Author Topic: S/O what does 'coming over for lunch' mean to you... (sorry, a little long)  (Read 3804 times)

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MeowMixer

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Seeing that title triggered my memory of a bizarre situation last winter.

I and my BFF Glenda have a friend, Mindy, that we've know since we were teens. Mindy is a little out there, a little strange-but harmless! and truly a nice person. Just a bit of a space cadet.

Last year Mindy made the jump from living at home to an apartment. A month or so after she gets settled she messaged us saying she'd like to have us over for lunch. We both respond yes and we work out a date and time, and because she has to leave around 4 to get to another engagement we would be there for noon and stay till 4.  So a good little lunch date to see her new place, catch up- perfect!

We each ask what she would like us to bring, sides or drinks or snacks, she says just bring ourselves we don't have to bring anything. We both said okay but told her to let us know if she changed her mind. As it was I brought each a box of chocolates since I wasn't going to see either of them again before Christmas.

We arrive at noon, she shows us around the apartment, offers us a glass of water, I give them their gifts and we all sit down and start chatting. Around 1:30 we start smelling something absolutely delicious. Glenda makes a comment on how good the food smells thinking it was something that Mindy had ready to come out of the oven. Her response 'yeah, some of neighbours make really amazing food'. Oh. So Glenda made a few more comments about what it smelled like they're making. We start talking about our favourite foods. Glenda and Mindy open up their chocolate and start snacking.

Meanwhile I'm sitting there thinking to myself -oh &$%!!- I must have misinterpreted the email! and tried to recall if food was mentioned, maybe it wasn't a lunch invite, maybe it was just an afternoon visit. I was also regretting sleeping in and missing out on an actual breakfast before leaving.

The afternoon continued and about 2:30 Mindy gets up and goes to the kitchen, I'm thinking oh good, lunch time! I ask her if she needs any help and she responds she doesn't. She walks back out with one of those little bags of popcorn (the kind that come from festive gift baskets) opens the bag and starts snacking. She puts it on the table in front of her, facing her, so it doesn't seem like she's sharing it with us. I ask her if I could try some and she says sure so Glenda and I take a few and use the last drops of water to choke it down (it was very stale, and mouth was dry since we'd finished our glasses hours before, never offered more). At 3:30 we start getting our coats and scarves on, say our goodbyes and thank you for having us over and head out to Glenda's hubby waiting in the car. As soon as we got in the car Glenda broke and told hubby to please take us to find some food. I piped up saying I thought it was just me that misunderstood the invite, but Glenda was under the impression too that 'come over for lunch' means come over for lunch.

When I got home I scoured through the email exchanges to see what I missed. Short of saying 'there will be food' it was very clearly 'inviting over lunch' not 'lets meet up some afternoon'. Our offers to bring sides should have prompted a a clarification of what kind of visit this was if there wasn't going to be food at this lunch date.

So, rehashing this long winded story... what would you do? When accepting an invite to lunch or dinner does it need to be clarified before hand that there would be food at this lunch or dinner? Would you at half way through blurted out 'where's the food', or made excuses to leave early... I just...  :o...I don't know... looking back I should have done something, but what do you do in that situation?

In the grand scheme of things it was only about 3-4 hours long of a visit, but it took place around normal meal times and was, exact quote, 'would love to have you ladies over for lunch at my new place'. Even if I had had more than a piece of toast running out the door the time between breakie and dinner is a long time. When it became clear that we weren't getting food it was too late to say anything or go out because our ride would be there within the hour.

Epilogue- We are still friends, she's a sweet girl, just Mindy being... I guess, Mindy. We just make sure now that when we see each other it's somewhere that has a food court...  ::) lol

Yvaine

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I definitely think "come over for lunch" involves FOOD! What an oddball. But I do think you could have asked for more water rather than waiting to be offered--I believe water is the one thing it's always acceptable to ask a host for.

As for what to do when the food never appeared--wow, I don't even know!

MeowMixer

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lol yeah I know I could have asked for more water... I was thinking I'd get more water when started lunch... I had only really noticed my lack of water when I needed water with the popcorn.

siamesecat2965

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I would have assumed, had I received an invite worded that way, lunch would be provided. Or at the very least, maybe a mention of ordering takeout would be made.  I know I have friends who I've seen at lunchtime, and its been clear they are providing the food, or I've sometimes offered to pick up sandwiches on my way over.  But its usually spelled out what the meal might be.

I don't think it needs to be clarified that food will be provided if you're invited for a meal - I think it kind of goes without saying that food will be provided, unless you determine ahead of time you might order out or meet up at someone's house, and then go out to eat.

If it seemed no meal was forthcoming, I might have cut my visit short and gone to find something to eat!

TootsNYC

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If I had someone over for 3 hours, I'd serve them food!

And to get a snack in front of you, but not share it with you, is very, very self-centered.

I say "rude."

You believe this is Mindy--spacey and a bit self-centered--and are you willing to not take offense. I think that's a fine choice. But it's proof that Mindy is not clued in to basic graciousness or rudimentary etiquette.

Luci

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What would I have done?

About an hour into the visit and seeing nothing happening, I would have suggested we go out. I could not have tolerated going much past noon with no food - no health problems, just that's me that has to be fed.

