Cafe 227

Saturday, July 08, 2006

E-vite Etiquette

I don't usually post personal stuff up here, but this really chapped my ass and I'd like to gauge the public's opinion on this. First, some background: Cafe 227 is throwing a party later this month (we do this from time to time to keep the masses happy). The three of us who actually live here ("pgh girl," "lady of the house," and me) bear the entire expense of these parties equally, including but not limited to beer (a substantial amount), liquor (also, a substantial amount), mixers, the DJ (not inexepensive), guest bartenders, decorations, various sundries, and the post-party cleaning crew. It's an expensive night for all of us, yet well worth it - it's an opportunity for us to reconnect with people whom we haven't seen in a while, and it's personally rewarding to continually throw the dopest parties in town. (And make no mistake, our parties are the dopest.)

Now, there's this guy I know - let's call him AJ Hawk (after my favorite young NFL prospect). I like AJ. But I don't know AJ very well. He's a friend of a friend, and we play basketball together occassionally, but that's really it. Nonetheless, I usually invite AJ to our parties. Last winter, we threw an ill-conceived yet incredibly fun adult entertainment-themed party to which I invited AJ. He called me up and asked if he could forward the e-vite to some of his friends. Of course, I had no objection. The thing is, he forwarded it on to 30+ people before I had to eventually disable the "invite more people" option on the e-vite. I casually confronted AJ about this (i.e., "You know AJ, when you said 'some' friends, I thought you meant 3 or 4..."), and he kind of bristled and gave me a circuitous answer ("well, I've got a lot of friends, and most of them won't come anyway..."), and that was that. I assumed he had gotten the point - that we (the 4 other financiers and I) were uncomfortable with him inviting such a large number of people whom we didn't know to a party we were paying for - and I didn't want to belabor the issue.

Now, fast forward to earlier this week - I'm about to send the e-vite out for our upcoming party, and I'm deciding whether or not to include AJ. On one hand, I thought, I like AJ and he always enjoys our parties, but on the other hand, AJ might forward it to 30 people again. Ultimately, I decided to include AJ - I figured he got the hint last time, and if he didn't, I would just tell him "no" when he asked me if he could invite some friends this time.

The thing is, AJ didn't ask this time - he just went ahead and added 60+ of his closest friends to the e-vite.

Yesterday, during a particularly boring conference call, I decided to check the responses to the e-vite. That's when I noticed that the list of invitees swelled from 160 to 220 overnight. And of course, all the new names I didn't recognize were added by one guest: AJ. I was apoplectic. I shot AJ an angry e-mail, and we went back and forth. Here's the correspondence in its entirety:

_____________________

From: [Johnny Shades]
To: [AJ]
Subject: Are you serious

[AJ], you forwarded the evite to our party to over 60 people. Are you f-ing insane!? I mean, 3 or 4 people is one thing - but 60!?
_____________________

From: [AJ]
To: [Johnny Shades]
Subject: Re: Are you serious

Maybe 5 of them will come - don't be an evite-nazi.

You're porn party was a hit, wasn't it?
_____________________

From: [Johnny Shades]
To: [AJ]
Subject: Re: Are you serious

[AJ], there's an objective difference between being an "e-vite nazi" and objecting to a guest forwarding an e-vite to 60+ people. Seriously, what goes through your mind - "here are three people (only one of whom I actually know) who are spending several hundred dollars of their hard-earned money to have their friends and acquaintences for a party at their house, which can only fit 100 or so people anyway. What the heck, I think I'll invite 60 of my friends whom no one knows to drink their alcohol."

Seriously, think about how inconsiderate that is.

___________________

From: [AJ]
To: [Johnny Shades]
Subject: Re: Are you serious

It's at a bar isn't it?

There are a lot of better or comparable options that night anyway, I wouldn't worry about it.

A friend of mine wrote an article for the NYTimes about Evites that mentioned me. She also said how Evites have created in some a "virtual-bouncer" like mentality due to the obsessive oversight allowed by evite that can go into planning a party...

_____________________

From: [Johnny Shades]
To: [AJ]
Subject: Re: Are you serious

It's at our house, not at a bar. And again, "obsessive oversight" is a lot different than "inviting 60 f*cking people that no one knows." Everyone's inviting 2 or 3 other people, that's fine. You invited 60 - or more than 1/3 of our original list of 160. That's right - you forwarded the invite to more people than either [girl of the house], [pgh girl], or me - who actually live at the house and are paying for the party. Don't get defensive, just think about how inconsiderate that is. Absolutely NO ONE else who was invited forwarded it on to more than 4 or 5 other people. That says something about acceptable social behavior, don't you think?

___________________

From: [AJ]
To: [Johnny Shades]
Subject: Re: Are you serious

Many were folks you had at your porn party...thus me forwarding it to them.

This is funny because obviously if you wanted a closed invite list, you would've turned off the invite more people option

Don't sweat it, maybe 3-5 of them will come.

Should be good, I'll try to make it.

_____________________

From: [Johnny Shades]
To: [AJ]
Subject: Re: Are you serious

I don't think I'm conveying how angry I am in the e-mail. I hope you can make it, but I also hope you realize what you did is completely socially unacceptable and thoughtless. I mean, we want people to invite 3 or 4 of their friends. But 60? Imagine if everyone invited 60 other people...

___________________

From: [AJ]
To: [Johnny Shades]
Subject: Re: Are you serious

I'm sorry. I had no idea. I'll tell folks not to come. I figured if you wanted to actually talk with me about something you would have had the courage to call and not send an email, which I took lightly.

Understand where I'm coming from...I get a lot of evites. Many people send me evites all the time with the intent to have me send it around to good folks. Very often, people even ask me to so that they get a better turnout of good folks even asking me to reply 'yes' to an evite even if I can't make it. I've even been approached to promote events and such as well through evite, have never done it. Those are much, much bigger lists of acquaintences. I sent your soiree to close friends in light of thinking it was at a bar called 'cafe something'.

Listen, it would be thoughtless and unacceptable if 50 people showed up at your house, and trashed it. If a virtual rsvp counter has 50 people who won't make the party, (maybe a few people that would stop by for an hour) I think you are getting angry over nothing esp. since it's a long time away away from what will be a packed weekend of parties.
_____________

At that point, I was too furious to respond, and someone was asking me something in the conference call that I had to scramble to answer since I wasn't paying attention for the last 45 minutes. But that last e-mail left me livid. I mean first of all, he knows that Cafe 227 is our house, not a bar - he's been to our parties before. Second, I don't know if he's serious about people asking him to promote their parties for them - but even if that's true, why would he assume that's what we wanted? Seriously, why we would he assume - without asking me - that we wanted him to invite 60 of his so-called "close friends" (and who has 60 close friends anyway!?!) because they are supposedly good folks and their appearance alone on the e-vite would lead to a better turnout? Third, I was enraged that he suggested I didn't have the "courage" to call him in the middle of a workday while on a conference call, and that me not calling him somehow meant that I wasn't serious.

Anyway, I'm not posting this lengthy, rambling diatribe to call AJ Hawk out in a public forum. Well I am, kind of. But I'm also curious to hear what you think. Is there something I'm missing here? Was I justified in my indignation? Or is AJ right - am I being an overly obsessive "e-vite nazi"?

24 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home