Author Topic: What can I bring?  (Read 11563 times)

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GSNW

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What can I bring?
« on: August 04, 2012, 01:57:37 PM »
When invited to a party, I will always ask this.  If the answer is "Nothing, we've got it covered," or some variation of such, I take that to mean that I do not need to contribute to the refreshments at the party.  Depending on the type of party we will sometimes bring some wine, but I don't expect it to be served, it's more of a hostess gift.

My husband and I host an annual part which is a backyard BBQ/pool party that involves high-school aged kids and the parents/family of those kids.  It's casual, burgers and dogs, chips, soda.  We don't serve booze for the adults.  Every year, the parents ask what they can bring.  Every year, I reply along the lines of, "Thanks so much but we've got everything we need, unless someone has dietary restrictions... etc..."  most people take this at face value, but I have a few tenacious peeps who just will not take no for an answer! 

"But you are feeding all of us!  I have to bring something!"
"But I refuse to show up empty-handed!"
"Please let me bring something."

None of these people are being intentionally rude, I'm sure, and I feel all have their hearts in the right place.  I have taken to asking people to bring extra beach towels because it can get kind of chaotic around the pool area.  Am I being the rude one here in refusing help?  Admittedly I can be a bit of a control freak so maybe I just need to let it go and start telling them what to bring, but just the thought of that sort of chaos in terms of food mish-mash makes my skin crawl.

guihong

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Re: What can I bring?
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2012, 02:05:35 PM »
A lot of people, including me, feel very self-conscious if I don't have a thing.  If it's something casual like your party, I'd bring a couple of 2-liters or a bag of chips.   That seems OK to ask, if someone offers; it doesn't "intrude" on the food.



Hmmmmm

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Re: What can I bring?
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2012, 02:17:23 PM »
No one is being rude.  But I would understand their desire to contribute especially if they are not part of your normal social group and they feel like they have little opportunity to reciprocate.

 I think suggesting bringing beach towels are great.  If they persist, just say I'd rather you didn't. I've told every once that they shouldn't bring any thing and I don't want to cause hurt feelings.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: What can I bring?
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2012, 02:21:30 PM »
What I would do in this situation is suggest they bring a small bag or bottle of an unusual flavour of chips or soda, if you've got the basics covered.

I did learn that from now on, I need to be specific when someone offered to bring ice cream to go with my apple rhubarb crisp and brought some flavoured thing with chocolate chips rather than vanilla.  ::)  I mean, the ice cream was very nice but it just didn't go well with the crisp!
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Zilla

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Re: What can I bring?
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2012, 02:29:17 PM »
I would let them bring chips or soda. Or if you aren't against serving it, beer or wine.


If you truly don't want them to bring anything, just tell them, "Honestly I have everything under control and would truly just enjoy the pleasure of your company." And bean dip.

Sharnita

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Re: What can I bring?
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2012, 02:32:43 PM »
bottled water? even if you don't use their supply at the party it replenishes the supply you use up. 

cicero

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Re: What can I bring?
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2012, 04:05:08 PM »
When invited to a party, I will always ask this.  If the answer is "Nothing, we've got it covered," or some variation of such, I take that to mean that I do not need to contribute to the refreshments at the party.  Depending on the type of party we will sometimes bring some wine, but I don't expect it to be served, it's more of a hostess gift.

My husband and I host an annual part which is a backyard BBQ/pool party that involves high-school aged kids and the parents/family of those kids.  It's casual, burgers and dogs, chips, soda.  We don't serve booze for the adults.  Every year, the parents ask what they can bring.  Every year, I reply along the lines of, "Thanks so much but we've got everything we need, unless someone has dietary restrictions... etc..."  most people take this at face value, but I have a few tenacious peeps who just will not take no for an answer! 

"But you are feeding all of us!  I have to bring something!"
"But I refuse to show up empty-handed!"
"Please let me bring something."

None of these people are being intentionally rude, I'm sure, and I feel all have their hearts in the right place.  I have taken to asking people to bring extra beach towels because it can get kind of chaotic around the pool area.  Am I being the rude one here in refusing help?  Admittedly I can be a bit of a control freak so maybe I just need to let it go and start telling them what to bring, but just the thought of that sort of chaos in terms of food mish-mash makes my skin crawl.
I don't like when people bring food to my parties - I 'm something of a control freak, and after being "burned" a few times by people bringing inedible food, or forgetting to bring the paper goods they promised, i'd rather just do it on my own.

