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Two hours late without calling/texting the host?

Tuesday before Thanksgiving, a chronically late-for-family dinner (and somewhat estranged) cousin emails me out of the blue with the request that she come to my home for Thanksgiving dessert (she would be at her mother's near by for dinner). She says she wants her daughter to get to know me. I would be hosting dinner that day for 9 people, so I told her I'd love that and, because of my guests and our dinner timing, I'd be serving dessert no later than 5. Five, 5:30, 6….no cousin, no phone call. I held off dessert for a half hour, but we finally gave in. At 6:30 my guests left, leftovers were packed and put away, we were cleaning up and the PJs were on. Then, after 7, came the phone call they were on their way. I told her it wasn't going to work out, guests and food were gone, and I was exhausted. Her reply ( she is 43) was "Whatever" via text. The next day, I learn from family at her Thanksgiving dinner that she was napping on the sofa & playing with her daughter from 4-5:30, the time we were waiting to see and/or hear from her. Is it wrong for me to express my disappointment - after all, she invited herself - and ask her why she didn't call to tell me she'd be running late? As encouraged as I was to open my home (and heart), I'm now pretty bent…. Thoughts?

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  1. I wouldn't bother because it sounds like it will fall on deaf ears and be more frustrating/upsetting for you. My view would be she's a "write off."

    1. Why? You know she's chronically late and you chose to wait for her. It's silly to know something about a person and then get upset about it. If I knew you were a bad cook, I wouldn't go to your house for dinner and complain about it. I'd have a pocket full of snacks! You should've gone ahead with your plans and if she showed up too late for anything, politely told her the festivities were over and it's too bad she missed it.

      12 Replies
      1. re: Hobbert

        Ultimately we did move on with the rest of the night. I suppose I'm a sap because I was optimistic that she wanted to bond after all these years & it seemed like she had turned a page, wanting to be close again. After telling her I wished she called earlier she told me I need to stop feeling like the sun revolves around me. And that's where we are today. What a gal.

        1. re: yumyumjen

          "...she told me I need to stop feeling like the sun revolves around me. "
          ~~~~~
          How ironic, coming from someone who seems extremely self-centered.

          That statement just reinforces my comment to say "no" when she next invites herself to your house.

          1. re: LindaWhit

            Yep. Took me off guard too. Part of my family is very involved with her and it will certainly make for some uncomfortable family interactions in the future. There should just be a rulebook on these things :)

            1. re: yumyumjen

              My only suggestion is that you remind yourself not to feel uncomfortable. You have no *good* reason to feel that way. The fact that she does not feel uncomfortable when she should does not mean it's a zero sum game and everyone else has to bear that feeling instead!

              1. re: Karl S

                Solid advice. I'll have to snap a rubber band on my wrist or something to make me remember what SHOULD cause pain :)

                1. re: yumyumjen

                  Yes. There is no Law of Conservation of Pain that requires you to bear pain that another person should but is unwilling to bear.

          2. re: yumyumjen

            Ha. She sounds like a gem. I think you can have a relationship but it has to be based on her not needing to be on time. Maybe go to her house? If it was just her, I'd ignore her. But it sounds like the daughter could use a good influence so that could be a reason to keep up with her. Just don't expect her to be punctual :)

            1. re: Hobbert

              :) Yes, that was why I was so optimistic, the little one.

              1. re: Hobbert

                LOL -- i was thinking it would be the kind of relationship like where you'd poke a nasty gobbling grasshopper with a long scraggly stick just to make it hop out of your garden.

              2. re: yumyumjen

                Projection is a classic tool of narcissists. Frankly, that comment from her is anti-social, and would exclude her from further invitations to polite society.

                1. re: yumyumjen

                  I just read this part, Yumy. This girl is infuriating. Yes, she's a girl inhabiting a woman's body. Even more reason to write her off.

                  1. re: yumyumjen

                    Goodness, who wants someone like that in their life? It sounds like she will continually disappoint you and continually be completely oblivious to the fact. If you do want her in your life, just don't get yourself frustrated when she pulls stunts like that. Is there a way you could just spend time with her daughter - offer to babysit, take her out on a jaunt?

                2. You stated she's chronically late. She doesn't *care* what you think or how you feel, quite honestly.

                  I'd not even bother. And next time she invites herself, just say no. If she asks why, you can tell her why then, should you choose to do so.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    we think alike, LW!

                    i'm at the stage in my life where i am straight-forward with addressing crap like this cousin's conduct.

                    as others have said, life's too short.

                    and, for the benefit of your own sanity: caveat emptor. don't expect the leopard to change its spots, and any other truism that reflects the age-old human experience. ;-).

                  2. I wouldn't bother either. She is clueless. If she reaches out again, be clear about timelines (as you were) and don't expect anything magical.

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                      1. I don't see this as so close, although fraught family relations are the common denominator.

                        But this cousin's behaviour is not on. Not at all. She invited herself, behaved inconsiderately of others (yumyumjen and her guests), and then opted, instead of apologising, to send insult. Yumyumjen acted entirely within acceptable bounds: stating the boundaries clearly and directly is not rude.

                        All that said, I do hope that there is no grudge held against the cousin's daughter (and there doesn't appear to be) because this girl will be in need of responsible adults in her life.

                        1. re: Lizard

                          Never a grudge for the little one. Always attentive to her and will continue to be. :)