Friend changing plans to go out to dinner at hers

(56 Posts)
Redmamma Mon 16-Jun-14 14:58:25

6 months ago I introduced my friend (friend A) to my NCT group as she was feeling lonely since all her mum friends had gone back to work. She has one DD who is the same age as ours (2yrs). She has since become part of the group and comes to all the picnics, BBQs, brunches, etc.

Last week one of the group suggested all the mums went out to dinner as we hardly ever meet up all together these days. Everyone settled on this Thursday as the best day. Friend A emailed this morning saying she is broke and would we be able to come to hers for a ready meal and DVD on Thursday instead (and give her some money). The trouble is I think most of the group were really wanting to go out as we all spend lots of time at home in the evenings and somehow going to hers for a ready meal doesn’t sound so exciting.

Am I being unreasonable to think she should just stick to the plan this time and not commit herself to events she can’t afford in future – or just not come? Also how do we tell her we want to stick to the plan of going out? I also feel like because she is ‘new’ to the group everyone will start to resent her for doing this kind of thing (she’s done it before with drinks out).

HayDayQueen Mon 16-Jun-14 15:00:15

The 'nicest' way of doing that would be to say 'Oh, I really fancied a night out actually. Maybe we could go to yours on another night?'

HopALongOn Mon 16-Jun-14 15:00:41

Text back 'everyone's really looking forward to going to xXxX restaurant, sorry you don't think you can make it, we'll hopefully be making it a regular thing so maybe next time?'

It's tricky really as it's hard when you are so skint. Maybe it's a good idea to plan nights in as well as nights out, if she can't make the nights out then that's up to her but at least she will be able to afford nights in.

Discobugsacha Mon 16-Jun-14 15:01:46

I would just say ( nicely) that you really fancy going out as you haven't done it for so long. Could you go to hers the next week maybe?

SarcyMare Mon 16-Jun-14 15:03:01

i would reply, "ahh i was looking forward to going for a grown up meal out in a resturant"
make it a jokey sort of response but that would give other people permission to say something similar also.

But also organise something cheaper in the same message, like how about a bring your own bar-b at my house next weekend.

restandpeace Mon 16-Jun-14 15:03:09

I can see both sides. In future why not do a mix of both? Just say, sorry but we want to go out thus time, suggest she comes after fir a drink?

SarcyMare Mon 16-Jun-14 15:04:35

"But also organise something cheaper in the same message, like how about a bring your own bar-b at my house next weekend."

after reading other people responses i said it this way round as I always feel uncomfortable arranging things at other peoples houses.

Objection Mon 16-Jun-14 15:06:43

Are you or any of the others in a position to subsidise her?

CoffeeTea103 Mon 16-Jun-14 15:08:18

I think you can suggest her idea is good but for another day. Assuming her child will be there too, it will totally change the atmosphere. I agree though try to mix it up, some nice nights out and cheaper ones too.

MrsKoala Mon 16-Jun-14 15:11:07

Something similar happened in my NCT group, it was my birthday and i wanted a grown up evening out so arranged drinks at 7.30 and dinner at 9pm on a Friday night. 2 of the group didn't want to do this as didn't want to be out late if their babies needed them. One said Friday was their family day so could we do Tuesday, and because they wanted to be home by seven could we eat at 5pm. And another suggested we do a lunch with the babies instead. It just wasn't what the rest of us wanted so i answered breezily that i was sorry they couldn't make it and would see all that could at 7.30 on the Friday.

itsbetterthanabox Mon 16-Jun-14 15:11:37

Can't you just offer to lend her the money? She can gets yours next time. Then maybe do cheaper things in future? Go to cheaper meals out or use vouchers to get it cheap. I wouldn't want to exclude a friend for being poor.

Redmamma Mon 16-Jun-14 15:11:58

Phew so we are not being totally selfish for not immediately agreeing so it suits her. I could pay for her but I'm not exactly rolling in it. She seems to go out with her dh quite a lot so I guess it's just a question of priorities.

DejaVuAllOverAgain Mon 16-Jun-14 15:27:26

Tbh, if I was looking forward to a night out I wouldn't want to change it for a night in with a ready meal.I don't like ready meals and staying in, even at someone elses, would change the atmosphere.

