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What would you have done? (Long)

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I'd like some input in regards to how I handled a recent situation and would also like to hear what you would have done, had you been in my shoes.


I have two friends, who are husband and wife, that sometimes infruriate me because of their lack of common sense. Let's name them "S" (the female) and "Q" (the male).


It was S's birthday last Saturday and a group of seven friends (myself and my boyfriend included) planned to go to a restaurant for dinner to celebrate. Being that it was the day before Christmas Eve, I spent several hours wrapping gifts and baking goodies for family members. After the cookies had been baked and all the presents had been wrapped, I went outside to help my boyfriend install a cold-air intake system on his car engine and to wash the car. This was another project that took several hours.


I had, of course, called S earlier that day to say "happy birthday" and we'd chatted about what time to meet up that evening. It was decided that we would meet at the restaurant at 7:30 p.m.


At 7 p.m., my boyfriend and I washed up and got dressed and called the other members of the party to see if anyone needed a ride and one of the other couples took us up on the offer. We left our house at about 7:15, picked up our friends who live nearby and headed toward the restaurant. The restaurant wasn't too far away, but a nasty accident at an intersection left us stuck in traffic and 7:30 p.m. found us still sitting in a traffic jam. I called S, who had just arrived at the restaurant, and told her that we would be there as soon as possible.


After a painful twenty minutes of a bumper to bumper nightmare, we made it to the restaurant and nearly jumped out of the car. We were all starving. My boyfriend and I had not eaten anything since breakfast, wanting to save our appetites for dinner. Plus, we'd been busy all afternoon with our projects.


Anyway, with our gifts in tow, we walked into the hostess' area and looked around for S and Q and L (the 7th party member they'd given a ride to). I didn't see them. I went up to the hostess and asked her if perhaps they'd already been seated and that we were the rest of the party. She checked all the possible names on her roster sheet and found nothing. My boyfriend walked through the restaurant, searching for their faces, to no avail.


Bewildered, I called S on her cellphone and this is the exchange that took place:


Me: Hey, where are you guys?

S: Oh, are you there already?

Me: Yeah, where are you guys? I thought you said you were here.

S: Yeah, we were, but we didn't feel like waiting all that time for you in front of the restaurant so we drove down the street to the local pharmacy to buy some baby wipes. (Note by me: She has a daughter)

Me: Oh, you brought the baby along?

S: No.

Me: So then why did you suddenly need baby wipes?

S: We ran out at home.

Me: Oook. You guys did at least ask for a table, right? This place is packed.

S: No.

Me: (getting annoyed) Why not? You guys got here 30 minutes ago!

S: Yeah, but we didn't feel like waiting in front of the restaurant for 30 minutes.

Me: But, S, that was 30 minutes that you could have been waiting for a table. Couldn't the baby wipes wait? The baby isn't even with you.

S: There were too many people waiting outside.

Me: Well, what do you expect? They are waiting for a table.

S: We're on our way now. Bye. *click*


I was furious. I mean, WHO DOES THAT?! How do you go to a restaurant and not ask for a table while you wait for the rest of your party? Why wait until everyone else shows up first to then ask for a table and make everyone wait double the time? It made absolutely no sense to me.


To make matters worst, everyone was hungry and when we asked the hostess how long the wait was for a party of seven, lo and behold, it was no less than two hours! Everyone was super annoyed and angry. My boyfriend and I had had a long, hard day and we had two hectic, family-filled days ahead. We were tired and hungry and frustrated with the utter idiocy that S and Q had just pulled.


My other female friend, O, said, "I can't afford to be out until late tonight. We have a helluva day tomorrow. We have a lot of relatives to visit and things to do. Not to mention the food that needs to be prepared." My boyfriend and I and the rest of the group agreed that two hours was way too long a wait and we decided to go to another restaurant. We marched in single file to the car, got in and drove off, promptly passing by Q's car in the lot of the eatery on our way out.


S calls me on my cellphone just as I was dialing her number. I answered and the following exchange took place:


S: I just saw your car pass by. Where are you guys going?

