General Question

drdoombot's avatar

Best friend's surprise party scheduled for night of Lost Series Finale. How can I convince his wife to change the date?

Asked by drdoombot (8135points) May 18th, 2010

Yes, I’m doing this for selfish reasons, but my friend is just as much a Lost fanatic as I am. I know that as much as he would enjoy the surprise party, part of him would be aching at the knowledge he was missing the finale. Heck, his wife likes the show too; I think she didn’t realize the dates conflict.

The issue is that the surprise party is being held in a restaurant and I’m pretty sure the wife has already put down a deposit. And informed other guests of when to show up (this Sunday night).

So the question is: what can I do to change the date of the party? Technically, my friend’s birthday is Wednesday, but due to Jewish holidays, he’s kinda restricted in what he can do to celebrate. I think that’s why his wife got the idea to do a surprise birthday party a few days later.

What convincing arguments can I use when I call her and tell her what’s up? I can’t just not show up to the party, but I don’t want to miss something I’ve been waiting years to see.

I actually couldn’t sleep last night when I realized the dates conflicted.

And please, no comments about how “it’s just a show.”

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

71 Answers

zephyr826's avatar

Might the restaurant have a tv? I know that our rehearsal dinner conflicted with a major TV event, and the restaurant’s private room had a television. We had it on for those who wanted to watch. I know it’s not a perfect solution, but maybe it’ll help.

poofandmook's avatar

I suppose you’ve already thought of recording the show?

To go the full length here, maybe the restaurant has cable and a TV. Is it a bar/pub type place or a fancier restaurant?

MrItty's avatar

Oh for the love. It’s a TV show. Buy a friggin DVR.

legenwaitforitdairy's avatar

can you not watch it on…the next day?

drdoombot's avatar

It’s a little bit fancier and they’ll have music blaring (it’s usually live music in these Russian-style restaurants, but I’m not sure about this particular place).

@MrItty That’s exactly the type of response that doesn’t help me. Which I also asked people not to post.

@legenwaitforitdairy I’d really rather watch it live on my mother’s flatscreen. I hate watching Lost on a computer screen. DVR is not available and I can’t get one setup before the date anyways (TWC makes you wait at least 2 weeks for an appointment).

Akiora's avatar

@legenwaitforitdairy It’s not the same as watching it live with the rest of the viewership.

@drdoombot Also, if your friend really is a avid fan, he’s bound to be anxious during the duration of the party and just won’t be enjoying himself. Perhaps he’s even made plans for the finale with friends? Maybe his wife will understand that it’s for the good of both of you to change the date if she’s aware that it could make your friend uncomfortable.

MissA's avatar

It all boils down to…is the show more important than your friends?

You may not want to hear it, but it really is ONLY A TV show. Record it and have fun. It would be rude to watch it at the party.

Get your priorities straight…unless this show IS your priority.

poofandmook's avatar

Really, it doesn’t matter if it’s “just a TV show.” The point is that if you’ve invested an hour a week for years in something, you want to see it all the way through. It doesn’t matter if that something is a TV show or chess-by-mail.

@MissA: The OP has made it clear that this show is also important to his friends. It’s not just him.

drdoombot's avatar

@MissA Of course my friend is more important. But he’s into the show as much as I am. And believe it or not, for many people, this finale is akin to a cultural event. It’s important for everyone to watch it together.

tinyfaery's avatar

The actual finale isn’t until 5/23. That is a whole week away. Can’t she get a refund on the deposit?

Does your friend’s wife know how big of a Lost fan her hubby is? Maybe you can explain the situation.

marinelife's avatar

Also, even if she has given a deposit, she can probably still change the date. Just be open and honest with her.

MrItty's avatar

@drdoombot No, you asked for people not to tell you it’s “just” a tv show. I’m reminding you that it IS a tv show, and that there is therefore a very simple option – BUY A FRIGGIN DVR. That’s what they were created for.

ragingloli's avatar

Set your VCR or DVD recorder to automatically record the episode. Pirate the episode later.

Aethelwine's avatar

@drdoombot ” this finale is akin to a cultural event”

It’s equal to the Super Bowl if you ask me. What was she thinking?

