Etiquette Hell

Hostesses With The Mostest => Entertaining and Hospitality => Topic started by: Venus193 on July 08, 2012, 06:11:19 AM

Title: Dear Abby: Dinner Guest Grows Weary of Catering to Her Hostess 7/8/12
Post by: Venus193 on July 08, 2012, 06:11:19 AM
http://www.uexpress.com/dearabby/?uc_full_date=20120708

First letter, in which the writer reports being asked to mix her home-made elaborate dish with something store-bought.  Appalling.
Title: Re: Dear Abby: Dinner Guest Grows Weary of Catering to Her Hostess 7/8/12
Post by: TheVapors on July 08, 2012, 07:13:48 AM
Color me crazy, but I think that letter is a repeat. Or, it's happened before to someone else in an advice column some years back.

Either way! My thoughts are the same.

The "hosts" are awful. They throw a potluck, and then expect that woman to mix in her dish with someone else's dish. Doesn't matter necessarily that the other dish was storebought, it matters that they don't feel her work is worth a separate dish.

I agree. Bottle of wine. No more preparing food for their parties.
Title: Re: Dear Abby: Dinner Guest Grows Weary of Catering to Her Hostess 7/8/12
Post by: camlan on July 08, 2012, 07:24:01 AM
What I'm more appalled at is this:

Quote
Some friends of ours entertain often, and ask certain guests to bring dishes for as many as 15 to 18 people.

It doesn't sound like a regular potluck, where everyone brings a dish. Only certain guests are asked to bring food. And a lot of food--15-18 servings worth. And the hostess dictates what specific dish they are to bring.

That's not a good way to do a potluck. No wonder the letter writer is beginning to feel used.
Title: Re: Dear Abby: Dinner Guest Grows Weary of Catering to Her Hostess 7/8/12
Post by: TheVapors on July 08, 2012, 07:30:34 AM
That's a good point Camlan, sounds more like they're hired help. And their payment is being invited to a party.

Edited: Typo!
Title: Re: Dear Abby: Dinner Guest Grows Weary of Catering to Her Hostess 7/8/12
Post by: Venus193 on July 08, 2012, 07:32:57 AM
This situation is several layers of faux pas.

I'm with Abby.  Bring wine and nothing else.  And if the "hostess" asked why no food I would tell her.
Title: Re: Dear Abby: Dinner Guest Grows Weary of Catering to Her Hostess 7/8/12
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on July 08, 2012, 08:08:16 AM
My parents used to belong to a dinner club.  Once a month, a different couple would host and there would be a theme. The only thing the hosts provided was the location, place settings, and drinks.  Everyone else brought the food.   I think there were 6-8 couples in this dinner club.  But as it was an understanding among everyone, I dunno if it's the same thing as the LW's situation. 

But man, I would just bring wine to the gatherings.
Title: Re: Dear Abby: Dinner Guest Grows Weary of Catering to Her Hostess 7/8/12
Post by: jpcher on July 08, 2012, 12:59:35 PM
Is anybody else trying to figure out what dishes were to be combined?

The only thing I can think of that takes hours to prepare and would be combinable with store-bought would be a potato salad*. Which would really get my undies in a bundle.

I'm glad LW had a backbone strong enough to decline mixing the dishes.

Yup. I agree with Abby. Bring a bottle of wine.





(*Or maybe fried chicken.)




edited to add asterisks. It sounded funny without them -- bring a bottle of wine. Or maybe fried chicken. ::)
Title: Re: Dear Abby: Dinner Guest Grows Weary of Catering to Her Hostess 7/8/12
Post by: TheVapors on July 08, 2012, 03:38:40 PM
In the letter that I remember from many years ago, it was a finger food of sorts that the host wanted to set on a plate mixed in with things like cheese on crackers. So that all the food was placed on the same plate in an aesthetically pleasing away. So mixed on the same plate, if not actually mixed together.

That, of course, doesn't mean it's the same in this situation, though.
Title: Re: Dear Abby: Dinner Guest Grows Weary of Catering to Her Hostess 7/8/12
Post by: Venus193 on July 08, 2012, 05:11:28 PM
Whatever the dish was that the LW prepared doesn't matter.  I know if anyone were to make that demand of me I would be more than a little miffed.  I take cooking and other food prep very seriously and would never stand for this.
Title: Re: Dear Abby: Dinner Guest Grows Weary of Catering to Her Hostess 7/8/12
Post by: Nora on July 09, 2012, 06:29:51 AM
Is anybody else trying to figure out what dishes were to be combined?


I immediately thought of chili.
Title: Re: Dear Abby: Dinner Guest Grows Weary of Catering to Her Hostess 7/8/12
Post by: camlan on July 09, 2012, 06:53:02 AM
On re-reading the letter, it seems that two of the eight couples that were invited were asked to bring a dish. That's not a pot luck at all.

