Author Topic: What does "come over for dinner" mean to you?  (Read 17649 times)

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Sharnita

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Re: What does "come over for dinner" mean to you?
« Reply #30 on: November 13, 2012, 09:56:27 AM »
Yeah, to me if your hosts are regularly mentioning that it is getting late, they have an early start, etc. then you are mireading the invite and overstaying your welcome.

bloo

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Re: What does "come over for dinner" mean to you?
« Reply #31 on: November 13, 2012, 10:08:15 AM »
There are different definitions and, therefore, expectations in different regions and different social circles.

I've lived in several different states and seen things done different ways so I just try to 'roll with things' myself.

It surprised me to be invited for a yummy dinner and then saw that the 'getting to know you' part was out because they wanted us to sit and watch American Gladiator. Okay, whatever, it was fun. But when I invite someone for 'dinner' or an 'evening' the TV is not on.

Emmy

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Re: What does "come over for dinner" mean to you?
« Reply #32 on: November 13, 2012, 10:08:42 AM »
"Come over for dinner" sounds like a casual invitation and I wouldn't assume it meant staying several hours after for a movie or games.  I would expect to linger after dinner, have dessert and coffee and talk for a while.  I do think it would be rude to get up and leave as soon as my dinner was eaten.  Most of these invitations are to enjoy the other person's company as well as the meal.  If the guest comes, eats, and leaves within half an hour or so, it would seem that the guest was there only for the food and not the company.

Sharnita

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Re: What does "come over for dinner" mean to you?
« Reply #33 on: November 13, 2012, 10:11:46 AM »
"Come over for dinner" sounds like a casual invitation and I wouldn't assume it meant staying several hours after for a movie or games.  I would expect to linger after dinner, have dessert and coffee and talk for a while.  I do think it would be rude to get up and leave as soon as my dinner was eaten.  Most of these invitations are to enjoy the other person's company as well as the meal.  If the guest comes, eats, and leaves within half an hour or so, it would seem that the guest was there only for the food and not the company.

DOn't you have theur company while you are eating?

Eden

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Re: What does "come over for dinner" mean to you?
« Reply #34 on: November 13, 2012, 10:16:30 AM »
To me this whole thing can be chalked up to what's typical in your social circle. With most of my friends and family, a dinner invitation includes hanging out before and after dinner unless the host/hostess or guest has explicitly said they have a time constraint. If I were invited to dine at the home of someone I did not know as well, I'd err on the side of not overstaying my welcome. I'd probably intend to hang out for awhile after dinner to socialize but not stay much more than an hour or so after dinner. That is probably a cultural thing being in the U.S. Visiting other countries I might not do that.

Free Range Hippy Chick

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Re: What does "come over for dinner" mean to you?
« Reply #35 on: November 13, 2012, 10:18:22 AM »
Another point - if you invite me over for dinner, I'm going to be surprised and slightly offended if the TV is on, unless the invitation was 'come over, I'll make dinner and we'll watch Whatever'. With family I might leave the TV on but only if it's close enough family for people to be wandering about, looking after themselves, or I might leave it on for the children, but adults? No. I can watch TV in my own house, thanks, and if that's all that's happening, and you aren't actually going to interact with me, why am I here?

Put me in the (UK) camp of a dinner invitation of 7 for 7:30 meaning I arrive between 7 and half past, we go to the table at about 7:30, give or take, eat, sit around with coffee and a glass of wine, take the rest of the wine into the conservatory, I'll expect to leave at about ten.

CakeBeret

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Re: What does "come over for dinner" mean to you?
« Reply #36 on: November 13, 2012, 10:19:03 AM »
To me, it depends largely on two things: whether or not kids are involved, and how the invitation is worded.

If it's a child-free event, I expect to spend more time socializing. If kids are invited, I tend to expect that dinner will be served in a shorter timeframe and the evening will wrap up fairly soon after dinner. Generally there are more time constraints with children involved.

If I'm invited to "come over Saturday afternoon for a BBQ" I expect the event to last all of Saturday afternoon. If I'm invited to come over for dinner at 6, I expect to eat around 6-7, socialize a little bit after dinner, and then head home afterwards. If the invitation was for a formal dinner party, I would expect a longer evening than just a casual dinner.

Personally, I'm drained after having guests over for dinner (closest friends notwithstanding). I would like them to go home within an hour or so after dinner so that I have time to clean up the kitchen and get to bed.
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Adelaide

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Re: What does "come over for dinner" mean to you?
« Reply #37 on: November 13, 2012, 10:19:13 AM »
"Come over for dinner" means different things to me depending on who is issuing the invitation.

Close family/friends: Come over a little before, maybe help put out certain dishes or get ice, stay to do a little light cleaning up or for coffee.

Family/friends: Come over right at dinner, help clean up a bit after, leave shortly after

Usually though, "Come over for dinner" means just that and would not lead me to believe that I should stay more than 15-30 minutes after it's over or get there more than 15-30 minutes before it's due to start. If you explicitly said "Come over for dinner + something else" that would lead me to believe that we would be doing something else, even if the "something else" was "so we can hang out/catch up".  I'd much rather leave a little early than make the mistake of overstaying my welcome. I have carpooled with people who did that and it made things a bit uncomfortable. If it helps I'm in the U.S.A.

