Bit of a rant re my sister organising afternoon tea

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Aussie Willy, Apr 19, 2010.

  1. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    My bf is almost like that, although he's aware that his quasi-religious devotion to Whole Foods is somewhat irrational. He also knows I'm much more informed about current events than he is, and that I won't allow him to get too carried away with his somewhat irrational rantings. :D

    He also makes a lot more money than I do, although his only real financial weakness is that daily trip to Whole Foods. It helps that we're both introverts and in our "me" time, he goes to Whole Foods for breakfast while I sleep in and save money cooking from scratch. :lol: And if he wants to spend $$$$ on something for both of us that I'm hesitant about, he picks up the slack. :p

    But yeah, it really depends on the person. Sometimes it really does not occur to some people that $70 to attend a reunion is a bit much.
     
  2. 4rkidz

    4rkidz plotting, planning and travelling

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    High Tea can be fun.. in North America many of the top hotels will have it during the afternoon - along with many of the cruises.. basically mid afternoon (typically 4pm) and should include - decent teas (English Breakfast, Earl Grey etc.,) along with various finger foods - typically sandwiches cut small (no crusts), and the best part various desserts .. I enjoyed taking my daughter when she was little all dressed up and we took her nana and had a lovely time.. and on our last cruise my hubby and I would go - as opportunity to have fresh cream (which is a treat in north america).. BTW when I lived in England I never went to high tea :lol: I think its more fun doing it in other countries - but not for $70 even if it is in Australian dollars..;)
     
  3. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    Ummm just because I don't talk to her, doesn't mean that I am not going to partake in an event because she is there. She is not the reason why I wouldn't be going and has nothing to do with the issue at hand.
     
  4. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    First: "High tea" is hearty sit-down meal involving heavy foods served family-style which served as the main meal of the day. "Full tea" is a four-course menu of finger sandwiches, scones, sweets, and dessert. The (generally American) use of the term "high tea" to refer to the latter is inaccurate. Champagne added to a full tea makes it a 'royal' tea. (See the book "Tea and Etiquette' from The Protocol School of Washington.)

    Sorry. Drives me crazy.

    I don't believe in overpricing events, but I also believe it's the responsibility of the host to cater to the lowest common denominator. It sounds like she wants a 'special occasion" event and not chips and dip at someone's apartment. $70 AUS sounds a little high, but it depends on the venue and what's included, and what the going rate is. (As someone mentioned, afternoon tea at the Mayflower, an experience I highly recommend, is substantially cheaper than a similar service in New York City, where everything costs more.)

    And now I want a cream tea, but I have no scones. Or tea, come to that. In fact, no clotted cream, either. And just having jam would be silly.
     
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  5. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    danceronice, just because you have one definition doesn't make the other ones wrong. Different countries (even states) make their own definitions of things all the time.
     
  6. cygnus

    cygnus Liberal Furry

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    Except that danceronice is correct. This afternoon tea-with-scones-and-sandwiches, when copied at fancy hotels and tearooms in other countries is trying to recreate an English tradition. They think that in England it is called "high tea", which it isn't. It is just "tea" or (possibly) "afternoon tea". High tea is NOT a light meal- it's more like dinner or supper in NA- what working people used to eat after work. In Devon or Cornwall tea with scones and clotted cream is called "Cream tea". It's lovely- worth a trip to that part of the world. ;)

    People use the term "high tea" because they think it sounds posher, and that it's the English term for a fancy tea with sandwiches and cakes. It isn't.
     
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  7. essence_of_soy

    essence_of_soy Well-Known Member

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    Call it 'high tea', 'afternoon tea', 'cream tea' or 'fancy tea', at 70 bucks for a cup of English breakfast and one miserable cup cake, it's 'insani-tea'.

    Think of all the skating magazines you could buy!
     
  8. Michalle

    Michalle New Member

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    Ugh, people who try to pretend this kind of thing isn't rude by acting like it's "all about the experience" make me so angry. Oh, "it should be worth it to you" to get together with friends. That's nonsense. Planning an event that will force someone to spend money that they need so they can EAT for the rest of the week is the height of inconsiderateness. And people who are oblivious to how upsetting it is to be asked to choose between participation in a reunion and financial responsibility are worse than the planners! With such a small group, why not just have lunch at a moderately-priced restaurant? And those who want to, could go get tea afterward?
     
  9. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    Michalle - I'm sorry, but I don't think it's rude. AW is not broke, she's mentioned several times she's buying a unit/getting a unit built, she's just posted about buying $115 on trousers (?). It's about priorities. If AW thinks it's too expensive, no problem, she doesn't need to go or she can organise her own, but if everyone else thinks it's okay, then they should be able to pay for a posh time.

