Accommodating Picky Eaters

by admin on April 19, 2018

I have a great diverse group of friends and we enjoy trying out new restaurants and hosting dinner parties. I hate to use the word, but we’re kind of ‘foodies’. One of my friends is a vegetarian. Most restaurants in our area also serve at least one vegetarian dish, and she is not a picky eater, so we rarely have to make special arrangements for her to join in group outings.

The problem is another friend who has the dietary habits of an american toddler. Nothing green, only chicken, no eggs, will send a dish back if a pickle is touching it…the list goes on and on (none of this is due to religious concerns or allergies). If it is just the two of us dinning out, I’m aware of most of her likes/dislikes now, but it leaves a limited number of places we can eat. I feel bad leaving her out of group outings, but often we are trying new restaurants that have nothing she will eat. I even feel bad even discussing group outings/dinner parties in front of her because I know she wont eat the food, though she is always invited.

I am planning on hosting another dinner party, but the menu is going to be “German style” for Oktoberfest. Sausages, sauerkraut, spetzle, and German beers. Unless I create another entree, she’ll only be eating the cheese & crackers I set out as hors d’ouevres. How far is a host supposed to go to accommodate guests when hosting an adults only dinner party? All advice is welcome. 0910-15

I host specific food dinners/parties such as an annual chili, cornbread and desserts harvest shindig in October.   I do not accommodate picky eaters.  It is what it is.


My husband is the Best Man in an upcoming destination wedding. The wedding was originally scheduled for a venue in the town where we (ourselves and the engaged couple) live. It was decided by the bride that the wedding would be moved across the county to a state they enjoy visiting. This would cut costs since only a select few guests would be invited, instead of the larger number of friends and family that would expect an invite to a local wedding.

We were told upfront that though my husband was a member of the wedding party, we were responsible for all of our own expenses. My husband felt obligated to accept this arrangement since he had already committed to be the Best Man. This was a mistake, but it’s moot for the purposes of this post.

The wedding will take place during the work week, so we have taken time off of work, booked our plane tickets and hotel, and generally feel that we have accommodated how the bride and groom want to celebrate their day. But my patience is running thin. It is now one week before the wedding and we have not received any kind of formal invitation. Though I know which small town we are traveling to, I have no idea what venue is hosting the wedding. Additionally, it’s not clear if we are we expected at both the ceremony and reception, if it will be inside or outside, or even what time it’s taking place!

I have now heard from my husband that the bride and groom are sending us an “events schedule” as we are expected to accompany them on various tours and activities the day after the wedding as well.

Finally, it seems that the bride and groom have changed their minds and do plan to have a local reception when they return from their honeymoon (I smell a gimme-pig). I feel that we are more than fulfilling my husband’s Best Man’s obligations by attending the Out-Of-State event. Would it be rude to decline attending the local reception? We have not yet heard when this is taking place, but I imagine we’ll be invited (probably via Facebook or some such). 0315-16

I’ve seen this a number of times.   The bride and groom don’t send any invitations to their groomsmen, bridesmaids, the officiant and sometimes even parents.   Are people supposed to be psychic and know the exact details of the wedding day just by the vibes emanating from the couple?

Your husband has fulfilled his Best Man duties by being a witness to the actual wedding ceremony.  It’s your decision as to whether to attend the local reception.


Do You Speak English?

by admin on April 17, 2018

Reading through your ‘Travel” section of the archives reminded me of how my own dear family decided to act on a European vacation we went on!

The vacation was to be a week-long cruise starting in Barcelona and going to parts of Italy and France with my mother’s family – Gramma, Aunt Carol, Aunt Lisa, and her son Bob who was two years older than I, as well as my younger brother, mom, and dad. Since my mother and father met during an exchange program in Austria, Dad decided that we four would spend an extra week in southern Germany and Austria before heading to Barcelona. I had been taking German classes for four years at this point, my brother had just started a German class, and my dad majored in German, so I was quite excited for that portion.