Sharnita

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Re: What does "come over for dinner" mean to you?
« Reply #38 on: November 13, 2012, 10:24:46 AM »
Also, if somebody said "come over for dinner" and it turned out to be a dinner party when I showed up I would be extremely uncomfortable.

Samgirl2

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Re: What does "come over for dinner" mean to you?
« Reply #39 on: November 13, 2012, 10:27:27 AM »
As a person from USA Colorado it is incredibly rude and strange if someone stayed after a dinner party. I host parties and dinner parties. Parties include drinks and appetizers and stay as long as midnight. Dinner parties typically start at 6:30-7 pm. First course starts at 8 and by the time desert is served and people chat it is 10 pm. It is rude for a guest at that point to plop down on the couch and start watching TV.

Good point. In my circle we rarely host full works dinner parties as Gumbysqueak mentions, but if we do, then yes, we would leave after coffee. If the dinner really has taken the whole evening and it's now getting on for 10pm then it is time to be going.

However usually it would be more casual, with a main and dessert and so there would still be plenty of time left for socialising.

Rohanna

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Re: What does "come over for dinner" mean to you?
« Reply #40 on: November 13, 2012, 10:33:09 AM »
The main point of the other thread wasn't that people expect to always "eat and run", but that if you are invited over for dinner,  you expect to eat dinner, not midnight snack. If someone says to me "come over for dinner", I expect to eat within 1/2 an hour or so and *then* socialize for a few hours- not vice versa. If it's going to be a dinner outside of the regional norm for timing, I would expect to be told. If I specifically say I have to be somewhere, so can we eat at "X" time, then it's particularly rude to agree to that and then ignore it. Most of my friends and family work medical shift work , so scheduling holiday dinners would give an air-traffic controller an aneurysm some years- it's just part of life.

I budget about 3 hours for a "come over for dinner", unless I'm told we will be doing other things like watching a movie or playing games. That, I think, gives lots of time to eat and chat- and if someone thinks that makes them a "cafe" they are welcome to simply not invite me back. I've never been offended if a friend with kids, or an early job or other commitments says "I'd love to stop by but I have to be home by 8" as long as they don't get offended if I'd rather reschedule or plan something different if that won't work. I don't think of it as being treated like a restaurant, I think of it as negotiating some time together. Maybe I'll choose to serve something simpler and quicker to eat- or plan a lunch with them instead. I

 wouldn't be offended if I invited a friend out and they said, I don't have time to meet for dinner today, how about we do coffee? I see that as the same thing.
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Redsoil

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Re: What does "come over for dinner" mean to you?
« Reply #41 on: November 13, 2012, 10:39:10 AM »
Aussie here.  If someone says "come over for dinner", it's generally implied that it will be dinner and socialising after.  To simply leave right after the food would be an insult.  It's as much about enjoying relaxed time with friends as anything. Often, drinks would continue after dinner, along with chit-chat.
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Judah

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Re: What does "come over for dinner" mean to you?
« Reply #42 on: November 13, 2012, 10:44:11 AM »
I'm in the US south.  Come over for dinner on a weekend means come over, have drinks and apps, dinner will be about 45 min to an hour later and then you'll socilaize till people will call it a night.  Ive been to some where it starts at 7 and everyone is gone by 9:30 and others where the last guests werent out the door till 1am.  I never plan another activity to attend after being invited to dinner.  But as a host, I have people arrive around 7, serve around 8, and then a guest says around 9:30 they need to leave because of an early commitment the next morning, I'm not insulted at all.  To me your minimal time commitment for a dinner invitation is around 2 hrs, 30 min before, an hour at the table and another half hour after.  An afternoon BBQ would be longer.

I'm in the US too and this has been my experience, except we usually start the evening at 6 or 6:30 and with good friends might go as late as midnight. A summer BBQ starts earlier, but probably doesn't end earlier. And whether kids are in attendance or not really does't have a bearing on the times involved.
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rose red

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Re: What does "come over for dinner" mean to you?
« Reply #43 on: November 13, 2012, 10:47:11 AM »
I'm with those who say it depends.  Normally, I expect to socialize a bit, sit down for dinner, and then socialize for another 30-60 minutes.

But there are those super casual invitations that are just for dinner and there are invitations that are all afternoon/evening.

MariaE

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Re: What does "come over for dinner" mean to you?
« Reply #44 on: November 13, 2012, 10:50:23 AM »
I'm in the US south.  Come over for dinner on a weekend means come over, have drinks and apps, dinner will be about 45 min to an hour later and then you'll socilaize till people will call it a night.  Ive been to some where it starts at 7 and everyone is gone by 9:30 and others where the last guests werent out the door till 1am.  I never plan another activity to attend after being invited to dinner.  But as a host, I have people arrive around 7, serve around 8, and then a guest says around 9:30 they need to leave because of an early commitment the next morning, I'm not insulted at all.  To me your minimal time commitment for a dinner invitation is around 2 hrs, 30 min before, an hour at the table and another half hour after.  An afternoon BBQ would be longer.

Interesting. I'd never serve (or expect) pre-dinner drinks or apps for a casual get-together. They are for formal dinner parties only.
 
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