…after inviting a friend to a dinner for that evening, before it’s okay to ask someone else?
We were vexed by this very question this very afternoon! So we asked our brother and sister blogs what they thought. MP:Boston said two hours, while MP:South Florida thought three hours was fair. These round numbers are all well and good, and in fact, were the types of answers we expected and desired.
MP:San Francisco, however, refused to think inside the clock. In voluble paragraphs, he advised the following (not knowing we were planning on blogging it):
I think Miss Manners would say that your first mistake was asking a friend that same evening, but she’s an old biddy. I’d say maybe a couple hours? [Us: How many?] Well, i think it depends on the friend, and the friendship [and he goes on to discuss how he would give certain friends more or less berth, depending on the formality of their relationship. Continuing:] If I was faced with the dilemma and had asked friend B without hearing one way or the other from friend A, I’d just plan on going with friend B, and then if Friend A came around and said, “hey is that invitation still open,” I’d say, “You know, I actually went ahead and invited Joe, but why don’t the three of us go,” or something.
Wow, that’s thoughtful and balanced! Our plan was just to lie if it came to it, since we don’t have much patience for niceties. But this is much better advice.