Enabled Moochers

by admin on December 6, 2012

My fiancee and I recently a party. We had yard games for people to play and a bonfire – people could be outside or inside. I made a ton of food for our guests to eat – crock pots covered our kitchen and I had made one special dish that I knew our friends loved. This dish is so popular with our friends, that I made triple the normal amount.

One of our guests showed up SUPER early for the party with her new boyfriend. They were planning on going out to the bar that night and not stay at our party (we were just happy to see her and meet him, so that was fine).

As soon as she saw the crock pots, she asked about the special dish. I showed her that I did indeed make this and told her to help herself. I saw friend and her new guy make plates of food for themselves. No one else had arrived yet but these two and two other friends that showed up early to help decorate.

Friend and guy made HEAPING plates of food for themselves. Mostly just the special dish. I was upstairs and glanced down a few minutes later. They were going back for more. Then again for a third. Before I could say anything or move the crock pot, more guests had arrived and were in the backyard playing games and I had to go greet people, so I went out back.

By the time everyone arrived (on time, may I add), I went back inside to check on the food.  The only people inside my house? Friend and boyfriend.  The crockpot full of the special dish was totally gone. They ate the whole crockpot!!   Then they left and went to the bar. Without saying goodbye or thank you. They showed up early to get a good meal and just left.

Good thing we aren’t having a buffet at our wedding. 1106-12

Note to self for future events:   Never say, “Help yourselves.”  This sentence is the golden ticket to unlimited consumption by greedy moochers who have no concept of thinking beyond themselves to consider that maybe there are other people who would enjoy some special dish,too.   Instead say, “Dinner will be ready at 6 pm.  I hope you can wait till then!”

Addendum: The recipe that inspired such moochiness:

“Moocher Mushrooms” aka Crackpot Mushrooms

We call the dish “crackpot mushrooms”. Because it’s made in the crockpot. It was 4 containers of small white capped mushrooms, two sticks of butter and two packages of dry ranch dressing mix. It’s left in the crockpot on medium for two hours. It is pretty freaking good. Even if it will give you a heart attack form all that butter.

{ 90 comments… read them below or add one }

lilbearzmom December 6, 2012 at 5:20 pm

What pigs! Reminds me of some friends I had who would go to this Asian buffet and sit right next to the sushi. Every time the staff would put out more, they would jump up and grab it all. None of the other customers who were there at that particular time got any. I don’t do cheap sushi, so it didn’t necessarily affect me, but I always thought that was so rude.

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Mabel December 6, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Ugh! Terrible. I echo the other posters. I wouldn’t have anything to do with these people anymore. Life’s too short to waste time on stuff like this.
I wish I liked mushrooms, but I really don’t. If I did I’m sure I’d like the special dish. It was nice of you to tell the commenters the recipe though, OP. :)

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JAN December 6, 2012 at 7:35 pm

After the incredulous look in the crockpot, and remarking that it was supposed to serve x number of people, I would have been hard put to resist adding “You DO know how much butter was in that?” perhaps with a glance at the offenders’ waistlines. However, I would have done my best to resist as I wouldn’t want to join them in E-Hell.

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yankeegal77 December 6, 2012 at 8:04 pm

OP, I’m glad you are distancing yourself from this miserable excuse for a “friend.” I hope if you sent her a wedding invite, it was for a bogus venue three hours away. (Just kidding–that would, indeed, be PA and rude.)

To me, “help yourself” would have meant to get a small plate while I wait–after I’ve profusely apologized for arriving early and offered to pitch in. But in this case, you might have been better off offering a beverage, prepared by you, and having the moochers sip on them out back. Or enlisting their help to prepare–as that might have sent them packing, saving the food! ;)

In all seriousness, consider this a small investment for a huge payoff–a very valid excuse to never, EVER invite these two to another gathering. (Honestly, her insults would have been the direct cut for me, but I do understand that some people, no matter how toxic, need to be eventually, gently pushed away in order to avoid bigger issues and drama.)

Hope you’re able to exorcise these two mooching demons!

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acr December 6, 2012 at 8:35 pm

I know this isn’t particularly relevant – but it seems like the special dish is pretty simple and inexpensive to make. The Moocher Couple could have picked the ingredients for under $15 and made a giant pot to eat themselves.