I would take @marinelife‘s suggestion. If he is a fan as much as I am, he will definitely be disappointed to not watch the show live. Like you said, he’s probably made plans for this night anyway. and you can’t watch it in a restaurant. too many distractions.

chyna's avatar

The quicker you bring it up to her, the more likely she will be to either change the date or get the deposit back. I don’t think you are a jerk to say something expecially since he is such a fan too. As @poofandmook stated above, you all have invested a lot of time and hours watching this show and now it has come down to this last show of all time. Maybe make that night a Lost party?

MrItty's avatar

@drdoombot TWC is not your only option. Go to Best Buy and buy a TiVo. Hell they even have a 30-day money back guarantee. You can get it set up within an hour.

tinyfaery's avatar

I will be attending a Lost party. Maybe the b-day party can be a viewing party, as well. I’m so friggin’ excited about the finale.

MissAusten's avatar

Is it possible she still doesn’t realize there is a conflict? I only found out today that the Lost finale isn’t on a Tuesday. Could you call her to RSVP for the party and ask if she thinks your friend will be bummed about missing the finale? That way, you are making her aware of the timing without complaining. She might also want help figuring out how to convince her husband to go to the restaurant when the Lost finale is on.

If she can’t/won’t change the date, there’s not much you can do except be a good friend and go to the party. Since all of you will be missing it together, maybe someone else can DVR it and you can get together to watch it the next night. I feel your pain, being a Lost junkie myself.

Ponderer983's avatar

Petty petty people that your lives revolve around TV. get TiVo if it’s that important to you.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I agree with @MissAusten. Mention the finale to her and see what she says. She may want to change it so that they can enjoy the finale as well. If not, try to get someone to DVR it and then you all can go watch Lost as the after party.

DominicX's avatar

I have to agree that the quicker you mention it, the more likely something is going to change. I don’t really think there are many convincing arguments other than that is akin to the Super Bowl (as @jonsblond pointed out), that it is something you have been waiting six years to see and that the other person is a Lost fan as well.

I hate to say this, but just mention it already. You have to at least find out if they’re even willing to change the date.

But I’d be prepared for them not to want to change it, especially since they already had to move it ahead a few days. Besides, it may work perfectly with other people’s plans.

And yes, non-Lost fans responding to this question will not understand. I look forward to watching the series finale with a couple of my friends this Sunday.

drdoombot's avatar


Just spoke to my friend’s wife. She said there is no way she is changing the date. She feels bad enough about having his party 4 days after his b-day (the Jewish holiday Shavuout getting in the way on his actual birthday). Plus, that restaurant has live music only on weekends. Due to the Jewish Sabbath, they only open at around 10:30pm or 11pm on Saturday night, which she feels is too late for most people. So Sunday is earliest convenient day according to her.

It doesn’t help that she is perfectly content watching the Lost finale on the next day. And she claims my friend isn’t so hot on the show after the most recent episode, so he won’t mind either (which may have a grain of truth).

So what are my options here? I can’t not show up. Leave early? Not sure if I can manage that.

The goal is to watch it in HD-quality on my mother’s flatscreen (which is connected to nothing but a cable box).

Blech. I’m totally bummed out now.

MrItty's avatar

I’m a Lost fan. I can’t wait for the Finale. It’s still just a TV show. And I’ll still be more than happy to DVR it if a friend wants to go to dinner or something on Sunday night.

DominicX's avatar



You have to make a choice now. Personally, I would go with the best friend’s party. I mean, it is your best friend you’re talking about. As important as the show is, this will look bad to them if you don’t go because of it.

chyna's avatar

Best friends party, hands down. You will never get another chance to share this particular birthday and party with a good friend. If there were no DVR, Tivo, etc, I might understand your reluctance. But come on, it is just a TV show. A good TV show from what I hear, but this is a real human being you are talking about. You can always rent/buy the series when it comes out and see it in HD at a future point in time.

tinyfaery's avatar

Oh funny me. I thought the party was for him? It seems to be about her. From another point of view, maybe wifey is a controlling bitch who doesn’t want her husband to want to watch the show over a b-day party. Just sayin’

Aethelwine's avatar

I’m curious. If this is a surprise party, and he’s such a big fan of Lost, how does she plan on getting him away from the television that evening? “Oh hunny, we need to go shopping.” would never work in my house

I would love to know how she plans on doing this.

gemiwing's avatar

Torrent the show, hook up your computer to your mom’s tv- watch Lost finale after party.