That woman is sorely lacking in communication and hosting skills. She also is quite rude for eating her popcorn in front of you and not offering some to you. If she is otherwise a friend, I think it is nice that you and Glenda have adjusted to compensate.

siamesecat2965

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This actually reminds me of something my cousin would do.  Twice I've driven from NJ to MD to visit her.  Once, to go on vacation the next day. I have a key to her house, so I arrived and let myself in. She then came in, and had to change and run out for a pedicure appt.  which is literally across the street.  I figured ok, she'll come back and we'll do something for dinner. 2.5 hours later she walks in, and gushes about how lovely it was, it was ladies night, and they had pizza and wine  :o

It's now close to 8pm so I say to her, hey, do you have anything I can have for dinner? She looks at me and says, oh, didn't you eat? I said no, and she said, how come?  I said I figured WE would do something after your appt...she then said, oh, I'm a bad host, aren't i?

Second time, same thing, I arrive, and wait for her to get back from work.  we had already discussed going out to grab dinner, so when she comes down in shorts and flip flops (which she would never go out wearing), I said hey, are you going out like that?  she then said, oh, i changed my mind, i'm tired.  Not a word to me, and we ended up eating some nasty frozen lasagne. Had she simply said to me, hey, I'm tired nad don't feel like going out, that would have been fine, but she's a bit self centered and ditzy, so I never know what to expect, even when we HAVE made plans.

WillyNilly

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Your friend definitely dropped the ball. She invited you for lunch - lunch is a meal.

I think if it were me at some point I would have said either "wow that neighbor's cooking is making me hungry - anyone else? Maybe we should think about lunch" or "so how do you like the new neighborhood? Have you tried anywhere local yet? Wanna take a walk to the diner/order in from somewhere to try it out?"
« Last Edit: November 13, 2012, 01:50:19 PM by WillyNilly »

StuffedGrapeLeaves

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Your friend definitely dropped the ball. She invited you for lunch - lunch is a meal.

I think if it were me at some I would have said either "wow that neighbor's cooking is making me hungry - anyone else? Maybe she should think about lunch" or "so how do you like the new neighborhood? Have you tried anywhere local yet? Wanna take a walk to the diner/order in from somewhere to try it out?"

I agree with WillyNilly.  I might also even say something like, "Do you need help preparing lunch?  I can also go out and get some last minute stuff if needed."  If that doesn't work, I would cut the visit short and go get food somewhere else.

Hmmmmm

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If you invite me to lunch, I am definately expecting food.  I think by 1pm, I would have been asking "so are we eating lunch here or going out?"  And if she looked suprised, I'd have said "oh gosh, I must have misread, I thought we were having lunch.  Do you mind if I order something?"

Deetee

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Re: S/O what does 'coming over for lunch' mean to you... (sorry, a little long)
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2012, 02:14:10 PM »
If you invite me to lunch, I am definately expecting food.  I think by 1pm, I would have been asking "so are we eating lunch here or going out?"  And if she looked suprised, I'd have said "oh gosh, I must have misread, I thought we were having lunch.  Do you mind if I order something?"

This (but I would wait a little longer)

After 2 hours, I would enquire as to the plans and then say I'm heading out to grab food or ordering in or whatever. I would find it easier if there was another guest there so I would have backup.

Lunch equals food.

Margo

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Re: S/O what does 'coming over for lunch' mean to you... (sorry, a little long)
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2012, 03:06:36 PM »
I agree. If you're invited for lunch, then it goes without saying that food is involved.

I think Hmmm and StuffedGrapeLeaves' suggestions are good.

I think that if you're invited for lunch, at 12, then it's reasonable to expect to start eating (or at the least, to have visible preparation starting to happen) by 1.

Twik

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Re: S/O what does 'coming over for lunch' mean to you... (sorry, a little long)
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2012, 03:14:31 PM »
"Lunch" is a meal. If you want someone over for the afternoon, you say, "come over AFTER lunch".

A bit O/T, but I had a dear friend (now passed away) who would have a Christmas chocolate-making party. One year, she told us to come around 11 am. By about 1:30, having indulged in sufficient sweet sugary stuff to throw our blood sugars WAY off, we realized that she intended to work straight through to suppertime.

Fortunately, she ran out of chocolate, and two us went on a Ghirardelli run. We came back with hummus, pita bread, cheese, and other stuff, that "just happened to be on sale as we walked in, and it looked so yummy we had to bring some back for you to try."
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

rose red

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Re: S/O what does 'coming over for lunch' mean to you... (sorry, a little long)
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2012, 03:17:21 PM »
She sounds spacey alright.  Around one, I would have said "So.  What should we do about lunch?  What are we in the mood for?"

secretrebel

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Re: S/O what does 'coming over for lunch' mean to you... (sorry, a little long)
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2012, 07:33:32 AM »
When I was at school I arranged to meet a friend to study on Saturday. She suggested coming over at 10am and staying until mid afternoon so I thought she'd probably offer lunch. I don't eat breakfast so around 1pm I was getting hungry, by 2 I was ravenous. Then she said "oh, I don't eat lunch by the way, hope that's not a problem". Silly me, I said it was fine and was starving by the time I got home.

I am old and wise enough now to laugh and say "oh gosh, and I don't eat breakfast. I'll just go out and get some lunch or else I will be hungry!"