Author Topic: What should I have done?  (Read 15366 times)

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Roe

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Re: What should I have done?
« Reply #30 on: August 13, 2012, 05:25:31 PM »
I am aware that many Italian dishes don't have cheese, however, that's hardly the point.  The point is, I had no way of knowing that cheese would be an issue.

And my point is that I don't think people with a cheese intolerance expect every dish is going to have cheese.   It's usually pretty easy to work around.

My DH can't eat meat, but we don't usually mention it because he's fine with veggie sides, salad, bread.  On one occasion we turned up to find the salad had bacon bits, the potatoes had bacon bits, the stuffing had oyster, the cheese was all on a meat and cheese platter, and we left pretty early that evening. But in his life it's been a problem exactly once, so he's not in the habit of bothering to talk about it in advance even when asked.

I guess Outdoor Girl would label him a jerk for having asked if there was any other cheese available.

I'm sorry your DH had nothing to eat but it's his own fault.  And even though it's easy to boil pasta or whatnot, a host shouldn't have to, esp since the OP did ask about alleriges or food aversions.

People that assume they can "eat around it" are taking a chance and sometimes, they lose. 

Moray

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Re: What should I have done?
« Reply #31 on: August 13, 2012, 05:48:13 PM »
I am aware that many Italian dishes don't have cheese, however, that's hardly the point.  The point is, I had no way of knowing that cheese would be an issue.

And my point is that I don't think people with a cheese intolerance expect every dish is going to have cheese.   It's usually pretty easy to work around.

My DH can't eat meat, but we don't usually mention it because he's fine with veggie sides, salad, bread.  On one occasion we turned up to find the salad had bacon bits, the potatoes had bacon bits, the stuffing had oyster, the cheese was all on a meat and cheese platter, and we left pretty early that evening. But in his life it's been a problem exactly once, so he's not in the habit of bothering to talk about it in advance even when asked.

I guess Outdoor Girl would label him a jerk for having asked if there was any other cheese available.

I'm sorry your DH had nothing to eat but it's his own fault.  And even though it's easy to boil pasta or whatnot, a host shouldn't have to, esp since the OP did ask about alleriges or food aversions.

People that assume they can "eat around it" are taking a chance and sometimes, they lose.

Yup, and as a hostess, I'd feel a little bad/uncomfortable that someone like hyzenthlay's husband had nothing to eat. I invited you to dinner because I want to prepare a nice meal for you. I'm asking about what you can and can't eat because I want you to enjoy dinner. I don't want you to sit there forlornly staring at your undressed spinach or making excuses to leave early, and if you (general) were to approach me before the meal to point out "Yeah, I know I specifically said there wasn't anything I can't eat, but I can't eat [common ingredient or food group that most people love]", I would find it unnecessary and rude. Why mention it, except to highlight that the dinner served isn't pleasing to you? Why wouldn't I toss bacon-shallot vinaigrette with the warm spinach salad, or serve an oyster dressing; why would I even think to segregate my meats and cheeses on the antipasto platter if I had no reason to suspect that anyone in my party wouldn't eat meat or anything touched by meat?
Utah

miranova

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Re: What should I have done?
« Reply #32 on: August 13, 2012, 05:56:12 PM »
OP here.

Thanks for all of the responses! 

A few clarifications.  The meal was not "cheese heavy", in my opinion.  Yes, there was SOME cheese in 4 out of the 7 things I made.  There were also some form of tomatoes in 3 of the dishes, garlic in 4 of them, thyme in 3 of them, etc.  The dishes contained cheese as an ingredient, they weren't JUST cheese or even MOSTLY cheese.  I say this because people keep saying things like "I wouldn't expect all of the dishes to be so full of cheese".  3 out of the 7 dishes had no cheese at all, and the others had some cheese, among many other ingredients.  Cheese is a common enough ingredient that I personally don't find it odd for it to be in 4 out of 7 dishes, especially for an Italian meal.  However, I am truly posting to learn, so I will keep that in mind for future events.  The problem is, I still don't know how I'm supposed to plan if I don't know the offending ingredient.  What if it wasn't cheese but instead was garlic or tomatoes or something else?  Those are all very common ingredients.  If I make 7 things and can't have any repeat of a very common ingredient, even in smallish amounts, that gets pretty complicated.  Any thoughts?