    No one is forcing anyone to do anything. Maybe the rest of the small group want to have the $70 meal, why should they miss out? It's about their priorities too - maybe they are choosing the $70 deal without AW over a cheaper deal with her? Maybe they're not and they don't know AW won't be going. Either way, it's everyone's choice. They can always do something else with AW afterwards if they want to as well. There's no reason people can't do both or either.

    To act as if the $70 is between eating or not in this case is ridiculous, because it's not. People prioritise their money differently. I would never pay $115 for the best fitting jeans in the world, but I would pay $70 for a meal with friends.
     
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  10. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    Or maybe they're just making their own version and tradition of high tea and what high tea is. The English don't own the term, after all.
     
  11. millyskate

    millyskate Well-Known Member

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    Same here. Although decent Jeans are very expensive in France :shuffle:
     
  12. Hannahclear

    Hannahclear Well-Known Member

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    Tea sounds delightful right about now.
     
  13. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    Well paying $115 for a pair of pants when generally I can't find pants to fit and need them for work, is something I consider more of a necessity than spending $70 on an afternoon tea when I would probably only have a hot chocolate and piece of cake which would only be of $15 in value anyway.
     
  14. antmanb

    antmanb Well-Known Member

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    Just on afternoon tea, my friends took me to london for my 30th birthday a couple of summers ago and amongst many pleasant surprises, they took me to the Berkeley for their fashionista inspired afternoon tea (the non champagne version) at £35 per head http://www.the-berkeley.co.uk/fashionista_tea.aspx

    It was absolutely amazing as an experience - the designer bone china, the creative look of the buscuits and cakes, they told you about the outfits that inspired it. It was like going to a museum.

    We were given our table for three hours and the food kept on coming. When we finished the canapes and sandwiches they brought out more and more until we were ready for the cakes etc, it was a phenomenal amount of food and cakes and they kept rolling it out.

    We purposefully didn't eat lunch and went for an "early" sitting at 2pm and pigged out all afternoon.

    It isn't something i'd ever do regularly but as a one off special occasion this really ticked the box.

    Ant
     
  15. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

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    Well, yes, but if I were buying a unit and had just spend $230 on pants (and considered this such shocking behavior that I would post a thread about it), I would also think twice about spending $70 on tea. Yes, people have priorities, but they also have limited assets. The unit must be paid for, regardless of what comes up after the contract is signed (many people forgo things like dining out when they are first buying a home because they have no money left after the mortgage is paid), and the pants are already purchased. I don't know if AW bought them before or after the tea was arranged, but if they were bought before, what should she do? Spend $70 more even if she can't afford it so she can prove that being with friends matters as much some pants they know nothing about?

    Seventy dollars can be a lot or a little, depending on how much you have and what you are accustomed to spending for things. There have been times in my life when I couldn't have afforded $7 for lunch with friends, much less $70 for tea. And even now, I don't think I've ever spent $70 on a meal just for myself. If spending $70 on a tea with friends meant giving something else up, I would have to weigh the something else very carefully. I don't think it's quite fair to say, without knowing the particulars of AW's finances, that $70 isn't a lot of money or that it's merely a matter of priorities. Sometimes it is a lot of money; sometimes your priorities are decided for you.
     
  16. millyskate

    millyskate Well-Known Member

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    I think though we all (or most of us) go through periods where money is lacking. And during those times, we make choices - like buying trousers over going out for tea. Or going for tea over buying trousers, depending on your personality type. Or doing neither.

    Nobody is criticising the OP for making the choice of buying trousers instead of going out for tea, but when you don't have enough money to do everything it's just common sense to abstain from the things that you don't prioritize - and accept that others are going to have a little more fun during that period without making them feel guilty for it.
     
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  17. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    Prancer, I don't think it's quite fair that the poster Michalle calls people who organise $70 dinners rude. No one is forcing AW to go or preventing her from organising something cheaper. As far as what AW should do, she should do what she comfortable with, which seems to be what she is doing.

    It is about priorities if someone is down to having to decide to eat for a week or go to a high tea, and honestly if AW really was down to that decision, a) the decision is pretty easy and b) maybe she shouldn't have bought 2 pairs of trousers. AW seems pretty frugal (some might say sensible) financially and I doubt she'd let herself get into that position if she had a choice.

    Again, she could also plan a cheaper event if her sister doesn't decide to go somewhere else. The others shouldn't be considered rude for wanting to go somewhere fancy and being able to afford it.
     
  18. MOIJTO

    MOIJTO Banned Member

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    I spend $40 a week on groceries and other items, I shop at Walmart and Goodwill/thrift for my clothes and to spend more than $20 for an evening dinner with my husband is appalling!

    $70 for tea, even a good tea is far to rich for my blood!
     
