Author Topic: Dear Abby: Dinner Guest Grows Weary of Catering to Her Hostess 7/8/12  (Read 6487 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Venus193

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 15805
  • Backstage passes are wonderful things!
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.

TheVapors

  • Oh my! I should lay down...
  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 609
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.

camlan

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8500
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.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


TheVapors

  • Oh my! I should lay down...
  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 609
That's a good point Camlan, sounds more like they're hired help. And their payment is being invited to a party.

Edited: Typo!
« Last Edit: July 08, 2012, 08:34:13 AM by TheVapors »

Venus193

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 15805
  • Backstage passes are wonderful things!
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.

Piratelvr1121

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10804
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.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

jpcher

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8578
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. ::)
« Last Edit: July 08, 2012, 02:01:24 PM by jpcher »

TheVapors

  • Oh my! I should lay down...
  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 609
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.

Venus193

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 15805
  • Backstage passes are wonderful things!
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.

Nora

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3488
Is anybody else trying to figure out what dishes were to be combined?


I immediately thought of chili.
Just because someone is offended that does not mean they are in the right.

camlan

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8500
Re: Dear Abby: Dinner Guest Grows Weary of Catering to Her Hostess 7/8/12
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2012, 07:53:02 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.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


darling

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 267
Re: Dear Abby: Dinner Guest Grows Weary of Catering to Her Hostess 7/8/12
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2012, 04:26:20 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...

ShanghaiJill

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 676
Re: Dear Abby: Dinner Guest Grows Weary of Catering to Her Hostess 7/8/12
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2012, 05:20:03 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.

Venus193

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 15805
  • Backstage passes are wonderful things!
Re: Dear Abby: Dinner Guest Grows Weary of Catering to Her Hostess 7/8/12
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2012, 05:22:24 PM »
Wealth -- like any professional degree -- is no guarantee of class.

jibby

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2522
Re: Dear Abby: Dinner Guest Grows Weary of Catering to Her Hostess 7/8/12
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2012, 05:36:02 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.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2012, 05:38:39 PM by jibby »