Me: We're going to another restaurant. The wait at this one is two hours. Everyone is hungry and no one wants to be out until late. We all have a lot to do tomorrow.

S: But what about my birthday dinner?

Me: We can go eat somewhere else. There are a lot of great restaurants in this area that won't be as full.

S: But I wanted to eat here.

Me: Well, S, we're sorry, but we're not waiting two hours. I can't wait until nearly 10:30 p.m. to finally get some food into my system.

S: I'm sure it's not really two hours.

Me: I asked the hostess myself. She said for our party of 7, it was about two hours. Remember, it's Saturday night. Popular places like that get full on Friday and Saturday nights.

S: Well, what about my other favorite restaurant?

Me: That one is too far away.

S: But it's my birthday. Can't you guys make an exception?

Me: Sorry, but we're all hungry and tired. You should have stayed here and asked for a table. That way, we would have been seated by the time we arrived. The hostess said that the wait time was 25 minutes a half hour ago.

S: *sighs heavily* Fine. Do what you guys want. Bye. *click*


I felt kind of bad, as did everyone else, but it was her own fault we were in this predicament of sorts. She should have asked for a table when she'd arrived. It's common sense. I think what they did was stupid and inconsiderate. We drove to a nearby buffet and got a table within fifteen minutes, had a great dinner and got home early.


The next day (Christmas Eve), I logged into my e-mail to find a long, nasty message from S. She claims that we ruined her birthday. She said that she and Q and L ended up at a crappy fast food place because all the restaurants they drove to had a wait of more than two hours, and that she didn't get to open any gifts and had no one sing her the birthday song or bring her cake. She even had the nerve to lie and say that I'd never even bothered to call her to say happy birthday all day. She sent a similar e-mail to O.


I was completely taken aback and insulted. How dare she? We showed up with gifts and everything and her idiocy is what ruined her night. Had she had common sense, everyone would have been able to eat at the restaurant we'd initially decided upon without a problem and everyone would have gotten home at a reasonable hour. Instead, she did something a child would do and then expected everyone to accept being inconvenienced all because it was her birthday. I think she has some nerve.


She could have compromised on the restaurant. The rest of us had a great time and great food at the buffet. She and Q could have joined us. She has no right to blame us for the fact that she ended up at a burger joint instead of a nice restaurant for her birthday. I called her up and told her just that. I told her (in a cold, but polite manner) that her lack of common sense is no one's fault and that she was behaving like a spoiled child. She made herself the victim and cried, saying how we had all been extremely inconsiderate and we had to make it up to her. Not in the mood to argue, I just said Merry Christmas and hung up on her. I don't think she deserves friends like us.


So tell me, did I handle that maturely? Should I have said or done something differently the night of her birthday? Were the things I said wrong? O is curious as well. If we're wrong, we'd like to apologize, but I'm pretty sure we handled it well enough. I don't feel we were rude, but maybe you guys feel otherwise? What would you have done in my shoes?

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Me personally? I would have laughed! I think you both were kinda in the wrong. She should have waited for you all instead of going on a baby wipe mission. And i think you should have waited for them and explained in person rather than getting impatient and just going off on your own.


That way you all could have discussed face to face where to go instead. Why not suggest all going out for a meal in the new year, but this time make sure someone books the table well in advance!

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I agree that both of you were in the wrong. Being tired and hungry is a bad combination!!! So I can see how you felt so angry. It was bad planning on her part. And mabey next time you should leave earlier to allow for traffic mis-haps. I aslo think you sould of considered waiting for her to get back so that you all could discuss another plan. Oh well, like I said, you were all tiered and hungry, mabey shell get over it.

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Well, I just got back from her house. We both talked it out over coffee and snacks. We actually saw the funny side of it and the absurdity. We laughed and both apologized to one another. We agreed that we'd just planned everything poorly and that next time we go out, communication has to be clear between everyone in the group. We also agreed to have a back up plan before we go, in case the initial plan doesn't end up working out.


Thanks again for all of your answers. They helped me see that I did something wrong, too.

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