Would You Consider This An Elitist Dinner?

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16461

    Oct 05, 2007 10:13 PM GMT
    I have been having a Wednesday night dinner with a group of "friends".. its actually $1.50 margarita night at a local mexican restaurant. The two "friends" who organize it have been careful to invite or have invited those they feel are "appropriate" to attend. There is a core group of about 10 who regularly attend.

    I was recently reminded that if I bring a guest I need to let them know in advance of my intention and that the group could only entertain 2 "new" attendees. I can understand this... but in addition I was reminded that they 1) Must be college educated (professional people, if having a piece of paper makes them so) 2. At least 28 years old and 3). Have been in their field of endevour for at least 5 years.

    After that phone conversation, I decided not to attend again and my two "friends" who organize that charade are mad at me. Your thoughts?
  • Squarejaw

    Posts: 1035

    Oct 05, 2007 11:00 PM GMT
    My best friend (42 years old) and I hang out with a bunch of guys around 30. Every now and then we make a concerted effort to spend time with people closer to us in age (but they're always boring and only talk about real estate!).

    Still, I can understand why your friends want to put a minimum age requirement on the dinner.

    But the mandatory college degree? I wonder what they'd think of my friend who never went to college, became a bank teller after high school, and just sold his financial company for millions.

    As the 5-year requirement, it sounds like they're trying to screen out flakes, but periodic career changes (not just job changes) are the norm these days. Sounds like they'd be screening out a lot of interesting people.
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    Oct 05, 2007 11:28 PM GMT
    Because your two friends "organize" the event, I believe it's their prerogative to put restrictions on guests. (If you were doing the organizing, I believe you could put restrictions on who could attend, or, if you wished, put no restricitons.) On the other hand, if you disagree with having any parameters on who can attend, or the specific parameters they've set for guests, you have every right not to bring guests or even, as you have done, not to attend at all...but, if they are friends, I would certainly discuss my disagreement with them. If they're still angry after the discussion...so be it.

    I also don't know that your friends are being elitist. ($1.50 Margaritas, 'though quite refreshing, would hardly qualify as elitist fare.) I suppose the elitist question deals more with the guest restriciton than the food/drink. Based on the restricitons they've imposed, it sounds to me like they are trying to begin a business networking group.
  • iHavok

    Posts: 1477

    Oct 06, 2007 12:41 AM GMT
    It must be my lack of a degree, however I'm slightly confused as to why they are trying to limit who you bring to their dinner.

    As your "hosts" aren't providing the meal, nor the setting it's ridiculous for them to try to restrain who gets invited, by themselves of by proxy.

    Were this to be a business networking group, I would like to assume they would have come up with a more tactful way of letting you know the parameters of the group, as to avoid alienating you. A simple explanation avoids a lot of unwarrented strife.

    Yes, they do sound quite snobbish, and I'd wash my hands of the entire mess.
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    Oct 06, 2007 12:48 AM GMT
    Personally, I find dining at cheap Mexican restaurants with people who only have undergraduate degrees agonizing.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 06, 2007 1:02 AM GMT
    These guys are just making use of their degrees properly that's all. The main reason to get an undergrad degree is so you can look down your nose at people. And the main reason to get a Ph. D. is so you can make other people call you Dr. I can't wait to have mine, then I can quit this academic bullcrap and spend the rest of my life going around correcting people who call me Mr. I hope you are maximizing the use of your Ph. D. OW.
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    Oct 06, 2007 1:06 AM GMT
    I'm sure you meant to say, "Dr. OW, sir." Right? Yes, I thought you did.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16461

    Oct 06, 2007 1:14 AM GMT
    What great replies and I appreciate all of them. No, no business networking group here. Its totally social.
    I could understand restrictions if it was for a business or professional organization. This was for dinner in an inexpensive mexican restaurant.

    I did leave one thing out.... I had wanted to invite 3 guests ...all in their 20's.. all have master's degrees and all gainfully employed... When I had a conversation with my "friend" and given the restrictions, he commented on the 3 proposed attendees, one of whom he "knows"... "He's just a bank teller" isn't he"?, my "friend" commented. Actually that proposed guest isn't just a bank teller, and who cares even if he is........
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    Oct 06, 2007 1:21 AM GMT
    That sounds pretty dumb, but it's their prerogative I guess. People can be exclusive in their friends if they want. The question is, are you enough of an asshole to be part of that group? ;) Judging from this thread it doesn't seem like it. Personally I would cut ties though.
  • Squarejaw

    Posts: 1035

    Oct 06, 2007 1:55 AM GMT
    HndsmKansan, that does change things a bit. How old are your friends? Adding 3 20-somethings to a small group can change the dynamics entirely and could make the 40-somethings feel invisible. That might be exactly what they're trying to get away from with these dinners.

