Has anyone else noticed this trend, or maybe it's just me...

Some of the most common examples for me are: when you invite someone over and somehow your invitation becomes interpreted (and I use this word loosely) to mean going out...often at your expense. Or when you hear someone saying that while they like your/someone else's sentiment, they would really prefer something more meaningful (read: expensive, high quality, etc. etc. - and half the time they name the brand, store, eatery, etc. that they would prefer). I don't know if this is simply a rash of bad manners, or if people really feel that entitled to your's or someone elses's money that this seems perfectly acceptable. I call this trend: Trading Up.

My first irritant: anniversary parties that morph into the couple renewing their vows, dressed as if it's their first wedding, and they expect gifts. Nothing sentimental there when I read that they were not registered anywhere, they prefer monetary gifts. While I planned to attend the event (for lack of a better word) and give a small token to the couple, when I read the part about monetary gifts only, I was not only shocked, but more than a bit put-off. I'm so embarrassed for the couple, to be so rude - am I the only one that thinks that? Am I old-fashioned for thinking that a gift is what someone chooses to give you, not what you tell someone to give?

My most common irritant: dinner, lunch, brunch, etc. invitation that people decide to set their own time frame for/change the venue entirely - sometimes on the day of. Yes, this has happened, more times that I care to remember. It's almost become the norm now - to invite over a couple or some friends and have them tell you what time they'll be coming - even though your invitation clearly stated when you had asked them over. I wouldn't mind someone asking if I could change the start time, but I am a little fed-up with people that tell me when the start time would be. Often, I'll invite a group/couple over for dinner and what happens is they somehow interpret this as us all going out to dinner at a (typically expensive) restaurant that they have chosen, occasionally with additional guests included (by the other group/couple) and the additional guests do not expect to pay.

Am I within my rights as a hostess to get fed-up with these behaviors? With Mother's Day looming large around the corner, I'm waiting for that to happen. While I love to hostess an event (and I'm eagerly anticipating hostessing a lovely Mother's Day Brunch) and have held many events successfully, I find that some guests are so accustomed to being catered to, that the invitation given gets re-interpreted to suit their lifestyle, rather than being accepted or politely declined at face-value.

Tell me, has this happened to you? Have you witnessed Trading Up? I'd love to hear your stories!
4 Responses
  1. Frances Says:

    OMG! I have never had friends do any of those things. I think if they did, they would not be invited again.

    So sorry you are having to deal with this!

  2. Precious Says:

    I had someone that tried one of those things with me years ago. I quickly let them know that my money was my money and that I would decide how it was spent. Needless to say they are not a friend anymore but who needs friends like that? :-) I don't tolerate people who want me to spend my money their way. I only ran in to this alot in the office I worked in. You know the endless baby showers, lunches out, gifts for the bosses, etc. I did what I wanted for gifts and not what someone else told me to do. I think asking for money only is just plain rude. But you always have the option of not attending. The choices should be yours; not someone elses!

  3. Burrowing In Says:

    I've noticed it is more common now to ask for cash/money. I find it very off-putting! Leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Definitely calls for a very special handmade gift! Hahahaha!

    Don't let your "guests" push you around with venue and time changes. YOU invited THEM. If they attempt to push things in another direction, just politely mention that you've already begun preparing the meal or gathering the ingredients for a meal and that if it doesn't work for them perhaps another night would be better.

  4. Thank you for all the graet comments! I wasn't sure if I was alone in having to deal with things like this. I don't believe in giving money as gift (with very, very few exceptions), but I find it very tacky to ask for that.

    Burrowing In - I was planning to purchase something small for the couple, am deciding if I should do that or simply give them an anniversary card, as it's an anniversary party (albeit a lavish one), and not a wedding.

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