As far as making something else, truly, I could not have done any of the suggestions listed in the time that I had.  I was already serving appetizers and drinks when he said it, and the entree was in the oven.  I was extremely busy already bustling around to make sure the guests had a drink, etc.  I did not have any other meat defrosted, and I don't keep bottled spaghetti sauce in my house.  As someone else mentioned, I avoided doing the regular grocery shopping until after the party, because I needed room in my fridge for the large amounts of party food and drinks.  I literally could have offered him maybe a sandwich, with lunch meat only since he wouldn't want cheese.  Or a peanut butter sandwich.  If I were him, I'd rather eat the appetizer, salad, and bread than that.  But maybe I should have offered.  Or opened my pantry and fridge and let him look to see if there was anything he could work with.  I do think my immediate response could have been better, I was just thrown off.  It was frustrating, because all I could think was why on earth didn't he tell me when I asked?  Next time if this happens I will try to put that feeling aside long enough to ask if I can get him something else.  I do agree that I'm not obligated to do so, but I wouldn't have minded making the offer if I had thought to do so in the moment.

A couple of people made a good point that maybe he was telling me in order to explain why he wouldn't be eating much.  That would make sense to me if he didn't go on to eat almost everything offered.  No polite portions either, he ate a full meal.  I would never expect someone to eat something that disagreed with them and would never be offended if they didn't.  No one would have given him any grief for not eating much, but he ate it anyway.  So I'm not sure that explanation makes total sense to me.  It does however give him the benefit of the doubt, so it's worth considering.

I do think, after thinking about it a few days, that he had one chance to say something and should not have spoken up at the party if he didn't want to speak up earlier.  I can not imagine doing something like that at a party, and if I was asked why I wasn't eating, I would take the blame and say "it's my fault, I didn't mention to you that I couldn't eat cheese.  You did ask.  But I'll get plenty to eat with this salad and bread, don't worry about me!". 

I do appreciate the perspectives and will try to vary my menu in the future if possible, however I'm torn because most of the people really did like the meal and it got a lot of compliments.  In my experience, cheese is a popular ingredient among many.   A lot to think about. 

NyaChan

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Re: What should I have done?
« Reply #33 on: August 13, 2012, 06:17:44 PM »
miranova, just to satisfy my nosiness, what was the menu? 

Roe

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Re: What should I have done?
« Reply #34 on: August 13, 2012, 06:20:28 PM »
Please do not offer to make people like that something else. It's why people keep doing these sorts of things. You did nothing wrong. And everything right. It's his fault, even if he sat there with an empty plate. Don't feel bad.

LeveeWoman

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Re: What should I have done?
« Reply #35 on: August 13, 2012, 08:55:34 PM »
OP here.

Thanks for all of the responses! 

A few clarifications.  The meal was not "cheese heavy", in my opinion.  Yes, there was SOME cheese in 4 out of the 7 things I made.  There were also some form of tomatoes in 3 of the dishes, garlic in 4 of them, thyme in 3 of them, etc.  The dishes contained cheese as an ingredient, they weren't JUST cheese or even MOSTLY cheese.  I say this because people keep saying things like "I wouldn't expect all of the dishes to be so full of cheese".  3 out of the 7 dishes had no cheese at all, and the others had some cheese, among many other ingredients.  Cheese is a common enough ingredient that I personally don't find it odd for it to be in 4 out of 7 dishes, especially for an Italian meal.  However, I am truly posting to learn, so I will keep that in mind for future events.  The problem is, I still don't know how I'm supposed to plan if I don't know the offending ingredient.  What if it wasn't cheese but instead was garlic or tomatoes or something else?  Those are all very common ingredients.  If I make 7 things and can't have any repeat of a very common ingredient, even in smallish amounts, that gets pretty complicated.  Any thoughts?

