Okay, the title of my post is awkward - just go with it. The Slayerettes have a new poll for us regarding Buffy and Scooby Gang/Joyce's reaction to Buffy's starting to pack her bags again. You remember? She overheard a tipsy Joyce say something stupid to her annoying, cloying (and I think probably gossipy) friend *Pat*, who I feel compelled to treat with slight derision, even though I don't really know her and she ended up deaded, so I should be more charitable toward and immediately ran upstairs to start throwing clothes in her suitcase.
And then, Willow saw it and got an attitude and they were trying to talk it out, but then Joyce came upstairs and Willow immediately ratted her out for thinking about leaving again? And then Joyce threw a fit, chased Buffy downstairs into the middle of the "welcome back" shindig ... or hootnanny? Well, whichever.
And then, Xander had to throw in his two cents in as harsh a tone as he could have come up with?
Yes, that argument:
Had the Scoobies and Joyce right to fly into rage, because of what Buffy was intending to do in Dead Man's Party(run away again)?
My short answer is 'yes'. But my longer answer is that the situation was a bit complicated (as these human things usually are). Could the situation have been handled better by all involved? Oh, damned straight. But, that doesn't deny the fact that the gang and especially Joyce had a right to their anger and disappointment about Buffy's having run off in the first place. The fact that she appeared to be running away again gave them a reason to vent the resentment they were trying to ignore in their relief that she was back and she was okay.
My sympathies especially lie with Willow and Joyce. Willow, because she was absolutely right in telling Buffy it wasn't about being worried about Buffy (though I'm sure she was, Slayer or no) but that it was about herself. She had a lot going on with dating a werewolf and her magic development and Buffy left her without her best friend to talk to about the 'scary life stuff' (except, I don't see her feeling that she couldn't talk to Xander about everything, except maybe Oz). Sure it's a bit self-centered, but so what? It isn't always all about Buffy's drama. And Willow surely had a right to be outraged when she saw Buffy re-packing for another skip out of town ("Oh, and by the way? Thanks for not writing!").
Joyce has the most justification for her anger, and the right to be able to express it (the fact that she chose the middle of Buffy's party downstairs wasn't the best choice, but Buffy chose to retreat there - that was her own doing in trying to avoid the messy confrontation). I don't think anyone could justifiably claim that Joyce shouldn't have been angry at Buffy for disappearing for months without a word, or for thinking that when things were weird back home, she could just avoid everything by running out, again. I think Joyce's sentiment was badly expressed with her crack about it being almost harder to have Buffy back home, again. I don't think she exactly meant that, so much as saying how much strain it was trying to swallow her anger and hurt by Buffy's actions and to be supportive and understanding and forgiving. It's a lot more difficult to forgive somebody for something they've done when you haven't had the chance to rant at them about it, first. Unfortunately, the schnapps probably played a role in Joyce choosing her words rashly and it would've been fine if Buffy just hadn't happened to have wandered in at that moment.
Xander has the most problems when it comes to his justifications for calling Buffy out. Not because he doesn't deserve a right to his own anger, disappointment and hurt by her running off for the summer. He does, absolutely. But, he also is far more harsh in his words than was strictly called for - and his deflecting that his anger was about him, by using Joyce's "hell" to guilt trip Buffy pissed me off a little. If he wants to tell Buffy he's angry that she ran off and left them all to worry about her, that's one thing. But to rage against her and then when she tries to explain her reasons (kind of/sort of) to throw what she put Joyce through in her face was out of line, to me. Her mother was more than capable of making her own case without being an excuse for Xander to show his anger.
But, my bottom line for the question is that the answer is yes - they all had the right to their outrage when Buffy decided the easiest thing to do was to pack up and run away AGAIN, after their relief that she made it back and wasn't "lying in a ditch somewhere".