To tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. So help me…

I got an interesting comment today.  It was from a guy named Joel.  What he had to say was nice.  The reason it’s interesting is that his blog, The Search for Love in Manhattan, was the first blog, that I started reading regularly.  His blog is the reason I started my own.  In the spring of 2006, right after I finished school in San Diego and was waiting to move to NYC, I found and started reading his blog.  I found it so interesting that I started at the beginning and read all of his posts.  To my knowledge I don’t ever remember leaving a comment.  So it was a very pleasant surprise today when I checked my gmail and found that I had a comment approve from Joel.

Here is my second blog post ever.

Now to more serious questions.

I actually like that I have a forum to ask questions and that sometimes people actually answer them.


I’m invited to a party on Sunday.  At Daniel’s apartment.  He is the GM of my restaurant.  This is the Daniel I’ve written about numerous times when I’ve been having schedule issues.  I’ve known him for years and we’ve talked about getting together for dinner many times and it just hasn’t happened.  I also know that NO one at work can know about this.  I know this because he said so.  So it’s awesome that he respects my ability to keep work and friendship separate.  And it’s awesome that he has invited me.


It’s a birthday party/wedding party.

The birthday party is for a six year old and an eight year old.  Their parents I know from the restaurant.  Amy worked with me in 1998 when I worked there the first time.  She is married to John who has worked at our restaurant for about 10 years.  So I know them both.  Sort of.  John works on Friday lunches.  One shift a week.  That’s it.  Amy, who I adored when we worked together, I saw for the first time in ten year about a month ago, when they were eating in the restaurant.  I don’t know the kids at all.

The wedding party is for Ruby.  She has worked in my restaurant off and on for about 10 years.  She doesn’t need to work there.  She has a six figure income and owns multiple rental properties in Boston.  She is pretty much set.  She works there so that she can buy herself expensive tchotchkes without feeling guilty.  If she wants a new Coach bag.  She picks up a couple of shifts.  She wants to go to Greece.  She works a couple of shifts.  She’s been doing this for years.  And in her MANY trips to Greece she has met ____________?.  I don’t know his name.  I don’t know much about him.  Other than he is much younger than her, doesn’t have a job and she has spent a small fortune getting him to the states, marrying him, teaching him English and __________________________________.  You can fill in the blanks.

All of this is fine and good except:

Daniel pulled me aside a week ago and told me that this party was a birthday/wedding party.  (I thought it was just going to be all of us hanging out.)  And he tells me that I should bring a gift gifts.


Yes, you heard that correctly.  Bring.  GIFTS.  With an “S.”

Adam was a little put out from the moment I told him this.  Why do we have to spend money on people he doesn’t even know, just to go to a party at my boss’ house?  I was put out too.  I want to go to my boss’ house for the party.  BUT.  I don’t want to buy gifts for people I don’t know.  And people who don’t need them.  AND.  I had no idea what to get them.  So I asked Daniel.

He suggested books for the kids.  And champagne for Ruby.  Add to that wine for Daniel and we are talking about a very expensive party.

And it’s money I don’t want to spend.

So here’s the question:

Would it be totally awful of me to use the rain in the apartment story to get out of going on Sunday.

No.  Honesty is not an option.

Adam doesn’t like the idea of me lying.  And it’s not that I want to lie.  I just don’t want to spend 50, 75, 100+ dollars for presents for people who really don’t need them.  It’s all been made worse by this being THE worst week I’ve ever had waiting tables.  I’ve made about 300 dollars less this week than I should have.  AND.  It’s February 3 and I still haven’t given Adam my half of February’s rent.


I’m proposing texting around lunch time (with a picture) saying that there is an awful leak in our foyer, closet and bathroom and we can’t leave until we know what’s going on.  Which will be long after it’s time for the party.

I know it’s not ideal.  But really.

Do I spend money on Saturday to go to party on Sunday?


Do I lie?


7 thoughts on “To tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. So help me…

  1. Lemuel February 4, 2011 / 06:35

    I assume you had already told Daniel that you were coming before he sprang the details about the purpose of the party and the gifts.
    I’m not keen on the lying part (but whom am I to talk as I sit here in my darkened closet 🙂 ), but when lying I recommend keeping details to a minimum. Is it possible (e.g., was the invitation on short enough notice) that you could simply tell Daniel “sorry, but I discovered that Adam and I had other plans” – and keep mum on those other plans. Not everyone in the world needs to know your every thought and activity (except, of course, your faithful blog readers. 😀 ).
    The radical idea is to tell Daniel the truth.

  2. Catrina February 4, 2011 / 08:44

    My question is why would anyone have a combined birthday party for kids and a wedding party? That’s just too odd.
    My advice–don’t go. Whatever you tell Daniel should be kept to a minimum (less to remember later).

  3. Sarah February 4, 2011 / 09:18

    Go. Get a couple books from the bargain shelf at Barnes & Nobles. Who cares about the age and gender of the kids? You could probably find two for under $8. Get a bottle of Domaine Chandon NV or a Prosecco or whatever is cheapest but not complete crap. Bring a small bouquet of flowers for the host (he doesn’t get wine when he tells you to bring Champers as a gift). Don’t make Adam go with you. Stay for an hour, because you have had this leak and feel like you have to get back to help Adam clean (which is why he couldn’t make it). Unless you find that you are enjoying yourself.

    This really odd kids bday/adult engagement party is not just a social thing. It’s your boss’ party and into all our lives these things do fall. Go. It’ll be behind you sooner than you know.

  4. Tom February 4, 2011 / 11:08

    Ok, I re-read a couple times… Daniel invited you to some sort of party, yet you must keep it a secret, yet all these people (that you don’t see that often) are celebrating something and Daniel wants you to bring “gifts”??? WTF?

    Stay home, stay warm, cuddle with your man and a bottle of Jack… and for gawd’s sake, get your christmas tree down..,

    Love ya Dooood!

  5. Karen February 4, 2011 / 16:26

    I agree with Sarah. You don’t need to buy extravagant gifts. Daniel invited you. I think it’s weird to have all these celebrations thrown together, but when you are the host you get to decide who gets invited and what’s being celebrated. Go, stay a little while, and make your excuses. The less lying the better.

  6. Bill J February 4, 2011 / 21:43

    Tell the truth — within boundaries. All you need to say is “Thank you for your kind invitation. Unfortunately something has come up at home and I regret that I will be unable to attend. Perhaps we could do this some other time.”

    Smile and leave – no discussion, no excuses. You don’t have to provide details of the event tht has come up which prevents your ability to attend (e.g. plumbing misadventure, a partner meltdown, or a financial crisis). You are grateful for the invitation and the opportunity to get to know your GM on a personal basis. (Although if it has to be kept secret is this a good idea?) However, turning it into a shakedown for birthday or wedding gifts is simply beyond the beyonds. Are you really sure that you want to be drawn into this social circle?

  7. Peter February 5, 2011 / 03:58

    I don’t know what to say, it’s an odd party. You’ve to keep hush, hush at work, but find old colleagues at the party. Next you have to buy expensive gifts for people you don’t know that well. Is your boss trying to fill up the place because all other invited guests cancelled when they heard the conditions?

    Tell a fib and don’t go, use the good prosecco to make your man and yourself happy!

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