[Question] Am I being unreasonably uninclusive here?

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#1
I'm getting together with my best friend Mrs. M, her husband Seaman M, and her sister Miss W to celebrate Christmas in one week. Today, Seaman M asked if he could bring his best buddy (the best man from their wedding, so I do the know the dude) along. I'm of two minds on the issue:

  • On the one hand, he's super in demand these rare times he gets back up to Michigan and I understand him wanting to bring along Best Man. I'm lucky to be getting time to hang out with him at all, being as I barely know the man and its not like his wife doesn't have opportunities to hang out with me here in Grand Rapids. Besides, the more the merrier, theoretically.
  • On the other hand...I'd been looking forward to seeing the M's. I have spent all of 10 hours total hanging out with my best friend's husband, I really want to get to know the dude better. I also bought the three of them gifts and wrote little, somewhat personal, notes to go with them. I'd greatly prefer keep the circle small here.
The problem I'm having is that I have a bad habit of becoming so married to one plan or idea that I take any disruption thereof way to personally (example - feeling like there was no reason to come home for Thanksgiving when my plans with this same group fell through. That lasted for about a minute, but that was still the initial reaction). I'm leaning towards saying "sure, bring him" simply because it is the opposite of my gut reaction.

So I ask you - is my gut reaction unreasonable? Even if it is reasonable, should I ignore it in favor of honoring the request of a dude I know makes a lot of personal sacrifices in this arena? If I do allow Best Man to come by, should I also extend an invite to Miss W's boyfriend (even though the hand made Mr. Hanky The Christmas Poo stuffed animal I'm paying sister to make might show up whatever he's getting her)?
 
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#3
I must be insanely tired because I stared at that GIF for about a minute thinking that the message it was meant to convey would become clear before realizing you probably weren't trying to convey one.
 
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#4
The message is "this should be good, let me get comfortable to enjoy the show".
 
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#5
While I understand where you're coming from, one more guy isn't going to ruin your evening. If he wants to bring his friend, let him come, you might even find yourself liking the guy.
 
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#6
While I understand where you're coming from, one more guy isn't going to ruin your evening. If he wants to bring his friend, let him come, you might even find yourself liking the guy.
Especially if it is a friend from out of town who is only going to be around a short while. Let the extra guy come along.
 
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#7
Fair enough. Seaman M doesn't get much time in town, and I do already know Best Man (we're friends on the facebook and the three of us did hang out at the wedding while waiting for the main event). I dunno. I think of Mrs. M less as a friend and more like chosen family, so I think that's where the reticence here is stemming from. The evening is already not going to meet my hopes (we're extremely limited in timescale due to Miss W's schedule -we can only get together that Sunday evening, which is a school night, and still have everyone available) anyways.

The other thing is, and it is incredibly selfish, he's already in town. So he can already hang out with buddy. He can hang out with him any night in the next two weeks or so. Any night in the last week or so. I get to chill with him and his wife this one night. I don't mind - I accept that I fall low in the man's pecking order, I wouldn't expect otherwise. But come on, can't I get four hours alone with my favorite couple (and their sister/sister-in-law)? I don't know what their dynamic is like, maybe its not the one I'm hoping for. Then again, maybe it will make no difference.

That said, you guys are confirming what I already suspected. I'll tell him tomorrow. Thanks.
 
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#8
Ah... another Norris thread... I expect a lot of this coming.

pcgSW.jpg
 
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#9
Fair enough. Seaman M doesn't get much time in town, and I do already know Best Man (we're friends on the facebook and the three of us did hang out at the wedding while waiting for the main event). I dunno. I think of Mrs. M less as a friend and more like chosen family, so I think that's where the reticence here is stemming from. The evening is already not going to meet my hopes (we're extremely limited in timescale due to Miss W's schedule -we can only get together that Sunday evening, which is a school night, and still have everyone available) anyways.

The other thing is, and it is incredibly selfish, he's already in town. So he can already hang out with buddy. He can hang out with him any night in the next two weeks or so. Any night in the last week or so. I get to chill with him and his wife this one night. I don't mind - I accept that I fall low in the man's pecking order, I wouldn't expect otherwise. But come on, can't I get four hours alone with my favorite couple (and their sister/sister-in-law)? I don't know what their dynamic is like, maybe its not the one I'm hoping for. Then again, maybe it will make no difference.

That said, you guys are confirming what I already suspected. I'll tell him tomorrow. Thanks.

I'm not going to say it...


But someone will.

