Is it polite to call and say you'll be late for dinner?

Some acquaintences of mine called me a few days ago and said they would be in the area and that they will stop by for dinner (that same day), if that is okay. I don't actually know these people very well - they are sort of friends of my parents. Anyway, I said sure that would be fine. They called at about 3pm and said they would be over at 5pm. I said that's fine. I made dinner, went out bought wine and stuff. And I waited for them. And waited and waited and waited. At 7pm (2 hours late & I have not heard from them), I figured they changed their mind and would not be coming. So I ate a bit of the dinner, had some wine, cleaned up... that sort of thing. They call at 8pm (3 hours after they said they would be here). They said they are out front of my building. I was completely shocked. But I let them in. The dinner I had made was half-eaten and cold by now (packed-up in the fridge as left-overs). So I ordered a pizza. The girl made a stupid comment like "Oh, so you are one of those girls... you don't cook, eh? Good luck finding a husband with those skills." I didn't really want to be rude, so I just kept my mouth shut. But then she spent the rest of the night criticizing everything I do: how I am wasteful with my money, my career, my friends, even my weight and appearance. So I pointed out that nobody is perfect but it's not really any of her business how I live my life. Anyway, they left after about 2 hours (a painful 2 hours). And now they are bad-mouthing me behind my back. They have told people I know that I can't cook, I am materialistic, I am rude, I am high-maintenance, etc.

First of all, isn't it polite to call and say you will be late... not to mention 3 hours late?! And secondly, what nerve!

Am I out of line here or... ?


They were completely in the wrong in every sense. They told you a time, then disregarded your schedule completely. What if you'd had important plans? They apparently feel that they are royalty and should be invited to homes of people who don't know them well, and be treated with the utmost care when they arrive HOURS late without calling. They were very rude, even when it was just being late. But to then put you down for getting them SOME food, and assuming that's the kind of thing you eat and serve all the time. How would THEY know if you can cook - they didn't arrive on time to find out. After that first scathing insult, I would have said, "Well, HERE'S your meal and wine, (handed it to them in a big brown bag as leftovers or a doggie bag) and kicked them out of my home. At least then they would have 1. known you had cooked for them, 2. known you cooked for them back at the time THEY said they'd be there, 3. realized you can cook, 4. realized they ruined any chance to ever call on you again at their convenience, since they are more your parents' friends than yours, and 5. realized that YOU will not take their arrogant crap, like many others must do, since they seem to act like they can speak this way to anyone they want.


You were not, repeat not out of line.The nerve of so called friends.I'm hoping you will ignore their

comments behind your back.They should have called to say they were running late and gave

you a time frame as to when to expect them.By the way they would be put on my no invitation



That's a pretty easy one. You did nothing wrong, and have every right to be a little upset.

For me, if it is something more formal like dinner (as opposed to meeting people at a bar, club, gym, etc.), I'd call if I expected to be more than 20 minutes late. That would mean that I would call at around the time I was supposed to be showing up. If I expected to be, like, 3 hours late (can't imagine why unless I was flying in from somewhere far, far away...), I'd probably just apologize and cancel.

Remember that people who are rude to you are more than likely rude to others. It'll reduce their credibility. And, since it sounds like you are a nice person, your friends likely won't pay attention to them anyways since they'd know you better.