As far as making something else, truly, I could not have done any of the suggestions listed in the time that I had.  I was already serving appetizers and drinks when he said it, and the entree was in the oven.  I was extremely busy already bustling around to make sure the guests had a drink, etc.  I did not have any other meat defrosted, and I don't keep bottled spaghetti sauce in my house.  As someone else mentioned, I avoided doing the regular grocery shopping until after the party, because I needed room in my fridge for the large amounts of party food and drinks.  I literally could have offered him maybe a sandwich, with lunch meat only since he wouldn't want cheese.  Or a peanut butter sandwich.  If I were him, I'd rather eat the appetizer, salad, and bread than that.  But maybe I should have offered.  Or opened my pantry and fridge and let him look to see if there was anything he could work with.  I do think my immediate response could have been better, I was just thrown off.  It was frustrating, because all I could think was why on earth didn't he tell me when I asked?  Next time if this happens I will try to put that feeling aside long enough to ask if I can get him something else.  I do agree that I'm not obligated to do so, but I wouldn't have minded making the offer if I had thought to do so in the moment.

A couple of people made a good point that maybe he was telling me in order to explain why he wouldn't be eating much.  That would make sense to me if he didn't go on to eat almost everything offered.  No polite portions either, he ate a full meal.  I would never expect someone to eat something that disagreed with them and would never be offended if they didn't.   No one would have given him any grief for not eating much, but he ate it anyway.  So I'm not sure that explanation makes total sense to me.  It does however give him the benefit of the doubt, so it's worth considering.

I do think, after thinking about it a few days, that he had one chance to say something and should not have spoken up at the party if he didn't want to speak up earlier.  I can not imagine doing something like that at a party, and if I was asked why I wasn't eating, I would take the blame and say "it's my fault, I didn't mention to you that I couldn't eat cheese.  You did ask.  But I'll get plenty to eat with this salad and bread, don't worry about me!". 

I do appreciate the perspectives and will try to vary my menu in the future if possible, however I'm torn because most of the people really did like the meal and it got a lot of compliments.  In my experience, cheese is a popular ingredient among many.   A lot to think about.

He ate "regular" portions of the dishes that contained cheese after saying he couldn't eat them?

still in va

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Re: What should I have done?
« Reply #36 on: August 13, 2012, 09:18:09 PM »
OP here.

Thanks for all of the responses! 

A few clarifications.  The meal was not "cheese heavy", in my opinion.  Yes, there was SOME cheese in 4 out of the 7 things I made.  There were also some form of tomatoes in 3 of the dishes, garlic in 4 of them, thyme in 3 of them, etc.  The dishes contained cheese as an ingredient, they weren't JUST cheese or even MOSTLY cheese.  I say this because people keep saying things like "I wouldn't expect all of the dishes to be so full of cheese".  3 out of the 7 dishes had no cheese at all, and the others had some cheese, among many other ingredients.  Cheese is a common enough ingredient that I personally don't find it odd for it to be in 4 out of 7 dishes, especially for an Italian meal.  However, I am truly posting to learn, so I will keep that in mind for future events.  The problem is, I still don't know how I'm supposed to plan if I don't know the offending ingredient.  What if it wasn't cheese but instead was garlic or tomatoes or something else?  Those are all very common ingredients.  If I make 7 things and can't have any repeat of a very common ingredient, even in smallish amounts, that gets pretty complicated.  Any thoughts?

As far as making something else, truly, I could not have done any of the suggestions listed in the time that I had.  I was already serving appetizers and drinks when he said it, and the entree was in the oven.  I was extremely busy already bustling around to make sure the guests had a drink, etc.  I did not have any other meat defrosted, and I don't keep bottled spaghetti sauce in my house.  As someone else mentioned, I avoided doing the regular grocery shopping until after the party, because I needed room in my fridge for the large amounts of party food and drinks.  I literally could have offered him maybe a sandwich, with lunch meat only since he wouldn't want cheese.  Or a peanut butter sandwich.  If I were him, I'd rather eat the appetizer, salad, and bread than that.  But maybe I should have offered.  Or opened my pantry and fridge and let him look to see if there was anything he could work with.  I do think my immediate response could have been better, I was just thrown off.  It was frustrating, because all I could think was why on earth didn't he tell me when I asked?  Next time if this happens I will try to put that feeling aside long enough to ask if I can get him something else.  I do agree that I'm not obligated to do so, but I wouldn't have minded making the offer if I had thought to do so in the moment.