Buy a twenty dollar VCR and set it up, program it- watch Lost finale after party.

Buy DVR at Best Buy, set up, program it- watch Lost finale after party.

Go to ABC.Com and watch Lost finale on computer.

Connect computer to Mother’s tv- watch ABC.Com stream.

Buy Boxee- watch Lost on Mom’s tv.

Torrent the show, burn to dvd, buy inexpensive dvd player (or bring your own from home)- watch Lost finale after party.


Call your best friend and tell them that you feel this tv show is more important than the celebration- and then hope he understands.

le_inferno's avatar

Lol, you’ve gotta be kidding me. Why is this even a discussion? You have a conflict with a TV show finale that you can easily watch some other time. Ooh, you can’t watch Lost live on mommy’s HDTV? Get over it. You’re a big boy, I think you can be reasonable enough to enjoy your best friend’s birthday without griping about missing some show. I understand why you’d be mildly disappointed, but to even think of skipping out on an important social event because of Lost is just mind-blowing.

Look, I can relate. I am a die-hard 24 fan, but if it came down for it, my best friend would come before any season finale, hands down. I’d be a little let down, but at least I’d get to catch it on DVR or online. I’d still get to see it, and that’s all that matters, really.

Nullo's avatar

Tape the show. Mr. Rogers did battle in Congress for your right to time-shift your televiewing.

MrItty's avatar

@Nullo Best. Answer. Ever.

ubersiren's avatar

Well, everyone, it’s not just about what he wants, it’s about what his friend would want. I guess it depends on how important it is for the guest of honor to watch the show live. I, for one, won’t have it any other way. If I’m on my death bed, that tv will be turned to Lost on Sunday. But it is all about your buddy, so maybe his wife knows best? It is just a tv show but it’s also a really big fucking deal. My spouse and friends would know better than to schedule something during this date. Maybe this is an extreme analogy, but it would be like “taping” the god damned moon landing. And it’s definitely not something you can watch in the restaurant as suggested above. It’s not a soccer game.

Also, how many other of his friends are big Lost fans? If the turnout is low because everyone stays at home for the finale, it wouldn’t be much of a party. Or if everyone does come and is distracted by what they’re missing, they won’t be such fun party guests. Who wants a bunch of people at your party who would rather be somewhere else? You should survey the guests, then talk to the wife. If she doesn’t realize the dates conflict, then maybe just talking to her about it would be enough to change her mind. Although, if she’s that big of a fan, how could she not know the finale date? I’m baffled by this.

marinelife's avatar

If it were me, my best friend’s surprise birthday party would be more important to me that watching the show finale live.

ubersiren's avatar

Attention everyone who is still not getting it! He’s asking for his friend’s benefit, too! He’s not being completely selfish here… He is thinking about the birthday boy.

poofandmook's avatar

Personally, it sounds to me like the wife was sort of backpedaling by saying that one episode ruined 6 years of viewing for the friend, because her mistake was pointed out to her.

Maybe he didn’t like the last episode, but I bet a whole dollar that he’s chomping at the bit for the finale anyway.

le_inferno's avatar

@ubersiren Attention yourself, he clearly said his friend has no issue with watching the finale online another time.

poofandmook's avatar

@le_inferno: No, the wife said she had no problem watching it online, and she said her husband wouldn’t mind missing it because of the last episode, which I said I thought sounded a lot like a backpedal when she realized her unfortunate timing.

Aethelwine's avatar

@ubersiren “My spouse and friends would know better than to schedule something during this date” (mine too)

le_inferno's avatar

@poofandmook True, but drdoombot admitted that she was probably right.
To be honest, any reasonable individual would suck it up and watch it online. Yeah, the wife is a bitch for scheduling it at this time, but I doubt she would do it if it really bothered her husband.

gorillapaws's avatar

I don’t get you guys. I say screw the friend since his wife is obviously not particularly sensitive to the needs of her guests. It would be rude to throw a party without a tv during the Superbowl and then expect your friends to just DVR it and watch it afterwards.

