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20-40-60 Etiquette---Should I try again?

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YOU ASK! WE ANSWER! YOU DECIDE!

By Callie Athey, Lillie-Beth Brinkman, Helen Ford Wallace

QUESTION: Should I reschedule our Back-to-School Bash? Or leave it until next year?

My daughters are in first and second grade, and we planned a back-to-school bash at the local park shelter. We were grilling hot dogs and hamburgers, providing drinks and fun stuff and had asked each family to bring their favorite side dish. Ten minutes before the start of the party, a lightning rainstorm broke out. The radar showed the storm would get worse and continue for a while. We made a last-minute decision to cancel the party. Though no families had arrived yet, 40 people were on their way with a side. 

We would love to have the party, but how can I ask them to come again and bring a side? One family mentioned they'll have a side for two weeks. Should I write them all a note apologizing?

CALLIE'S ANSWER: Absolutely try to reschedule if you can. If it doesn't work out, a note would be nice saying you will reschedule for next year, sans the thunderstorm.

LILLIE-BETH'S ANSWER: People understand when weather cancels a party, and no one would have wanted to stick around in the rain, thunder and lightning. It happens regularly here in Oklahoma at certain times of the year (you mentioned you were from Florida, and I don't know how often things like that happen there), and we all adjust as we need to. If people were bringing their favorite side, then they likely will be happy to have it to eat at home. I think it is OK to reschedule if you still want to have it, and instead of apologizing about the weather, joke about it somehow as you re-invite them. And if people balk at remaking an expensive or complicated side dish, ask them to bring something easy — chips or a plate of store-bought cookies to go with the hot dogs and hamburgers. Don't make it hard — after all, it will be Round Two.

HELEN'S ANSWER: Sounds like it was in the best interest of everyone to cancel the first party, so everyone should be very understanding. Reschedule it and try again.

Maybe the people froze their large portions of side dishes and can get them out again for the back-to-school bash. And thanks for the question from Florida!

GUEST'S ANSWER: Devonne Carter, licensed clinical social worker who has taught classes at Oklahoma Christian University: If you want to have a party, have it. You are not in charge of the weather, so you don't owe anyone an apology, and it isn't rude to ask someone to come again.

It is hard today with our busy schedules to even get a side dish together, but it isn't rude to ask someone to contribute to a large party like the one you planned. If you would rather wait until next year, that is appropriate as well. 

 To ask an etiquette question, email Helen   hfsok@aol.com

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Helen Ford Wallace

Helen Ford Wallace is a columnist covering society-related events/news for The Oklahoman. She puts local parties online with daily updates. She creates, maintains and runs a Parties blog which includes web casts. She is an online web editor for... Read more ›

Lillie-Beth Brinkman

Lillie-Beth Brinkman is a Content Marketing Manager for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. She was previously an assistant editor of The Oklahoman Read more ›

Callie Athey

Callie Athey is 20-something and is a graduate from the University of Oklahoma. She has worked in various positions, ranging from Event Coordinator to Environmental Health and Safety Assistant. Currently, Callie is an Executive Assistant to a... Read more ›

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