A couple of people made a good point that maybe he was telling me in order to explain why he wouldn't be eating much.  That would make sense to me if he didn't go on to eat almost everything offered.  No polite portions either, he ate a full meal.  I would never expect someone to eat something that disagreed with them and would never be offended if they didn't.   No one would have given him any grief for not eating much, but he ate it anyway.  So I'm not sure that explanation makes total sense to me.  It does however give him the benefit of the doubt, so it's worth considering.

I do think, after thinking about it a few days, that he had one chance to say something and should not have spoken up at the party if he didn't want to speak up earlier.  I can not imagine doing something like that at a party, and if I was asked why I wasn't eating, I would take the blame and say "it's my fault, I didn't mention to you that I couldn't eat cheese.  You did ask.  But I'll get plenty to eat with this salad and bread, don't worry about me!". 

I do appreciate the perspectives and will try to vary my menu in the future if possible, however I'm torn because most of the people really did like the meal and it got a lot of compliments.  In my experience, cheese is a popular ingredient among many.   A lot to think about.

He ate "regular" portions of the dishes that contained cheese after saying he couldn't eat them?

exactly what stood out to me in the update. 

so i'll say again what i said before....OP, you did NOTHING wrong here.

LeveeWoman

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Re: What should I have done?
« Reply #37 on: August 13, 2012, 09:49:55 PM »
OP here.

Thanks for all of the responses! 

A few clarifications.  The meal was not "cheese heavy", in my opinion.  Yes, there was SOME cheese in 4 out of the 7 things I made.  There were also some form of tomatoes in 3 of the dishes, garlic in 4 of them, thyme in 3 of them, etc.  The dishes contained cheese as an ingredient, they weren't JUST cheese or even MOSTLY cheese.  I say this because people keep saying things like "I wouldn't expect all of the dishes to be so full of cheese".  3 out of the 7 dishes had no cheese at all, and the others had some cheese, among many other ingredients.  Cheese is a common enough ingredient that I personally don't find it odd for it to be in 4 out of 7 dishes, especially for an Italian meal.  However, I am truly posting to learn, so I will keep that in mind for future events.  The problem is, I still don't know how I'm supposed to plan if I don't know the offending ingredient.  What if it wasn't cheese but instead was garlic or tomatoes or something else?  Those are all very common ingredients.  If I make 7 things and can't have any repeat of a very common ingredient, even in smallish amounts, that gets pretty complicated.  Any thoughts?

As far as making something else, truly, I could not have done any of the suggestions listed in the time that I had.  I was already serving appetizers and drinks when he said it, and the entree was in the oven.  I was extremely busy already bustling around to make sure the guests had a drink, etc.  I did not have any other meat defrosted, and I don't keep bottled spaghetti sauce in my house.  As someone else mentioned, I avoided doing the regular grocery shopping until after the party, because I needed room in my fridge for the large amounts of party food and drinks.  I literally could have offered him maybe a sandwich, with lunch meat only since he wouldn't want cheese.  Or a peanut butter sandwich.  If I were him, I'd rather eat the appetizer, salad, and bread than that.  But maybe I should have offered.  Or opened my pantry and fridge and let him look to see if there was anything he could work with.  I do think my immediate response could have been better, I was just thrown off.  It was frustrating, because all I could think was why on earth didn't he tell me when I asked?  Next time if this happens I will try to put that feeling aside long enough to ask if I can get him something else.  I do agree that I'm not obligated to do so, but I wouldn't have minded making the offer if I had thought to do so in the moment.

A couple of people made a good point that maybe he was telling me in order to explain why he wouldn't be eating much.  That would make sense to me if he didn't go on to eat almost everything offered.  No polite portions either, he ate a full meal.  I would never expect someone to eat something that disagreed with them and would never be offended if they didn't.   No one would have given him any grief for not eating much, but he ate it anyway.  So I'm not sure that explanation makes total sense to me.  It does however give him the benefit of the doubt, so it's worth considering.

I do think, after thinking about it a few days, that he had one chance to say something and should not have spoken up at the party if he didn't want to speak up earlier.  I can not imagine doing something like that at a party, and if I was asked why I wasn't eating, I would take the blame and say "it's my fault, I didn't mention to you that I couldn't eat cheese.  You did ask.  But I'll get plenty to eat with this salad and bread, don't worry about me!". 

