The flip side of pommedeguerre's thread on late dinner guests - what if the host/hostess is late serving the meal - is that rude too? (I'm not talking about holding the meal waiting for other, late guests) And if the meal is very late, is it ok to make excuses and leave?
Here are the dinner situation I endured:
Husband and I invited to dinner for 6:30pm. All 6 guests show up on time (hallelujah) and we are served drinks (no appetizers at this point). At 7:15pm, the hostess brings out several dips and sliced bread. Everyone is feeling peckish because dips and bread are demolished within several minutes. At 8-8:15pm we're seated and at 8:30pm, the first course is served. At 9pm, one of the couples leaves saying they have to get back to drive the sitter home (I think they were lying and probably scarfed down a burger on their way home LOL!) We and the other couple don't have kids so can't use that excuse. Main entree finally served around 9:30pm. We leave around 10pm, without staying for the dessert.
I wanted to leave when the first couple left because by then it was apparent that the meal would be served very late and I wasn't planning on such a late night. But my husband said it would be rude to go before the entree even though he was also wanting to go. Would it have been considered rude if we had made some sort of excuse and left? And if it's ok to go, what excuse would have worked? Dinner was on a Saturday so couldn't use the "need to get up early for work tomorrow" excuse.