Seriously though, you're overthinking this. And being overly negative. Hanging out shouldn't be this goddamn complicated. Have some drinks, share some stories, and try not to be such a party pooper.
 
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#10
Seriously though, you're overthinking this. And being overly negative. Hanging out shouldn't be this goddamn complicated. Have some drinks, share some stories, and try not to be such a party pooper.
Its not just hanging out though. You don't traditionally select, wrap, write cards for, and give out presents for a standard just shooting-the-shit session. Any other time of the year? Not a second thought. But this is celebrating Christmas, with a person (Mrs. M) who has done more for me in the last year and a half than my dad's side of the family has done in the last three. With a dude I've barely hung out with but really would like to be to be friends with (her husband the seaman). With a girl I have a great affection for, mostly brotherly (her sister). So yeah, I'm not super OK with him deciding to bring his buddy that I met once for about an hour and a half to this little get together (at my house).

Still, to prove this isn't the same situation as last time:


So there. I went against my instincts and said fine. I hope he enjoys not getting a present, not having any alcohol, and possibly watching the heartwarming and mildly racist Christmas movie Holiday Inn.
 
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#13
First you said "My House" but that message says "Your dad's house". Just looking for clarity.
One in the same, I guess. My family's house, which is still my primary address and home since I am a college student living in an on campus apartment. My father is the owner, but I am a resident.
 
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#14
State for me, a slight bit more clearly what this "4th" person does that causes such a problem? No need to get super specific or give backround. Just simple reason why going from 3 to 4 people is a huge issue.
 
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#15
State for me, a slight bit more clearly what this "4th" person does that causes such a problem? No need to get super specific or give backround. Just simple reason why going from 3 to 4 people is a huge issue.
It changes what had been intended as a somewhat intimate Christmas gathering with people I hold great affection for into...more generalized hanging out. Which isn't bad, per se, just not what I'd been looking forward to since September.

In the interest of clarity: It is now me, Mr. & Mrs. M, Miss W & her boyfriend, Best Man, and possibly one of Mrs. M's good friends (all people I know) meeting up for dinner at the local Steak N Shake. Once the guest list got opened, I no longer had a good reason to limit it. I'll also just be boxing up the presents and give them to the M/W family to open at their convenience (rather than open them all together and see their reactions...pity, that hand made Mr. Hanky is gonna knock W's socks off), since it would be incredibly rude and exclusionary to have a gift giving where half the attendees get nothing.

It will still be fun. I'm still looking forward to it. It is, however, not even remotely the intimate little gathering and gift giving I'd been unreasonably hoping for.
 
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#17
So there. I went against my instincts and said fine. I hope he enjoys not getting a present, not having any alcohol, and possibly watching the heartwarming and mildly racist Christmas movie Holiday Inn.
What better way to celebrate the holidays than with spite?
 
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makare

#18
I get what you are saying. I hate it when people want to bring extra guests to a Christmas celebration especially since it was usually my sister doing it. It's really nice of you to say yes to him wanting to invite someone else to your gathering. You are being very magnanimous about it. I always said ok too but begrudgingly and I still resent my sister for putting us all in that position.

I don't remember Holiday Inn being racist but I do also fall asleep half way through...
 
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makare

#20
Im not sure what's confusing. He is being very generous letting someone he almost completely does not know come to his Christmas get together. Not sure what is confusing about that. I mean yeah he is complaining but just to us. I would too... boy howdy.
 
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#22
Im not sure what's confusing. He is being very generous letting someone he almost completely does not know come to his Christmas get together. Not sure what is confusing about that. I mean yeah he is complaining but just to us. I would too... boy howdy.
"Yeah, he can come, but I'm not going to do a single thing to make him feel comfortable or prevent him from being excluded from everything. I hope he enjoys it when I make it painfully clear that he's here against my wishes!"

Doesn't seem particularly warm-hearted to me.
 
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makare

#23
Like I said as I understand it he just said those things to us. If anyone should be providing extra stuff to make the guy feel more comfortable it is the people who invite extra guests. They should provide a present for him to open, extra drinks if needed etc.
 
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#24
Like I said as I understand it he just said those things to us. If anyone should be providing extra stuff to make the guy feel more comfortable it is the people who invite extra guests. They should provide a present for him to open, extra drinks if needed etc.
I strongly disagree. If you want to be a good host, you have to welcome everyone who comes to your home. The truly magnanimous thing would have been to say, "Well, I wanted this to be a more intimate affair but if you want him to come along, then invite him. I will buy an impersonal gift and get some more food/alcohol to make him feel welcome." That's being magnanimous. Now, that's not to say it's required. If Norris doesn't want to do all that, so be it. But don't try to paint it as some form of generosity to cut this person out.
 
