Join 3,523 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


What's the least rude way to un-invite a weird lady?
January 8, 2008 12:54 PM   Subscribe

I'm having a gathering, and a really strange woman has declared that she'll be there wearing a face mask, rubber gloves, and wielding hand sanitizers. How can I politely tell her I don't want her there?

I'm having a semi-large gathering at my house (20-40 people), and I sent out the invitation to a mailing list of people I mostly know. A woman I don't know said that she really wants to come, but that she wants to make sure there won't be any sick people there. I'm already kind of worried about space issues, so I told her there would be a lot of people in a not-huge space, and that some of them were sure to be sick. She replied and said she's still coming, but that she'll bring her face mask, rubber gloves, and hand sanitizer.

At this point I don't want her to come at all, even if she doesn't bring the face mask. I need to say something firm enough that she can't argue back and say she'll come anyway, but polite enough that she won't go ballistic and badmouth me to all of our mutual acquaintances.

One of my co-hosts suggested I say something like "Hi, we've discussed it and we feel that someone wearing a face mask and rubber gloves would be off-putting to our other guests, and disruptive to the atmosphere we want. If you're really that worried about getting sick, we'd prefer you not come. Thanks!"

What do you think?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (67 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Seems good to me. Addresses the problem without being personally insulting.

Go for it.
posted by unixrat at 12:57 PM on January 8, 2008


"Hi, we've discussed it and we feel that someone wearing a face mask and rubber gloves would be off-putting to our other guests, and disruptive to the atmosphere we want. If you're really that worried about getting sick, we'd prefer you not come. Thanks!"

That sounds exactly right. If it was me I'd send a freakin' car for her and make sure everyone else was wearing a mask and gloves when she got there, but it might not be that kind of party.
posted by Divine_Wino at 12:59 PM on January 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


This happened in one email exchange with someone you don't know, right? Are you sure she wasn't kidding?
posted by zebra3 at 1:00 PM on January 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


Seconding unixrat. As for your mutual acquaintances, I doubt they're going to give the gas-mask-wearing germophobe's social opinion much weight.
posted by Skot at 1:02 PM on January 8, 2008


Anyone that invites themselves to a party, AND uses rubber gloves PLUS hand sanitizers needs way less subtlety than you're considering. She's going to need a "Please don't come. We do not want you there" type message.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 1:03 PM on January 8, 2008 [4 favorites]


What your co-host suggested sounds fine. Personally, I would first discretely ask around to my mutual friends on the list to determine if the masked woman is taking precautions due to a medical issue (such as a bone marrow transplant) before I labeled her as weird.
posted by jamaro at 1:05 PM on January 8, 2008 [7 favorites]


That or you could just utilise her as the "entertainment" for guests and give those without small talk skills something to chat about...
posted by lazywhinerkid at 1:06 PM on January 8, 2008


I think there's a decent chance she's joking, but I also think that if she is joking, your response won't seem totally over the top (and if she's not joking, then it seems reasonably firm and clear, as well).
posted by occhiblu at 1:08 PM on January 8, 2008


This is clearly a joke. Ask her in person about it, if possible.
posted by nasreddin at 1:08 PM on January 8, 2008


"It isn't fancy dress."
posted by fire&wings at 1:09 PM on January 8, 2008 [4 favorites]


Sounds like she's kidding to me.
posted by hermitosis at 1:09 PM on January 8, 2008


StupidsexyFlanders is right; try 'Please do not come to my party. I'm concerned you might sue me if you did get sick'-- and if I were you, I really would be.
posted by jamjam at 1:14 PM on January 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is clearly a joke.
Sounds like she's kidding to me.


Huh? Not only does it not sound like a joke on its own, it was preceded by her saying that "she really wants to come, but that she wants to make sure there won't be any sick people there." There are plenty of people like that, and I would be very surprised if it were a joke.