I do appreciate the perspectives and will try to vary my menu in the future if possible, however I'm torn because most of the people really did like the meal and it got a lot of compliments.  In my experience, cheese is a popular ingredient among many.   A lot to think about.

He ate "regular" portions of the dishes that contained cheese after saying he couldn't eat them?

exactly what stood out to me in the update. 

so i'll say again what i said before....OP, you did NOTHING wrong here.

Why in the world would he say he couldn't eat much cheese and then turn around and eat a lot of it?

ShadesOfGrey

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Re: What should I have done?
« Reply #38 on: August 13, 2012, 09:53:09 PM »
You say tou couldnt plan for it, but pert of the point of what posters here are saying is -did you have enough dishes in your menu without cheese in them, to make a decent meal? I generally think that any menu should accomplish that (other than themed nights or people you know well). Again, I don't think you did anything wrong, just that might be good to keep in mind for future reference.
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buvezdevin

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Re: What should I have done?
« Reply #39 on: August 13, 2012, 10:12:04 PM »
Late joining this thread and another poster who believes the OP did nothing wrong, and was graciously solicitous of guests dietary restrictions in advance.

As someone who enjoys hosting, and attending dinner parties, I would also add that an allergy, or dietary restriction or even preference may be fairly offered in advance of the actual meal or event, but waiting until the hosted event is in progress to state such - other than to ask as to whether any particular ingredients are included in a dish - is being an inconsiderate *guest*.  The hostess, in this case, proactively sought - not her guests dictates for her hospitality - but information which would allow her to appropriately plan her offerings. 

OP, this is one guest I would be omitting from future invitations.
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still in va

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Re: What should I have done?
« Reply #40 on: August 13, 2012, 10:33:39 PM »
You say tou couldnt plan for it, but pert of the point of what posters here are saying is -did you have enough dishes in your menu without cheese in them, to make a decent meal? I generally think that any menu should accomplish that (other than themed nights or people you know well). Again, I don't think you did anything wrong, just that might be good to keep in mind for future reference.

since the OP didn't know that her guest limited his cheese intake, even after she asked him, it's possible that she didn't have enough dishes without cheese in them to make a good meal.  you know, that whole "he didn't tell her he couldn't eat much cheese, so she didn't prepare for that" thing.

but from the update in post #32, after telling the OP that he couldn't eat much cheese, sounds like he ate a healthy amount of the food that was served.  so apparently he did make a good meal of what was served.

LeveeWoman

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Re: What should I have done?
« Reply #41 on: August 13, 2012, 10:44:14 PM »
You say tou couldnt plan for it, but pert of the point of what posters here are saying is -did you have enough dishes in your menu without cheese in them, to make a decent meal? I generally think that any menu should accomplish that (other than themed nights or people you know well). Again, I don't think you did anything wrong, just that might be good to keep in mind for future reference.

I think Miranova addressed that in No. 32.

lowspark

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Re: What should I have done?
« Reply #42 on: August 14, 2012, 09:13:53 AM »
As a cheese lover, I have to say that a menu with cheese in several dishes sounds delicious to me! And the OP's question about not repeating any ingredient that might possibly offend someone through more than one dish is an excellent point. Yes, tomatoes, garlic, cheese, onions, dairy in general, and a host of other ingredients are potential no-nos for some people. That's the whole point of asking in advance. If the guest had responded to miranova's inquiry before the party, then her menu would not have been appropriate. Otherwise, how is she supposed to plan any kind of a meal? Any ingredient, even salt! can be the one thing that someone can't have too much of.

Once the OP asked the question and received no reply from the guest regarding his cheese limitations, then she is free to include cheese in any and every dish if she is so inclined. Now, the guests might not be thrilled the menu, they might not like Italian food, they might not like a particular dish or they might feel that there was too much cheese, or whatever! But the polite thing for them to do is just grin and bear it because they want to behave as polite guests.

Whether the menu was well balanced or didn't work well, whether it was delicious or bad tasting, whether it was nicely presented or not, etc. is a completely different issue than whether a guest is intolerant of a certain food or, as in this case, too much of a certain food. The menu was planned according the hostess's tastes, which is natural, without any regard to dietary restrictions since none of the guests responded positively to her survey.

