Cheap or Broke?

I’ll be short on this one. I feel a little guilty talking about it aloud anyway. Isn’t there always one friend – in the various groups you swing with – who absolutely never brings anything to the party. I first noticed it with Bob 15 years ago, when he showed up at my party without anything. I thought …well, he’s young and single and maybe hasn’t had a nice girl to teach him party guest etiquette 101… Rule One: if you’re going to drink 2 bottles of wine at the party and consume most of the artichoke dip and brie cheese…maybe think about bringing a very nice bottle or any bottle for the host. My friend, Donna, once showed up with 3-buck chuck and I thought it was just fine. In fact, once everyone seemed to not be leaving anytime soon and I was running low on my mid-range $10 bottle of whatever, I popped that baby open and no one knew for the better.

As the years have gone on, Bob’s dated nice gals and they would sometimes bring something, but never Bob. And certainly not after the various break up’s. Of course, we don’t think these gals are breaking up with Bob because he doesn’t bring a bottle or host gift. And who knows. Maybe Bob brings something to everyone else’s parties and I said something years ago that might have indicated I don’t accept a party offering. Come on.

Each time it happens, I vow to never bring a thing to his house, but his next party presents itself and I come with an appetizer, plenty of wine and am really happy to do it. All the angst is gone…until my next party. I can see me writing to Dear Abbey and her response…Have you tried to talk with “Bob,” about this? Perhaps mention that you really are hurt from his lack of…. NO, Dear Abbey. Who do you think all of the rest of the people on the other side of your news paper article are? We only dream about talking about things. I wonder how often you sit down with each of your long time friends and let them know what irks you occasionally. In fact, who do you write letters to when you have a question about etiquette? You can’t know everything. I’m getting off the subject.

Back to Bob. I guess I can deal with it longer if I’ve dealt with it this long. And honestly, it’s only recent that I began to really notice it kind of bothers me. And I am finding out that everyone has one of these “Bob’s” in their group of friends. They’re the same ones that ask to divvy up the bill at dinner according to what everyone ate/drank rather just divide it evenly amongst the group…”I just had a salad so here is ten dollars.” Either these people are broke or cheap.

I really like Bob, so I’ll end this and consider it out of my system… Until my next party.

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