My friend was talking to me about a game night she was going to later that week assuming I was invited. Well, I wasn’t. That’s OK. I wished her well and harbored not hurt feelings. The day of the party came and the host called me with less than two hours before the party started inviting me.
First off, it was very clear that she had a cancellation and I was a last minute who can I invite? I was a little disappointed, but still willing to go. I knew everyone going and it would be fun. Here’s where the mess started. I was married to husband #3. He was not invited! She only had one chair open.
I politely declined telling her that if my husband couldn’t come I wouldn’t go. She got angry with me because she felt inviting me was enough. It’s not! Etiquette is clear in matters like these. If you invite one spouse, you invite both. Other people were taking their spouses. Mine was the only one excluded because she chose in invite me last minute. Being the brunt of her anger didn’t settle well with me when I’d done everything possible to bow out gracefully until I finally pointed out her breach of etiquette.
When all was said and done it broke the friendship up. She was never willing to even acknowledge that she had hurt my feelings and been rude. A simple apology would have been sufficient. I let go of it fairly quickly, but she held a resentment for having her behavior pointed out.
Social etiquette is there to prevent situations just like this one. None of us are perfect!! We all slip up or simply don’t know in some situations. Humility and a graceful apology are almost always a clear choice in rectifying the harm done. There again, that’s part of social etiquette. Sadly more and more people don’t know basic etiquette anymore.
I found a wonderful Miss Manners archive on this very subject today. I hope you enjoy the read as much as I did.