Recent Posts

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21
I agree with the general consensus that this wasn't any sort of deliberate slight, but a bit of a misfire on expressing gratitude. You took the time and effort to make a lovely meal and share some of your favorite foods; Joan probably was just trying to reciprocate in kind. I wouldn't interpret it as a commentary on your ability to host, but more a sign that Joan means well, but doesn't quite understand the finer points of etiquette.

Alternatively, is it possible that she asked your DH whether she could bring anything and he told her to bring a salad? I could see something like that happening. She asks if she can bring anything, DH says, "I think Mental Magpie has it covered, but I guess you could bring a salad or something." DH means "Mental Magpie has it covered," she hears "bring a salad or something."

If it's the former, I think the best bet is to cut her off at the pass by assigning something simple, even if it's just asking her to bring the coffee for dessert or some crackers and cheese to nibble on prior to dinner. If it's the latter, ask your DH to do the same.
22
Life...in general / Re: A hostess gift that overshadows the hostess...
« Last post by Hmmmmm on Today at 09:11:59 PM »
I don't see the maliciousness in bringing the food, but I'm very confident in my cooking and entertaining skills. But if I were doing flower arrangements and someone brought more I might feel they were commenting on my ability. So if the OP were less than confident she might feel that way.

But since the other recipient of the gift (you were both hosting so I don't see it as solely a gift to you) chose to use it during the dinner, I don't see where it's appropriate for you to be upset.
23
I think you handled it in about the only appropriate way. But I do think it's perfectly appropriate to let your hurt feelings and disappointment leak out. And to act sort of nonplussed and confused.

What were your three foods?  She had salad and a side.  Did you serve salad?   Were you upset because now you had more than you usually do as leftovers?  Could those leftovers have been frozen for a future date?

Did Joan ask to bring anything or what you would be serving?

Or....are you more upset about the relationship that your husband has with Joan?  You said she is his friend.  You were getting dinner together and your husband was conversing with Joan and assisting her and not you.  Then, your husband did not understand why you were upset and sees that Joan did nothing wrong.

Is there something that you are not saying?  I'm not saying that there is anything going on between Joan and your husband, but it might be that even though their relationship is platonic, it might be more than what you think it should be.

I really don't see how bringing a side dish and a salad overshadows your meal or you as the hostess.  I would let this one go and next time, just let Joan know that you have everything taken care of.   

So many of these are really out of left field!


Who cares that Magpie can eat her food for leftovers--it wasn't prepared for leftovers, it was prepared as a gift (hospitality is a gift) for their guest, her friend (and her husband's). The food that she invested all that time and energy in preparing, and anticipating everyone else enjoying, was *literally* shoved aside. And the people at her table didn't focus on -her- food; they focused on Joan's. In fact, the OP ended up feeling a little lonely, because she was really the only one enjoying the food she had prepared for other people.

And who cares that Magpie had or hadn't made a salad? It has no bearing. Maybe she wanted a meal without a salad, so that it was simply one course, so the "meat" of the meal started right away, instead of having wimpy little preliminary stuff. And maybe there weren't salad plates--or not room on the plates for salad and the sides she'd made. I'm sure Magpie's was a perfectly fine meal, with enough side dishes for nutrition and enjoyment. It's not necessary for a meal to have a salad.

Why would the idea that she feels her hostess' prerogative was shoved aside, and that her efforts to prepare hospitality—a gift for her guest—was judged as lacking before the woman even got there,  translate into her being jealous of her husband's friendship???
    Mental Magpie said absolutely nothing about -minding- that her DH was on Face-to-Face Hospitality Duty while she was on In the Kitchen Hospitality. I think she mentioned that only to point out that she had no way to know what was happening with the food, and it was a done deal by the time she realized it.


   I think Mental Magpie's reaction was completely within the bounds of someone who doesn't have any of these extraneous issues.

I would be just as hurt (especially--two dishes for the main meal! I wouldn't sympathize so much if it had been dessert or something, but to make half of a meal, and bring it, and never actually say anything to -you-, the cook?), and I think it's great that Magpie told her DH, and explained it to him.