Seconding the general opinion that the cohost's suggestion sounds fine.
posted by languagehat at 1:18 PM on January 8, 2008


Ouch--pay attention to what Jamaro said. I would feel like a real jerk uninviting someone who had an immune system issue but really wanted to come to the party. If someone who knows her says that she's just a weirdo, your note is perfect. If not, you might want to warn other guests so that they don't treat her rudely. You did invite her, so she does have a right to think that she is welcome even if she is taking precautions for her own health.
posted by tk at 1:20 PM on January 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Do any of your other invitees know this woman? Can they shed some light on this request of hers?

If it's not due to a bona fide medical issue, then I agree that your co-host's suggestion is appropriate.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 1:25 PM on January 8, 2008


It sounds like an attempt at a self-deprecating joke to me. Still weird.

You mentioned you have mutual acquaintances. Have you run this by any of those acquaintances to see what the deal is with this person?
posted by dosterm at 1:25 PM on January 8, 2008



Huh? Not only does it not sound like a joke on its own, it was preceded by her saying that "she really wants to come, but that she wants to make sure there won't be any sick people there." There are plenty of people like that, and I would be very surprised if it were a joke.

Seconding the general opinion that the cohost's suggestion sounds fine.


It sounds to me like an exchange I'd have with people I know:
"Can we maybe go to another restaurant? This one is pretty expensive."
"No, sorry, we've made reservations already."
"OK, I guess I'll just sell my firstborn children." (poking fun at my own poverty/cheapness)

If someone emailed me to suggest that selling my children was an unnecessary sacrifice to attend his event, I'd be a little puzzled to say the least.
posted by nasreddin at 1:38 PM on January 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


I'd check with friends to see if you can figure out what's up first. Although, if she does have something serious medically going on, I think that it would be polite of her to mention something along those lines to qualify her insistence that she's showing up in non-traditional attire.

I can also see this as being a joke on her part, starting with the question about sick people. If she was joking about that (which I can see, since it's kind of a wacky thing to ask), she may have been trying to banter a bit with the second question as well. Sometimes when people don't know others well, some exaggerated banter can be something of a nervous icebreaker.

I guess I just said what everyone else said. If she checks out as medically healthy but weird, the first email sounds great.
posted by SpacemanStix at 1:39 PM on January 8, 2008


You're having 40 people over and are worried about the appearances of one?

Just let her attend. I get the feeling it was a joke as well, but even if it wasn't, uninviting her now would be rude, no matter how you do it.
posted by cmgonzalez at 1:41 PM on January 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Change the time to an hour before, then send her an update that the time has been moved an hour back. To her delight, she'll get there with just a few germ-packing people milling around, and she can (hohhhh---kerrrr) breathe a sigh of relief.

Bring out a new bowl of punch and some chips around the time she's supposed to arrive. If she has any qualms or ever confronts you about it, tell her you did it out of worry for her obvious health concerns.
posted by cashman at 1:52 PM on January 8, 2008


Could be a joke. On the other hand, I might know this person. I know someone who would absolutely say that (and weirder things) in all seriousness. I could go into more detail, but suffice it to say that she washes unpeeled oranges before peeling them to eat, and once wore a face mask to work during flu season.

I agree that, if she is not joking, this type of person will need a nice direct reply in order to get the hint.

On the other hand, it might be worth it to just let her come and enjoy the amusement.
posted by greenmagnet at 1:55 PM on January 8, 2008


It seems like a weird question to ask, but I personally find the "there are certainly going to be at least a few sick people there" response even weirder. Um, really? Wouldn't they be staying home if they were sick? I made my boyfriend stay home Saturday b/c he just got over the flu, and his immune system is really shitty. Do people in full-blown contagious mode actually go to parties?
posted by herbaliser at 1:56 PM on January 8, 2008


Just let her attend. I get the feeling it was a joke as well, but even if it wasn't, uninviting her now would be rude, no matter how you do it.

Blah. Some loon coming over to my house wearing a gas mask and rubber gloves is about the time I get rude. Be rude with this woman if that's what it takes. Just tell her that the other guests would be uncomfortable with a nutcase such as her around.