  19. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

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    I never thought anyone was; for one thing, I don't think it was a choice between one or the other, and for another, I was merely making the point that having the money to spend on trousers does not mean having money to spend on other things. If you have $230 and you spend it, you don't have anything left to put to something else even if you want to.

    Is she making them feel guilty? I thought she was ranting here on FSU. She did tell her sister she couldn't afford it, but whether that made her sister feel guilty or not would depend on how she said it and how much her sister cared, neither of which is apparent, at least not to me.

    I don't think "rude" is quite the word, but I would say that it seems a bit thoughtless unless the sister is unaware of how the expense would affect AW. Now maybe she wasn't aware or maybe she didn't care or maybe she was aware and cared but not enough to change plans. Who knows?

    I have to wonder what the others think of this--not AW's situation, but rather the tea; I wouldn't assume that everyone else thinks it's a great idea, although if everyone else does, well, AW is SOL.

    I also have to wonder why AW doesn't just pick up the phone, tell the friends she can't make it to tea but would love to see them some other time and make a date. Have the friends over for dinner. If they are coming to town just for this meeting, offer to have breakfast with them before they leave. Meet for coffee. Whatever. But it does seem a little ungracious to let the sister handle all the arrangements and then complain that you don't like them. If what she is doing doesn't suit, make your own arrangements for something else.
     
  20. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    To clarify the pants - I brought them before the afternoon tea thing. But like I said, it really was matter of needing clothes for work. But when you can't find the cheaper ones to fit you (and I think most people relate to this), you sometimes have to do what you have to do. It is not as if I go out spending money on clothes willy nilly. Anything I buy I consider very carefully. Particularly when you work in a corporate environment.

    As for the unit, hey I need a place to live. This is an investment for the future. Rents keep going up and my mum has helped my get the deposit together so I will have some sort of financial security and a roof over my head. It is quite basic really. Even though I am managing to save money for it, when I move in things are going to be tight. But I budget for everything and pretty much stick to it.

    As for the afternoon tea, it wasn't my idea. My sister has already made the arrangements which I had nothing to do with. I have just been invited. So I don't see why having an opinion about it being a bit too pricey is being ungracious. I have said I can't attend. I leave it for my sister to make the next move. If she doesn't change plans I am not going lose sleep over it.
     
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  21. Michalle

    Michalle New Member

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    I wouldn't spend $70 for "tea" if it was my last meal on earth. If you want to spend $70 for tea, go for it, but when arranging a small get-together for 6-7 people, be more considerate of what everyone's finances are. It wouldn't be surprising if some of the other people would rather go somewhere cheaper as well and just haven't said anything.
     
  22. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

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    When one is invited to an occasion someone else has taken the trouble to plan, it is ungracious to complain about the arrangements.

    If you had been the one to make plans and your sister had been telling people she thought whatever you had planned was too cheap, wouldn't you consider her ungracious for complaining about your plans after all the effort you put into them and the fact that you were nice enough to include her? If she complained directly to you, how would you take it?

    There are groups of people in which every member can easily afford $70 for tea or whatever else they want without breaking a sweat. There are also people who enjoy things like afternoon tea and consider it worth the money, even if it's a little expensive for them. It may very well be that some members of the group would really rather not spend that much. But it could also very well be that every member of the sister's party is enthusiastically looking forward to the tea and can easily afford it. You have no reason to assume that one is more true than the other without knowing more about the situation.
     
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  23. SHARPIE

    SHARPIE Hapless Board Owner Staff Member

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    I invited around 7 or 8 people out for a meal with me for part of my birthday voids on Good Friday.

    While I personally would have liked to have gone to a £50-£60 per head place, I saved that for a smaller gathering on the Saturday night when I was with only 3 other people who I absolutely knew could afford it. On the Friday, we went to a chain restaurant for around £7-£12 per head.

    So Im guessing AW's sister isnt really as :saint: thoughtful re making these arrangements as some are making her out to be, it's a reunion, how does she know that these people who (Im guessing) she hasnt seen in a while can afford to spring $70 AUD for a tea?

    Id rather buy decent clothes than spend stupid amounts on a bit of cake and some tea as well! :lol:

    A fillet steak and a good glass of red wine though... mmm
     
  24. Michalle

    Michalle New Member

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    Yes, I meant to imply if you and the group you're part of can all afford it then that's great too, why not spend the money if you have it and want to, but it's clear that in this group, not everyone can, and it doesn't seem like the organizer has taken the time to investigate the others either. Of course, if everyone can afford it, it's not a big deal - the point is, that's not an assumption anyone should be making.
     
  25. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

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    This reminds me of the episode on Friends where Chandler, Ross and Monica always pick expensive trendy places to eat and Phoebe, Rachael, and Joey can't afford it.