When people ask and insist - i just repeat "no thank you, i've got it covered; plesae, just come as my guest".

however, if it's the norm in your circle for people to bring stuff, then ask them to bring water, drinks, ice.

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MrsCrazyPete

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Re: What can I bring?
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2012, 04:49:07 PM »
I also would rather do everything myself. I have a few friends who feel like they HAVE to bring something, and I usually just tell them to bring a bag of ice. If we don't end up needing it then we'll use it the next time.
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WillyNilly

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Re: What can I bring?
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2012, 12:14:19 PM »
I also would rather do everything myself. I have a few friends who feel like they HAVE to bring something, and I usually just tell them to bring a bag of ice. If we don't end up needing it then we'll use it the next time.

I was just going to say this.

You can never have too much ice at a party (because really even if you do, just dump it in the back or on the driveway and voila, no extra ice anymore).  And really even if you start making ice a week in advance, unless you have a giant empty freezer, you can only make and store so much.

And ice is cheap and easy to get (around here they sell ice at delis, in grocery stores, at gas stations, at beer distributors, many larger drugstores have it, etc).

sparksals

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Re: What can I bring?
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2012, 03:39:27 PM »
I frequently have this problem too.  I say 'just yourselves' and sometimes people comply, sometimes they don't.  Then, when I already have the food laid out, I have to find a place for it, serving utensils etc.  Sometimes people bring chips or taco chips.  At one party I had, 8 ppl brought taco chips.  I had bags of them for weeks.  They take up a lot of room and I would prefer that people accept the invitation as I issue it.. please come and enjoy our hospitality where I prefer to host fully and completely.


BC12

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Re: What can I bring?
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2012, 08:11:33 PM »
I'd say that if your guests insist, let them bring something. People who do that like to contribute - it makes them feel like they're helping. Or they just want to show thanks for the invitation.

What about asking them to bring a dessert like some cookies or those cookie bar things (Rice Krispies treats, lemon squares, etc.) They won't interfere with the main course you planned, and you can just set them out afterward and not have to bother with serving utensils and extra plates. You can never have too many desserts, right?

Or extra towels. That's a good idea. (Maybe a dumb question - They do take the towels home with them afterward, right?)

sparksals

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Re: What can I bring?
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2012, 10:13:11 PM »
Polite guests don't insist on 'contributing' to my party.  I am fully capable of hosting. I don't need anyone's help. I host, I host. 

BC12

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Re: What can I bring?
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2012, 12:06:17 AM »
Polite guests don't insist on 'contributing' to my party.  I am fully capable of hosting. I don't need anyone's help. I host, I host.

Yikes. Okay, then.

But I have to disagree with your first sentence. I don't think it's impolite to offer to contribute, or even to pleasantly insist. It's pretty customary to offer something when invited to these types of casual events.

I guess I just see it akin to someone paying you (general) a genuine compliment. "I love your hair!" You can just accept it graciously with a "Thanks" instead of saying, "Well, I really hate it! And I don't welcome your opinion on it, either!"

The average insistent guest is just trying to do something nice. I think you (again, general) should let them. Give them direction on what to bring (something that works for you, the hostess - like ice, water, towels, etc.) Otherwise, you might end up having people bring something inconvenient, or 8 bags of chips, for example. And even if you end up with 8 bags of chips at your party, it's not the end of the world. You can donate them to a food bank instead of letting them take up room in your house while your resentment of your guests' kindness and generosity grows.

GSNW

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Re: What can I bring?
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2012, 12:47:11 AM »
I'm glad I asked people to bring pool towels because we ran out!  A few got left behind but I laundered them with our stack and returned them.  And the dessert request also worked ... I have four extra large ziplock bags of cookies, but DH took them to his summer basketball workouts for the kids (I don't need the temptation in my house!).

I think in the future I'll stick to those staples... Water, ice, cookies, BYO towel.  Thanks everyone :)

sparksals

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Re: What can I bring?
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2012, 01:11:45 AM »
Offering to bring something is not rude.  It is actually the polite thing to do.  What is rude is to insist and not take no for an answer. 

When I host, i plan a menu.  I have the platters selected, the food timed, a theme planned and food on the table to fit my table  While they may have good intention to ask to bring something, it is insulting to not take no for an answer bc it implies I cannot adequately provide for my guests.  It also causes me extra work to find a place for food that was not wanted in the first place. When I ask people to my home, I host.  Fully.  Completely.