Hypothetical conversation involving an invitation to four friends for dinner. Couple #1 are both in their early 30s and somewhat involved in show biz. Couple #2 used to work in show biz. [Most likely the initial invite is done via email but for this hypothetical situation, let’s pretend that we actually talk.]
Us (to Couple#1 and Couple #2): “Hey, do you want to come by on Saturday for dinner?”
Couple #1: Love to! Are you making focaccia?
Couple #2: Let me check our schedules…
A day later…
Couple #1 husband: Hey guys, I forgot to tell you that — is a vegan.
Me: Oh, I thought she was a vegetarian.
My Husband (to me): What the hell does a vegan eat?
Couple #1 husband: Well, she thinks that veganism is just the logical step. I hope it’s not too much trouble.
Me: Of course not.
My Husband (to me): Do vegans eat cheese?
My husband declares that he draws the line at veganism. An hour later, he is trying to come up with a vegan-friendly menu plus one dish that the rest of us can enjoy.
Couple #1 husband: The good news is that I’m over my raw food kick. In fact, I’ll eat almost anything.
My Husband: Almost…
Couple #1 husband: Yeah, just nothing weird like tongue or organs. And I don’t like pork, duck or lamb.
Three days later…
Me: Did [Couple #2] ever call you about Saturday?
My Husband: No, I’ll shoot them an email.
Four days later, the Thursday before the proposed dinner.
Me: Did [Couple #2] ever respond to your email about Saturday?
My Husband: No, I’ll call them right now. [on phone] Hey, are you guys coming on Saturday?
Couple #2 husband: Oh, I’m so sorry. We’ve been so busy.
My Husband: It’s no big deal if you can’t make it. I just have to know because I have to buy some ingredients…
Couple #2 husband: I totally understand. I’ll email you tonight.
The Friday before…
Couple #1 husband: I’m just calling to see if you want us to bring something?
My Husband: No.
Couple #1 husband: Are you sure? She makes a great tofu casserole.
My Husband: Don’t worry about it. I have a great menu planned.
That night, we have dinner with couple #1, who bring a tofu casserole just in case. We do not hear back from Couple #2 until months later. They mumble a lame apology and everyone pretends nothing happened.
If I were paranoid, I’d think that it’s just us but it has happened to several people we know. The ones who get most offended are recent transplants who swear these kinds of things don’t happen elsewhere.