I have been pondering for some time whether or not to submit this story on my mother’s behalf. It is something that comes up quite frequently whenever our family is planning a party. Ultimately I would like to know if this story will land anyone in e-hell or if my mother is being dramatic.
A couple of years ago my family threw a Memorial Day party, a nice get together with many of our closest friends and relatives. My mother is an amazing hostess and is known to leave no detail undone, no belly empty. We often joke that my mother makes enough food for an army and that we would need to invite the guests over again for lunch the next day just to finish off the left overs. Many of the guests, although unnecessary, end up bringing a sweet hostess gift for my mother. These gifts usually are in the form of flowers or something of the sort. As everyone is accustomed to my mother’s abundance of food, people generally shy away from bringing anything food related. This party however, a friend of ours brought a beautiful store bought chocolate cake. My mother accepted the gift with no qualms but was required to place the cake on the back counter as the dessert table was very full with her homemade delicious. This in turn, is no etiquette breach; the breach comes when dessert time comes around.
At the time that folks are starting to make their way over to the very full dessert table the cake bringing guest takes it upon herself to take the cake out from the counter and cram it onto the dessert table. Not only has she pushed some of my mother’s delicious desserts to the back of the table but she is now parked at the table cutting and serving this cake. Most of this, a little odd at best, I could deal with. The kicker to it was that she basically forced anyone within 10 feet of the table to take a large slab of this dessert. My mother tried to use her polite spine and suggest that we let people serve themselves; this party was primarily buffet style. Cake bringing guest refuses and stands there until pretty much everyone at the party had taken a slice. Because of the pushiness and hovering over the table, many guests were unable or too full to enjoy any of my mother’s homemade desserts.
After the party my mother was really annoyed that cake bringing guest was so adamant about this cake. It really bothered her that even after asking her to basically back off that she was still forcing cake on everyone. It hurt my mother’s feelings as well that she was pretty much stopping other guests from getting to and enjoying my mother’s desserts.
The question remains, was the cake bringing guest in the wrong or is my mother just hyper sensitive to the subject? Please advise! 0829-12
It’s been my observation that people such as your cake bearing guest who compels other guests to take a portion of their dish are not people who entertain themselves. If they did, they’d be finding their own contentment in serving what they really love or think their guests would enjoy. But they don’t host so they are obliged to piggyback on the efforts of other hosts.
Guest was pushy but it appears most of your other guests lacked any spine to decline a dessert they may not have preferred. No one would have made me take a slice of chocolate cake if there was a homemade cherry pie among the other dessert choices. And your Mom can stiffen her spine a little more and just quietly remove the cake from the dessert buffet. At a buffet at my own house, a new guest, unfamiliar with how I set up my buffet, proceeded to completely rearrange my set up. Without a word, I promptly rearranged it back to how I had originally laid it out. And I did it right in front of her. She knew immediately she had overstepped herself, apologized and no more was thought of it. The minute that cake walked out of the kitchen and onto the buffet, your Mom can just as promptly remove it and walk it right back into the kitchen. If guest takes issue with this, a calm reply, “When it is your party, you can decide what and when to serve your guests. I prefer my guests to have first choice of the desserts already on the buffet.”