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Drawberry December 7, 2012 at 12:51 am

Somehow I doubt folks like those two would have even cared if OP had shown dismay at how much they had taken for themselves…

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Maggie December 7, 2012 at 4:04 am

I think the moochers were being passive aggressive. Coming early, heading straight for the favoured dish, eating it all. All that was done very deliberately.

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Wren December 7, 2012 at 9:23 am

I will be serving these mushrooms at some point during this holiday season. Sounds like they would be a good topping for steak, baked potatoes, noodles, etc. too. Thanks for the story and the recipe, OP. I’d say your rude friend tore up her friend card and I am glad you are rid of her and her boyfriend. What clueless people!

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Cat December 7, 2012 at 10:37 am

I just thought, if you decide not to drop the bottomless pits from your life, I know what you can give them for birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries, etc…your famous mushroom dish! Over, and over, and over! Never give them anything else for the rest of their lives; the fate of the bottomless pit shall be mushrooms forever!

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Roslyn December 7, 2012 at 11:08 am

Well, if she asks why you won’t invite her to your wedding you can smile and simply say, “I just can’t afford to feed you and your boyfriend.”

:)

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Lynne December 7, 2012 at 1:14 pm

Wow…. that’s pretty amazing. I’m surprised they weren’t puking in your bushes as they left.

Don’t be afraid of confronting – or dropping – such a self-centered idiot. You’re worth more than her treatment of you indicates, and if she can’t recognize that, then she’s not worth keeping as a friend. Her treatment of you is downright abusive, and there’s no such thing as a “little bit” abusive. Rid yourself of this woman post-haste, and reclaim your self-esteem :)

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Carrie December 7, 2012 at 3:25 pm

That’s a great idea, Cat!

And when the come to complain to OP about their gifts (which I wouldn’t put it past them to do) she can reply honestly, “But you seemed to love it so much when I served it on (day of party), you didn’t leave any for anyone else!”

On another note, how much do you want to bet they didn’t leave that day because they wanted to go bar hopping, but because they got sour tummies from eating so much of that rich food? Bar hopping was probably an excuse because they didn’t want to admit what pigs they had been!

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Phitius December 7, 2012 at 5:48 pm

“Cat December 7, 2012 at 10:37 am
I just thought, if you decide not to drop the bottomless pits from your life, I know what you can give them for birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries, etc…your famous mushroom dish! Over, and over, and over! Never give them anything else for the rest of their lives; the fate of the bottomless pit shall be mushrooms forever!”

I just burst out laughing. This is something my nana would do!

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Leigh December 7, 2012 at 9:37 pm

I remember the first Christmas I spent at a new relative’s house. There was a huge tray of shrimp and cocktail sauce, which I normally love. I was looking forward to a few, until her son picked the tray up, sat it in front of himself at the table and began eating from the platter (complete with double-dipping into the sauce). No one said anything except to laugh and say how much he liked shrimp.

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Cat Whisperer December 7, 2012 at 9:51 pm

@Cat– Slow murder by feeding these cretins to death with butter. I love it! “Hey, [moocher’s name], would you like to come over for some of my Crackpot Mushrooms, plus some Chicken Kiev, Potatoes Anna, veggies in butter sauce, and nice crusty garlic bread slathered with garlic butter, hmmmm? And bring your boyfriend, too! All you can eat!”

That ought to peg the ol’ cholesterol meter…

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Carrie December 7, 2012 at 10:02 pm

Off topic, but that dish sounds similar to how I make mashed potatoes: boiled potatoes, a couple tablespoons sour cream or butter, and a ranch dressing packet. Best mashed potatoes ever.

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Angel December 8, 2012 at 10:18 am

Leigh, new relative or not, I would have definitely said something!

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Rap December 8, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Ok I actually made Crackpot Mushroom and on the one hand, it’s incredibly tasty… On the other, I ate a portion, and then groaned at the idea of putting any more in my mouth. It’s rich and heavy and good lord how could anyone even split a crockpot?

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Cat Whisperer December 8, 2012 at 5:20 pm

@Leigh, how old was this new relative’s son? If he was more than 5 years old, that’s absolutely abominable behavior because he should have known better! And if he was 5 or under, some adult should have immediately rescued the tray of shrimp and told him in no uncertain terms, “It is not okay to take all the shrimp. They’re for everyone to share. Get yourself a plate and take no more than two and some sauce. After everyone else has had a chance to have some, if there are any left, you can have some more.”