I rarely go out due to lack of money but I wouldn't expect other's to give up their night out due to my lack of money. I'd simply say I couldn't go and arrange anothet night for a meal in like pp's have suggested.

YANBU

BackforGood Mon 16-Jun-14 15:38:58

Agree with most - I'd reply that the whole point is feeling like it's a "proper" night out, in a restaurant and getting dressed up etc. which has been arranged for this time - sorry she can't make this one, but yes, let's all get together in someone's home next month/ the next time.

(Am I the only one who thinks it's odd to give someone money to eat in their home? confused)

Ragwort Mon 16-Jun-14 15:42:34

I agree it's odd to give money to someone for eating in their home hmm - it's different if it is a 'pot luck supper' ie: everyone brings some food to share, but to hand over a £5 note or whatever sounds odd.

However some time ago a group of us got together and bought a few of the 'dine in for £10 meals' from M & S and that worked quite well smile but agree, it is not the same as a 'night out'.

Redmamma Mon 16-Jun-14 15:45:21

Backforgood yes that was another point that annoyed me. She's been to other people's house for lunch/dinner. Usually the person hosting does the main and others bring salad/pud/drinks. Giving her money is odd because what if she chose stuff someone doesn't like or charges more than one of the others can afford?

I think I'm going to have to be brave and tell her. I feel like it will sound unsupportive of her situation though sad

PeterParkerSays Mon 16-Jun-14 15:46:33

Where are you going for the meal? Could she have a cheaper meal, or a starter instead of a main course?

I wouldn't want to just give money to someone for them to go out and buy me a ready meal to eat on their sofa.

NewtRipley Mon 16-Jun-14 15:46:34

Maybe you could offer to pay for her to go out, just this once?

Are you sure it's a ready meal and not a takeaway?

rookiemater Mon 16-Jun-14 15:46:37

No definitely stick to your guns.

A month or so I suggested this to someone - we had arranged a couples night out and they hadn't got round to getting a babysitter, the other two couples had. I felt a bit annoyed and put out on the evening as we had paid for babysitters, then we ended up paying our full share of the takeaway, plus they acted a bit like they were hosting. it was an expensive night just to go round and eat some takeaway - although I was the one who had initially suggested it so couldn't really complain.

Also asking for money for a ready meal hmm, I don't think so.

rookiemater Mon 16-Jun-14 15:47:17

Oh and I wouldn't be offering to pay for her. We can't always afford to do everything we want and that's it. If she wanted to suggest some cheap BYOB restaurants then that would be different.

RobotLover68 Mon 16-Jun-14 15:47:36

this exact thing happened to me a few months ago - I was looking forward to a night out with 2 friends, friend A (single parent) then said oh I haven't got a babysitter - we didn't have the heart to say "no" then proceeded to sit there with not much to say because she didn't send her kids to bed so the conversation was stifled (to say the least) - won't be falling for that one again! say "sorry you can't make it" as the others have said

Redmamma Mon 16-Jun-14 15:52:17

Yep it's definitely not a take away - she said ready meal or oven pizza! We were planning on going to an Italian chain e.g zizzi or ask so not exactly fine dining. I think one of the others said they had a voucher too.

MarmaladeShatkins Mon 16-Jun-14 15:56:13

I've got a friend that does this and it's hard. If the other three of us have arranged to go for an evening out with her, there's always a text a few days before saying "can we just do a meal (use of that word alone makes my skin crawl blush) at one of our houses as I am broke." It puts a dampener on it. I wish she'd just say "I'm skint this time, I'll come to the next one." If I've got a babysitter arranged, I don't want a staid night in in someone's lounge.

NewtRipley Mon 16-Jun-14 15:58:40

This one is tough. If it's a pattern of unreasonableness then I'd say that she maybe has to miss this one out. If she's really desperate then I'd still offer to pay.

I can't imagine one of my friends going about it quite the way she has - we'd probably offer to just come for a drink before/after, or eat less. A ready meal is one thing, but getting you to pay is pushing it.

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