Perhaps you could word that differently.
posted by xmutex at 1:56 PM on January 8, 2008


About 3 days before your event, send her an apologetic email explaining that you came down with something. Something highly contagious, but whose symptoms can be controlled with OTC medication. Let her know that you're sorry that she can't make it, but it's really for the better that she doesn't come.
posted by grateful at 2:02 PM on January 8, 2008


Do people in full-blown contagious mode actually go to parties?

Yes. It's those same "Germs and diseases are good for you, that's why I never wash my butt!" folks.

Anon, if the creative suggestion isn't considerable, then I would suggest getting this person's phone number and talking to them that way. Computer mediated conversation is already spotty, and if it's someone you don't know, probably even harder. If she's coming to your house, get her number and call her and introduce yourself while working in questions to find out if she's serious. Pre-plan your responses to if she's serious or not, and finesse the outcome you want out of the conversation in a non-rude way.

Frame it in a way like "well I don't want to seem like such a poor hostess that one of my guests has to wear a mask, what can I do?", so that she realizes she either comes maskless, or stays home. Make it almost familial. I know my elders would say "Oh no, we can't have you in the house with a mask on, what can we do?" And just continue to exclude the possibility, making her either suggest a solution (wiping down things before the party starts) or her staying home.
posted by cashman at 2:05 PM on January 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


Desjardins, I invite strangers to my house all the time. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't, but it is always entertaining!

I agree with LH, the preceding sentence suggest she is not kidding just extremely germophobic. Tell her a friend is just in from a CDC trip to Ebola-ville or something.... she'll back off.
posted by Wilder at 2:09 PM on January 8, 2008


follow-up from the OP
She is not joking. She did specify that she's on some drugs that affect her immune system. I intended to mention that, but forgot. I called her weird at least partly because of the tone of our exchange, and other email she's sent to the list. She sounds like a weird lady. So a secondary question becomes, am I a jerk for not wanting her to show up if she's wearing a face mask because she's got a compromised immune system?

I personally find the "there are certainly going to be at least a few sick people there" response even weirder. Um, really? Wouldn't they be staying home if they were sick?
Get 40 people together in January and it's likely that someone's got something, whether they are symptomatic or not.

'Please do not come to my party. I'm concerned you might sue me if you did get sick'-- and if I were you, I really would be.
I am worried about it now that you suggest it. She sounds like the dramatic type, likely to make a big deal over things, which is part of my worry about the friends. I can just imagine her ranting every time I post an event announcement.
posted by jessamyn at 2:14 PM on January 8, 2008


Sounds a bit crazy to me. I wouldn't have responded that there would definitely be sick folks though I would have just pointed out that in shared-reality world you have no real way of knowing whether folks might come to your party high on cold medicine even when they should probably stay home. Or just come and sniffle for that matter.

You could just ask her straight out whether she has some medical reason for her paranoia. Maybe that's rude but not as rude as lying about the party.

Is it rude to pry though? We forgive someone who is immune compromised but someone who just doesn't want to get sick or happens to be crazy gets no love? I'd say just ignore it.
posted by Wood at 2:19 PM on January 8, 2008


"dear crazylady,

your reference to needing rubber gloves and a face mask make me fear for your health in my home. i am afraid that i will not be able to make adequate accommodations for someone with a compromised immune system, and i would hate for you to become ill.

i do look forward to meeting you, however, so let's plan to do so in a more controlled setting sometime in the near future.

sincerely,
anonymous"


if she was joking, she'll laugh it off (or write you off as a dope). if she's serious, however, well, at least you tried.
posted by thinkingwoman at 2:21 PM on January 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well that helps. I'd say let her come. If she's on some drugs and not a lunatic hypochondriac, then she can be the one to explain her situation to people. I don't see anything wrong with that.
posted by cashman at 2:22 PM on January 8, 2008


My life seems somehow so empty without these issues, sad huh? She does know that infection is part of the world and a little hand santizer is not likely to stop a committed germ right?
posted by Freedomboy at 2:23 PM on January 8, 2008


Well, plenty of people show up places when they are some level of sick, so I think it's reasonable for the OP to assume someone will show up who has the sniffles or a cough.