Kids have to be taught manners, and the process along the way sometimes is embarrassing and hard work, but you do what you have to do. If that kid was more than 5 years old and his parents have never bothered to teach him “buffet manners,” shame on them. They aren’t doing the kid any favors by failing to teach him what’s right.

Side note: this sort of thing is another argument in favor of feeding kids before they attend a party where there’s a buffet. It’s easier for kids to exert self-control if they aren’t hungry when they get to the party.

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PM December 8, 2012 at 5:27 pm

Shrimp must contain some sort of chemical that causes hoarding behavior in humans. :) The first time my sister threw a “grown-up” dinner she grilled steaks with marinated shrimp skewers on the side. My BIL brought in the steaks and shrimp to the kitchen and put them on the counter while Sis was doing some last minute plating. A guest, Howard, who was the date of one of Sis’ friend, stood at the counter and mowed through sixteen shrimp skewers. (Three shrimp each.) Sis didn’t realize what he’d done until came back into the kitchen and saw sixteen empty skewers and Howard wiping at his mouth. She asked him what he thought he was doing.

He shrugged and said he thought the shrimp was an appetizer. Sis said, “OK, then why did you eat everybody’s appetizer?”

Howard said Sis shouldn’t be mad at him, she was the one who didn’t buy enough shrimp. The other guests were pretty disgusted and Howard’s date was so embarrassed that she stopped seeing him soon after. Sis said the worst part was that Howard barely touched his dinner. At the table, everyone was eating their (shrimpless) steaks and he sat there rubbing his belly, complaining how being stuffed. “I’m so fuuuuuuull,” he whined.

He’s lucky she didn’t put those skewers to more creative use.

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Cher630 December 8, 2012 at 11:15 pm

Remember, karma is a witch…with all that butter and drinking that night, they probably spent the rest of the weekend fighting for the bathroom lol!

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Leigh December 9, 2012 at 8:42 pm

@Cat, he was about 10 or so; definitely old enough to know better. And you are right that the parents failed to teach him any manners. I remember being shocked that everyone else thought it was funny; in my family, that type of behavior was (and still is) unacceptable.

We don’t have much to do with those relatives these days.

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Mary December 9, 2012 at 11:14 pm

Very ironic that one of my friends just pinned this recipe on Pinterest. Out of curiosity I checked. A double batch would make 12 servings, each serving having 155 calories and 16 grams of fat.

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Cat Whisperer December 10, 2012 at 1:15 am

@Leigh, what on earth can the kid’s parents be thinking? If you read PM’s account of Howard and his behavior, that’s exactly what the kid in your story is going to grow up to be like.

I have to wonder, do parents who allow their children to behave in this way ever stop to think about how this is going to affect their child’s ability to get along with people in the future? Howard in PM’s story is clearly not scoring any popularity points by devouring all the shrimp that were intended as appetizers for everyone at the party.

It just defies belief, at least for me. I always figured that if you love your children, you want other people to love them too; and people aren’t going to love them, or even like them, or even bear to be around them at all, if they don’t know how to behave with courtesy and good manners. Kids have to be taught courtesy and good manners. Teaching them isn’t always much fun, in fact it an be a real trial sometimes, but isn’t it worse to see people disliking them because they don’t behave well? I just don’t get it. And it’s so sad for the kids, because they’re the ones who get hurt when parents don’t teach and enforce good manners and plain courtesy.

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Rap December 10, 2012 at 9:38 am

Unfortunately, and I hate to jump on this bandwagon but here I am, a lot of parents these days have the mentality that their kids can do no wrong, and anyone who corrects their child is a hateful monster. So you end up with indulgent parents who think Johnny hogging down the shrimp is ok, and people standing around unwilling to say anything because there’s a fifty/fifty chance you’re the one who will get yelled at for daring to parent a child not your own.

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Ruru December 10, 2012 at 11:47 pm

“Rap December 10, 2012 at 9:38 am

Unfortunately, and I hate to jump on this bandwagon but here I am, a lot of parents these days have the mentality that their kids can do no wrong, and anyone who corrects their child is a hateful monster. So you end up with indulgent parents who think Johnny hogging down the shrimp is ok, and people standing around unwilling to say anything because there’s a fifty/fifty chance you’re the one who will get yelled at for daring to parent a child not your own.

