                                                                                              3. I know etiquette rules are sort of non-existent these days, but the way I was taught was that the invitation is only for the person to whom it is addressed. So if the invitation read "Mr. Hosea Smith" then his wife or kids were not included.

                                                                                                But I was also taught that if someone is married or partnered, it is rude not to include them (even if you dislike the partner/spouse.

                                                                                                So, yes, you were incorrect to assume you were invited and yes, you are right that they were rude or cheap not to include you.

                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Isolda

                                                                                                  Oh come on! There are many, many functions when it is not rude to exclude guests. For example, I am a member of a professional group that has three or four functions a year. At least one is "members only" and that is never an issue. Let's settle this once and for all--to know if partner/spouse/guest is invited READ THE INVITATION. If you are the invitee and you do not want to go without your partner/spouse/guest DON'T GO. It really is just that simple.

                                                                                                  1. re: bhoward

                                                                                                    Please re-read my post. I stated clearly that only the person whose name is on the invitation is invited.

                                                                                                    But I do think that when a person is being honored for something, his/her partner or spouse should be included. This is different from say, a dinner meeting with the book club or the Civil War re-enactors's group.

                                                                                                    1. re: bhoward

                                                                                                      Well, much can depend on the exact organization. For instance, the International Wine & Food Society of Phoenix, is ONLY for the male members, unless specifically marked to include wives, SO's, etc. Those ONLY come about around the holidays, and otherwise, ONLY the male member is invited. [One reason that I declined membership. I do not need "male only" events, in a tux, as I do not see my wife half-often enough, and wear my tux about 35 times per year.]

                                                                                                      Still, they are very, very specific, and ONLY male members are ever invited.


                                                                                                  2. OP I respect your feeling that spouses should have been invited. But the event is going forward without your husband's presence. So I have to assume it is a largish group of people being honoured here, not just a handful. And I can understand that someone made a blanket "no guests" decision, without considering or perhaps even knowing the individual situation of every author (social anxiety, spouse involved in projects, etc). So I would try not to take it too personally.

                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: julesrules

                                                                                                      Thank you all, for the valuable and meaningful feedback.
                                                                                                      My spouse is not receiving an award at this event, - THAT would would be downright crazy, in my book, to not extend an invitation to a guest, in that case.
                                                                                                      It's just a (rare) evening by this publisher (they never throw parties) to celebrate their writers.
                                                                                                      The invitation came in to our (shared) email address, and we just made the assumption I was included.
                                                                                                      We've learned, we're over it, we fortunately found out in advance, and will go directly to the later event from home.
                                                                                                      And, will always double-check in the future!
                                                                                                      One of the executives has already written a profound apology, that he's sorry i can't be there, and that we're not coming.
                                                                                                      It seems they just didn't have the space to extend +1s, and have been getting a bit of flak from other attendees.
                                                                                                      All my best,

                                                                                                      1. re: Michele212

                                                                                                        looking forward to more postings from you on various subjects.

                                                                                                        1. re: Michele212

                                                                                                          of course that's the problem with email the sender probably not aware it's a shared email account, not like the old days when letters were addressed properly

                                                                                                      2. Michele212, my dh and I come across this issue fairly often through our own careers. We often felt as you did and we've seen a good deal of changes about a plus one with a change of owners, this crazy arse economy and usual internal politics. We make a point of going for a cocktail after any biz gathering (meeting up after if alone or together) and recharge on our own terms. Work takes up enuf of our brain cells!

                                                                                                        1. Since the original poster has made a decision and this thread has started to get far afield from anything even tangential to food, we're going to lock it now.