I hope every delicious bite was tainted by the shame of what a selfish person you are
May 17, 2010 7:57 PM   Subscribe

A woman caused a scene and walked out with a significant amount of food at my parents anniversary party. Should I write her a scathing email?

We had an anniversary party for my parents the other day, and since then almost all discussion has revolved around the actions of one woman. She is the wife of one of my dad's friends who he hasn't seen in years.

She was rude to me and my family members throughout the evening, literally yelling at us to take her picture, demanding to see said pictures immediately, etc. But things really got crazy when dessert was served.

She somehow managed to get a box from the staff, and started loading it up with chocolate covered strawberries. She'd make a trip to the dessert table, pick up three or four, put them in her box, and repeat. She must have taken at least 15 - 20 of them, and many people did not get any, including both my parents. After seeing this a few times, I mentioned this to my mother. She decided to play it a little passive agressive, and asked the woman if she'd like to take any food home.

The woman played dumb, wondering how she'd transport it home, and wherever could she get a box? When one was brought to her by the staff, she demanded a larger one, and immediately started loading it up, including an entire tray of 12 miniature hamburgers. She must have walked off with well over $100 worth of food.

I stepped outside, and when I returned I saw her and her husband on the way out. She asked her husband if they should say goodbye, he said nah, and they walked out into the night with loads of our delicious, expensive foodstuffs.

I wish I had said something then, or grabbed the box of strawberries and triumphantly returned them to the party. Although people have been joking about this ever since, I'm actually really angry about it. Some people have even suggested it ended the part early, as once people saw her grabbing food, the frenzy for leftovers was officially on.

I have her email address, and my parents have made it clear these people have worn out their welcome and will not be invites to any future events. Should I send the nasty email I've been composing in my head ever since?
posted by yellowbinder to Human Relations (76 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Don't do it. No good will come of engaging with such crazies.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:00 PM on May 17, 2010 [26 favorites]


It depends on what you are trying to accomplish. If you are hoping to make yourself feel better, regardless of any retribution, than I say send it. If you are trying to impress to these people that their actions are outside of the societal norms, I have a feeling your email will have little effect. As you allude to, the best time to take a confrontational action would have been during their departure -- I imagine that anything done now will most likely fall upon deaf ears.
posted by newper at 8:00 PM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


The people are either (1) desparately hungry for some reason, (2) suffering from mental problems, or (3) complete assholes that should be recycled for fuel. You've got a 1-in-3 calculation of landing any body blows, by my estimation. On the other hand, categories 1 & 2 probably won't do anything about it if you shoot them an e-mail and tell them to die of aortic dissection while on the shitter.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 8:01 PM on May 17, 2010


No. Sometimes guests are rude. But confronting them away from the party is petty. If the offense wasn't great enough to stop in the act, it's not worth quibbling over later. Take the high road.
posted by ColdChef at 8:02 PM on May 17, 2010 [16 favorites]


what would it serve but to extend the drama? it won't actually make you feel better except for the instant it is sent and it will erupt into a much larger ball of shit. the food isn't coming back, she won't apologize or even admit to it. let it go.
posted by nadawi at 8:02 PM on May 17, 2010


A scathing email would only affect someone with a sense of shame. This woman is clearly unfamiliar with even the concept.
posted by MsMolly at 8:02 PM on May 17, 2010 [20 favorites]


Write her the nastiest email you can imagine.....and then hit "Delete." Nothing good will come from actually sending it.
posted by Old Geezer at 8:03 PM on May 17, 2010 [8 favorites]


Write the email, read it over, and then delete it. Enjoy telling the funny story about the weird woman who took food from your parent's party. Get over your anger and laugh it off.

Most of all, avoid any contact with the crazy.
posted by bondcliff at 8:03 PM on May 17, 2010


What do you hope to accomplish with this email?
posted by Wordwoman at 8:03 PM on May 17, 2010


I doubt anyone who would behave that way would feel very bad over an e-mail excoriating them for their behavior. So why do it?
posted by clockzero at 8:04 PM on May 17, 2010


It sounds like she needs some professional help. Her behaviour is pretty far outside of the norm. It's kind of like getting struck by lightning.