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makare

#25
Well then I guess we are going to have to differ in opinion there. Letting people bring extras period is very generous in my eyes. But I have always had a dim view of rude people and moochers so these situations generally make me feel they should take what they can get which I guess is kind of what they are doing in the first place.
 
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#26
makare and Norris seeing things in the same way does not surprise me in the least.

Nothing implied by that, just an observation.
 
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#27
Wow. I just... wow. How did it go from asking if a friend could come along to rude and mooching?

Listen, if you want to cut a person out in a passive-aggressive way because you are spiteful that you won't have all your friend's attention, so be it. Just don't try to act as though you're being noble and doing them a favor.
 
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#28
So, basically, you said yes, but plan on being an unwelcoming asshat to this extra person.

Wouldn't the really polite thing to do be to say "sorry, but can't make the room"?

Saying yeah it's OK, then plotting to be as unwelcoming as possible is so unbelievable passive aggressive.
 
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#29
Yeah, if Norris wants to suggest that this guy should bring his own food/drinks, that's a valid approach to take. Don't want to get him a gift? That's fine, he almost definitely isn't expecting one anyway - why would he? These are all completely reasonable things to do.

But calling it magnanimous to say "I guess he can come as long as I don't have to do anything at all for him" is a stretch.
 
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makare

#30
maybe mention that since another person is coming have all the guests bring a little something extra that way you can have all the bases covered without singling out the new person. I am not sure what norris's get togethers are like I always take something when I go to someone's house anyway but some people don't. I think it would be ok to let people know it is ok to bring something.

I think the making him watch Holiday Inn as a form of cruelty was a joke though.

Edit.. all that might be irrelevant if he is now going out to dinner? I am not sure what is going on with it now.
 
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#31
I wonder how these people stay your friends.You dont own them and they can be friends with anyone they want to.
But telling them in a passive agressive way "I dont like that you bring someone to our party,because I want you all to myself" makes you seem really clingy and small.
 
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makare

#32
Some parties are the kind that are always the more the merrier and whatever happens is fine. Other parties are the kind where hosts like to plan things out so the event has a certain feel and function. Haven't any of you ever had a gathering or a dinner party with a set guest list? Adding, or subtracting for that matter, can completely change the tone and feel of a party. It is not rude or possessive to want specific people at a specific event.

In my college town I have a close group of about 8 friends that I love doing stuff with. However, sometimes I just want to do things with certain ones of them at certain times and i am very disappointed when even one of these close friends comes along when it wasn't originally planned that way. There is nothing wrong with that. That is how you plan get togethers with certain people with certain personality combinations. I do not at all see how this situation makes him, or me, into someone who is clingy or possessive.
 
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#33
To be fair, when Norris said "not having alcohol" I think he meant that this was to be a dry affair, not that he intended to purposefully withhold libations out of spite.
 
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#34
Well, that makes sense.

If it were me, and I felt that uncomfortable, I'd just tell him not to come. You might end up making your other friends uncomfortable if they felt you weren't treating their friend right.

I mean, I kinda had this situation play out a few weeks ago when I invited my co-worker over for a "guy's night" of games, alcohol and pizza. He ended up deciding to bring his girlfriend along, which, I wasn't all too happy with. He apologized for doing so, and I told him not to worry about it, told him she could come, and bought extra food for her as well, because hey, if she ended up coming, and I treated her like an ass because I didn't particularly want her to come, then my co-worker would have been put off.

tl:dr If you say yes, treat him the same as the others

Otherwise, say no.
 
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#35
Looks like it's all resolved. As if that's gonna stop me from participating:

I completely understand your reluctance to allow your guests to invite more people to your christmas party. I can see how disappointing it would be to lose control of that party and have it end up at a restaurant with a suddenly much larger group. It will be nothing like you had hoped.

When I've had to change holiday plans, especially from small intimate gatherings to larger parties, the entire social dynamic changes, and generally I am more interactive and enjoy smaller groups better. Larger groups are significantly less fun for me in a variety of ways.

However, it's the holidays, people's scheduling sucks, and generally I've learned that I'm better off just going with the social flow than I am trying to form smaller exclusive get-togethers.

You're not being unreasonable, but there's a very good chance that your party would have been cancelled if this really is the only four hour block these people can get together. They will have wanted to include many more people as time went on anyway.

Just be glad you're able to visit with your friends as a group this season, and move on.
 
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