    The other restrictions still sound pretty silly though.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16461

    Oct 06, 2007 1:57 AM GMT
    Most of the attendees are in their mid 30's. The 20 somethings are 27, and two 28 year olds. They would fit very well.
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    Oct 06, 2007 1:57 AM GMT
    Its the most ridiculous set of rules for a social setting Ive ever heard of...Im still shocked by it...I dont get it at all...Id do the same thing...never attend again...
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    Oct 06, 2007 2:13 AM GMT
    RuneAnd the main reason to get a Ph. D. is so you can make other people call you Dr.

    Actually, the main use of a Ph.D. is in making reservations at restaurants. They are more likely to give you a good table in the (mistaken) belief that you are a big-tipping cardiologist or something. Once.

    I don't really go in for the dinner party thing, but I have been invited to a few where the host went to some effort to bring together an interesting mix of people. (Yes, I once had my 15 minutes.) It seems like the key thing is in making it a mix.
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    Oct 06, 2007 2:20 AM GMT
    I don't know if they sound elitist so much as narrow. Education or years in a career don't make you elite. Millionaires or Doctors or CEO's of companies larger than so and so size - that's elitist. And they probably don't meet for $1.50 margaritas - they meet at a private golf club or exercise club or at one of the members' restraunts.

    If you enjoyed the dinners and the company of the people there, there's nothing wrong with attending. If you don't like the rules, do the work to set up your own social group. Do you have the time or inclination to organize such a social gathering of that size? If the answer is no, then maybe you should give the organizers a break. Let them have their guidelines - it's their party.

    Find something else to do with your 20 something friends.
  • DrStorm

    Posts: 185

    Oct 06, 2007 2:21 AM GMT
    Two sides to every coin. And what do you know, I've been on both sides.

    You need to understand the reason for the "rules". Much like the profile "only into whites"...or sex parties "only tops"....yadda..yadda...the event is set up to attract only the type that is desired.

    You have a simple decision - YES/NO. Friends/acquaintances/strangers - makes no difference, will at some time or other create a set of rules for an event/situation - whatever...once again, you have a simple decision - YES/NO. Yes I will accept/attend/tolerate or NO I wont.

    You need to at least try to understand both points of view, but you DO NOT need to accept the other party's point of view if you don't agree with it.

    Regarding the original post, I'd done the same if the conditions were NOT acceptable to me. I simply don't go to events/parties/situations where my friends would not be acceptable or welcomed.

    Just remember, one day you may set up a party/situation/event where you only want certain types of people attending it...no matter how open-minded or non-discriminatory we like to think we are....it's no different from have an open house party and those awful neighbors show up and you ask them to leave since you can't stand them.

    It really boils down to how we deal with a situation like this - speak up if you think it's not kosher, or walk away if its not going to be a major issue in your life in a week's time.

    and the old cliche I keep telling my fundamentalist Baptist mother: "Judge not lest ye be judged."


    daWeatherMan icon_lol.gif

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    Oct 06, 2007 2:23 AM GMT
    I don't get why they're upset. I mean, all you should have to say is that their requirements are a little restrictive to you, but that doesn't mean you can't still be friends with them.

    Though overall it sounds like a personality thing, and they probably run other parts of there lives in a similar manner, but that is just my guess.

    I don't know, but usually I find the more fun and interesting social events are those that just happen rather than those planned to out in great detail -- they just never seem to live up.
  • cowboyathlete

    Posts: 1346

    Oct 06, 2007 2:32 AM GMT
    I belong to a gay male group that gets together every month or so to socialize and have dinner. The only requirement is that everyone is either Catholic, ex Catholic, etc. Other than that the group is wide open and very diverse.
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    Oct 06, 2007 2:41 AM GMT
    These people sound like they're "assuming" that if the guests don't have a degree, a 5-year minimum tenure in their field and haven't reached the age of 28, they must be "unworthy" of their company.

    I say these people are unworthy of your company, HndsmKansan, and I applaud you for not attending.

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    Oct 06, 2007 2:54 AM GMT
    Please don't rip me for this too much guys, but...