Sending her an email won't solve the situation, and it also means you will have to interact with her again.

On the bright side, her behaviour seems to have become a shared experience for your parents' friends. This story will be told long into the future.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:04 PM on May 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


After seeing this a few times, I mentioned this to my mother. She decided to play it a little passive agressive, and asked the woman if she'd like to take any food home.

Ask culture meets guess culture. Hilarity ensues.

Let it go. Sometimes education is just expensive.
posted by flabdablet at 8:08 PM on May 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


Your "sociopath" tag seems accurate. But there's no way an email from you is going to help her, or right the wrong. Why not write your scathingest email text and post it as a response to this AskMe question, rather than sending it to her, just to get the relief of completely unloading your feelings? We'll all applaud.
posted by Snerd at 8:08 PM on May 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


The old Shaw quote springs to mind: "I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig, you get dirty; and besides, the pig likes it."

You won't gain anything by confronting them, and I don't think it will make you feel better. In my experience, pointless confrontations lead to: them ignoring me, them showing no remorse, them responding angrily that they did nothing wrong, or me feeling like a dick even though they were the ones who behaved poorly.

Write the e-mail and then delete it, unsent.

If it helps you feel better, you now have a hilarious & outrageous story to tell at parties. Practice telling it in the funniest way possible and presto, you're the better person.

("and then I suggest, really sarcastically, "Would you like to take anything home" and - and - get this - she asks for a bigger box!")
posted by Solon and Thanks at 8:08 PM on May 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


Wow, that's just ... horrible.

I think that since this was your parents' event, you probably shouldn't write these people. I do think you should submit something to Passive Aggressive Notes, though.
posted by lukemeister at 8:10 PM on May 17, 2010


I bet it would feel really good to send that email along with a bill for the food taken. Don't do it. Everybody saw what a dolt the woman was, you said yourself everyone was talking about it, so I don't think she'll be getting any more invitations. Plus, your mom did ask her if she wanted to take some food home. She may have been a boor, but you let her do it.

Write the email then delete it. Or use the time to crop the woman out of all the party pictures.
posted by TooFewShoes at 8:12 PM on May 17, 2010


All of your parents' and this lady and her husbands' mutual friends now think she's an asshole, so she will pay the price whether she realizes it immediately or not.
posted by ishotjr at 8:16 PM on May 17, 2010 [15 favorites]


Don't send anything. Putting something into writing is infinitely more incriminating than committing social faux-pas (no matter how outrageous). Don't give the crazy people anything to fixate on, or show as evidence of *you* being rude. Disengage/ignore.


And maybe learn a little lesson about being passive-aggressive! You asked if she wanted to take food and she did. It was incredibly inappropriate of her, but... you did offer. :)
posted by cranberrymonger at 8:17 PM on May 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


Do you want this crazy person to have YOUR email? Remember, it works both ways...
posted by jenkinsEar at 8:19 PM on May 17, 2010 [8 favorites]


I might feel differently than everyone else who is saying 'let it be' (even though I agree with him, I almost want to help you write it -- not just for you but for all the shit-heels I've seen/let get away with such things) but then I see this:

my parents have made it clear these people have worn out their welcome and will not be invites to any future events

That is how you "punish" these people and this is the only acceptable way to do it, like it or not. Though you may feel your mother took the passive aggressive way out during the actual event, a lot of acceptable polite conduct would also be called passive aggressive.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:20 PM on May 17, 2010


She is probably mentally ill. Be gracious and let it go.
posted by 4ster at 8:20 PM on May 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


Honestly, she does not seem like she's mentally all there. Just let it go. Pretend she ate all of it there and try to laugh about it. It's not like she's going to send you a check about it. You can always vent by telling your friends about the crazy lady who took a bunch of food and left.
posted by anniecat at 8:24 PM on May 17, 2010


yeah yeah, ishotjr. she is paying her price.