And again, I simply cannot wrap my head around the fact that he mentiioned this to his hostess, essentially making her uncomfortable and anxious, when she could do nothing to fix it, and then proceeded to eat it all anyway!!

I'll say this again. This guy would be permanently scratched off my list of potential future guests.

Hmmmmm

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Re: What should I have done?
« Reply #43 on: August 14, 2012, 10:12:41 AM »
We hosted a party last night in our home.  I posted a thread asking about menu suggestions and it was (wisely) suggested that I inquire about allergies, etc.  We inquired, and every person attending said there were no food issues.

Despite this, at the party last night, as we were serving apps and drinks, one of the guests walked up to me and kind of whispered that he can't handle much cheese.   A fine time for me to know that would have been when we asked!  We had planned an entirely Italian meal.  Two of the three apps had some cheese in them.  The main had cheese.  Even the dessert had cheese (mascarpone in the Tiramisu).  There was one app with no cheese, there was bread, and there was salad. 

I had no idea what to say to him.  I think I made some kind of sympathetic comment, but there was no way I could pull off a 2nd main course with no notice. 

Is there anything else I could have done or offered him?  By the way, he ate 3 things that contained cheese, so if he was going to eat them anyway, I don't know why he told me that it would bother him to eat them.  I felt bad but at the same time, if he was comfortable telling me that cheese disagreed with him, why not tell me when I still had a chance to do something about it? 

What is my obligation in that moment?  Try to find something else for him to eat?

Miranova,
I'm still curious about what you perceived his intention to bein sharing this information.  I can understand his not sharing that he can't handle "much" cheese when asked about alergies.  He can handle some and so it's not enough of an issue for him to share the information forcing you to make accomodations for him.

I would have taken his comment to be "I can't handle a lot of cheese, so if making individual items like a ceasar salad, go light on the parmesean or if topping chicken breasts with cheese would you mind leaving the cheese off of mine, or just a would you let me know which items have cheese so I can reduce my intake?"  If not a tiramasu eater, he may not know that it contains cheese or that the stuffed mushroom filling has cream cheese.

I sympathize when in the midst of hosting having a comment like this can throw you off.  But I'm giving the guy the benefit of the doubt that he was trying to be nice, didn't feel is food issue was a big enough deal to warrant it impacting your menu planning, and was just trying to get some last minute information. However, I wasn't there.  Did you feel he was asking you to make last minute accommodations?

miranova

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Re: What should I have done?
« Reply #44 on: August 14, 2012, 08:14:57 PM »
We hosted a party last night in our home.  I posted a thread asking about menu suggestions and it was (wisely) suggested that I inquire about allergies, etc.  We inquired, and every person attending said there were no food issues.

Despite this, at the party last night, as we were serving apps and drinks, one of the guests walked up to me and kind of whispered that he can't handle much cheese.   A fine time for me to know that would have been when we asked!  We had planned an entirely Italian meal.  Two of the three apps had some cheese in them.  The main had cheese.  Even the dessert had cheese (mascarpone in the Tiramisu).  There was one app with no cheese, there was bread, and there was salad. 

I had no idea what to say to him.  I think I made some kind of sympathetic comment, but there was no way I could pull off a 2nd main course with no notice. 

Is there anything else I could have done or offered him?  By the way, he ate 3 things that contained cheese, so if he was going to eat them anyway, I don't know why he told me that it would bother him to eat them.  I felt bad but at the same time, if he was comfortable telling me that cheese disagreed with him, why not tell me when I still had a chance to do something about it? 

What is my obligation in that moment?  Try to find something else for him to eat?

Miranova,
I'm still curious about what you perceived his intention to bein sharing this information. 

Snip

 Did you feel he was asking you to make last minute accommodations?

I wish I could tell you what his intentions were.  I've love to know myself.   I could have accepted the "to explain why he wasn't eating" explanation if he in fact didn't eat, but he did, so I still don't know why he said it.  I just don't know.

I am a pretty direct person.  If he was asking me to make last minute accommodations, I missed the hint .  I only thought about it afterwards, when I had a moment of "should I have offered something else?" which is why I came here and asked.  It didn't even occur to me in the moment, even if it should have.   If you are asking if he actually asked for different food, the answer is no he didn't. 
« Last Edit: August 14, 2012, 08:16:38 PM by miranova »