Honestly, there's no way to "disinvite" someone (though it doesn't sound like you even invited her personally, and this woman smacks of Teh Crazy anyway) without it being really offensive. And this one you might have to whack in the tender bits with a clue bat. Unless she's got a serious medical condition issue going on (and from what I hear, if that was the case you're not even supposed to leave the house!), this is just wacky.

I do like cashman's suggestion though, I think it's amusing. Or alternately, tell her that someone near and dear to you that's coming or lives in the house just got the flu.

Part of me does kind of think, "Well, hey, at least she'll give the party guests something to laugh about," though...
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:25 PM on January 8, 2008


Thinkingwoman has it, I think that's a better approach at first, as it smooths over the issue of her embarassing you.
posted by grouse at 2:25 PM on January 8, 2008


It's extremely rude to invite people to a gathering and then un-invite them because you've decided they're weird on the basis of a few emails. I think cashman's suggestion of calling her is the most gracious, under the circumstances.
posted by oneirodynia at 2:31 PM on January 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


This changes things substantially. If she's on drugs that compromise her immune response she should NOT be attending a 40 person gathering in a house you describe as small.

(Saying that though a shitload of drugs compromise the immune system like cocaine and heroin but she doesn't sound like the type!)

Having made it clear to her that she is likely in Jan to meet a few people with varied infections, say that you really can''t take the chance and would be worried about her all evening. If she persists her health is NOT her main focus.
posted by Wilder at 2:37 PM on January 8, 2008


You can't uninvite her because she's a weirdo (Miss Manners would agree, I'm afraid), but you should definitely take thinkingwoman's approach, which masks the "I don't want you here" message in a truthful, caring response. Although considering how nuts this woman sounds, you may want to leave out the part about meeting some other time. It is never wise to invite crazy into your life (as you're now finding out!)
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:41 PM on January 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Dear Sickie McNoimmune,

I'm afraid that a mask and gloves wouldn't be appropriate for this particular party. If you'd like, we'd love to have you over at a smaller shindig where we can sanitize ahead of time and have a greater assurance that no other guests might be sick.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:45 PM on January 8, 2008


I can't help but think that this is the inevitable result of directly inviting people you don't know to your party. Not that that was a bad idea... I think parties are more interesting that way.
Once you do that though, you can't expect to control every aspect of the scene. If you're planning the kind of party where one person behaving somewhat oddly is going to make the whole thing fall apart, you need to not invite people you don't know. I don't think you made a mistake by inviting those people, I'm just saying that there's always some random variable when you get 40 people together. You just have to roll with it.
Knowing that she's not joking, it seems like you're kinda stuck. It would come off as rude to uninvite her. But ultimately it's not that big of a deal. Let it play out. Most people aren't going to care, and if they do, it'll probably be kinda fun.
Have a good time at the party, and don't worry too much about it.

On preview, wilder and others make a good point about trying the "concern for her health" tactic. You don't even have to lie... she probably really shouldn't go for that reason. But it's her decision.
posted by dosterm at 2:46 PM on January 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's extremely rude to invite people to a gathering and then un-invite them because you've decided they're weird on the basis of a few emails.

Really? I don't think it's rude, let alone "extremely rude." Throwing her out of the party after she showed up would probably be rude, as would snickering at the lady in the mask and gloves sitting alone on the couch, but short of that, it's the OP's party and they can invite (and univite) whomever they want. I'm pretty sure I'd uninvite this person too. *shrug* Maybe I'm really rude and just don't know it.

If her health really is that much at risk, she's shouldn't be in a small house loaded with strangers, especially if there is going to be food/drink. Tell her such nicely and that you're looking forward to meeting her at a future gathering once her health has improved.
posted by Nelsormensch at 2:48 PM on January 8, 2008


If thinkingwoman's gambit doesn't work, then the OP would not be uninviting this woman. She would still be welcome to come, just without the face mask.