i like the idea of writing a totally off the wall, rippingly furious email in which you let her have it, and then....saving it to drafts.

but wow, this story is pretty hilarious and unique and i would looove this story if it were told to me, in the company of good and trusted friends...what a way to get the willies out about people who are just effing nutbags. great story.
posted by lakersfan1222 at 8:32 PM on May 17, 2010


I say do it. If it's bothering you that much, I say go for it. I think you should express what you're feeling. Even if she cannot comprehend what you're saying. Frame it out and kill her with kindness. Sometimes a little shame goes a long way. It's not like you're inviting her out to future events but it could give this dolt a chance at humility for her behavior at your party. Just because someone could be mentally ill doesn't excuse their behavior. She doesn't sound ill to me. She just sounds like another freeloader. Call her out on it but be gracious at the same time.
posted by InterestedInKnowing at 8:34 PM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd write her a letter thanking her. In a few years that story will be family lore. It'll become a story dad trots out at dinner parties. It'll be a "remember when..." moment that y'all will laugh about on holidays. A couple hundred bucks in finger food is well worth the laughs as that story gets told and retold and embellished and polished over the years.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 8:38 PM on May 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Make a family joke out of it: use their last name as shorthand for tacky people who take food home from gatherings. My great-grandparents did this with acquaintances of theirs, oh, 60 years ago, on the other side of the world, and their American great-grandchildren are still referring to people who wrap rolls in napkins as "Shabowis."
posted by palliser at 8:41 PM on May 17, 2010 [8 favorites]


nth letter. If she is just being mean, then she deserves a letter. If in some way, shape or form she does not know any better? Then she deserves a letter. Might the letter invite a world of crazy on the OP? Maybe, but where in life are there guarantees of no crazy?

Suzy!

You stole my 12 tiny hamburgers! Lobster hat!

posted by ian1977 at 8:42 PM on May 17, 2010


Submit it anonymously to Etiquette Hell or a similar site.
posted by IndigoRain at 8:45 PM on May 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


The woman played dumb Do you think she was perhaps actually dumb, thought it was an okay thing to do per the party honoree (your mother)? I'm not sure that indirect messages work for some people, better next time to be direct and calm in the face of rudeness. "Oh, I'm sorry, those aren't available for taking home."
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 9:10 PM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


She asked her husband if they should say goodbye, he said nah,

Huh, is it possible that her husband has been nursing a grudge over some perceived slight for all these years?

This doesn't excuse their behavior, of course. In fact, it makes it more batshitinsane. "I hate that guy! He doesn't even know it...unless he does and he's inviting me to his anniversary party JUST TO RUB IT IN! Ooooh, honey, I know, let's go to the party and STEAL THEIR FANCY FOOD! That'll show 'em! Yeah, those assholes, it'll serve them right. HA HA I have your strawberries, SUCKERS! And your MINI-HAMBURGERS TOO! Vrooooom! Eat my dust!"

Yeah, this one for the family story archive. It sounds like your folks are going to take the classy, Ms. Manners route and just not invite them over ever again, so I think it would embarrass them more to engage with these people.

(Write and keep the letter for your own satisfaction, though. It's very cathartic.)
posted by desuetude at 9:11 PM on May 17, 2010


If you want to be passive aggressive, I'd suggest turning this into a creative writing exercise for your own amusement/venting purposes, e.g.,

You have eaten
the strawberries
that were
on the table

and which
we were
saving
for our desert

We don't forgive you
batshitinsane strawberry-thief lady
go fuck yourself


Now, like everyone else said, don't actually send this...although sharing it with your parents and/or siblings is permissible.
posted by mosk at 9:15 PM on May 17, 2010 [26 favorites]


You guys let the staff give her a box? Clearly she's insane, but you kind of encouraged her to escalate, no? Don't write an email. Write it into a short play instead.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 9:25 PM on May 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


No, don't waste your time writing this asshole an angry e-mail. Fools like this aren't worth the effort.