    Anyway, it is nice to sit around and sip tea with the little sandwiches and cakes for an occasion, but frankly, afternoon tea is not my thing. First, I don't like tea at all (only drink it if I am sick so it reminds me of being sick), and the little sandwiches and bite-sized cakes are rather bland to me. Clotted cream/lemon curd on scones was the best part. My friend liked the idea for her shower, and it was perfect for that reason (it was about her, not me).
     
  26. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    Again--people are free not to go if it is THAT huge a deal-breaker. If it were something like planning a massive weekend of $300 spa treatments and hotel rooms I would consider that OTT without checking beforehand, but one expensive meal (and I think people are not getting, this is 'finger food' but it's a four-course meal with alcohol--and now that I think of it from a food-prep perspective that's a lot more labor-intensive with higher cost/serving ingredients than a porterhouse and baked potato, so the hotel/restaurant's overhead is higher) is a reasonable assumption, especially if you know someone is employed and well-off enough to be building a condo. What, is everyone supposed to just say "Let's meet at Applebee's for the 2 for $20 special [or the Australian equivalent]" for special events because someone in the group might not have the money, or just doesn't want to spend it?

    You can always say no to an invitation. I have had to say no to things with employers and customers because I didn't have the cash at hand, let alone just lunch with some school friends. People did not hate me because I didn't come to an event I couldn't afford.
     
  27. nubka

    nubka Well-Known Member

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    Gee, if all the clothes I've bought at Walmart fell apart after a few washings, I guess I (and a lot of other folks,) would be walking around naked! :yikes:

    I think you would be hard pressed to find any polyester at Walmart now-a-days. :scream:

    When local "family" business offer better selections and goods at prices that work within my budget, I will buy from them. :yawn:

    As for the rest... :drama::drama::drama:

    Regarding the tea, if I really wanted to be there, I would just fork out the $$$ and be there. If I didn't, I wouldn't.
     
  28. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    On WalMart clothes--I didn't mean to start a thing. I don't buy clothes at WalMart because the only stuff there that fits me is in the junior dep't and I am too old for the junior dep't. Women's small at WalMart seem's to be at least medium in other stores. I wear size XS shirts at Gap and NY & Co. I sort of just used it as an example of my friend's general snobbiness--as in, I'd kind of get it if she was insulting me because I buy at WalMart and felt her stuff was better. But I am buying at stores in the Gap. NY & Co, Limited range and to be down to earth for those of you who were offended--lots of non-work things at Target. And she is still being a snob about it.

    On the cost of tea--I think that people who have money just never quite get that those of us without an endless budget have to make choices. And we don't like being made to feel guilty about those choices. In the job I am leaving as of May, I have not had a single performance review in which I wasn't all but reprimanded for never attending the school's annual fundraising dinner and auction. Tickets this year were $165 per person. They offered us an employee deal of $10 off. My husband and I basically could go to that for one evening or go away for an entire weekend before Christmas. We chose the weekend and, as always, it came up in my review that we didn't go and obviously I don't care about the school. And this year was the first year that I even had a choice. Before I was married and living with only one income--the cost of tickets was not even a choice I could consider.
     
  29. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    I agree. Even if there ARE people who can easily afford $70 dinners without breaking a sweat, it's a bit presumptuous to assume that you are inviting those kinds of people (especially in this economy), and to assume that even if you aren't inviting those kinds of people, that $70 is a fair price to charge for a special occasion.

    Without knowing AW's sister, the worse I can assume that it just didn't occur to her for whatever reason, and that ranting about it (even to others) is a little ungrateful as well, if she took the time and effort to organize it.

    Exactly. It at least is more productive than complaining about it, even to other people. :lol: And if you don't want to seem as if you're trying to upstage your sister, make it really casual like coffee or something.
     
  30. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

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    Maybe I misread the OP, but it seemed to me that the plans were already made and then AW was invited to come along. How those plans were drawn up and what input was given by other people is unknown here. It may be that the sister made the decision on her own without consideration for others; it may also be that that isn't the case. I don't think it's fair to the sister to assume that she is the bad guy here just because the plans are expensive.

    I don't know about anyone else, but I find it extremely annoying to make plans with other people and then have to change them after everything is settled because someone who was invited to come along doesn't like the group plan. Just say no; it's easier than making the rest of us start the negotiations over again.

    For me, $70 would be way too much and I'd turn it down without a second's hesitation. I'm still really good friends with a couple of people from elementary school; I'd spend $70 to have dinner with them. But to see some people I went to elementary school with, just to find out how they are doing after all these years? I might--only might--go for the Applebee's 2-for-$20 special.

    But that's me. And since I have no idea how close any of these people are (although I think it's clear AW isn't close to any of the others) or what they consider reasonable, I think it's safer to assume that AW's sister is acting in good faith here.