General Question

shrubbery's avatar

If you've been invited over for dinner, but can't stay for too long, is it ruder to eat and run or not go at all?

Asked by shrubbery (10326points) November 8th, 2008

Say your first exam is the next morning, and you’ve finished your information sheet but were planning to do some past exam questions tonight. You were going to cook yourself some dinner and get into it.

Then, you are invited over for dinner at a neighbour’s house. They are good friends and know you have exams but you don’t see them very often despite the proximity of their residence and it would be nice to go.

Do you go, eat dinner, and politely excuse yourself to go home and study, possibly appearing as though you only went for the food?

Or do you politely decline and say thanks but no thanks maybe another time? (the “another time” isn’t likely to happen for a while.)

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16 Answers

augustlan's avatar

I’m going to have to go with “another time”, and then take it upon yourself to invite them…soon. Mainly just because I know myself…I’d procastinate and rationalize, and stay longer than was good for me!

asmonet's avatar

If they know you have exams, I would decline. You taking care of your life is more important than a dinner. Perhaps you could offer to host them?

Damn it, Aug! Way to beat me to it by about a second.

augustlan's avatar

Sticking tongue out

asmonet's avatar

I’ll cut that off. Just you watch me.

EmpressPixie's avatar

I would decline by saying just this—that you’d love to, but you would have to eat and run and you’d hate to abuse their hospitality like that. Follow it up by inviting them to dinner soon.

MacBean's avatar

@augustlan – Don’t stick it out unless you’re gonna use it!

augustlan's avatar

@Mac: Who said I wasn’t?

jrpowell's avatar

I agree with EmpressPixie.

And this is one of those situations where nobody gets hurt by honesty. Just tell them what is up.

Bluefreedom's avatar

It would all depend on what they’re cooking for dinner. If it’s a favorite dish of yours, you shouldn’t pass it up no matter what. After all, it is a free meal.

Just kidding. I think EmpressPixie had it exactly right, in my opinion.

shrubbery's avatar

Haha thanks guys, you are right, and I was going to do exactly that, except that my Dad had already gone and said yes. But they didn’t mind that I ate before everyone else (they were just lounging around drinking champagne) and I came home early so now I can get back into my study.

asmonet's avatar

@Aug and Mac: I think I might be violated by her tongue soon. o.0

Gld everything worked out Shrubbery. :)

galileogirl's avatar

I’m going the other direction. If it’s about studying for finals, a late night cram session is going to do very little for you but a relaxing evening and home to bed by 10 for a good night’s sleep will. Spend the afternoon or the evening before going over your notes, marking your weak spots. Then go to dinner, no alcohol, some good conversation and bed by 10. 8 hours later spend an hour or 2 boning up on weaknesses while you are fresh and then go take your exams.

skfinkel's avatar

From the point of view of the person making the meal, I wouldn’t mind if someone had to come and leave early because of a test. Espeically if other people were coming. If only one person was coming, and I was going to cook just for that person, a quick coming in, eating the dinner, and then leaving would not be good—in that case, I would rather we set another time.

And I agree with @galleogirl as well, cramming isn’t as helpful as getting some sleep and letting your mind congeal what you know.

jca's avatar

i would not go, but if you decide to go, just FYI, i read in an etiquette book once that the earliest you can “eat and run” is one half hour after you have the last bite.

mea05key's avatar

Its is rude not to attend. I believe the host wil understand if you have something important to do and you need to excuse yourself early. At least you show some commitment to come over with the limited time you have. HOWEVER, if you go and leave without any explaination then things are different. It may be rude that way.

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