It's no more rude to insist that guests come to your house not wearing face masks and rubber gloves than it is to insist that they leave their pets or children at home, or dress up for a black-tie party, or any other number of restrictions. That might be a dealbreaker for some guests, but that's really their problem.
posted by grouse at 2:55 PM on January 8, 2008



She might have OCD-- obsessive-compulsive disorder. It's very hard for such people to socialize so it might be really helpful to her to actually come.

If *she* doesn't feel uncomfortable in that get-up (or if it's the only way for her to overcome her fears), why should you worry about it?

If you are worried what everyone else thinks about you having a "weird" friend, why invite people you don't actually know?
posted by Maias at 2:57 PM on January 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


If she's on drugs that affect her immune system, she probably has a big scary health issue. Maybe that makes her a little nervous while at the same time eager for a distracting social life, thus resulting in slightly weird-sounding emails. I don't think it's a huge deal, especially since she'll be one of 20-40 people. Send her to one of my parties. My friends have calmly dealt with far stranger behavior.
posted by PatoPata at 3:02 PM on January 8, 2008 [4 favorites]


If *she* doesn't feel uncomfortable in that get-up (or if it's the only way for her to overcome her fears), why should you worry about it?

Come on. Loons in gas masks and rubber gloves wandering around a house party? Who wants that?
posted by xmutex at 3:02 PM on January 8, 2008


I think it would be rude to disinvite her. It's your house so it's your right, of course, but I think it's still rude. You should limit your invites to people you're sure to want in the future.
posted by callmejay at 3:02 PM on January 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's unlikely that it's a gas mask, surely? I was imagining more one of those papery masks that everyone in China was wearing during the SARS outbreak, and a pair of stretchy latex gloves, not big yellow rubber gloves that people do the washing up in.
posted by redfoxtail at 3:13 PM on January 8, 2008


Loons in gas masks and rubber gloves wandering around a house party? Who wants that?

Surgical mask, not gas mask.

Given the additional information, I too think you're kind of stuck with her at the party, given that you invited her (when I first read the question, I had the impression she had invited herself, I didn't realize she was one of the people who got the invitation).

If you're organizing an event for a set group of people, you're pretty much declaring that all of them are welcome. If you want to pick and choose guests, then you don't send invitations to entire mailing lists. I doubt that I'd want her at a party I was hosting, either, but that's kind of why hosting these sorts of group events can suck -- you can't duck out once you see the guest list!
posted by occhiblu at 3:15 PM on January 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


hey, it's your house. you shouldn't feel obligated to host someone who you don't feel comfortable having there. (but yes, you should be a little more selective in the inviting the next time around.) I once kicked one of my sister's coworkers out of my apartment- he was a total creep and barfed on the floor, then wanted to stay and hang out.

I think you should tell her that one of your guests has a face mask and rubber glove phobia, and you had already promised her than no one would be donning such apparel.

Or, just send the email that your co-host suggested. It seems like a polite way of dealing with the situation.
posted by emd3737 at 3:30 PM on January 8, 2008


So if she wasn't joking and actually is on immunosuppressive drugs, but would really like to come, then not wanting her there for appearances' sake is even more rude than I thought before. Perhaps she doesn't get out much and is delighted at actually having a social opportunity.

As occhiblu said, when you invite a group, you invite the group, not pick and choose later based upon superficial reasons.
posted by cmgonzalez at 3:30 PM on January 8, 2008 [4 favorites]


(I may be a little biased, since my mother is disabled, and sometimes even our own family members have implied embarrassment at her appearance or choice of clothes or even shoes to accommodate her leg brace and mobility limitations. Such as sneakers to a formal event. Superficial reasons for snubbing someone's company really irk me.)
posted by cmgonzalez at 3:35 PM on January 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


Let her come, and let her bring her mask -- just like you would let a blind person bring a cane, or a deaf person bring a hearing aid.
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:42 PM on January 8, 2008 [4 favorites]


Now I feel like my answer was a bit harsh if the woman really does have serious health issues. Maybe ask someone who knows her what her deal is?