Sorry, but since the birthday isn’t actually ON his birthday, I’d say she’s the one being inconsiderate.

ubersiren's avatar

@le_inferno He did not say that. It was not clear. He said his wife told him that, not his friend and that there may be a grain of truth. In other words he doesn’t know that for a fact, which is the whole issue. He’s thinking of his friend and other Lost fan guests, that is all. Just to let you know, your answer did not help the asker and was very rude. This is against the guidelines for the general section here on fluther.

le_inferno's avatar

@gorillapaws Guess what? This is Lost, not the Superbowl. It’s totally different. No one should be expected to formulate their schedules around TV shows. The Superbowl is a huge, nationally recognized event. Lost is just one among many popular programs.
And we don’t know how many guests this is actually relevant to.

ubersiren's avatar

I’d definitely put Lost on the same calibur as the Superbowl.

gorillapaws's avatar

@le_inferno I am more excited to watch the Lost finale than any Superbowl since the one in ‘94, where the Niners won.

le_inferno's avatar

@ubersiren @gorillapaws Ok, that’s your own opinion of Lost. That’s not a general, national consensus.
@ubersiren I’m not saying that the asker isn’t considering other people’s desires at all. But the reality is, his greatest concern is with himself. He wants to watch Lost live on his mom’s HDTV, and is considering missing his best friend’s party because of that. That’s selfish, sorry to break it to you.

ubersiren's avatar

@le_inferno He didn’t say he was considering missing the party. Never said it. In fact in his comment that starts “Grrr” he says that he can’t just not show up.

gorillapaws's avatar

@le_inferno would you at least concede that if we were talking about the Superbowl here, that @drdoombot would be excused from attending (especially if his team was playing)?

le_inferno's avatar

@ubersiren He considered leaving early, but just wasn’t sure if he could get away with it. That would be missing part of it.

His question even says straight out “Yes, I’m doing this for selfish reasons”
He’s concerned with his friend, too, but largely with himself. End of story.

Aethelwine's avatar

@gorillapaws True. The end of a television series is much bigger than a SuperBowl. You’re lucky if your team even makes it to the SuperBowl, let alone win. I do remember where I was during the last episode of Cheers, Friends and The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson (I’m dating myself here.) ;)

ubersiren's avatar

I dont’ know why we’re vilifying @drdoombot so much. He’s not going to chose between the two events. He said twice that he wouldn’t miss the party. His goal is to do both, but if he can’t do both, he’ll go to the party.

@le_inferno He didn’t say he couldn’t “get away with it.” He said he couldn’t manage it. Completely different. Besides, what’s wrong with leaving early?

It’s not “end of story” just because you say so, dear.

ubersiren's avatar

Also, another suggestion would be to try to find another friend with a DVR and adequately sized screen to record it for you to watch later. It wouldn’t be the same as at your mom’s but I bet when you finally watch it, it won’t make much difference. Good luck to you!

Coloma's avatar

I think that it is inappropriate to try to change the party night.

Either you go and forfeit the show or you decline the invitation, it is not your place to attempt to change anothers plans and is seriously overstepping boundaries IMO.

Taping the how would be the best soloution, it’s not live anyway so all you will be missing is the time slot.

Of course I am not a TV person, so I can’t relate to not attending a social situation for a TV show.

chyna's avatar

@jonsblond But do you remember where you were for the season finale of Dallas? I’m dating myself on that one.

le_inferno's avatar

@ubersiren Because the mere fact that a TV show is overshadowing a best friend’s birthday is just ridiculous. Whether or not he’s going to choose between the two, he’s creating a problem that can easily be solved by making a minor sacrifice. The fact that he’s unwilling to do so is pretty lame. I’d be upset if my best friend was making a big fuss about a TV show over my birthday, and I’d be extremely upset if she left early to watch it. It’s just plain fucking rude and shows a lack of respect for the friend.

poofandmook's avatar

I don’t suppose the OP would want to move this thread to Social?

Jeruba's avatar

If she gets a lot of declined invitations, that may influence her. Do you know if there are many fans on the guest list? What if you called her up and asked her how the RSVPs are going, and suggested that a conflict might cause no-shows?

I planned a retirement party last fall, picked a date, and sent invitations. There was no major event going on that weekend, yet I got about 75% regrets, with a wide variety of reasons. Against custom, I then changed the date to one week later (after first checking with all the yeses) and got about 90% acceptance within an hour.