You'll also note that the other couple chose to bring something from the supermarket. I'm wondering if they can't cook, or if they are as fed up as the letter writer is with having to provide food for dinners where most of the guests don't have to bring anything.

I'm with Abby and the letter writer on this. Bring a nice bottle of wine or other hostess gift and stop catering part of the meal for the hosts.
Title: Re: Dear Abby: Dinner Guest Grows Weary of Catering to Her Hostess 7/8/12
Post by: darling on July 09, 2012, 03:26:20 PM
Yeah, I saw that letter this morning, and it sounds like something one particular friend of mine would do (tried to do).

Seriously, the host wanting to mix the store-bought and homemade just shows that she really had no concept or appreciation for the effort of the letter writer. They are totally taking advantage of the letter writer, and even if they are told straight out, I doubt the "hosts" would agree that they did anything wrong.

I no longer willingly participate in any "potlucks" or parties with the friend who tried this on me. We meet at restaurants for dinners now. Even that gets to be too much sometimes, but it's much more pleasant than being told what to make, or once I tell what I plan to bring, having this friend make something super similar, then trying to get people to say how much better hers is...
Title: Re: Dear Abby: Dinner Guest Grows Weary of Catering to Her Hostess 7/8/12
Post by: ShanghaiJill on July 09, 2012, 04:20:03 PM
Is anybody else trying to figure out what dishes were to be combined?


I immediately thought of chili.

I did too.

The kicker was how wealthy the "hosts" were.
Title: Re: Dear Abby: Dinner Guest Grows Weary of Catering to Her Hostess 7/8/12
Post by: Venus193 on July 09, 2012, 04:22:24 PM
Wealth -- like any professional degree -- is no guarantee of class.
Title: Re: Dear Abby: Dinner Guest Grows Weary of Catering to Her Hostess 7/8/12
Post by: jibby on July 09, 2012, 04:36:02 PM
Well, of course I can't find it now, but I think I remember a similar situation here from a year or two ago.  It was a casual potluck at a friend's home and the OP's soup, I believe, was mixed or suggested to be mixed with someone else's soup.  If I recall correctly, it was to save space at the buffet table. 

And I agree with Abby.  Wine from now on, if I attended at all. 

ETA: I found this one, but for some reason I thought there was another: http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=109897.msg2566984#msg2566984 (http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=109897.msg2566984#msg2566984).
Title: Re: Dear Abby: Dinner Guest Grows Weary of Catering to Her Hostess 7/8/12
Post by: LeveeWoman on July 09, 2012, 11:21:23 PM
The mixing is not important to me.

To me, what is important is that this "hostess" is demanding that certain guests do her job.

Title: Re: Dear Abby: Dinner Guest Grows Weary of Catering to Her Hostess 7/8/12
Post by: Perfect Circle on July 11, 2012, 06:54:52 AM
The mixing is not important to me.

To me, what is important is that this "hostess" is demanding that certain guests do her job.

I agree. If you host you host, you don't use your guests as labour.

And potluck is just that, potluck. You get what people bring, you don't go assigning dishes to them.
Title: Re: Dear Abby: Dinner Guest Grows Weary of Catering to Her Hostess 7/8/12
Post by: thedudeabides on July 11, 2012, 09:08:03 PM
I'd go buy some pre-baked cupcakes, a jar of canned frosting, and beg use of a knife from the "host."
Title: Re: Dear Abby: Dinner Guest Grows Weary of Catering to Her Hostess 7/8/12
Post by: LazyDaisy on July 12, 2012, 01:40:45 PM
Evil Daisy wouldn't bring any item of food or beverage and opt for flowers or little soaps or something inedible for a hostess gift. Let the hostess hem and haw about that one -- she'll appear rude and ungrateful if she expresses any disappointment about the gift. Bad evil Daisy  >:D 

I don't mind as much at a true potluck if the organizer asks me to bring something specific or within a category -- like "please bring an appetizer, but just so you know Betty is already bringing a veggie tray and Wilma said she'd make hummus." I don't want to eat 5 dishes of the same thing anymore than anyone else does. The only exception would be if I was asked to bring something completely out of my budget, too time intensive, or I can't stand to eat it myself -- but I have no problem stating that and asking if the organizer could suggest something else. Luckily I've never run across that issue.
Title: Re: Dear Abby: Dinner Guest Grows Weary of Catering to Her Hostess 7/8/12
Post by: WillyNilly on July 12, 2012, 02:54:15 PM
Evil Daisy wouldn't bring any item of food or beverage and opt for flowers or little soaps or something inedible for a hostess gift. Let the hostess hem and haw about that one -- she'll appear rude and ungrateful if she expresses any disappointment about the gift. Bad evil Daisy  >:D 

Bonus points if the little soaps are shaped like colorful fruits and could easily be mistaken for marzipan!