Unfortunately so many people feel the need to post this EXACT comment on every thread- even though the people who were mooching in the OP were adults (and not just the add on comments) – so obviously parents haven’t been teaching manners for at least 20-30+ years. “Kids these days” comments are as old and worn-out as the ancient greeks.

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Cat Whisperer December 11, 2012 at 12:38 am

@Rap, I hear what you’re saying; I experienced it first-hand myself last year, when husband took me to a restaurant in our area that has a Sunday buffet to die for. This is not a “cheap eats” buffet; the normal Sunday buffet is $39 per person, and on holidays like Mother’s Day, they run a special buffet that has even more and even better goodies– things like all-you-can-eat crab legs, three different kinds of shrimp, oysters, sushi, all kinds of amazing things. The holiday buffets are usually around $49 per person.

…So I was in the buffet line for the breads-and-pastries part, which was quite fabulous, and there was a kid of about 4 or 5, who was going down the buffet line all by himself. Nary an adult in sight. And he was grabbing pastries with his hands, examining them, TASTING THEM, and then putting them back with the other pastries!!!!!

“You don’t use your hands to pick up the pastries, you use the tongs, and once you’ve touched something, you don’t put it back!” I told him, firmly but not in any way meanly or threateningly. Kid gives me a silent wide-eyed stare and runs away. Meanwhile, workers from the restaurant converge on the selection of pastries the kid had been handling and start to take them away. Out of the corner of my eye, I see the kid coming back, and this time he’s got mommy in tow. Uh-oh. Mommy strides up to me, with her mouth set in a “prunes and prisms” scowl, and tells me not to tell her kid what to do. I told her, as politely as possible, what her kid had been doing, and pointed out to her that the restaurant workers were now clearing the pastries away (they did put out new ones) because health laws required them to do that after what her son did. “I will teach my kids manners and I will discipline them,” she told me, very clearly just fuming. I told her it would have been nice if she’d been there to do that when her kid was licking the pastries and then putting them back.

She glared at me and stalked off, and throughout the rest of the time that we were there, husband and I saw her giving me dirty looks from time to time. I did also see her taking her son and a slightly older girl aside and explaining to them, I presume, that they were not to touch the food with their hands; and she accompanied them to the buffet after that– most likely protect them from monsters like me.

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admin December 11, 2012 at 7:29 am

Cat Whisperer, In that situation, had I been you, I would have done the exact same thing. And I would not fretted one second about Mom’s angst towards me. I would have viewed it as her expression of remorse and shame for having been exposed as an absentee parent. Some people need to squirm before they become willing to change.

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GleanerGirl December 11, 2012 at 5:35 am

BWAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!

This woman eats half of a crockpot full of just ONE dish (and how much of the other dishes?) and she called YOU fat?!

Seriously, it’s OK to just tell her you don’t want her in your life, anymore. If she asks why, just refer her to this site. If she scares you, then bring along some good, strong, moral (and maybe physical) support for when you tell her. But tell her.

And good luck.

The recipe sounds delicious. Thanks!

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GleanerGirl December 11, 2012 at 5:40 am

Cat – mushrooms forever!

I love how you think.

Yeah, if you’re not bound by a real NEED to maintain a friendship with this person (blackmail? She owes you a huge amount of money and will stop paying if you cut her off, and you really need that income? I don’t know, but I suppose there could be valid reasons), and you absolutely must maintain the relationship, then put it on a new level. The “mushroom” level.

You do know that mushroom is a fungus, right? Hahahaha.

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GleanerGirl December 11, 2012 at 5:43 am

Rap – I learned long ago that being yelled out, while hurtful, will not harm me.

If the child needs a talking-to, then you’re doing the child a favor by talking to them. Just don’t touch. That might bring on a physical attack by the parents, and/or a lawsuit or charges filed. However, they cannot charge you with anything if you simply TELL the child that his behavior is unacceptable.

It used to be that neighbors lectured the kids, then told the parents what was done, and why, so the parents could then reinforce it. Nowadays, neighbors are afraid to even approach other children, for fear of the parents. But don’t let the fear get in the way, please. Our future needs all the help it can get.

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GleanerGirl December 11, 2012 at 5:49 am

PM – my parents were creative disciplinarians. If I had ever pulled such a stunt as to eat ALL the appetizers, and then complain that I was so full, my parents would have forced me to eat every bite of my dinner. The only way I could leave the table was to use the toilet, until I had cleaned my plate. And yes, they would have physically stood over me or sat there next to me, watching me the whole time, until it was done.