Food intended to be served right then is not a hostess gift. It is a usurpation of the host's role.

And in the future, I guess if you ever invite Jane, directly address it, and also redirect her:
     "Oh, and Jane--last time, you brought half of a meal to my dinner. Please don't this time--as a hostess, I really enjoy creating a meal that I hope my guests will enjoy. It detracts from the effect if other people bring the meal. If you'd like to bring something, maybe some kind of crisp cookie to go with the dessert."

Really? Acting 'nonplussed and confused' just seems totally passive aggressive and designed to make everyone else at the dinner feel uncomfortable, and ruin the evening completely.

Also, like others I really don't get 'hurt'. A bit annoyed, maybe. It hardly seems malicious on Joan's part, perhaps a bit of a faux pas but probably designed to be a kind gesture.

And really, I don't see any of the responses as 'out of left field'.

I agree, I don't think she had any malicious intentions either.  Just make it clear next time that she doesn't need to bring anything. Just simply say that she's invited for dinner and she shouldn't bring anything.
24
This is sort of a combined tale of "awful con story" and "professional Darwinism"...

I went to A-Kon back in 2008(ish), and while the great majority of the con itself was amazing, there was one staff member who was decidedly not. I don't remember why now, but there was a rule that no one could take elevators all the way down to the lobby - they had to get off at the second floor and walk down the stairs to the first floor. Most of the staff were willing to make exceptions for people who genuinely couldn't handle stairs or had to get down there as fast as possible, but this guy...the friend I was there to visit at the con said he'd been pulling a holier-than-thou attitude all weekend, and he hadn't got any better by the time I ran into him. There was a lady on the elevator with us who couldn't really do stairs and had kids on the first floor she needed to get to ASAP, and when she tried to explain this to him, he kept cutting her off and saying, louder and louder every time, that there were to be Absolutely No Exceptions. When she still refused to get off (and the great majority of the other passengers also remained in solidarity with her - I just plain couldn't get off since I was stuffed in the back), he reached into the elevator and started grabbing people and bodily hauling them off. (Thankfully, I was not one of the people he grabbed, or else there may have been a bit of a medical emergency - I was already panicking from claustrophobia, and when I'm panicking, I absolutely can't be touched unexpectedly or I freak out even more. Usually leads to seizures.) The lady with the kids got his badge name and the great majority of the passengers then went and reported him - no one saw him for the rest of the weekend and I heard later he would not be allowed back as con staff in the future.
25
Family and Children / Re: posting childbirth photos on facebook
« Last post by Harriet Jones on Today at 08:52:41 PM »

POD. And I'm having second thoughts on whether I should have shared one of my birth photos on ehell if people think it's not appropriate.

I'm sure it was fine.
26
Time For a Coffee Break! / Tablets for kids---Help
« Last post by jtimenow on Today at 08:48:07 PM »
I have a 7 year old son. He is smarter than your average bear and would probably laugh at a Nabi. Does anyone have children that have a tablet and what kind? I know nothing about them and need help
Thanks

If this is in the wrong forum please let me know.
27
All In A Day's Work / Re: Taking concerns to your boss's boss
« Last post by TootsNYC on Today at 08:46:36 PM »
If that's the case, it needs to be short: "Letting you know that there's a problem with Project XYZ; our team wasn't told it was a go until just yesterday. We're scrambling, but on it. Let me know if you need more info."

It shouldn't be a forwarded email chain in which someone calls another person out.
28
All In A Day's Work / Re: Editing e-mail forwards
« Last post by TootsNYC on Today at 08:44:28 PM »
I think editing a forwarded email follows all the same rules of etiquette that already exist.

It's rude to steal credit from someone else.
   But it's also not rude to simplify.

It's rude to pass on comments other people make to you in private that might embarrass them if someone else hear them.
   So yes, absolutely, edit the forward to UberBoss.

