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When a friend misunderstands your invitation

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I have a good friend - co-worker for about ten years - who was laid off from her job last week. When I heard the news, emailed an invitation for her and her family (husband and 2 teenage boys) to take all of them to lunch - was very specific - at a fun Bisuteki close to where I live, name the day. Her response was to say they'd love to come to dinner next Saturday, she wasn't sure if the boys could make it and would let me know.

The prices for dinner at this place are about 3 times more than lunch. No way I could afford it - I was laid off from the same company years before and am still not working.

Think I handled it tactfully, without even reminding her to reread my invitation. Know she was in shock. Just thinking that many other folks may have had similar experiences and would love to hear about them.

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  1. 'Fraid I havnt had any similar experiences with good friends or, indeed, family members. Yes, of course, there's been confusions over the years but these were good friends or family members. As such, we always found it easy to be straightforward with each other. I think that, in your issue, I'd have been on the phone saying "Hey up, chuck, invite was for lunch not dinner. Do you reckon the lads will be able to come?"

    1. Very generous of you! How did you handle it with tact?

      I'm afraid I haven't been faced with this issue! Probably the closest situation was when a (former) friend thought an invitation to brunch at my home was an invitation to co-host the meal (arrived early, brought/set out decorations, went around the room adding food to people's plates when it was set up buffet-style,etc.) Her intentions were good, but I could not politely convince her to just be a guest....

      1 Reply
      1. re: 4Snisl

        My mother-in-law acts like this at every meal we serve her at our house. It makes me anxious and irritated...my kitchen is not big enough for us all and it's annoying to have someone asking you where everything is/goes. I think maybe after years of telling her she's a guest and to sit down...but if any other guests happen to be there, ie a larger crowd, it goes out the window and she runs around like the tasmanian devil! I wish I could figure out how to put an end to it!

      2. 'Sorry, I can't do dinner... which was why I suggested lunch. Would you like to go?'

        1. Was she in shock from losing her job, or because you told her lunch only?

          1. Maybe dinner to her means lunch...lots of people I know call lunch "dinner" and dinner "supper" .

            1. You've probably all eaten and moved on at this point.

              I'd have replied back to her that you were glad she and her husband could make it and to let you know ASAP about the sons since you wanted to make a reservation. And that you were thinking that 12:30 or 1:00pm would be the best for you.

              1. I have misinterpreted many things through the years. It usually involves alcohol and females, not written invitations.

                Clarification is always appropriate. And should be accepted with graciousness.