Don't burn your bridges quite yet - but if the opportunity to attend an event hosted by her ever presents itself, take her up on it. Then you can return the favor and be the biggest pain in the ass imaginable. Be sure to eat lots of food if it's available!
posted by Despondent_Monkey at 9:26 PM on May 17, 2010


For $100 of food, you learned a valuable lesson about her, and she also destroyed her reputation with a room full of people. Put her name in the Big Book of Assholes and move on.
posted by tomble at 9:32 PM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Gotta go with cranberrymonger. I mean... your mom asked her if she wanted food to take home - and staff provided her with a (second?) bigger box! A pricey lesson in how awry passive-aggressive behavior can go when it meets the unstoppable force of Those Who Have No Shame.

Don't invite her back, tell the story to everyone, and chalk up the lost food to a hilarious tale that will make people shake their heads and say Who Does That?
posted by canine epigram at 9:34 PM on May 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


If you have her email, I assume you have he email of a lot of the guests. She would assume that as well. Consider sending an email to her bcc implying that the entire guest list got it along the lines of, "The Yellowbinder family wants to thank everyone for the amazing evening. Of course, we will be sending individual notes, but we wanted to thank you all without delay for the amazing display of friendship and love. We also apologize for the behavior of a few of the guests. We were not aware of the significant financial and mental issues facing our friends. It is such a shame to see friends in such need. Thank you again,..." She would be the only one to see it and it may mortify her. It won't do any good, but it will make you feel better.

Or, send her an email saying something like, "My parents were so glad to see you at the party but were deeply hurt that you would not confide in them your obvious financial plight. If you had only told them, they would have gladly offered to arrange for you to get special treatment on the leftovers. They are so sorry they put you in the embarrassing position of having to take excessive amounts of leftovers in front of all the guests. If there is anything we can do to help, please let us know."

But, alas, if it were me, I would do nothing at this time. I would patiently wait for the right time (which may never come) to make a public ass out of this lady.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:46 PM on May 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


This is kind of funny once you get past the "OMG how could she". I think the best thing you could do is to make your parents feel better about this. Writing angry emails will only feed their drlusion at the expense of you. Don't feed the trolls! Help your parents see that they were wonderful hosts and appeal to their sense of the absurd and their humor. You could write them a funny epic poem about the attack of the crazies on their party and emphasize your mom's magnanimity and poise!

And buy them a small box of chocolate covered strawberries.
posted by Omnomnom at 10:00 PM on May 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


ETA "their delusions" of course refers to the crazy guests.
posted by Omnomnom at 10:09 PM on May 17, 2010


Who cares about the consequences, there's nothing better than a righteous shit throwing fight. Fire away.
posted by QuarterlyProphet at 10:14 PM on May 17, 2010


Move on.

Just don't invite her (or her husband) to any other parties.

The only winning move is not to play.
posted by Ookseer at 10:14 PM on May 17, 2010


Oh, totally get your parents a small box of chocolate covered strawberries. And maybe reassure them that the other guests (get some backup here) will ultimately think more about the lovely anniversary that crazylady antics.

I'd be seething with rage in your position too, and I would sure as hell write that letter and not send it, but the more I think about it the worse I feel for your parents and their likely embarrassment. Go give 'em some love.
posted by desuetude at 10:36 PM on May 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


in my opinion, the answer to "Should I send the nasty email I've been composing in my head?" is always no.

Will it fix a problem? No.
Could it make things worse? Yes.
Will it escalate drama and stress? Yes.

Don't do it. If you send this to them, they may respond in very unpredictable ways.
posted by Admira at 10:38 PM on May 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


Yeah I'm pretty confused, why did you let her walk out of there with a giant box of food? What bothers you is that she was so shameless as to take a bunch of food from someone else's party, but I mean, why didn't you guys, like, ask her not to? Perhaps she justified it to herself by saying she was doing your folks a favor? How about you write yourselves that letter, or better yet, laugh it off as a lesson in directness and standing up against bullies as others have recommended.

