Have Baby, Get Food

by admin on July 20, 2011

I don’t know the couple in question very well (they are friends-of-friends) but I have heard that they had a baby recently, and I just saw this facebook request from the father of the newborn (below.) The father is also a doctor and could probably afford a personal chef, if getting takeout from one of the many healthy, vegetarian-friendly restaurants in town was too much work.

We are requesting 2 weeks of dinners from our friends, and a prefect chance to stop by and see baby Fifi!

Rules:
Local foods if at all possible.
Heavy on the veggies, no top carnivore fish (mercury) and light on the meats.
Feeding 4
Better be good or we will hunt you down and cook you with the love, care and dignity you should have shown the food you served us… no pressure.
:)

The contributor of this story also included a screen shot of the Facebook event to back up the story. Due to the large amount of personal identifying information, I can’t display it so you’ll have to trust me that the story is accurate. The new father created a Facebook event called “FamilyName Food Tree”, invited 31 friends to “attend”, i.e. make a dinner for the family.

The problem with this is that food and the labor it takes to prepare it are a gift of time and money. One cannot go asking people to give you gifts, and certainly not specific gifts. It’s a lovely gesture to volunteer to serve new parents with a hot meal each day for the first few weeks after a baby’s arrival but the initiative to serve in this manner must come from the giver and not the recipient. Sorry, but having a baby is not a free pass to suspend etiquette nor does it make you entitled to being served.

Addendum by admin:  Hey, y’all, no more comment approvals from me today.  I’m off to the hospital to welcome my first grandchild into the family!

{ 102 comments… read them below or add one }

Ariss July 31, 2011 at 6:29 pm

I read this site quite a bit, often agreeing, sometimes profoundly disagreeing. This is a case of the latter. In this case, I think there should be some shame involved. Not for the new Dad, but for those who commented so scathingly.

Another tenet of etiquette is “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”. Well, using that, there wouldn’t be much point to the site! And I quite enjoy reading it. However, in this case, it was a mistake. The person who complained that his apology wasn’t abject enough – well, I think an apology is owed to him also. It was mentioned that there isn’t a single universal stance of manners to be imposed by outsiders, and some of the comments since the Dr’s smack of both self-righteousness and of defensiveness. The original post, it would seem, was not to be taken 100% seriously, and this was something understood by the 31 participants. We’re the ones not in on the joke and thus reacting badly. The same goes for the person who “just saw it” – who specifically say they are not involved, nor asked to participate, and thus are quite understandably not in on the joke.

And yes, there’s the privacy issue, but that’s been covered.

Cakewrecks, a website which covers the..er..etiquette failings of professional bakeries (? :P ) will take down a post which is later revealed to have been the cause of upset, or due to a misunderstanding. Perhaps that should be considered for this post. Or else perhaps left up to emphasise that sometimes the etiquette failings are when we jump too fast to conclusions.

I appreciate this is the first time I’ve posted, and I will perhaps be glared at for this. I actually read this forum a lot, but tend to be a quiet lurker for the most part. But I did feel sorry for the relatively innocent victim of this post. A joke’s a joke. And an injoke at that.

Also – congratulations on the new arrival, Admin!

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Babs August 10, 2011 at 1:15 am

@Goldie:

Seriously? You expect Dr. Titlement to apologize AGAIN?

He sent round a request to the sort of people who are good friends who share food together regularly anyway (food sharing co-op) with the sort of etiquette which generally reigns those sorts of co-ops.

I think part of the issue is that people who tend to belong to food co-ops focusing on locally grown, ethically sourced produce and have a high level of awareness of social issues feel very impatient with arbitrary, stilted ‘rules’ about etiquette made up by some fusty busybody on the internet and simply make up their own with the other people affected. “Being polite” and checking those P&Q boxes (and then having to buy products you feel are unethical because you didn’t ask the wonderful and willing people for the help they would be willing to give), is just hypocrisy in cases like this. The fact that this isn’t YOUR etiquette doesn’t make it wrong, after all, nobody asked YOU to join in!

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