DEAR MISS MANNERS: Several old friends and I have planned a girls’ weekend at a world-famous music festival in a beautiful city this summer. But one of the four recently insisted, in a group text, that she did not want to spend her valuable dollars on things she doesn’t care for — namely, classical music, opera or chamber music. These are the focus of this festival and the reason we chose that particular weekend.
I mentioned that the festival includes jazz and blues, and she responded that she had recently attended the best jazz festival in the nation.
No one else responded to what seemed, to me, like a line drawn in the sand. What am I to do?
I am a one-glass-of-wine person, and thus don’t favor what I think this friend has in mind: a bender or “party hard”-type of weekend, with evenings spent ordering a lot of expensive food, cocktails and wine at restaurants, followed by more drinking at the city’s bars.
I would like to attend one of the festival’s events each night, preceded or followed by dinner (with a normal amount of drinking). I actually don’t know what the others want. Should I just make up an excuse not to attend?
GENTLE READER: Not before trying to salvage it for yourself and your other friends: “I am so sorry that you are having second thoughts about the weekend’s activities, but we specifically chose this time and location so that we could attend the concerts. If you still want to attend, we are happy to meet you before or afterwards for meals or a drink. That is my proposal, but I’ll let the others weigh in.”
At which point, Miss Manners has little doubt that the rest will follow suit. Or you will be divided and can split off. Or at least you will have your definitive answer and a reasonable excuse not to attend.
But you should not feel coerced into doing something you do not wish to do when you all had decided that this is what you wanted to do. Surely your friend can enjoy her bender elsewhere.
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