@Nullo, can you elaborate?

tinyfaery's avatar

@Jeruba, always the voice of reason.

jeneatha's avatar

yes that is selfish but i love my shows too. but the internet has the show. i would just go on youtube look up that episode and watch it that way. or if one of your friends have dvr then just record it. thats what i do

drdoombot's avatar

None of the other guests are Lost fans, as far as I can tell. The wife is a casual Lost fan, which is why she’ll be catching the finale on

As I stated earlier, missing my friend’s party is not an option, especially since I agreed to come when I was invited last week. That party won’t be the same without me.

Call me selfish or obnoxious or petty, but I really wanted to watch the Lost finale in the best possible quality available to me. I watched the Richard Alpert origin episode as a downloaded torrent and realized how much more enjoyable Lost is in HD. My custom-built HTPC can’t handle HD files (it stutters). Plus, there’s just something special about watching it when everyone else in America is watching, including the commercials (which just build yummy tension between acts).

PandoraBoxx's avatar

You could let it slip to your friend that his wife has scheduled a surprise party for him during the Lost finale, and let him take it up with her. I have not followed Lost, but my friends do, and I understand the importance.

Or you could ask the wife to move the party up to earlier in the day, so it’s an even bigger surprise. A surprise party on a Sunday night when everyone has to work the next day, religious restrictions or not, sounds like an event that will be lightly attended anyways.

lillycoyote's avatar

I actually prefer watching Lost online or On Demand rather than when it’s broadcast. I can stop and start and watch it without distractions when I want to and don’t have to worry about missing anything.

ubersiren's avatar

After watching tonight’s episode, I think I’d just kill my friend’s wife to be able to watch it on Sunday. Okay, maybe just tie her up and hold her in an undisclosed location until it was over. :) There’s no way I’m missing/delaying this shit. If it was any other episode or any other show, I wouldn’t care. But this is, dare I say, epic.

Nullo's avatar

@Jeruba I had my events mixed up. He spoke to the Senate in defense of PBS when Nixon was going to cut its funding (Wiki).

I was thinking about his role in a Supreme Court case (Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc.) that ruled in favor of home recording (Wiki).

TvTropes also talks about some of Rogers’ accomplishments.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

This sucks @drdoombot – I understand what you’re saying and why your hands are tied. I understand the wife as well but if your best friend is as big a fan as you say he is, he will NOT be happy about missing the finale so, in the end, NO ONE will be happy unless something changes. Is it at all possible to move the time of the party to brunch or dinner so you’ll still be back in time?

MrItty's avatar

Am I seriously the only here who expects that the guy’s wife knows him and his desires better than the friend does?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@MrItty Eh, it really depends – we have no way of knowing who knows him better.

casheroo's avatar

@MrItty Maybe the wife made the plans without thinking about the fact he’s a Lost fan, and doesn’t want to change the date.
Who knows. But, I do think the husband will not want to upset his wife, and will be happy with the party..even if he secretly wishes to be at home watching tv.

drdoombot's avatar

Well, I went to see him on his birthday and I may have inadvertently psyched him up for the finale. His wife just didn’t know the finale was airing that day when she made plans, but as I mentioned earlier, she already left a deposit and doesn’t want to push the celebration even further away from his actual birthday. Plus, she had about 15 people agree to show up and she doesn’t want to call them all back and change the time.

I think she might have a little trouble getting him out of the house on the big night. When I asked her about it, she said she might have to resort to telling him there’s a party waiting for him (which would just make the whole thing lose its potency, if you ask me).

And believe it or not, I do know my friend a bit better than his wife does. It might be a male/female thing, or maybe it’s just that I’ve known him longer, or maybe it’s because he’s a “bros before hos” kinda guy. In any case, I know him well enough to know that he’ll feel exactly like me: torn between wanting to watch the finale and hanging out at his own surprise party.

And for those interested: I dropped by a TWC location, picked up a HD-DVR box and will be using it to record the event. They said I can use it free for a month, and since I have no need for a DVR, I’ll probably be returning it next week.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

You could probably endear yourself to her forever if you help her get him out of the house and to the party. What time does she have the shindig starting? You could take him back to your place afterwards to watch it.

Aethelwine's avatar

You could be watching Lost right now. Sucks for you. ;)

I kid I kid

Jeruba's avatar

Thanks, @Nullo. My profile includes a list of people I admire, and he’s on it.

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