My money's still on looney, though. HIV patients are about as immunocompromised as you can get, and most of them don't gown up every time they go to a party.
posted by emd3737 at 3:49 PM on January 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh, she could easily be loony. But even loons should get to have social lives, and if they need masks to come to parties, eh, it's no skin off your nose.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:13 PM on January 8, 2008


There are any number of medical conditions that could cause this; chemotherapy and anti-rejection drugs following an organ transplant are two of the more common. cmgonzales makes an excellent point when he says that this person may have few opportunities to socialize due to her illness and if that is the case it would be cruel to uninvite her. See if you can find out more and you might eve try for some extra karmic points by offering to make any other accommodations needed.

Her weird demeanor may just be her way of dealing with a chronic medical condition. In particular both long term patients and medical professionals make jokes that would be appalling to those outside the field. Or she may just be weird on top of being ill, but that would only make her interesting in my book.

Personally I would err on the side of assuming she is really ill rather than assume she is a Howard Hughes wannabe unless I could find reliable confirmation one way or the other.
posted by TedW at 4:32 PM on January 8, 2008


dude, she's currently immunocomprimised because of medication. she has every right to wear a mask and gloves if she feels that's what she needs to do to protect her health (i'd just stay home, but i'm antisocial).

let it go. let her come to the party, and don't blink an eye when she shows up looking like michael jackson.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 4:35 PM on January 8, 2008


Maybe it's because I'm based in Japan where wearing surgical masks in public isn't uncommon at all (admittedly, I do it too, during hay fever season. It makes a huge difference), but I find it sort of strange that some people in this thread are reacting like this woman is a total weirdo. Is it really such a big social no-no for someone to show up wearing a mask at a gathering in the States (or wherever it is you live)? Or is it the rubber gloves and hand sanitizer that are triggering these responses? Which, I guess, is somewhat over the top, but hey, people have quirks. And for this woman, apparently it's not a quirk but a necessity.
I agree with the people who are saying that there is really no completely polite way to uninvite this person. It's your home, so if you don't want her there, I guess you can explain why and ask her to refrain from coming, but any way you do it will result in some awkwardness.
posted by misozaki at 5:03 PM on January 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


In the US, wearing surgical masks in public is very uncommon.
posted by redfoxtail at 5:41 PM on January 8, 2008


Bah, let her come. She said that she's bringing these items...perhaps she'll decide that she feels too conspicuous and decide not wear them once she's there. At any rate, she'll be the one who has to explain her actions -- it's no reflection on you as host.

Part of having a party is bringing uncontrollable variables into your home. Another guest may bring someone weirder. Someone might get rockingly drunk. A couple might have a fight. There are a hundred awkward things that could happen.

misozaki: Yes. Both the mask and gloves really are totally weird in the States.
posted by desuetude at 5:42 PM on January 8, 2008


It's probably rude to univite her, but if you really want to the best way to do it would be to claim that you are concerned for her health. If you are concerned about how she would appear to the rest of your guests rather than not wanting to meet her yourself you could invite her to a smaller gathering another time. She does appear to have a genuine medical reason for wanting to wear a face mask (although I would also count OCD as a genuine medical reason, in that it is an illness that the sufferer has no control over.)

Saying that, if you are inviting a few people that you don't know someone else might be even weirder.
posted by Laura_J at 5:58 PM on January 8, 2008


Ah, I see now, thanks. I've been thinking about this though, and thought there's a possibility that this woman might be like me, coming from a background where it's not so weird to wear these masks in public. If she is, then it might explain the "oddness" in "the tone of [their] exchange, and other email she's sent to the list" as stated by anonymous in the followup by Jessamyn. If English isn't her first language, then e-mails can come off sounding odd.

But maybe I'm being too charitable here and she's just plain odd. And ill. So you're stuck either way, anonymous. Might as well start focusing on other, more pressing details of your gathering!
posted by misozaki at 5:59 PM on January 8, 2008


I once kicked one of my sister's coworkers out of my apartment- he was a total creep and barfed on the floor, then wanted to stay and hang out.

