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71 general / Re: Non-reciprocal hospitality
« Last post by Luci on Today at 02:00:49 PM »
We do most of the hosting in both our family and in the group of friends. We do not use disposable anything except for appetizers and desserts, which are kind of a free for all. Lucas is fantastic at helping clean and preparing the meats if we are smoking or grilling them.

Our guests are very generous with hostess gifts and offering to bring a dish, which I control so the the meal won't get out of hand! We serve anywhere from 8 to 40. Christmas Day will be 16-18. We are the only people who have room for a large group, either family or friends.

I am the introvert so kind of like that I don't have to socialize very much. I love these guests, but it really is overload for me to be around that many people for so long a time. I can hide out in the kitchen.

We see a lot of people in smaller situations, mush like menley.

I like it the way it is.

Time For a Coffee Break! / Re: Our decorations are different
« Last post by FoxPaws on Today at 01:54:14 PM »
Awesome idea! I am so stealing this for next year.

I have a nine month old kitten and did not dare put my tree up. He climbs up and sits on the shower curtain rod to give you some idea of his aspirations and skill set. I doubt he'll have outgrown his need to climb and conquer by next year - my mom's tomcat finally settled down in the past several age four.
Entertaining and Hospitality / Re: Mexican Menu
« Last post by Hmmmmm on Today at 01:51:50 PM »
Food and wine has an avocado, jicama, and orange sald that is great as a lighter side for mexican dishes. It has feta but I've made it without several times.

74 general / Re: Non-reciprocal hospitality
« Last post by menley on Today at 01:49:04 PM »
In all of the towns I've lived, there have been people who are known as the hosts/hostesses, and "everyone else". In my current circle, for example, there are six couples that regularly get together in some form - either the ladies, the men, or all of us together depending on the event and our schedules. Of the six couples, only two (me and my husband and one other) regularly host events at our homes. The others are perfectly happy to organize events, but it's usually outside of the home - meeting at a restaurant, going to the movies, checking out a wine festival. We've all been over to the other couples' homes, but never in the context of a large dinner party or hosted evening like we have hosted.

I never feel like there's an imbalance, though - if someone asked me and I thought about it (as I did when reading the OP), I notice that we are the hosts more often, but there is plenty of reciprocity in the friendship itself. By that I mean - it's clear that the other couples value us and want to include us in things; they make an effort to keep up with us via texts and e-mails, and they initiate events with us. Those events are just not evenings hosted in their homes, for whatever reason.
75 general / Re: Present for a teacher? Help please!
« Last post by bopper on Today at 01:47:33 PM »
I would take your post and turn it into a letter.

For a present, a gift card to Target or the like..they can use it for themselves or for classroom supplies.

If you want something more gifty then "Movie night" with gift passes to the local theater or a DVD and popcorn and candy.
Family and Children / Re: Should I have expected an apology?
« Last post by Deetee on Today at 01:46:32 PM »
Like others, I see a play place as a place where children can play. It is important for kids to have a space where they can wander and touch and play without being redirected all the time. Like previous posters, I don't see this as a place where a baby should be or I see this as you expecting too much of other kids.

Basically, I think the father should have apologized, but not because he was at fault. Just because it's a nice thing to do. I'm Canadian. We apologize for the weather, so the apology means that you are sorry that the kids had a bad interaction.

But if someone told me that my child attacked their 5 month old baby when I knew that my child had just grabbed a toy and reached towards the baby, I would likely NOT apologize because I would be really annoyed at someone for bringing a child who is not ready to be a play structure and then blaming my kid for being a kid.

My kid went to daycare when crawling and the 18 month olds stepped on her and pushed her and took toys, but despite that were actually quite gentle. If you watched the interactions for hours, they were rough, but not violent. Nothing bad happened.
Kids weren't hurt and weren't upset.  Only a few times an hour would there be an interaction (a real push, snatching toys, biting, hitting) that required an adult. And that's with 8 kids under 18 months.  Kids are rough and tumble at that age.