Incidentally if you're having another party please invite me. I'll start by taking any small change I see on the counters...
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:58 PM on May 17, 2010


OP, this type of guest from hell dilemma is more frequent than you probably think. There's a plethora of those kinds of stories on www.etiquettehell.com. But you might like these two:

Stacking up the sandwiches (topmost post)

Miss Piggy
posted by Omnomnom at 1:00 AM on May 18, 2010


Wow, she sounds like she'd fit right in with the crowds on Black Friday. Perhaps she was part of the crowd responsible for trampling helpless shoppers at Wal Mart?

Sorry she had to spoil your enjoyment.

But I do not recommend sending her the email. Worse things have happened at parties, and I can't imagine sending a disapproving email has helped in any of those situations.
posted by The ____ of Justice at 1:39 AM on May 18, 2010


Sounds like you learned who not to invite next time. Live and learn.
posted by jrockway at 2:02 AM on May 18, 2010


The spread of advice here now has me wondering whether there's any correlation between ask vs. guess cultures and fight vs. learn cultures.
posted by flabdablet at 2:06 AM on May 18, 2010


She sounds either mentally ill or maybe has a substance abuse problem. What you're describing doesn't even sound in the realm of 'asshole behavior' -- it sounds like 'crazy person behavior' -- and I'd therefore chalk it up into the big bucket of 'Some people are crazy. What are you going to do?'

Writing her a letter is likely to bring her to your house so she make herself a tuna sandwich and then steal your cat.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 2:10 AM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you think it through for a while, you will probably be glad you didn't start a food fight with this woman at your parents' elegant soirée. Then, instead of this woman creating a scene, it would have turned into a story of you creating, or at least escalating, a scene. So you did the right thing.

Yes, your mother was "passive-aggressive", a behavioural style which has a terrible reputation, especially among MeFites. But there are times when passive aggression is the most elegant response (consider, for example, that Columbo uses passive aggression almost exclusively). I think your mother did the right thing too - she turned the other cheek, and unfortunately got it slapped, but that's the risk you take.

Is this woman crazy? There's no way to really know, and knowing that probably wouldn't tell you what, if anything, you should do differently.

Should you email her a telling off? No, she's an adult, albeit perhaps a crazy one. In etiquette terms, telling her off would be worse than the original offence and it's very, very unlikely that any good would come of it.

Should you wait your time and avenge yourself? No, that would make you look like an ass. Plus, the possibility exists that this woman acted this way because she has been waiting years, decades, for her opportunity to avenge herself for something your mom or dad didn't even know they'd done. Will the cycle of vengeance never stop?

Should you write the scathing email you would have sent to her, and post it here instead? Hell, yeah. You could also send it to Etiquette Hell, secure in the knowledge that that's the last place she'll ever look.
posted by tel3path at 2:20 AM on May 18, 2010


I think it was my dad or someone who once said something along the lines of "If you lend someone twenty bucks and then never see them again, you got the better deal."

You lost maybe 100 bucks worth of food. Never see them again. You win.
posted by allkindsoftime at 2:51 AM on May 18, 2010 [7 favorites]


I really find this story odd, and while I agree with "let it go and it'll be a funny story for years", I'm with those who find it plain mystifying that just...stopping her from filling that first box of strawberries wasn't the first reaction of your family. Instead your family....offered her help and more boxes and the offer of more food....? And then you are surprised and angry that they said yes?? The behavior of everyone involved is a headscratcher to me.
posted by the bricabrac man at 4:38 AM on May 18, 2010 [11 favorites]


No, but make sure the tank you cards you send to the other guests have some sort of chocolate covered strawberry on them.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:07 AM on May 18, 2010 [5 favorites]


Passive aggression on your mother's part was not the way to go, even if it is Columbo's modus operandi. To send this woman a scathing e-mail after your mother literally encouraged her to take home more food would make you look like the crazy one.