But I also agree w/ gollymolly2, that you want to remove most of the forwarded material. You can either start a new email, and cut-and-paste anything that's too annoying to retype. Or you can greatly edit the forwarded email.
29
I think you handled it in about the only appropriate way. But I do think it's perfectly appropriate to let your hurt feelings and disappointment leak out. And to act sort of nonplussed and confused.

What were your three foods?  She had salad and a side.  Did you serve salad?   Were you upset because now you had more than you usually do as leftovers?  Could those leftovers have been frozen for a future date?

Did Joan ask to bring anything or what you would be serving?

Or....are you more upset about the relationship that your husband has with Joan?  You said she is his friend.  You were getting dinner together and your husband was conversing with Joan and assisting her and not you.  Then, your husband did not understand why you were upset and sees that Joan did nothing wrong.

Is there something that you are not saying?  I'm not saying that there is anything going on between Joan and your husband, but it might be that even though their relationship is platonic, it might be more than what you think it should be.

I really don't see how bringing a side dish and a salad overshadows your meal or you as the hostess.  I would let this one go and next time, just let Joan know that you have everything taken care of.   

So many of these are really out of left field!


Who cares that Magpie can eat her food for leftovers--it wasn't prepared for leftovers, it was prepared as a gift (hospitality is a gift) for their guest, her friend (and her husband's). The food that she invested all that time and energy in preparing, and anticipating everyone else enjoying, was *literally* shoved aside. And the people at her table didn't focus on -her- food; they focused on Joan's. In fact, the OP ended up feeling a little lonely, because she was really the only one enjoying the food she had prepared for other people.

And who cares that Magpie had or hadn't made a salad? It has no bearing. Maybe she wanted a meal without a salad, so that it was simply one course, so the "meat" of the meal started right away, instead of having wimpy little preliminary stuff. And maybe there weren't salad plates--or not room on the plates for salad and the sides she'd made. I'm sure Magpie's was a perfectly fine meal, with enough side dishes for nutrition and enjoyment. It's not necessary for a meal to have a salad.

Why would the idea that she feels her hostess' prerogative was shoved aside, and that her efforts to prepare hospitality—a gift for her guest—was judged as lacking before the woman even got there,  translate into her being jealous of her husband's friendship???
    Mental Magpie said absolutely nothing about -minding- that her DH was on Face-to-Face Hospitality Duty while she was on In the Kitchen Hospitality. I think she mentioned that only to point out that she had no way to know what was happening with the food, and it was a done deal by the time she realized it.


   I think Mental Magpie's reaction was completely within the bounds of someone who doesn't have any of these extraneous issues.

I would be just as hurt (especially--two dishes for the main meal! I wouldn't sympathize so much if it had been dessert or something, but to make half of a meal, and bring it, and never actually say anything to -you-, the cook?), and I think it's great that Magpie told her DH, and explained it to him.

Food intended to be served right then is not a hostess gift. It is a usurpation of the host's role.

And in the future, I guess if you ever invite Jane, directly address it, and also redirect her:
     "Oh, and Jane--last time, you brought half of a meal to my dinner. Please don't this time--as a hostess, I really enjoy creating a meal that I hope my guests will enjoy. It detracts from the effect if other people bring the meal. If you'd like to bring something, maybe some kind of crisp cookie to go with the dessert."

Really? Acting 'nonplussed and confused' just seems totally passive aggressive and designed to make everyone else at the dinner feel uncomfortable, and ruin the evening completely.

Also, like others I really don't get 'hurt'. A bit annoyed, maybe. It hardly seems malicious on Joan's part, perhaps a bit of a faux pas but probably designed to be a kind gesture.

And really, I don't see any of the responses as 'out of left field'.
30
Since Joan and your new husband are old friends, perhaps this was a standing agreement between them - whenever they have dinner together, he provides the meat and she provides the salad/sides. If no one thought to tell her any different, why wouldn't she assume it's business as usual and bring what she usually would?

It also sounds like your DH enjoyed what she brought, so why not run with it and ask her for the recipe?
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