So when the Real Housewives of New York star Bethenny threw a barbecue at her pretty Hamptons house with the Skinnygirl red door, she invited her friend Dorinda, who showed up with her boyfriend, John, who Bethenny just had a blowout fight with. This made Bethenny feel disrespected, and John feel angry, and Dorinda feel upset about the whole situation.
So what to do if faced with a similar situation? And was anyone wrong? Texas based etiquette expert Diane Gottsman gives Personal Space her professional opinion on how to handle an unwanted party crasher. Say you’re throwing a party, and your friend, who you like, brings their partner, who you don’t like.
“Generally when someone shows up to your house, with a plus one, invited or not, a gracious host is gong to be polite. On the other hand, the guest should not be showing up as a surprise,” she says. “If it wasn’t clear if you could bring a date or not, it’s a judgment call. If it’s assumed everyone is bringing husbands and boyfriends, it’s assumed he’s coming.”
What should have happened, Diane says, is that Bethenny should have pulled Dorinda aside before the party to explain that she really didn’t want John there.
“Just say ‘I really have an issue with your boyfriend,’ then Dorinda could have decided to come alone or skip the party,” she says. “Do you really want to bring someone who’s not welcome?”
But if that doesn’t happen, and the uninvited guest has arrived, a number of bad things can happen, including the host avoiding you.
“Short of chasing the host down and tackling them, there’s not much you can do,” she says. “The role of a good host is to make their guests comfortable, but the role of a good guest is to make the host glad they were invited.”
And the uninvited guest, who’s already upset the host, should not cause any more trouble if they’ve decided to stay.
“Do not pass out business cards like ice cream coupons, you’re not trying to close deals at a social event,” Diane says.
So it’s on both the host and the unwanted guest to behave, and the host should always plan for an “extra person or two.”
“Like at a wedding,” she says.
But you can ask your guest to leave if they are being obnoxious or rude to other guests or disrespectful to your home.
“You as host can respectfully say ‘you and your date need to get out,’" Diane says. “Let’s say someone is too drunk and spilling drinks and getting handsy with other guests, you need to protect your other guests.”
In the end, Diane says if their behavior is fine, all parties should just act like adults otherwise the whole party will grow uncomfortable and that just makes for a terrible party.
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