Better to do something subtle, like robocop... says.
posted by Colonel_Chappy at 5:25 AM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd be very, very tempted to see if the local food pantry accepts referrals, but then, you might take away food from people who really need it. Do what you need to to get rid of the anger you feel because it only hurts you. You know, of course, that you have spent much more time and emotional energy on this than they have, and they don't deserve that, and your satisfaction will come from letting this go. Write the email and trash it, make it into a funny story, just exhale and push it away. I like to use the little checklist: Is it true? Is it kind? Does it help? An angry email would only meet one of those, and to me, that makes it not worth the sending.
posted by lemniskate at 6:08 AM on May 18, 2010


Trust me, 10, 20, even 30 years or more this woman will continue to be a laughingstock to you and your family. As time goes by you will discover that the indignant righteousness burns away, and you will be left feeling only bemused. Compare the $100 you lost in food to the price of tickets to the theater-- I imagine this scene will burn brighter in your memory than any mere play.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:21 AM on May 18, 2010


You have lots of terrible photos of her, right? Pick a particularly unflattering one.

This is the photo for the Family Longwinded Holiday Letter, with the beautifully-scrapbooked caption "Hungry Mungry", surrounded by some kind of strawberry graphic. Can clip art have a noble purpose? Oh, sometimes.
posted by Sallyfur at 6:36 AM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Don't know if anyone wrote this yet but it brings to mind a scene from the movie "A Bronx Tale". You basically paid $100 (in food) to never have to see these people again...and it sounds like you got a bargain.
posted by Busmick at 6:38 AM on May 18, 2010


A somewhat similar appalling-behavior-at-party incident came up in MeFi a while back. The consensus there was to let it go, the badly-behaved guest was not firing on all cylinders. It seems like the same is true with your bad party guest - that or she harbored some kind of bizarre grudge against your parents, or something.

Nthing be the bigger person. Don't send the email. A person like this woman is not going to be shamed, let alone reformed, by scathing emails. Vent to your friends, but cut this woman and her husband dead.

I'm sure the other party guests made a mental note to never, ever invite this person anywhere, and are making her a laughingstock right now as we type.

And think what a delicious (ha!) family legend, not to mention social-circle gossip, this story will make.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 6:50 AM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


There are very good reasons that the New Testament of the Christian Bible emphasizes forgiveness as much as it does.
posted by amtho at 6:51 AM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd get your parents a bunch of chocolate-covered strawberries and mini-hamburgers and whatever else this woman took and make a little party at home. Just so they don't keep salivating forever over all that yummy lost food. You can all have a chuckle about it.
posted by Dragonness at 6:52 AM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


What outcome do you want?

She did nothing illegal, but was publicly rude and ill-mannered at a large party. The more you are gracious, and concerned for her well-being, the better you look, the crazier she looks. This will be discussed for years. Start saying, I hope she's okay. Should we ask our pastor to send a food basket? I hope she's okay. It's such peculiar behavior. Should we recommend a therapist? Gosh, I wonder if her kids know she's acting this way. Maybe they could persuade her to seek help. Over time, this story is going to be a family Legend, so make the best/most of it, and years from now, it will incite gales of laughter. Give her a name, like "Starving Guest," with air quotes, or Joe's Cuhraaaazy Wife. Nothing to mean, but good family shorthand for Remember that crazy woman who savaged the buffet?

In fact, if I were to do anything, I might, in fact, send her a food basket, in case she and her family are truly in need, knowing full well that she's probably nuts, but even fake compassion isn't such a bad thing.
posted by theora55 at 7:11 AM on May 18, 2010


The more gracious and good-humored your family is about this, the bigger douchenozzle she will look like. The best way to punish her is by being as gracious as possible. Your parents will get all the friends in the friend divorce, I promise. (And, as others have mentioned, GREAT FUTURE STORY!)