Kicking someone out of a party once they've become annoying is entirely different than deciding beforehand that you're going to rescind your invitation because someone seems "weird". The host is certainly in a position to communicate their concerns to this person in regards to possible health issues that realistically exist at pretty much any party, and that would allow her to bow out gracefully if it's really going to be a problem.
posted by oneirodynia at 6:55 PM on January 8, 2008


Regarding the "Hi, we've discussed it ... Thanks!" line,

It's passive aggressive and somewhat insincere, especially the "Thanks!" part. Why not just say what you think? If she's nuts, mutual friends will side with you anyway.

"Are you serious? That's ridiculous. Please don't come to our party if you're going to do that."
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 7:00 PM on January 8, 2008


Given that she's apparently got legitimate medical issues and not germophobia, I think uninviting her is not just rude in the traditional etiquette sense (and it is very, very, very rude in the traditional etiquette sense -- you can invite anyone you please to an event, but you can't uninvite someone unless they've done something sufficiently terrible as to warrant never acknowledging their existence again) but also just morally kind of icky. If she's a hypochondriac weirdo, sure, but if she's, say, a breast cancer patient, she might be really looking forward to the chance to get out and do something that ain't chemo. Reiterate that you can't promise that your house will be germ free, and ask her if she'd like you to pre-warn guests that she'll be wearing a mask, then let her come. Her being a nutcase won't reflect badly on you, and at worst it'll give people something to talk about. At best, you're allowing someone who has been medically isolated a chance to feel at least quasi normal for a night.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:58 PM on January 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is all cockamame nonsense. You're actually considering for a second that it might be okay for her to come? Are you kidding?

Tell her, in no uncertain terms, not to show up. Don't couch it in some bullshit that will allow her to rationalize that you don't really mean it, or only mean it under certain conditions. If does show up, raise a heavy object as if you intend to swing it at her, and scream maniacally until she is no longer standing on your property.

So it's rude. So you're a jerk. Live with that. Revel in it. And then enjoy your party without her being there. Your life is not hers to invade.
posted by bingo at 9:46 PM on January 8, 2008


In fact, I'd be happy to help. Forward me her email address, and I'll disinvite her for you.
posted by bingo at 9:48 PM on January 8, 2008


If you're having a large gathering of people you mostly know from a mailing list, I guarantee more than one of them will be a bit loony, even if they don't happen to be wearing a surgical mask.

If this were a close-knit group of friends and she was wedging her way in, you might be justified in disinviting her -- but one of the side effects of inviting a bunch of people you don't know well into your house is that you then have a bunch of people you don't know well in your house, because you invited them there. Some of them will be weird.

Remember that this can be a good thing.
posted by ook at 10:31 PM on January 8, 2008


Would you uninvite a person once you learned they were in a wheelchair? After all, you don't want to make your other guests uncomfortable, right? Maybe some of them don't like wheelchairs.

If her reasons for measures are medical (as she says), it's a disability, not a neurosis. Don't be the jerk that makes fun of the disabled. Treat her like a person, not a condition.

If you do, maybe, just maybe, she'll forgive you for your quirks.
posted by ochenk at 6:56 AM on January 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


When you're having a party with 20-40 people coming along, I'd expect a certain amount of randoms to turn up, be they people who turn up with people you've personally invited, people who get invited by accident, and people who no one is really sure how they even know about the party just turn up some how. In fact, I'm disappointed if there aren't random people at a large party! Sure some times random people turn out to be jerks, or crazy, or dull, but given a chance even jerks could just be having a bad day, crazy people can be great fun, and the dull ones could just be shy but amazing once you get to know them.

So I'd just let her come - Figuring they are joking in the first instance, or more likely they just have a little OCD type head trip going on, so while you shouldn't do anything out of your way to accommodate her, she doesn't sound like she's going to be doing anything harmful. If it becomes a real problem ask her to leave at the time but it's more likely that just going is hard work for her given her situation and she could be a great addition to the party once she gets there.

If this were a small gathering of people the case would be different, but with large numbers the people you're just discriminating if you turn one person down - particularly after you've invited them.
posted by paulfreeman at 8:34 AM on January 9, 2008


« Older Seeking women's clothing onlin...   |  Looking for recommendations fo... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.