Now, I couldn’t physically force a grown man to eat a steak, but I could certainly tell him, “Of course, you’re full. You ate EVERYBODY’S appetizers, without permission. Now stop complaining about the consequences of your own actions and eat your steak.” Rude? Yep. Sometimes, I don’t care.

Alternately, upon seeing him eating everyone’s steak, I might have said, “Well, I hope you enjoyed your dinner. So sorry that you have to leave RIGHT NOW.”

I have a bad headache at the moment, and am feeling in a fighting mood. Sorry.

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Leigh December 11, 2012 at 12:38 pm

@Rap, I agree; and honestly (it was 16 years ago) I was more easily intimidated as a 20 year old newly-wed than I am as a 36 year old woman. If it were to happen again, I would (tactfully, but firmly) say something. Ah, the benefits of age and experience.
I should have known to expcet no better when, after meeting them for the first time, one person exclaimed, “Wow, you’re the biggest girl I’ve ever seen (my now-hubby) date.” (I was by no means obese either, just not a size 2.)

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Rap December 11, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Gleanergirl, I don’t mind being yelled at, I mind being treated like I’m a child molester or someone doing something violent to a child because the little precious isn’t to be corrected by anyone but a parent. I’ve had very similar episodes to what Cat Whisperer is describing. I had a situation one time where I was waitressing, and I nicely told a little one to take a seat and not run around because we were bringing out hot trays. Little one ran to his mom, pointed and sure enough I get a public butt chewing on how waitreses aren’t parents and how my place was no to correct a child. Needless to say I no longer have patience for parents and their little brats… and honestly I’m tired of the thankless job where my reward is to get my butt chewed over hurting little precious’s feelings.

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The Elf December 11, 2012 at 10:44 pm

Ah, yeah, I’ve learned the hard way that correcting a child, however gently, is encroaching on the parents. Or so they tell me. And since I don’t have children I obviously am incapable of having an opinion on the subject of child behavior. It takes a village to raise a child….. until the villagers speak up.

Exception is when the child is in danger or putting someone in danger.

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Cat Whisperer December 12, 2012 at 2:18 am

@Rap, I would give a standing ovation to any restaurant manager who would eject people who are letting small kids run around and get in the way of the waitstaff. This is such a hazard to people who are having to walk around carrying plates and trays that have hot food and dishes made of glass and ceramic, it’s not just annoying, it’s dangerous. Obviously people who let their children get in the way of waitstaff don’t care about the workers, but geesh, don’t they care about the risk to their children? “Little Precious” could end up getting burned by hot food or cut by broken glass or ceramic if he/she brings down a wait person while playing “dodge ‘em” in the restaurant aisles.

This sort of thing just baffles me. I can’t fathom that level of obliviousness or indifference in a parent. How can people who love their children just sit on their hineys and allow their kids to do something that not only makes people think they and their kids are inconsiderate and rude, but could end up getting their kid hurt?

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kingsrings December 12, 2012 at 10:29 pm

A few months ago I was part of a music video shoot that lasted all day. When meal break time came, as is standard procedure, the cast/crew are served in shifts depending on their job title and how long they’ve been there so far that day. I was part of the next-to-last group to get served. I was appalled that some people in the first groups were taking seconds and thirds of the meal served, fully knowing that there a couple groups left that hadn’t been served yet. We were all in the same room, after all! And I wish their superiors had thought to say something to them. I sure hope the people in the last group to be served got enough of the meal after those piggies did that.
I also can’t believe that these two moochers in the first story didn’t get rip-roaring sick from eating such large quantities of such a rich dish!

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Kimikimi December 15, 2012 at 4:55 pm

I have a semi-related etiquette question about arriving early. Where I live the winters get to be quite cold, and even dressing warmly can be not enough to protect you over long periods of time (I’m talking frostbite and windburn, not just pain). I’m also at the whims of the bus system since I can not drive for medical reasons. Occasionally because of this is have the choice of arriving early or arriving late for a party. I’ll do my best to walk around the block for as long as I can, but occasionally I have been close to a half hour early. I make it a point to offer my help if it’s wanted and if not get out of the way and offer my company. I know it’s rude, but is it ruder then being late? And should I just decline if that’s likely to happen?

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