March 22, 2010

Modern Manners Monday: What Would YOU Do?

Neighbors Meeting
On Saturday morning, a neighbor approaches you at your mailbox and invites you in for a cup of coffee. Since the two of you have been friendly in the past, you have no problem with her invitation.

After exchanging pleasantries, your neighbor tells you that she wants to talk to you about something that's been bothering her lately.  You can't imagine what the matter might be but you're all ears.

She tells you that since you've been neighbors for three years, she considers you a friend. After all, she watches your home when you're away and has walked your dog on occasion.  She goes on to say that she notices that you entertain quite frequently and your parties seem fun but is somewhat disturbed that she has never been invited to participate as a guest.

You are stunned.

What do YOU do?


  1. YIKES! I'm so worried that this is going to happen to me!!! Can't wait to hear what people suggest, and I have an additional question to add to the mix. What if you'd like to invite your neighbors, being the friendly sort, but you can't remember their names?

  2. My first reaction is "Invite her, the more the merrier." But there may be reasons why she wasn't invited in the first place. The guests are people from work? She'd have nothing in common with your crowd? She's a torrential bore? And if you invite her once, will she expect every invitation?

    "She tells you that since you've been neighbors for three years, she considers you a friend."

    Neighbors can be friends but it's not a God given right.

    On the other hand, she may be tons of fun and your guests may enjoy her company.

    Verdict: Invite her once and see how it goes.

  3. I entertain often but have only invited my neighbors on occasions when it was appropriate to do so. Use your best judgement in deciding when it's okay for her to attend an event (she should not expect to be invited to ALL of them).
    If she cares enough to look after your home and pet, is she not worthy to share a celebration?

    Alternatively, if there is something wrong that is preventing you from extending the invitation, be tactfully honest about it.

  4. This is a good one. We entertain often and always invite our neighbors where appropriate, and when we don't for whatever reason, I take them a little treat since we live in a cul de sac and folks often park in front of their house.

    As for the question, I would apologize and tell her I will be sure to invite her to the next soirée. I would also inform her that what she sees as being excluded is rather a gathering of a group of people that have things in common (work together, go to Church together, etc) and you were not intentionally excluding her, but rather want to make sure she and everyone else is comfortable.

  5. Depending on your feelings about her, go ahead an invite her to ONE event and give her a test drive. Who knows you may like her enough for her to become a regular...

  6. I would apologize and tell her I didn't know she would be interested but (depending on how you feel about her) let her know that the next time you host another party you will let her know.
    To The Frugal Hostess I would just then do a verbal invitation and that way you won't necessarily have to use their names and then during the party try to get their names that way. Good luck though.

  7. I think I would make the next soiree a get-together of neighbours then everyone present has something in common (if only approximate GPS coordinates) and from that I could get to know her, and other neighbours a little better and find out wheter she (or others) might actually be a nice fit for other parties.

  8. I would like to think I would be quick on my feet and would tell her so many are obligatory engagement parties/showers etc where you may not have had total control over the guest list. And since she has mentioned it and I love to give parties, what a great idea to have a neighborhood party. I would thank her for the idea and then maybe let her be in on the planning. If you know she is sensitive to this type of thing then you may have to float an invitation or two her way every now and then - i hate to think of people feeling left out! I love your blog! Karen

  9. Ooh, I like Katie's idea...

  10. Katie's answer is spot on! Very gracious...kudos!

  11. I would just say "Ohh, I'm sorry you felt left out! Actually, it's not that we don't want to have you over, it's just that so far, we've had get-togethers of very specific groups of people e.g. my husband's family, my coworkers, friends from the club, etc. But when we finally have a more general party for friends, we'd love you to come!"

    And, I'd be slightly annoyed at being put on the spot, since she shouldn't feel entitled to an invitation, though it's mature to bring up something that's bugging her (even though in her shoes, I wouldn't feel the need).

  12. I'd let her know that my events were usually for certain groups I'm a member of and that the very next one we had that was for friends and family she would be on the guest list.

    Oh...and I'd feel horrid for never inviting her before she mentioned it. That's not neighborly and I pride myself on having a wonderful relationship with my neighbors.


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