Miserly Hosts Make Guests Miserable

by admin on April 19, 2012

My sister is the real author of this story but allowed me to repeat it here. Her friends, let’s call them Sam and Julie invited a group of friends they all socialize with regularly to their home to watch a hockey game. Nothing was said specifically about refreshments either one way or another.

As it happened, Julie and Sam provided absolutely no food at all at the get together. There wasn’t so much as a bowl of chips on the table. My sister brought over chocolate chip cookies that she made thinking that this could help with the food – but there wasn’t any. Julie took the box of cookies into the kitchen and left them there and came out eating one of them herself. She didn’t offer the cookies to anyone else. Somewhere into the middle of the game Sam & Julie thought it would be a good idea to order pizza. They ordered 2 pies for the group of people and asked them all to chip in to help pay for it. The pizza was enough for everyone to have a single slice.

So I was thinking this through and I wanted to get everyone’s opinion. Is it a breach of etiquette NOT to offer refreshments at a “get together” at your home? The invite was only to come over and watch the game. In my world, I would have put out a little spread – chips, appetizers etc. If I was providing something more substantial and ordered pizza I certainly would not have asked anyone to help with the cost and I would have ordered more than enough. To be fair to Sam & Julie – are they under any obligation to provide anything in the way of food/drink if they invite people over and absorb the cost?

In the middle of the game, though, Julie told everyone that they were talking too much and were too loud so she went into another room to watch the rest of the game alone. 0416-12

The bare minimum of hospitality every guest should expect from their host is the offer of something to drink.  To offer nothing at all is inhospitable.   If the “get together” occurs during a meal time, guest rightfully have an expectation that food of some sort will be provided by the hosts.

I think your sister should lead by example and host her own get together to watch some sporting event while providing drinks and nibbles such as cheese and crackers, chips and dip, cookies, etc.   If Julie and Sam don’t get it and continue with their niggardly hospitality, they will eventually wonder why no one RSVPs or comes to their get togethers.

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