To prepare, I did some research on how Americans should conduct themselves overseas to avoid being “rude Americans” or standing out as targets for pickpockets or thieves. Suggestions I found included learning some basic phrases and names of food you like, and dressing a little fancier – no athletic gear worn as normal clothes, no white socks with shorts and sneakers, no backpacks or fanny packs, no cameras worn on the neck, no baseball caps, dark wash jeans, and no chewing gum or being loud. Since Dad was being very paranoid about having money or phones stolen, I relayed the suggestions to him and printed out some basic food phrases in the various language, as well as phrases like “Don’t touch me,” and “No thank you” in case we were approached by shady characters (we were taking public transportation at times and Dad was rife with horror stories about them).

The German part of our trip went off relatively without a hitch. Dad, thrilled to be back in one of his favorite places, struck up conversations in German with every waiter and taxi driver we came across just to prove he could. I made sure to order everything in German, ask questions in the shops in German, and speak in English only when spoken to first. The only problem was Dad’s attire – everything on the “don’t” list, plus a bright blue hiking backpack with neon orange clips that he clipped over his shirts and wore everywhere. Overall, though, we had a great time in Germany and Austria and even met up with Dad’s old host family for an impromptu snack when we were in the neighborhood!

We eventually arrived in Barcelona and met up with the aunts, Bob, and Gramma outside of our hotel. We were in an older, more historical section, and Gramma wanted to go see a certain cathedral. Upon entering the hotel, the first words out of Aunt Carol’s mouth were, “DOES ANYONE HERE SPEAK ENGLISH?!” She repeated her question to the lady at the front desk, who answered, “Nope, Spanish,” with more than a hint of sarcasm. After the initial embarrassment, we asked the lady if there were any good tourist attractions that were okay for walking-challenged Gramma, and we mentioned the cathedral. “No, no!” she cried. “That will be so boring for your children. So old! You should see the MAGIC FOUNTAIN!” She helpfully gave us directions. Naturally, as we walked there, we had to stop every ten feet and make Carol, Lisa and Gramma were still behind us and not just randomly standing in the middle of the walkway taking pictures of the buildings, the people, the pigeons, the signs, the ground, the trash cans, the homeless man peeing in the street…

When we arrived at the fountain, I decided the concierge lady had pulled a little prank on the rude Americans. The fountain was there, and it was a very nice large fountain lit by many colors, but surrounding it was the Barcelona Gay Pride Festival. There were open-air urinals, rainbow everything, many people being affectionate, plenty of alcohol, and an enormous stage with an elaborate drag show being put on. My conservative Gramma was speechless, only uttering “Well…look at the very pretty men…” I was about to die trying to suppress my laughter as my relatives all stared blankly forward or at the ground and marched towards the fountain!

The rest of our trip had a similar theme of “DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH?!” Taxi drivers in Barcelona had long conversations with each other outside the taxi with the meter running, since we had no way of communicating with them in Spanish. English menus were demanded in Italy and France, often with the waiters’ faces drooping into a glower. Photo opportunities were apparently everywhere, even in the middle of crowded squares! We weren’t as bad as some of the stories on this blog, but I was still more than a little embarrassed that my family wasn’t even trying to fit in or do their best to interpret the menus. Luckily, nothing was stolen from us.

My Dad has invited me to come on another European cruise with my immediate family over the summer, this time with a week in Germany preceding a cruise around Sweden, Russia, and more northern countries. Unless he learns to speak a lot of Swedish and Russian before then, I think I will pass! 0910-15


Grandpa Is Not Invited

April 16, 2018

A bit of background…….. My relationship with my elder and only sister has, for most of our lives, been fraught with tension. I have always gotten the sense that she was perfectly happy being an only child, and the arrival of siblings caused her to declare a permanent war. We also have a brother – […]

Read the full article →

Wedding Wednesday – Not Clear From The Save The Date Card Whether Kids Will Be Invited

April 11, 2018

I have an etiquette question that I am hopeful our Dame Admin and you all, will help me address. DH’s youngest cousin “Kelly” is getting married to a lovely young man “Jim”, some distance away from our home town X and also from their residence, town Y, in Jim’s elderly parents’ home town, town Z. […]

Read the full article →