Did I go about asking over for dinner the wrong way?

Dear Miss Manners,

My sister-in-law invited me to a Pampered Chef party she was hosting. I called her to thank her for the invite, and let her know that I would not be able to attend. While on the phone I then told her that I would like to have her and her husband over for dinner. I asked her to get back with me and let me know what day would be best for them. It has been almost a month now and they have not returned my call. I mentioned this to my husband and found out that his mom told him that the reason his sister did not return my call was because I went about it the wrong way. That I should have given her a date and then asked them if they could make it on that date. That I should not have asked them to choose a day that was best for them. I thought I was being nice. Was I in the wrong?


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Mar 03, 2012
Petty and Thankless she was NEW
by: Anonymous

This sort of behaviour is so petty and indicative of the thankless, ungrateful nature of people today, especially women. It reminds me of the time a friend I wanted to connect with a neighbor (both their husbands were both architects)asked me to ask my neighbor to dinner at her house, and for all of us to go there. I called the neighbor and extended the invite from my friend for us to all have dinner at my friend's house. It made sense to me since my friend did not know the neighbor at all and might feel odd just calling her up out of the blue. So what did Miss wacky petty neighbor do? She threw a verbal fit about how "innapropriate" it was for me to call her and invite her and not my friend, who didn't know her at all. Instead of being grateful and happy that someone wanted to invite her and her husband to dinner, or that I wanted to connect her with these people, she goes on a drama queen act about her imaginary version of "etiquette." That was the last time she was ever invited to anything!
People need to be thankful when someone is inviting them to anything, not immature and petty about "How" the invite was presented.

Nov 21, 2011
There is no "wrong" NEW
by: Anonymous

Personally, I don't believe in a "wrong" way to offer an invitation. However, consider if you were in her position. Would you want to call someone back & say, "Hey, by the way, Friday's good for me to come over for dinner." On the other hand, she also could have just let you know it would be better for you to pick a day. Telling someone else you went about it in the "wrong" way just seems petty to me & sort of rude in it's own right. Bottom line though, anytime you want to get back in touch with someone, if you want to be sure it happens, it's up to you to take responsibility to set a day & time for that to happen... "I know you're following up on calls for your Pampered Chef party right now. We'd love to have you over for dinner soon. Could you figure what the best night is for you & I'll give you a call tomorrow so we can schedule it?" That way you are still offering convenience for them, while taking the responsibility to follow up instead of putting that on her.

Apr 19, 2011
by: Anonymous

Is it fair that I felt slighted when I was invited to a Mother's Day dinner by my brother-in-laws new girlfriend when she said she and my sister-in-law were throwing our Mother's Day party and we were invited - although my Mother was not included, nor did I get asked if the date/time would work or if my Mom would be interested.

When I confronted her about the email - she said she was really busy and this time slot worked best for her and her family and my sister-in-law and if I wanted to show up I could but no pressure...

Just wondering.

Jan 16, 2011
not the way to get what you want
by: Anonymous

It wasn't rude, it just wasn't the way to get the result you wanted. People don't want to find a night they're free, and after a week has gone by, it seems like telling you the date isn't continuing with your offer, but more like them requesting dinner.

Oct 07, 2010
Guests pick the date
by: Dandelion

I actually do this all the time, and I've found it makes people uncomfortable. It does make sense, but I understand that your gesture was meant to accommodate them.

Pick a date (time, day, and approximate duration) or three, then ask about the first one. If it doesn't work with your friends, suggest the other two. If neither of those work, either they have a very busy schedule, or they don't want to come over after all. In either case, wait a bit longer before proposing more dates (if desired).

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