I do not hover over my children. I keep an eye on them, but I will not interfere with
Time For a Coffee Break! / Re: What.....wait, .....WHAT?
« Last post by Kaypeep on Today at 01:46:29 PM »
My friend decided to try and find her relatives in Italy on her father's side.  She grew up in NY raised by her mom, living at her uncle's house.  She had been told her parents divorced and her mom moved from Italy to NY to live with her brother.  (Friend's mom had agoraphobia, never worked and only left the house to go to church.)  Friend makes phone calls to Italy and is advised to contact local police departments for information, as they kind of serve as the village town halls, as well.  She reaches the police in the village her mom was from, and states her name.  Once she says her name the policeman on the phone start to quiz her:

FRiend: My name is Julia Bianco and I'm in New York City...
Policmen: *Cutting her off from talking* You are Julia Bianco??? Is your mohter Maria Bianco?  Your breothter is Joseph Bianco???
Friend:  YES!  Do you know me??
Policeman:  There is a warrant out for your mother's arrest!  She kidnapped you and your brother about 40 years ago!

Seems her mom DID kidnap her and her brother and left the country.  Left her father and ran away to America.  She apparently made several attempts in the years leading up to her actually following all the way through as well.  She found her father, who showed her proof that he had come to America many times to try and get them all back, or to work out some kind of arrangements with her mom so he could be part of their lives (his children, that is.)  But her mom refused anything to do with him, returned everything unopened (letters, gifts, etc) and he finally gave up.  It was the early 1970's.

Friend was devestated.  She knew her mom had "issues" but apparently she was truly delusional and paranoid.  Friend's father went on to build a successful business and was moderately well off.  Friend grew up so poor because her mom never worked and they lived off uncle.  She was raised believing their father abandoned them but uncle had "rescued" them.  Nothing was further than the truth.

Her dad was terminally ill when she finally went to Italy to meet him.  He died a few months later.    Her mom was already dead so she couldn't confront her.  The uncle was dying and despite learning the truth and knowing uncle lied to her her whole life, she cared for him in the end since there was no one else.

Her brother moved away years earlier and never came back or helped in any way with the mom in her declining years.  She has no relationship with the brother so she didn't tell him about finding their father for fear the brother would go to Italy and demand money and property because basically that's all he ever wanted from her uncle.  When uncle died Brother came to the funeral, then sent her a certified letter 2 days later stating she'd better make sure he got everything uncle left behind or he would sue her.  He was beneficiary to everything at one point in time years earlier, but after Friend confronted uncle with the truth about her dad and childhood, and also pointed out that her brother was MIA for mom's death and only Friend was there to care for uncle in his final years, the uncle changed his wills and split things 50/50. Brother was angry, as the sole male he expected to inherit everything and sister get nothing because "She's just the girl."
78 general / Re: "You can afford that?!?"
« Last post by bopper on Today at 01:45:35 PM »
"That was an udderly odd question, not sure what your beef is with me, cow-irker. I would like to steer this conversation in a different direction. No Bull."
79 general / Re: Non-reciprocal hospitality
« Last post by Perfect Circle on Today at 01:45:18 PM »
I'm pretty much always the host and a lot of our friends have admitted they prefer my parties and dinners to inviting us over as they feel it's always better at our house. I'm ok with that - there are some friends who host us and are great at it but for the majority it just isn't something they do. I choose to keep up the parties and dinners because I enjoy them and I see it as a compliment people like them so much :-)
Family and Children / Re: We're not going.
« Last post by TootsNYC on Today at 01:44:02 PM »
Don't contact your mom.

You have every reason to suspect that what your mom is saying is greatly exaggerated, right?

So I would contact whichever cousin you think is least likely to be the cause of the court stepping in and ask our Aunt is, then ask how Aunt is doing, etc.

And say "We won't be in that part of the world for a long time, so give our love to Aunt and tell her we're sorry we won't get to see her this year."

Never, ever mention your  mother. Because that will only tell her that you are -reading- and -responding to- what she writes/phones you about.
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