I would be sorely, sorely tempted, however, to send the CRAZY LADY a box of chocolate-covered strawberries with a lovely note so subtly passive-aggressive that she can't be sure if you're being absolutely charming or utterly vicious. But you're probably better off just letting it go.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:14 AM on May 18, 2010


maybe the lesson here should be to skip all the passive-aggressive shit?

you COULD have said "excuse me, but some people have not gotten any strawberries yet"
and averted this whole needless drama.

passive-aggressive acts always, always escalate situations because the person A) is now insulted and vindictive or B) doesn't pick up on it and continues their behavior.
posted by swbarrett at 8:04 AM on May 18, 2010 [6 favorites]


oh and taking some fancy party food home IS NOT reason to believe that they are poor, mentally ill, or anything else (other than rude) get real people.
posted by swbarrett at 8:09 AM on May 18, 2010


It doesn't sound like "some" to me-- "some" in the case of a party guest taking home food, would be a few nibbles for the children or a few bites for tomorrow's dessert. In any case, you should never, never just help yourself without asking. I am guessing this type of behavior is fostered by work parties and all-you-can-eat buffets at restaurants. The rude guest simply conflated a private person's offerings to his or her guests with a corporation's more impersonal largess. I cannot imagine what kind of mindset allows someone to go to a person's home and stock up on groceries, so I have to imagine this woman is not quite right in the head.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:34 AM on May 18, 2010


HA HA I have your strawberries, SUCKERS This brought "I drink your milkshake" to mind.

Be the bigger person, don't send the email. It's a cheap price to pay for a good story and not having to associate with these people again.
posted by arcticseal at 9:55 AM on May 18, 2010


Sure, write her a super nasty note, then block her email address so she can't respond.

Forward it to like-minded people so you can all bond over it. Then tell it as a funny story when you feel a bit better about it.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 10:00 AM on May 18, 2010


Yes, but without the passive-aggressive behavior you wouldn't have had nearly as great a story, so it's not all bad. If someone's already behaving that badly, you may as well run with it.
posted by small_ruminant at 10:22 AM on May 18, 2010


I would anonymously send fake flyers for a Freeloader's Anonymous group and coupons to your local candy shop for discounts on choc strawberries and a $1 gift certificate to White Castle and continue to do so every week for about 6 weeks so they saw a pattern, but I'm sort of douchey so I don't know if thats your style.
posted by WeekendJen at 10:24 AM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


No. You have the epic party story everyone will remember.

"Remember when so and so had that catered party and that woman walked off with all of that food?"

You'll always be remembered as the cool person who didn't give a shit about it.
posted by L'OM at 10:44 AM on May 18, 2010


Write up the story and post it to Craigslist Rants & Raves.
posted by Four Flavors at 12:02 PM on May 18, 2010


Just an update for everyone. Thanks so much for all your commiserating and advice. I just received a voicemail message from the woman. No apology, but she would like information to make a gift donation to one of my parents' suggested charities. So either this was brought on by her own personal shame, or she's not an all around awful person. I think keeping my anger to myself (and the stories family and friends will tell for years) is worth a donation to a good cause.
posted by yellowbinder at 12:35 PM on May 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


Draft your email, but send it to your family instead of to her, and you can each write your own reply from her point of view, competing to see who can sound the most batshit insane...
posted by aimedwander at 1:32 PM on May 18, 2010


That is horrendous. Nthing the recommendation to not re-engage. The suggestions from everyone are terrific, though -- you will have a family story for the ages. And tomorrow, this jerk has to wake up and be herself.
posted by sdn at 5:08 PM on May 18, 2010


A local soup kitchen would seem to be an excellent choice for a donation.
posted by the bricabrac man at 7:11 PM on May 18, 2010


I just received a voicemail message from the woman. No apology, but she would like information to make a gift donation to one of my parents' suggested charities. So either this was brought on by her own personal shame, or she's not an all around awful person.

Bizarre. So she knows she's guilty of...something, but can't be bothered to acknowledge it.
posted by desuetude at 10:54 PM on May 18, 2010


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