Q: “I used to look forward to hosting dinner parties, but two of my closest friends aren’t on speaking terms. It makes every get together stressful and unpleasant! How can I resolve this situation politely without one friend feeling left out?” -Libby
A: Dear Libby,
Wow, it’s tough when our friends’ issues with each other spill over into our lives. Before I address the entertaining aspect, I guess I’d like to clarify the friendship breakdown. Do you imagine there’s any chance they could talk things out and get past the problem? If so, I might try to host a casual dinner and game night. Sometimes joining forces in a spirited game can bring together folks who are at-odds.
If you’ve given up all hope that they will ever resolve their dispute, that’s a different story. In that case, I would probably speak privately with each of them before hosting your next social event. Let each know that he/she is important to you and that you want him/her to be part of your life. Let them know that while both will be invited, you want your party to be fun for everyone and not full of tension. Tell them each you understand if he/she can’t bury the hatchet, but to please be polite for the duration of the party. If your friend doesn’t feel she can be polite, tell her you understand if she wants to skip the event.
I hope your pals can work through their difficulties. As a hostess, there are plenty of other potential disasters (eek, the souffle didn’t rise!) to have to worry about adults in a spat. Hope your next soiree is a smashing success!