    This sounds like a networking/business group. Rotary International is very similar to this (although don't think that they have the degree requirement)- they do a lot of charity work in the U.S. and internationally. I guess that I would welcome the opportunity to meet other professional gay guys, hear about their experiences, and share their expertise. Yeah, it's a little elitist. But for one night once in a while, what's wrong with hanging out with some guys that are working hard toward their goals and have some ambition?

    And no, having a degree does not necessarily make a professional. However, in this day and age, the two frequently go hand-in-hand.
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    Oct 06, 2007 3:08 AM GMT

    I was recently given the address and phone number of a 'private restaraunt'. It is not listed anywhere I could find. It is located on the second floor of a pedestrian mall. When you call to apply for a reservation they ask for your credit references, personal references, and who gave you the 'card'. It is apparently an unlisted phone number, and by invitation only.

    I found out that they attempted to do a criminal background check on me as well.

    Lunch is $1500 in advance prix fixe, no choices, no substitutions. 50 people - one seating for lunch, one for dinner. You really don't want to know about dinner.

    Requiring a college degree, stability (say a job?), and that people be a certain age? For $1.50 margaritas?

    On the scale of...


    I went to Venice to watch the sights and had a Taco, from a push cart, that I ate on the wall next to the beach.

    It was a very good Taco.

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    Oct 06, 2007 3:21 AM GMT
    Ah, Venice, I love Venice. And you'd probably cause a stampede if you offered $1.50 margaritas.
  • NickoftheNort...

    Posts: 1416

    Oct 06, 2007 4:36 AM GMT
    Considering the "bank teller" comment, I'd certainly consider that individual an elitist. The dinner itself it not elitist; its organizers are.

    You don't have to be in a socially recognized elite to be elitist; you just have to have the pretentions.

    It reminds of the Bucket woman.

    I have organized a few outings before and finally held my own dinner party a week ago; my regular concern is whether I've invited everyone that may be interested, in the sense of "the more, the merrier!" Even if there is someone I haven't met, I usually want them to come along.

    I have neglected inviting specific individuals at times on the grounds of drama; when I have dinner with people, I want to relax and enjoy the company and not witness or partake in someone else's draining insecurities. Yet, it does not sit well with me to have excluded them from participating at all (my preferred option is to invite them and for them to decline after hearing who else will be attending; it still sucks, but the ball is no longer in my corner at that point).
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    Oct 06, 2007 4:37 AM GMT
    What's missing in the original post is the reason for the exclusion. If it's arbitrary, I agree, I'd take a walk. If, as other guys have suggested, there is another purpose for the group besides "friends getting together", then I'd suspend judgement.

    I am on a severe weather research group designed to get people involved in severe storms research in dialog. So, there are rules about degrees, and/or experience, and/or publication history. But the rules make sense given the purpose of the group.

    But, if it is snob thing...that's ridiculous and offensive. By the way, I have a PhD that I cherish. Yet, apart from its value to me and others in my profession such as that hottie friend of mine DrStorm, it and $5 get you across the Bay Bridge.

    My closest friend doesn't have a college degree, yet I'll put his intelligence up any person with a PhD, and I say that with a PhD tacked up on my wall.

  • Alan95823

    Posts: 306

    Oct 06, 2007 5:32 AM GMT
    I think you did the right thing, HndsmKansan. One of my oldest and dearest friends is not "acceptable" to some people who used to be my friends, because of certain things about his physical appearance. Forget that he has a heart bigger than Texas, and a wicked sense of humor, they just didn't like the way he looks and wanted me to stop hanging out with him.

    Needless to say, I had nothing further to do with them immediately. He never found out about it, because I thought all it would do is hurt him and make him feel inferior, when he's definitely a nicer human being than they were.

    I'd suggest not telling your young friends the details about your situation for the same reason, if you haven't already.
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    Oct 06, 2007 5:48 AM GMT
    I think you were totally justified in deciding to no longer attend man! It's fully within your 'friends' rights to decide who they would like to dine with, but it does sound awfully uppity.

    I wouldn't sweat it one minute. I'd have no problem brushing off people who can't even think outside of their bubble enough to appreciate that people with different backgrounds bring a number of different opinions and viewpoints to the table. Diversity is one of the key components of learning.

    I've learned things from drag queens, bank tellers, homeless guys and waitresses. You've got to open your mind to all people in all walks of life if you ever want to consider yourself a truly well-rounded individual.