Delayed Diners: Confused or rude?

by epi on November 11, 2011

Q: I hosted a small dinner for friends. One of the couples was 2 hours late and said nothing about it (no apology, etc). I said nothing and still have not mentioned it to them. Should I have said or done anything about their tardiness?

A: It may be that they got the time wrong, for it is unbelievable that anyone would be two hours late without a call or apology. They may have felt they had arrived right on time. You wouldn’t say anything now, but if you invite them again, just be sure you are both clear on the time of the invitation. At the time you could have said, “I’m so glad to see you – we were quite worried about what happened to you because we were expecting you at 6,” to which they would have replied how sorry they were, or that they thought the invitation was for 8.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jody November 11, 2011 at 7:29 am

I think the original advice is excellent. I also think their reaction if you invite them again is key — if they did have the wrong time noted, as the original advice suggests, it’s an honest mistake and they probably won’t do it again. If, however, their attitude seems to be that they don’t really care about time or pay attention to it, you’ll know not to hold dinner for them and maybe not to invite them to a time-sensitive event.

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